Tag Archives: General News

A face-lift for the LIS Blog

Did you know the LIS Blog published its first post around the same time the iPhone was released? (For the technology history diehards in the audience: the first generation iPhone came out on June 29, 2007.)  In that time, the iPhone went through eight generations, but our original blog design stayed the same. As a rule of thumb, most Web designers often freshen up Websites every 4-5 years! It was time.

So, LIS Blog readers, meet your new LIS Blog design. We hope its clean, elegant, and most importantly, gets out our good news and updates.

Research Libraries, Publishers Stake Out Positions on International ILL

A battle is brewing between research libraries and an association of academic publishers over the right to engage in international interlibrary loans and document delivery, both well-established library practices.

Read the article. >>>

Musical mash-ups

Librarians and IT professionals spend a lot of time reading various email lists devoted to their particular specialties, and music librarians are no exception. In my experience, most this information is routine and somewhat mundane — how do other libraries handle issue X, Y, or Z; can someone help me find this obscure piece of music; does anyone want these periodicals we’re getting rid of. But now and then someone passes along some truly disturbing item that makes me seriously wonder if I’m witnessing one of the four signs of the apocalypse.

One such recent tidbit on the Music Library Association list had to do with this offering from Microsoft’s research division: Microsoft Songsmith. It’s an app that let’s you sing into your computer, twiddle a few preferences (“lively!” “salsa!”), and — presto! — instant song. The song itself sounds like some mutant offspring from the mating of a circus carousel with a Casio, as you can see from this unbelievable video demonstration.

Of course, human beings are relentlessly inventive creatures, and the best use of MS Songsmith I’ve seen is this “musical mash-up” using David Lee Roth’s vocal from “Runnin’ with the Devil.” (And, speaking of mash-ups, take a look at the computer being used in the Microsoft demo link in the paragraph above: isn’t that a… MacBook?! Ouch.)

Truly, we are living in the end times.

Salve, Barry!

OK, if you skip over the unpleasant first paragraph of this article from today’s NY Times about President-elect Obama’s inauguration, things improve substantially in the 2nd paragraph. The first lady of soul, Aretha Franklin, is going to be a featured performer, and Itzhak Perlman (violin), Yo-Yo Ma (cello), Gabriela Montero (piano), and Anthony McGill (clarinet) will perform a new quartet by John “What? No trumpets?” Williams of Star Wars fame.

Free mp3s and year-end reviews

Greetings On that Note readers!

To help spread some holiday cheer I thought I’d tip everyone off to Amazon.com’s offering of 1 free mp3 download per day through December 25th. They’re all holiday-related and some of the recent artists featured include the ever-popular Mannheim Steamroller and the Barenaked Ladies with Michael Bublé (wow!)

It’s also the season when the music pundits start offering up their year-end best-of lists. One of my favorite indie-type online music magazines is offering its year-end best-of lists from regularly contributing writers. Dusted Magazine publishes daily (M-F) reviews of new music, artist interviews, and show reviews, covering a variety of genres. It was co-founded by Otis Hart, a fellow Middlebury Alum, to boot! End of the year reviews for 2008 and previous years are in the Features section.

Happy listening and reading!

Chess Blues

My co-worker Jess noted that I’d written my previous two posts on music genres that I “wasn’t the biggest fan of,” and suggested politely that perhaps I write about something I was a fan of.  Well.  It does seem to be a radical idea, but I’ll bite…

I am a big fan of blues, electric blues in particular.  And the greatest of all electric blues record labels has got to be, no, not Alligator, but Chess.  As it turns out, there is a new movie, Cadillac Blues, based on the history of Chess and some of it’s most famous artists — Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Etta James, Willie Dixon, Chuck Berry, and so on.  I can’t wait to see it, actually (the NY Times praised Beyoncé’s performance as Etta James very highly), but until then I’ll probably get reacquainted with some of this incredible music.  You might want to, too….

Click here for a sampling of Chess CDs in the Music Library