I’ve known Margaux Alexander since elementary school. In addition to enduring her junior year of studying music business at University of California Los Angeles, she’s in a band called AiRLiNE. I finally gave them a listen and instantly meshed with their pop-punk, blink-182 and Nirvana influenced-sound.

Margaux and I leave our hometown of La Canada, shoot down the 2, get off at Fletcher in Silver Lake, and do a side street shuffle to Amoeba Music on Cahuenga and Sunset. I’ll admit: we were a bit late. Tolliver was prompt and looking sharp in a red velvet button down. I fumble with the camera (Margaux helps me with the ISO and shutter speed) while Margaux and Tolliver begin brainstorming. I time them since Tolliver has to dash off within the hour and send them off on the Record Rush quest.

The only rule: Use each other’s music and music videos to guess each other’s favorites, guilty pleasures and phases. Then, compare the other’s music to another artist and give a few recommendations. DON’T (to the best of your ability) use social media.

The clock stops and we head upstairs so Margaux and Tolliver can reveal their guesses for one another.



Tolliver: I got a David Bowie.

Natalie Durkin (Highlark): Is that accurate, or no?

Margaux Alexander (AiRLiNE): Sort of. I mean, I definitely think he’s cool, but I wouldn’t listen to him day-to-day.

Tolliver: Beatles – another safe one.

Margaux: Okay, definitely the Beatles.

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Natalie: Do you have more favorites?

Tolliver: Then I went to the Raveonettes.

Margaux: Can’t say that I listen to them. But, that’s cool. I wish I was that cool.

Tolliver: That was a good try.

Natalie: Very good.

Tolliver: Then I went to Best Coast.

Margaux: Okay.

Tolliver: Killing it.

Natalie: Yes or no?

Margaux: Not so much, but, again, I’d be very interested…I wanna listen to more music.

Tolliver: So, conservative to less conservative and then Snoop was my last one.

Margaux: Okay, that…yes.


Margaux: I know it’s cliche, but, Michael Jackson.

Tolliver: It wasn’t on my list, but, it’s a favorite.

Margaux holds up a Prince record.

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Tolliver: That’s another yes.

Margaux: Prince?

Tolliver: Yes.

Margaux: I felt like you were a Prince guy.

Tolliver: Killing it.

Margaux: I feel like…if I hit this on the head I’m going to be really proud, if I don’t, that’s okay.

Margaux holds up a Stevie Wonder record.

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Tolliver: That was the top of my list.



Margaux: Oh, my god. I’m scared.

Tolliver: Spice Girls.

Margaux: Spice Girls? I feel like that one song, yeah.

Natalie: “Wannabe?”

Tolliver: That was on my list for guilty pleasures.

Margaux: I’d sing that in the shower.

Natalie: My Spice Girls phase will go with me to my grave.

Tolliver: Yeah, it’s borderline not guilty.

Natalie: Oh, I don’t feel guilty about liking the Spice Girls at all.

Tolliver: Bob Marley?

Margaux: His classics, yeah. I’m not like a die-hard fan.

Tolliver: That’s what I’m saying.

Natalie: But you dabble.

Tolliver: Right. You dabble.

Natalie: Do you have more guilty pleasures?

Margaux: I just realized I did all oldies for you faves. I don’t know, I got an old soul vibe.

Tolliver: Bein’ soulful.

Margaux: There you go.

Tolliver: I went with Keith Urban.

Margaux: (laughs) I can’t say…

Tolliver: I found the least appealing cover I could find, too.

Margaux: I can’t say that I enjoy…

Tolliver: I’m winning this game, I think. You’re supposed to get it all wrong, right?

Natalie: Even if you guys aren’t accurate, this is really entertaining.

Margaux: More?

Tolliver: My last one is Future.

Natalie: Guilty pleasure, yes or no?

Margaux: I have to say no.



Margaux: I’m going to say… The Weeknd.

Tolliver: Mmhmm.

Margaux: Yeah?

Tolliver: Yeah, but that’s not even guilty.



Tolliver: blink-182 phase, pop punk-y kind-of-thing.

Margaux: Okay, I love blink-182, like, I still love them. That phase has not reached an end yet.

Tolliver: Okay, cool. West Coast rap phase…

Margaux: Mmm, can’t say…

Tolliver: Classic rock phase.

Margaux: Classic rock phase, yeah.


Margaux: Frank Ocean for a phase?

Tolliver: Still in that phase. He was on my favorites list.

Margaux: Jay-Z?

Tolliver: Only one you’ve gotten wrong so far.



Tolliver: Gwen [Stefani], Bonnie [Raitt] – who I love – and Best Coast.

Margaux: Okay, yeah. I could feel that. I think I had someone say that before. I feel like that’s…I don’t know, with my voice and the guys in the band…


Margaux: Gorillaz.

Tolliver: Mmhmm. As a comparison?

Margaux: Yeah, as a comparison. [In comparison to] The tempo of your music, like, your very first song on the EP.

Tolliver: Hmm. I mean, I like the Gorillaz a lot.

Margaux: Especially “Feel Good”…I got, like, the same vibe.

Margaux: I have to admit, I had my bandmates help me with this, too. We all listened to your music together. By the way, they said they liked your music.

Tolliver: Oh, excellent.

Margaux: My bassist actually suggested Bonobo.

Tolliver: I don’t know Bonobo.

Margaux: Yeah. He’s a smaller artist. I didn’t really know him either; I looked him up. But, after listening to both I definitely saw a comparison.



SZA; St. Vincent


Two Door Cinema Club (Margaux’s favorite band of all time); Bonobo


Tolliver dashes off to ArcLight and Margaux and I take the long way back to La Canada. An unlikely pairing in a musical sense, the willingness and intuition between them was tangible. Margaux’s guesses with Stevie Wonder, Prince, and Michael Jackson and Tolliver’s comparison between AiRLiNE and Best Coast’s girl/guy pairing proved themselves accurate. R&B and alternative rock may not mesh, but Tolliver and Margaux knew what to tap into in the other’s music and prove doing your homework pays off. They’re simply too cool, but not for school.


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