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Joel Roston Composer | Instrumentalist
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Hard Bloggin’

Nice, But Bummy


I received a call from a film-composer friend a few weeks ago asking if I could record a classical guitar version of Chopin's [...]

How’s Carl This Time?


There's good preliminary evidence to support this claim: As the excitement builds over the course of each hour-long Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me! episode, Carl Kasell’s exclamation of the last two syllables of the word “Chicago,” commensurately, rises in pitch. -- [...]

Erlewine Guitars


So, at least once a year I head down to the great and glorious state of Texas to visit family. A few blocks away from my home base here in Austin is a store called Erlewine Guitars. I've attempted, on many occasions, to check out the shop, but it's never been open -- until yesterday. Apart fr[...]

On [the] Battlestar Galactica [Mini-Series]


Biographical Note While I love science fiction, I wouldn't call my self a science-fiction PERSON. That is to say, if I were invited to a science-fiction themed movie night, I'd be really excited, but if I were asked to curate my own movie night, I wouldn't immediately think to stack the evening w[...]

The Rite of Spring


Igor Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring turns one-hundred today. Without going too deep, I'll say that it's one of my favorite pieces of music of all time.* Apart from it being an utter and complete textural, rhythmic, and harmonic whirlwind, it, more than any other piece of music, clearly and conc[...]

A Window


I don't offer this data with any judgements because I'm not even sure how to analyze it or what it means -- I just found it interesting in a spirit-of-thougtful-observation sort of way: I was riding a packed train (BU line) home last night* at, like, 11pm and found myself crammed in next to thre[...]

What I Like to Tell Myself About the Relationship Between the Lyrical and Harmonic Content of the Song “Things We Said Today” by The Beatles


Listen to this: Here’s what I think about when I hear the above song, “Things We Said Today,” by The Beatles: The singer of this song is speaking directly to a specific person -- a woman with whom he is romantically involved. Taking that dialogue into account, I divide t[...]

The Sounds of American Doomsday Cults Vol. 14


You can also read this post on medium.com. So, a company called Faithways International released a record called The Sounds of American Doomsday Cults Vol. 14 in or around, I guess, 1984. Neither I nor anyone I have spoken to about it over the years (the Internet included) has ever encountere[...]

Sushi Rice and Algebra


While I've been making sushi at home for years and years, I've never really nailed down a definitive rice-to-water ratio. Granted, there's a lot that goes into awesome sushi rice apart from the actual cooking -- things that include, but are not limited to how long the rice is soaked or rinsed before[...]

John Cage Score


While attending a cook-out* at my friend Craig's house this past Saturday to celebrate his total triumph at the deCordova Sculpture Park earlier that day, he pulled out a hand-written John Cage score, composed in 1955 (or, at the very least, gifted in 1955) for a co-worker/friend of his, sculptor Da[...]