A guide to turning up the volume in your library.

Monday, July 31, 2006

On Lip-Synching

Sorry to jump in here, but what was going to be a comment turned into a missive.

Lip-synching contests (see Jaina's post below) might sound absolutely dorky, but I've watched some public access programming lately (I know, PA TV -- the height of cool) where high schoolers were going wild over it. They were cheering in the auditorium like it was American Idol meets High School Musical. I will try to figure out what school was doing it and find out what strategies contributed to the success. Our first Amped Lib interview, maybe?

This kind of event would have to skirt that fine line that says "It's so nerdy, it's hip," methinks.

Plus, you could have a big educational display and handouts on lip-synching through the ages -- highlighting books on how music videos are made (Gasp!! They mouth the words??) or articles about this fine list of shamed singers. An exhibit with various news sources on Milli Vanilli and Ashlee Simpson . . . fun topic!

Oh man, I'm definitely going to use this theme for my IL demo searches this quarter.

To be continued?


I add my eternal thanks to Pop Goes the Library. Apparently, neither focus nor discipline nor careful editing are required to acheive genius status these days. ;)

And "cool girl on the bus," I ain't. (Don't you love it how nobody was popular in high school when asked later?) My glasses were too thick. My brother is a smart jock and my sister is a high school senior with mad art skillz, though, so maybe I get rub-off points.

Monday, Monday
Three unrelated things:

* Does anybody out there subscribe to Guitar One magazine @ their library? If so, you will be getting a great treat in the mail: ten free rock & roll posters! My suggestion is to claim one for yourself (I have the Guns 'n Roses poster proudly hanging by my desk) and give the rest out to patrons.

* Secondly, a great idea I had for rock & roll programming: how about hosting a lip-synching contest? It would be like American Idol, but with no singing and no Paula Abdul (unless somebody wants to do a rendition of "Cold Hearted Snake"...). Who doesn’t want to see Bob from Technical Services give his best Mick Jagger impression?

* And lastly, shout-outs to Pop Goes the Library for their kind words about us. I am crying so much out of joy, that my heavy eyeliner is running down my face. We owe y'all a mix CD!

Friday, July 28, 2006

I Heart Rhino

Please excuse me, but today's post is actually going to be a love note...

Dear Rhino Records,

Although we have been acquainted for many years, I have never actually told you how I feel. I don't mean to come on too strongly, but I think it's time that I told you I love you. Yes, I said it. How could I not? I would not have discovered my intense love for psychedelic music without your Nuggets box set. I also wouldn't have discovered all the rare European 60's mod bands I love so much without your Nuggets II box set.

I've been duped before... A college boyfriend made me a mix tape full of great mod music and acted like he had discovered it all, but when I found your Nuggets II box set and saw that he had basically dumped the contents directly onto that very tape, I got great satisfaction out of declaring that he had not discovered these bands, but Rhino Records had. That was the day I fell in love with you.

Not only have you been there for me in my personal life, but in my professional life as well. You see, I am a librarian at a music college whose curriculum is centered around 20th century popular music. When I first began this job, the collection needed a lot of work. But instead of turning to alcohol, I turned to you, sweet, sweet Rhino Records. When a punk class was put on the schedule, you came through for me with your No Thanks! and your Left of the Dial box sets. When it was discovered that my library did not own a recording of "The Hustle," there you were, with your Disco Box. And don't even get me started on reissues: Gram Parsons, Burt Bacharach, the MC5, Elvis Costello, The B-52's, and seriously, your Ramones box set? AMAZING. Who would have thought to include a 3-d graphic novel inside a box set? You, Rhino Records, that's who.

I'm so glad I finally got a chance to express these feelings to you. I believe the best way to end this is with a quote from Todd Rundgren (whom you have reissued as well, no?):

You're so far away and so long ago

But my dream goes on forever

And how much I loved you you'll never know

'Til you join me within my dream.

Love always and forever,


PS. I forgive you for your Barry Manilow DVD.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Fine Duds:

Want your own Rock Star Librarian shirt? Sophie Brookover reveals how hers was crafted.

Web 2.0:

Mashable! email alerts notified me about NextCat, a “MySpace for . . . actors, musicians, producers and make-up artists (to) help them to grow their social circles.” Pete Cashmore sees a bright future for this niche social site, so your aspiring entertainment mogul patrons may be interested in this alternative to “MyCrack”, as the students like to call the beast.

He notes:
“(The) service does have one feature that could make it useful to the target demographic: users can add their booking information and contact details, making it more like LinkedIn for (out of work?) actors and musicians.”

Music Ref Copyright News:

I heard about a new Gracenote service from Librarian in Black. (And a kind colleague – thanks Melissa!) The company is going to start offering legal transcripts of lyrics for a fee. We can assume that this will pave the way for lawsuits against all those “free” lyric websites. (Which are often spyware factories.)

It will also change the way we help those patrons looking for help finding lyrics. I’d love to hear some ideas about the impact in the comments.

Arstechnica has an article about it . . .

MySpace Musician Rights:

Apparently there’s been a reversal on the MySpace terms of agreement issue that Jaina had mentioned in a previous post.

Boingboing states:

“MySpace has revised its terms so that musicians who upload to the site retain control of their works, and MySpace/NewsCorp/Fox can't sell those songs without contracting with the musicians.”

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

I will devote today's post to catching you up on all the magazines I've received this week (such hard work I go through for this job)...

We Read Vibe So You Don't Have To!
(from Vibe: August, 2006)

* In collection development news, a new Tupac book is going to be released: Tupac Shakur Legacy, by Jamal Joseph. The book will contain "handwritten notes, lyrics, and even excerpts from an original script crafted by the slain rapper."

* The magazine writes up the genius of Lupe Fiasco, the Kanye West/Jay-Z protege' who is the anti-hip hop Hip Hop Star. He doesn't drink. He doesn't do drugs. He doesn't go to clubs. He reads books. Seriously, can we get this guy on a Hip Hop Library Tour? Any takers?

* There is also a great article entitled "Behind Closed Doors," about the lives of rapper's wives.

We Read Spin So You Don't Have To!
(from Spin: August, 2006)

MySpace has rewritten its rules regarding music: if bands post songs to the website, Rupert Murdoch gets to "use, copy, modify, adapt, translate, publicly display, store, reproduce, transmit, and distribute" whatever he and his News Corp. pleases. Billy Bragg is not happy.

* Oooh! There is a new book coming out about air guitar competitions: To Air is Human: One Man's Quest to Become the World's Greatest Air Guitarist. There is also a new documentary: Air Guitar Nation. Have you given thought to having an air guitar contest @ your library?

* On page 78, Jon Dolan gives a great instructional guide on "How to Buy Heavy Metal." The list includes albums by Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, and Slayer. Cut this out and put it on your fridge. Now.

We Read Mojo So You Don't Have To!
(from Mojo: August, 2006)

* Are there other librarians out there with a mild Factory Records obsession? The defunct label that brought you great British bands such as Joy Division, New Order, and Happy Mondays now has a tribute book: Factory Records: The Complete Graphic Album. The book contains a complete collection of the label's graphic output, including record sleeves, posters, and flyers.

* Other collection development news:
- Rhino re-releases Jesus & Mary Chain albums!
- Ten Stax Profiles discs are released! Viva la soul!
- The book Thin Wild Mercury: Bob Dylan is released and is limited to 1,500 copies! Hurry!!!
- A concert DVD of Coachella, the California music festival, is out. See live White Stripes, Arcade Fire, Belle & Sebastian, and The Flaming Lips in all their glory!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

And, I'm Back

The High Strung with audience

I think I've finally recovered from my High Strung show. I've uploaded as many photos as I could here.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Belated but huge thank you to Alternative Teen Services for linking to our website a few days ago!

Apologies if the quality/frequency of our posts plummets toward the end of this week.

Jaina and I are practicing what we preach. She’s heading up the
High Strung Rock & Roll library tour appearance in the Twin Cities. I’m, um, going to the show. And we’re finishing up our article for Beyond the Circulation Desk. We’ll give more details on the release of the book if the editor actually accepts our extended blithering.

Great ‘future of music’ article in Sound and Vision

Snips --

“We are clearly shifting to a digital-delivery environment, but it will take a little while to get there,” says Thomas Hesse, president of Global Digital Business at Sony BMG Music Entertainment. “But it’s realistic to assume that in five years, we’ll be in the realm of 50% digital distribution.”

Ari Hest: “If you asked me a couple of years ago, I would have said it would take another decade, but I don’t think so anymore. It’s becoming more frequent for everybody I know to get their music from iTunes and avoid CDs altogether.”

What does this say for the future of library CD collections? Can we stay abreast of the music format waves?

Here’s a REMIX article that probably especially appeals to YA boys. (It involves studio construction and wall demolition.)

And lastly -- only because pressured -- a link to my Pandora station. Check out the list of bands to see how cool it’s SUPPOSED to be. It kept getting stuck on particular genres this morning – so if it gives you a morning full of fiddle music or beats-and-rhymes – know that a refresh will probably give you a completely different sound.

I Am "High Strung!"

The Rock & Roll Library Tour is in my library this Sunday! I am so nervous/freaked out/excited, etc. I will take lots of pictures and will post them next week. Wish me luck!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

10 Final Love Notes about Pandora
(until the next compelling phase)

1. They play the explicit versions of songs!
So be careful if listening at work or referring to YA patrons. I haven’t run into any foul language, sticking to my Celtic rock, though.
2. Pandora’s sound quality seems much higher than Launchcast to me -- 128Kbps streams, requiring broadband. Pandora also requires that your computer can handle Flash.
3. The subscription version and the free version are exactly the same services, except that the free version has ads. This doesn’t mean the noisy, abrupt audio ads though – as far as I can tell. Print ads only, looks like.
4. You can learn about a genre by entering one artist, early Black Eyed Peas, for instance. Say we use, Bridging the Gap, the song “Original,” -- a song from my college years. Pandora offers up these artists:
Bow Wow
Nick Cannon
Brooke Vale
So why do these songs resemble the first one? Click on the artists and you see something like:
r&b influences
east coast rap influences
electronica influences
a deep voice
chill rhymin'
clean lyrics
use of tonal harmonies
melodic part writing
rhythmic clapping
a bumpin' kick sound
a synth bass riff
smooth synth textures
a dry recording sound
radio friendly stylings
prevalent use of groove
lyrics by a respected rap artist
production by a famous producer
You might suddenly hear the songs in a whole new light: how the Pandora ‘experts’ heard them. It’s not just “that rap music” anymore – it’s a series of parts, the sum of which is greater, etc.
5. They haven’t tackled classical or world music . . . yet. The Q&A says they aren’t quite sure how to go about it at this point.
6. They claim to have 400,000 songs from over 20,000 artists – “the big record labels, the indies and the musicians recording and self-publishing . . .”
7. Your musician patrons can submit their own albums for review and possible inclusion/promotion. (Details are in the Q&A)
8. Pandora apparently works really well for holiday music. If you are into that . . .
9. The Q&A also has helpful tips for adding Pandora to your blog or website. As stations, feeds, etc.
10. Like us, they seek to educate! You might have questions like this:
Q: What is "syncopation"? "Vamping"? "Major/minor key tonality"? "Chromatic harmony"? “Acoustic instrumentation"? "Electric instrumentation"? "Experimental sounds"? “Orchestral arranging"? "Basic rock song structure"? "Meandering melodic phrasing"? "East coast rap roots"? "West coast rap roots"? "Old school roots"? "Southern rap roots"? "Gangsta rap attitude"? "Downtempo influence"? "Trance roots"? "Trip-hop roots"? "G-funk synth line"? "Chopped & screwed production” "Vinyl ambience"? "Headnodic beats"? "Use of sing-jaying"? "Wet/dry recording sound"? "House roots"? "IDM influences"?

That’s right. The answers are in Pandora’s Q&A. Just think of how cool you can be with your jargon now!

Reader's Advisory for Rock Stars

Today, Amplified Library starts a new segment, in which we recommend materials for rock starts. This week's featured patron is...

Keith Richards!!

What would we recommend to Keith if he walked up to our reference desk??

It would be hard to not suggest a book of this genre. The Boolean search for "Keith Richards" and "drugs" on Google brought 400,000 results. Oh my. Anyway, this might be a good start for him: 7 Tools to Beat Addiction by Stanton Peele, Ph.D (2004).

Given that Keith has been in a band with Mick Jagger for over forty years, their relationship could probably use some TLC. That is why we suggest Relationship Rescue: A Seven-Step Strategy for Reconnecting with Your Partner by Phillip C. McGraw ("Dr. Phil"), Ph.D (2000).

It would be very healing for Keith to remember friends who have passed, so we also recommend:

- Grievous Angel : An Intimate Biography of Gram Parsons by Jessica Hundley and Polly Parsons (2005)

- Brian Jones by Alan Clayson (2004)

And surely, we would have to suggest this, since Keith Richards was Johnny Depp's inspiration.

We hope that Keith has found everything he needed and that these materials will help him in his life journies.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

I Think I'm in Love

I am so obsessed with Pandora right now. This is verging on a problem... I think I caught the virus from Erika. Anyway, I've created what I think is the ultimate Pandora station here (I've also added a link on the sidebar- man, I am so vain). Feel free to listen and share your Pandora stations here as well.

On a Non Library Note...

Either global warming has taken a strange turn, or MSN Weather is a bit off.

Pandora Vs. LaunchCast
(By request . . .)

This service comparison was performed meticulously and scientifically . . . ok, so I just listened for 15 minutes each while cataloging today. But the results may offer insight for the average frenzied blue collar librarian.

I created a radio station for Great Big Sea, my favorite band – a Celtic-pub-song-folk-shanty group.

Pandora recognized the band right away, offering up so
me alternatives that were “cheeky and college friendly” with “mixed acoustic and electric instrumentation” and “interweaving vocal harmony.” These they peppered with my favorite selections from a variety of Great Big Sea’s albums.

(Honestly – it’s like they knooow me – the first they played was first GBS song that I ever heard, then the song I sing to my friend in the Navy . . . . Spooky.)

Pandora plays songs from the original band every fourth selection or so. Then, you can click on the artist to figure out why they played it, add new artists to mix up the tonality, or enter specific songs to focus on a certain style.

Launchcast, on the other hand – first, offered up some commercials. Then, Audioslave. O.K.

“A bit of a stretch, but Pandora had selected Audioslave for me before – on other stations,” I tell myself. We’ll give it the benefit of the doubt.

And then up pops
Fergie. Of the Black Eyed Peas, Charlie Brown and Quentin Tarantino fame. Say what? Launchcast seems to think its purpose is promoting the latest payola’d artist on the block – the artists we could turn to any top 100 radio station for – instead of new-to-me artists in the Celtic rock genre.

If I've unfairly judged it, feel free to let me know in the comments. I'm going to do "10 Things You Didn't Know about Pandora" tomorrow, and then move onto a different topic. I promise. Maybe even pick up a magazine, like Jaina does.

We Read Blender So You Don't Have To!

Collection development tips and other news from the August 2006 issue of Blender Magazine:

* Country star Gretchen Wilson is working on her biography entitled Gretchen Wilson: I'll Tell You What a Redneck Woman Is. No further comment.

* Jack Osbourne is also working on an autobiography entitled 21 Years Gone about his family's rise to fame in reality television and his battle with drugs. Between this and Gretchen's book, are there going to be any ghost writers left if Kevin Federline decides to take a stab at "writing"?

* In the article "The 25 Biggest Wusses Ever," Blender votes James Taylor the #1 wuss. Other mentions go to Garth Brooks, Christopher Cross (natch), and Chris Martin from Coldplay. Do I sense an opportunity for libraries to make a "wuss" display?

* Beastie Boys release the concert film Awesome; I F*ckin' Shot That!, in which they gave video cameras to 50 members of the audience and let them do the filming. Although the magazine warns that it might make you seasick, it does give this praise:
"... [T]he film's central gimmick, while visually frustrating at times, offers
vantage points conventional concert movies wouldn't bother with, such as the
men's room and the seat next to Ben Stiller."

Good enough for me.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Busy day. Three words.

Hip hop violinist. (If you've heard a violin on a hip hop album, it's probably Miri Ben-Ari.)
Ok, ten more words:
She's classically trained, versatile and has a collaborative solo album.

Death of the Record Store

This Sunday's New York Times had an article entitled "The Graying of the Record Store," discussing the struggle of local, independent record stores in the age of downloading.

The problem is not so much illegal downloading as it is a generational shift: younger people usually acquire all their music on the internet, leaving CD and record consumption to the "graying" folks.

"In the era of iTunes and MySpace, the customer base that still thinks of
recorded music as a physical commodity (that is, a CD), as opposed to a digital
file to be downloaded, is shrinking and aging..."

Libraries are obviously struggling with this very issue amongst the younger generation: why check out a CD from the library if you can listen to it on the internet for free? The answer may not even be related to the physicial commodity of music at all:

"The neighborhood record store was once a clubhouse for teenagers, a place to
escape parents, burn allowances and absorb the latest trends in fashion as well
as music."

With the disappearance of local record stores, teens are losing a valuable "third place." Although it may be cheap to purchase CDs at warehouse stores like Best Buy and Circuit City, these places are not comfortable enough to hang out in and do not offer an atmosphere where people can talk about music or even comfortably listen to new music before purchasing. This is a good chance for the library to step in and take this role. Again, I will emphasize that libraries install listening stations, host listening parties for new albums, and the like.

If your town has lost its independent record stores, you would be filling a social void. And if your town is still lucky enough to have independent record stores (bless the Twin Cities), this would be a great chance to partner with them on cross-promotion. Have you considered ordering your library's new music through your local record store, rather than a national distributor? From my experience, it is just as cheap and easy as ordering through larger companies. The other benefit: the sales contacts know more about music and can even help you select titles. Try finding a person with extensive knowlege of rare 60's Japanese pysch-rock bands at Wal-Mart. I dare you.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Pandora Is for Lovers . . .
(of Listening Advisory)

This might be self-indulgent, but I'm gonna wax prosaic on the beauty of Pandora for a touch. Jaina mentioned it in the last post, but I want to give it it's own segment, because it deserves it.

Think of Pandora as automatic "reader's advisory" for music. You can show customers how to cross-reference albums they like with our library catalog, just like they would with a reader's advisory database.

How to use it:
1. Go to Pandora.com.
2. Work with the helpful Flash tutorial to get started. (Free with registration - it's very easy.)
3. Create personalized "radio stations" centered around artists you already love.
4. Listen.
5. Rate the music "thumbs up", "thumbs down", etc. to fine tune.
6. See whether the album is available in the library catalog.

(The service automatically connects to Amazon and a few other purchasing options, as well.)

Members of the Music Genome Project have analyzed songs according to dozens of qualities like: tempo, style, key, etc., and the results are surprisingly useful. I find several fun new artists every time I listen.

From Wikipedia: "Since the algorithm selects songs on the basis of musical features, rather than artist popularity or record sales, many users have lauded Pandora for its ability to 'recommend' unfamiliar songs that fit a user's preferences."

Like many resources -- you really have to just play around with it to appreciate the cool-factor.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

We Read Newsweek So You Don't Have To!
(July 17th, 2006 issue)

* Steven Levy has a "Bowling Alone"-esque revelation on pg. 13 in his article "Will the 'Tail' Kill the Water Cooler?": is the Internet killing water cooler conversation? Back in the day, there were few entertainment options:
"We had access to only a few television stations. We listened to the same songs
on Top 40 radio. We all read the same local newspaper. So there was always
something obvious to talk about."

But, the Internet has catered to our individual interests.
"Increasingly, we're eschewing blockbuster trends to pursue our own quirky

Instead of reading the morning paper, you may just read celebrity gossip (not that I, ahem, know anybody that does this...). Instead of listening to Top 40 radio, you may listen to a house music radio station out of Iceland. Instead of watching the local newscast, you may watch the podcast of the South African Communist party. With the Internet, we are used to getting exactly what we are interested in, exactly when we want it.

Two questions to ask about your library in relation to this article:

1. How is your library catering to people's "own quirky interests?" Do you have a French hip-hop collection? Do you host 1960's kung-fu movie nights? In what ways can you improve?

2. How is your library working on bringing people back together? What universal themes can you focus on to create a sense of community again? With the breakdown of social capitol, Robert Putnam warned that people may have to start bowling alone... Are your patrons "reading alone," "watching alone," and "listening alone?" What can you do to make them do these things as a community?

* On pg. 60, the article "Geezer-Pleasers" offers tips for middle-aged people to discover new bands. They list the online music services Pandora, MyStrands, Mog, and Last.FM as great places to input your current musical interests to help get suggestions on new artists that sound similiar. Example: Syd Barrett = Blur = The Rain Parade.

What is your library doing to help patrons discover new music? Do you have a Pandora-esque service in which you suggest new bands based on interest in old bands, or the opposite for teens: interest in new bands and suggestions for old bands. If you don't, now would be a great opportunity to start. Consider putting together small packs of new CDs for patrons or having listening nights for new releases. The more music you recommend to patrons, the more they will come back to see you. They might even think that you're cool.

A Spoonful of Music Helps the Literature Go Down

P.S. (Pre-script) Did you know teens sit farther back from the screen? Today's larger font is dedicated to this article.

Alrighty -- real quick -- time for two of my favorite pairings between music and literature:

1. Songs Inspired By Literature (from the Artists for Literacy Project)

Two fantastic CDs so far. There's some great educational tools on the website. NPR did a story on the editor, with a conversation archived for streaming audio. "Last Temptation of Odysseus" = my favorite song of all time! It's what the repeat button was made for. It would also make a FANT-abu-LASTIC pairing with the "pulp covers for classic books" feature that Slate did a few months ago. Hehehehehe. I'm a dork.

2. Hip Hop Reader

Newly discovered as of today -- so I haven't had the chance to explore it completely. But the site interface starts with a bang. Love it. Also love the mission:

WWW.HipHopReader.com is an interactive website created to increas and enhance the reading habits, Internet usage, and civic engagement of urban high school students."

Anybody know any history on this project? I found it through a del.i.cious account -- so thanks goes out to "vhuang."

This next one doesn't get a number because it's not concerned with literature, per say. I'll give it a tilde.

~ The Turnaround Game

"The Turnaround Game (
www.theturnaroundgame.com) asks the players to develop a winning proposal to save an ailing record company called BigNoizz. The interactive game introduces students not only to the music industry, but also to the wider experience of the business world - specifically, that of the CPA." (Free registration required.)

This site = VIDEO GAMES + MUSIC BIZ. Woot.
Very snarky. Very Flash. Very fun. Not that I played it at work. Much.

I found it through an article in Ebsco Regional Business, actually. (Librarians repreSENT.) It would take paragraphs to cite it properly, since I emailed the article to myself from a different library's database. (No wonder those students complain.) But here's the short version:

Journal Record Staff. "American Institute of Certified Public Accountants produces new
online game." Daily Record, The (Kansas City, MO); 01/10/2006

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Regional Note!

J Isaac's new album release: Welcome 2 the Planet is coming up soon!! Is it August 9th? Correct me on that if I'm wrong. I'm hearing the big release promoted all over Twin Cities hip hop stations. If the hype is any indicator, this will be a big deal among the teen crowd.

Why not order a few extra copies? Make a display. Friend his MySpace account with yours. Show that libraries have an ear to the ground, a finger to the pulse of teen interests. :)

Those outside of the Twin Cities. I'm sure you have your own 'big event' regional music releases coming up. Especially as the underground/indie hip hop scene is making a resurgence. Check out
label websites! Your teens may have some good leads.

Today in Music Business News

* Rhino Records is now managing all the intellectual property of the Grateful Dead and will work on digitizing more of their catalog. Full story here.

* From this week's Business Week: the company Earworms Publishing has discovered that while learning a foreign language, people tend to learn more if things are set to music. Their
Rapid Spanish CD is a big hit in the UK and on ITunes and they are going to expand their series to include Arabic and Japanese. Collection developers, take note.

* Also from Business Week: in non-music news, not only can people watch professional sports on TV, but soon they will be able to watch professional gaming. That's right: ESPN will start to broadcast professional gamers playing video games. If you don't have a gaming night at your library, now may be the time to start. Fast.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Just For Fun...

It was brought to my attention that the 90's hip-hop duo Kris Kross (the 12-yr-olds with the backwards clothes) still have a link off the Sony Website. Please feel free to bask in the nostalgic charm of this fact and please also feel free to jump around.

We Read Rolling Stone So You Don't Have To!

* Timber! In alliteratory (is this a word?) news, Justin Timberlake just finished a new album with producer Timbaland and the new single just dropped. If it is anything like this other hot Timbaland-produced album, you'll have hungry patrons wanting copies.

* Radio-Dead: Thom Yorke ventures out without Radiohead and releases solo album, The Eraser. RS approves.

* Cash-Money-Millionaire: The first posthumous album from Johnny Cash is released: American V: A Hundred Highways. RS adores the sparse Rick Rubin production and says that it is as great as a last album can get. How about hosting a Johnny Cash night at your library? You could show Walk the Line and have a listening party for the new album. Whiskey is optional.

* So Gram Parsons: A new DVD about late Keith Richards pal and Flying Burrito Brothers frontman Gram Parsons is released. RS gives it a mediocre review, but considering that live concert footage of Gram or the Burrito Brothers is rare, it is worth buying. Some great online footage can be found here.

Rock and Roll Library Tour

Chances are, you've heard of this brilliant creation of Michigan librarian Bill Harmer: the first ever Rock and Roll Library Tour. Some quick links:

- The original press release can be found here.

- There is a great episode of This American Life regarding last summer's tour here.

- A great video of the band performing in a library can be found here.

I am running the stop in St Paul, MN, taking place at McNally Smith College of Music on Sunday, July 23rd and am so excited that I can barely catalog.

Has anybody out there had The High Strung at their library? Any details or stories you'd like to share? We'd love to hear from you!

Where do soft drink companies go when they want to attract teens?

Where everybody *ahem, libraries* should go . . .
Hip and happening MUSIC.

I keep hearing ads for Pepsi Smoosh on hip hop and top-whatever radio stations.
Here's the site --

No immediate library purpose. Just savvy marketing. Well, there's some quick collection development or display ideas, I suppose. A speedy visual synopsis of who's HOTT.

Think about your other venues that want teens. Clothing stores . . . night-life draws . . . TV commercials . . .
They pump the jams.

And check out something else! The website is loud, bold, cool -- without frying any retinas. I've noticed that a tragic number of teen library websites are turning to 70's neon for their inspiration. If four minutes of looking at your teen website and you feel like you just spent an equivalent amount of time on the newly Depp-licious Pirates of the Carribean ride -- you may want to teach them the value of a formal usability test.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Get "Down With" the "Hip Hop" Vernacular:

When I "scoop you in my coupe" and you are "sipping on deuce-zeros", how and/or what are you drinking?

A) Water. That is, H-"to-the-duece-to-the"-Oh. "Yo."

B) From tall cans.

C) "Crunk" juice.

D) Ok s-"izzle."


Hott Cataloging Tip of the Day

As somebody who catalogs hundreds of sound recordings on a regular basis, please allow me to heed some advice.

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE: if you are going to upload ANYTHING to OCLC, at least pretend like you are aware of AACR2. Remember that book of rules? It was that unecessarily expensive unbound pile of papers that you had to buy in library school? Unless you cathartically burned it or allowed your new puppy to use it for housebreaking, you might want to put it on your desk.
I know there are many amazing catalogers out there, so I do not mean to offend. Everybody has their pet peeves...

Anyway, here is my hott cataloging tip of the day, for use in cataloging sound recordings:

When cataloging an album with tracks by various artists, in the notes field, put the artist's name after the song and separate it with one of these guys: "/".

All too often, I see notes that look like this:

O.P.P. (Naughty By Nature) -- Summertime (DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince) -- Tonite (DJ Quik) -- The choice is yours, revisited (Black Sheep) -- Tennessee (Arrested Development).

However, it should really look like this:

O.P.P. / Naughty By Nature -- Summertime / DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince -- Tonite / DJ Quik -- The choice is yours, revisited / Black Sheep -- Tennessee / Arrested Development.

(example taken from The Hip Hop Box, c2004)

Now you have something to share with people at the bar tonight!

Oh, and MC Hammer has a blog.
Check it out.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

We Read Vibe So You Don't Have To!

* Collection development, anyone? This month, Vibe previews Kelis's yet-to-be-titled cookbook. You remember Kelis, right? Her milkshake is better than yours:

They say that the recipes are tasty and very easy to follow. Kelis says "It's for working people who don't have a whole day to be in the kitchen." Check it out this fall.

* ... And more collection development: the magazine gives a raving review of India.Arie's new album Testimony: Volume 1, Life and Relationship. And while we're on the subject of indie-hip hop/r&b, you should think about buying this for your library. This film is really a who's-who of hip-hop today. It should be a patron-pleaser, as well as an opportunity for you and your colleagues to brush up on the new school.

And if you have a hankering for the old school, a Wu-Tang video collection was just released. Now you can start applying the term "Old Dirty Bastard" to something besides that problem patron who always wants to check out kama sutra books.

We Read Billboard So You Don't Have To!

From this month's Billboard Magazine:

* A new social networking site launched on June 20th. It is called MOG, and is similiar to MySpace or FaceBook, but instead of allowing users to list all their different interests, it focuses on musical interest only. Users can upload songs, list their favorite albums, and search for members with similiar musical tastes. This may be your chance to find a date who loves Barry Manilow just as much as you do!

Why don't you jump on this site early and make a profile for your library? You can use it to feature new music arrivals and upcoming music events, as well as network with music-lovers in your area. Remember: not all patrons are quiet- some are amplified.

* Also, if your library has an extra $795 lying around (you can always steal from the hot tub fund), there is in interesting conference in New York on July 13th: What Teens Want: Marketing to Teens Using Music, Movies & The Media. Although the conference seems to be aimed at seedy media types, why not crash the party and show them that librarians can drink just as many free cocktails as the rest? You just may pick up a few pointers to keep your library one step ahead of everyone else on marketing to teens.