Recently my favorite song to end the workday, to carry me through those last 5 minutes or so before shutting down my section has been Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark’s “Enola Gay.” It’s a great song to help let out some last minute tension after everyone else has gone home – and when no one can see me dancing in my library carrel-cum-office.

“Enola Gay” might be soon eclipsed by the Electric Prunes’ “I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night).” God! That’s some serious crunchy guitar that just sticks in the gut. Exactly what I love about what little garage rock I know about. Perhaps listen to it yourself?

the Electric Prunes – “I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night)” (download via sendspace)

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(title from lyrics from the song “Mathilda” by Cookie and The Cupcakes)

As part of my job I occasionally do radio shows on WXYC, the local college station. This Sunday I will be playing a show consisting entirely of…..

SWAMP POP!!!

Eh? You say? Wikipedia says Swamp pop is a musical genre indigenous to the Acadiana region of south Louisiana and an adjoining section of southeast Texas. Created in the 1950s and early 1960s by teenaged Cajuns and black Creoles, it combines New Orleans-style rhythm and blues, country and western, and traditional French Louisiana musical influences.

But I think it’s more like rockabilly with a Louisiana flavor.

I had a lot of fun putting this show together, especially messing with the sweet 45s my library has got in our collection and dancing in the studio while digitizing tracks.

So listen, y’all. If you’re in the area, you know how to find WXYC on the dial, and if you’re not in the area, you can stream the show live over the internet from http://www.wxyc.org

I’ll be on this Sunday, from 1-2 pm Eastern time. The show is officially called Hell or High Water. This is my third ever radio show, so I’m still nervous, folks, but this is gonna be a good one, I swear.

bend me shape me

September 8, 2006

This music video by Ok Go is mesmerizing.

I started a new job this week, and I love it. I work in a music archive. Does this mean I am an archivist now rather than a librarian? So far I’ve learned some awesome things, like how to digitize reel to reel recordings. I am also getting excited about doing….reference work. See now, this is how life is, you go into something thinking one thing (“I hate dealing with the public and only want to catalog things in a back room away from weird people”) and then you learn things about the thought you had (“Hey wow, the weird people are actually in the back, cataloging” and “This is a lot of repetitive tasks to do all the time”) while still maintaining other thoughts (“Cataloging is really cool and interesting”) and then you end up in a job doing something totally different, that something you thought you wouldn’t want to be doing. I’m actually really looking forward to reference work – it’s like cataloging in some respects, in that you solve a puzzle. With cataloging you make a bunch of little decisions about how to fit the data into the existing structure. With reference you make a bunch of little decisions about what the patron really wants, what we might have to fit their want, how to find it, and so on. Well, we’ll see. I am an unseasoned reference person.

I am also very excited about learning how to use all the different playback equipment for all the different formats.

And excited to learn about the collection. There is so much exciting stuff here about which I know very little. For example, just yesterday I learned about shape note singing. Fascinating.

It is very cold at work. My desk is among ranges and ranges of shelves of boxes of records, papers, CDs, tapes, reels…and the temperature is kept low down. I will need to bring a blanket. And sweaters. And will remember to not come to work with bare legs.

I tend not to write about work, so this quite possibly will be the last you’ll hear of it on the Internet, but I must say how pleased I am with the job duties and the people I work with. Every single one of these people is so interesting, friendly, and weird (but in the BEST way…).

I think the things I had to say about my recent trip to New Orleans that were NOT about socializing have flown out of my head. But I’ll see what I can put together.

The purpose of going to New Orleans, of course, was to attend the annual American Libraries Association conference. And I did attend it, although I spent the majority of the time walking around trying to figure out what the point of it all was. It was my first conference – such a reaction should not be surprising.

I spent the first day attending sessions about job searching. I wish I hadn’t. After hearing various people talk about strategies, all of which conflicted with each other, I came away with disgruntlement in my belly. It appears that things are as I thought they were – some employers want certain things from job seekers, some employers want completely different things. There is very little way to determine exactly which employer wants what, so it is best to just go about being who I am and hope that I find the right people/the right people find me. It doesn’t seem like a good idea to waste so much effort engaging in handwringing about the metasearch. I should just continue to honestly and professionally present myself and hope that works out eventually. I’m not very good at playing games anyway.

The second day I attended sessions about cataloging. I wish I would have attended similar sessions on the first day as well. One of the sessions I attended made everything worthwhile. It was Catalog Transformed: From Traditional to Emerging Models of Use. Andrew Pace and Cindy Levine demonstrated NCSU’s fancy new catalog, which I’d already heard about and used before, but I hadn’t seen the dog and pony show yet (and it was entertaining). Jina Wakimoto from Boulder and John Blyberg from Ann Arbor District Library also had some very compelling, frankly exciting things to say about the catalog. They said things that I’ve been thinking about, things that I gave a presentation about last year, things that excite me about cataloging. I came out of it exhilarated, and, well, just really glad to be a cataloger, with such interesting things on the horizon.

Another thing – the convention center in New Orleans is huge. It seriously takes like half an hour to walk the whole length of it. I spent some time walking around the exhibit hall, but didn’t find too much to keep my interest. I am not responsible for dealing with vendors at my library, so it wasn’t really important for me to engage with book publishers, shelving manufacturers, etc. (not yet, anyway), and I’m not very excited by collecting free crap. (I’ve got enough crap in my house as it is.) Although I did get a little bit of free stuff – some of the book publishers had stacks of uncorrected proofs of upcoming books to take, plus I got a funny little business card holder made out of the materials used to make archival boxes, and a water bottle from Microsoft (which was very useful, I might add). And things for the girls – free magazines from the Cricket empire, notepads, Mardi Gras beads. Walking through the exhibits is very, very tiring. It is huge. In the future I will likely have more of a reason to check out the exhibits, but for this year, it was just a little bit disappointing.

I wish I’d brought my laptop with me – it would have been nice to be able to check my e-mail and such with the free wireless in the convention center. But, oh yeah, my laptop was stolen last spring.