Friday, March 29, 2013

RIP Crawdaddy! Founder Paul Williams

Crawdaddy! founder Paul Williams, widely considered to be the creator of modern rock’n’roll criticism, has died. Denise Sullivan, who wrote for the 1990s revival of the publication that started in 1966 offers a tribute:

RIP Paul Williams (1948-2013)

The library has a near-complete run of Crawdaddy! from both its original run, which ended in 1978, and its 1990s resurrection. You can find our holdings in our Local Periodicals List. As you'll note, our copies are housed in the Annex, which means that if you are interested in viewing them, you will need to allow time for staff to retrieve them. Professional staff is available to help you Monday-Friday from 8:45 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. and during limited hours on evenings and weekends. Even if a professional staff member is not available when you visit, one of our student workers can help you complete a request form so that we can view the desired periodicals for when you return.

Monday, March 25, 2013

A Look Back at Bebo Valdes

Bebo Valdes, Cuban pianist and composer/arranger, died on March 22. NPR has an obituary, but this is also a good time to revisit our 2011 virtual display in which we highlight his work when he received an honorary doctorate at Berklee's commencement.

The displays in our display case are usually accompanied by an virtual version on our website where you can learn more about the subject and the materials. We maintain these virtual ones under "News & Events" from our home page, so you can revisit them even when the physical version is replaced.

Friday, March 15, 2013

New Database: Academic Charts Online

The library just introduced a new database, Academic Charts Online. While most of our databases offer access to articles, this one is uniquely focused on record sales charts. Some examples of what you can research:
  • Nirvana overtaking Michael Jackson, marking a radical shift in the pop music landscape
  • The Dixie Chicks' sales plummeting after Natalie Maines' disparaging comment about President Bush
  • Whitney Houston's chart position skyrocketing after her untimely death
  • Proof that David Hasselhoff really is big in Europe, Austria to be specific
  • The top songs or albums on a particular date
ACO covers charts from the US, Spain, UK, Canada, Mexico, Australia, Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, with more countries coming. You can view the data in table or graphic form and create custom graphs to show comparisons between different releases. Many entries include sound clips and links to article databases (to the extent that we subscribe to those external databases). The site includes an introductory product tour.

We're still getting to know this distinctive resource. Let us know how you're making use of it so we can share ideas.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Pi Day Playlist

Berklee's math offerings may be limited, but that's no reason to not celebrate Pi Day, 3.14.

Here's a suggested playlist.
  • Rued Langgaard, Music of the Spheres (Naxos Music Library)
  • Bernfried Prove, "Diameter" (Naxos Music Library)
  • Joni Mitchell, "The Circle Game" on Ladies of the Canyon (CD 7189)
  • Soul Coughing, "Circles" on El Oso (CD 14118
  • Mavis Staples, "Will the Circle Be Unbroken" on Have a Little Faith (CD 25246
  • Billy Preston, "Will It Go 'Round in Circles" on Billy Preston: The Best (CD 5936)
  • Pearl Jam, "Spin the Black Circle," on Vitalogy (CD 1701)
  • Pi: Music from the Motion Picture (CD 13962)
  • A Perfect Circle, Thirteenth Step (CD 22344)
  • Art Ensemble of Chicago, Thelonious Sphere Monk (CD 10706)
  • Sphere, Four for All (CD 2654)
 What's your favorite pi-related music?

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Brubeck Digital Collections

University of the Pacific is home to the Brubeck Collection, the archives of alumni Dave and Iola Brubeck. While best known as one of the top-selling jazz artists of all time, Dave Brubeck also wrote sacred music and applied his artistry in service to diplomacy and the civil rights movement. The collection includes extensive digital collections available online, including photos, images of press clippings, audio recordings and oral history interviews. For example, there is a video from a 1962 TV appearance of the Dave Brubeck Quartet performing "Blue Rondo à la Turk" on a "magic carpet" over Los Angeles, including a motorcycle cop trying to ticket them.

(You'll need to go to the site to view the video.)

Thursday, March 7, 2013

The Girls In The Band

Guest post by Meritxell Neddermann Vinaixa, 6th semester student majoring in Piano Performance and Berklee College of Music Library Student Worker

El día 26 de Febrero se proyectó el documental "The Girls in the Band", de Judy Chaikin. Fue una experiencia muy positiva, un documental muy interesante y ocurrió en un ambiente muy agradable. La mayoría de público eran mujeres y de esas mujeres casi todas eran instrumentalistas. El documental esta muy bien construido: repasa cronológicamente diferentes bandas de mujeres y destaca algunas de las mujeres músicas más importantes del momento, que tenemos la suerte de tener muy cerca aquí en Berklee: JoAnne Brackeen y Terry Lynn Carrington, así como Ingrid Jensen que viene mucho a Boston y también estudió en la escuela. Es un documental que trata el tema de la mujer en la música desde una perspectiva muy neutra e imparcial, en la que cada participante da su opinión con libertad y sinceridad. El film nos revela algunos grupos no populares en estos tiempos pero que en su momento disfrutaban de gran fama como "The International Sweethearts of Rythm" y otros grupos y shows que comprendían mujeres solamente.

Despues de la proyección tuvimos la oportunidad de contactar por Skype con la directora del film, Judy Chaikin, que tiene un currículum de filmaciones muy repleto de premios y buenas críticas. Ella pudo explicarnos porque se le ocurrió la idea de hacer este documental entre otras cosas y después hubo una discusión en la que la gente del público entre ellos Christine Fawson (Berklee Faculty) compartió su experiencia.

Fue ciertamente un evento muy interesante y bonito que nos dejó reflexionando a todos acerca del papel de la mujer y su "voz" en el mundo de la música y el arte en general.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Sustainable Creative Practice with Caroline Harvey

Guest post by Ethan Smith, Berklee College of Music Library Student Assistant, Music Business Major, Performance Poet

I first met Caroline Harvey, Berklee professor and renown performance poet, when I started attending the Berklee Poetry Club. After my first meeting, I knew that the room was a place where self-expression was encouraged and the atmosphere was the most welcoming place I had experienced since I began my Berklee career. This safe space was nurtured into being by Caroline when she first came to Berklee as an Artist in Residence and a Visiting Teacher in the Liberal Arts Department in 2009. Caroline worked with her Liberal Arts colleagues and some interested students to launch this incarnation of the Poetry Club, now called reVERB Poets. The poetry club has now existed for just over four years, and it has grown tremendously in this short amount of time thanks to Caroline's hard work and dedication to making the program a success.

Caroline recently gave a talk at the library based on her new original curriculum titled "Sustainable Creative Practice." Or in other words, how we as artists can create art from a safe space and learn how to continue our productivity throughout our careers while maintaining our physical and emotional health.

I took away many incredible life and career lessons from this event. Firstly, that "artists have a responsibility to document the human experience." This was especially revolutionary to me because in the past I myself have wondered, why am I putting so much effort into a passion that may never present itself as a career opportunity for me? Until now, I have used my work primarily to accomplish self-healing. While this is absolutely valid and a big part of what art can do for us, I've also realized that we as artists are serving and potentially inspiring others simply by sharing our stories. By documenting our own experiences, we are creating a historical timeline through our art. The same way that we look back on great artists of the past, people will someday look at today's artist's work and understand how the world was interpreted through their minds and eyes.

Caroline also has studied Buddhism faith and culture and presented to us what she calls the "Tantric Spectrum of Emotion," where love is at one end and despair at the other. She observes that humans tend to attempt to avoid despair altogether and work to stay happy all the time. And that this way of thinking does not allow for genuine art to be produced because when aspects of the human experience are ignored, we miss opportunities for expression. She states that "When we are not moving, we are not creating." This also moved me because again I was confronted with something that I had done in the past. I always thought it would be so great to be happy all the time! I now realize that no person can achieve this and if they are, they are repressing something that may come to the surface at some point and they won't know where to go from there, as they've never allowed themselves to feel despair.

Also during her presentation, Caroline spoke to us about the many parts of ourselves. She referenced the work of Dr. Richard Schwartz, the creator of a therapeutic modality called Internal Family Systems. She talked about our moods and inner voices, and how one part of self may attempt to be at the forefront of our mind or behavior, and we may feel ruled or "hijacked" by our different parts/emotions, depending on the day. She encouraged us to regularly identify the parts of ourselves so that when something does come to the surface-- an emotion, a desire, a memory-- we are aware of its presence and won't be taken by surprise, therefore giving us the ability to make choices and not feel blindly overwhelmed by a roller coaster of emotion. I believe this is an incredible tool for an artist to have. We are all truly emotional beings, and identifiably more emotionally aware than those in some of other professions. I will definitely be putting this into practice, so I may learn to keep myself under control, make healthier choices about how I live and create, and also know when it's appropriate to let loose in a healthy way.

I have learned a lot from Caroline Harvey simply by being around her as I've become more involved in slam poetry, and especially since she spoke at this event! I feel I've learned things that will stay with me and become tools that I can relate to my experience as an artist. I appreciate Caroline coming and sharing with us things she has learned through research and experience so that we all may become more sustainably creative throughout our careers as artists.

To read Caroline's full biography and see her work, got to

Some resources from which Caroline has studied and have impacted her work are available in the  Stan Getz Library:

Poets on Prozac: mental illness, treatment, and the creative process. Berlin, Richard M.
Call# RC451.4 .A7 P54 2008

To be an artist: musicians, visual artists, writers, and dancers speak. Colatosti, Camille
Call# BF408 .C65 2012

Yoga for emotional balance: simple practices to help relieve anxiety and depression. Forbes, Bo
Call# RA781.7 .F67 2011

Touched with fire: manic-depressive illness and the artistic temperament. Jamison, Kay R.
Call# PD JAM1993 (CDC)

Musician's yoga: a guide to practice, performance, and inspiration. Olson, Mia
Call# ML3820 .O47 M8 2009

Creativity and disease: how illness affects literature, art, and music. Sandblom, Philip
Call# R702 .S26 1995

The 27s: the greatest myth of rock & roll. Segalstad, Eric
Call# ML394 .S44 2008

The creative habit: learn it and use it for life. Tharp, Twyla
Call# BF408 .T43 2006