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Blog Posts by Subject: Popular Culture

Best Books for Teens 2014!

The list includes a selection of 25 novels, non-fiction books, and graphic novels chosen by a committee of Young Adult librarians who work with teens in NYPL’s neighborhood branches. Read More ›

Four by One Direction: A Track by Track (Sort of) Review

A track by track review of their new album, by a “1D AF.”Read More ›

From the Rodgers and Hammerstein Archives: Blood, Rats, and Scream Queens!

We love Halloween and want to celebrate it by sharing some great Halloween themed recordings we have in our holdings. Read More ›

Song and Dance: The Power Of Black Music

American music is largely influenced by African American music, so concluded eminent musicologists just before the 20th century.Read More ›

Guitars, Gigs, Girls (& Guys): Four Lists of Teen Books that Rock!

Books and plots involving music, musicians, fans and bands go together like peanut butter and jelly. In other words, perfectly! They’re pretty much a top 10 sub-genre of YA fiction for me and here’s why.Read More ›

Punk and the [Anti-]Prom

Every year, my interns and I have the pleasure of working with the students at the High School for Fashion Industries in conjunction with the Library’s wonderful Anti-Prom projects, managed by our colleagues in Teen services. Past themes have included Goth, Monsters, Super Heroes, and Glam. This year was Punk.Read More ›

New York Punk Rock: A Basic History

The theme for Anti-Prom 2014 is New York Punk Rock. The golden age of punk rock in NYC was from 1974 to 1981. When clubs like CBGBs and Max's Kansas City ruled the scene and bands like Television, The Ramones, Blondie, Suicide and Patti Smith were its kings and queens. Read More ›

The Beatles as Fashion Gurus

Last week, LPA hosted a public program on The Beatles and their circle as an influence on fashion in England and here. Phyllis Magidson, Curator of Costume and Textiles for the Museum of the City of New York, and I developed an illustrated conversation on their transitions from Rockers to Mods to Hippies with an occasional visit to Teddy Boys. The black, needle-nose ankle boots stuck around until the trips to India.Read More ›

Beatles Overload? 5 Beatlesque Bands You Should Hear

You can't help it, you are just so jazzed that it is The Beatles' 50th Anniversary of their appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show that you've grown your moptop, dusted off your Hofner Bass and even broke out your 

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"She Loves You" b/w "I'll Get You" by The Beatles, Swan S-4152

Recorded July 1, 1963 in London, UK.Read More ›

The Road to Wrestlemania

Wrestlemania 30 is only 41 days away. Wrestling fans are currently in the thick of what is commonly referred to as "the Road to Wrestlemania." This is hands down the most exciting time of the year for us. Were you aware of the large collection of WWE DVDs the library carries? NYPL has the tools you need to properly celebrate the season, and here are some highlights:Read More ›

The Most Significant Drum Head in Popular Music, Part 2

Upon taking physical possession of the piece, my mind was set on two objectives. The first was to prove to myself that the drum head really was what it appeared to be. And number two, proving to the collecting world in general that this was, in fact, the Sullivan show drum head. Read More ›

The Holy Grail of the Percussion World, Part 1

William F. Ludwig himself put it best when he said, “On February 9th, 1964, a new musical event burst from the TV screens across America. The Beatles had arrived, featuring Ringo Starr and his Ludwig Black Oyster drums. Literally overnight everyone wanted a drum set like Ringo’s. The drum boom was born!”Read More ›

Hittin' Those Low Notes

Treasures, Oddities and Ephemera: 3-D Objects from Billy Rose Theatre Division’s Theatre Cabinets

The Theatre Cabinets (or T-Cabinets as we call them) of the Billy Rose Theatre Division are packed full of objects large and small. The cabinets are a repository for all the three-dimensional items that have accompanied our larger collections or have been given to the division separately as a gift. I absolutely love the T-cabinets. Being hidden in the back of a locked cage and full of mysterious items is only part of the allure. The other part is the extreme variety of the items themselves.

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Fight for Your Right to Read: Banned Books Week 2013

From 2000 to 2009, 8 out of the top 10 books on "The Top 100 Banned/Challenged Books" were specifically written for teens or children. In fact out of that list of 100, 67 were books for teens or children. Titles such as the Harry Potter series (#1), the

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La Generación "a Go-Gó"

(English version) Mi infancia se dio en medio de una generación que en sus tiernos comienzos se la conoció como el movimiento ye-ye o la nueva ola. Sí, me refiero a esa época que al escuchar sus canciones nos embarga la nostalgia con nombres como

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Number One Hits for the Year: 1979

I was recently going through a box of old photographs and came across photos from the first concert I ever attended: Kiss. October 21, 1979. Houston Summit. I was 10.

That got me to thinking of the music from that year.

1979 marked the end of arguably one of the most unfortunate eras in American music history:

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Teen Road Trip Novels: Romance, Reunions and Roadside Attractions

… for the first time in his life Peter understood what the opposite of lost was: that it had nothing to do with maps or directions or stayin on course; that it was, in fact, nothing more than being found.

You Are Here by Jennifer E. Smith

The road trip is an American rite of passage. Nothing is more American than getting in a car, turning it onto a highway and just driving off, destination unknown (or not required).  Windows down, music up and 

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A Note on the Upcoming Record Sale at the Rodgers and Hammerstein Archives of Recorded Sound

1984 Record Sale FlyerOn a rainy spring morning in 1984, over 800 visitors swarmed the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts and purchased over 20,000 78s and LPs at the first Rodgers and Hammerstein Archives of Recorded Sound Duplicate Record Sale. The event raised $14,750 to support the activities of the archive, which began collecting recordings of all types as far back as 1930. Perhaps more importantly, the sale realized space critical to expand the archive, an archive which has since grown to become one of the world's largest, rarest, and most 

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