Archive for collections and archives

Encyclopedia Metallum

Posted in Library Science stuff, Music, Techie Stuff with tags , , , , on May 23, 2017 by phanteana

we know that computers are smart (ahem, Watson). but can they learn to sound Metal? apparently, they can thanks to the Encyclopedia Metallum. the site provides hundreds of thousands of bands, sub-genres, countries of origin, etc. that have been produced by a neural network. so if you’re in the market for a band name that hasn’t been taken yet, there’s plenty to choose from!

 

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last night a DJ saved my mix

Posted in Library Science stuff, Music, Popular Culture with tags , , , , , , on February 8, 2017 by phanteana

did you have stacks of mix-tapes once upon a time? i did. some of them remain in occasional rotation, while others make me want to cringe. a few of these tapes are DJ mixes from the heyday of the US Goth scene in the late 90’s/early 00’s (this may be a cover, but it never gets old), and listening to them makes me yearn for the days before adult responsibilities set in. back then, 7 am was bedtime after a night of dancing. these days, 7 am is equated with the sound of buzzing alarm clocks. the times, they have a-changed.

so what would you do if someone dropped a whole bunch of club mix-tapes off to you…would you chuck them? or, would they serve a purpose? for Jim Hopkins, a San Francisco-based DJ, the choice veered towards the latter. Hopkins has been working on a project called the SF Disco Preservation Society, a non-profit organization whose mission is to preserve the sounds of the SF dance scene from the 70’s through the 90’s. much of the collection has been digitized for future generations, and also serves as a nostalgic reminder for those who remember it well.

perhaps Hopkins’ unique approach to archival preservation might inspire DJ’s from other genres to follow suit. even after the morning alarm goes off, those old Goth mixes help me start my day.

 

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..everyone dressed like Fairuza Balk

 

burnin’ for U(K)

Posted in Music, Popular Culture with tags , , , , , on November 28, 2016 by phanteana

Punk has always been about rebellion and protest against mainstream society, especially in the United Kingdom. there are people who worship the music/lifestyle, and there are those who despise it. but one individual might have taken his disdain for it a little too far: by burning a personal collection valued at nearly 5 million pounds(!), or around $6.25M(!).

so who is this perpetrator? a fellow named Joe Corre, who happens to be the son of the late Malcolm McLaren, the former manager of the Sex Pistols. apparently, Mr. Corre feels strongly that Punk was “never meant to be nostalgic“, and thus is willing to torch a 40-year legacy over his beliefs. Corre has also been slammed by his late father’s former client, John Lydon, who had some choice words for Corre in a recent NME article.

somewhere, the ghost of Sid Vicious is weeping…or plotting revenge…or just passed out.

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the Dischord Records archive project (aka a music nerd’s dream)

Posted in Library Science stuff, Music with tags , , , , , , on September 22, 2016 by phanteana

Washington DC may be the Nation’s Capital, but it’s also home to a long-storied punk and hardcore scene courtesy of Dischord Records. huge stacks of lore have been written about bands like Minor Threat, Bad Brains, and even the humble beginnings of Monica Richards before she became everyone’s favorite Muse, thus providing fans and musicologists with a plethora of information. with that said, Dischord recently posted on its website an internship opportunity that is too good to pass up for current MLIS students or recent graduates. that’s correct…a chance to assist with cataloging, preserving, and creating finding aids for manuscript collections with a legendary independent label. applicants must be local to DC, and have some familiarity with Punk music (though both of these are kind of a given). as far as internships go, this definitely ranks high on the list of awesome ones.

 

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HR would apply for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity (if he were in an MLIS program)

 

master of registries

Posted in Music, Popular Culture with tags , , , on March 27, 2016 by phanteana

the Library of Congress is considered to be the Holy Grail for librarians and archivists. each year, 25 lucky winners are selected to be inducted into the LOC’s National Recording Registry to showcase the diversity of American music from a variety of genres. in order to be included, the recordings must be at least 10 years old and highlight a cultural or historical significance. this year, the LOC chose an album that is not only celebrating its 30th anniversary (does anyone feel old yet?), but has the unbelievable honor of being the first Metal album ever to join this widely-praised institution: Metallica’s Master Of Puppets. now that’s heavy!

the album is a watershed among critics and fans, and even those who aren’t necessarily part of the Metal community praised its quality. its significance is not only found in the shift of musical direction (veering away from the Thrash sound of their early 80’s outputs and focusing more on songwriting abilities), but also for the poignancy of being the last album to feature bassist Cliff Burton, whose death (he was killed when the band’s bus flipped over while driving through Sweden in September 1986) is widely regarded as one of popular music’s most tragic losses. 30 years later, his memory lives on through his fans, the surviving members of Metallica both past and present, and his devoted father Ray who, at 89 years old, remembers him fondly as both musician and son. even the most die-hard Metal fan gets a little misty-eyed listening to this soft-spoken gentleman recount how much he adored Cliff. if he were alive today, he would certainly be pleased.

 

England’s dreaming, 40 years later

Posted in Library Science stuff, Music, Popular Culture with tags , , , , , on March 14, 2016 by phanteana

for years, people have been saying that Punk is dead. while some of its famous (and not-so famous) players may have passed onto the Great Pogo Pit in the Sky, many are still actively recording (John Lydon is a millionaire thanks to the return of Public Image Limited) as others have moved out of the spotlight to pursue less high-profile careers and start families. but they’re all together again, thanks to a new exhibition at the British Library coming in May. the world-renowned institution will mark the 40th anniversary of one of England’s finest exports with an archive chronicling those raucous years (1976-1978) that have been forever embedded into music history. the library’s popular music curator, Andy Linehan, was a teen when the Punk movement broke out in the UK, so the archive holds both cultural and personal significance. Linehan is excited about sharing the collection with those who remember it well, as well as those who were too young (or not even born yet) at the time. among the assets featured include periodicals, clothing, videos, and other assorted goodies. if you live in London, or happen to be visiting it this spring, be sure to check out the exhibit!

 

John Lydon endorses libraries in his own unique way

 

 

color me rad(d)

Posted in Art & Photography, Library Science stuff, Popular Culture with tags , , , on February 3, 2016 by phanteana

coloring books aren’t just for kids anymore. it seems that adults have really taken a keen interest in them, thus sending sales soaring for the coloring book industry. one of the primary reasons grown-ups are drawn to coloring books is they are a source of stress relief, and with everything we need to tend to in our lives (career, family, education, etc.) it’s nice to have a few minutes of quiet time to shade that unicorn or car whatever hue we please.

but coloring books are no longer relegated to the privacy or our home or office. libraries and museums are joining in the fun, too, by asking patrons to stop in and color reproductions of pieces from their collections. this week only (Feb. 1-5), a number of institutions will be participating in Color Our Collections Week. find out if any locations near you are offering this exciting opportunity!