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Staff Pick: Baby’s in Black by Anne Bellstorf

Colleen staff picks photoIf you are a fan of The Beatles, then you will definitely want to pick up the graphic novel Baby’s In Black.  Working closely with Astrid Kirchherr, Stuart Sutcliffe’s girlfriend, Bellstorf packs an emotional punch with black-and-white drawings that detail “the lost Beatle’s” short but impactful time with the band.

By Cathleen, Readers' Advisor on April 8, 2014 Categories: Books, Music, Picks by Colleen, Staff Picks

Staff Pick: Living Proof by Buddy Guy

Donna S staff pick photoIn 2012, blues guitarist and singer Buddy Guy was honored by the Kennedy Center for outstanding contributions to American culture. Buddy Guy was a member of Muddy Waters’ band, house guitarist at Chess Records, and a pioneer of Chicago blues. Check out the album Living Proof to hear his signature sound.

By Readers' Advisor on March 11, 2014 Categories: Music, Picks by Donna, Staff Picks

Movies and TV: The Returned

Returned DVD coverA teenage girl clambers up a steep embankment and pulls herself over the guardrail of a twisty mountain road. She has awoken from a blackout, and the last thing she remembers is being on a school trip — a trip that ended in a tragic bus crash a full four years earlier. The Returned, a French series which emerges as a masterwork in eerie storytelling, purposely uncoils the accounts of those who mysteriously appear as if they have never been away. Inspired by the film Les Revenants, this fits easily in the current trend of stories which explore the dead returning, but none other does so with the same lyrical melancholy, the effect of which is enhanced by expert framing of tableaus and a haunting Mogwai score.

By Cathleen, Readers' Advisor on March 10, 2014 Categories: Horror, Movies and TV, Music, Mysteries/Thrillers/Suspense

Music: Seduction: Sinatra Sings of Love by Frank Sinatra

Seduction: Sinatra Sings of Love album coverIt’s February, and love is in the air – or, maybe you just need a bit of heat to get rid of the winter chill. Turn up the temperature with Sinatra Love Songs, a gathering of Blue Eyes’ best tunes to Romeo and Juliet to. But there’s more! If you can’t get enough of Sinatra crooning at your heart’s door, try Seduction: Sinatra Sings of Love, too. Good ol’ Frank will sing of how it’s “Witchcraft” that he’s a “Prisoner of Love”. Then, if you still need more ideas of who to soundtrack your heart to, check out the Library’s Music for Lovers list!

By Readers' Advisor on February 13, 2014 Categories: Lists, Music, Romance

Staff Pick: Mountains of Sorrow by Amos Lee

Barb F. Staff picks photoMountains of Sorrow, Rivers of Song is Amos Lee’s fifth studio album. This powerful album is a mix inspired by folksy, bluesy, and even some funky influences. Whatever your mood, there is something to like here. From the title song to “Chill in the Air” you can’t listen to this without big feelings.

By Readers' Advisor on January 28, 2014 Categories: Music, Picks by Barbara F., Staff Picks

Music: Winter Dreams

Winter Dreams CD cover

There is a beauty that is uniquely winter, whether it be snow-dusted landscapes or the crystallized branches of exposed trees. Maestro Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky was inspired to give voice to the season in the wordless poetry of Symphony No. 1 in G minor, Op. 13: “Winter Dreams”. As performed by the Prague Symphony Orchestra, life is given to swirling winds, hushed silver skies, and the brisk exhilaration of chilled temperatures. Certain movements showcase lush, full melodies that create the ethereal mood evoked in the title, while others invite the instruments to playfully dart back and forth like animal tracks in the snow. Warm your ears with music that will whisk away any lingering grumbles about winter ills.

 

By Cathleen, Readers' Advisor on December 23, 2013 Categories: Music

Staff Pick: Il Divo

Donna S staff pick photoEnticed by a friend’s recommendation, I discovered the operatic group Il Divo. Wow! What powerful voices and what a full orchestral sound supports this talented quartet of male singers. If you like dramatic, deep music like Andrea Bocelli, but also enjoy pop music, try Il Divo, their first, self-titled album.

By Readers' Advisor on December 10, 2013 Categories: Music, Picks by Donna, Staff Picks

Staff Pick: Hidden in the Mix edited by Diane Pecknold

Patty staff picks photoResearchers have long acknowledged black influence and culture within popular music…but not until recently has anyone studied black presence in country music. Hidden in the Mix: The African American Presence in Country Music is an erudite, heavily footnoted essay collection that demonstrates how country music is not only “the white man’s blues.”

By Readers' Advisor on December 3, 2013 Categories: Music, Staff Picks

Lists: Classical Composers in Films

Amadeus DVD coverAmadeus centers around the genius of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in 18th century Vienna. It won eight Academy Awards, including that of Best Picture. But you’ve seen Amadeus a thousand times and are dying for another classical music movie…so now what?

Click here for other films that feature classical composers.

By Readers' Advisor on November 22, 2013 Categories: Lists, Movies and TV, Music

Music: Ghost Brothers of Darkland County

Ghost Brothers of Darkland County album coverNo joke, John Mellencamp and Stephen King are friends. They even collaborated on a Southern gothic musical, Ghost Brothers of Darkland County, about two brothers involved in a murder/suicide who haunt an isolated, Mississippi cabin. King wrote the play, Mellencamp wrote the music, and T. Bone Burnett put his haunting, roots rock stamp over the soundtrack, which features a devilish Elvis Costello, Neko Case, Rosanne Cash, Kris Kristofferson, and more. Interspersed with dialogue from the play, the soundtrack gathers you into the story of ghost brothers Jack and Andy as they feud, die, and later watch their nephews step onto the same calamitous path of tragic love and family secrets.

By Readers' Advisor on November 14, 2013 Categories: Horror, Music