For UCSD grad Devon Goldberg, it’s like doing his old free-form radio show back at the student-run campus station KSDT — but different. Schedule permitting, every Saturday night from 10 p.m. to midnight local time, cofounding Creedle guitarist Goldberg — leading the 19-year-old “avant-jazz-punk-art-damaged” band in its annual reunion show at the Casbah this Saturday — gets back to his radio roots. Except…it’s in Manhattan, programmed live from a glass-enclosed storefront booth on First Avenue near E Street at the popular 24/7 online station East Village Radio, and it involves, strictly, soundtracks: “Any music created for the moving image,” he specifies.
Of course, that means spinning mostly movie scores. This past November, Goldberg celebrated his third yearly all-Ennio Morricone birthday show, dedicated to the spaghetti western soundtrack maestro (81) and namesake of his program, Morricone Youth. (That’s also the name of Goldberg’s currently inactive New York–based band that does soundtrack-like and actual soundtrack music, an ensemble that’s included other NYC-residing ex–San Diegans Dreiky Caprice of Crash Worship, aMiniature’s Greg O’Keefe, and the Rugburns’ John Castro. Morricone Youth the band had four original compositions used in the soundtrack of Juan Carlos Pineiro Escoriaza’s 2008 documentary Second Skin, a look at the world’s 50 million interactive online virtual computer game players, half of them self-described addicts.)
But the radio show can also include TV-show soundtracks, video-installation scores, even TV-commercial jingles. And a song created for a movie — say, Dimitri Tiomkin’s 1957 film title track “Wild Is the Wind,” originally sung by Johnny Mathis — is eligible in any subsequent cover version (including famous takes by Nina Simone, David Bowie, Cat Power, et al.). And Goldberg stands by the rules, even when old SD pal Steve Poltz once dropped by the station to perform when he was in town playing a nearby gig. Poltz crooned “The Look of Love,” the Bacharach-David tune sung by Dusty Springfield in the 1967 James Bond–spoof Casino Royale.
While Goldberg admires local Mike Andrews (the Greyboy Allstars guitarist who scored Donnie Darko and more), his top three soundtracks are an easy call: “Jerry Goldsmith’s Escape from the Planet of the Apes (1971) — almost Stravinsky-esque but funky, amazing; the original Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974), composed by David Shire — his best work; and 1969 French flick The Sicilian Clan, scored by Morricone and maybe his most beautiful melody of his 500-some soundtracks, which always seem simple but are full of complex accents and time signatures.”