Friday, July 8, 2022

Fanclub vol. 2 Ahmad Zaghal

Fanclub is a semi-regular recommendation series where I talk to Normal People about the Things They Like. 


Ahmad Zaghal (he/him) - Germantown, MD
Twitter / Instagram

JMC: What have you been listening to lately?
AZ: I’ve been way into the new Editrix record. It’s gotten more spins than anything else. I also have recently grabbed the new Anteloper and Katie Alice Greer albums and have been really enjoying those.

JMC: I had Katie on my show last week! One of the things we talked about is where her album falls on the abrasive / pop music spectrum. What’s your take on this? Do you think it is a weird abrasive record or do you think it is more pop inclined?
AZ: I think it can be either depending on where the listener is coming from. I’ve heard my fair share of weird abrasive electronic records and have been to a bunch of harsh noise shows so I think of it as a fun pop record that touches on that stuff. Someone coming to it with more of a pop/rock frame of reference might find it to be a little challenging.

JMC: Are there any shows coming up you are excited about?
AZ: My friend Janel Leppin’s Ensemble Volcanic Ash project has an album due out at the end of the month and they’re playing a show at Rhizome in DC on the 18th to celebrate. It’s been a long time in the making and being able to watch this group grow at live shows over the years has been very special.

JMC: Is Rhizome your go-to spot in DC? It seems like it’s the only place in the city that does small art-inclined showed someone reliably. I could be wrong tho!
AZ: Yeah, it’s my favorite spot in the city for shows. And yeah, you’re right about it being the most reliable. The bookers are diverse which makes the variety great and they’ve got something happening almost daily at this point.

JMC: What is something you've been hearing a lot about but haven't fully made your mind up about yet?
AZ: It’s been two years but I still haven’t made up my mind about 100 gecs.

JMC: What is it about 100 gecs you feel ambivalent about? I love them, but I also feel they get a lot of polarizing immediate responses. I haven’t met a lot of people that are on the fence about them.
AZ: I totally appreciate what they’re doing and can laugh along with them but find the music grating which seems to be what they’re going for? I bet I’d get annoyed fast at a live show. It reminds me a bit of what Girl Talk was doing. An updated take on that

JMC: What do you do all day for money?
AZ: I sit behind a computer 8 hours a day checking different parts of the same Veterans Affairs web application for accessibility.

JMC: How much stuff is there to check on the VA website?
AZ: Oh it’s huge. Dozens of different applications that are all fairly large. I work on a team that develops one of them. It’s a record keeping kind of thing.

JMC: Do you like the job?
AZ: It’s fairly stress-free, I can work remotely and I get on well with the people I interact with daily so I can’t really complain about it. The material’s dry but I don’t mind that too much.