Our Individual and Collective Identities: Music And Why You Like It, Part Two

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A continuing conversation with composer and musicologist Nolan Gasser, author of Why You Like It: The Science And Culture Of Musical Taste. In part two of our interview with Gasser, we track down the connections of music to emotions, economics, class, politics, and psychology.

To hear part two of the interview, as broadcast today on the Arts Express radio program,  click on the grey triangle above.

You can listen to Part One of the interview here.

“I Like To-may-to, You Like To-mah-to”: Why You Like It, Part One

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Why does one person enjoy listening to Mozart while another likes Taylor Swift and still another enjoys Kendrick Lamar? Nolan Gasser set out to uncover the roots of musical taste and ended up with a wide-ranging book about music, its origins, its structure, but above all else about Why You Like It.

Gasser, the author of Why You Like It: The Science and Culture of Musical Taste, talks with us about his Music Genome project for Pandora, and his explorations into the secrets of musical preferences.

You can hear part one of the interview I conducted, as broadcast today on the Arts Express radio program on WBAI 99.5 FM NYC, by clicking on the grey triangle above.

You can listen to Part Two by clicking here.

The Cat’s Meow

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Ed Ferrar owned a jaguar; not the car, the animal. It’s an animal so wild and unpredictable it was rarely shown in the circus. Watch Ed as he brings out the big cat to meet Johnny Carson. You don’t often see Johnny lose his cool…

Thanks to YouTuber Gary Ferrar, Ed’s grandson, who has carried on his grandfather’s tradition in show biz as a magician and mentalist—but not as jaguar tamer.

Training Day

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crowd of people inside european styled building

Photo by Caio Queiroz on Pexels.com

So I was going to visit Yonkers yesterday for the first time, and what’s more, I would be entitled to buy a round-trip train ticket for the senior-citizen rate of only $11.50 from Grand Central Station.  Really, besides Medicare and half-price Metrocard admission to the subways, that’s more or less the only good thing about getting old. (How do you know you’re getting old? When a pregnant woman seated on the crowded subway unsolicited jumps up to offer you her seat, and then when you say, “That’s all right,” she insists with “No, really, please, I’m getting off in ten more stops,” and gingerly vacates her seat for you. A few rounds of this and soon you get the picture.)

Anyway, when I got to the ticket booth in Grand Central, I asked the clerk for a round- trip ticket to Yonkers. I pulled out my $11.50, and he says, “That’ll be $17.50.”

“What? $17.50?” I replied. “I thought it was supposed to be $11.50 for senior citizens.”

“Well why didn’t you say so in the first place,” says the cranky clerk. “You just said you wanted a round trip ticket. You should have said you wanted a senior-citizen round trip ticket.”

“Well,” I replied heatedly, caught off guard, “I thought you could tell by looking at me.”

And just then I hear a voice behind me on the ticket line piping up:

“Yep, I sure could.”

Only in New York, kids, only in New York.

 

Murder In My Heart For The Judge: Nellie McKay

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Nellie McKay‘s version of the Moby Grape song. And dig the great Betty Boop cartoon to which she set it.

A week observing immigration court will have you singing this too.

More at Nellie McKay