#1 Record/Radio City

Although they only released three albums, Big Star is one of the most influential power pop bands of all time. They combined the best aspects of bands like the Kinks and the Byrds, added a touch of soul and created songs that are fantastically catchy. Frustration from their lack of commercial success led to several lineup changes and ultimately to the band's break up, but critics and bands such as R.E.M. continue to rate Big Star as one of the most important bands of the seventies.

Edinburgh Chronicle

Not a devoted fan of Alexander McCall-Smith yet? You will be after listening to his newest title, 44 Scotland Street. He takes leave of Botswana to chronicle the lives of the residents of an Edinburgh apartment house. You’ll swear McCall-Smith spent time in Ann Arbor as he describes the lives of artsy Domencia, an Auden-reading 5-year-old and his therapy-loving parents and plenty of other well-drawn characters. Kilts, brogues and Scottish fare are fair game too. So take leave of the serious stuff for this droll and enjoyable story.

Death Cab for Cutie!!

The latest Death Cab for Cutie album is on its way! Plans is the latest release from this excellent band, and it will not disappoint fans. If you’re an O.C. watcher, I’m sure you’ve heard their music. They also have several previous albums that are worth listening to (Transatlanticism, We Have the Facts and We’re Voting Yes, The Photo Album, and more…).

Ben Gibbard (one of the band members) also collaborated with Jimmy Tamborello, of Dntel, to form The Postal Service. This is an awesome pop album, and you may have heard the song “Such Great Heights” on the radio or TV.

Another Album from Paul McCartney

This month Paul McCartney has put out yet another CD: Chaos and Creation in the Backyard. For this album, Sir Paul has teamed up with Nigel Godrich, who has previously worked with Radiohead, leading him to create a deeper, more meaningful sound. Check out Amazon for more reviews and samples of the songs.

Get on the hold list today! The CD should arrive soon.

Baby Bits – Jazz and Mother Goose

With the Gulf Coast in our thoughts right now, bring home a flavor of New Orleans to taste with your baby. Two books with jazz and rhyme are Jazz Baby and Charlie Parker Plays Be Bop. Try the recording Mother Goose Jazz Band featuring jazz greats including Dave Brubeck, Chuck D’Aloia, and Laurel Masse, and you've got a taste of the Big Easy in your living room.

Baby Bits - Bear Count

Everyone who likes apples, bears and babies, start counting. With a book and song you like to repeat, Baby will learn to say, "Again!" Try Ten Red Apples: A Bartholomew Bear Counting Book. Learn songs to sing with Toddlers Sing Playtime and Unbearable Bears and you can sing in the car on your way to market. Don't forget to count the apples.

The Play Ground

The Play Ground is keeping busy as the musical scene heats up in the area. On the horizon is the awesome Ann Arbor Blues and Jazz Festival of 2005. The festival will kick off September 25-29 with student jazz combos playing free shows from 6-7:30pm at Whole Foods in Ann Arbor. In addition, on Wednesday, September 28 at 7:00 our very own Ann Arbor District Library is presenting: Concert and Discussion: Tune Up for the Ann Arbor Blues and Jazz Festival: Odessa Harris and Johnnie Bassett Sing, Play and Discuss Blues and Jazz.

My momma said nobody played guitar like him ...

... and she may well have been right. Jimi Hendrix died 35 years ago today. Get to know him through his music, his famous performance at Woodstock, or one of the many biographies written about him since his death.

Or learn to play guitar and see how you measure up to one of the masters.


2002's Yankee Hotel Foxtrot may be their top seller, but my favorite Wilco album has always been Summerteeth. Although their roots in country music are still apparent, Summerteeth is definitely more of a traditional pop/rock album than their previous efforts; as the All Music Guide put it, "what once were fiddles on Wilco records are now violins." As with all of their albums, though, Summerteeth is packed with great songs.

Terry's Got Her Groove Back

Reviewers unanimously agree: Terry McMillan is back to form with The Interruption of Everything, a book filled with people you'll recognize, experiences you'll relate to and plenty of McMillan's wise humor. Desiree Taylor's dead-on narration makes this mid-life journey all the more memorable.

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