LISTEN!! Digital Music News: Jazz Guitar, Bach with Flutes, Laid Back Electronica, Upbeat Folkgrass, Maudlin Pop

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!

JAZZ
Andy Gabrys: Classic Jazz Guitar
Modern compositions, classic jazz guitar, an oak-tree thick acoustic bass courtesy of Dan Loomis, and the swinging colorful drumming of Brian Adler, make Constant a great album for any occasion. The album comes from a 5 year period during which Andy lived in New York city and played at various venues with up and coming jazz artists. Andy's original music on this album is both forward-thinking and respecting of the jazz tradition, and while his guitar sound might be compared to Kenny Burrell or George Benson, his playing and composing approach shows the subtle shading and rich harmonies of Romantic era composers.

CLASSICAL
Spark: Flautists with Finesse, Intelligence and Grooves
Spark began in 1992 as a small ensemble group in the Tokyo University Flute Circle. The members, all graduates from Tokyo University, now live in various cities throughout Japan, from Kyoto to Hakodate. J. S. Bach Laboratory, an all-Bach album, features original arrangements that seek to capture the spirit of Bach's original ideas. It was recorded in Hakodate City Art Hall and was first released in 2000 to commemorate the 250th anniversary of Bach's death.

ELECTRONIC
Joey Fehrenbach: Gorgeously Sculpted, Uber-Melodic Downtempo
The album Mellowdrama captures what it sounds like to fall in love, to remember old friends, to feel lonely, and to feel at peace and safe indoors on a rainy day. Electronic dance music artist Joey Fehrenbach uses intricate melody and atmosphere to create sonic backgrounds that capture the essence of the human soul. This is the one thought-provoking laid back electronic album not to miss.

FOLK / WORLD
Steve Eulberg: Mountain and Hammered Dulcimer
Inspired by a Jean Ritchie poem of the same title, I Celebrate Life! is the title track of this collection of original songs and tunes written for Mountain and Hammered Dulcimer by award-winning singer-songwriter and musician, Steve Eulberg. Known nationwide as the host of the annual Colorado Dulcimer Festival, Steve Eulberg weaves old-timey with blues and contemporary tunes adding original songs into a tapestry of "smile-inducing, toe-tapping folkgrass" that captivates and energizes audiences of all ages.

POP / ROCK
Tiny Little Blackouts: Dreamy, Slightly Mournful Indie Pop
Jangly relaxed alt rock, perfect for the grey days where you don't *want* to feel up and happy, but instead settle into self-indulgent melancholia. This San Francisco based band has been described as "Elliott Smith meets the Cocteau Twins". On this debut album, Idea of Alice, expect a shoegazer meets dream pop sound -- female vocals, lazy, bluesy fuzzed out guitars, a warm deep bass line. Bands like Belly, Curve, The Gathering and The Cardigans come to mind.

Harley Heaven!

Bill HarleyBill HarleyBack by popular demand, the stellar Bill Harley returns for a library sponsored event at The Ark this Sunday, March 11 at 2:00 pm. We are hosting this grammy award winning musician and storyteller for a free family show at The Ark for ages five and up. Now is your chance to catch one of the best, and if you have enjoyed Bill in the past, we know we will see you there again! When Bill came through town last year I invited all my friends to the grown-up evening performance and they loved it so much they are all returning this Sunday at 7:30 pm.

Davy Jones, beloved Monkee, has died

Davy Jones, one of the most beloved members of the popular 60s pop group, The Monkees, died yesterday.

The four members of the Monkees, Micky Dolenz, Michael Nesmith, and Peter Tork, enjoyed a few years of intense fame, adoration, and million-record sales. Three of their hottest #1 hits -- Daydream Believer, I'm a Believer, and Last Train to Clarksville -- are available on their Greatest Hits album.

In 1966, their eponymous TV show ran on NBC for two season and garnered two Emmys in 1967.

Mr. Jones appeared on several other TV shows, on Broadway, and on the silver screen.

Mr. Jones, who was just 66, died of a heart attack.

Derrick Jensen Speaks

Derrick Jensen, the arch-environmental-activist, is coming to the area in March to present a keynote lecture for the Porter Chair Speaker Series at Eastern Michigan University. Derrick speaks and writes an urgent message about how the dominant culture of excess is killing the planet. But what do you DO about it? His version of an answer to my question is pretty radical and on March 22nd, in Pease Auditorium, at 7:30pm, you can hear it in his own words. He manages over and over again to score the point: if we don’t change our direction, we will end up where we are headed.

We own many of Derrick’s books and you can read his regular column in Orion magazine, also in our collection. This documentary, End-Civ: Resist or Die, is based on one of his books and spells out some of his persistent themes in changing directions. For more information about his visit, which includes a reception and book signing and a Friday workshop, look here.

Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee

Diamond Jubilee: Queen Elizabeth II Diamond JubileeDiamond Jubilee: Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee
February 6 marked the anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II's 60 year reign starting in 1952. To read about the Diamond Jubilee celebrations click here. Recent biographies written about the Queen include: Elizabeth the Queen: The Life of a Modern Monarch by noted biographer Sally Bedell Smith. Smith follows the young princess as a student to a love-struck teen (after meeting Philip) through her current reign. This is a well-written and engrossing account of a Queen that successfully balances royal tradition and modernity. Another title, The Real Elizabeth : an intimate portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, takes on the subject of the role of the monarchy itself specifically under her auspices over the past 60 years and how it has changed over time. And do not forget, her royal consort, Prince Philip, who has served by her side (and one step behind her). There is a recent biography, Prince Philip : the turbulent early life of the man who married Queen Elizabeth II that focuses on his turbulent childhood as his family is exiled from Greece (where he was born) to his mother’s schizophrenia and his father leaving him at an early age in order to live with his mistress. His charm and good looks eventually win him the hand of the-then Princess Elizabeth for whom he renounces his titles, religion and even family. A storybook romance indeed! To read more about their life together, read Philip and Elizabeth : portrait of a royal marriage. Movies about her include Helen Mirren’s outstanding portrayal in the Queen and the British TV show, Queen : a dramatic portrait of one of the world's most powerful women, as well as several documentaries including Windsors, a royal family.

Nebula Award Nominees announced


The Nebula Awards are one of several prestigious prizes for writing granted within the scifi/fantasy genre. They are nominated by members of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, Inc. and this is the 47th year in doing so. Award winners will be announced on May 19th. Categories of awards include best adult novel as well as one for best young adult scifi/fantasy novel.

The nominees for best adult novel are:
Among Others, Jo Walton
Embassytown, China Miéville
Firebird, Jack McDevitt
God’s War, Kameron Hurley
Mechanique: A Tale of the Circus Tresaulti, Genevieve Valentine
Kingdom of Gods, N.K. Jemisin

The nominees for best young adult novel are:
Akata Witch, Nnedi Okorafor
Chime, Franny Billingsley
Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Laini Taylor
Everybody Sees the Ants, A.S. King
Boy at the End of the World, Greg van Eekhout
The Freedom Maze, Delia Sherman
Girl of Fire and Thorns, Rae Carson
Ultraviolet, R.J. Anderson

Michael Davis, MC5 bassist, dies at 68

Michael Davis, bassist for the seminal 1960s band, MC5, died last Friday of liver failure. The MC5's time in Ann Arbor as the propaganda wing for the White Panther Party under the management of radical poet and activist, John Sinclair, is documented in essays, interviews, and news articles at freeingjohnsinclair.org. You can learn more about Davis and the MC5 in author Brett Callwood's 2010 book, MC5: Sonically Speaking, a Tale of Revolution and Rock 'n Roll (we also have an interview with Callwood from 2010) and read a tribute to Davis at retrokimmer.com. The band's legacy is perhaps most memorably captured in the timeless photography of Leni Sinclair.

Whitney Houston, giant R&B singing superstar, has died

Whitney Houston, the enormously talented R&B and pop superstar voice for the past twenty-plus years, died yesterday.

Ms. Whitney's career was filled with album sales in the millions, three Grammys, and movie roles. In 1992, she co-starred in The Bodyguard with Kevin Costner. In 1993, the movie's soundtrack album (which sold 17 million copies) and her iconic cut, I Will Always Love You, won Best Album of the Year and Best Record of the Year respectively.

As her life unraveled -- stormy marriage to singer Bobby Brown, drugs, alcohol -- as lives so often do when enormous talent is fueled by endless wealth and over-zealous fans with an insatiable need for every last detail of the lives of celebrities, her voice took a beating. Her private struggles were public fodder for the tabloid grind machine.

Social media blew up Saturday and Sunday as the news dominated the web. Her breathtaking performance of the National Anthem at the 1991 Super Bowl has gone viral again. The Whitney Houston tragedy was the Top Ten trending hashtags, spurred on by the timing of her death which was on the eve of the Grammys.

Houston, who was found dead in her Beverly Hilton hotel room, was just 48 years old.

The Inaugural Listen List: Outstanding Audiobook Narration

Established in 2010 by the American Library Association Collection Development and Evaluation Section (CODES) of RUSA, The Listen List recognizes and honors the narrators who are a pleasure to listen to; who offer listeners something they could not create by their own visual reading; and who achieve an outstanding performance in terms of voice, accents, pitch, tone, inflection, rhythm and pace.

This inaugural list (Be sure to check out the wonderful listen-alikes with each of the winners) includes literary and genre fiction, memoir and history and features voices that enthrall, delight and inspire.

The 2012 winners are:

All Clear by Connie Willis. Narrated by Katherine Kellgren.
This sequel to Blackout, a stellar science fiction adventure, follows the plight of a group of historians from 2060, trapped in WWII England during the Blitz. In a narrative tour de force, Kellgren brings to life a large cast of characters, including a pair of street-smart urchins who capture the hearts of characters and listeners alike.

Bossypants by Tina Fey Narrated by Tina Fey.
In a very funny memoir made decidedly funnier by its reader, Tina Fey relates sketches and memories of her time at SNL and Second City as well as the difficulties of balancing career and motherhood. In a voice dripping with wit, she acts out the book, adding extra-aural elements that print simply cannot convey.

The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey by Walter Mosley. Narrated by Dominic Hoffman.
Dominic Hoffman reads this elegiac novel of memory and redemption with fierce grace, inhabiting Mosley’s characters with voices perfectly crafted in pitch and rhythm. His rough, gravelly narration manages the pace and mood of the book with astounding skill, brilliantly capturing the mental clarity and fog of 91-year-old Ptolemy Grey’s world.

Life Itself: A Memoir by Roger Ebert, Narrated by Edward Herrmann.
Ebert’s clear-eyed account chronicles his life from his youth in Urbana, Illinois, to his fame as a world-renowned film critic in Chicago. Herrmann’s engaging, affable reading mirrors the author’s tone—honest, often humorous, sometimes bittersweet—as he unhurriedly ushers listeners through Ebert’s moving reflections on a life well lived.

Middlemarch by George Eliot. Narrated by Juliet Stevenson.
Juliet Stevenson brings crisp clarity, a witty sensibility and a charming tonal quality to Eliot’s masterpiece of provincial life. Through her deft management of pacing and tone, she reveals character motivation and illuminates the many themes of the novel. But most of all she reclaims Eliot for listeners who thought they did not enjoy classics.

The Mischief of the Mistletoe by Lauren Willg. Narrated by Kate Reading.
In this Regency Christmas caper, a pudding, a spy, a hilarious school theatrical and a memorable country house party lead to laughter, love and an offer of marriage. Reading’s lovely English accent and exuberance are a perfect fit for the wide range of characters, from young girls to male teachers to members of the aristocracy.

One of Our Thursdays is Missing by Jasper Fforde. Narrated by Emily Gray.
In this genre-bending romp, the “written” Thursday must rescue the “real” Thursday from a nefarious Bookworld plot. Emily Gray wears Thursday like a second skin, as she does the robots, dodos, and space aliens running around. The story is paced such that every nuance of pun and word play is captured and rendered aurally.

A Red Herring Without Mustard by Alan Bradley. Narrated by Jayne Entwistle.
Flavia de Luce, a terrifyingly proficient 11-year-old amateur chemist and sleuth, investigates the beating of a gypsy and the death of a villager in this third outing. Entwistle’s spot-on narration reveals the irrepressible, intrepid heroine’s prowess and captures a delicious range of secondary characters in these whimsical mysteries set in 1950s rural England.

The Snowman by Jo Nesbø. Narrated by Robin Sachs.
The icy chill of the Norwegian countryside and a series of cold-blooded murders dominate this Harry Hole crime novel. Sachs contrasts Hole’s world-weary professional attitude, his unquenchable thirst for justice and his yearning for love and comfort, as he skillfully maintains a suspenseful pace and projects an overarching sense of doom.

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. Narrated by Simon Prebble.
The tragedy and heroism of the French Revolution come alive through Prebble’s distinctive and graceful narration. As the lives of Charles Darnay and Sydney Carton intersect, Prebble takes listeners deep into France and England, narrating terrifying descriptions and breathless acts of courage with a cadence that sweeps one away.

The Tiger’s Wife by Téa Obreht. Narrated by Susan Duerden and Robin Sachs.
In this imaginative novel, Balkan physician Natalia, on a mission of mercy, learns of her beloved grandfather’s death. Duerden’s mesmerizing voice leads listeners through the complexities of this rich novel with its intertwining stories, while Sachs memorably relates her grandfather’s haunting tales in a gentle and gruff voice.

Why Read Moby-Dick? by Nathaniel Philbrick. Narrated by Nathaniel Philbrick.
In what should be required reading before cracking the pages of Moby-Dick, Nathaniel Philbrick’s homage to this great American novel compels the listener to experience Melville with an almost incandescent joy. His voice resonates with palpable enthusiasm and calls to mind a New England professor giving a fascinating lecture.

LISTEN!! Digital Music News: Grungy French Guys, Ukrainian Muses, Naughty Pop-Rock, New York City Jazz, Inspirational R&B

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!

PUNK / HARD ROCK
Delko: French Stoner Rock
Meet Delko, a French rock band from Haute-Loire. Influenced by Nirvana, Foo Fighters and Johnny Cash, their powerful and dark melodies will drag you into an artistic world that sounds like a post-teen delirium. Delko 321, released in 2011, is their first LP. All tracks are orchestrated by a classic squad -- bass, drums, and two guitars. This album brings together their first 3 EPs, standing as a documentary about four years in the life of the band.

NEW AGE / WORLD
Olexa Kabanov: Strings Slowly Plucked From the Soul
Ukrainian artist Olexa Kabanov is influenced by a wide range of musical interests, including the European Middle Ages, Eastern tradition, and Slavic ethnic, from jazz to folk-rock and world music. Describing the album Dale of the Muses is not easy. The sounds organically meld together -- the lyre, the deep Ukrainian violin, the Indian percussion, the mandolin with the drymba. Listen to the album to find many unexpected combinations and hidden gems.

ROCK
Arthur Yoria: Catchy, Whip Smart Alt-Rock
Ten playfully wicked songs make up Arthur Yoria's full length debut, I'll Be Here Awake. Yoria says it's a straight-forward rock album that was written from the point of view of a "nasty, egotistical fictional character" that he vicariously lives through from time to time. However, Yoria's natural warmth makes this character charming, in the way that cads can be when they're also talented, funny, and smart. "Call Me" gives insight into the mind of the chronically unavailable male, while "P.S.A." may be the most beguiling little ditty about onanism ever written. "Sevilla" describes a seething jealousy in the most lilting possible tones. "Here To Stay", the highlight of the entire album, is a patiently delivered, doggedly inspiring pop shanty.

JAZZ / PIANO
Antonio Ciacca Quartet: Jazz Played with Earthiness, Fire and Intellect
Driemoty is the first album of Antonio Ciacca, released in 1996, early in his brilliant career in the world of jazz. Antonia Ciacca plays with elements of Thelonious Monk, Wynton Kelly, Red Garland, and Bobby Timmons, recalling the most creatively vital and yet oddly neglected schools of jazz. Nowadays the New York based pianist and composer Ciacca enjoys his work as Director of Programming at Jazz at Lincoln Center. If you enjoy his music, be sure to visit his website http://www.antoniociacca.org/

R&B / SOUL
Ty Gibson: The Spirit and Soul of A Woman
R&B/Soul singer Ty Gibson hopes to make a difference with her debut album, Goin' My Way. Finding inspiration in the works of legendary singers such as Nina Simone, Denise Williams, Whitney Houston and Minnie Riperton, Ty offers her listeners a taste of what's on the inside of all of us -- a passion to live, love, and just be taken seriously. One of the notable tracks on this album, "I'll Be Home Soon", was written with the men and women of the military in mind. Ty is actually singing a letter that a soldier wrote to his loved one back home.

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