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Joel Roston Composer | Instrumentalist
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Just For Fun

Me and “Me and Bobby McGee”

I don’t consider myself to be a Janis Joplin fan. I don’t dislike Janis Joplin; I just kind of don’t really consider her. The only reason she’s even on my musical radar is that I’m a Willie Nelson fan, which means that I’m ambiently aware of Kris Kristofferson and Kris Kristofferson wrote “Me and Bobby McGee,” a version of which was, of course, sung by Janis Joplin.

Pride Comes Before the Fall

I added music to one of my all-time favorite Internet videos.

My Friend BJ

  Here’s a story about my friend BJ, which I’ll call: BJ Warshaw and How Life Works SometimesI met BJ while living in Brooklyn, NY in the year 2000. We were both music/band-people and we met through other, mutual music/band-people-friends. Fifteen years later, BJ is s[...]

The Case for Adding Two Beats to the Alphabet Song

You can also read this post on Let’s talk about the first half of the American English version of "The Alphabet Song" for a minute. This is the iconic tune which, for many/most of us, was our first introduction to the foundational building-blocks of the English langu[...]

Beyond Assonance: Rhyme Attempts in Popular Music 1

Below are five of my favorite rhyme attempts in popular music. I did my best to list instances that give me the impression that the artist is sincerely and unambiguously attempting to make two words rhyme. For instance, I didn't include Danzig's "Not of this World" because I get the feeling he's[...]

NPR and, Tangentially, Prince

A while back, I received a call to improvise a "Heartbreaker"-meets-"When-Doves-Cry" guitar solo for a PSA that the city of Boston was doing to promote safety on the T. As is often the case with these sorts of projects, though the production department loved it, whoever had the final say thought[...]

Defensible Lyrics 1

This is the first blog post in what will be a lazy series of blog posts cataloging lines from songs that I feel are mostly, if not utterly, defensible. NOTE: This blog post contains language that may not be suitable for people who don't enjoy reading the word "fucker." Here we go: Arti[...]

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[...]