“Having migrated to Chicago for a job with the Rand McNally map company in the early aughts, J, or Justin, spent his following years playing in friends’ projects in Chicago’s active DIY scene. In his own time, he was mapping out out a series of personal recordings in his rudimentary home studio, it was these recordings that would develop into the first EP, Olympic Village. Though somewhat crudely recorded (the lively Puerto Rican festivals of his adopted Humboldt Park neighborhood made cause for some creative EQ tinkering), that EP and its follow-up, No Luck, both showed undeniable songwriting prowess, and were released by Chicago-based labels Teen River and Lake Paradise. The resulting response that ensued from these releases earned diverse comparisons ranging from Stereolab to Syd Barrett to a young Robyn Hitchcock, while also earning some gentle jibes from his peers asking if he ever left his apartment after having been labeled a “bedroom pop artist.”
J Fernandez plays Pittsburgh Monday night (10/27) at Gooski’s, touring behind his latest effort, the fantastic EP “Memorize Now“. I want to thank Justin for taking a few minutes to participate in this edition of First/Last.
The first album you ever bought?
Nirvana “In Utero”.
Your last album bought?
Laetitia Sadier “Something Shines”.
Favorite album of all time?
I don’t want to say it’s the one and only favorite album. But Can’s “Tago Mago” is definitely one I keep coming back to.
Least favorite/most disappointing album?
Also don’t have a least favorite album. There’s a lot of good and bad music around.
First concert attended?
My dad took me to see the Rolling Stones – Voodoo Lounge tour. I think Bryan Adams was the opening act.
Last “concert” was Magnetic Fields at the Vic in Chicago. Last show was probably one that I played.
Favorite concert ever?
I’ve seen Yo La Tengo a few times. Pretty much any of their shows.
Least favorite concert?
When I was maybe ten years old, my cousin took me to a Boys II Men concert.
Any thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
If I decide to leave Chicago, I’ll move to Pittsburgh.
Thanks, Justin. I also saw the Stones’ Voodoo Lounge tour. I got kicked out of the stadium for being too intoxicated. Ah… good times.