Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Happy Birthday, Keith Richards

Keith Richards turns 69 on December 18 (although he doesn't look a day over 100). While we're closing down library circulation for the end of the semester, library users still have full access to our periodicals and databases, both online and in person. Need your Richards fix? We have the full run of Rolling Stone as printable PDFs on the research computer at the reference desk. His most recent cover was October 28, 2010.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Ask to Keep Books and Scores Over Break

All library materials must be returned by Monday, Dec. 17. However, the staff can arrange for you to check books and scores out over break. Why not make use of our holiday score collection to add music to your Christmas gathering? Browse the stacks at MP1629.3 for holiday music. If you need a suggestion, the latest edition to our holiday collection is The Hilarious Holiday Songbook (MP1629.3.C5 H55 2011). It includes classics such as "Heat Miser" from The Year Without a Santa Claus and the Waitresses' New Wave hit "Christmas Wrapping" as well as the lesser-known "The Fruitcake That ate New Jersey." However, if you're looking for "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas," you'll need Wonderful Christmastime (MP1629.3.C5 W66).

We also have plenty of more reverent options.

Ask at the circulation desk to make arrangements to keep these or other books or scores over break.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

RIP Ravi Shankar

George Harrison called Ravi Shankar "the godfather of world music." The sitar virtuoso who introduced Indian classical music to a Western audience died on Tuesday, December 11. The New York Times has an obituary:

Ravi Shankar, Sitarist Who Introduced Indian Music to the West, Dies at 92

Shankar was scheduled to speak at the 2011 Berklee Teachers on Teaching, but health problems prevented his attendance.

Among the highlights of our materials by and about Shankar:

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Let's Take Five to Remember Dave Brubeck

Dave Brubeck died Wednesday, December 5, a day shy of his 92nd birthday. Chicago Tribune arts critic Howard Reich remarks about the jazz pianist, "Throughout his career, Brubeck defied conventions long imposed on jazz musicians. The tricky meters he played in 'Take Five' and other works transcended standard conceptions of swing rhythm." Read the full obituary:

Jazz pianist Dave Brubeck dead at age 91

Among the highlights of our materials by and about Brubeck:

Friday, November 30, 2012

RIP Guitarist Mickey Baker

Influential guitarist Mickey Baker died November 27. From an obituary in the Hollywood Reporter:
A prolific and hardworking session man as rock evolved from R&B during the 1950s, Baker played with such legendary acts as Ray Charles, Louis Jordan and Ruth Brown. His guitar work helped drive such R&B chart-toppers as Brown’s “(Mama) He Treats Your Daughter Mean” and Big Joe Turner’s “Shake Rattle and Roll.” The Who’s Pete Townshend studied his methods, and Rolling Stone’s David Fricke ranked Baker No. 53 on his list of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time.
We have his revered jazz guitar method books:
You'll find "Love Is Strange" and his other hits with Mickey & Sylvia on Love Is Strange (CD 7648-7649). We also have many other recordings on which he appeared.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Streaming Audio Interviews with Rock's Biggest Names

Retired music executive Joe Smith, who started his career in radio in Boston, interviewed more than 200 people, including many of the biggest names in music. He donated his collection to the Library of Congress, and a sampling of those interviews, including ones with Paul McCartney, Mick Jagger and David Bowie, are available streaming from the Library of Congress, starting November 28.

From the Library of Congress press release from June 18, 2012:

Joe Smith Donates Recorded Interviews with Music’s Who’s Who to the Library of Congress

More than 25 years ago, retired music executive Joe Smith accomplished a Herculean feat—he got more than 200 celebrated singers, musicians and industry icons to talk about their lives, music, experiences and contemporaries. The Library of Congress announced today that Smith has donated this treasure trove of unedited sound recordings to the nation’s library.

The list of noted artists and executives is a veritable who’s who in the music industry. They include Artie Shaw, Woody Herman, Ella Fitzgerald, Ray Charles, Barbra Streisand, Little Richard, Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Elton John, Paul Simon, David Bowie, Billy Joel, Sting, Tony Bennett, Joan Baez, James Taylor, Dick Clark, Tina Turner, Tom Jones, B.B. King, Quincy Jones, David Geffen, Mickey Hart, Harry Belafonte and many others. All types of popular music are represented—from rock ‘n’ roll, jazz, rhythm & blues and pop to big-band, heavy metal, folk and country-western.

While president of Capitol Records/EMI, Smith recorded 238 hours of interviews over two years, excerpts of which he compiled and presented in his groundbreaking book, "Off the Record," published by Warner Books in 1988. These candid and unabridged interviews have been digitized by the Library and initially will be accessible in its Capitol Hill reading room. Some of the recordings also will be streamed on the Library’s website (www.loc.gov) later this year.

The Joe Smith Collection is an invaluable addition to the Library’s comprehensive collection of recorded sound," said Librarian of Congress James H. Billington. "These frank and poignant oral histories of many of the nation’s musical icons give us unique insights into them as artists, entertainers and human beings. The world knows these great musicians through their songs, but Joe Smith has provided us an intimate window into their lives through their own words.

"Smith’s career in music started in the 1950s at the dawn of the rock ‘n’ roll era. Following his graduation from Yale, Smith worked as a sportscaster and later as a disc jockey at WMEX and WBZ in Boston. He transitioned into record promotions when he moved to Los Angeles in 1960 and rose to legendary status in the industry as president of three major labels—Warner Bros., Elektra/Asylum and Capitol/EMI. Smith signed such notable artists as the Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix, Van Morrison, Frank Zappa, Jackson Browne, Linda Ronstadt and the Eagles.

His relationship with the industry’s creative community over four decades enabled him to compile a history of popular music by presenting the artists’ stories in their own voices. One critic wrote that "Joe Smith has done what no historian, musician, pop critic or rock writer has been able to do. He’s compiled a history of popular music, ranging from the big bands of the ‘20s to the chart-toppers of today … a paper jukebox that’s chock-full of pop."

A couple of decades following the success of his book, Smith (now 84) envisioned sharing his original unabridged interviews with scholars, researchers and the American public. "In recent years, it dawned on me that, if anything, the significance of recollections from Jerry Lee Lewis, Mick Jagger, Smokey Robinson, Ahmet Ertegun, Herb Alpert, Ruth Brown and all the other notables I was fortunate enough to interview, are truly part of the fabric of our cultural history," said Smith. "I wanted to share this treasure trove with any and all who might be interested. The Library of Congress is, clearly, the venue most appropriate and best equipped to do just that now and into the future. I hope that generations to come will benefit from hearing the voices of these brilliant artists and industry luminaries recounting their personal histories. I'm just thrilled that the Library of Congress has agreed to preserve and safeguard these audio artifacts."

As an insider, Smith connected with the artists on a personal level, leading to some interesting revelations.
  • Bo Diddley talking about his own death
  • Mickey Hart’s revealing story about his father
  • Steven Tyler’s problems with drug addiction
  • Peter Frampton’s short-lived popularity
  • Bob Dylan’s surprising assessment of the turbulent ‘60s
  • David Bowie’s description of Mick Jagger as conservative
  • Paul McCartney’s frank admission of professional superiority
  • Les Paul’s creation of an electric guitar in 1929
  • Motown’s restrictive work environment
  • Herb Jeffries’ and Dave Brubeck’s recollections of working in a racially segregated society
The recordings in the Joe Smith Collection will be housed in the Library’s Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation in Culpeper, Va., a state-of-the-art facility that was made possible through the generosity of David Woodley Packard and the Packard Humanities Institute, with benefaction from the U.S. Congress. The Library’s Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division’s collections include nearly 3 million sound recordings.

More details about the content of the recordings is in a press release dated November 28, 2012.

Monday, November 26, 2012

RIP Frank Barsalona, Agent Who Revolutionized the Concert Business

Pioneering agent Frank Barsalona, who created the modern concert business, died on November 22. Billboard.biz has an obituary:

Frank Barsalona Remembered by Irving Azoff, Danny Zelisko, Peter Luukko, More

As highlighted in the Billboard piece, Philadelphia concert promoter Larry Magid said, "Frank Barsalona is probably the single most important person in the touring business in the past 40 years. He single-handedly revolutionized the concert business." He not only recognized the importance of rock, he created the regional concert promoter model that allowed rock concerts to flourish.

Learn more about Barsalona's career in an article from Billboard written when he received the 2007 Billboard Touring Conference & Awards Legend of Live Award. It is available in the International Index to Music Periodicals, accessible under "Search Articles & More" in our E-Resources.
Waddell, Ray. "Touring: Touring Conference & Awards - Rock Show Revolutionary." Billboard - The International Newsweekly of Music, Video and Home Entertainment Nov 17 2007: 58, 60.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Check Your Spam Folder for Library Notices

After a break of several months due to a new catalog system, the library has resumed sending email notifications for hold and overdue materials. Please check your spam folder or quarantine notice for email from library@berklee.edu for email from us. We are receiving reports that our emails are getting caught there, and we are working to overcome this problem.

Also, if you have attended a library instruction session with LENG-111 or LENG-201 and completed an assignment, your will get email from us that may be trapped in a spam filter.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Looking Beyond Music Periodicals

Browse our periodical collection, and you'll find hundreds of music-related titles. But we also subscribe to general business periodicals. Why? Because the music industry is an industry that gets coverage from the business press. If you limit your research to just those magazines and journals that cover music, you'll miss out on valuable information. Case in point: an article on Businessweek's website about Nickelback. You can argue all you want about the band's artistic merits, and this article does acknowledge the hatred they incite, but from a business standpoint, they are very successful.

Genius: The Nickelback Story

Monday, November 5, 2012

Music to Vote By

November 6 is Election Day. While Berklee has quite a large contingent of international students, we urge all U.S. citizens to vote. Need a soundtrack for the occasion? Here are some suggestions:
  • Ry Cooder, Election Special (CD 34359)
  • Serj Tankian, Elect the Dead (CD 29588)
  • Election: Music from the Motion Picture (CD 15382)
  • George Gershwin, "The Senate" and "Election Returns" from Of Thee I Sing (MP1503.G469 O4 1932)
  • Lyle Lovett, "Election Day" from My Baby Don't Tolerate (CD 22915)
  • Jack Teagarden, "I Swung the Election" from Jack Teagarden and His Orchestra, 1934-1939 (CD 12801)
  • Alice Cooper, "Elected!" from Alice Cooper Complete (MP1630.C666 A5)
  • Pops Mohamed, "Election Day Serenade" from South African Jazz (CD 26172)
  • Arcadia, "Election Day" from The Ultimate Jukebox Hits of the 80s (CD 27770-27774 Disc 3)
  • Jimmy Eat World, "Electable (Give It Up)" from Chase This Light (CD 29562)
  • Killing Joke, Democracy (CD 11162)
  • Dan Newton, "Election Rag" from Café Accordion (MP175.A4 N49 1999)
Plus, anything by Lester "Pres" Young or Presidents of the United States of America.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

College Archivist Joins the Staff

The Library and Learning Resources are happy to announce that Sofia Becerra-Licha has accepted the newly established position of college archivist.  Supported by a two-year grant funded by the U.S. National Archive and Records Administration, Sofia will be collecting, organizing, processing and cataloging the thousands of items (photos, audio, video, scores, documents) currently stored in an offsite facility.

Sofia earned a Masters in Archival Management from UNC and a Masters in Ethnomusicology from Harvard.  She has worked in the Stone Center Library for Black Culture and History at UNC as well as the Smithsonian Latino Center in Washington DC.

We are very pleased to begin working with Sofia on this new college initiative.  Please join us in welcoming Sofia to the Berklee community.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween Music

You're on your own for last-minute costumes, but the library can outfit you with Halloween music. If you need a score:
  • The Halloween Songbook: 16 Spooky Tunes of the Season (MP1977.H3 H3 1996)
  • Moans, Groans & Skeletons: A "Recycled" Sing-Along for Halloween by Cheryl Lavender (MP1977.H3 L3 1991)
If you need some CD song suggestions, Sound Opinions devoted the October 26 broadcast to monsters. Check out the episode footnotes, then hit our catalog to search by song title. For example, we have "Dracula's Wedding" by Outkast on Speakerboxxx: The Love Below (CD 22368-22369).

Friday, October 26, 2012

Hammond's Folly

Bob Dylan signed a recording contract with Columbia Records on October 26, 1961. Legendary A&R man John Hammond discovered Dylan and brought him to the label over the objections of Columbia executives, who dubbed the signing "Hammond's Folly."

Of course we have shelves of books about Dylan, but why not learn more about the career of Hammond, who also played a major role in launching the careers of Billie Holiday, Count Basie, Aretha Franklin and Bruce Springsteen? Hammond was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986, and you'll find a brief biography and timeline on their website. We have several books in our collection about him:
  • John Hammond on Record: An Autobiography with Irving Townsend (ML429.H253 A3)
  • The Producer: John Hammond and the Soul of American Music by Dunstan Prial (ML429.H26 P75 2006)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The 40th Anniversary of James Brown's Live at the Apollo Show

On October 24, 1962, James Brown staged and recorded the concert that became the legendary album Live at the Apollo, also known as The Apollo Theater Presents, in Person, the James Brown Show (CD 3605). The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame notes that Brown did so over the objections of Syd Nathan, who felt that no one would be interested in a live album of previously released material. Brown was clearly vindicated.

To learn more about it, we have book devoted to the album, Live at the Apollo by Douglas Wolk (ML420.B818 W65 2004).

Brown returned New York's Apollo Theater for two more albums, James Brown and the Famous Flames Live at the Apollo. Volume II (CD 26788-26789), recorded June 24-25, 1967, and The Great James Brown: Live at the Apollo 1995 (CD 5106). In addition, Disc 3 of I Got the Feelin': James Brown in the '60s (DVD 3478-3480) features a 1968 performance by Brown at the Apollo.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Honoring Larry Monroe

Whether you can make it to Larry Monroe's Recuerdo on Thursday night or not, there are plenty of ways to explore and honor his 50 years at Berklee. Among the highlights of the library's collection of Monroe materials are the Berklee Oral History Project interviews with him in 2007 (DVD 2827) and 2008 (DVD 3153).

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Fun and Functional Tour Riders

We have previously mentioned how Van Halen ensured that their tour rider was read and followed. Iggy & the Stooges have a different approach. The band's stage manager Jos Grain has written one that is so funny that it invites careful reading. For example, in describing the monitor mix for guitar, it says, "clear and bright, like the Sound of jackboots on wet cobblestones, on a beautiful spring morning in 1932, just before it all went sour..." The Smoking Gun provides the complete document.

Iggy Pop And The Stooges And The Seven Dwarfs

Should you need to prepare your own technical rider, you could use this as a model, but it might be better to start with something more basic. And rather than starting from scratch, make use of our Music Business Contracts collection. It is available on the computer by the reference desk. Among the contracts is Booking: Artist Technical Rider. You can print or copy the contracts then add your own creative flourishes if you desire.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Pete Townshend: Hot Off the Presses

Couldn't get tickets to Pete Townshend's sold-out appearance at the Berklee Performance Center on Friday? The library can help mitigate your woe. We have his brand spankin' new memoir Who Am I (ML418.T695 A3 2012).

Regardless of whether you're going to see him speak, the library can help you brush up on your Who history. We have plenty of CDs, DVDs, and scores by the Who as well as Townshend's solo work. We also have plenty of books about the Who. Here is a sampling that will expose you to different parts of our collection.
  • In our reference collection: The Who on Record: A Critical History, 1963-1998 by John Atkins (ML421.W46 A8 2000)
  • In our oversize collection: Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere: The Complete Chronicle of the Who, 1958-1978 by Andy Neill & Matt Kent (ML421.W46 N45 2002)
  • From elsewhere in our biography collection: Moon: The Life and Death of a Rock Legend by Tony Fletcher (ML419.M66 F5 1999)

Thursday, October 4, 2012

A Sampling of This Year's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Nominees

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has announced the 2013 nominees for induction. Here is a starting point from our collection for each artist.
  • The Paul Butterfield Blues Band: The Paul Butterfield Blues Band (CD 16094)
  • Chic: The best of Chic: Dance, Dance, Dance (CD 8131)
  • Deep Purple: Machine Head (CD 15706)
  • Heart: Dreamboat Annie (CD 2765)
  • Joan Jett and the Blackhearts: I Love Rock 'n' Roll (Annex CD (Box 72))
  • Albert King: The Ultimate Collection (CD 7997-7998)
  • Kraftwerk: Trans-Europe Express (CD 16442)
  • The Marvelettes: Deliver: The Singles, 1961-1971 (CD 5169-5170)
  • The Meters: The Meters Anthology: Funkify Your Life (CD 7479-7480)
  • Randy Newman: 12 Songs (CD 14947)
  • N.W.A.: Straight Outta Compton (CD 23252)
  • Procol Harum: The Best of Procol Harum (CD 13177)
  • Public Enemy: It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back (CD 194)
  • Rush: Moving Pictures (CD 1705)
  • Donna Summer: Bad Girls (CD 33650)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Rolling Stone Featuring Berklee's Amy Heidemann

Berklee alumna Amy Heidmann of Karmin won the poll to be the featured cover for Rolling Stone's Women Who Rock 2012 issue. Come in to the library to see the October 11 issue with her on the flip cover (Adele is on the front cover.) It has articles on both Karmin and Psy, another former Berklee student.

We always have the most recent two months of issues of Rolling Stone in the library, but there are lots of ways of accessing it in addition to print, which you can find by checking the title in our Local Periodicals Holdings list. For Rolling Stone, we have several databases that index it and additional ones with full text. But we also have in-library access to the complete run back to 1967 on the computer by the reference desk.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The FBI Report on "Louie Louie"

For Banned Books Week, we have a display of banned music and books about music censorship. Among the songs we highlight is "Louie, Louie" by the Kingsmen, which Indiana governor Gov. Matthew Welsh deemed pornographic; he asked the state broadcasters association to ban the song.

Especially for primary source material enthusiasts, here is the FBI report on the investigation of the song's reported obscene lyrics, including the laboratory report that they "were unable to determine any of the wording in the record."

Thank you to Amanda Raab at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Library and Archives for bringing this to our attention.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Dealing with Construction

Although we try to maintain a quiet study space in the Reading Room, what happens outside is beyond our control. Most notably, Berklee's new 16-story building is going up right across the street. We do have a great view of the sometimes fascinating construction activities, so feel free to grab a seat near a window to take it all in. On the other hand, we always have a bowl of earplugs to help you ignore the inevitable noise, which usually wraps up in the late afternoon.

In that spirit, here's a thematic playlist. What your favorite song or album about construction?
  • Missy Elliott, Under Construction [CD 21142]
  • Talking Heads, More Songs About Buildings and Food [CD 18233]
  • Papas Fritas, Buildings and Grounds [CD 23634]
  • Depeche Mode, Construction Time Again [CD 21757]

Monday, September 24, 2012

Guitar Pick Dress

Want to see a dress made of guitar picks? It is on display at Copley Place until September 27, part of Wearable Art 2012, a collection showcasing original ensembles from the fashion design students at the Massachusetts College of Art Design. There will also be a runway show on October 3 at 6:00 p.m.

We have custom-made Stan Getz Library guitar picks available free in the Reading Room at the reference desk. Come by and help yourself to one. Or a few. Just not enough to make a whole dress.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Use Oxford/Grove Music Online to Identify Operas

It's a typical library reference question, trying to identify something without knowing the title. If it's an opera you're after, we have new tools to help. Grove Music Online has introduced the Grove Opera Indexes as part of Oxford Music Online. There are three indexes:

Index of Opera Incipits
The index of opera incipits is a selective list of the first lines of arias, ensembles, and other pieces from the repertory, each one hyperlinked to the articles on the opera and composer from which it came.

Index of Operas under Composers
The index of operas under composers lists all operas covered in The Grove Book of Operas under the composers who wrote them, alphabetized by composer.

Index of Opera Roles
The index of opera roles allows users to browse major opera roles from A to Z with ease, and includes hyperlinks to the operas, composers, and singers who created the roles.

Berklee users on campus can go straight to these pages. If you are off campus, you'll need to go through the library website to be authenticated as a Berklee user. Along the way, you will be prompted to log in as a Berklee user:

Start from our e-Resources page: http://library.berklee.edu/resources
Click on "Search Articles & More."
Click on "Search by database."
Click on "Oxford / Grove Music Online."
Click on "Tools & Resources."
The links to the three indexes are listed under "Grove Opera Indexes."

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Talk, Sing and Play Like a Pirate

September 19 is Talk Like a Pirate Day. You could just toss "Arrrr, me mateys!" and "Walk the plank!" into your conversation, but why not make it a musical celebration? Need some suggestions?

The obvious starting point is Gilbert & Sullivan's Pirates of Penzance. We have:
We have scores to pirate-themed movies that were not musicals, such as:
We have songs about pirates. You can search "pirate" as part of song title, but here is just a sampling:
  • "Pirate Jenny" by Nina Simone, on To Be Free: The Nina Simone Story (CD 32795-32797)
  • Pirates by Rickie Lee Jones (CD 2935)
  • Songs of the Sea, Rivers, Lakes & Canals compiled by Jerry Silverman (MP1977 .S2 S69 1992) which includes songs such as "What Shall We Do with the Drunken Sailor"
Finally, if your version of talking like a pirate is not "Yo, ho, ho and bottle of rum," but "Let's violate copyright law by illegally downloading music files," we have Music Piracy and Crime Theory by Sameer Hinduja (electronic book).

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

"Love Will Tear Us Apart" and Other Video Bass Instruction

Journalist Hobey Echlin just posted a video from 2001 to YouTube in which Peter Hook, Joy Division's bass player, teaches him how to play the bass line from the band's iconic "Love Will Tear Us Apart."

Want to learn more? Sure, you could poke around on YouTube hoping to stumble upon something useful among the videos with poor production values or iffy instruction. Or you could take advantage of the library's collection of commercially-produced instructional DVDs. Our learning DVDs are available at the circulation desk in the main library, and their call numbers start with LVD. Students can check them out for 2 weeks.

To find them in our catalog, do an advanced search, select Video under Item Type and Main Library under Select Library, then add any search terms you like. In this case, search bass as a subject to see what we have.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Lifelong Benefits of Music Training

Many students at Berklee have reason to thank their parents for providing the musical training that got them into this college, but the benefits spread far beyond the job prospects that a Berklee education provides. Perri Klass reports in the New York Times about the lifelong improvement on auditory skills that childhood music training provides:

Brain Waves Stay Tunes to Early Lessons

If you want to learn more about the role of musical training in auditory development and perception, come to our upcoming event Music Perception and Cognition at which Berklee MP&E faculty member Susan Rogers will present her Grammy-funded research on the subject. The event is at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, September 26 in the Media Center, 150 Massachusetts Ave, Boston, MA 02215. It is free and open to the public.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

John Cage Centennial

John Cage was born September 5, 1902. Media outlets such as the Los Angeles Times and NPR have articles on his work and influence.

We have a wide range of materials related to Cage. We have things about Cage, for example:
  • A John Cage Reader: In Celebration of His 70th Birthday compiled and edited by Peter Gena and Jonathan Brent (ML410.C24 J64 1982)
We have recordings of work, both on CD and streaming, such as:
We have scores, such as:
  • First Construction (In Metal): Percussion Sextet with Assistant (M685.C24 C61)
We also have his writings, for example:
In addition, if you need a quiet place to study, we are staging a marathon performance of Cage's 4:33 in the Reading Room. We do our best to maintain a space where you can concentrate, and we always have a bowl of earplugs available if the street or construction noise outside are intrusive.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Welcome to Berklee, and RIP Hal David

Lyricist Hal David, best known for his string of hits with Burt Bacharach, has died at 91. NPR has an obituary, but you can explore his legacy in our collection of his works.

Especially if you are new to Berklee, you may not realize the level of detail in our library catalog. We index not only the main performers for materials but also other contributors such as composers, lyricists and producers. Check out our calendar for all of our upcoming events that will help gain the most from the library's resources.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Gawk at Gorgeous Guitars

Welcome to the Summer Guitar Session. The library has plenty of useful resources for guitarists, including guitar transcriptions (MP 126) and method books (MT 580). But we also have a large collection of beautifully illustrated books that show off the instrument (ML 1015.G9). For example:

Feel free to grab one of these coffee table tomes from the shelf, curl up in an easy chair in Reading Room, and appreciate the artistry of the guitar. 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

In Remembrance of Elvis

August 16 marks the 35th anniversary of Elvis Presley's death. Rock critic Lester Bangs concluded his essay "Where Were You When Elvis Died?" with:
If love truly is going out of fashion forever, which I do not believe, then along with our nurtured indifference to each other will be an even more contemptuous indifference to each others' objects of reverence. I thought it was Iggy Stooge, you thought it was Joni Mitchell or whoever else seemed to speak for your own private, entirely circumscribed situation's many pains and few ecstasies. We will continue to fragment in this manner, because solipsism holds all the cards at present; it is a king whose domain engulfs even Elvis's. But I can guarantee you one thing: we will never again agree on anything as we agreed on Elvis. So I won't bother saying good-bye to his corpse. I will say good-bye to you.
The essay appeared in The Village Voice on August 29, 1977 and is reprinted as the introduction to Elvis Presley: The Rebel Years (ML420.P74 E29 1994). It is part of out large collection of Presley biographies. Of course we have plenty of material by and about the King.

Special thanks to Jim Testa of Jersey Beat for the Bangs quote.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

RIP Marvin Hamlisch

Award-winning composer and conductor Marvin Hamlisch died on August 6 at the age of 68. He is only of only two people, with Richard Rodgers, to win an Oscar, Emmy, Tony and Grammy award and the Pulitzer Prize. Billboard has an obituary and remembrance.

Among the highlights of the works by Marvin Hamlisch in our collection:
  • A Chorus Line [MP1503.H2497 C4], for which Hamlisch won the Tony and Pulitzer
  • The Way We Were [CD 5571], which earned Hamlisch an Oscar and a Grammy
  • Barbra: The Concert [CD 9886-9887] The TV special from this tour earned Hamlisch an Emmy.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Olympic Fanfare

Feeling musically inspired by the Olympics and can't get enough of the music? We have lead sheets and streaming audio of "Bugler's Dream" by Leo Arnaud, the formal name of the Olympic fanfare. Despite its ubiquity on NBC's coverage of the event, it is not an international theme song. ABC started using it in the late 1960s, and it is so firmly associated with the Olympics in American minds that NBC continued the tradition.

The lead sheet is in The Best Fake Book Ever [MP1630.28 .B478], available for C, Bb, and Eb instruments.

The streaming audio track is on an album of Arnaud's works.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Welcome to Our New Catalog

The library has just switched to a new catalog. All the content is still there, but the interface is new. Even though it does offer improvements such as auto-suggest, we realize that its merely being different can make it difficult. We are more than happy to help you.
  • Come in and stop at the desk.
  • Phone us at 617-747-8002.
  • Email us or use Google Talk to chat with us at askalibrarian@berklee.edu.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Ask a Librarian: Now via Google talk

Chat reference is now available through Google talk. Because all Berklee students, faculty and staff have accounts through Google, a big advantage over our previous Meebo service is that we will already have your email address if you are no longer online when we answer your question.

The Google talk section is located at the bottom left of your Berklee Gmail web browser window. If you don't see it, look in your email settings under Chat and make sure it is turned on.

As always, you can click on the Ask a Librarian link on the library home page, and you can also email us with your reference questions.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Billy Bragg on Woody Guthrie

July 14 marks the 100th anniversary of Woody Guthrie's birthday.

As part of the festivities, Billy Bragg is touring in support of Mermaid Avenue: The Complete Sessions, his recordings with Wilco of Woody Guthrie's unrecorded lyrics, and played the Somerville Theater recently.

Bragg's concerts have always included just as much talking as singing, and he devoted his first set to Woody Guthrie material and discussion about it. Nora Guthrie, Woody's daughter, approached Bragg, a socialist punk-influenced folky, and Wilco with the project out of concern that her father's legacy had been reduced to a 2-dimensional character. Guthrie was known only for writing "This Land Is Your Land" and for influencing Bob Dylan, and Bragg embraced the opportunity to showcase the many aspects of his work. Besides displaying the range of Guthrie's lyrics, he also emphasized the range of Guthrie's life experiences. Although the Dust Bowl-era Oklahoma native is thought to have embodied Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath (PS3537.T3234 G7 1993), he lived in Coney Island after WWII, where Bragg explained that his life resembled On the Town, the 1949 Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatra musical about sailors on leave in New York. In describing a song with the tempo marking "supersonic boogie," Bragg recalled a story from Guthrie's son Joady, that Woody was always fascinated by gadgets and that he asked Joady to bring him an electric guitar when he was hospitalized with Huntington's Disease; Bragg joked that had Guthrie been in better health and lived longer, he could have pissed off Pete Seeger at Newport.

Bragg also commented that Guthrie had become the captive of academics, and that Bragg was thrilled to rescue him. While our Woody Guthrie Centennial does include scholarly analysis of his life, work, and cultural impact, it also includes scores of his songs. So check out some Guthrie scores and breath new life into this American icon.

Friday, July 6, 2012

NPR Salutes Woody Guthrie

Stan Getz Library aren't the only ones honoring the Woody Guthrie centennial.

NPR's Talk of the Nation devoted a segment to him, noting:
While Guthrie left a lasting mark on music, culture and politics, he struggled with family poverty, tragedies and personal demons.

Jeff Place, head archivist of the Smithsonian Folklife Collection, and Bob Santelli, executive director of the Grammy Museum, joined NPR's Neal Conan on the National Mall to celebrate the Guthrie centennial. Smithsonian Folkways recording artist Elizabeth Mitchell joined them there to play some of Guthrie's most memorable songs.
Woody Guthrie's Indelible Mark On American Culture

In addition Terry Gross interviewed Neil Young for Fresh Air about his new album Americana (CD 34182), which includes Young's version of Guthrie's "This Land Is Your Land." Young discusses the forgotten, controversial verses to the song.

Neil Young's Fascination With 'Americana'

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Explore Classic Albums with the 33 1/3 Series

Ever wanted to find out more about your favorite albums? Take a look at Continuum's 33 1/3 book series. Each volume offers an in-depth exploration of a single album. The coverage ranges from the classic to the cult classic; Let It Be by both the Beatles (ML421.B4 M195 2004) and the Replacements (ML421.R47 M45 2004) get the treatment. Authors include music journalists, such as Seattle-based writer Gillian G. Gaar's tackling Nirvana's In Utero (ML421 .N58 G33 2006), and musicians such as Buffalo Tom's Bill Janovitz taking on the Rolling Stone's Exile on Main St. (ML421.R66 J36 2005).

The topics go far beyond what you'd find in liner notes to put the albums in context, not just a track-by-track analysis but also a look at the creative inspiration and an argument for the importance of less-obvious choices. John Dougan includes a history of Britain's pirate radio stations that influenced The Who Sell Out (ML421 .W46 D68 2006). In exploring the Pixies' Doolittle (ML421.P578 S57 2006), Ben Sisario interviewed central figures such as Charles Thompson (a.k.a. Black Francis) and Joey Santiago, who reveals that he learned to play guitar by checking out records from the library, as well as Berklee faculty member Burt Price, who offered recollections from his work as a second assistant engineer on the album.

The books are slim and compact, around 150 pages and not much bigger than a CD case. So in a quick read you can get the full story on an album you know by heart or wonder why it is so esteemed.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Stevie Wonder's Harmonica

We're saluting the harmonica in our current display Harmonica Power and even giving one away. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has an impressive one in their collection, Stevie Wonder's, and it is also part of their online display Spotlight Artifacts.

If you need ideas for the harmonica contest, consider some songs that have featured Wonder's playing:
  • "Fingertips, Part 2" on Hitsville USA: The Motown Singles Collection 1959-1971 (Motown, 1992) (CD 1354-1357 Disc 1)
  • "Isn't She Lovely" on Songs In the Key of Life (Universal/Motown, 2000, 1976) (CD 5204-5205 Disc 2)
  • "Boogie On Reggae Woman" on Fulfillingness' First Finale (Motown, 1974) (CD 2395)
  • "I Guess That's Why They Call It the Blues" on Too Low for Zero by Elton John (MCA, 1983) (CD 5907)

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

A to Z of Pirate Radio: 40 Watts from Nowhere (book review)

As 40 Watts From Nowhere begins, the author Sue Carpenter recalls how she got tired of having to listen to the same popular songs played on her local commercial radio station over and over again. This prompts her to start her own radio station in 1995, thinking, how hard can it be? With this somewhat naive and adventurous attitude she sets up the first pirate radio station to feature music in the San Francisco area, KPBJ. When she subsequently moves to Los Angeles, she sets up another pirate radio station, KPLT, again from her small apartment. One of the many challenges Carpenter faces in setting up a radio station is the manufacture of a transmitter that can reach a significant population of her neighborhood. In addition, she has to find DJs to run it. The number one threat to the station she learns is that by not paying the required radio license fee to the FCC, she risks being fined $20,000 and/or spending a year in prison. Despite these risks Carpenter continues to promote her station, and before long the station has over 100 DJs and is influential in the punk and alternative music scene in L.A.

40 Watts from Nowhere is a fascinating, quick read. The author sees the humor in her often stressful and chaotic life at the station. It is interesting to read how Carpenter and her DJ friends experience fame and popularity one hand, while understanding the importance of remaining underground about their station’s actual existence.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

RIP Doc Watson

"There may not be a serious, committed baby boomer alive who didn't at some point in his or her youth try to spend a few minutes at least trying to learn to pick a guitar like Doc Watson," President Bill Clinton said in 1997 when presenting Watson with the National Medal of the Arts.

Guitarist Doc Watson died at the age of 89 on May 29. His style had a profound impact on folk and bluegrass. Chris Talbott of the Associated Press wrote an obituary:

Guitar picking master Doc Watson dies in NC at 89

Our collection allows you to not only see and hear Watson in action but learn how to play like him. Among the highlights of works by Watson:
  • Doc & Merle Watson: In Concert (DVD 1143)
  • The Doc Watson Family (CD 11390)
  • Doc's Guitar: The Fingerpicking and Flatpicking of Doc Watson (LVD 169)
  • The Songs of Doc Watson (MP126.W4 S6)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Listen to the Latest Additions to the National Recording Registry

The Library of Congress has announced this year's selections for the National Recording Registry. Established ten years ago, the registry contains recordings that are "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" and are at least 10 years old.

Not all of the 25 sound recordings are of music, but many of the musical selections are already in our collection:
  • "I Want to Be a Cowboy's Sweetheart," Patsy Montana (1935) [On The Best of Patsy Montana (CD 21574)]
  • "Artistry in Rhythm," Stan Kenton & and his Orchestra (1943) [On The Complete Capitol Studio Recordings of Stan Kenton 1943-47 (CD 15435-15441)]
  • "Let’s Go Out to the Programs," The Dixie Hummingbirds (1953) [On The Best of the Dixie Hummingbirds (CD 2786)]
  • "Also Sprach Zarathustra," Fritz Reiner and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (1954, 1958) [On Richard Strauss in High Fidelity (CD 3063)]
  • "Bo Diddley" and "I’m a Man," Bo Diddley (1955) [On Bo Diddley; Go Bo Diddley (CD 11579)]
  • "Green Onions," Booker T. & the M.G.’s (1962) (CD 6585)
  • "Forever Changes," Love (1967) (CD 16472)
  • "A Charlie Brown Christmas," Vince Guaraldi Trio (1970) (CD 27615)
  • "Coat of Many Colors," Dolly Parton (1971) (CD 23426)
  • "Mothership Connection," Parliament (1975) (CD 1863)
  • "I Feel Love," Donna Summer (1977) [On The Casablanca Records Story (CD 14082-14085)]
  • "Rapper's Delight," Sugarhill Gang (1979) [On The Sugar Hill Records Story (CD 10273-10277)]
  • "Purple Rain," Prince and the Revolution (1984) (CD 40)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Iranian Leader Likes R.E.M.? You Can, Too

The Onion has reported "Ahmadinejad Kind Of Getting Back Into Old R.E.M. Again." If you, like the Iranian president, want to get back into old R.E.M., you can explore their IRS-era CDs:
Remember that students can check out and take home three CDs for three days unless the CDs are on reserve.

For those not already familiar with it, the Onion is a satirical newspaper. Really, it's French President Nicolas Sarkozy, not Ahmadinejad, who is getting back into old R.E.M.; he has the time after losing his bid for reelection.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Happy Travels While We're Closed

The library will be closing at 8:45 p.m. on Friday, May 11 and reopens at 12:00 noon on Monday, May 21 for Registration Week. See our hours for details.

If you are on the road during the semester break and miss the library, consider staying at one of the hotels with libraries highlighted by Departures:

Wonderful Hotel Libraries

Gladstone’s Library at St. Deiniol’s, Hawarden, Wales

Friday, May 4, 2012

RIP Adam "MCA" Yauch

Adam Yauch, a.k.a. MCA of the Beastie Boys has died a 47 following a battle with cancer, which was diagnosed in 2009. He missed the ceremony last month for the band's induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The Beastie Boys burst onto the scene in 1986 with their sophomoric debut Licensed to Ill (CD 11103) and went on to revolutionize hip-hop with their 1989 follow-up Paul's Boutique (CD 12108). Although the band stopped touring in 2009 and Yauch's illness prevented their making videos for last year's Hot Sauce Committee. Part Two (CD 32800), they were equally renowned for their videos, such "Sabotage," their homage to 1970s cop shows, which is included on the Beastie Boys Video Anthology (DVD 444-445).

An advocate for the free Tibet movement, Yauch co-organized a series of Tibetan Freedom Concerts, including ones in New York and San Francisco in 1997 (CD 14859-14861). 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Get to Know Krautrock

The hour-long BBC4 documentary about Krautrock examines not only the new music emerging from Germany from 1968 to 1977 but also the political, cultural and social forces behind the musical movement.

Krautrock - The Rebirth of Germany (BBC Documentary) - Full Version

Want to hear more? Here's a sampling of some of the prominent artists from the scene.

Friday, April 27, 2012

An Appreciation for the Art of Transcription

NPR's A Blog Supreme has a commentary about an interview with saxophonist Woody Mankowski, whose day job is transcribing recordings for music publishing company Hal Leonard. Patrick Jarenwattananon explains to readers a skill that commonplace among musicians but unfathomable to most others.

Translating Ether To Paper

We have many of Mankowski's transcriptions in our collection. It is the diligent but unheralded work of many Hal Leonard-employeed transcribers who make up a significant chunk of our jazz and pop score collection.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Think Outside the Stage

The Washington Post recently covered a different way of performing: underground concerts. Over the past few years, websites and production companies like Blogothèque.net and Mason Jar Music have been filming artists playing in unusual locations (like a deserted parking garage or an abandoned building) and sharing these unique performances online. As Melissa Bell discusses in her article, these videos really show how the environment in which the musicians play can enhance the performance.

Want to try your hand at doing an underground concert? Check out Nyree Belleville's The Complete Guide to House Concerts and Other Satisfying Alternative Venues (ML3795 .B425 2003) in our library collection for tips on how to set up your own alternative performance.

Friday, April 20, 2012

RIP Levon Helm

Ralph Rosen, Media Center Manager and a drummer himself, is our guest blogger for this post.

On April 19 we lost one of the great talents of American Music. Levon Helm passed away due to the throat cancer that he’d been battling since the late 1990s. He was one of the finest singers and drummers of his generation. He was known for his membership in he Band, a group that created a fusion of American roots music in a way that revolutionized how we hear these various influences.

A native of Arkansas, music was a common activity in his family with both parents singing and encouraging Levon and his sister to do the same. He started to play guitar at eight years old. Growing up in the ‘40s and ‘50s, he witnessed at first hand the important pre-rock performers such as bluesman Sonny Boy Williamson and bluegrass pioneer Bill Monroe. He was on hand at early performances by such rockers as Elvis Presley and Bo Diddley. He built a washtub bass for his sister Linda and they performed locally as a duo. By this time he was also playing drums and joined Ronnie Hawkins’s band upon graduating high school.

Hawkins took the band to Canada because he felt the work opportunities were greater than in the states. Eventually the band consisted of Levon, Ronnie Hawkins and three Canadian players. They worked consistently until 1963 when they decided to perform without Hawkins calling themselves Levon and the Hawks. Bob Dylan chose them to work with him when he first started to perform with a full band. Eventually the Hawks called themselves the Band and released 7 studio albums from 1968 until their breakup in 1976.

Levon Helm continued with his own projects including the reunited Band in the 1980s. After the death of beloved Band member Richard Manuel, the group continued with three more studio albums. Helm instituted a series of concerts called the Midnight Ramble at a barn attached to his home in Woodstock, NY.

Speaking personally, I was lucky enough to perform (on his drum kit!) at one of the Rambles. I was invited to attend them several times afterwards, each time meeting and talking with Levon. I found him to be a humble, warm and very funny guy. As a drummer myself, it was always great to watch his unique style up close. He will always be one of my favorite musicians. There’ll never be another like him!

Highlights of Helm's work in our collection:
as a sideman:
  • The Hallmark Sessions (Lenny Breau) (CD 29272)
  • The Roulette Years (Ronnie Hawkins) (CD 4122-4123)
  • Diamond Jubilation (the Dixie Hummingbirds) (CD 22874)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

RIP Dick Clark

America's oldest teenager has died well past his teen years. Explore our collection to learn how Dick Clark and American Bandstand shaped the world of rock and roll.

American Bandstand: Dick Clark and the Making of a Rock 'n' Roll Empire by John A. Jackson (ML3477.J33 1997)

The History of American Bandstand: It's Got a Great Beat and You Can Dance to It by Michael Shore with Dick Clark (ML3477 .S46 1985)

Rock & Roll at 50 with an introduction by Dick Clark (ML385 .L5 2002)

Rock, Roll & Remember by Dick Clark and Richard Robinson (ML429.C53 R6)

The Songmakers Collection (DVD 731-732)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Noted Music Writers: In Town and In Our Collection

Two well-regarded music critics will be speaking in Boston this week. Even if you can't get to their talks, you check out their books here.

Alex Ross is the music critic for The New Yorker, and his book The Rest Is Noise: Listening to the 20th Century was a Pultizer Prize finalist. He is speaking at Trinity Church on Tuesday, April 17 about sacred music in the 20th century (see here for details). We have The Rest Is Noise as both a book on reserve (ML197 .R68 2007), which means it is only available for 2 hours at a time when the library is open, and as an ebook, which means it is available for a week at a time even when the library is closed.

Simon Reynolds will be the keynote speaker at Tinnitus: A Symposium on Art and Rock 'n' Roll at Harvard on Saturday, April 21. A trove of his writing, especially for Melody Maker, is available from Rock's Backpages, and our collection of his books includes Rip It Up and Start Again: Post-Punk 1978-84 (ML3534 .R47 2006) and Generation Ecstasy: Into the World of Techno and Rave Culture (ML3540 .R53 1998).

Friday, April 13, 2012

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees

We at the library take special interest in the opening of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Library & Archives, but the big news in Cleveland this weekend is Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. To gain an appreciation for this year's inductees, check our holdings by each of them, including CDs, DVDs and scores.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Remembering Mirek Kocandrle

The news of Mirek Kocandrle's death hit us hard in the library. He brought his passion for rock music to our Punk Out event last year at which he spoke about the history of the movement and I played DJ. He poured 20 years of effort into his book Pop Rock Sounds & Vibes of the 20th Century (ML156.4.P6 K64 2003). He was a friendly regular in the library stacks.

It is at least a consolation that his legacy is captured in our collection of his works, including the many recordings of Berklee Performance Concert concerts that he contributed to.

Jaromir Kocandrle, 61

Friday, April 6, 2012

Explore the Legacy of Jim Marshall, the Father of Loud

Jim Marshall, dubbed the Father of Loud for creating the Marshall stack, has died at the age of 88. The L.A. Times has an obituary that highlights how the amplifiers he invented had a profound influence on the sound of rock.

Jim Marshall dies at 88; creator of famed rock 'n' roll amplifiers

Want to explore his legacy further? Head to the media center to hear and see the many acts that rely on Marshall stacks, including This Is Spinal Tap (DVD 696), which includes Nigel Tufnel's legendary (and fictional) Marshall amp that goes all the way to 11. And even though Pete Townshend was a Marshall customer, the supplement cover for the Who's Thirty Years of Maximum R & B Live (DVD 3611-3612) has a photo of a blown Hiwatt amp.

For even more detail, check out these books on the man and his productions:

Jim Marshall, Father of Loud: The Story of the Man Behind the Worlds Most Famous Guitar Amplifiers (TK7807 .M37 M35 2004)

The History of Marshall: The Illustrated Story of "The Sound of Rock" (ML1015.G9 D69 1993)

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

So Percussion: Tiny Desk Concert on NPR and In Our Collection

So Percussion, a percussion ensemble from Brooklyn, is NPR's most recent band to appear on their Tiny Desk Concert series. Check out the video and watch them make music from everyday items around the office.

If you want to listen to more of their music, we have two of their albums right here in our collection: So Percussion (CD 27254) and Amid the Noise (Annex CD (Box 24)). If you find a CD in our catalog with a call number that starts "Annex CD," bring the information to the media center desk. These are CDs in our collection that have not been fully cataloged and labeled yet. If you request one, we will have it for you by the next business day at the latest, but it may only require a 10-minute wait if sufficient staff is available.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

RIP Earl Scruggs

Pioneering bluegrass banjo player Earl Scruggs has died at 88. His innovative picking techniques took the banjo from the rhythm section to a lead instrument. "Foggy Mountain Breakdown," one of his signature songs with Lester Flatt and the Foggy Mountain Boys, is part of Library of Congress' National Recording Registry of works of unusual merit.

The Associated Press obituary noted, "At an 80th birthday party for Scruggs in January 2004, country great Porter Wagoner said: 'I always felt like Earl was to the five-string banjo what Babe Ruth was to baseball. He is the best there ever was, and the best there ever will be.'"

Among the highlights of our collection of materials by Scruggs:
  • Best of the Flatt & Scruggs TV Show. Vol. 1: Classic Bluegrass from 1956 to 1962 (DVD 3010
  • Earl Scruggs and Friends (CD 19906)
  • Earl Scruggs and the 5-String Banjo (MT560 .S44 1968) His book on the history and technique of the instrument
  • The Essential Flatt & Scruggs: 'tis Sweet to be Remembered-- (CD 23668-23669) Includes "Foggy Mountain Breakdown"
NPR has a tribute with both audio and video:

Bluegrass Legend Earl Scruggs Has Died

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Happy (Belated) Birthday, Aretha Franklin!

Aretha Franklin celebrated her 70th birthday on Sunday, March 25th -- and we're a chain of fools for not mentioning it earlier! Show her some R-E-S-P-E-C-T by checking out one of the many albums we have by the Queen of Soul:

Aretha Live at Fillmore West (CD 10730)
I Never Loved a Man the Way I Loved You (CD 7007)
The Queen of Soul: The Atlantic Recordings (CD 733-736)
Aretha: Lady Soul (CD 479).

There's even more where that came from, so come on down to the media center today and give them a listen. And don't forget that you can check CDs out for 3 days and take them with you unless they are on reserve.

Monday, March 19, 2012

The Only Librarian That Matters?

Being part of some of the greatest bands in rock history would seem to be the coolest job in the world, but even those in such lofty positions aim even higher: librarian. Keith Richards acknowledged his librarian aspirations two years ago. But Mick Jones, formerly of the Clash, has actually taken up the task, opening the Rock & Roll Public Library. For now, it is only a temporary exhibit in a London's Subway Gallery, but Jones envisions something more long-lasting. "Now Mick is looking for a permanent home to open a library where people can borrow from his enormous collection of 'anything cool,'" reports Ben Bloom in the Hampstead and Highgate Express. Sabotage Times has lots of photos:

Inside Mick Jones’ Rock & Roll Public Library

Friday, March 9, 2012

Van Halen and Old News About M&M's

The reunited Van Halen will be in Boston this week. In conjunction with the band's relaunch, they have posted a video in which colorful frontman David Lee Roth explains the legend of their tour rider requirement for no brown M&M's backstage. The short version: it was never a diva-like demand to prove their importance but their own method of the canary in a coal mine, a warning sign that the tour promoters had ignored the more important safety requirements in their rider. Roth explains it in his own inimitable style in this video, but this is old news. He related the story in his 1997 autobiography Crazy from the Heat (ML420.R683 A3 1997) in the chapter entitled "M&M's" (p. 97).

Brown M&Ms from Van Halen on Vimeo.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Remembering Session Guitarist Billy Strange

NPR Music has an appreciation of guitarist Billy Strange, a session man famous for his work with the Wrecking Crew, who died February 22.

Remembering Billy Strange, Ace Session Guitarist

Our catalog makes it easy to find recordings that Strange played on. Not only does our catalog list the named performers on CDs, i.e. Speedy West and Jimmy Bryant on Swingin' on the Strings. Volume 2 (CD 18256), it also includes songwriters, producers, backing musicians and other named contributors when the information is available. So if you're researching recordings that include a particular producer or sideman, you can find it in our catalog even if the CD wasn't under their own name.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

What's an Aebersold and Where Do I Find Them?

Want to find new methods for building your jazz skills? Or have you heard the name "Aebersold" and not known what it means? Then explore our collection of Jamey Aebersold Jazz Play-Alongs. It is a series of more than 100 books with scores for jazz songs and accompanying play-along CDs. Each has a different theme such as:
If you're looking for a specific song in the series, we have an alphabetical song index at the circulation desk that includes the key and tempo for each piece.

But where will you find these books? We had previously shelved them in our main stacks under their call number, MT68 .A33 but found that it was impractical. They are now behind the circulation desk, so you will need to ask for them. However, unlike most materials behind the circulation desk, they are not reserve items. This means that students can check them out for a full two weeks, so you can take them home and practice at length.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Happy Birthday, Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash would have turned 80 on February 26. Among the numerous highlights of our collection of CDs, scores, books and DVDs by and about the Man in Black:

The Best of Johnny Cash (MP1630.C37 B4 1982)

Cash: The Autobiography by Johnny Cash with Patrick Carr (ML420.C37 A3 1998)

Cash: The Legend (CD 27435-2743)

Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison and San Quentin (CD 10659)

Johnny Cash: Hurt, a film by Mark Romanek (DVD 1005)

Walk the Line (DVD 2514)