V&B – Jazz & The Art of Popularity

It’s after the election. How do we decide who represents us? Who is in, and who is out? Must something be sacrificed to be popular? As we examine the concepts of popularity, fandom, polling, and analytics, we will speak about the creation of culture and the allure of personality in our lives, through the lens of the Downbeat Magazine jazz polls throughout the years. Why is Miles Davis so good? Which Miles Davis do we mean? As we cull our playlists, how much patience do we really have to become connoisseurs, or to discover something new? In this episode of Views & Brews, KUT’s Rebecca McInroy joins Rabbi and Jazz Historian Neil Blumofe in an examination on jazz and the art of popularity.


We might consider ourselves pretty savvy. We choose the “best” toothpaste, bottled water, or television set. We go to the movies we “want” to see, and listen to the music we like because it’s “good”. What we might not take into consideration is how popularity fits into our value judgments about everything, from people and products to ideas and beliefs.

In this edition of Two Guys on Your Head, Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Bob Duke talk about the psychology of popularity.