AADL Presents Kids Rock Series @ TOP: Ratboy Jr.

Sunday June 24, 2012: 5:00 pm to 7:30 pm -- Top of the Park (Rackham Stage)

Ratboy Jr. is a rocking duo from upstate, NY and performs with high energy! Sing and dance to catchy tunes about robots, emus and garbage men. This band has the formula for a super fun show - a perfect mix of audience participation, hilarious onstage banter - - and a slide whistle!

This concert, presented by AADL and the Ann Arbor Summer Festival, is the second in the Kids Rock Series@TOP - a Sunday series of concerts at Top of the Park. This event is for all ages.

Summer Game Kick-Off Concert @ TOP: The Royal Order of Chords and Keys (R.O.C.K.)

Sunday June 17, 2012: 5:00 pm to 7:30 pm -- Top of the Park

Want to rock out this summer? Kids Rock @ TOP Concerts return!! Kick off the 2012 AADL Summer Game at this family-friendly concert with The Royal Order Of Chords And Keys (R.O.C.K.), on the Rackham stage! See why they call R.O.C.K. the "hardest rocking band for families in the world!"

Sign up for the AADL Summer Game at the concert, and be one of the leaders for great summer game prizes!

This event, for all ages, is presented by AADL and the Ann Arbor Summer Festival, and is also the first in the Kids Rock Series@TOP - a Sunday series of concerts at Top of the Park.

Songwriting Workshop With Singer/Songwriter Aric Bieganek Of The Royal Order of Keys and Chords

Sunday June 17, 2012: 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

Want to feel like a professional rock star?! Come learn how to R.O.C.K. with Royal Order of Chords and Keys lead singer/songwriter Aric Bieganek.

Using the program, Garage Band, everyone will work together to assemble a sequence of loops and musical ideas & melodies to create a song from scratch. Bring your own instruments if you'd like to add some live instruments into the mix!

This event, for grades K - 3, is co-sponsored by the Ann Arbor Summer Festival.

Music Expert Richard LeSueur Discusses Puccini's Famous Opera "La Bohème"

Sunday June 10, 2012: 3:00 pm to 4:30 pm -- Downtown Library: aadlfreespace

Richard LeSueur, opera lover extraordinaire, will discuss the reasons that Puccini's La Bohème is one of the world's most popular operas. Listen to recordings of performance highlights and learn more about this epic love story.

This event is held in conjunction with Arbor Opera Theater's production of La Bohème at Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre, June 14-17

Doc Watson, the heart and soul of bluegrass guitar music, has died

Doc Watson, whose lightning-speed flatpicking style of guitar playing befuddled those who have tried to emulate it and who brought new life to folk music, died yesterday In Winston-Salem, NC, following complications from colon surgery.

Blinded when he was one, Doc Watson's first instrument was the harmonica. A few years later, at age 10, his father gave him a banjo and a neighbor gave him guitar lessons.

He eventually graduated to the electric guitar, playing with a rockabilly bind with an unreliable fiddle player. To fill the fiddle gap, Doc Watson figured out how to translate that sound to his guitar.

In the 1960s, Ralph Rinzler, a prominent folkie, encouraged Watson to go back to the acoustic guitar. Watson immediately became a hot commodity on the folk music circuit.

Toward the end of the 60s, Merle Watson, Doc's teenage son, joined his dad for a wonderfully successful run, fueled by their performance on Will the Circle Be Unbroken?, the million-plus album by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.

Doc Watson's career was nearly derailed by his grief over the death of Merle in 1985, the result of a tractor accident.

Watson, who earned eight Emmys despite his deeply ingrained modesty, was 89 years old. His was the second death to rock the North Carolina and the national music world. Beloved Earl Scruggs died in March.

Happy Birthday, Bob.


Today marks the 78th birthday of Robert Moog, founding father of electronic music and inventor of the Moog synthesizer. If you've ever listened to Here Comes the Sun by the Beatles, or watched A Clockwork Orange then you've heard one of the earliest Moog synthesizers in action. You can stream a documentary on the life of Bob Moog here, and don't miss the incredibly fun Moog Google Doodle. Here's a handy Doodle Guide to get you started.

Middle Eastern Music With Award-Winning Musician Ara Topouzian

Tuesday May 22, 2012: 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

Watch and hear award-winning, Detroit-area musician Ara Topouzian brings the sounds of the Middle East to this concert as he performs on Armenian and Middle Eastern instruments, including the kanun (laptop harp) and the duduk (Armenian oboe). Visit the AADL to enjoy this concert - and learn the sounds of these neat instruments!

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

Donna Summer, disco superstar of the 1970s, has died

Donna Summer, known as the Queen of Disco during the 1970s, died today in Florida.

Ms. Summer's gorgeous voice and beautiful presence kept her at the top of the charts and front and center in the public eye year after year. She began as a young girl singing gospel in her Boston church. At 18, she auditioned for a role in the touring company of Hair and went to Europe. In 1973, while recording with Blood, Sweat, and Tears in Munich, she was discovered by a couple of music producers.

Back in the U.S. Ms. Sommer's hit, I Feel Love, was the first to be recorded with the "galloping bass line", an infectious thumping drumbeat that sent music-loving clubbers racing to the dance floor.

Ms. Summer, in addition to winning an Oscar and a Golden Globe in 1979 (for her standout performance of Last Dance in Thank God It's Friday (on order), she snagged five Grammys during her lifetime.

Her last big hit was was the 1980s release of She Works Hard for the Money.

Ms. Summer, who was 63, died of lung cancer which, she confided to friends, she felt she contracted from breathing in the air on 9/11.

Flavorwire looks at 20-year-old albums, reminds us we're not getting any younger

With the recent death of the Beastie Boys' Adam Yauch, many of us have come to realize that, well, we're old. Yauch was only 47 when he died, but his passing has created cause to look back on how he was a part of the soundtrack to our lives.

In that vein, Flavorwire.com, has made a list of "20 Albums We Can't Believe Are 20 Years Old."
Included is the Beastie's Check Your Head, in which they answer the age old question: "Professor, what is another word for pirate treasure?"

And speaking of booty, Sir Mx-A-Lot's "Mack Daddy" brought Baby's Got Back to the world.

R.E.M's Automatic for the People, Tori Amos's Little Earthquakes and Green Day's Kerplunk! also made the list. Check out the list here, and then go tell those kids to get off your lawn.

An Afternoon With Jan Krist And Jim Bizer

Saturday May 5, 2012: 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

Jan Krist and Jim Bizer hail from Detroit, justly famous as Motown, but also home to a myriad of musical influences. They met and made music together while still in their teens and have each, on their own, garnered acclaim as songwriters and performers.

Now, they join forces as a fun and formidable duo where the sum is greater than the already substantial parts. Come see for yourself as they return to the Library for this fun-filled concert.

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