If there was a definitive bucket list for Phoenix residents, seeing local band Playboy Manbaby live would likely be at the top. Fusing jazz and punk elements, the band’s shows usually include costume changes, props and frontman Robbie Pfeffer fervently shrieking into the mic. Playboy Manbaby is pretty off the wall, so it’s no surprise that Pfeffer’s music taste is fairly eclectic. The ASU grad is both a boom bap buff and a proponent of proto-punk with classic rock roots. Peep the rest of his top tracks below and check out Playboy Manbaby at The Van Buren on December 15 and on tour with fellow Phoenix rockers Okilly Dokilly in February. And if you’re lucky, you might find Pfeffer belting out “Love Shack” at karaoke night at a dive bar near you.
TOP 5 FAVORITE SONGS OF ALL TIME
“Good Friday,” Why?
“I heard this in 2008 driving to San Diego. It just messed me up. I didn’t know you could write songs like this. It’s such a time and place thing.”
“Singapore,” Tom Waits
“This is the first song I heard after I got actually stoned for the first time in like 2006 and I remember thinking, ‘Wow, music sounds insane high.’ I don’t smoke weed anymore but I still listen to Tom Waits.”
“3030,” Deltron 3030
“First album that let me know I actually could like hip-hop. Just an amazing concept album as a whole. Pushes the limit of the medium.”
“Runnin’ Down a Dream,” Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
“I thought I hated classic rock and this song let me know that there was so much more to rock ’n’ roll history than I thought there was. It opened doors for me.”
“Katrina,” Black Lips
“The Black Lips were my gateway into garage music. Their tone is amazing and they brought me into a whole world that kind of directed my life from 2011 to 2014.”
PREFERRED WAY OF LISTENING
“I listen to whatever is fastest. I use Spotify or YouTube. I like the novelty of vinyl and tapes but don’t have the patience, gear or lack of self-awareness to care about anything but convenience.”
DESERT ISLAND ALBUM
“I’d need audiobooks. Being on an island would be super boring and I definitely wouldn’t last long.”
WHAT ARTIST WOULD PROVIDE THE SOUNDTRACK FOR THE MOVIE ABOUT YOUR LIFE?
“Jonathan Richman. I’d just want him to write super literally about the inane boring parts of my life. I spend most of my time doing nothing special and I think he’d capture that.
Suggested song titles include ‘Sitting in my Kitchen’ and ‘Weighing the Pros and Cons of Burrito Places.’”
FAVORITE SONG BY AN ARIZONA-BASED ARTIST
“Pray For Pills” by Small Leaks Sink Ships. But seriously, check out James Band, Sad Dance Party, Bonzalez, Go Outside and Audrey Heartburn.
GO-TO GUILTY PLEASURE TRACK OR CLASSIC KARAOKE TUNE
“I usually lean to ‘Love Shack’ by B-52’s because it’s such a slow pitch down the middle for my vocal range.”
Words by Madison Rutherford.