Brannon Kleinlein: Last Exit Live

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A peek inside the playlists of Phoenix’s most influential people

Christina Fuoco-Karasinski    College Times

Brannon Kleinlein is Arizona music’s biggest cheerleader. He moved to the Valley in 1994 from LaSalle, Illinois, so he could attend ASU.

A fan of music and nightlife, he and two associates purchased BJ’s Meeting Place in Downtown Tempe and opened Last Exit Live. Now located in Downtown Phoenix, Last Exit Live is a bastion for local—and international—music.

He wanted to take his love of the Grand Canyon State’s music scene a step further and founded the Apache Lake Music Festival, which has swelled in popularity.

This month, Kleinlein shares his music tastes with College Times readers.

TOP SIX FAVORITE
SONGS OF ALL TIME

“End Of The Line,”
The Traveling Wilburys

Not only is this song done by some of the greatest musicians of all time, it’s just a really happy, feel-good song that puts you in a good mood and helps keep things in perspective when you might be feeling a little down.

“Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town,” Pearl Jam

This song holds a lot of meaning for me because I grew up in a small town in Illinois and always dreamed about moving out West to a bigger city. The song is about someone who never got the chance to move away and now feels stuck and forgotten in their small town. The song actually helped motivate me when I was a teenager to make sure I gave it a shot and moved out West when I had the chance.

“Say Hello To Heaven,”
Temple of the Dog

This was a tribute song for the late Andy Wood that was written by Chris Cornell of Soundgarden and performed with members of Pearl Jam. It had two of my favorite grunge-era acts collaborating. Being that it’s about death and the passing of a friend, the song is a bit depressing, but is one of the most beautifully written anthems about the subject.

“My Sweet Lord,” George Harrison

My favorite Beatle is George Harrison and, in my opinion, his solo work is the best among his former bandmates. Although this song is considered to be quite religious, it’s my understanding George wanted it to be a call to abandon religious discrimination between different groups and faiths. Because I am not really a religious person, the song for me is more about the feeling it gives when listening to it. The lyrics are quite repetitive with almost a chant feel, but the song really works and evokes a pretty peaceful feeling.

“Zion Train,”
Bob Marley

Spent a lot of time listening to Bob Marley in my late teens and 20s, and just love the way the reggae beat and sound of this song feels. It really just makes you want to bop your head along to the groove.

“The Waiting,” Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers

To me, Tom Petty is one of the greatest American rock stars in history. He has a way of connecting to his audience through his songs and lyrics that makes it feel believable by the audience. I think this song is my favorite of his just based upon the many times I got to see his band live and the way this song came across in a live performance.

PREFERRED WAY OF LISTENING AND WHY?

On the sound system at Last Exit Live. Sometimes, when I’m down at the venue doing work on nonshow days, I like to put on some of my favorite music and blast it on our sound system. It’s the closest thing that gives the feel of being at a real concert, I’ve found.

DESERT ISLAND ALBUM

“Greatest Hits,” Bob Marley & The Wailers

WHAT ARTIST WOULD PROVIDE THE SOUNDTRACK FOR THE MOVIE

ABOUT YOUR LIFE?

Eddie Vedder

FAVORITE SONG

BY AN ARTIST

FROM YOUR COUNTRY?

“Paul Revere,” Beastie Boys

GO-TO GUILTY PLEASURE TRACK OR CLASSIC KARAOKE TUNE?

“Sweet Caroline,” Neil Diamond

I don’t sing karaoke but if I did this would be a go-to because it always gets the crowd singing.

CT

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