As I write to you, I'm listening to the voice of Jonathan Goldstein through the tiny, tinny speakers of my laptop, interviewing his Aunt Tillie. It's a little distracting, to be honest, but I'm looking at it as an experiment in multitasking.
Jonathan wrote one of the first dispatches for Canadian Letters, a section of Saturday Night magazine, where I used to work, about the neighbourhood in Montreal where he lives. And he's written an unpublished novel called "The Last Comedian" that I just happen to have on my hard drive, in which a character says that Lou Reed's song "Satellite of Love" "sounds like the kind of song you make up when you're seven, during a long drive, just to make everybody in the car crazy."
More recently, he's become a radio guy. This evening, in fact, the second episode of a new radio program he hosts will be aired on CBC radio. It's called Road Dot Trip. The idea is that he's going to spend the summer traveling across Canada, interviewing people and recounting adventures. Open Letters contributing editor Deirdre Dolan wrote about the show in the National Post; you can read her story, and see a picture of Jonathan looking tough, here.
If you have Real Audio on your computer, there's currently an embarrassment of Goldstein riches out there to listen to. There's Road Dot Trip, for starters, which you can find here. The first episode, in which Jonathan spends a few days in the underground mall city beneath Montreal, asking passersby to imitate the voice of Jesus, is up there now, as is a racy picture of Jonathan on a nude beach in B.C.
But if you only listen to one Jonathan Goldstein Real Audio clip this summer, may I suggest this one. It's an interview he did last year with his parents, about their record collection, which, Jonathan reports, is heavy on Paul Anka (who Jonathan's mother says has "sex appeal" and "a nice bum") and Bread, and light on anything recorded in the last twenty years (though his father does claim to enjoy "Men2Boyz").
In today's letter Jonathan writes about love and loss. There's more of each to come, he says.