Happy Birthday, Charles and Sinclair

Today, February 7, is the birthday of two novelists also known as social critics, Charles Dickens and Sinclair Lewis, Dickens in 1812 and Lewis in 1885. While Dickens wrote about the deplorable working conditions and poverty of London and environs, Lewis wrote on the inequalities of race and the second class status of women and the powerless in 1930's America. Lewis was the first American novelist to win the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1930. Check out all the wonderful film adaptations of Dickens' novels that are at the Library. Lewis's novels, Elmer Gantry and Dodsworth are also in our film collection.

John Mellencamp's Freedom's Road

Freedom's Road by John Mellencamp debuted at number five this week on the Billboard 200 Chart. This is his first top ten cd in ten years. That last top ten cd was Mr. Happy Go Lucky.

Blue October: Foiled... Again?

Blue OctoberBlue October

Blue October is coming to Saint Andrews Hall in Detroit on Saturday, Feb. 2nd @ 8pm.

And guess what? AADL has their latest album, Foiled. If you like The Fray, then I think you'll enjoy Blue October. :-)

Anna Molly

IncubusIncubus

Guess what kids, Incubus is coming to the State Theatre (in Detroit, not A2) on Friday, Feb. 2nd @ 6:30pm.

Before you head down to the D, check out their latest album, Light Grenades. Want more? AADL has all things Incubus... well, not really... but you get my drift...

"Smoke gets in your eyes," Mr. Kern

Today, January 27, is the birthday of American composer, Jerome Kern. Kern was born in New York City in 1885. In addition to writing scores for stage and screen, Kern wrote many memorable songs like "Ol' Man River" and "The Last Time I saw Paris." His song, "The Way You Look Tonight" won an Oscar for the best song of the year in the film, "Swing Time." Who can forget those sweetest of verses:

"Lovely...Never, ever change.
Keep that breathless charm.
Won't you please arrange it?
'Cause I love you...Just the way you look tonight."

Like a Star

Corinne Bailey Rae shined on the http://www.oprah.com/Oprah.com last week. Since her appearance on the show, Corinne Bailey Rae soared into the number 4 spot on the Billboard 200 Chart. This British artist is also up for three Grammys next week.

To the Moon!

melies-moonmelies-moon

NASA plans to return to the moon by 2020 and hopes to build a moon base by 2024. While you are waiting for the Ares I & V to launch, take a look back at other trips to the moon: Project Apollo and Méliès.

From the Earth to the Moon a superbly done HBO series, produced by Tom Hanks, and based on the book A Man on the Moon by Andrew Chaikin, takes you through the entire Apollo program.

Moon Shot: the inside story of America's race to the moon by astronauts Alan Shepard and Deke Slayton.

First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong by James R. Hansen.

Méliès the magician contains the 1902 "La Voyage dans la lune" along with other films by Méliès.

At Folsom Prison

On January 13, 1968, Columbia Records released At Folsom Prison by Johnny Cash. The album was recorded live at Folsom State Prison, located in Folsom, California. Cash was joined on stage by June Carter, Carl Perkins, and Cash's band, the Tennessee Three. At Folsom Prison reached #1 on the Billboard Country chart and #13 on the Pop chart. The single Folsom City Blues was a #1 Country hit. Dressed in his signature black, Cash introducted himself to the inmates saying "I'm Johnny Cash."

Slow Week for New Titles

Only one new title Into White by Carly Simon cracked the top 50 on the Billboard 200 this week. Into White entered at number 15. Moonlight Serenade was her last release in 2005.

"The fog comes on...."

January 6 is the birthday of poet, journalist, children's writer and biographer, Carl Sandburg. Born to Swedish immigrants in 1878 in a three room shack in Galeburg, Illinois, Sandburg was the quintessential Midwesterner. He stayed in the heartland, writing about his beloved Lincoln, the slaughter houses of Chicago and the whimsical characters of his Rootabaga Stories. Sandburg wrote what he knew from personal experience having dropped out of school in eighth grade, taken on odd jobs and traveled with hobos and tramps across the country.

Who can forget his wonderfully gravelly voice, shock of white hair and his image of fog in a poem of the same name:

"The fog comes
on little cat feet.
It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on."

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