Twenty Top 5s with Jon Dowling

HEY! Welcome to Twenty Top 5s. I (Tyler) have been sending out questionnaires to some of my favorite musicians and asking for their top 5 in every category. I’ll be publishing them every Thursday for the foreseeable future. Hopefully this lets you get to know some of your favorite musicians a little bit better, and I hope it distracts you in these trying times.

Today's Twenty Top 5s participant is Pittsburgh's own Jon Dowling. Jon plays guitar and sings in Dumplings. He also plays drums in the legendary Weird Paul Rock Band with Weird Paul Petroskey himself. Dumplings has been one of my favorite Pittsburgh bands for a long time. Their new EP 3 came out last month, and it covers everything from dark new wave to alcohol-soaked Springsteen ballads in 15 minutes. If there's one thing to be taken away from both of Jon's bands, it's that it is important to have fun when playing music.

Jon and I have been playing shows together for years at this point. Dumplings is made up of him, his wife Pam, and his brother Jay, and they have all been an important part of my personal journey in the Pittsburgh DIY scene. I've also witnessed him sing some mean karaoke over the past few years, so I was excited to see him try and narrow his karaoke songs down to his five favorites. Also, shouts out to Thai Gourmet. Anyways, I hope you enjoy Jon's Twenty Top 5s!

recording artists when you were in high school

1. Gary Numan

2. Sonic Youth

3. Bauhaus

4. Kraftwerk

5. Iggy Pop

Songwriting influences

1. Everyday conversations

2. Advertisements

3. Billy Joel

4. Lou Reed

5. Pop music from all generations

Instrument influences

Drums: Neil Smith

Bass: Tina Weymouth

Guitar: Johnny Thunders

Vocals: Pauline Black

Keys: Frankie Ford

Karaoke songs

1. Glory Days -boss

2. Lido Shuffle- Boz Scaggs

3. Father Figure- George Michael

4. Young Americans - Bowie

5. Sexx Laws - Beck

Junk foods

1. Pizza

2. Mac & cheese

3. Combos

4. Skittles

5. Coffee ice cream

Places to eat in Pittsburgh

1. Thai Gourmet

2. Mac & Gold

3. Pizza Perfecta

4. Cafe Mona

5. D’s Dogs


1. Clue

2. To Wong Fu, thanks for everything. Julie Newmar

3. The muppet movie

4. Taxi Driver

5. Rocky Horror Picture Show

Role models

1. Alice Cooper

2. Laurie Anderson

3. Prince

4. Mom & Dad

5. Andy Warhol

Dumplings songs

1. Big big bad

2. Momma Meat

3. Nasty Didn’t wanna be Nasty

4. Alone 4 Evva

5. Overtime

Weird Paul songs

1. Lining the numbers up

2. Beachball

3. Strangers on a train

4. Old mans goat

5. The Devil’s in love

Productive ways to pass time during corona

1. Mixing 4 track tapes 1994-2019

2. Releasing the new Dumplings EP

3. Spending lots of time with Pam

4. Making a space in the basement to work on art

5. Watching movies we’ve put off seeing

Unproductive ways to pass time during corona

1. Smoking too much

2. Drinking too much

3. Sleeping too much

4. Worrying

5. Anxiety

Songs right now

1. What is life - George Harrison

2. I’m Ready - Fats Domino

3. Dance (disco heat) - Sylvester

4. Lights Out - Peter Wolf

5. Curtain Call - the Damned

80s pop jams

1. Crazy for you- Madonna

2. Sleeping bag - ZZ Top

3. Head over heels - the Go Go’s

4. We don’t have to take our clothes off - Jermaine Stewart

5. Lover Come Back To Me - dead or alive

Venues you’ve played 

1. Geibal catholic high school (post-prom 99)

2. Dreamland puppet theater, Ypsilanti MI

3. Experience music project, Seattle Wa

4. Paint & Body, wilkinsburg

5. Millvale Industrial theatre, millvale

Albums that changed your life 

1. Velvet Underground & Nico

2. The Frogs - it’s only right & natural

3. Suicide - first album

4. Royal Trux - Accelerator

5. Changes Bowie

Pizza toppings

1. Mushrooms

2. Green peppers

3. Spinach

4. Feta

5. Fake meat

Cities you’ve visited 

1. Chicago

2. Detroit

3. Nashville

4. Boston

5. Memphis


1. Mustard

2. Hot sauce

3. Mayo

4. Sriracha

5. Pickle

Fictional characters 

1. Bowser (Sha Na Na)

2. Garfield

3. Linus

4. Holden Caulfield

5. Mary Poppins

Written by Tyler Gallagher (@TylerGallagher8)