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While we all prepare our stomachs for turkey dinner next week, President Michael Roth already has his plate full. He is completing the final pre-publication steps for his book “Beyond the University,” in which he discusses liberal education in the United States. Simultaneously, he is preparing to begin looking at colleges with his daughter, a junior in high school, and is packing his bags for a Thanksgiving getaway in Western Massachusetts. Fortunately for The Argus, his loaded schedule did not deter him from firing up his iPod to jam to some of his favorite tunes. If you want to get down like Roth, check out the playlist he provided for us.


David Bromberg, “[Nobody’s Fault But Mine]”

“He’s a folk singer. It’s a song from his new album, a kind of old, traditional blues song.”


Bob Dylan, “Love Minus Zero/No Limit”

“When I was here as a student I obsessively listened to Bob Dylan. My first year I spent some weeks following him around New England. He was on the Rolling Thunder Review Tour at the time, so that was ’75-’76… I had fun seeing him in different places. I still listen to Dylan. They re-issue old things as newer work, which I sometimes find really interesting.”


Jay Farrar (Son Volt), “Tear Stained Eye”

“A song that I listen to a lot and play a little bit of on the guitar.”


Neil Young, “Harvest Moon”


Jay Farrar, “California”

“As the weather gets colder I start reminding myself of all the years I spent in California. This is a beautiful song, a very simple song.”


Bruce Springsteen, “Rosalita”

“I’ve tried to get him to come to campus, actually. I wrote him this letter telling him that in 1972 or ’73, when he was opening for a band called Chicago. I was in the audience screaming ‘I came for you!’ because that was the big song on his first album. I told him this story in the letter, thinking, ‘This will melt his heart, he’ll come to Wesleyan!’ But nope.”


Dar Williams, “The Beauty of the Rain”

“This was one of my favorites that she played when she was here a few weeks ago.”


The Laura Nyro Station on Pandora

“It plays everything from Aretha Franklin to Joni Mitchell.”


His mother, “Ring Dem Bells”

“My mother is a singer, so I still listen to a lot of jazz singers from the thirties. She did pop from her day, and show tunes. She’s going to be 86 and she still sings. She ‘sings to old people,’ she says. She told me this week that she’s working [on] a song called ‘Ring Dem Bells,’ a song that Natalie Cole did a popular version of 20 years ago. Fifty years ago it was kind of a nightclub song. My mother says she has a new arrangement. She’s fantastic. She says, ‘It’s really not so easy because it’s just a lot of drums.’”

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