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: Great Comebacks

This is my husband's week of jubilee, for R.E.M.'s new album, Accelerate, has just dropped to universal critical acclaim and the distinct possibility of entering the charts next week at #2. Also, the new single completely rocks, which is something R.E.M. has not done for their last three albums. Marcus is a huge R.E.M. fan, and he has stood by them even when their work was, to my ear, snore-inducing, so the band's return to form is particularly sweet for him, as it seems to be for their many fans.

This comeback puts me in mind of other great comebacks in various media, all of which would make for good displays, book group discussion ideas, or bulletin boards:

  • The Rumble in the Jungle -- showcase great bios of Muhammad Ali (there are some wonderful ones for kids & teens out there) alongside Michael Mann's film Ali and the documentary When We Were Kings
  • The Stooges -- No, not these guys, these guys! Arguably, Iggy Pop wasn't in need of a comeback, but the Stooges hadn't recorded together in years. Now, they're enjoying quite the renaissance, releasing an album, touring, and performing for Madonna at her recent Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction.
  • Johnny Cash -- another fellow in the arguable "he never left!" category, but you could just as easily argue that his American Recordings series, on which he collaborated with the chameleonic producer Rick Rubin, introduced The Man in Black to a new generation of listeners. Without his haunting cover (and moving video for) the Nine Inch Nails song "Hurt", I doubt he'd ever have won, much less been nominated for, an MTV Video Music Award.
There are tons of comebacks, returns to form, re-emergence from obscurity, or whatever you want to call them, in every media -- music, film, literature, TV, websites, -- and you can do anything with them, from programs to trivia contests to multimedia reader's, watcher's, or listener's advisory.



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