Michelle at home holding a vintage telephone and 7" record
Michelle got an advance copy of the iPhone 7000.

A Q&A with Michelle Arnold, Music Lawyer and Mid-Century Design Lover

Age: 50

Basic bio: Michelle is a Brooklyn-based music attorney for The Orchard, Sony’s independent music distribution company. She’s also an amateur photographer, pop culture writer, and a fan of mid-century modern architecture and design.

Beyond the bio: In The Breakfast Club Ally Sheedy said, “When you grow up, your heart dies.” My younger self saw that a lot in adults, so I’ve tried very hard to keep the joy and dreams of my childhood alive as I’ve aged. As a result, I’ve taught school in France, been kissed by Rick Springfield, hugged by Simon Le Bon, had cheesecake with my absolute childhood hero, Stephanie Zimbalist (from Remington Steele), and I get to live in NYC and work with music, my life-long passion, every day. While there will always be a certain amount of drudgery and stress to life, I’m so profoundly grateful and awed at how completely jumping-up-and-down-on-my-bed giddy my pre-teen self would be at how it all turned out. 

What makes you a grown-ass lady? 

Understanding that it’s much better for my mental health not to try to do my own taxes… and no longer wanting to live in (or near) Williamsburg (Brooklyn).

1. On the nightstand: My bedroom is TWA Hotel-themed, so I’ve got books on the Saarinen terminal, a coaster from the hotel’s Sunken Lounge, a TWA boarding pass sleeve (from high school), my grandmother’s 1964/65 World’s Fair guidebook… and my glasses case.

a closeup of the nightstand with vintage TWA items
A close-up of Michelle’s nightstand

2. Can’t stop/won’t stop: Making mixtapes (although they’re called “playlists” now).

3. Jam of the minute: Music is my life, so, like Doritos, I can’t crunch just one. My two current faves are:

Vintage: Keith’s 1967 album 98.6/Ain’t Gonna Lie – The whole album is perfect late ‘60s springtime sunshine pop, which really lifts my spirits along with the rising temps.

New: Sarah Klang’s Virgo. Atmospheric and retro-tinged indie rock with hints of Dusty Springfield. (Note: I have to disclose that this is distributed by my company, but I’m recommending it because I freaking love it.)

4. Thing I miss: My beautiful, perfect, funny mom. Neighborhood-wide flashlight tag. Basically, 1974. 

5. ‘80s crush: Rick Springfield, Simon Le Bon, and Remington Steele.

6. Current crush: Jarvis Cocker (basically Rick Springfield, Simon Le Bon, and Remington Steele rolled into one) and my cute, dreamy long-term boyfriend, Dan.

7. Latest fave find: 18 Super 8mm reels of my family from the early 1970s. 

8. Last thing you lost: Inevitably my camera’s lens cap.

9. Best thing that happened recently: 2015.

10. Looking forward to: After years of trauma, loss, and the exhaustion of running back and forth to my childhood home in Harrisburg, PA (not to mention a global pandemic), I’m really looking forward to re-claiming some fun and happiness, as well as a re-integration into my beloved Brooklyn. Hit me up, Brooklyn TueNighters!

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