Getting By Is Getting Harder

It’s not you -- it really is harder to make ends meet. The real median hourly wage for American workers has declined 2% since 2003. Income disparities are at record levels. Barbara Ehrenreich details the difficulties facing blue collar and white collar workers alike in Nickel and Dimed: On Not Getting By in America and Bait and Switch: The (Futile) Pursuit of the American Dream. For a more long-range and literary take on income disparity in America, we recommend The Great Gatsby.

John Sinclair

Free John Now

On the short list of people who can claim John Lennon wrote a song about them (that would include Yoko, his mom "Julia" and Mia Farrow's sister, "Prudence") is John Sinclair, ex-manager of the MC5, founder of the White Panther Party, and ex-political prisoner. The song is on this CD. Anyone in town remember "ten for two" and the Free John Now Rally at Crisler in '71? They contributed, at least in part, to Ann Arbor's famously lenient laws on marijuana possession. Sinclair will be appearing at the downtown branch on September 6 at 7:00 p.m. to read his blues-inspired poetry in honor of the Ann Arbor Blues & Jazz Festival. Read more about Sinclair's local and national influence on the counterculture of the nineteen sixties and seventies in the introduction to the John and Leni Sinclair papers at the Bentley Historical Library.

Precious Again

Blue Shoes and Happiness. Doesn’t the title just make you want to listen? Check out this book on cd and you’ll be rewarded with one of the best in the Mma Precious Ramotswe series by Alexander McCall Smith. The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency once again employs uncommon common sense, humor and intuition to solve mysteries large (blackmail) and small (snakes) that bother her beloved Botswana.

The Play Ground

The Play Ground

Are You A Brother To The Blues? If the answer to that question is yes, then you are in luck. Your brother is in town. Billy Joe Shaver and his Honky-tonk band led by this veteran Texas singer-songwriter who is arguably the most gifted of the country music "outlaws" who emerged with Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings in the mid-70s. Shaver's singing is distinguished by its quiet emotional power and unaffected grit, and his songs, keenly observed and sharply delineated, move easily between homely directness and an authentically spiritual intensity. Saturday, August 26 at 8 p.m. The Ark, 316 S. Main. Tickets $15 in advance. To charge by phone, call 763-TKTS.

"We're lost... in a masquerade..."

Benson & Jarreau

Does the line above ring a bell?

If so, then you need to grab your girl (or guy) and head down to the Freedom Hill Amphitheatre in Sterling Heights on Wednesday, August 16th.

Why, you ask?

Because George Benson & Al Jarreau will be in concert w/ Special Guest Raul Midon (and believe me when I tell you that this guy can blow!)

You can get your tix at www.ticketmaster.com.

As for you 9-5ers, don't worry about having to knock off work early, doors open at 6:30pm and the concert starts at 7:30pm.

Oh yeah, don't forget to check out the artists' websites:
www.georgebenson.com
www.aljarreau.com
www.raulmidon.com

And remember that, We're in this love together...

The Village Life

The fast pace in A2 may have you wondering what life in a more pastoral setting would be like. Before making the move to greener pastures, listen to a few of the Miss Read books on compact disc and decide if the village life is really for you. Things can get rather complicated in Thrush Green especially in Winter. The Changes at Fairacre may also give you pause. What with vegetable gardening falling off, can coffee houses be far behind? Will pasta restaurants take over Market Square? The Miss Read stories are a delightful summer escape to England – no passport required.

Not Bitter

Even though Testimony. Vol.1, Life and Relationship by India.Arie is a musical ode to a failed relationship, do not expect negativity on this cd. This cd, which is a follow-up to her 2002 Grammy Award winning Voyage to India is filled with hope and positive messages.

In My Next Life

I will be Julia Child. And I will learn to cook as she does in My Life in France, her wonderful memoir of learning to taste and eat and buy and cook and drink and converse in the world of French cuisine. Julia’s cookbooks remain my most treasured and trusted. Pick up some crusty bread, tangy cheese and table wine to accompany this book on cd.

A Deeper, Darker Trip Down the Yellow Brick Road

Looking for a really out of the ordinary listening experience? Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West is so bizarre you’ll wonder if Gregory Maguire spent a little too much time in Oz. This witch belongs to one really dysfunctional family and the Wizard is not a well-adjusted individual either. This one’s way over the rainbow.

Events at The Ark this month

Below are some of the artists appearing at The Ark this month, with links to their CDs in our catalog. Check 'em out before you go! Gaelic Storm; Kelly Joe Phelps; Little Feat; Billy Joe Shaver; Suzy Bogguss; and Robbie Fulks.

Here is the complete list, plus ticket prices and musical styles.

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