Posts Tagged 'music'

Rivers: a playlist

My daily view of the Charles River

My daily view of the Charles River

I live by a river now, and some dear friends just had a new baby named River, so I made a playlist of songs in my library with “river” in the song title. Not a bad set of tunes:

Big River Johnny Cash
Blood Red River Beth Orton
Bottom of the River Delta Rae
Buffalo River Home John Hiatt
Come To The River The Jayhawks
Crystal River Mudcrutch (Tom Petty’s jam band)
Down By the River Neil Young
Drank Like A River Whiskeytown
Ev’ry Wind (In The River) Taj Mahal
Going To The River Robbie Robertson & Galactic (Fats Domino cover)
Green River Creedence Clearwater Revival
Harlem River Blues Justin Townes Earle
How Deep Is That River Mason Jennings
In The Mississippi River Mavis Staples
Kaskaskia River Sufjan Stevens Sufjan Stevens
Let The River Run Carly Simon
The Lonesome River Bob Dylan Feat. Ralph Stanley
Meeting Across the River Bruce Springsteen
Moody River John Fogerty
Red River Shore Bob Dylan
Ride Across The River Dire Straits
Ride The River J.J. Cale & Eric Clapton
River Indigo Girls (gorgeous cover of Joni Mitchell classic)
River Joni Mitchell
River Man Nick Drake
River Song Tom Rush
River’s Invitation The James Cotton Blues Band
Riverman Andrew Duhon
The Rivers Of Babylon [Live] Steve Earle and Emmylou Harris (magical – trust me)
Two Rivers Jeff Beck

Some notes:

  • Glen Worthey once commented that most of my playlists include some lesser-known Dylan tune. I guess Lonesome River qualifies.
  • If you have never listened to the Steve Earle/Emmylou Harris version of Rivers of Babylon, do it now. Thank me later.
  • I discovered Andrew Duhon in a small club in New Orleans several years ago. If you like singer-songwriters who straddle the folk/country/blues borders, you’ll dig this guy.
  • I was surprised there’s no Lucinda on this list. She sings about rivers, just never put “river” in a song title I guess.

my queer butch playlist

My buddy ButchWonders recently posted 20 Songs that Make Me Feel Butch, and it is a great list … but nothing really resonated.

She challenged me to come up with my own list, and I came up with a few before I realized something important. Ever since I got my truck, which is where I listen to most of my music these days, every song makes me feel butch. When I’m driving along in my pick-up truck, looking like I do … I could be singing along to The Spice Girls* and I’d still feel butch.

That said, there are some songs that are queer/butch/genderqueer anthems for me:

The entire Transgender Dysphoria Blues CD by Against Me! is in a class by itself on this list, with the title cut and Black Me Out as my 2 favorites.

The rest in no particular order:

LucyStoners by Amy Ray
Lola by The Kinks
Turn the Page by Bob Seger
Dude Looks like a Lady by Aerosmith
King for a Day by Green Day
Walk on the Wild Side by Lou Reed
Rebel, Rebel by David Bowie
Androgynous by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts

Other great genderqueer song suggestions most welcome.

(* Thanks to Suzy for The Spice Girls suggestion)

Rainy day playlist

Rainy season is coming soon to California and we’re going to need some music:

CD cover from "This is me" by Eddie from Ohio

CD cover from “This is me” by Eddie from Ohio

Labor Day playlist

Some obvious choices, some maybe not so much. Enjoy.

Minnesac Mills, Philadelphia.  1936 - 1937.  From Lewis Hine Photographs for the National Research Project, compiled 1936 - 1937

Minnesac Mills, Philadelphia. 1936 – 1937. From Lewis Hine Photographs for the National Research Project, compiled 1936 – 1937

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:


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.

Awesome Library Website, Part 5: Continued improvement

Launching our awesome new library website 3 months ago was a huge milestone, which I have bragged about extensively.  But that certainly was not the end of the redesign project. I think it is safe to say that a decent website is never really “done”; and an awesome site like ours remains awesome through constant attention, improvement, and evolution.

In September, we* responded to early feedback about the need to increase the visibility of key content by highlighting ejournals and by using Top Hits and keywords to boost selected key content in the search results. We also improved the content creation process for library staff, and responded to over 200 feedback emails from patrons and staff. Consistent with our committment to transparency in every aspect of this project, we published a detailed list of our September accomplishments on our blog.

Screen shot of Integrated chat icons for reference and subject librarians

Integrated chat icons for reference and subject librarians

In October, we integrated the LibraryH3lp chat tool throughout the site, added an Events stream, created a staff directory page based on an automated feed from the Stanford directory, continued to improve the content creation experience, and formed a Web Steering Committee. Whew — busy month! Again, all of this is detailed on our blog.

Our branch libraries continue to work on moving their individual branch site content into the new environment (kudos to our Music Library for being the first branch to complete the transition) and subject specialists continue to create Topic and Course guides. In the coming months, our plans include enhancing our collections, research services, department, and news pages; continuing to migrate legacy content; and exploring mobile options.

* Note that by “we”, I mean the Rock Star team that has made all of this awesomeness happen; with special props to Stu Snydman, Jennifer Vine, Sarah Lester, Ray Heigemeir, Jon Lavigne, and the team at Chapter 3.

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.

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