Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Timberlake to Play Neil Bogart: Find Out Who He Is

Paste Magazine has reported that Justin Timberlake will produce and star in Spinning Gold about Neil Bogart, the founder of Casablanca Records. As a producer and label owner, Bogart helped to define the sound of 1970s disco. Hear for yourself with The Casablanca Records Story (CD 14082-14085), with tracks from the Village People, Donna Summer and many more.

Although Casablanca was best known for their disco output, KISS was also on the label from their start in 1977 until 1982. The library has plenty of their recordings from their commercial heyday on Casablanca.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Thinking of a Master Plan: Explore This Year's Rock Hall Nominees

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has announced this year's nominees for induction. The final announcement of who makes the cut will probably be in December. Here's a starting point for each of the nominees to get to know their work.

Eric B. & Rakim - Paid in Full (CD 23208)
Joan Jett - Joan Jett & the Blackhearts: [piano, vocal, guitar] (Limited Access Scores MP1630.J488 J6)
Heart - Dreamboat Annie (CD 2765)
Rufus with Chaka Khan - Rags to Rufus (CD 4734)
Guns 'N' Roses - Appetite for Destruction (CD 210)
Red Hot Chili Peppers - Blood Sugar Sex Magik (CD 9646)
Beastie Boys - Beastie Boys Video Anthology (DVD 444-445)
The Spinners - The Best of the Spinners (CD 988)
The Small Faces/The Faces - Ogden's Nut Gone Flake (CD 12539)
Freddie King - Freddie King (1934-1976) (CD 2749)
Donna Summer - VH1 Presents Donna Summer: Live & More Encore! (CD 15701)
Laura Nyro - Time and Love: The Art and Soul of Laura Nyro [piano, vocal, guitar] (MP1630.N97 T5)
War - Anthology: 1970-1994 (CD 1501-1502)
Donovan - Donovan's Greatest Hits (CD 15500)
The Cure - Disintegration (CD 21656)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Remembering R.E.M.

As has been widely reported, R.E.M. announced on September 21 that they were breaking up. Sure, lots of legitimate and facetious criticism could be leveled at them:

  • They sold out when Michael Stipe stopped mumbling and started enunciating.
  • They sold out when they accepted induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame before the Monkees were inducted.
  • They should have broken up when drummer Bill Berry retired from the band.
But to give them their due, they had many significant accomplishments. Among them:
  • They didn't move the mountain. The mountain moved to the them. When they emerged in the early 1980s, their sound was far removed from what was popular. It took years for them to score big hits, but their sound changed less over that time than did the tastes of listeners.
  • They are one of the last bands for which fans knew all the band members' names, which speaks to how much each of them contributed to the whole effort.
  • They were gracious to the very end. Take a look at the statements from each of the band members.
  • For a generation of their fans (this writer included), R.E.M. defined a period in musical history and period in their lives. They epitomized a world of musical possibility beyond all that was sleek and shiny as something that could be personal and quirky, yet embraced by many for that very reason.
Explore their legacy in our collection with works by and about the band.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Clinics by a Genius

Jazz percussionist and composer Dafnis Prieto has been named a 2011 MacArthur Fellow. These fellowships have been nicknamed the genius awards. Berklee students have already experienced his talents firsthand, and you can relive the experience with DVDs of his two Berklee clinics, from Oct. 14 (DVD 4402) 15, 2009 (DVD 4397).

For more about Prieto:

Dafnis Prieto - MacArthur Foundation
Dafnis Prieto holdings at our library

Monday, September 19, 2011

Your Quiet Refuge on Campus

Most of Berklee is focused on the creation of sound, but the Reading Room at the library is one of the few places on campus notable for the absence of sound. Besides being a place where you can find books, scores and recordings, the library is also a place where you can find a quiet refuge to study. We even have earplugs if the street noise from outside it too distracting. If you haven't visited yet, come by for our comfortable armchairs and spacious tables.

With this in mind, here's a video from a band called Library Voices. But please use your headphones if you're watching it in the Reading Room.

Traveller's Digest - Library Voices from Nevado Records on Vimeo.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Bill Monroe Centennial

September 13 is the 100th anniversary Bill Monroe's birth. There are many ways you can celebrate and learn more about the Father of Bluegrass.

Bill Monroe 100th Birthday Celebration

From NPR: Bill Monroe: Celebrating The Father Of Bluegrass At 100

A few highlights from our own collection of materials by or about Monroe:

Bill Monroe: Father of Bluegrass Music (DVD 1190)

Blue Moon of Kentucky: Bill Monroe, 1936-1949 (CD 28899-28904)
This 6-disc box set includes all 60 of the legendary Monroe Brothers duets from 1946-38; all 16 of the 1940-41 performances that marked the very first appearance of Bill Monroe's recordings under his own name; and all of the classic Columbia sessions from 1945-49, including ... sides with Lester Flatt, Earl Scruggs and Chubby Wise as well as every alternate take from the Columbia sessions, a total of 50 previously unheard and unreleased out-takes" The book comprises a biographical essay by Charles K. Wolfe, notes on the songs, and a discography by Neil V. Rosenberg.

Can't You Hear Me Callin': The Life of Bill Monroe, Father of Bluegrass by Richard D. Smith (ML420.M65 S6 2000)

Monroe Instrumentals: 25 Bill Monroe Favorites transcribed by Todd Collins (MP131.M66 I5 2002)

Monday, September 12, 2011

Feedback Wanted on Kindles and Nooks

The library is considering making Kindles and Nooks available for check-out. We'd like to get some feedback from our users, regardless of whether you are a student, alum or faculty or staff member. Is this something you would use? If so, how? If we had them preloaded with books, what ones would you want or expect?

Let us know what you think. You can post feedback here or send email to

Friday, September 9, 2011

More 9/11 Music-Related Events and Web Sites

In addition to our current display of music related to the 9/11 attacks, here are links on the subject, including 9/11 memorial concerts on Sunday at Berklee, Tufts and the Hatch Shell on the Esplanade.

Stan Getz Library Berklee College of Music's 9/11 Display

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Happy Birthday, Buddy Holly, Chrissie Hynde and Gloria Gaynor

September 7 is a big day in pop music birthdays. Buddy Holly was born in 1936, disco diva Gloria Gaynor in 1949 and Chrissie Hynde, leader of the Pretenders, in 1951. Of course the library has plenty of recordings and scores of their works, but here are some highlights that you may not know about.

Rave on Buddy Holly (CD 33016) is a Buddy Holly tribute album featuring artists such as Patti Smith, Kid Rock and Modest Mouse covering his songs. It came out earlier this year and reached No. 15 on the Billboard 200 album charts. With a few exceptions, the library gets every album in the Billboard Top 50 within a week of its hitting the charts.

Gaynor's classic disco empowerment anthem "I Will Survive" is included in Audition Songs. Number One Hits: [20 Essential Audition Songs for Women] (MP1631.A93 N8 2005). What makes this score unusual is that it includes CDs with instrumental backing tracks, perfect for practicing or bringing to an audition. Or your next karaoke party.

In addition to her work with the Pretenders, Hynde also appears on Frank Sinatra's Duets II album (CD 6441). Especially if you are new to Berklee, you may not realize just how thorough our library catalog is. For most recordings and scores, our catalog indexes not only the main performer but other contributors who helped to create the work such band members, producers, composers and guest vocalists.

So celebrate these birthdays by making use of our library's uncommon resources.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Welcome, Freshmen. What Are Your Parents Listening To?

Welcome incoming freshman and returning students. As you get settled in, give some thought to what your parents will be listening to after they drop you off. Bob Boilen of NPR's All Songs Considered wrote about his own empty nester playlist and solicited stories from parents about their own experiences. Let us know what you'll be cranking up or what you think your parents will be listening to, perhaps "I'm Free" by the Who (from Tommy, CD 27561) or "Enjoy the Silence" by Depeche Mode (from Violator, CD 13801)

Music For Empty Nesters And College Freshmen