AADL Songsters in the news!

This week, the AADL was featured in the Ann Arbor Public Schools News when students from Clague Middle School performed in the Multi-Purpose Room as part of our AADL Songsters program.

With their teacher Jeff Gaynor and local musician Nan Nelson, students learned to dance the Troika and perform two songs as part of a World Cultures and geography unit on Russia. Круто! Клево!

Lydia Loveless' amazing album Somewhere Else

Wow! I can’t get enough of Lydia Loveless’ newest album, Somewhere Else. I’m almost to the point where I want to stop listening to it… but I just can’t. I’d come close to saying that it might be my favorite album of all time… but that award is still firmly and deservedly in the hands of Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours (shameless Fleetwood pitch). Somewhere Else is an amazing mix of rock, pop, folk and country that quite a few critics have actually called “a little Fleetwood Mac-y,” so I guess that explains why I like it so much. In all seriousness though, this album is awesome!

Somewhere Else is actually Loveless’ third studio album, and she scrapped an entire album’s worth of songs before finding the 10 tracks that suited her that appear on the album. Many of the songs are about love and relationships found and lost, but the lyrics are far from cookie-cutter. In fact, they’re some of the most poignant and poetic lyrics I’ve ever heard, filled with unexpected analogies and amazing imagery. She has said, in fact, that many of her songs are adapted from poetry that she has written over the years. Paste magazine describes the album in this way: "an album of blood and guts and emotions—anger and yearning and lust—that are so honest and immediate that they beg to be shared. The strength in Loveless’ vocals is how deftly she moves between tough and vulnerable, the emotions in both realms sincere and familiar."

Loveless grew up in rural Ohio on an 80-acre farm and was homeschooled. She started learning to play the guitar when she was 12, but didn’t become passionate about it until she began learning Hank Williams songs at age 15. Loveless, her father, and her two older sisters were briefly in a band together, but after they disbanded, Loveless released her first album, The Only Man, in 2010, followed by Indestructible Machine in 2011, and finally, the wonderful Somewhere Else in 2014.

Let Freedom Ring: Celebrating the Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Music

On Monday, January 19, AADL will celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy in music, with two very special performances at the Downtown Library.

All ages are invited at 1 p.m for acclaimed percussion group Biakuye presenting a cross-cultural experience rooted in American innovation and African tradition.

In Akan languages, biakuye means unity, and their style unites percussionists from varied backgrounds, traditional instruments and found objects, and West African musical traditions and American jazz concepts.The group's members come from both Africa and the United States, and have a local connection. Mark Stone and Roger Braun attended the University of Michigan together, studying percussion. Mark spent a year in Ghana while at U of M, where he met master drummer Kofi Ameyaw. The three later formed Biakuye, and have since added and rotated members, but their unique and energetic sound remains, celebrating cultural unity and collaboration. Biakuye will perform in the Downtown Library Multi-Purpose Room.

In the evening, Baritone Emery Stephens and accompanist Alvin Waddles will give an interactive lecture and concert highlighting the musical legacy and achievements of African-American composers and arrangers.

They will discuss such recognizable tunes as “This Little Light of Mine,” “It’s Me, O Lord,” “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot,” and composers such as Harry T. Burleigh, John Work, and Margaret Bonds. Both Emory Stephens and Alvin Waddles have performed, studied, and taught throughout the area and around the country and will join us for an entertaining and informative performance at 7 p.m. in the Multi-Purpose Room.

Can’t make it? Use these lists of books on Dr. King and the Civil Rights Movement for children, teens, adults, graphic novels, and picture books to mark the day.

Happy Birthday David Bowie!

Today marks the birthday of the man, the myth, the legend: David Bowie. What else can I say? Currently sitting unread on my coffee table at home is the 2014 bio on him: Bowie the Biography by Wendy Leigh. Have you read it? Do I need to read it? Please let me know.

As a singer, songwriter and actor Bowie has created many a masterpiece. Everything from movies, to music, to books. Ziggy Stardust! Aladdin Sane! The Labyrinth! With many personas spanning across decades Bowie has not ceased to amaze and entertain.

My random Bowie recommendation is not Bowie really, but covers. Check out The Life Aquatic Studio Sessions, featuring Bowie reworked into mellow accoustic versions and sung in Portuguese by Seu Jorge.

Happy birthday, dear sir, and thank you!

Tons of Popular New CDs at the Library!

Lots of brand new CDs are on order for the AADL and now is the time to get on the holds list! Here are just a few of the exciting new titles we have coming:

1989, by Taylor Swift, produced two number one singles this year: “Blank Space” and “Shake It Off.” This is the singer’s fifth studio album and what she has said is her first “official pop album,” as opposed to her country and country-pop albums of the past. In their annual list, Rolling Stone named 1989 #10 on the 50 Best Albums of 2014.

24 karat gold: songs from the vault, is Stevie Nicks’ much publicized eighth solo album. Most of the songs are new versions of demos that Nicks recorded in the 70s and 80s, with a few from the 90s thrown in, along with a cover of Vanessa Carlton’s “Carousel.” The album debuted at #7 on the Billboard 200 and has been well-received by music critics.

747, by Lady Antebellum, released in late September of this year, is the sixth studio album by the popular country group. Their single “Bartender,” from this album, hit number 1 on the US Country Airplay chart this past summer and the album itself debuted at #2 on the Billboard 200. Fans love Lady A’s easy, often celebratory country-pop tunes, and 747 did not disappoint!

Art Official Age, marks the return of Prince “with a contemporary concoction of soul, R&B, and funk with immediate and prominent melodies.” This is Prince’s thirty-third studio album (!), and was released in conjunction with a second album, Plectrumelectrum, by Prince and his all-female touring band, 3rdeyegirl. Prince’s fans have been pleasantly surprised by this album, and excited that the artist’s musical talents have far from diminished over the years.

You can browse the “New CDs” section of our catalog to see these titles and the other brand new music that the library has!

MLK Day Event: Biakuye Percussion Group

Monday January 19, 2015: 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

This event is intended for adults, teens and youth (grade K and up).

AADL presents a special concert event on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, featuring the acclaimed percussion group Biakuye, featuring Mark Stone, Chinelo Amen-Ra, Lesley-Anne Stone, and Ambyr Amen-Ra.

.....wooden keys suspended over gourds and spider webs….
….seed pods spun like a yo-yo
… goat-skin drums, flattened tire spokes, and discarded oil barrels

These are the sources of Biakuye’s captivating sound—a sound that is both deeply grounded and cutting-edge. The resulting music reflects the unique journeys of its members, which have taken them from the U.S. to Ghana, Uganda, South Africa, Trinidad, and Haiti. In Akan languages of West Africa, biakuye means unity. Biakuye’s energetic performances bring together a wide range of African and Caribbean music and dance.

Local Music: Timothy Monger

Friday January 30, 2015: 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

AADL highlights a local performing artist with this evening concert by Timothy Monger, best known for his work with Michigan rock group Great Lakes Myth Society, which he co-founded with his brother James.

For this performance, Monger will be joined by Patrick Herek on piano. He'll also use guitar pedals and a few other musical items from AADL’s circulating Music Tools collection!

In 2004, Monger released his debut solo album Summer Cherry Ghosts. The lush baroque-pop song cycle earned favorable comparisons to Elliot Smith, Electric Light Orchestra and early Bee Gees and was re-released in Japan the following year.

The success of Great Lakes Myth Society’s literate, folk-tinged rock eventually landed them a deal with Michigan indie Quack! Media in 2006 and their sophomore effort Compass Rose Bouquet was released in 2007 to glowing reviews. This was followed with several national tours, multiple appearances at SXSW and shows with Patti Smith, British Sea Power, The Hidden Cameras and The Hold Steady among others.

In 2009, Monger recorded his second solo album and performed regularly both as a solo artist and with his newly formed backing band Timothy Monger State Park. His sophomore album The New Britton Sound is a beautiful melding of elegant pop, and lyrical folk-rock named for the small rural town of Britton, Michigan where the bulk of it was recorded and written. Released in June 2011 on his own Northern Detective record label, the album was a stylistic leap forward, moving away from the orchestral leanings in favor of a more organic, rural pop sound.

Electronic Music Production with Mike Huckaby

Wednesday March 4, 2015: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Training Center

This event is intended for grade 6 to adult

Learn electronic music production with Mike Huckaby. Tastemaker, Educator, Sound Designer, and Motor City Proponent, Mike has done much for electronic music. The man behind the once legendary Record Time store has gathered an encyclopedic knowledge of dance music. Currently an in demand remixer and performer around the world, Mike also serves as an instructor for Native Instruments and Ableton on their digital music tools.

Electronic Music Production with Mike Huckaby

Wednesday February 25, 2015: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Training Center

This event is intended for adults and teens (grade 6 and up).

Learn electronic music production with Mike Huckaby. Tastemaker, Educator, Sound Designer, and Motor City Proponent, Mike has done much for electronic music. The man behind the once legendary Record Time store has gathered an encyclopedic knowledge of dance music. Currently an in demand remixer and performer around the world, Mike also serves as an instructor for Native Instruments and Ableton on their digital music tools.

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