Wooden Wand’s James Jackson Toth Must Also Love: “Shop Class As Soulcraft: An Inquiry Into The Value Of Work” By Matthew B. Crawford

Even James Jackson Toth’s most rabid fans probably can’t keep track of the prolific singer/songwriter’s output. The Lexington, Ky.-based Toth has issued numerous solo and group efforts (including cassettes, CD-Rs, limited-edition vinyl, etc.) under his own name as well as such monikers as WAND, Wooden Wand And The Vanishing Voice, H.P. Witchcraft, the Jescos and the Blood Group. His latest release is Wooden Wand‘s Death Seat (Young God), an impressive 12-track album produced by YG label head and Swans frontman Michael Gira and featuring musical contributions from members of bands such as Lambchop, Silver Jews, Mercury Rev, Glossary and Fire On Fire. Toth is heading out on European and North American tours in the new year, but in the meantime, he will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our Q&A with him.

Toth: The subject of valuing skill-based work over knowledge-based work is very dear to the heart of a day-laboring sort such as myself. I’m certainly the choir to Matthew Crawford’s preacher here, having worked almost exclusively in the trades during “down time” from music, but the author’s deft use of philosophy and history to describe the joys and rewards of working with one’s hands (and I don’t mean guitar playing) makes this a most fascinating and inspiring book. It’s one I would wholeheartedly recommend to anyone tired of cubicle life.

Video after the jump.