‘The Boss’ goes digital, hand picks songs from his musical archive
IN OUR MINDS, there remains a key issue missing from the ‘Meet Barry Glassner’ page found on LC’s website. We are presented with a list of accomplishments, dates, facts and figures, yet nothing of Mr. Glassner’s musical tastes. As natural curators of all things art — well, we try to be — Ben and I naturally sought to rectify this. We reached out to President Glassner for his first ever Spotify Playlist, a selection of hand picked songs by the legend himself.
President Glassner’s music taste is are anything but what you would expect them to be. As unfortunately labeled ‘millennials’ in the 18-to-22 age bracket, our musical tastes often reflect our personality. They typically encompass everything from shaggy haired men in flannels playing indie rock, (a la Mac Demarco) to Kendrick Lamar flavored hip-hop: politically charged music with various trap, funk, and EDM influences. A diverse, yet predictable selection of music. If this is our generation’s musical identity — songs reflective of our current cultural ethos — as arts editors Ben and I were curious what 64-yr-old President Glassner listens to. As President of our school, has Mr. Glassner’s musical taste evolved from student interaction (i.e. is he a huge Yung Lean fan?). Or is he a cultural Ozymandias, stuck in the sands of time circa 1973 only listening to Doobie Brothers’ records? More importantly, when we pulled back the musical curtain, what were we going to see?
Naturally, we decided to investigate. Ben and I worked to make this playlist a reality. With the gracious help of Roy Kaufmann at Public Affairs and Communications, and through a series of emails, we were able to have President Glassner list some of his favorite songs, allowing us to hand pick his selection into a Spotify Playlist. The reality, of course, may surprise you.
It wouldn’t be a huge leap of faith to suggest the other Barry President (Glassner) is a huge Bruce Springsteen fan. (He told us he went as far to quote The Boss’s song, “Thunder Road” in his inauguration speech). Unable to include some songs on Spotify for copyright reasons, Ben and I would be remiss if we didn’t pass on some choice Bruce Springsteen covers President Glassner mentioned to us. They are all by bands typically not associated with Springsteen’s work: A hauntingly beautiful cover “Dancing in the Dark” by John Legend, an emphatic “Ghost of Tom Joad” by Rage Against the Machine, and Johnny Cash doing what he does best with “Johnny 99.” (Of course we recom
mend listening to the originals as well, as we’re sure Glassner would want us to.)
Looking past The Boss’ musical influence on our President, I was frankly surprised by the interesting eclectic variety of music Glassner listens to. Mentioning he goes through ‘musical phases’, like the rest of us, Glassner said he’s been “getting more and more into NOLA music, traditional and current”. NOLA, for those who are not as cool as the President, stands for New Orleans: a city home to a cornucopia of differing sounds, similar to the Glassner’s musical interests. New Orleans boasts the title of the birthplace of jazz, as well as being home to dixieland, ragtime, zydeco, and blues music, as well as a burgeoning southern hip-hop scene.
In my mind, what stood out was President Glassner’s interest in current music, of our generation. Yes, current music. Before you start thinking President Glassner stopped listening to music after 1824, (the year Beethoven released his ninth and final symphony) Glassner mentioned several artists he’s really into. Calling them both “true geniuses of the current music scene,” Glassner has a fondness for blues inspired rocker Gary Clark Jr., and legendary Chi-Town hip-hop artist, Common.
There are too many other stories we would love to share, including Glassner’s love of Amy Winehouse, (whom he admits is “is one of [his] all-time faves”), his self-proclaimed status as a Reggae Addict and interest in Dancehall music, as well as him charting the blues scene during his time in college at Northwestern. Instead, we would like you to experience this, all of these stories, thoughts, and memories of President Glassner’s life encompassed onto his playlist. You can find “Barry G’s Afternoon School Special” online at the Pioneer Log, and on Spotify too, by searching for Pioneer Log.com under users. Take a gander, we think you’ll like it.
The Pioneer Log would like to thank Roy Kaufmann, President Barry Glassner, and all others for their help with this article, as well as making this playlist a reality.