Coming up on Connections: Week of November 13th

Nov 13, 2017

First hour: The psychology of happiness

Second hour: 25 years of R.E.M.'s Automatic for the People

What truly makes someone happy? SUNY Geneseo psychology professor Jim Allen collected the data and produced a new book that looks at happiness in the modern world. We'll discuss the impacts of economic systems, income inequality, and more.

Then in our second hour, in modern media, success usually means following up with the same thing that brought success. Music, television -- think about why the characters on Friends only became caricatures of themselves. But 25 years ago, a band went against the popular grain. R.E.M. had found massive commercial success with their 1991 hits like "Stand" and "Shiny Happy People." Suddenly, just as popular as Madonna, the band had a chance to fire off more and similar hits. But their 1992 album, Automatic for the People, is one of the darker pop albums of the era. Songs about suicide prevention and tragedy were not exactly what the producers were hoping for, but the band stayed with their vision. Is there a lesson there? We'll examine with our guests:

  • Saby Reyes-Kulkarni, music journalist
  • Tommy Mach, R.E.M. fan