HAGOPIAN | Bob Dylan’s a Tool

Maybe you’ve read The 36 Questions That Lead to Love on the New York Times website. The piece enumerates thirty-six increasingly intimate questions that apparently accelerate intimacy and facilitate pair bonding. One of my current entrepreneurial ventures is The 36 Questions That Lead to Disdain, one of which is “What’s your most unpopular opinion?” Mine is that I hate Bob Dylan. I don’t hate his music (I don’t love it, but I don’t hate it). I’ll throw on “Quinn the Eskimo” every now and then if I’m in the right mood, and “Who Killed Davey Moore?” has a few good lines.

JONES | My Inevitable Column: Bobby D and Yeezy

“This is Jack Jones. He’s one of our Arts writers and he only writes about Bob Dylan and Kanye.”

This is how a certain previous Arts editor and close friend generally introduces me to new people. Before I go ahead and give support to this claim, I’d like to point out that I’ve only written one review of each artist’s work: my first piece for the Daily Sun was a review of Bob Dylan’s mediocre album of Sinatra covers Shadows in the Night, and my longest piece ever was a review of Kanye West’s The Life of Pablo. I’ve never used my column to focus on either of these figures, their music or what they mean to me. Doesn’t matter.

BROMER | Learning to Fall in Love with the Lyrics

I have a confession: I don’t often go out of my way to listen to lyrics. I’m well-acquainted with most of the tunes you might find yourself cranking up a car radio — dad jamz, ‘90s hip hop, any song to which your favorite movie characters once lip-synced. Put me in one of those bar mitzvah recording booths and I will bare my soul to the tune of any MIDI-saturated Celine Dion instrumental. If social interaction requires it, I will belt out some Smash Mouth, or whatever, though I’ll probably end up like this dude from a Clickhole Classic™, boldly making indecipherable noises to a song I heard once at a kid’s birthday party. But when it comes to my day-to-day interaction with music, rarely, if ever, will I go out of my way to hear exactly what it is a songwriter is saying.

SWAN | Where Rhetoric Falls Short

Musical composition and performance are perhaps two of the most effective vessels for the indication of political support or dissent by private citizens. Consider the late 1960s, when groups and musicians like Jefferson Airplane or Bob Dylan wrote music that challenged the Vietnam War and political establishment. As evidenced by the festivals, riots and protests of that decade, not only does music spread awareness about a particular cause, but it also forms immeasurable solidarity among its listeners. Yet, what happens when musical choice and expression extends itself to public officials? Politicians, by the nature of their existence, must find ways to connect with their constituents.

50 Years Ago Today: A 24-Year-Old Bob Dylan Electrifies Barton Hall


Bruce Dancis ’69, a 17-year-old freshman at Cornell, was beside himself: Bob Dylan was coming to town. The 24-year-old singer-songwriter would be playing Barton Hall on Nov. 6, 1965. The now-retired longtime journalist didn’t know it at the time, but he was one year away from making history with an anti-Vietnam War protest. Dancis, who didn’t finish at Cornell — and served a 19-month federal prison sentence for his trouble — managed to procure a Cornell University Press contract for his memoir of last year, Resister: A Story of Protest and Prison during the Vietnam War.