Listen to Leonardo, Contento, Pietro, and Nunzio

Talk about an engaging book on CD! Replay by Sharon Creech stars 12-year-old Leonardo (Sardino), who feels squashed in his big Italian family between his older sister, Contento, and two younger brothers, Pietro and Nunzio. As Leonardo prepares to act in a school play, he discovers a diary his father wrote at age 13. Gradually, Leo begins to understand how people and families change through time. This book on CD offers three hours and 45 minutes of literate entertainment for listeners age 8 and up.

"Gold Soundz" from the slacker kings

Looking for something that's a little off the beaten path (or at least off the current pop charts)? Take a stroll through the charming little collection of alternative rock selections we've got. There are some beauties from the eighties and ninties, such as Pavement's 1997 Brighten the Corners and the Jesus and Mary Chain's singles. I have a particular soft spot for Pavement, as well as their ex-singer's new solo work, since it has that slacker quality of sounding both lazy and intense.

For some hints on searching for music by genre in the catalog, follow the "read more..."

The Play Ground

Life Science

The Play Ground has attended all Life Science Orchestra concerts since the group's inception and, not coincidentally, is related to one of the players. We are therefore thrilled that members of the orchestra will be performing Downtown at the Library on March 5th at 2pm. There will be several small ensembles and the players will speak briefly about their careers in medicine, science and related fields, and why they make music a part of their lives. The Play Ground has heard that there will be at least one Haydn and one Beethoven piece.

If you like Hip Hop...

...then you might already know what's crackin this weekend. Common will perform at theMichigan Theater this Friday March 3rd at 7:30pm . From classic albums like Resurrection to the more recent success of his Grammy-nominated album Be, Common’s socially conscious lyrics have long been a staple for Hip Hop “heads” across the globe.

If you like Common you might also enjoy these artists and albums:
Mos DefThe New Danger
Little Brother - The Minstrel Show
Talib Kweli - Right About Now
Digable Planets - Beyond the Spectrum
Jean Grae - This Week
The Roots - The Tipping Point

History Bits - Flint, MI.

LUTHER T. FARRELL has got to get out of Flint, Michigan. He would rather be known as a Philosopher, rather than "The Sarge's Son". Michigan author Christopher Paul Curtis (website) tells another great story in Bucking The Sarge.

History Bits - Willow Run

Learning History through fiction is a great way to learn about Michigan roots, whether reading on your own, or as a family read-aloud activity. Patricia Reilly Giff's http://www.patriciareillygiff.com/ new book, Willow Run, follows a young girl's family to the B-24 Bomber Factory as they look for work during World War II at the Willow Run plant.

Ted Leo and the Pharmacists!

There once was a guitarist named Ted
Who turned to a Pharmacist and said
“I shall come to the Pig
And dance such a jig
That they’ll cheer ‘til we all go to bed.”

Ted Leo and the Pharmacists. Live at the Blind Pig on Wednesday, March 8. All ages show, $10 cover, with special guests The Duke Spirit and Les Aus. Jigs not guaranteed... but if we can get him to play “Me and Mia” or “The High Party” he usually does. (Incidentally, that’s the same night as the Pioneer High School career fair. Professionals such as yours truly will be there to talk about what we do. Hope to see you there! )

Enter Laughing

March is International Mirth Month a time to find humor in all things human – and otherwise. And since many of you listen to books on cd in your car, let’s start with Click & Clack, those NPR knuckleheads who host Car Talk. Their newest compilation is Maternal Combustion: Calls About Moms and Cars. Other Car Talk favorites are Born Not to Run and The Hatchback of Notre Dame.

If you haven’t heard the Sweet Potato Queen’s musing on marriage, diets, and panty hose, pull the car over and get The Sweet Potato Queens' Field Guide to Men or Sweet Potato Queens’ Wedding Planner/Divorce Guide.

Samba no pé!

If you've ever been to Brazil you know it's that time again. Yup, that's right. It's time for the world's biggest party! Brazilian Carnival starts tomorrow. Can’t make it to Rio de Janeiro? Perhaps these sounds can take you there:

Compilations by Putumayo World Music: Acoustic Brazil and Brazilian Groove
Bossa Nova: Bebel Gilberto by Bebel Gilberto
Funk/rock: Cru by Seu Jorge, who starred in City of God
Classic collections: The Best of Caetano Veloso and The Best of Antonio Carlos Jobim

Have an interesting Carnival story? Post it here!

The Year of Secret Assignments

The Year of Secret Assignments by Jaclyn Moriarty was a thoroughly entertaining book to listen to and I enjoyed it to no end.
Ashbury and Brookfield are two rival high schools in New South Wales, Australia. In an effort to bridge the gap between the schools, the Year 10 students are required to write letters back and forth to a pen pal at the other school. Friendship, romance, humiliation, revenge plots, and a prank war between the schools ensue.
The story is told through letters, emails, diary and journal entries, notes, and notices. The use of different actors helps give each character a more definite personality.

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