Welcome Back College Students!

If you're waiting for classes to begin and looking for some entertainment, try listening to How I Paid for College: A Novel of Sex, Theft, Friendship and Music Theater. The title perfectly describes the plot, with a little David Sedaris and a little Catcher in the Rye thrown in. I'm not sure I would listen to it in public, unless you can keep from snorting when you laugh. Here's my favorite quote from our hero's high school english teacher:

"Oedipus Rex. A heartwarming little family story in which our hero
kills his father, sleeps with his mother, and gouges his own eyes out.
If it had been written last year, the school board would be burning it
on the front lawn, but since it's two thousand years old, it's deemed
acceptable for your impressionable little brainlets" (pg. 58).

Have fun moving in, and remember all the dorm beds are extra long twin!

Hilary Duff on Top of Chart

Most Wanted, the greatest hits collection by Hilary Duff tops the Billboard 200 this week. Hilary Duff has a greatest hits collection despite only releasing two studio albums, Hilary Duff and Metamorphosis. This is the second Billboard 200 No. 1 for Hilary Duff.

Gorillaz are back with Demon Days!

The animated, quirky band the Gorillaz returns with an amazing follow-up to their smash debut. The brainchild of illustrator Jamie Hewlett and Blur frontman Damon Albarn the Gorillaz mix it up in ways that will surprise and delight. The catchy first single "Feel Good Inc." features an awesome contribution by De La Soul. Other noteworthy guests include Roots Manuva and Tricky collaborator Martina Topley-Bird on the dubby "All Alone" and Happy Mondays singer Shaun Ryder on the bouncy "DARE."

Push Barman to Open Old Wounds

Scottish chamber pop band Belle and Sebastian has always had the annoying habit of releasing some of their best music on import-only EPs. Now they've finally collected seven of their hard-to-find (they're now all out of print) EPs on a handy, two-disc set. The collection spans five years and features the bittersweet and clever lyrics typical of Belle and Sebastian's work, and music that ranges from country-inspired to lushly orchestrated. If you're new to Belle and Sebastian this is a great place to start, but it is an essential for old fans as well.

Who is Mike Jones?

The debut album from Mike Jones is appropriately titled Who is Mike Jones? The southern rapper's lyrics are often repetitive, yet catchy, in songs such as "Back Then" and "Still Tippin'". Don't worry though, there are some good accompanying beats. Mike Jones is best known for his self-promoting mantra (heard in nearly every song) that makes it difficult to forget him: "Mike Jones! Who? Mike Jones!" I'd definitely recommend this album if you're into rap.

The Play Ground

The Play Ground is rather bare these days so we are temporarily becoming The Festival and Fair Ground. The Ypsilanti Heritage Festival runs August 19-21 from noon to 9 p.m. Jeremy Kittel, who is featured on William Bolcom's album Songs of Innocence and Experience, will be playing from 2-3 p.m. on Sunday. There are also historic building tours, arts and crafts, concessions, children’s events, games, contests and live entertainment. Located at Riverside and Frog Island parks, Depot Town and downtown Ypsilanti.

Sacred Songs CD

Sacred Songs, sung by tenor Roberto Alagna, with the City of Toulouse Choir and Orchestra (conducted by Michel Plasson) EMI Classics

The 14 selections on this magnificent CD all sound secular, yet also somehow sacred. The CD opens with the old favorite Ave Maria (Hail Mary), followed three songs later by an arrangement of the popular song Midnight, Christians (O Holy Night). I didn’t recognize most of the other songs, but I definitely enjoyed listening to this entire collection of beautiful music, which mostly was composed in the 1800s. In fact, I turned the CD up quite loud, at home - very entertaining and inspiring. The cover shows a handsome, smiling Roberto Alagna, the famous tenor who in 1988 won the Luciano Pavarotti International Competition in Philadelphia, and who in 2004 was named Artiste Lyrique de L'année at the Victoire de la Musique Classique awards. Despite the cute picture, the CD apparently is not a big seller; currently on Amazon you can only buy it from a third party. Not a good sign. Released in 1996, the CD joined the library collection in February. I recommend it for good listening at home, or on a long August cross-country drive.

Getting Old is Getting Tougher

Just ask Matt Scudder, star of Lawrence Block's best mystery series. Scudder thinks he's sailing into retirement, hanging out at AA meetings and annoying his wife when a best friend dies and more murders than you can count start to pile up around him. Reviewers give All the Flowers Are Dying raves, so give it a listen.

Faith Hill Has Third No. 1 Hit

Fireflies, the cd by Faith Hill has earned the top spot on the Billboard 200. This cd marks a return to her country roots. The lead single, Mississippi Girl, is No. 3 on the Hot Country Songs chart.

Coldplay - X&Y

Coldplay's third album X&Y is still the #1 seller on Amazon.com. If you enjoyed their previous albums (Parachutes and A Rush of Blood to the Head), you're sure to love this one. If you're a newcomer to this group, check 'em out if you enjoy l

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