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Early progress on summer resolutions

Tuesday, June 05, 2012 - 02:46 PM

We’re just two days into our Summer Workshop hiatus and already we’re getting progress reports on our listener challenge.  You may recall on our program last Friday, we asked you what your musical resolution for the summer would be.  Ours, of course, is to come roaring back in the Fall with a bigger, better Soundcheck. 

Author AJ Jacobs told us he felt he had a big blind spot in his musical knowledge where Bob Dylan should be.  So he’s resolved to spend time this summer getting more acquainted with the music of The Bard Of Hibbing.  And as his posting on our blog today shows, he’s already glad he did.   

Then, our regular listener Catherine, in Canada, blogged about hearing AJ on our show Friday, and admitted that she too felt that she didn’t really know Dylan’s stuff as well as she should. 

Even more to the point, she wrote this:
It was oddly comforting to hear that kind of confession in such a public forum. Admitting you don't know the canons of such huge music monoliths in public is hard, and it was nice to see Soundcheck… (here she wrote some very nice things about us which modesty forbids me to reprint here.  But by all means click this link!) welcome such curiosity with open arms. It's nice to not be afraid of judgment, or be worried about appearing uncool, of lacking taste, of being plain stupid, but to just be welcomed and accepted.

And there, in a nutshell, is what we’ve tried to do on Soundcheck.  It’s not a show for music snobs.  You don’t need to be a music expert – all you have to be is curious.  There’s a fine line between being passionate about music and being possessive of it.  I used to think that jazz and classical fans were the worst at this… what do you mean, you don’t know Horace Silver?  How can that be?  Well, to someone who’s maybe just found Miles Davis’s “Kind of Blue” and decided that this jazz thing might be worth looking into, that kind of attitude will turn you off real fast. 

Once, a very well-known host of one of classical music’s most popular syndicated radio shows played the famous first movement of Beethoven’s Fifth on his show; I don’t remember why – it fit with a theme that was tying all the pieces together.  Anyway, the piece ends and he says, “well, we all know what that was,” and moves on!  All I could think was, somewhere out there is a person who had not heard that piece before, didn’t know what it was, and was wondering what this extraordinary, powerful music was… only for this guy to come and essentially say, if you don’t already know it, you don’t deserve it. 

So.  You think you don’t know enough about Bob Dylan?  Hell, I don’t either.  I don’t think anyone does who isn’t Robert Zimmerman himself.  (That’s Dylan’s real name, and he’s from Hibbing, Minnesota, hence that “Bard of Hibbing” crack above.  See?  If you didn’t know that and I didn’t bother to explain, I end up looking like an idiot, writing apparently random names down.)

Meanwhile, AJ and Catherine aren’t worrying about how it looks to say they don’t know enough about Dylan; they’re too busy doing something about it.  How about you?  Got any musical holes you want to plug this summer? 



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Comments [3]

Katie from Central NJ

I have a two fold resolution for the summer.
Something old and something new.

I grew up listening to some of the best music of the 50's and 60's thanks to a Mom who loves Motown and Do-wop and a Dad who liked The Who and The Doors. The problem is I don't know the proper names, or artists for some of the old favorites. ( I can pretty much promise I don't know both) So the something old is to start LEARNING the music and not just enjoying it, knowing what was the Temptations vs the Platters. So that's the old.

Now the new. I don't listen to the radio much unless its NPR. And unfortunately I don't catch Soundcheck as often as I would like to get exposed to newer music. So everyday I am going to the "Related Artist" section of an artist I do know and like and picking 1 artist I don't know and giving them a shot. I started with the Lumineers and WOW just an awesome album and I haven't said that in years.

Thanks for the encouragement!

Jun. 07 2012 11:21 AM
ted in atlanta from up the creek without a sketchbook

Progress already? guess i better get on the stick, put down guitar, take off headphones, and sketch!!... but listener David C. thoughtfully sent me this link if links are doable, if not google a guy named Jim Doble --- --- And it set me in a different direction of at least potential ideas. I'm wondering, could this work for a room divider screen on a larger scale? Hmmmmm.

Jun. 05 2012 05:37 PM
Platypus Daron from Astoria, Queens

Greetings to the Soundcheck crew deep within their secret Workshop lair (Rumour has it that it's under the Belvedere Castle in Central Park, but you've got to know the secret knock to get them to let you inside the donjon). ;)

While I've got a few "musical resolutions" afoot this summer, today I accomplished one of them. I am on a quest to contact and interview some of the people (particularly in the R&B world) that help keep things going in what we call today's live performance and studio recording realms. These are true workhorses of the industry Check out my interview of legendary bassist and producer (7 time GRAMMY winner), Brandino at

Brandino's list of collaborators and musicians he has supported over the years reads like a royal charter of music legends. For example, for the past 22 years, he's been Aretha Franklin's bassist.

I'll be featuring a music luminary or legend (at least once a week)in my role as Chief Arts & Entertainment correspondent for Dailysingle Magazine, and we want to be sure to bring the Soundcheck audience into the fold, because what we do when it comes to music, is what John has been so deftly doing for so many years now...talking to "creators" on a one-on-one, down to earth level that we can all relate to while gathering some inspiration along the way. In this way, we can help still bring some "guests" to your least in a virtual way, with our inciteful interviews.


Jun. 05 2012 04:03 PM

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