Andrew Burnes (San Agustin, Haunted House, SATMC)
SPB: What is your all-time favorite record (and why)?
Burnes: I'd like to think that my tastes are broad and deep, but the one record that immediately comes to mind upon reading that question is probably not an unusual answer: the Jimi Hendrix Experience's Are You Experienced. The first music that really grabbed me and shook me hard was the soundtrack to A Film About Jimi Hendrix, which the local PBS station showed late one night when I was 10 or 12 years old. The sounds and images were burned into me. I got ahold of AYE a couple years later, and now I've heard it so many times that it is difficult for me to relate it to other music -- it came from the sky and all others can somehow be traced back to it.
I love every note of the US edition, the only one I knew until late in high school, and I can still listen to it repeatedly and never tire of it. It is dense and complex and rich, and I suspect the tape was barely able to contain the sound coming through the board, but the performances are natural and immediate. The feeling of deep, expanding space I get when hearing it is something I associate more with my favorite science fiction films than with other favorite records. "Love or Confusion" and "I Don't Live Today" are filled with such roiling, surging, humming power that even now, decades later, I get excited by the thought of them, and those are just the filler tracks. The album was present at many crucial junctures in my life, and my memories of some of those moments are dominated more by the Hendrix I was hearing than the experiences themselves.
But these few things and anything else I was about to say about Are You Experienced seem suddenly to underestimate it, so I'll stop here. I love it.