“Old Ideas": A New Album by Leonard Cohen

Benjamin Wright

Old Ideas is an apt title for Leonard Cohen’s first new studio album in eight years, insomuch as the album’s themes are familiar ones that weave through Cohen’s collections of song and poetry - mortality, Judeo-Christian morality, faith, and love - leaping between the darkly comedic and the tragic. His superb song-writing still underscores his significance as a poet, revisiting old themes and sounds in new ways on his 12th studio album, released by Columbia Records on January 31.

Multitalented Street Musician Is Part of the Growing Underground Economy

Ellison Libiran

From  New America Media: Twenty-four year-old Karla Mi Lugo has been street performing for four years. Up and down the West Coast and San Francisco is her current stage.  Street performing is Mi Lugo’s main source of income. She says 40 bucks a day is good enough for her. Mi Lugo is part of the growing underground economy, a market where service is given without contracts or receipts and the term “under the table” is the password. 

Can You See the Real Me? Quadrophenia Revisited

Bailey Pennick

The Who recently released an expanded deluxe CD of Quadraphenia. Pete Townshend’s brainchild allows the listener to relate to the  music on a deeply personal level. The Who’s lesser-known rock opera (always overshadowed by the one about that deaf, dumb and blind kid) follows the struggles of Jimmy, a London teenager who is consumed by the problems that every awkward adolescent faces.

Kennith Kimery: All That Jazz

Kyle Kelly-Yahner

Thirty years ago, you could find Kennith Kimery in German rock clubs, playing anything from the Beatles to Journey. Today you might find him in Egypt, in front of the Sphinx, with the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra, drumming along to music from Duke Ellington to Benny Goodman.  Or he might be in his office at the National Museum of History scheduling interviews for the Smithsonian’s Jazz Oral History Program, or conducting interviews with legends such as Toots Thielemans or David Brubeck. 

David Bowie and the Media's Obsession With Sexuality

Bailey Pennick

English glam rock legend David Bowie has lived and thrived through the process of reinvention for over 40 years.  With each musical release—including classic albums such as Hunky Dory and Heroes—Bowie took on a unique persona that came with a new sound, new attitude and a new take on sexuality.  While impressed by Bowie’s sheer talent and musical creativity, the changing pop culture scene emerging from the late 1950s and early 1960s was more enthralled by his own personal sexuality.  Painting him as either a fake, or as a pioneer of equality, the media’s obsession with Bowie’s taboo bisexuality affected his fans and his music to the point of actual social change.

How Rolling Stone Magazine Influenced the Sixties

Alisa Manzelli

The influx of rock music and counterculture in the 1960s signaled a new era for music journalism, and Rolling Stone became the venue for documenting this revolution. As counterculture evolved in San Francisco, as well as the rest of the country, Rolling Stone, founded in the Bay Area, became an influential outlet for discovering music that embodied the changing zeitgeist. 

Rhapsodies of the ‘Golden Era’

Andrew Cothren

For those of us who worship at the altar of pop culture, it’s easy to suffer crises of faith. We look at television ratings and see crime dramas and reality shows dominating the landscape while critically acclaimed comedies stand constantly at the brink of cancellation. We look at box office returns, where sequels and CGI-heavy blockbusters make hundreds of millions at the expense of smaller, more original films. We shake our heads when manufactured hits (or their inevitable Glee a capella cover versions) come across our radio airwaves.



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