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News about popular contemporary music? Yeah, we got that!

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My colleague, Amanda Smith recently blogged about one of our magazines Musical Mainstream. While I have written of my classical music background and attend concerts in the area, I still like to be connected with what is trending in popular music. Contemporary Soundtrack is a compilation of magazine articles and reviews of popular music, featuring the latest on rock and roll, country, folk, jazz, blues, and gospel.

Screen shot of magazine listing for Contemporary Soundtrack on BARD (Braille Audio Reading Download.)

First offered in 1977, Contemporary Soundtrack is available from the NLS Music Section only in audio format. The content is presented like its counterpart Musical Mainstream with three main sections: Announcements, Selected Reprints, and Selected Reviews. Updated with information about recent blog posts, it also contains a list of recent acquisitions to the Music Section. Reaction from patrons about the latest acquisitions can be felt soon after the magazine is published; we receive requests for a popular score within days of it being uploaded to BARD, or when the magazine is sent to patrons via their subscription.

Our sources for this magazine are well-known trade periodicals in popular music; Rolling Stone, Billboard, and other magazines that were new to me when I started selecting articles for Contemporary Soundtrack. Jazziz introduces new stars in a favorite American genre. Sing Out! has become my go-to magazine for the ‘folkie’ in me (you can take a girl out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the girl) and Guitar World celebrates modern day guitar heroes for all the rocker guitarists in our patron base. Living Blues honors blues heritage and features current artists and performers, as well as articles about legendary artists, like Robert Johnson.

For the ten years I have been compiling articles for this magazine, it has been educational watching the music industry adapt and evolve to the newest format of downloading and the power of social networks. But, Billboard still publishes ‘Hot 100’ charts in multiple categories, Rolling Stone still sends reporters on interviews with reclusive legends (spoiler alert! Contemporary Soundtrack, volume 38, no. 4 July-August issue has a nice article on Ringo Starr), and when looking for feedback, it’s good to read a few reviews of an album before you buy it.

NLS registered patrons can receive Contemporary Soundtrack for free through a subscription. It is published six times a year and available on cartridge and for download from BARD. To subscribe, patrons can either contact the NLS Music Section or their cooperating network library.

Sign up or download today, and continue to ‘rock on,’ ‘stay cool,’ ‘let your hair down,’ and otherwise let the NLS Music Section help you to ‘get in the groove.’



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