Jonathan Toubin, a former Austinite and well-known DJ, possesses an interesting and varied collection of records along with an amazing story of survival.
I remember seeing a friend's post on Facebook in December 2011 talking about how her pal had been in a freak accident in Portland and went on to read the horrific account of how Toubin, in town for a gig, was run over by a taxi in his hotel room. It was unclear at the time if he would make it but five months later he was back on the decks, spinning again despite massive hearing loss.
The other thing I hear most about him is what a great guy he is. When I queried people for suggestions on who to cover for this year's LPQs he was on everyone's list so we're all super psyched he'll be here, and his tale of resilience, along with the testimonials to his kindness, is a good one for this Valentine's Day, no?
Jonathan likes tequila and Little Richard. He is not overly fond of fat puffy footwear.
The LP Questionnaire
Name: Jonathan Toubin
Do you have any nicknames? JT, Toubinator (Austin), Toubs (NYC), Toubs-la-rone (NYC), J-To (NYC), Mr. Wonderful (New Orleans), The Soul Proprietor (self-inflicted), DJ Night Train (a misunderstanding)
1. Pretend you’re 15. Name three songs you'd put on a mix tape for your girlfriend/boyfriend.
1) Butthole Surfers "Sweat Loaf" - I definitely think I listened to this song more than any other from that year because it was the first one on Locust Abortion Technician - the album I must've listened to the most when I was 15 (if it wasn't Minutemen Ballot Result). A mind-melting rendering of Black Sabbath's "Sweet Leaf", this track sounded like nothing else I had ever heard and made me feel like my world was small and that there was a lot out there I need to learn. It has nothing to do with love as far as I know and would have no place on a girlfriend mix except the intro ("It's better to regret something you have done than something that you haven't") - which could've been an argument to co-oerce sex in those days when there were still more than a few high school virgins.
2) Scratch Acid "Eyeball" - I also thought this song rocked so hard. I was living in Houston but would visit my father in Austin. Like the Butthole Surfers, I thought Scratch Acid were mysterious and creepy and unique and couldn't wait to move to Austin so I could see this kind of weird music every day and become a part of its subculture. Anyhow, I have no idea what David Yow is singing about here. But I think I'd put it on the mix anyway because I wasn't the kind of sap to put love songs on a mix tape for my girlfriend and I wouldn't have wanted to let on that I like her too much. That being said...
3) Culturcide "Bruce" - The second track off of Tacky Souvenirs of Pre-Revolutionary America. This is a Houston industrial band singing and playing over the hits of the early to mid-1980s - defacing the popular music that drove me away from the radio and MTV - and whirled me onto my current countercultural path. If anything this record is a hilarious and self-conscious go at old-fashioned Situationist détournement that helped me survive being on the wrong end of the vapid 1980s popular music monolog. This LP still gets me in trouble when I turn it and I employ it to weed out the riffraff in a room - and the ones who don't leave become conspicuous as they run up to demand (or over Christmas this year, pay me) to stop the record. My original copy of this was destroyed in 2008 by a DJ in Los Angeles who cracked it over his knee at an L.A. Record Valentines party at the Cha Cha Lounge (during Pat Benatar's "Love is a Cattleprod"). "Bruce," sung over "Dancing in the Dark," focuses the rock star as a mask over faceless of corporate capitalism - namely Bruce Springsteen's dual branding as millionaire rock star and "working class hero" ("You can't move a product/You can't move a product without a hit"). The last time I played this song a couple got up and started dancing - before the boyfriend got up in the DJ's face when he learned it wasn't to be the only song he recognized of the evening. Anyway, 15 year-old Jonathan Toubin would have included this on the mix to test my girlfriend. If she didn't relate to Culturcide, we probably wouldn't have much in common. So, that being said...
I guess you figured out by now that I didn't have a girlfriend when I was 15. Too bad - because this would've been a righteous love mix that would've sent her all the way down the wrong path!
2. Which evil villain would make the best President? Definitely Queen Carlotta of Mortville in John Waters' Desperate Living. I would love to see a national "Backwards Day".
3. What was your favorite cartoon as a child? Definitely Bugs Bunny.
4. What superpower do you wish you had? The ability to morph a DJ request into something I actually have in my crate.
5. What would the title of your autobiography be? Memoirs of the Late Jonathan Toubin, Written by Herself
Thank you and thanks again for dropping by on this sunny day full of hearts and slings and arrows. You can keep up with all the LPQ-ness here.
We will go far into the sea, lp