LISTEN!! Digital Music News: Country Fiddles, Classical Italian, Poppy Georgia Boys, Traditional Nordic Music

YOU can access almost 1,000 digital music albums directly through our AADL.org catalog. Stream or download as much as you like, DRM free, on any device you choose. No waiting for a copy. No due dates. Hooray!

COUNTRY / BLUES / FOLK
The Ranchhands: Fiddle Driven Modern Country Music
"Driven", the most recent release from The Ranchhands, embodies the best elements of today's country music, featuring the rocking fiddle playing of Chris Tedesco, and the star-quality vocal performance of Mickey Kennedy. Keeping true to the roots of classic country style, combined with a modern Nashville production and refreshing original songs, The Ranchhands' sound will appeal to music fans of many different genres.

CLASSICAL
Ensemble Mirable: Rare and Extraordinary Music of the Baroque
"Influenza Italiana", or the influence of the Italian style, is the unifying theme of this marvelous collection of baroque works presented by Ensemble Mirable in their latest recording. The composers represented on this recording are all Italians who helped develop the unique Italian style of baroque composition, or other Europeans who were influenced by the Italian style -- incorporating Italian elements such as the agitated style of Monteverdi or the virtuosic instrumental styles developed by such composers as Marini and Castello. Among those represented here are Becker, Buxtehude, Uccellini, Ortiz, Buonamente, and Falconieri.

POP / ROCK
Boulevard: Up-Beat Rock and New Wave for the 21st Century
Led by songwriter Benji Barton, these "Athens guitar-pop darlings" deliver a stylish performance of rock, new wave and romantic appeal. With songs of despair and bliss set to a disco beat, Boulevard continues to catch the attention of audiences everywhere. Standout tracks on "Vice and Daring" include Marie and Dreams of Home.

WORLD
Dråm: Swedish Folk Music
Dråm [drohm]: Dialect word from Western Sweden meaning "drone" (a sustained note or chord accompanying a melody), a feature found on instruments like the bagpipe, nyckelharpa etc. Also an awarded Swedish traditional music duo, consisting of the two musicians Anna Rynefors & Erik Ask-Upmark. They have been playing together for over a decade, touring all over the world, and are both "riksspelmän" ("Official master musicians of the Realm"). With their fresh and unique take on Nordic music, these musicians have taken the roots music community by storm.

Three key players in 1960s pop music died last week

Tony Sheridan, George (Shadow) Morton, and Kevin Ayers - three relatively unknown yet key players in the history of 1960s pop music - all died last week. Sheridan was the bandleader who taught the Beatles the ropes in Hamburg, Germany, and has the distinction of being the only non-Beatle to appear as lead singer on a Beatles recording. Shadow Morton was the writer and producer of the Shangri-Las' number one hit, "Leader of the Pack" and Janis Ian's "Society's Child". And Kevin Ayers was the mastermind behind Soft Machine, an influential underground band during the first wave of experimental jazz-inflected pyschedelic rock.

Liar & Spy Audiobook: Give It a Listen

In Liar & Spy, Georges’ best friend has left him to join the popular kids, and now Georges is alone and bullied at school. When his family moves into a new apartment building, he finds a note advertising a spy club and soon finds himself joining to spy on mysterious neighbor Mr. X with his new best friend Safer. But not all is as it appears to be in this funny, tense, beautifully-layered novel.

After listening to it myself, I can say that translates into an excellent audiobook, especially during those edge-of-your-seat moments, which really did have me on the edge of my seat.

Liar & Spy is written by Rebecca Stead, whose previous novel, When You Reach Me, won the Newbery Medal in 2010.

Spunky Girl Stories from Around the World

There’s nothing like tales of girls with gumption, to make us laugh and gasp and celebrate the female spirit. The Girl Scouts are cruising Ann Arbor’s cultural events this Saturday for their 100th birthday and we are a stop on the fun train. At 3 pm on March 2, all children in Kindergarten and up are invited to join us for stories about magical nesting dolls, jungle adventures and more with the Girl Scouts.

PreK Bits - Dancing Babies


Denise Owens will lead the DANCING BABIES Program @ Malletts Creek Library on Saturday Feb 16, 2013 from 10:00- 10:40 am.
Denise leads Kindermusik Classes in the Ann Arbor area, and she will have her information available at the program.
DANCING BABIES is a music and motion program for children 0 to 5 years, with their adults.

If you want more MUSIC and MOTION with your kids ... try these:
A Family Album by Verve Pipe.
15th anniversary collection : celebrating 15 years of the best in children's music packed with worldly classics.
Jim Gill Presents Music Play For Folks Of All Stripes
It's Time To Get Up!: Music For Kids Of All Ages
Kid's Dance Party: a Salute To Highschool Musical
Dinostory: The Ultimate Dinosaur Rock Opera!
Dance Along
Exercise Party
... so push back the coffee table ... roll up the rug ... and let the dance begin!

Wonderful World Languages # 3

Happy Chinese (Lunar) New Year!

This Sunday, February 10 marks another Chinese New Year, a major holiday for millions of people worldwide. Following the lunar calendar, the Chinese New Year is based on solar and lunar movements. Literally translating to the “Spring Festival,” this significant holiday emphasizes good luck and fortune in the coming year. To celebrate, people often travel long distances to see their families and participate in traditional Chinese practices such as enjoying Chinese cooking, watching fireworks, handing out red envelopes with money inside, and decorating with flowers and lanterns. This year is the year of the water snake.

Since this popular holiday lasts for 15 days, you can take part by checking out our Chinese language collection or related materials, such as traditional folk music, interpretive music, Ni Hao, Kai-lan on dvd, and cookbooks in English or Chinese. AADL also has a wealth of materials on this topic in English for children!

For more information, check out this article by BBC or Wikipedia.

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn is joining NPR! Revisit our podcast...

bullseye logobullseye logo

If you like radio -- heck, if you enjoy listening to interesting and funny shows on any sort of device -- you may already be familiar with Thorn as an accomplished host and head honcho at Maximum Fun's podcast network.

Thorn's humble hosting beginnings were way back in 2000, with a show called The Sound of Young America, created and distributed out of his house. The show was eventually picked up by Public Radio International and its moniker changed to Bullseye. This morning, Thorn announced that NPR will start distributing Bullseye in April 2013.

Jesse and Jordan Morris, his co-host on Jordan, Jesse, Go!, visited AADL in 2011 and recorded a podcast. Listen in on their chat about the evolution of production values, their self-directed efforts in the changing media landscape, Dick Cavett, Gymkata and building a community of people who you’ve never met.

Fair warning: foul language ahead.

Meet The Audio Visual Synthesizer From Bleep Labs -- Available Now

Checkout our newest Music Tool, the HSS3jb Audio Visual Synthesizer, hand made in Austin Texas by Bleep Labs. This little instrument produces both audio and visual distortions reminiscent of a seriously malfunctioning Atari 2600. We've cased it with a mini projector to let you beam your creations onto walls, ceilings, friends, pets - the possibilities are endless. There's no wrong way to play the HSS3jb, so experiment and have fun. Also, starting today select Music Tools from our Stuff Shelf will be available at the branches, another great reason to visit.


The Listen List 2013

Established in 2010 by the CODES section of Reference and User Services Association (RUSA, a division of the American Library Association), The Listen List: Outstanding Audiobook Narration seeks to highlight outstanding audiobook titles that merit special attention by general adult listeners and the librarians who work with them. The Listen List Council selects these 2013 winners. They include fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and plays.

Angelmaker by Nick Harkaway. Narrated by Daniel Weyman.
In a gravelly yet gleeful voice, Weyman narrates this swashbuckling genre-blend of spies, gangsters, and a doomsday machine. The lavish and imaginative story of Joe Spork, a clockmaker out of his depth as he attempts to save the world, is brilliantly realized through Weyman’s attention to inflection, characterization and pacing.

Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel. Narrated by Simon Vance.
In this grim and gripping tale, masterfully told, Vance brings Tudor England to life.
Beautifully accented and paced, his pitch-perfect narration deftly navigates the large and diverse cast and the intricate plot machinations to create a stunning glimpse into a dangerous time when Henry VIII ruled and Thomas Cromwell served as his “fixer.”

The Chalk Girl by Carol O’Connell. Narrated by Barbara Rosenblat.
The discovery of a blood-covered little girl wandering in Central Park draws police detective Kathleen Mallory into an investigation involving long hidden secrets of New York’s elite. Rosenblat’s warmly expressive voice embodies each character effortlessly while adroitly managing the pace of Mallory’s gritty and harrowing tenth case.

The Death of Sweet Mister by Daniel Woodrell. Narrated by Nicholas Tecosky. (on order)
Welcome to the world of Shug Akins, a thirteen-year-old loner coming of age in the Ozarks. Tecosky skillfully demonstrates that the vernacular of this country noir novel is at its lyrical best when spoken aloud. In a youthful detached voice, he authentically captures the violence, poverty, and heartbreaking bleakness of Shug’s life.

The Garden Intrigue by Lauren Willig. Narrated by Kate Reading.
In this lively ninth Pink Carnation romp, Eloise and Colin are beset by a film crew, while in the 19th century, agent Augustus Whittlesby, infamously bad poet, investigates rumors of Napoleon’s plotting and encounters love. Reading’s companionable, husky voice reveals all the humor in the rich banter and bad verse, as well as the passion.

Heft by Liz Moore. Narrated by Kirby Heyborne and Keith Szarabajka. (on order)
This magnificent dual narration illuminates a poignant story of the isolation, family relationships, and new beginnings of two lost souls on a collision course. Szarabajka’s richly sonorous voice captures morbidly obese Arthur’s physical and emotional weight while Heyborne’s quietly expressive voice exposes the desperation of the teenaged Kel.

The House of Silk: A Sherlock Holmes Novel by Anthony Horowitz. Narrated by Derek Jacobi. (on order)
In a refined, resonant, and delightfully self-aware voice, Jacobi re-creates the world of Sherlock Holmes. His pacing is lovely – leisurely, inviting, and seductive – while his accents are grand and fit the characters perfectly. In this authorized addition to the canon, Holmes investigates a conspiracy linking criminals to the highest levels of government.

The Inquisitor by Mark Allen Smith. Narrated by Ari Fliakos. (on order)
Fliakos’ unflinching depiction of Geiger, an expert in the art of “information retrieval” (aka torture), intensifies this absorbing and disturbing thriller. He sets the mood from the opening line, offering a tormented, affectless but surprisingly sympathetic hero. His skill in creating tone, character and pace enhances the haunting quality of Geiger’s world.

Macbeth by William Shakespeare. Narrated by Alan Cumming.
Cumming makes “The Scottish Play” an electric event, allowing modern audiences a chance to experience it with the same excitement, horror and wonder Shakespeare’s contemporary audiences surely felt. From stage directions delivered in furtive whispers to the cackle of the witches and the grim resolution of Lady Macbeth, Cumming astounds.

Miles: The Autobiography by Miles Davis and Quincy Troupe. Narrated by Dion Graham.
With his raspy, whispery voice Dion Graham inhabits musical genius Miles Davis in this tell-all autobiography that flows like a jazz riff. While setting the record straight about Davis’s career, lovers, addiction and racial issues, Graham channels Davis’s voice and cadence so completely that listeners will believe they’re hearing the master himself.

Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan. Narrated by Ari Fliakos. (on order)
Affectionate and playful, Ari Fliakos’ narration is addictive as he expertly voices full-bodied characters, savoring their eccentricities, in this imaginative work of “geek-lit.” His optimistic wonder and understanding of the subtext bring tension to even the minutiae of this grand quest by a motley crew of book lovers hoping to crack the code of immortality.

The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens. Narrated by David Timson. (on order)
Timson’s irrepressible performance of this rollicking romp through 1830s England in Dickens’s first novel invites listeners along as Pickwick and his crew ramble through the countryside. With broad satire and clever irony, Timson proves a delightful guide through slapdash adventures and a host of eccentric characters.

The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro. Narrated by Simon Prebble. (on order)
Prebble’s performance is like listening to a full cast production so great is his skill in crafting characters. Navigating memories of both “upstairs” and “downstairs,” dutiful butler Stevens revisits past pains and triumphs. Prebble creates a poignant reflection of a life given to service seen through the eyes of a man finally questioning his purpose.

Happy Birthday, Mr. Darcy!

It was 200 years ago this month that Jane Austen published her second, and perhaps most beloved, novel: "Pride & Prejudice." The official publication date was January 28, 1813.

Austen wrote it between October 1796 and August 1797, but publishers at first declined to look at it. After she went back and revised her manuscript, originally titled "First Impressions," nearly fifteen years later between 1811 and 1812, it was finally accepted for publication. Although she never married, Jane Austen loved her books like they were her family and was so excited when "Pride & Prejudice" arrived, she wrote to her sister Cassandra, "I want to tell you that I have got my own darling child from London."

The first edition sold out quickly and has been popular the world over ever since. It has been translated into dozens of languages and adapted for both television and the big screen. It's been given modern twists in Hollywood movies and Bollywood, too. It even has its own popular web series and been adapted into graphic novels and zombie apocalypse stories.

And of course, there are the books. From the original to all the adaptations and continuations, it's clear something about that story of misunderstandings and seemingly impossible happy endings still has a grip on us. It's easy to wonder what Miss Austen would have thought of the stages her "child" has gone through and how the world still holds such love for its characters even now, 200 years later.

Looking for more ways to celebrate Jane Austen? The library has a large collection of her other books or other movie adaptations of her work!

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