LONDON — When James Hyman was a scriptwriter at MTV Europe, in the 1990s, before the rise of the internet, there was a practical — as well as compulsive — reason he amassed an enormous collection of magazines. “If you’re interviewing David Bowie, you don’t want to be like, ‘O.K., mate, what’s your favorite color?’,” he said. “You want to go through all the magazines and be able to say, ‘Talk about when you did the Nazi salute at Paddington Station in 1976.’ You want to be like a lawyer when he preps his case.”
Whenever possible, Mr. Hyman tried to keep two copies of each magazine he acquired. One pristine copy was for his nascent magazine collection and another was for general circulation among his colleagues, marked with his name to ensure it found its way back to him. The magazines he used to research features on musicians and bands formed the early core of what became the Hyman Archive, which now contains approximately 160,000 magazines, most of which are not digitally archived or anywhere on the internet.
It was frigid inside the archive during a recent visit — a good 10 degrees colder than the chilly air outside — and the staff were bundled up. Space heaters illuminated a nest that Tory Turk (the creative lead), Alexia Marmara (the editorial lead) and Mr. Hyman had made for themselves amid boxes of donations to the collection. It lines more than 3,000 feet of shelving in a former cannon foundry in the 18th-century Royal Arsenal complex in Woolwich, a suburban neighborhood abutting the Thames in southeast London.
The Hyman Archive was confirmed as the largest collection of magazines in 2012 by Guinness World Records; then, it had just 50,953 magazines, 2,312 of them unique titles. Now, a year and a half after Mr. Hyman was interviewed by BBC Radio 4, donations are pouring in, and amid them Mr. Hyman and his staff have carved out space for an armchair and a snack-laden desk. (The rest of the foundry is a storage facility used mostly by media companies to house their film archives and the obsolete technology with which they were made.)
At a moment when the old titans like Condé Nast and Time Inc. are contracting, shape-shifting and anxiously hashtagging, herein lies a museum of real magazine making, testament to the old glossy solidity. The price of admission, however, is stiff: visitors can do research with a staffer’s aid for 75 pounds per hour (about $100), with negotiable day rates (and a student discount of 20 percent), or gingerly borrow a magazine for three working days for £50.
“I always knew it was a cultural resource and that there was value in it,” Mr. Hyman said of the archive. But having the collection verified by Guinness was about validation, he said, “because then people might take it more seriously than just thinking: ‘Some lunatic’s got a warehouse full of magazines.’”
Ms. Turk has a knack for repackaging Mr. Hyman’s animated monologues into what in the trade are called sound bites. “I maintain that James always had the foresight that this was going to be something else, more than just a sort of collector’s dream,” she said. “The archive is all about preserving and documenting the history of print.”
By David Shaftel, Jan. 24, 2018, first appearing in NYT > Books
Combined Print & E-Book Fiction
- THE OUTSIDER by Stephen King (NEW)
An eleven-year-old boy is found in a town park, hideously assaulted and murdered. The fingerprints (and later DNA) are unmistakably those of the town’s most popular baseball coach, Terry Maitland, a man of impeccable reputation, with a wife and two daughters. Detective Ralph Anderson, whose son Maitland coached, orders an immediate and public arrest. Maitland is taken to jail, his claim to innocence scorned. Maitland has a foolproof alibi, with footage to prove that he was in another city when the crime was committed. But that doesn’t save him either.
- THE 17TH SUSPECT by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro
The latest installment in the Women’s Murder Club series. Detective Lindsay Boxer searches for a killer in San Francisco.
- THE FALLEN by David Baldacci
Amos Decker, known as the Memory Man, puts his talents toward solving a string of murders in a Rust Belt town.
- BEACH HOUSE REUNION by Mary Alice Monroe (NEW)
Three generations of a family gather one summer in South Carolina.
- THE CAST by Danielle Steel
A magazine columnist meets an array of Hollywood professionals when a producer turns a story about her grandmother into a TV series.
- REBEL HEART by Penelope Ward and Vi Keeland (NEW)
A sequel to “Rebel Heir.” The summer fling between Rush and Gia continues.
- THE MIDNIGHT LINE by Lee Child
Jack Reacher tracks down the owner of a pawned West Point class ring and stumbles upon a large criminal enterprise.
- LITTLE FIRES EVERYWHERE by Celeste Ng
An artist upends a quiet town outside Cleveland.
- ROGUE ROYALTY by Meghan March (NEW)
The final book in the Savage trilogy.
- BEFORE WE WERE YOURS by Lisa Wingate
A South Carolina lawyer learns about the questionable practices of a Tennessee orphanage.
- TWISTED PREY by John Sandford
The 28th book in the Prey series. A federal marshal looks into the actions of a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee.
- THE COUPLE NEXT DOOR by Shari Lapena
A couple’s secrets emerge after their baby disappears.
- THE GREAT ALONE by Kristin Hannah
A former prisoner of war returns from Vietnam and moves his family to Alaska, where they face tough conditions.
- BY INVITATION ONLY by Dorothea Benton Frank
Two families are brought together when the daughter of a Chicago power broker and the son of a Southern peach farmer decide to wed.
- THE HIGH TIDE CLUB by Mary Kay Andrews
An eccentric millionaire enlists the attorney Brooke Trappnell to fix old wrongs, which sets up a potential scandal and murder.
Combined Print & E-Book Nonfiction
- THE RESTLESS WAVE by John McCain and Mark Salter (NEW)
“I don’t know how much longer I’ll be here. Maybe I’ll have another five years. Maybe, with the advances in oncology, they’ll find new treatments for my cancer that will extend my life. Maybe I’ll be gone before you read this. My predicament is, well, rather unpredictable. But I’m prepared for either contingency, or at least I’m getting prepared. I have some things I’d like to take care of first, some work that needs finishing, and some people I need to see. And I want to talk to my fellow Americans a little more if I may.” So writes John McCain in this inspiring, moving, frank, and deeply personal memoir.
- FACTS AND FEARS by James R. Clapper with Trey Brown (NEW)
The former director of national intelligence describes events that challenged the intelligence community and considers some ethical questions around its efforts.
- THE SOUL OF AMERICA by Jon Meacham
The Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer contextualizes the present political climate through the lens of difficult moments in American history.
- HOW TO CHANGE YOUR MIND by Michael Pollan
A personal account of how psychedelics might help the mentally ill and people dealing with everyday challenges.
- BARRACOON by Zora Neale Hurston
A previously unpublished, first-person account of Cudjo Lewis, a man who was transported and enslaved 50 years after the slave trade was banned.
- BAD BLOOD by John Carreyrou (NEW)
The rise and fall of Theranos, the biotech startup that failed to deliver on its promise to make blood testing more efficient.
- A HIGHER LOYALTY by James Comey
The former F.B.I. director recounts cases and personal events that shaped his outlook on justice, and analyzes the leadership styles of three presidents.
- KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON by David Grann
The story of a murder spree in 1920s Oklahoma that targeted Osage Indians, whose lands contained oil.
- SAPIENS by Yuval Noah Harari
How Homo sapiens became Earth’s dominant species.
- EDUCATED by Tara Westover
The daughter of survivalists, who is kept out of school, educates herself enough to leave home for university.
- HILLBILLY ELEGY by J.D. Vance
A Yale Law School graduate looks at the struggles of the white working class through the story of his own childhood.
- I’LL BE GONE IN THE DARK by Michelle McNamara
The late true-crime journalist’s search for the serial murderer and rapist known as “the Golden State Killer.”
- THREE DAYS IN MOSCOW by Bret Baier and Catherine Whitney
The Fox News anchor describes Ronald Reagan’s 1988 visit to the Soviet capital.
- FACTFULNESS by Hans Rosling with Ola Rosling and Anna Rosling Ronnlund
A look at our biases and the argument for why the world is in a better state than we might think.
- ROBIN by Dave Itzkoff
A New York Times journalist details the career and struggles of the actor and comedian Robin Williams.
by Jeff Lunden, April 23, 2018, first appearing on Books : NPR
The most expensive play in Broadway history opened Sunday, April 22. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child cost $33.5 million, runs five and a half hours long (in two parts), and has gotten rave reviews. But while it has plenty of special effects, it’s actually designed for audiences to use their imagination.
“You don’t need millions of dollars to stage a CGI-fest,” says actor Jamie Parker. He plays a grown-up Harry Potter in a story that picks up where the last novel left off, with Harry sending his son off to Hogwarts.
Producers aimed to seduce the audience into seeing what the director wanted them to see, so suitcases become seats on the Hogwarts Express, and a young actor becomes an adult with the help of Polyjuice Potion and a big cloak. Many of the tricks are simple stage illusions, or “rough magic,” as director John Tiffany calls them.
“I could just smell the fact that cloaks and suitcases were going to tell our story beautifully,” Tiffany says. “And I loved the idea that we were doing things that kids could also do at home when they do their version of the story.”
Jack Thorne, who wrote the play, is thrilled by this approach.
He says, “My favorite moment in the play has no dialogue in it, sadly. And it’s a staircase dance, and you just see two boys and two staircases, and the staircases are openly being pushed around by members of the company. Everyone can see what’s happening onstage, there’s no pretense about it. And you see the staircases and the boys interact in an emotionally significant way that tells the story of what’s happening to these kids.”
Cursed Child is an original play, not a stage adaptation. (Author J.K. Rowling consistently rejected overtures to adapt her novels.) “She decided that this should be called the eighth ‘story,’ ” Tiffany says, “and that it should be classed as canon and in some ways this would be her last word on Harry Potter as a character.”
Tiffany, Thorne and Rowling collaborated on the story, which the producers have gone to great lengths to protect. They won’t release any scenes to the media, and audiences are given buttons that say #KeeptheSecrets. (Actor Jamie Parker had to sign a nondisclosure agreement when he got hired to do a reading.) But the script is available in bookstores and, at this point, pretty much anyone who cares knows what the play is about.
Tiffany says it’s as epic as the books, and insists he never worried it couldn’t be staged. “I absolutely believe and know that theater can do anything. If you harness the audience, and if you ask just enough of them, and if they’re willing to come with you, then they will make believe that anything is happening.”
As for the producers, they believed Harry Potter’s immense popularity would bring in new theater audiences. Producer Sonia Friedman says, “In our first couple of years in London, over 60 percent of our audience [were] first-time theatergoers.”
That sounds a lot like 9-year-old Domenic Simionetti, who attended a recent matinee (his first play) with his mom. He wore a cloak, just like Harry Potter.
“I saw the special effects and I thought they looked really cool,” he said, “because I’ve never seen special effects like that, only in movies.”
Tom Cole edited this story for broadcast. Nicole Cohen adapted it for the Web.
by Colin Dwyer, May 1, 2018, first appearing on Books : NPR
If the crisis facing the Swedish Academy looked dire earlier this month, this weekend spelled still worse trouble for the 18-member committee responsible for selecting the Nobel Prize in literature each year. Already deeply roiled by sexual assault and harassment allegations against a prominent cultural figure closely linked with the group, the Swedish Academy found that his ledger of alleged victims has added one more very prominent name: Sweden’s heir apparent, Crown Princess Victoria.
Three witnesses told the Stockholm daily Svenska Dagbladet they had seen photographer Jean-Claude Arnault, an influential cultural impresario in Stockholm, put his hand on Victoria’s behind during a 2006 event at an academy-owned property.
“He came lurking from behind and I saw his hand land on her neck and go downward. It was all the way down,” Swedish writer Ebba Witt-Brattstrom, who had been attending the event, later confirmed to London’s The Telegraph.
Witt-Brattstrom says a uniformed aide to the princess, who was then 27, “just flew herself” on the then-59-year-old Arnault. “She grabbed him,” Witt-Brattstrom added to the Telegraph, “and ‘whop’, he was gone. The crown princess turned in surprise. I guess she had never been groped. She just looked like ‘what?’ ”
Arnault’s attorney has told several media outlets he denies these allegations as well as the incidents of sexual assault and harassment alleged by 18 women in November.
His denials have done nothing to ease the turmoil wreaked on the Swedish Academy, of which Arnault’s wife, Katarina Frostenson, was a longtime member before resigning earlier this month. Questions about when and what the committee’s members knew about the allegations led several other members to resign before her, either in protest or because of the protests — including Permanent Secretary Sara Danius.
The controversy has even raised the prospect that this year it might be unable to perform its most famous duty, picking literature’s Nobel winner in October. The committee discussed the prospect of postponing the award last week “and came to no decision,” member Per Wastberg told The Guardian after the meeting last week.
He added that members would resume the conversation at another meeting this Thursday, at which point they will very likely reach a decision on whether it will be necessary to skip the prize this year and instead announce two winners in 2019.
If indeed the Swedish Academy decides to postpone the award, this would mark the first year since the depths of World War II, from 1940 to 1943, that no writers won the Nobel Prize in literature.
Another member, former Permanent Secretary Horace Engdahl, downplayed the possibility to The Guardian — but the committee’s public statement last week made little secret of the “state of crisis” it is currently experiencing.
“Confidence in the Academy has been undermined, the number of active members is diminished, and there has been an unplanned change in the post of Permanent Secretary,” the group acknowledged.
It noted that it had already engaged an outside law firm to investigate the situation. The firm has found that the Swedish Academy violated its conflict-of-interest rule by financially supporting a cultural forum co-owned by Arnault and Frostenson and that there had also been “a breach of the Academy’s secrecy rules” relating to the Nobel.
The Swedish Academy added that another damaging revelation had also recently surfaced: that as far back as 1996, the committee had received a letter detailing an alleged sexual assault at the forum and had ignored it.
“The Academy deeply regrets that the letter was shelved and no measures taken to investigate the charges and possibly stop further reimbursements to Kulturplats Forum,” the group said. “The Swedish Academy strongly condemns sexual harassment and sexual aggression wherever it occurs.”
One potential problem for the Swedish Academy does appear on its way to resolution, at least. As we reported earlier this month, the committee’s bylaws have had no formal provisions for members to resign their positions, which are supposed to be lifetime commitments. Those same bylaws also demand a quorum of 12 members to make any significant decisions — like, say, changing the provisions on resignation and selecting replacements. All but 11 members have de facto stepped down at this point, leaving the academy in a rather tough bind.
But the group’s patron, Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf, stepped in earlier this month with the announcement he is planning changes that will facilitate resignation.
“It is a given premise of Swedish and international law that any person who no longer wishes to be a member of an organisation must be allowed to leave,” he said in a statement. “This premise should also apply to the Swedish Academy.”
by APRIL 17, 2018, first appearing in Library Journal
On Monday, April 16, the 2018 Pulitzer Prize winners were announced before a hushed crowd in the recently renovated Joseph Pulitzer World Room at Columbia University’s Pulitzer Hall. The announcement was made by Dana Canedy, administrator of the awards and herself someone to be celebrated. Formerly a senior editor at the New York Times, where she was part of a team that won the 2001 Pulitzer Prize in national reporting, Canedy was appointed in July 2017 as the first woman and first person of color to serve as awards administrator.
Altogether 14 journalism and seven letters, drama, and music awards were presented, the former covering topics ranging from sexual harassment to domestic terrorist Dylann Roof and the latter, said Canedy, signifying “the impact of arts and letters on American culture.”
The book prizes proved satisfying if not completely surprising.
With his fiction win for Less (Lee Boudreaux: Little, Brown), the story of a midlist novelist avoiding a former lover’s marriage by traveling to literary events worldwide, Andrew Sean Greer finally lays claim to a major title, though he’s been an NYPL Young Lion and received best book honors for Less from the Washington Post and the San Francisco Chronicle. Prize rules specify that the fiction honor go to a book “preferably dealing with American life,” but Greer deals more broadly with issues of aging and self-worth. Ironically, his protagonist, Arthur Less, is best known for his early liaison with a Pulitzer Prize–winning author, suffering comparisons that make him feel less worthy—a problem Greer won’t have.
The biography award went to Caroline Fraser’s Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder, a National Book Critics Award winner and New York Times Best Book; the poetry award, to Frank Bidart’s Half-light: Collected Poems 1965-2016 (Farrar), a National Book Award winner; and the general nonfiction award, to James Forman Jr.’s Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America (Farrar), a New York Times Best Book and Los Angeles Times Book Prize finalist.
Forman’s work, which examines how response by African Americans to trauma within their own communities inadvertently led to the contentious issue of mass incarceration, was also short-listed for the Inaugural Goddard Riverside Stephan Russo Book Prize for Social Justice. Jack E. Davis’s The Gulf: The Making of an American Sea (Liveright: Norton), ranging from the Pleistocene era to the Deepwater Horizon disaster and beyond, also won the Kirkus Prize for Nonfiction.
Music and drama were the big surprises, with gasps meeting the announcement of the music award. The winner is rapper Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN., the first time a classical or jazz composer hasn’t won. Martyna Majok’s Cost of Living, a play about physical disability that opened Off Broadway at the Manhattan Theater Club in June 2017, won the drama award. Majok, a Polish immigrant who saw her first play after winning some money playing pool, won against some formidable competition, with Obie Award winner and previous Pulitzer finalist Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’s Everybody and previous Pulitzer winner Tracy Letts’s The Minutes this year’s drama finalists.
Canedy proved to be a congenial host, especially during the Q&A session, when she responded to urgent questions from a group of female high school students from the News Literacy Project by assuring them that news reporting and news reporters will be more diverse in the future. In general, she emphasized that whatever changes come in reporting and in the awards process (e.g., rules were changed this year so that coverage needn’t be from a local publication), the main point is that “the work speaks for itself.” For more on the winners, see 2018 Pulitzer Prizes.
by Glen Weldon, April 16, 2018, first appearing on Books : NPR
Call them the Mighty Marvel Movie MacGuffins. They’re the glittery objects that drove the plots of several individual Marvel movies and that collectively shaped the direction the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe has been heading (almost) since its inception.
They are the Infinity Stones — immensely powerful gems that contain and channel elemental forces of the universe. They’re what the villains crave and what the heroes protect. They can be used to destroy or create.
Mmmmmostly that first thing.
They’ve been seeded throughout the Marvel Cinematic Universe since 2011, and now, with the release of Avengers: Infinity War on April 27, all the logistical heavy lifting of seven years’ worth of films — chasing the Stones, finding them, wielding them, handing them off to shady minor characters for safekeeping — comes to a head.
Well. To a hand, anyway.
Thanos’ hand, to be specific. Thanos’ gauntlet, if you want to get technical.
Thanos is the MCU’s biggest Big Bad, first glimpsed in a post-credit scene in 2012’s The Avengers. He is a hulking, purplish-reddish-bluish (seems to depend on the movie’s color balance) space warlord determined to reduce the population of the universe by half. If he collects all of the Infinity Stones and affixes them to a metal glove-thingy called the Infinity Gauntlet, he will be able to go about his deadly halving business, according to his daughter Gamora (Zoe Saldana) in the trailer, “with a snap of his fingers.”
(Leave aside, for the moment, how difficult it would be to snap one’s fingers in a metal gauntlet.)
(I mean it would be less of a snap and more a rasp, right?)
(Or maybe a clang? Like he was striking some terrible Xylophone of Pan-Galactic Death? Or a Wind Chime of Cosmic Annihilation?)
Anyway. That’s Thanos pictured at the top of this post. He is played in the movie by Josh Brolin and a superfluity of CGI chin dimples. And that thing he has on his left hand (so literally sinister!) is the Infinity Gauntlet.
As you can see, he is already well on his way to collecting ’em all — not quite at full, “Billie Jean”-era sparkle-glove status, but close.
Let’s review where the various Infinity Stones were the last time we saw them — and what they do.
AKA: The Tesseract
What It Looks Like: When first glimpsed in Captain America: The First Avenger (2011), a glowing blue cube. (The cube is just a housing that allows the glowy blue stone inside to be handled by us lowly humans.)
What It Does: Opens wormholes in space, making possible instantaneous travel between any two points in the universe. Also has undetermined (read: hazily defined) power to develop weaponry.
Transporting is what the eeeevil Red Skull did with it in Captain America: The First Avenger. It was later recovered by S.H.I.E.L.D., which lost it when Loki absconded with it in The Avengers (2012) and used it to open a wormhole above Manhattan through which an alien army attacked Earth.
Where It Is Now: It spent some time in Asgard’s armory, but at the end of Thor: Ragnarok (2017), it was stolen by Loki. (At the very end of Thor: Ragnarok, the spaceship Thor and Loki were flying was intercepted by what was very likely Thanos’ ship. So if you’re taking bets, the Space Stone is likely one of the first Infinity Stones we’ll see Thanos add to his collection.)
AKA: The Scepter
What It Looks Like: At first, in The Avengers, a scepter housing a glowy blue gem. Nowadays, a yellow gem (long story) embedded in the forehead of Vision.
What It Does: Oh, a lot of stuff. In its Scepter mode, it granted Loki zappy powers and the ability to manipulate minds, and its mere presence made the Avengers more snippy than baseline. In its current mode (as of 2015’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, it grants Vision the ability to … do lots of stuff, including phase through matter, fly, zap others with energy beams and, you know … live.)
Where It Is Now: Doing time on Vision’s forehead. But the trailers suggest this will not be a permanent condition. Look for Vision to get blurry.
AKA: The Aether
What It Looks Like: Not like a stone, for one thing. Instead, it’s a thick, red liquid that sends out tendrils that undulate in a cinematically creepy way.
What It Does: Look, it’s OK. You didn’t see Thor: The Dark World (2013). A lot of people didn’t. So you didn’t see the Reality Stone (in the form of the Aether) take over the body of Thor’s girlfriend, Jane Foster, allowing her to send out shock waves and … whatnot. As its name suggests, the Reality Stone alters reality, by converting matter to dark matter. Don’t bother asking why that’s a thing. Doesn’t matter. Lots of people didn’t see Thor: The Dark World.
Where It Is Now: For safekeeping, it was given to an ancient being who collects lots of stuff. His name, appropriately enough, is the Collector. (He is played by Benicio del Toro in Thor: The Dark World, and his character is the brother of Jeff Goldblum’s Grandmaster from Thor: Ragnarok.)
Given that not a lot of people saw Thor: The Dark World, I’d wager we won’t get a big protracted scene of Thanos hunting down and claiming the Reality Stone, and Infinity War will simply cut to the (end of the) chase.
AKA: The Orb
What It Looks Like: When we first see it, at the beginning of Guardians of the Galaxy (2014), it’s encased in a silver spherical rock-thing. Later, the Orb is split open and the stone inside is grafted onto a bad guy’s space-hammer and given the awesomely ridiculous name of Cosmi-Rod. Once the bad guy is defeated through the power of dance, the Stone is returned to another Orb-casing.
What It Does: Grants … power? Look, I know, the specific abilities of the various stones seem kind of frustratingly all over the place, but this one’s legit. It makes its wielder more powerful — better, stronger, more zappy. You know: energy blasts and energy tornadoes and energy waves and energy bars. (No, OK, not that last one.)
Where It Is Now: Benicio del Toro’s Collector character nearly added it to his collection, but it sent out a massive energy blast, as is its zappy wont, that destroyed most of his menagerie. It ended up in hands of the Nova Corps — basically the Marvel Universe’s resident space-cops, run by Glenn Close in a complicated wig — and there it will stay, until it won’t.
AKA: The Eye of Agamotto
What It Looks Like: First (and only) seen in Doctor Strange (2016), it’s a glowy green gem housed inside an amulet embossed with an eye.
What It Does: Finally, some specificity! Some truth in advertising! The Time Stone allows its wielder to control time — to speed it up, slow it down, reverse it or create time loops. See, there, Marvel? Simple. Precise. Clean.
Where It Is Now: Hanging around Doctor Stephen Strange’s neck, right under his dumb goatee.
What It Looks Like: Again, ? It has yet to turn up in a Marvel movie, at least by that name. It’s most likely an orange gem, the largest of them all, which fits on the back of the gauntlet — not, as the others do, on the fingers.
What It Does: In the comics, it grants its owner the ability to do lots of mystical things — trap souls in an artificial existence, see into a person’s soul, etc. It’s not known how closely the film will adhere to this.
But given the fact that so much of the Infinity War trailer is set in and around Wakanda — and the fact that the “heart-shaped flower” seen in Black Panther grants the ability to commune with the dead — many have speculated that the Soul Stone will turn out to have something to do with vibranium.
Where It Is Now: Your guess is as good as any. Unless you guess, “in Wakanda,” in which case it’s slightly better than most, probably.
AKA: Catherine Tramell, Ginger McKenna, Iris Burton
What It Looks Like: A human woman.
Where It Is Now: Not getting the work it deserves, HOLLYWOOD.
AKA: Sly Stone, Freddie Stone, Rose Stone, Cynthia Robinson, Greg Errico, Jerry Martini, Larry Graham.
What It Looks Like: Deeply groovy.
What It Does: Effortlessly fuse rock, soul, funk and psychedelia into chart-topping, socially conscious pop anthems.
Where It Is Now: On the set list of every wedding DJ at or slightly after 10:30 p.m.
AKA: “That place your Aunt Janice likes? With the slab? What’s it called?”
What It Looks Like: An ice cream store, duh.
What It Does: Grants its wielder one unusually muscular forearm.
Where It Is Now: 1,100 locations in the U.S. and abroad.