I went to a rock concert the other night and a cello recital broke out. It was a standard summer festival, but the three bands I saw (Avett Brothers, Lumineers, and Lucy Michelle and the Velvet Lapelles) all featured more cello than ELO. While I made some pretty outlandish predictions as a music writer — pegging Stan Ridgway as the Dylan of the New American West, to take but one erroneous prediction – I never foresaw so many beer-drinking twentysomethings whooping it up over a cello solo.
Sarah Lageson’s Office Hours interview with Jennifer Lena is helping me puzzle through the mystery. Professor Lena’s Banding Together offers a rich sociological account of musical communities and Ms. Lageson is an especially knowledgable interviewer. That’s why we’ve paired her KFAI radio documentary on Minnesota’s Bluegrass Revival – from Bill Monroe to Trampled by Turtles — with this podcast. Sarah plays banjo, rather than cello, but she’s an active performer and radio producer who knows a lot about musical genres (and, I might add, as of 2:32 pm she’s also ABD). If this one whets your appetite for a sociological discussion of music and culture, you might also check out Dave Grazian’s two-part podcast with Chuck Klosterman.
While we’ve yet to launch TSP-TV, we’ve always envisioned The Society Pages as a multimedia project. Office Hours, Improv and New Books listeners have been especially supportive of TSP — and vocal in their requests for more podcasts. We’ll do all we can to feed the need in ways that connect social science with the social world.