It is almost a cliché, these days, for rappers to be business moguls. Puffy did it. Jay Z did it. 50, too…but Pharrell Williams is not your average rapper gone business mogul. He’s changed the game. He has done everything from fronting bands to producing bands to designing clothes, jewelry, shoes, and toys – all before he was 40. Pharrell: Places and Spaces I’ve Been is his collaborative memoir of ambitions and inspirations.
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Did you know that Zooey Deschanel – the wide-eyed actress from The New Girl – has a holiday album? So does Johnny Cash, Sufjan Stevens, Lady Antebellum, Justin Bieber, and Stevie Wonder. Don’t leave your holiday spirit up to the radio! Find new and traditional music at the Library.
Click here for classic Christmas music.
Click here if you want a more country Christmas.
Try here for pop stars singing holiday tunes.
Finally, If you’re in the mood for the obscure, click here for quirky holiday music.
The Chitlin’ Circuit was a string of venues in the American South where African American musicians and entertainers played through the early 19th century, when racial segregation was rampant. Preston Lauterbach’s The Chitlin Circuit: And the Road to Rock ‘n’ Roll examines Southern history and the musicians, promoters, and personalities on the circuit that may have never hit it big, but helped create the world of rhythm, blues, and rock and roll.
New Wave is a subgenre of rock that developed in the late 1970s and gained popularity in the 1980s. It’s marked by a highly experimental approach, a reliance on electronics (such as synthesizers), and an eccentric but modern mode of dress.
To meet the women of New Wave music, click here.
It is arguable that Bob Dylan has made the world a better place. His songs have motivated mass cultural change, stimulated decades of dancing, and inspired legions of musicians who themselves have possibly, probably, made the world…if not better, at least more interesting. Chimes of Freedom: The Songs of Bob Dylan is a compilation of over 70 songs covered by classic and contemporary artists. Big names like Johnny Cash, Elvis Costello, Patti Smith, Dave Matthews, and Sting appear, alongside new artists like Miley Cyrus, The Avett Brothers, Rise Against, and Adele. All of the musicians dedicate their Dylan covers “…to people worldwide who are unjustly imprisoned or threatened for the peaceful expression of their beliefs.”
Peter Gabriel’s album, So, is probably best known for “In Your Eyes” and the iconic image of John Cusack holding up a boombox to win back his girlfriend in Say Anything. Gabriel used experimentation, world music influence, and thoughtful – almost heartbreaking – lyrics to create a classic album.
Walk the line to good country music movies by clicking here.
Listening to contemporary jazz these days, you don’t expect to get classic Sinatra and Bennett vocal stylings, but Landau Eugene Murphy, Jr. croons exactly that. That’s Life is the debut release of Landau, an America’s Got Talent winner. Take a new walk down memory lane and try it!
Well, be-bop-a-lula, do you like rockabilly? Rockabilly is where country music meets rock ‘n roll. It was popularized in the 1950s by such legends as Bill Haley, Carl Perkins, Gene Vincent, and Elvis Presley – and it sure isn’t dead!
Click here for contemporary and classic rockabilly music that will get you wailin’ and wigglin’.