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Like a Rolling Stone: Was 1965 the Most Revolutionary Year in Music?

What do “Yesterday,” “Satisfaction,” “My Generation,” “The Sound of Silence,” “California Girls,” and “Like a Rolling Stone” all have in common? They were all hits in 1965, the year author Andrew Grant Jackson calls “the most revolutionary year in music.” In 1965: The Most Revolutionary Year in Music, Jackson weaves a fascinating narrative of how popular music and social change influenced one another to create a year memorable not only for great music, but also for great progress in American culture. In this whirlwind tour of multiple genres of music as well as multiple pressing political issues, Jackson states a compelling case for 1965 as a key turning point in American music and society as well as provides a mirror for how music and society interact today, 50 years later.

The Glam-Ur-ous Life: Archaeology and Modern Art

When British archaeologist Leonard Woolley discovered in December 1927 the tomb of Puabi, the queen/priestess of the Sumerian city of Ur during the First Dynasty of Ur more than 4,000 years ago, the story rivaled that of Howard Carter’s discovery of Tutankhamun's tomb in Egypt just five years earlier. “Magnificent with jewels,” as Woolley described it, Puabi’s tomb contained the bodies of dozens of attendants killed to accompany her in the afterlife — the ideal material for a headline-grabbing PR campaign that momentarily shouldered Tut out of the spotlight. A new exhibit at New York’s The Institute for the Study of the Ancient World titled From Ancient to Modern: Archaeology and Aesthetics puts Puabi back in the spotlight to examine how archaeology and aesthetics intersected, transforming ancient art into modern and making modern art strive to be ancient.

The Ecstatic Abstract Explorer: Richard Pousette-Dart

"The extasy [sic] of abstract beauty," artist Richard Pousette-Dart scrawled in 1981 in a notebook on a page across from a Georges Braque-looking abstract pencil drawing. Although included in Nina Leen’s iconic 1951 Life magazine photo "The Irascibles" that featured Abstract Expressionist heavyweights Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Mark Rothko, and Barnett Newman, Pousette-Dart has always stood on the edges, as he does in the photo, of full identification with that group.

How Art Spiegelman Is More Than Just Maus

Sometimes the toughest shadow to escape is one you cast over yourself. When artist Art Spiegelman began publishing Maus in 1980 in chapter form in the indie comics magazine Raw, […]

“Cool” in the Time of Twitter

With a tween in the house I’ve rediscovered the ruthless economy of cool. I’ve remembered that cool is as unforgiving of bad timing as the stock market. One minute the […]

What Improv Teaches Us About Creativity

Improv isn’t about wisecracks and one-liners. It’s about creating a structure where characters and narratives are quickly created, developed, sometimes forgotten and other times resolved.