Only one week left for the Idelsohn Society for Musical Preservation’s pop-up Jewish record store, Tikva Records, in the Mission (3191 Mission St.). Read all about it in Aidin Vaziri’s Chronicle article). Music? Jews? You know how much I like both of those things. So the first ever Jewish pop-up record store couldn’t really get any better.
Until tonight. Zach Rogue of Rogue Wave and Release the Sunbird is playing a FREE solo show there tonight at 7pm sharp. And he’s lighting the candles for the first day of Chanukah. Zach Rogue, Jewish? Who knew? Like me, he seems to have dodged the bullet of wearing his Jewishness on his face. I wear mine on my sleeve. And on my mouth. And on my jokes. And on my asthma and on my hypochondria.
Sent the usual Broke-Ass Band interview questions over to Zach. I clearly forgot to tell him this is a website about being broke, but he does have my all-time favorite answer to the “money-saving tip” question (only thing I love more than a Jew is a vegetarian). Plus he used the term “earworm,” which I’ve only ever heard my dad use. Then I threw in some Jewish questions, obviously. Any chance I get, right?
Hi, I’m Zach. (Shake hands). So nice to meet you. (Bear hug.) You look great! High five.) You smell awesome. (Mutual nods of approval) Wanna get out of here and get some Mexican food? (Secret handshake, quiet exit.)
Describe your sound in five words or less.
Earworms doing the hokey-pokey.
How do you prepare for a big show? What will you be doing the night before?
Wait a minute. Is this a big show?
What do you do during downtime on tour?
iPhone voice memo field recordings of the local color, six-eight hour witness protection program, nerf skeet shooting.
What’s next for the band? (i.e. plug this upcoming show!)
Gonna sing some songs at the Tikva Record shop tonight. Got some Release the Sunbird shows coming up in the new year. At some point, gonna build a weather-resistant cave and write/record new songs.
Three things you’d take to a desert island?
Local organic fruits and vegetables. Fanny pack (I know, they look bad! But they are highly functional). Solar airplane.
What movie can you watch over and over and never get sick of?
No Country For Old Men. Network. Tommy Boy. Some other high-brow film by Herzog, Cassavetes, or Godard.
Anything in your sock drawer besides socks?
What? Are these questions you, like, planned ahead of time or are you multi-tasking?
Have any tips for aspiring musicians trying to make it on their craft?
Practice, record, repeat.
Best money saving tip in general?
Stop eating meat.
What do you refuse to spend money on?
8-carat purple diamond rings.
What is the most expensive thing you’ve ever bought and how did that feel?
My house. Never been happier.
If you woke up a millionaire, what’s the first thing you’d buy?
What’s with all the money questions? You having a little trouble in the cash flow department?
Let’s talk about this Tikva show. What made you want to take part in this Jewish Pop Up Record Store?
I love record stores in general and I’m a Jew, so there you go. Overall though, the resurgence of local pop-up shops, food trucks, coffee roasters, and DIY culture has been sweeping SF and I want to do what I can to support it and nurture it. I love the city and if someone is crazy enough to open a Jewish record store, I’m there.
Favorite record by a Jewish musician or group?
Check Your Head/Beastie Boys, Leave No Trace/Fool’s Gold, Sweet Caroline/Neil Diamond.
You’re lighting the Chanukah candles at your show. Fondest Chanukah memory?
Last year. Getting to light the candles with my daughter.
What’s the most Jewish thing that has ever happened to you? (example: Mine was when I had a phone interview with Graham Nash and my dad answered the phone before I got to it and by the time I was able to intervene he was telling Nash about the health of his prostate.)
The day I surprised my mother with a rather large tattoo on my arm. It was the most Larry Davidesque moment ever. I could see the tortured turmoil in her eyes. Her contorted face was barely uttering the words “th-th that l-l-l looks very nice, honey” – but her mind was saying “NOOOO, God, please NOOOO! My son can’t get buried in a Jewish cemetery!”
Favorite Jewish joke? (example: Mine is when a Jewish kid says to his dad “Hey Dad I need $50.” And his dad says, “$30? What do you need $10 for?”)
Waiter walks up to a table full of elderly Jewish women and says, “Good evening, ladies! Is anything alright?”
Photos via releasethesunbird.com.