Pop Goes the Library

Using Pop Culture to Make Libraries Better.

by Sophie Brookover, Liz Burns, Melissa Rabey, Susan Quinn, John Klima, Carlie Webber, Karen Corday, and Eli Neiburger. We're librarians. We're pop culture mavens. We're Pop Culture Librarians.


Friday Fun: The Olympics for Non-Sports Fans

Admittedly, I'm a big fan of the Olympics. I don't think I've gotten to bed before midnight this week, because I've been up watching the coverage from Beijing. Thank goodness the weekend is finally here!

But, if you're not a sports fan, you might think the Olympics doesn't offer you anything. But . . . how about some pretty awesome commercials?

Nike's commercial, which is more about honoring the twentieth anniversary of the Just Do It slogan, features a huge number of athletes, all set to a song by the Killers. If you go to the Nike site to view the commercial, you get the benefit of an animation at the bottom of the screen, indicating who most of the athletes are.

Visa's commercials are incredibly distinctive, done in a golden sepia tone and highlighting various athletes and stories. Narrated by Morgan Freeman, they're very simple, but gorgeously filmed and very moving. My favorite is the one featuring Derek Redmond.

What commercials have gotten you interested in something you normally could care less about?

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QandANJ Commercial: Rock Out, SJRLC!

This is so fantastic, I almost have no words. A virtual reference ad, on MTV. Your eyes do not deceive you. I am so proud to be a member (or is it my library that's a member?) of the South Jersey Regional Library Cooperative. Talk about getting it. Pete, Karen, Beth -- please post in the comments about how this came about!

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Haven't I Seen That Song Before?

One of my favorite events is when a song I like is used in a TV commercial or on a TV show. It's especially great when it's not a common song, or when I discover a new musician thanks to the exposure. In my opinion, one of the best things The O.C., and the shows that has followed in its wake, has done is drawn attention to the importance of music. Now, any indie artist knows there's a shot at getting lots of exposure for their music via television.

There's a lot of sites that help you figure out the songs used in commercials, like
What's That Called and Songtitle.Info. There's even a site for UK commercials, Commercial Breaks and Beats. But in my admittedly-not-exhaustive search, I only came across one website that talked about music on TV shows: Tunefind.

Do you know of sites that help identify music on TV? I'd love to know about them! I hope these sites help with patrons who are curious about the music on their TV.

And in case you were wondering: five of my favorite 'featured on TV' songs.

1. "Such Great Heights" performed by Iron & Wine, featured in M&Ms commercial Kaleidoscope.
2. "Ashes" performed by Embrace, featured in Veronica Mars episode 2x01, Normal is the Watchword. (YouTube link)
3. "Stay" performed by Michelle Featherstone, featured in Alias episode 2x04, Dead Drop. (YouTube link) [Michelle, on her website, talks about how TV was so critical to her music career]
4. "Catch My Disease" performed by Ben Lee, featured in a Dell commercial.
5. "I Feel Pretty" from West Side Story, featured in Nike Woman commercial I Feel Pretty.

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