Archive for the 'music' Category

Jesus, that’s some playlist

Album covers are metadata, right?

Album covers are metadata, right?

In honor of the announcement of a new Pope, here is a quick playlist of all the songs in my iTunes collections with Jesus in the song name. Not a bad set of tunes:


Riverwalk Jazz: A collaboration success story

Screenshot of Riverwalk Jazz website

Screenshot of Riverwalk Jazz website

We recently announced the release of nearly 400 hours of streaming audio from the Jim Cullum Riverwalk Jazz collection, made possible through a series of exceptionally effective collaborations.
Stanford’s Archive of Recorded Sound is clearly the ideal location for the Riverwalk Jazz collection for several reasons. First, we are already home to a rich collection of jazz, including the Monterey Jazz Festival collection. Second, we have the experience and expertise needed to realize Jim Cullum’s vision of providing a publicly accessible stream of the Riverwalk Jazz radio show archives. Finally, Jim Cullum and his band have ties to Stanford, having participated in Stanford’s annual summer Jazz workshop from 1994-2004.
When we acquired the Riverwalk Jazz collection in September of 2011, we agreed to make the 400+ hours of Riverwalk Jazz radio programming available via audio streaming to the public by January of 2013. Accomplishing that goal required not only close collaboration with the Riverwalk Jazz organization, but also collaboration across units within the Stanford Libraries.
Jerry McBride, our Head of the Music Library and the Archive of Recorded Sound, took the lead on the project; working closely with Hannah Frost, Services Manager of the Stanford Digital Repository and Stanford Media Preservation Lab. Mimi Calter, our Chief of Staff and internal copyright guru, was an essential player in bringing this project to fruition as well. Franz Kunst served as the processing archivist for the collection.
The project turned out to be the quintessential hybrid project, blending traditional library skills and experts with the expertise of digital library professionals. The physical collection was processed and we created a finding aid, and developed and applied metadata to the items in the collection. Library staff in our Media Preservation Lab worked alongside staff in the Archive of Recorded Sound to produce the digital audio stream and develop the website. The development of a radio style streaming audio interface for this collection represents a very exciting achievement that we hope to exploit for other audio collections.
For more detail about the collection and the project, see Hannah Frost’s excellent blog post: A Steady Stream of Riverwalk Jazz. For a wonderful celebration of how the acquisition and public delivery of this collection is part of what make our Archive of Recorded Sound “a growing powerhouse of jazz archives”, see Traditional Jazz, 24/7, Free.

My 2012 Music Round-up

I added an even 10 albums to my music collection in 2012. Looking over the list, most of my new music is not really “new” — just new to me. I took care of some gaping holes in my collection (Willie, Bob Seger, Doobie Brothers, and Some Girls), picked up new albums by some old favorites (Cohen, Emmylou, the Jayhawks), and added new takes on some classics (Lost Notebooks and Chimes of Freedom).

Red Headed Stranger and Chimes of Freedom got the most play, with Chickenfoot getting the least. Clearly I was in more of a country/folk mood in 2012 than a rock mood.

  • Nine Tonight (Live): Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band
    When I realized that I did not have “Night Moves” in my music collection, I immediately downloaded this entire CD.
  • Chickenfoot III: Chickenfoot
    Chickenfoot is Sammy Haggar, Michael Anthony (both from Van Halen), Joe Satriani, and Chad Smith from Red Hot Chili Peppers. They rock … literally.
  • Best of the Doobies:The Doobie Brothers
    “Black Water” is one of my all time favorite feel-good songs, and I am embarrassed to admit that I had no Doobie Brothers in my collection until this year.
  • Chimes of Freedom: The songs of Bob Dylan, Honoring 50 years of Amnesty International
    This is a massive 4-disc collection of new versions of Dylan classics (and some lesser known gems) by some great artists. Some of my favorites are One More Cup of Coffee (Steve Earle & Lucia Micarelli), Property of Jesus (Sinéad O’Connor), and K$sha sobbing through Don’t Think Twice.
  • Old Ideas: Leonard Cohen
    This album opens with the line “I’d love to speak with Leonard, he’s a sportsman and a shepherd.”, and it just keeps getting better from there.
  • Red Headed Stranger: Willie Nelson
    Can’t believe I only added this classic to my collection this year. Listened to it over and over again for weeks.
  • Hard Bargain:Emmylou Harris
    Not her best, but even mediocre Emmylou is better than most.
  • The Lost Notebooks of Hank Williams
    Jack White and Jakob Dylan are my favorites on this set of songs created from the unfinished handwritten lyrics Hank left behind.
  • Mockingbird Time:The Jayhawks
    I haven’t listened to this one enough.
  • Some Girls (Deluxe Edition):The Rolling Stones
    Listening to this classic Stones album reminds me that those guys had a way with lyrics. Good stuff.

The Carolinas on my mind

Tift Merritt

Tift Merritt, downloaded from

There is some great music coming out of the Carolinas lately. Here is some of my favorite new stuff coming out of the Tarheel and the Palmetto states:

  1. Delta Rae: I dare you to listen to Dance in the Graveyards just once — it’s like trying to eat just one M&M. In addition to making great music, Delta Rae member Ian Holljes spent a year caring for Reynolds Price (probably my favorite novelist) and was inspired to write “Country House” about the experience. And 2 of the band members are Duke graduates. Check out NPR for more Delta Rae.
  2. Tift Merritt: What’s not to like about a North Carolina native who “aspires to write like Lucinda and sing like Emmylou” according to the Paste magazine’s review of her album Traveling Alone?
  3. The Avett Brothers: I know they aren’t new, but their new album The Carpenter is pretty awesome. And they hail from Concord, North Carolina.
  4. Band of Horses: Again, not a new band, but this South Carolina group’s new album Mirage Rock is getting some decent reviews. Knock Knock is a pretty cool song; and there is no doubt that Detlef Schremp is the best song ever named after a German NBA player.

My “working on budgets” playlist

Patti Smith, with red guitar

Patti Smith, from flickr user Espacio CAMON

I love music, and I love making playlists. The thing is, I am tone-deaf (although my boss doesn’t actually believe in the concept of tone-deaf, and says I am “tone-lazy”). Being tone-deaf/lazy means I actually pay a bit more attention to lyrics than to musical things I do not understand (stuff like melody, chords, range, notes, etc.). So, my playlists tend to be lyrically thematic and pretty literal.

Although I already have a kick-ass Getting Things Done playlist, I decided this week that I needed a playlist specifically for those dreaded “working on budget spreadsheets” days.

Without further ado, here are my selections (with thanks to @cseeman, @cynicalgrrl, and ‏‏@scilibchica.) Add your own in the comments, please.

Summer playlist

Gualuala state park

Gualuala state park with fence, photo by Chris Bourg

Around here we’ve still got over a month of summer left, so it isn’t too late for a summer playlist. Some choices are pretty obvious, but I left off a bunch of other seemingly obvious choices. Surfing songs don’t really do it for me, so none of those. I’m also amused by the fact that so many songs about California end up on Best Summer Songs lists. I guess to the rest of y’all who don’t get to live in paradise, California = perpetual summer (actually, it kinda does). Some of the less obvious choices, you’ll just have to trust me (or better yet, click on the link and give a listen). All are great songs.

Oldies but goodies from 2008

In honor of the four year anniversary of Feral Librarian, I’m recycling some of my favorite posts from that first summer of blogging. Turns out I was most interested in browsing, Google, and other random stuff in those early days. Turns out I still agree with some, but not all, of what my younger self blogged back then. In library-years, four years is a long time …happy to see that some of what I said stands the test of time. Happier still that my thinking continues to evolve.

What is Browsing:

So, what exactly is “browsing”? The colloquial definition seems to be about “serendipity” and finding things we weren’t looking for and didn’t know we wanted. This happens because items are ordered or grouped in some logical way…So what browsing advantages are lost in the online environment?

Browsing isn’t Random:

Because academic browsing is so selective, browsing the stacks of a large research library strikes me as a pretty inefficient way of finding items of interest. LC call # order is a lousy approximation of the kinds of similarities or relatedness that I am looking for when I browse. It seems unlikely to me that scholars find much useful material by browsing the stacks.

Google is not making us stupid, and Google still not making us stupid:

Writers have always taken extraordinary measures to separate themselves from the distractions of regular life so that they could concentrate on writing.
I will concede that it does seem to take an extra dose of self-discipline to really “unplug” for the kind of sustained concentration needed to write. Since most of us write on our laptops, the lure of online distractions is right there. But that challenge is not the same as Carr’s assertion that excessive “Googling” rewires our brains, rendering us incapable of sustained concentration.

Google did not punk us:

Apparently, by neglecting the Google Librarian Central blog, Google failed to live up to their side of the deal. And, apparently, the Google libraries were really punked, and now have some kind of obligation to the rest of the library community to call Google out on this.

Citation non-proliferation:

An old grad school classmate, James Evans, has published an article in Science that is getting a bit of attention. In Electronic Publication and the Narrowing of Science and Scholarship, Evans finds:

that as more journal issues came online, the articles referenced tended to be more recent, fewer journals and articles were cited, and more of those citations were to fewer journals and articles.

A gate with no fence:

My question is: Why do libraries want to be gateways?
A gateway implies that there is a fence, and that the gate is the only way to get through the fence to the other side.
Folks—there is no fence!

Libraries in Music:

The new My Morning Jacket CD (Evil Urges) contains a great little song called Librarian, all about unrequited love for “the sexiest librarian”. Turns out Green Day has a catchy tune called At the Library, also about unrequited love. Jimmy Buffet has a song called Love in the Library.

Play Ball! Playlist

Giants' home opener, 2006

Giants home opener, 2006

My Sports Illustrated Baseball Preview issue arrived this week, so even though there is still plenty of Madness left to enjoy (Go Cardinal! Go Blue Devils!), some of my thoughts are turning to baseball.

I imagine that most of us can (and do) sing along to “Centerfield” by John Fogarty, and I suspect nearly all of us know the utterly depressing saga of the The Boss’ former high school pitcher friend whose “Glory Days” are behind him. But if you’re looking for some new tunes to get pumped up for Opening Day 2012*, below are some of my favorite lesser-know songs about baseball. Additional suggestions welcome in the comments. And of course, Go Giants!

  • Catchers Drummers Anchormen (Amazon sample, or buy it for $0.89) by Eddie from Ohio: I didn’t actually see Carlton Fisk’s famous 1975 World Series Game 6 homer, but this song makes me feel like I did. “In ’75, oh, what a beautiful sight; the flight of a Spalding on an October night. The iron man Fisk hit a prayer in the air; and with a wave of his arms, he kept it fair. And with a wave of his arms, he kept it fair.”
  • Empty baseball park by Whiskeytown: Not really about baseball, but it does have the lyrics “Stumble into empty baseball park. Strike one and strike two… I guess we’re both out.” And I dig Ryan Adams, especially his stuff with Whiskeytown.
  • Catfish by Bob Dylan: This song, about Hall of Famer Jim “Catfish” Hunter, was originally supposed to be on Desire, but ended up on The Bootleg Series Volumes 1–3 (Rare & Unreleased) 1961–1991. I couldn’t find an online version of Dylan singing it, so the link above is a Townes Van Zandt cover version.
  • Joe Dimaggio done it again by Billy Bragg and Wilco (lyrics by Woody Guthrie): Straight up celebration of the great Joe Dimaggio–“Clackin’ that bat, Gone with the wind! Joe Dimaggio’s done it again.”
  • Cheap Seats by Alabama: A lovely ode to the joys of minor league baseball. Since my sister and her husband are co-owners of the Haymarket Senators of the Valley Baseball League, I have to agree that “there’s nothin’ like the view from the cheap seats.”
  • Bill Lee by Warren Zevon: A delightfully trippy little song about Boston Red Sox pitcher Bill “Spaceman” Lee.
  • All the way by Eddie Vedder: The Pearl Jam vocalist, a lifelong Cubbies fan, recorded this song in 2008; putting to music Cubs fans’ hopes that “Someday we’ll go all the way, Yeah, someday we’ll go all the way”.

*Opening Day 2012 includes both Opening Night on April 4, 2012 (St. Louis Cardinals v. Miami Marlins), and Opening Day games on April 5, 2012.

Things that made me smile this week …

Kingston Trio; From LoC PPOC

I started the week off feeling grumpy, but it is Friday now and I need to change my attitude (not to be confused with changing the subject). So, for my own mental health, here are the random things that made me smile this week:

  • Running into a colleague on her 2nd day back from maternity leave just as her wife arrived on campus with their gorgeous baby
  • Listening to the Old 97s this morning and realizing that they sampled the Kingston Trio’s Worried Man on Big Brown Eyes
  • Bragging about a colleague to an AUL at another institution this morning
  • Hearing kind words from colleagues on the other coast
  • Pink vespa

    Photo credit: Flickr user Shendeluth

  • Seeing a women on a neon pink Vespa, wearing matching neon pink jacket and helmet, riding down Palm Drive this morning
  • Getting a note from Stanford’s Parking & Transportation Services saying they love the Marguerite Moment idea, and sending me an updated photo of one of the Hybrid Marguerite buses
  • Excellent long-distance customer service from Franklin Flower Shop in Franklin LA

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