Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Giants Of The Past

The Library salutes the San Francisco Giants in the World Series with a small display of photos of the Giants from years past. courtesy of the San Francisco Historical Photograph Collection, San Francisco Public Library. Books on baseball are also here on the Fourth Floor.

Stop by the Library before or after attending the Giants Parade on October 31.

Monday, October 29, 2012

The Encyclopedia of Dead Rock Stars

Once you’re dead you’re made for life.

--Jimi Hendrix

Halloween, the Day of the Dead and All Soul’s Day are perfect times to ruminate on death.  It is a time of the year when it is perfectly acceptable, even creditable, to indulge your morbid side by reading the obituaries, necrographies and death trivia of your favorite musicians.  To that end, we irreverently recommend The Encyclopedia of Dead Rock Stars by Jeremy Simmonds.

Are you familiar with the Curse of the Buzzcocks? Do you know which popular singing group has more deceased members than any other pop act?  [The Drifters.]  Or which 1991 accident is considered “the biggest single band wipe-out ever in popular music history?”  [Plane crash, the Reba McEntire Band].

The Encyclopedia of Dead Rock Stars consists of succinct articles arranged chronologically, in order of death date.  Each entry is preceded by symbols indicating cause of death, whether it be natural, heart attack, murder, accident, poisoning, and so on.  Indulge in the multi-icon artists!  Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones, Jim Morrison, and David McComb of the Triffids have five or more such symbols indicating complicated deaths (as well as lives, apparently).

This book is also peppered with interesting and prophetic quotes, such as:

‘You’re drinking with Number Three.’  
-- Jim Morrison, to friends after hearing of Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix’s deaths.

‘I’ll probably be popped off by some loony!’ 
--John Lennon, interviewed during the sixties.

‘You win -- I gain.’ 
--Karen Carpenter’s cryptic crocheted message above her New York hospital bed, 1982.

Reading List:

Better to Burn Out: The Cult of Death in Rock 'n Roll by Dave Thompson (Thunder's Mouth Press, 1999).

The Encyclopedia of Rock Obituaries by Nick Talevski (Omnibus Press, 1999).  

"Rock Death in the 1970s: A Sweepstakes," from In theFascist Bathroom: Punk in Pop Music, 1977-1992 by Greil Marcus.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The 2012 San Francisco Giants - World Series Bound Once More

Our San Francisco Giants are National League Champions once again after coming from behind to win two dramatic playoff series against the Cincinnati Reds and St. Louis Cardinals.  Now it's on to Detroit!

The 2012 Giants share several players from the 2010 roster, and they also share a similar tendency to inflict delightful torture upon their fans.  In 2010 we presented a reading list of books covering San Francisco Giants history.  Since then, quite a few books have been published that allow readers to relive that magical season.

Several of these books are written by Bay Area sports journalists.  San Jose Mercury News reporter Andrew Baggarly has written A Band of Misfits: Tales of the 2010 San Francisco Giants.  In this book, Baggarly brings the season back to life with personal anecdotes about players and the day-to-day experiences of the team.  This Is Our Time!: The 2010 San Francisco Giants World Series Champions, written by Chris Haft, the Giants' beat reporter for Mlb.com, also provides insights from his daily coverage of that team.  

Worth the Wait is a photographic celebration of the season featuring photography by Brad Magin; KNBR sports radio personality Brian Murphy, the author of San Francisco Giants: 50 Years, wrote the accompanying text and player profiles.  San Francisco Giants: Torture to Rapture recounts 2010 campaign through words and images from the San Francisco Chronicle.  Giant Surprise: San Francisco's 2010 World Champions is a richly illustrated summary of the team's playoff and World Series run.  

Two earlier books, Tales From the San Francisco Giants Dugout by Nick Peters and Giants Past And Present by Dan Fost have also been republished in updated editions that include the 2010 championship season.

Another recent title, 100 Things Giants Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die by Bill Chastain, features short chapters about 100 players and events from throughout the team's San Francisco. Finally, San Francisco Giants by Tricia O'Brien is a black and white photo collection spanning the team's history from its arrival in 1958 to 2011.

Let's hope this year's team will continue to give us exciting memories that will captured in future books about our San Francisco Giants.

Let's go Giants!

A Band of Misfits: Tales of the 2010 San Francisco Giants by Andrew Baggarly (Triumph Books, 2011).

Giant Surprise: San Francisco's 2010 World Champions (Triumph Books, 2010).

Giants Past And Present by Dan Fost (MVP/MBI Pub. LLC, 2011).

100 Things Giants Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die by Bill Chastain (Triumph Books, 2011).

San Francisco Giants by Tricia O'Brien (Arcadia Pub., c2011).

San Francisco Giants: Torture to Rapture: 2010 World Series Champions (KCI Sports Pub., 2010).

Tales From The San Francisco Giants Dugout: A Collection of the Greatest Giants Stories Ever Told by Nick Peters with Stuart Shea (Sports Pub., 2011).

This Is Our Time!: The 2010 San Francisco Giants World Series Champions: The Inside Story: Improbable, Wild, Unforgettable by Chris Haft and Eric Alan (Confluence Books, 2011).

Worth the Wait by Brian Murphy (Skybox Press, 2011).

"Your 2010 National League Champion San Francisco Giants: A Reading List," San Francisco Public Library Art, Music and Recreation Center [blog] (October 26, 2010).

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Musicals!: A Complete Selection Guide for Local Productions

Richard Chigley Lynch's Musicals!: A Complete Selection Guide for Local Productions is one of the more useful and practical reference sources we use.  As the subtitle indicates, the purpose of the book is to assist anyone thinking of staging a musical.  It consists of an alphabetical listing of almost 500 musical theater works along with practical information about each of them.  While the information about the creators of each work is easy to come by in other sources, where this reference stands apart in supplying publication information about the work.

Musicals! gives bibliographic information about any published libretto (or script), condensations of the libretto, piano-vocal score, and when there is no piano-vocal score, whether there are vocal selections.

This is extraordinarily helpful information because in many cases, libretti and scores have not been commercially published.  Patrons are sometimes confused to learn that there is no published score or script for the music they seek.  But there is a logical reason for this--the rights holder of the work has made a decision that it is in their interest to make the scores and scripts available only on a rental basis.  Thus, Musicals! also includes another crucial bit of information - the Licensing Agent who owns the rights to each show.  They are also the ones who rent out performing material like scripts, performing scores and parts for the musicians in the pit.

Musicals! also gives information about commercially-released cast recordings (when they exist).  Finally, it also provides information about the numbers of actors and actresses needed to perform the work and a listing of songs from each show.

This resource also includes four indexes.  The first two provide contact information for the Licensing Agents and Publishers cited in the book.  There is also an index of composers, lyricists and librettists.  The final index is also very important - a song index to all of the numbers in each show included in the reference.

A copy of the 1984 edition of Musicals! is available to view online through archive.org for library users who register with Open Library.

Musicals!: A Complete Selection Guide For Local Productions by Richard Chigley Lynch, 2nd edition (American Library Association, 1994).

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Introduction to Western Music: From Hildegard to Handel Fall 2012

The Art, Music & Recreation Center of the San Francisco Public Library in association with the University of the Commons (uotc.org) presents

INTRO TO WESTERN MUSIC: From Hildegard to Handel Fall 2012

Instructor: John Smalley

Recommended Texts:
Online Resources
Course Description and Objectives:  This course examines Western art music in various political, economic, and aesthetic contexts and seeks to teach listening skills, a critical vocabulary for discussing music, and a greater appreciation for the complex roles of music in society. The course looks at changing genres and styles of music and discusses composers’ choices and assumptions, as well as those of their patrons and audiences, as we move chronologically from the Middle Ages through the Baroque era. Students’ critical perceptions and responses to the music and the readings will be eagerly sought.

Course Calendar - October–November 2012

10/7     Introduction.  Elements of music.

Medieval Music.  Ars antiqua.  Terms: “chant,” “organum,” “scale,” “monophony,” “tenor,” “cantus firmus.”

Anon., Haec dies (chant)
Anon., Haec dies (organum)
Anon., O mitissima/Virgo/Haec dies
Anon., Vere dignum
Anon., In paradisum
Pérotin, Diffusa est gratia

10/14   Sacred and secular monophony. Terms: “Fifth”

Hildegard of Bingen, Ordo Virtutum
Beatritz, Countess of Dia, A chantar mes al cor

            Ars Nova.  Terms: “motet,” “isorhythm,” “polyphony,” “imitative polyphony,” “non-imitative polyphony,” “third”

Machaut, Quant en moy 

10/21   Renaissance Music.  Terms: “mass,” “motet,” “madrigal,” “cadence,” “word painting”

Josquin, Pange lingua Mass, Kyrie
Josquin, Pange lingua Mass, Gloria
Josquin, Ave Maria
Thomas Weelkes, As Vesta Was from Latmos Hill Descending

10/28   NO CLASS

11/4     Baroque Music.  Terms: “opera,” “recitative,” “aria” “ritornello,” “ritornello form,”

Henry Purcell, Dido and Aeneas, “Thy Hand, Belinda”
Henry Purcell, Dido and Aeneas, “When I Am Laid”

Baroque Concerto.  Ritornello form. Baroque keyboard music
Vivaldi, The Four Seasons, “Spring,” mvt. 1
Elisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre, Gigue

11/11   Baroque Concerto (cont.) and Oratorio. Terms: “fugue,” oratorio.”
Bach, Brandenburg Concerto No. 5, mvt. 1
Bach, Fugue in C- sharp major

Handel, Messiah, “There Were Sheperds”
Handel, Messiah, “Glory to God”
Handel, Messiah, Hallelujah Chorus