A Musical Fairy-Tale Audiobook for Kids

If you enjoy music with your audiobooks, then try Fairest by Gail Carson Levine (author of the Newbery-Honor-winning Ella Enchanted).

In this loose adaptation of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, pale-skinned Aza feels like she will never fit in, not at home in her adopted parent’s inn nor at the royal court. Her unusual coloring and ungainly size make her stand out wherever she goes. Fortunately, Aza is also gifted with a beautiful singing voice, but when the new queen asks Aza to use her voice to help her deceive the kingdom, Aza learns important lessons about loyalty, love and beauty.

What makes this audiobook experience unique, however, is its music. Every song is set to an original tune, and lots of dialogue is sung as well, so the whole listening experience is rather like listening to a full-cast musical. Musical fans and fairy-tale fans alike will want to check out this audiobook.

September is Classical Music Month

Fall is quickly approaching (officially September 22nd!), and soon the weather will turn crisp and cool. It is the perfect time of year to reflect on the beauty and timelessness of classical music. September is Classical Music Month, and AADL has an extensive collection of CDs with which to enjoy the season!

If complex, elaborate harmonic music is your thing, or you can't get enough of the harpsichord, check out the Baroque era (1600-1750) composers like Bach, Vivaldi, or Purcell. Want something a little simpler, delicate, and more melodic? That would be the Classical era (1750-1830) composers like Mozart, Beethoven, and Paganini. Maybe you're looking for emotional, expressive, sometimes surprising music, in which case you'll want to search out the Romantic era (1830-1900) composers like Tchaikovsky, Dvorak, and Schubert. Or jump into the 20th Century and explore intense symphonies with composers like Mahler, mathematical music with Schoenberg, and jazzy rhythms with Gershwin.

Still not sure where to start? ClassicFM has a wonderful, easy to use online guide to the various music eras.

And of course, we have some great books to guide you as well. The Rough Guide to Classical Music, How to Listen to Great Music, 1001 Classic Music Albums You Must Hear Before You Die or The Rest is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century

Allen Lanier, co-founder of Blue Öyster Cult, has died

Allen Lanier, co-founder of Blue Öyster Cult, died August 14.

Lanier, a multi-talented musician, formed the band, Soft White Underbelly in 1967. It morphed into Blue Öyster Cult in 1971. Except for a two-year absence, Lanier stayed with the band until his retirement in 2006.

In addition to playing keyboard and guitar, he wrote a couple of songs for BOC including In Thee, from the 1998 album, Heaven Forbid.

In addition to his work with BOC, he collaborated with several other rockers. He and Patti Smith co-wrote Elegie from her album, Horses (1975), in which he also played guitar. Smith wrote about their personal and professional relationship in her popular 2010 autobiography, Just Kids. He also played keyboard, uncredited, for The Clash's Julie's Been Working for the Drug Squad, which can be heard on The Essential Clash ( 2003).

Lanier, long suffering from COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) due to his heavy smoking habit, reunited with Blue Öyster Cult last November for a one-time performance in New York.

Lanier, who was a voracious reader (comparative religions was one of his favorite subjects) was just 67 years old when he died.

Fantastic Fantasy Audiobook

Do you love classic fantasies, like Alice's Adventures in Wonderland or The Wizard of Oz, where a bored young heroine travels out of our world and into a world of magic and mayhem? If so, then you should definitely check out Catherynne M. Valente’s The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making.

With its rich, old-fashioned language, this audiobook will carry you to Fairyland where you will follow twelve-year-old September through a series of wonderous strange adventures. You will befriend a wyverary (part-wyvern, part-library) and a shy, blue-skinned boy called Saturday. You will ride amidst a herd of wild bicycles. You will even follow September as she confronts the wicked Marquess, who may not be as wicked as September supposes.

Fans will also want to check out its sequel The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There, in which September journeys to shadow kingdom below Fairyland.

So just remember, if you're feeling bored this summer, there's no better cure for boredom than a trip to Fairyland!

This American Life

Planning a road trip and in need of some listening material? AADL’s collection of the radio show This American Life might be the perfect solution. This American Life is a weekly public radio program that is broadcast on over 500 stations with over 1.8 million listeners. It is produced by Chicago Public Media, distributed by Public Radio International and can be heard on National Public Radio stations all over the country. The radio show has a simple format; each show has a theme and people share their stories based on the chosen theme. Stories range from two infant girls accidently switched at birth and what happens when the families finally find out the truth, to people who go to extremes to find and pursue their true love. Hosted by Ira Glass, the show often has guests the likes of David Sedaris and Sarah Vowell who offer delightfully funny stories that have you laughing out loud! In 2008 This American Life was brought to the screen and Season 1 and 2 DVDs can be check out of the AADL collection as well. Whether you choose to listen or watch This American Life, you won’t walk away disappointed with the slice of life stories from people of all walks of life.

One Zany Audiobook for Kids

How much mayhem can one fake mustache wreak? A whole lot, it turns out. If you need proof, just check out Tom Angleberger’s Fake Mustache, Or How Jodie O’Rodeo and Her Wonder Horse (and Some Nerdy Kid) Saved the U.S. Presidential Election from a Mad Genius Criminal Mastermind. (The title really says it all.)

When nerdy seventh grader Lenny Flem Jr. lends his best friend Casper ten dollars to buy a fake mustache, he has no idea what hair-raising adventures will follow. First, someone robs the local bank, and Lenny seems to be the only one who realizes it’s Casper in disguise! As Casper’s crazy criminal plan unfolds, Lenny is determined to stop him, even teaming up with teen rodeo queen and former TV star Jodie O’Rodeo to get the job done.

This very silly story, narrated by Jonathan Todd Ross and Jessica Almasy, will appeal to listeners who enjoy slapstick action, gross-out humor and just a little bit of yodeling.

LISTEN!! Digital Music News: Mellow Teen Rock, A Messe is a Mass, Djun Djun Anyone?

YOU can access over 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!

FOLK / ROCK
Connor Thuotte: Guitar Driven Alternative Rock
This strictly acoustic singer/songwriter styled work is carried along by story-teller lyrics and soothing vocals. The twelve song album embodies the California surfer vibe while providing uplifting melodies to contrast the calming chord progressions. Sunblind is Connor Thuotte's first album and was recorded when Connor was just sixteen years old.

CLASSICAL / BAROQUE
Craig Hanson: Exquisitely Moving Baroque Organ Music
François Couperin (1668- 1733) was a French composer more commonly known for his harpsichord music, despite his 55 plus years spent as a church organist. The Mass for the Convents is one of only two organ pieces that he wrote and was paired with another organ mass called Messe des Paroisses, or The Mass for the Parishes, both dating between the years 1689 and 1690. The Mass shows Couperin's charm and poetic nature throughout, and is considered one of his great accomplishments, particularly considering his young age at the time of its creation.

WORLD / NEW AGE
To Life: Tribal Landscapes, Rhythmic Dance, Hypnotic Trance.
TASABASABA fuses North African, Middle Eastern, and contemporary grooves to create a unique and compelling trance music genre. "Funky World Global" has been used to describe the sound, although one might want to add 'tribal', 'organic', and 'soulful' to the mix. African djun djuns and aboriginal didjeridoo drive the primal rhythm, made contemporary by this fresh California group. This is the first full-length release from the Bay Area World Music Trio "To Life!".

JJ Cale, revered singer-songwriter, has died

JJ Cale, known as the founder of 'the Tulsa Sound' for his brilliant understated sensitivity on the guitar, coupled with his minimalist lyrics and his passion for the engineering side of the sound studio, has died.

Cale was late in getting his music out there. His first album, Naturally was released in 1972 when he was 33. It contained the song, Crazy Mama which made it to #22 on Billboard's Hot 100 chart that year. By his own admission, Cale wouldn't have minded the fortune, but eschewed the fame. So it wasn't until Eric Clapton joined forces with Cale on their Emmy-winning album, Road to Escondido (2006) that Cale was reluctantly drawn back into the limelight.

Cale claimed that his genius in the recording studio where he discovered the power of drum machines, was born of necessity. In an interview with Aaron Kayce, Cale told him, "I first started out doing that because of the economics; I didn't have enough money to hire a band. Now that I have enough money to hire a band, I still like that; it's kind of an art form in itself."

Cale's roster of Blues artists who sing his praises is impressive: First and foremost is Eric Clapton who said, "...I was impressed by the subtlety by what wasn't being played." Neil Young also weighed in on Cale: "JJ's the one who played all that s*** first...he's got that thing. I don't know what it is."

On February 23, 2009, Critic Michael Corcoran wrote in the Austin American Statesman "...Cale serves the blues rock like the best $1.99 breakfast you've ever had...Nobody can hit it hard and soft at the same time, and still carry a melody, like this 70-year-old boogie minimalist."

JJ Cale's death, at 74 of a heart attack last Friday, brings to mind his lyrics of Roll On's final cut, "enough is enough, can't do it no more/ Bring down the curtain, close the door."

Best Children's Audiobook of 2013

Summer is a great time for audiobooks, whether listening to them on a family road trip or at home. If you're looking for some youth audiobooks to listen to this summer, then why not try a title from the American Library Associate's list of 2013 Notable Children's Recordings.

Artemis Fowl: The Last Guardian. 7.5hr. Grades 5 to 9.
Listeners will be immersed in a world populated with fairies, trolls, and Opal Koboi—Artemis Fowl’s archenemy. Nathaniel Parker’s energetic performance conveys the rollicking adventures listeners have come to expect from Artemis Fowl.

The Cheshire Cheese Cat: A Dickens of a Tale. 4hr. Grades 4 to 7.
Katherine Kellgren gives vivid personalities to the many voices in this lively cat and mouse tale of Dickensian England.

The False Prince. 8hr. Grades 5 to 8.
Charlie McWade makes each unique voice stand out as Sage, an orphan, competes to impersonate a prince in a subversive plot.

The Fire Chronicle. 12.5hr. Grades 4 to 8.
In this sequel to The Emerald Atlas, Jim Dale expertly narrates Michael's and Emma’s hunt for a missing legendary book while their sister Kate is stranded a hundred years in the past.

Ghost Knight. 5hr. Grades 4 to 6.
As 11-year-old Jon Whitcroft and his new friend Ella seek to solve a century-old mystery, danger threatens their every move. Elliot Hill’s narration ably balances the real and ghostly worlds.

The Great Cake Mystery: Precious Ramotswe's Very First Case. 1hr. Grades 2 to 4.
Precious Ramotswe, a clever, thoughtful girl, has all it takes to be a No. 1 detective! Adjoa Andoh reads with enthusiasm and creativity, giving this story great appeal.

The Mighty Miss Malone. 8hr. Grades 4 to 7.
The hardships and courage of Deza Malone and her family during the Great Depression are read passionately by Bahni Turpin.

The Notorious Benedict Arnold. 7hr. Grades 6 to 8.
The story of Benedict Arnold, America’s first traitor, is narrated with suspense and intrigue by Mark Bramhall.

One Year in Coal Harbor, 5.5hr. Grades 4 to 7.
With a great deal of wit and charm, Kathleen McInerney voices Primrose Squarp's continuing story in Coal Harbor as she plays matchmaker and supports an effort to stop logging on the town mountain.

Titanic: Voices from the Disaster. 5hr. Grades 4 to 8.
With the use of multiple narrators, the story of this disaster is told from the viewpoints of a number of survivors.

Wonder, 8hr. Grades 4 to 7.
Diana Steele, Nick Podehl, and Kate Rudd recount the story of Auggie, a fifth-grade boy born with severe facial abnormalities, and the challenges and triumphs of his first year at school.

LISTEN!! Digital Music News: Rub a Dub Dub, Modern Jazz, Does Brad Really Suck?

YOU can access over 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!

ELECTRONICA
Burning Babylon: Super Fine Dub
Give a listen to the superfine dub of Knives To The Treble by Burning Babylon. Hypnotic beats, synthie sound carpets, excellent effects—it's one of those albums you'll find yourself putting on again and again. Subtly funky beats range from the 70s oriented "Roots Fi Cool" to technoid dubs like "Babylon Overdrive" to the heavy mellow groove of "King Dubby". Positive, laid back, deeply cool.

JAZZ / BLUES
Park St Trio: Catchy, Melodic Jazz For All Occasions
Like Goodnight Daylight, the first Park St. Trio album, 3 Plus 5 was recorded to 1-inch tape with no overdubs, no "fixing" of notes, no redos. On this album, what you hear is what they played. In the studio the band did three takes per song and selected their favorite one. True to the art of jazz, they invited a number of guest musicians, five to be exact, to record with them to add excitement, depth and unpredictability to the music. Recorded at Little Red Wagon Studios, and mastered at Headless Buddha Studios, the outcome is a catchy, quality album that establishes Park St. Trio on the Bay Area jazz scene.

ROCK / FUNK
Brad Sucks: Brilliantly Sardonic Indie Rock
Guess Who's a Mess is the third self-recorded and produced release from Brad Sucks. A more uptempo and aggressive outing than I Don't Know What I'm Doing (2003) and Out of It (2008), Guess Who's a Mess mixes funky beats, noisy synths and big guitars with Brad's wry, world-weary vocals about handling people's expectations and learning to be true to yourself.

Syndicate content