Can’t wait for buzzed-about Broadway shows to make their way to the Midwest? Ease that longing with the best new cast recordings of the Great White Way. Kinky Boots won six 2013 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Best Actor in a Leading Role (the fabulous Billy Porter), and Best Original Score for composer/lyricist /pop icon Cyndi Lauper. Honors for Best Musical Revival went to Pippin, reimagined with a circus theme and featuring the spellbinding performance of Best Actress in a Leading Role Patina Miller. If jukebox hits are more your flavor, you can’t miss the energetic medleys of Motown: The Musical. Though the stage may be only in your mind, the theater experience will inspire a personal standing ovation.
Check It Out
Martin Scorsese directed George Harrison: Living in the Material World — a fascinating look at George Harrison’s life, focused on the period after he found success with the Fab Four. Displaying personal strife, finding his spiritual self, and the way he expertly created music, this is a must-see for any fan.
The final announcement that the Beatles had officially broken up came by a Paul McCartney press release on April 10, 1970. The break-up didn’t stop the music from spilling out of the Fab Four. George, Ringo, John, and Paul separately soldiered on.
Click here to see albums by each Beatle when they went solo.
Summertime begs a soundtrack that can back both active afternoons and sultry evenings. For a fun, bluesy, energizing mix, try Marcia Ball’s Peace, Love & BBQ. The influence of her Texas/Louisiana upbringing gleams in the pep of her piano and in her soulful singing. Just try to sit still!
Dave Grohl, of Nirvana and Foo Fighters fame, has made his directorial debut with Sound City, a documentary on the L.A. recording studio where Nirvana made Nevermind – arguably the most groundbreaking album of the ‘90s. Grohl claims that the custom Neve soundboard at Sound City is what helped define Nirvana’s music and gave him his career. Grohl uses archival footage and contemporary interviews with bands who recorded at Sound City, like Fleetwood Mac, Neil Young, Tom Petty, Rick Springfield, The Pixies, and Rage Against the Machine. Not only does Grohl chronicle the history of Sound City, he reunites famous musicians like Stevie Nicks and Paul McCartney with the Neve in a 24-hour marathon recording session of all new songs.
Rachel Brooke sounds like she could be singing in a barnyard as easily as at rockabilly show. There is something dusty and wild about her voice. Lonesome Wyatt lays out a dark drawl. Together, they created A Bitter Harvest, an album for slow nights and thinking on the could-have-beens.
Post-punk is a rock music genre that can be considered punk’s artsy, more experimental little sister. Eventually, the white noise, synthesizers and moodiness of post-punk turned into new wave, industrial, and alternative rock.
For post-punk albums, click here.
“We want to be the band that if we moved in next door to you, your lawn would die,” said Lemmy Kilmister of Motörhead. From hair bands to thrash to Finnish folk death metal, the Library has your heavy metal needs covered.
In his book Decoded, Jay-Z said, “Hip-hop has always been controversial, and for good reason…The music is meant to be provocative – which doesn’t mean it’s necessarily obnoxious, but it is (mostly) confrontational, and more than that, it’s dense with multiple meanings. Great rap should have all kinds of unresolved layers that you don’t necessarily figure out the first time you listen to it. Instead it plants dissonance in your head.”
Fishbone is a funk, ska, rock band whose mohawked members are as likely to play in zoot suits as naked. They are known for their eclectic, complicated sound and high-octane stage presence. Bands that were inspired by Fishbone, like No Doubt, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Jane’s Addiction, and Primus, became famous, and yet, mainstream success eluded Fishbone. Laurence Fishburne narrates Everyday Sunshine, a documentary that follows Angelo Moore and Norwood Fisher, the two remaining original band members. Vintage concert footage and interviews from admirers like Gwen Stefani, Ice-T, and George Clinton fill out Fishbone’s beginnings, near break-ups, and 30-plus years on the road.