What do opera and bebop have in common?

Not much, except that today, October 10, is the birthday of both Thelonious Monk and Giuseppe Verdi. Thelonious Monk, born in North Carolina in 1917, is best known as one of the prime inventors of bebop, a kind of jazz that uses repitition of sound to create a jumpy, irregular phrasing out of standard tunes. Monk played music with the likes of Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie and John Coltrane. His two most popular albums are Brilliant Corners and Thelonious Monk with John Coltrane.

Giuseppe Verdi was born in Parma, Italy in 1813. His first opera, Oberto, performed at La Scala, was a modest success. After the tragic death of his wife, Verdi vowed he would never compose again but after reading the brilliant libretto of Nabucco, he changed his mind. Verdi wrote a total of 26 operas, his most famous, Rigoletto, La Traviata and Falstaff.

Annie Get Your Camera

It’s hard to shake a stick without running into a photograph taken by Annie Leibovitz lately. Famous for her Rolling Stone photographs of the 70’s and 80’s, she most recently made headlines for snapping the coveted first pics of little Suri Cruise and family. Now she’s released a new book. A photographer’s life 1990-2005 draws not only on her evocative images of the rich and famous, but also exhibits work from her private, personal life—her friends, family, and in particular, the late Susan Sontag.

Some of these photographs are also featured in the DIA’s exhibit, on display through January: Annie Leibovitz: American Music, which chronicles her role as a photographer of American Roots musicians and those who’ve been influenced by the movement. See images up close and in personal of B.B. King, Pete Seeger, The White Stripes, and many others.

Music Resources on the Radio and the Library

old time music

Here in Ann Arbor we have an abundance of musical resources available.

I'm mostly interested in Traditional music that’s often labeled Folk Music. Some of my favorites on radio include Folks Like Us with host Matt Watroba on WDET 101.9 FM, Saturdays from 11a.m to 2 p.m. and The Folk Tradition on WKAR-FM 90.5, every Sunday at 6:00 p.m. hosted by Bob Blackman. There's also a multitude of great music shows on the U of M student run station WCBN 88.2 FM (limited broadcast range of 200 watts). I especially enjoy their "The Down Home Show" when Tex is the host. It's obvious that he enjoys presenting the music. It's on Saturdays Noon to Three.

Don't forget the Ann Arbor District Library has at all Library locations an excellent collection of cd's of all types of music for customers to take home and enjoy.

Funke Fans--Have Heart!

Fans of Cornelia Funke’s Inkheart will have to wait a little longer to get their hands on the final installment of the trilogy. According to Funke, the “working title is Inkdeath,” and it could be released some time in 2007. While you’re waiting, check out Funke’s new series for younger readers, Ghosthunters, or one of her fantastic novels for older kids, like The Thief Lord—I’m currently listening to the audio book, and it’s so good that I make excuses to get back into the car and listen to another chapter. Finally, if you’re especially patient, start counting the days until the Inkheart movie is released in 2008!

The Play Ground

The Sleep Tite pajama factory workers' raise is long overdue. Seven and a Half Cents (an hour) isn't a lot anymore but we can all relate. Then the union representative and the new superintendent falls in love. Well, perhaps we can't relate to that, but if we picture Harry Connick Jr., the latest Sid on Broadway, perhaps we can dream. Winner of the 1955 Tony Award for Best Musical and for Best Revival in 2006. Can a play be dated but timeless? We think it can. The Pajama Game at the Mendelssohn Theatre Oct 12-15. 763-3333

What Do You Think of Fergie's Solo CD?

Fergie of the Black Eyed Peas debuted her solo cd this week.

The Dutchess opened at no. 3 on the Billboard 200 chart.

Other cds by Black Eyed Peas include Elephunk and Monkey Business.
Listen to the group and compare with Fergie's solo.

Music to Our Little Ears

The Music and Motion program was so popular last season that we had to bring it back with a new twist! The library is partnering with the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra and Gari Stein for a music and movement filled morning for young children. This time pianist Kathryn Goodson will be joined by talented trumpeter David Ammer. You have a choice of the 9:30 am or 10:30 am show on Friday, October 6th at the Downtown Library. Warm up by checking out kid’s classical CDs; Bach and Baby Playtime and Happy Baby Classics.

Justin Timberlake, John Mayer on Top

FutureSex/LoveSounds by Justin Timberlake entered at the top of the Billboard 200. This is the artist's first no. 1 release.

John Mayer takes the no. 2 spot with Continuum. Continuum is at the top of the Top Rock Albums list as well. Enjoy these cds by placing a hold.

Do you know who Sully Erna is?

GodsmackGodsmack

If so, then you need to see Sully and the rest of Godsmack in concert this Friday, Sept. 15th at 7 pm at the DTE Energy Music Theatre (yes, yes, it's the old Pine Knob).

Also performing are Rob Zombie and Shinedown.

If you decide to go, revisit this AADL blog and leave a comment about the concert...

Enjoy!

Tour-de-Anne

The release of Anne Tyler’s newest book on cd, Digging to America, gives us an opportunity to highlight one of the best American writers and encourage a tour-de-Anne. Accidental Tourist and Saint Maybe are two of her earliest and best. Ladder of Years is a quiet and intimate portrait of family relationships. Her very best work, Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant, is not to be missed even if it it’s only available in good old-fashioned print.

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