Music to My Ears

December 8th, 2005

This has been -- happily -- a very musical week for me. On Monday, I got to jam with Fat Dog, legendary proprietor of Subway Guitars in Berkeley, for a "Wandering Josh" segment that will run with the Michael Franti interview we'll be taping tomorrow. Then yesterday, my son's after-school program put on a smashing and inspiring holiday show, "The Miracle of Oy Vey," which ended with a lovely song written by one of the instructors. (My son played the Miracle Worker -- typecasting.) ... All the while, I've been grooving on my iPod to the music of Franti and of Penelope Houston, the musical guest on the other show we'll be taping tomorrow. (Usually, we tape only one show on Fridays, but with the holidays approaching -- and a couple months of touring I'll be doing early next year -- we're trying to kind of stockpile episodes.) ... And at this very moment my son is completing his weekly piano lesson with his hip jazz-piano-playing teacher (who makes house calls!). Based on what I'm hearing, I believe that we now have an additional boogie-woogie enthusiast in the family. ...

Speaking of music -- and you thought I couldn't do segues! -- I've been listening a lot lately to a really weird rock album by a really weird group: Fetch the Compass Kids, by the evangelical Christian rock band the Danielson Famile. I was turned on to them by a terrific essay by Rick Moody in a recent issue of the magazine The Believer. (You can read a short excerpt from that essay here -- but if you're into weird rock and roll, I highly recommend that you purchase The Believer's entire Music Issue, which even comes with a swell CD of artists covering songs by other artists they admire.) I can't even begin to explain why the caterwauling of the Famile's lead singer, along with their Vince Guaraldi-esque musical arrangements, makes me so happy (at least, when I'm in the mood for it). But Rick Moody can. ...

Lastly, if you dig 20th-century oboe music -- and who can really afford not to, in this topsy-turvy world of ours -- then let me just mention that Joseph Robinson's contribution to the "New York Legends" series of CDs put out by the New York Philharmonic never gets old for me. Just my two Saint-Saens' worth. ...

Entry Filed under: let's digress

4 Comments

  • 1. Julie Bernstein  |  December 8th, 2005 at 11:24 pm

    Didn’t you say something in Red Diaper Baby about oboists having abnormally large heads?

    Just got back from a jazz rehearsal myself – our gig’s Monday. Live music is fun!

  • 2. Josh Kornbluth  |  December 10th, 2005 at 9:45 pm

    Yes, in my show “Love & Taxes,” actually: I explain that if you go to your local record store — making sure you bring your caliper — and you pull all the albums of any famous oboist and line them up in chronological order, you’ll see that each year his head gets larger … until you get to one year, and there’s no album! … A very tragic state of affairs, and it explains why there are so few oboists.

  • 3. Gil  |  December 12th, 2005 at 10:06 pm

    Looking forward to the Penelope Houston episode. Did you listen to the Avengers on your iPod? Thanks.

  • 4. Josh Kornbluth  |  December 21st, 2005 at 1:00 pm

    I hope you like the episode, Gil — it was tremendous fun! And yes, I’ve been listening to “The Avengers Died for Your Sins” on my iPod. (It makes a nice yin/yang combo with her more acoustic stuff.)


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