Roland Jacopetti

On Air Personality

Roland Jacopetti hosts Something Completely Different


After a car trip (there and back) to and from Oregon and Santa Rosa, I find myself neither older nor wiser, still smelling the smoke from the horrendous fires in Redding that we drove through, trembling in the aftermath of a family get-together and ready to spend two hours this Friday evening listening to three of my all-time favorite musical groups.

Now... I'm no musical historian, so I can't recite chapter, verse, birthdate, religion of baptism, extent of education and all that stuff, so... for what it's worth... the groups are:

To the extent that all of us have gone through the bizarre horror show that was the three Clinton/Trump fiascos, I just know it'll be a great relief to spend some time with music about people who somehow qualify as heroes and heroines. Some might be a little farfetched (Lenny Bruce, Sabu, even my old Berkeley friend Steve "Richmond" Talbot, one of the truly great white bluesmen). Some might be a bit worthy of worship (Ira Hayes, Dolores Huerta, even Franklin D.

If you liked the last two Something Completelies, I think you'll love this one. Another threesome: Linda Tillery and the Cultural Heritage Choir, with a great collection of spirituals, folk songs and musical cries of freedom; Kitka, a group that started in Berkeley some years ago, singing wonderful songs from Hungary, Bulgaria, Georgia (not the one with Atlanta in it), Russia (will this get me in trouble?), the Ukraine and like that; and Zap Mama, with Iko Iko, Poetry Man, and guests like Erykah Badu, and Meshell Ndegeocello. This is one you'll remember for some time to come.

Every little once in a while, I enjoy taking three groups of performers (or sometimes individuals), whose voices and styles blend well, and building a Something Completely Different around them. Maybe flip a coin to decide the order I'll play them, and put it together.

I've done these three-part-harmony shows before, taking three performers who seem to fit together, or make an interesting contrast, or just appeal to three different sides of the music appreciation mechanism that lives somewhere above my ears. I've got a few planned, and this is the first. I've been listening to Gillian Welch and her incredible guitarist partner David Rawlings, ever since they appeared on the scene with their first album, and loved every minute of it, only wishing that they made more recordings.

I'll be the first to admit (or maybe the second) that my French is not real great. Six months in Paris 54 years ago, three French classes at U.C. Berkeley a year or so later, thirty-seven French movies (with subtitles) and that's about it. I'll also be the first to admit (or maybe the fourth) that those three French words don't have the necessary little asterisk-thingies that French demands but - hey - this ain't no French computer keyboard.

Why Pre-Memorial Day? Well, the actual Memorial Day is on Monday, May 31st, and on that day I'll be in the Sovereign State of Minnesota. I know—it does sound unlikely—but I've never been there before, so why not? This means that there'll be no Something Completely Different on Tuesday, May 31st, but I'll be back again the next Tuesday, with a show called Something Completely Music about Musical. (I'll explain later.)

Oh, if only... That phrase has become increasingly popular in my vocabulary. You know...where are the snows of yesteryear...I could have bought that house for $45,000, and today...if my father hadn't divorced his first wife...and so on. But things are as they are and, as it is, I don't possess every piece of recorded music I ever had. All those 78RPM discs, both ten- and twelve-inch, all the little 45s with the big round holes, the countless LPs, the cassettes without end, even the reels of reel to reel reels of tape. Gone! All gone! Well, most of them.

I usually have a couple of these "Absent Friends" shows a year. Seems like just after the first of the new year is one obvious time. So...Tuesday's Absent Friends edition of Something Completely Different will present a selection of favorite musicians who have passed on during the last five years, 2011-15.

So...when did I start doing these Joe shows, combinations of musicians doing songs about Joe, Joseph, Joey, Jo-Jo and so forth, and musicians named Joe, Joseph, José and like that, doing songs about...various stuff? Well, I don't remember. I do know that I haven't ever repeated a show, haven't ever saved a play list. So this Tuesday's show will begin with a song I've never played before— Joey by Bob Dylan—and it'll go from there, including Joes Pass, Cocker, Ely, Arthur, Newman, Lovano and even a few more. If your name's Joe, this is your night.

I never thought I'd be lucky enough to be around when the world ended, but now...well, I'm not so sure. Isaac Newton predicted a September Apocalypse four hundred years ago, but the recent experts think it won't be until 2060. A whole lot of Mormons disagree, though, and say that this is the year. All you have to do to prepare is check your own personal state of readiness, which doesn't need to be at all difficult. You won't need a change of underwear or a passport, a set of roadmaps or membership in AAA.

I live in a pretty small house and, for the most part, all the music I choose for Something Completely Different comes out of my own CDs. So I'm not any kind of a definitive collector; my choices aren't always the best examples or the song most listened to in 1999 or a comparison of the musician's output both before and after he broke his left index finger playing ping pong. It's a real WYSIWYG situation here at Chez Roland. That being said, I've been listening to guitarist Bill Frisell a lot lately and having a really good time doing it.

Yes, this Tuesday's show is the Spring Show, with music by Django Reinhardt, Gillian Welch, The Hot Frittatas, Bill Morrissey and lots more.

Hi, I'm Roland Jacopetti, host of Something Completely Different. I love musical anthologies and one of my favorites is the anthology that showcases the fantastic variety of the human voice. So that's what'll be featured on Tuesday evening — an anthology of unusual women's voices like Elie Medeiros, Bonnie Brooks, Anais Mitchell (right) and the list goes on and on. Hear this festival of voices Tuesday night, March 3  at 7 pm on Something Completely Different.

Something Completely Different for Tuesday, May 6, 7-9 pm will feature songs about farewell. Farewells that are opening, belong to a Gypsy King, restless, from Jamaica, and originate all the way from Bitterroot Valley to Northumberland,  from Oingo Boingo to the Grateful Dead. See you on the radio!

Join me, Roland Jacopetti, this Tuesday, April 8, for Something Completely Different. Our theme this week is Good Feelings. Since the show after mine is Lady Sings the Blues, Something Completely Different will be the opposite of the blues—perhaps The Reds? Maybe not. At any rate, the major feel-good music will be from Jason Mraz, Michael Franks, and the Roches, collectively, in pairs, and singly. There'll also be at least one performer never before heard in this time slot.