Popmatic Podcast for March 30, 2016: Woo! College!

By , March 30, 2016

I Am Charlotte Simmons by Tom WolfeMarch Madness is reaching peak hysteria. The more bookish among us know basketball teams often have colleges attached to them so on this show—college! Sarah joins us. I don’t think she mentions Butler once. Part of me admires her restraint. Another part of me fears she has been traumatized by their recent loss. Somehow a fruit themed pun contest breaks out. All this and more on this week’s episode of the Popmatic Podcast.


I Am Charlotte Simmons by Tom Wolfe

Art School Confidential DVD | Hoopla

Art School Confidential: A Screenplay by Daniel Clowes

The Dyer Observatory

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss print | ebook | audio

Donnie Darko

“The Killing Moon” from Songs to Learn and Sing by Echo & the Bunnymen CD | Hoopla

Nashville College for Young Ladies 1899 Basket Ball Team (yes, that’s two words)
Nashville College for Young Ladies Basket Ball Team 1899

For more of the Nashville College for Young Ladies check out Sarah’s awesome post or visit the Metro Archives in person


The Mercy of the Sky by Holly Bailey

Chattanooga Film Festival

Better Nature by Silver Sun Pickups

The Belt by In the Valley Below

Rom Spaceknight

R.I.P. Phife Dawg

Alien: Isolation


Transcripts of the show are available upon request.

A Little Old School for Women’s History Month

By , March 29, 2016
The Vauxhall Building of the Nashville College of Young Ladies, circa 1881-1899

The Vauxhall Building of the Nashville College of Young Ladies, circa 1881-1899

Since transferring to Archives a month ago, it’s been a whirlwind of information trying to learn all that I can about the collections housed in Metro Archives, and the work we do here. But one of the coolest collections I recently stumbled upon and mentioned in the Popmatic Podcast for Wednesday, March 30th, is the small collection we have of the Nashville College for Young Ladies. In honor of March being Women’s History Month, I figured what better topic to discuss than women’s education.

A little history about the college, first of all, it wasn’t a college as it is defined today (post-secondary education). It was more like a current academy in that it covered every grade level from Kindergarten to post-secondary education, or “collegiate.”

It was founded by Reverend George W.F. Price in 1880 when he came to Nashville with this plan of opening a women’s college. Before its home on Vauxhall Street (now 9th Ave S), it was located on Spruce Street, opened at the own expanse of the president. Thanks to its success in the first year, support was given by the Methodists of Nashville, establishing the institution as a center of Southern Methodism.

The school was moved to its Vauxhall home permanently in November, 1882, with its enrollment and prestige mirroring the rapid physical growth the institution was receiving. On the corner of Vauxhall and Broad streets sat the first of 3 large brick buildings, covering approximately half an acre of ground for the campus. Unfortunately, you can no longer see any of these buildings standing because they were torn down around 1949 to make way for the federal building that still sits there today.

The "Our College" newsletter for the Nashville College for Young Ladies

The “Our College” newsletter for the Nashville College for Young Ladies

Between 1881 when it had just recently opened and 1892, the enrollment increased by just over 300%. It defined itself as being the “Leading Southern School for the Advanced Education of Women.” At least this is the advertisement found on the backside of the school’s monthly newsletter, Our College, that appears to have begun around the beginning of the school year in 1889.

From reading through several of the president’s speeches (the school’s president), it was easy to infer that receiving an education was an important concept to him – and not just to become more knowledgeable. In one speech that appeared to philosophize education as an institution, Price (the president) argued that he believed that receiving an education is a “two-fold process.” It was first, the acquisition of knowledge. And second, the acquisition of culture. Essentially, he believed without one, you cannot have another. Or rather, that without the combination of both, you cannot be a complete person in society.

Yeah, I’d agree that sounds perhaps a little elitist or high-achieving for sure, but pretty realistic for even today’s educational standards. I guess you can liken it to the phrase “book smarts vs. street smarts.” I don’t agree that you have to have both to be successful, but they are both equally important in today’s world.

1899 Yearbook called "The Talisman" for the Nashville College for Young Ladies

1899 Yearbook called “The Talisman” for the Nashville College for Young Ladies

Another interesting item found in the small collection is one of the school’s yearbooks. The 1899 yearbook called “The Talisman” is in bad shape unfortunately, but also currently digitized and accessible for viewing in the Library’s Digital Collection. It’s a lot smaller than today’s typical yearbook, but still shows the culture of the school. And what’s most unique about the 1899 yearbook is that it is the last ever published by the school since the school closed after commencement of that year. The president of the school had passed away April 7, 1899, so a dedication is included in the yearbook.

The book opens with the “officers of government and instruction,” which includes the administration and professors at the school, plus the courses taught. The “Literary Department” is a typical liberal arts assortment of courses including languages, sciences, history, and mathematics. The one course title I found most intriguing yet still suiting for the school was the science class. It’s not just science, but “Sciences – Mental, Moral and Physical.” Makes me think of Darwin and many other current scientific theories.

And of course, it is still a women’s college, so they can’t escape having a “domestic department” or an “elocution department.” The pupils learned from the books, but were also prepared with a “practical education” that included courses in dressmaking, embroidery, shorthand and typing, and bookkeeping. They received a well-rounded education, indeed.

The "Demoralizing Irregulars" club at the Nashville College for Young Ladies

The “Demoralizing Irregulars” club at the Nashville College for Young Ladies

And the club pages are pretty cool too, including the “Demoralizing Irregulars” page. In one of the photos included, several students are featured eating fruit under the headline of “Demoralizing Irregulars.” Correct me if I’m wrong, but from my research, I’ve found that a woman’s etiquette did not include eating in public. Plus the fact that they’re eating fruit makes it even more forbidden. I can’t think of an equivalent club in a modern yearbook; there’s no “delinquents” page or “troublemakers club”, so maybe this was just a fun club where they allowed a little more freedom for the students. This is what I’m hoping at least.

And lastly, among the diverting clubs they had, I found that they had clubs for a few states. These states include: yours truly, Tennessee (or “The Volunteer State” in the yearbook), the Kentucky Club, the Arkansas Club, and the Texas Club. I’m guessing the states chosen were done based on the states that the students come from, but I’m not sure. There is no explanation. But the state with the most members is the “Volunteer State.” Go figure.

Program for the 1882 Closing Exercises at the Nashville College for Young Ladies

Program for the 1882 Closing Exercises at the Nashville College for Young Ladies.

Movie Review: The Black Panthers: Vanguards of the Revolution

By , March 27, 2016


The Black Panthers The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution

Stanley Nelson interviewed several scholars who spoke about the Civil Rights era, and the Panthers’ influence during the time period. More importantly, Mr. Nelson interviewed former Black Panther members which included Ericka Huggins, Kathleen Cleaver, and Jamal Joseph. The interviews highlighted the ideals Huey Newton and Bobby Seale had, the work that was put into the group, and the impact the group had on the rest of the world. Yet, the documentary also shows how young and unprepared many of the members were.

I was shocked when I realized that Huey Newton and Bobby Seale were only 24 and 30, respectively, when they founded the Black Panther Party. Many of the group members were under 25, yet all of these young people came together to protect and grow their neighborhoods. All of them risked their freedom, bodily harm, and death, to try and make the lives of minorities better. The group did have its issues–sexism, drugs, interpersonal dramas, etc., however, I found myself struck by the fact that the group was still able to shake up authority, demand change, and have it happen! Fred Hampton was organizing NAACP youth groups by the time he was 18 years old, while I was just struggling to organize my class schedule.

The movie is only about two hours long, and gives the audience a well researched starting point for those who have never heard about the Black Panthers, those who have never heard anything good about the group, and those who have always wanted to learn more. As you watch, it is okay to be amazed at these barely christened adults starting a revolution, and face the consequences with a level a poise that most people could only dream about.


Legends of Film: Paul Hirsch

By , March 25, 2016

Source CodeDuring this episode we talk to Academy Award-winning film editor Paul Hirsch. If you aren’t aware of Mr. Hirsch’s career in film, get ready to be amazed. His editing credits include Star Wars Episodes IV and V, Phantom of the Paradise, Ray, and the upcoming Warcraft movie.

Join us for a free screening of Source Code on Saturday, April 9, 2016, beginning at 2:00 p.m., at the Main Library Auditorium in Nashville, TN.

Subscribe to Legends of Film by RSS | iTunes

Popmatic Podcast for March 23, 2016: Super Buckley vs. Bat Vidal

By , March 23, 2016

DC Marvel Crossover Classics IIBatman v Superman is coming out so on this show we talk about rivalries. Jeremy and Mike do there best to explain to me how Batman and Superman could be rivals, but I’m not sure if I get it. I am greatly disappointed there was no mention of Holmes and Moriarty. Things get better later in the show when we learn even weather can be sexy. It sounds like this episode was recorded in a closet!


Superman: Red Son by Mark Millar, Dave Johnson, and Kilian Plunkett

How to Catch a Russia Spy: The True Story of an American Spy Turned Double Agent by Naveed Jamali

Marvel Masterworks: Amazing Spider Man Volume 1 by Stan Lee & Steve Ditko

DC/Marvel Crossover Classics II

Best of Enemies: Buckley vs. Vidal

Velvet Underground CD | Hoopla

Lou Reed CD | Freegal | Hoopla

John Cale CD | Freegal | Hoopla

Songs for Drella by Reed & Cale


ARCO (Agency for Covert Rare Operatives) series by Sydney Croft

Starry Eyes: UK Pop Volume 2 1978-1979 featuring “Up the Junction” by Squeeze

Hawk by Steven Brust

The Book of Jhereg by Steven Brust

Dark Money by Jane Mayer

board game artist Terry Leeds

his map for Liberty or Death: The American Insurrection is awesome


Transcripts of the show are available upon request.

Book Reviews: ILL Weather

By , March 22, 2016

It’s still March Weather Madness so it’s still time to talk about weather! Honestly, I’ve exhausted most of the library’s supply of books about Mother Nature and the Heavens. Good thing I run Interlibrary Loan, huh?

Don’t know what Interlibrary Loan is? Well, let me enlighten you. If Nashville Public Library does not own a book (print material only – sorry no DVDs or CDs!), I can try to borrow it for you from another library. Cool, right?

So ILL opened up a whole new weather book world for me. I recently borrowed two books I’d like to tell you about:

The first one was called Category 5: the 1935 Labor Day Hurricane by Thomas Knowles. Did you know about this? I’d never heard of it until I stumbled across this book. Apparently in 1935, a Category 5 hurricane took aim at the Florida Keys and devastated Matecumbe (which is the area between Key West and Key Largo). I can’t even try to imagine predicting a storm like this in 1935. In the thirties there was no radar, no satellites, and no hurricane planes to help provide information. Forecasters knew there was a storm coming, but they weren’t exactly sure where it was and they had no idea it would be as strong as it was.

This hurricane is the strongest hurricane to ever hit the US. (It’s was stronger, even than Camille.) It had winds of 185 mph – but they may have been higher because most of the recording equipment blew away at some point during the storm. And it also has the lowest pressure recorded in a landfalling hurricane at 26.35 inches – normal sea level pressure is about 30 inches.

My only complaint with Knowles’ book was that he kept switching back and forth from past tense verbs to present tense verbs and this got annoying. But this story itself was sound. And, if I ever get a chance to travel to the Keys, now I’ll go with a little more history. I’ll also try not to visit during hurricane season. Yikes!

The second book I borrowed was called Storm Watchers: The Turbulent History of Weather Prediction from Franklin’s Kite to El Nino by John D. Cox. I was a little concerned that this one might be a bit dry since it was more about the science of weather than an actual storm, but he organized it really well and it still moved. Cox picked the twenty-eight men (no women, dang it) that he felt really helped shape weather forecasting in the US specifically, but also abroad. I’d heard of about half the guys – people like James Espy, John Finley, Isaac Cline and Ted Fujita. But it was fun to meet the new guys.

Like I mentioned, the book was divided into short(ish) segments that focused on each meteorologist, and there was a little overlap between the sections that helped the overall flow of the book. My biggest complaint is that there was quite a bit of science that I didn’t always completely understand. But I’m working on it…

So those are two good ILL picks if you need to get a weather fix beyond what NPL has provided. Also, if you find other really cool ILL weather books, or really any fun ILL books, I always love to discover good books about interesting topics. Everybody wins!

Happy March Weather Madness and Happy reading (don’t get blown away)…

:) Amanda

Popmatic Podcast for March 16, 2016: I Don’t Want to Grow Up

By , March 16, 2016

Attack of the Fluffy BunniesThere’s a new Pee-wee Herman movie coming out so on this show we talk about kids stuff that is also great for adults. Appropriately enough, Klem-Mari from Bringing Books to Life joins us to share some kids books that will also tickle the fancy of grown ups. Hurricane Amanda continues her series on the best weather books. All this and this and more on this week’s episode of the Popmatic Podcast.


Where’s Waldo by Martin Handford

The Witches by Roald Dahl illustrated by Quentin Blake

Attack of the Fluffy Bunnies by Andrea Beaty

Mark Kistler’s Draw Squad by Mark Kistler

Bringing Books to Life’s book picks

Go Away Big Green Monster by Ed Emberley

Niño Wrestles the World by Yuyi Morales

Viva Frida by Yuyi Morales

I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen

the works of Mo Willems

the works of Jon Scieszka


Loretta Lynn: Still a Mountain Girl

Thunderbolt and Lightfoot

Svenghouli on MeTV

Superstorm: Nine Days Inside Hurricane Sandy by Katherine Miles

Bob’s Burgers

Bob’s Burgers comics


Transcripts of the show are available upon request.

Making the Ryman: Lula Naff

By , March 14, 2016

Exterior of RymanGuest blogger, Sara, shares one of her favorite Nashvillians with us today.

Lula Naff is the woman behind shifting the Ryman Auditorium from a religious venue to the entertainment destination it is today. In observance of Women’s History Month, I thought what better way to show off Nashville, the Public Library, and women than by reintroducing this famous woman that many may not know about but whose existence helped to shape one of the city’s greatest event venues.

Today the Ryman is known for musical events, the Grand Ole Opry, Country music, and excitement. But, it wouldn’t be known by these and other descriptions if it hadn’t been for Lula Naff. Her remarkable decision making and innovative ability to book diverse events have allowed the Ryman to maintain its historical run as a “must-see, must-do” for both locals and visitors to Nashville who crave a great time. Ms. Naff’s early influence of seeking various forms of entertainment for public and private viewing has become the catalyst for other venues attempting to gain larger audiences in Nashville. Though originally conceived as a building used for worship, debt and poor foot traffic forced Naff to invite wider varieties of performers to bring in more audiences and money.

Lula Naff was born in Fall Branch, Tennessee in 1875. She later worked as a stenographer for DeLong Rice Lyceum Bureau of Johnson City. She became widowed and, in 1904, the company moved to Nashville, bringing her and her young daughter along. After the company’s closure in 1914, Naff’s part-time job of booking Ryman Auditorium’s shows became her full-time career. By 1920, she was elevated to manager of the Ryman, becoming the first woman to fully manage the venue. It was because of her innovative ideas in booking such vast events and capturing more audiences that the Ryman was able to maintain its popularity and create an image of diversity. She retired in 1955, having worked over fifty years with the Ryman, and died in 1960 at the age of 85.


During her career, Naff recruited a variety of musical performers, speakers, and actors to the Ryman, including:

Tobacco Road Cast

Cast photograph of Tobacco Road signed to Lula Naff

*The Fisk Jubilee Singers, who began using the Ryman as their regular performance venue in the early 1900s.

* Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan Macy, in 1913, which was the first sold out show at the Ryman.

*Merchant of Venice, featuring Maude Adams as Portia in 1922.

*Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt speaking on behalf of the Girl Scouts Council of America in 1938.

*Tobacco Road in 1938. Naff won a lawsuit against the Nashville Board of Censors who tried to ban the play and arrest main actor John Barton for indecency.

*Grand Ole Opry, which began their live performances in 1943.

Want to learn more about Lula Naff? The Special Collections department at Main library branch has an extensive collection of Lula Naff’s personal memorabilia, dating from the early 1900s to her retirement. Or check out the segment NPT did for Carousel of Time.

- Sara



Popmatic Podcast for March 9, 2016: March Weather Madness

By , March 9, 2016

Key LargoMarch means floods and tornadoes. This episode is a whirlwind. Get it. We were pretty much flung off course right from the beginning. I apologize to Mike Love and Beach Boys fans everywhere. Plus—what is tickling our fancy this month.


Be prepared for severe weather.

Roar of the Heavens by Stefan Bechtel

Key Largo

Dorothea Lange: The Heart and Mind of a Photographer by Pierre Borhan

Dorothea Lange: Life Through the Camera by Milton Meltzer

Dorothea Lange: Life in Pictures by Laura Baskes Litwin

2010 Flood Digital History Project

Excerpt from Matt Pylkas’ oral history interview

Jeff Lynne writes a ton of weather songs:

“Loredo Tornado” from Eldorado by Electric Light Orchestra

“Above the Clouds” from A New World Record by Electric Light Orchestra

“Summer and Lightning” from Out of the Blue by Electric Light Orchestra

“Standin’ in the Rain” from Out of the Blue by Electric Light Orchestra

“Mr. Blue Skies” from Out of the Blue by Electric Light Orchestra

“Stormy Weather” from Armchair Theatre by Jeff Lynne


Weather Warden series by Rachel Caine

Outcast Season series by Rachel Caine

Hardcore Henry

Cool Hand Luke starring George Kennedy

Fuller House

The Song Machine by John Seabrook


Transcripts of the show are available upon request.

DVD Review: Great Courses Meteorology

By , March 8, 2016

Meteorology: An Introduction to the Wonders of the Weather
From Great Courses

March marks the beginning of spring, so it’s only natural that a young girl’s thoughts turn to…yup, you guessed it…severe weather. Tennessee’s official Severe Weather Awareness week happened from February 28 to March 5, but if you missed it, don’t fret. Nashville Public Library has lots of severe weather materials to get you informed before Mother Nature gets cranky.

My favorite weather items to read are books about tornados. While these are entertaining after the fact, they won’t do much to educate about what exactly causes the windy spirals and why forecasters can’t always predict their occurrence. But recently the library ordered a new Great Courses series called Meteorology: An Introduction to the Wonders of the Weather. This is a four disc set, plus a digital course workbook that includes 24, half-hour lessons on weather. Topics range from basic discussions about the atmosphere to wind to lightning to the actual ability of forecasters to predict future weather.

The class is taught by Robert G. Fovell, who initially looks like snobby, know-it-all professor who flunks everyone just because he can. But as the series goes on, I really started to like him. He’s funny and he not only knows his subject matter, but he attempts to make it comprehensible for those of us who don’t have advanced degrees in mathematics or fluid dynamics. At one point I considered being a meteorologist, but then I found out that they had to know all that hard stuff, like calculus, and I’ve never been the biggest fan of math. I CAN do it, I simply CHOOSE not to.

I’m still working through the set, and I thought this might be something that would not have the biggest demand so I’d be able to renew it. But shock upon shock, there is currently a holds list for this item. Way to go Weather Nerds! I promise to be responsible and share this as soon as my time is up (but I might have to put myself back in line for it and go again!)

If you don’t want to wait for your turn with this set, you can check out all my other weather-related recommendations on the Popmatic Podcast. I christened this whole month “March Weather Madness” and there is something for everyone – hurricanes, tornadoes, and Al Roker (be not afraid…). Be sure to tune in to tomorrow’s episode (March 9) when I make all the guys celebrate weather with me (and no one mentions a comic book!)

Happy weather watching…

:) Amanda

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