In a hilariously meta production, Something Rotten! imagines the birth of musical theater as the only recourse left to brother playwrights trying to compete with bad-boy superstar Will Shakespeare. The Broadway cast recording shows off the talent, the fun, the puns, and Easter eggs aplenty to tickle the fancy of any drama geek.
Check It Out Category: Music
With fall here it’s time to surround yourself with the sounds of autumn. What songs do you have lining your days? For a mix of slower, laid-back tunes, try these!
For Emma, Forever Ago by Bon Iver
Song: “Re: Stacks”
All the Little Lights by Passenger
Song: “Things That Stop You Dreaming”
Breaking Dawn Part 1 Soundtrack
Song: “From Now On” by Sleeping at Last
Wyclef Jean Presents The Carnival Featuring Refugee Allstars
Song: “Gone Till November”
Song: “Cherry Wine (Live)” by Hozier
With the announcement of Taylor Swift’s latest album coming out November 10th and a new single out, Taylor Swift is intentionally back in the public eye. As a celebrity and singer that writes about her own experiences with people, it is not surprising that there would be songs written about her.
Compiled below are a few songs in which it’s surmised by a significant amount of people that the songs contain a reference to Taylor Swift in some manner, whether it’s as overt as saying her name (Kanye West’s “Famous”) or as subtle as a line that seems to mimic the nature of one of her relationships (One Direction’s “History”).
Pentatonix by Pentatonix
Song: “Rose Gold”
Made in the A.M. by One Direction
Paradise Valley by John Mayer
Song: “Paper Doll”
I Like it When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful and Unaware of It by The 1975
Song: “Change of Heart”
Song: “Much Better”
“4 Songs That Were Written About Taylor Swift” published by people.com (2016)
“8 Songs That Were Definitely Written with Taylor Swift in Mind” published by teen.com (2016)
Do you ever hear a song and it transports you to a different time and place from your past? With high school graduations in the air, a few staff members of the Library took time to reflect on songs that reminded of them of high school, whether it be a song they listened to nonstop or one that summed up their experience. It was hard to narrow it down to just one song!
Song: “Stand“ by R.E.M.
Song: “If You Leave“ by Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark
Song: “Tonight, Tonight” by Smashing Pumpkins
Song: “Hey, Suburbia” by Screeching Weasel
Song: “Blister in the Sun” by The Violent Femmes
Song: “Hear You Me” by Jimmy Eat World
Song: “Teach Your Children” by Crosby, Stills and Nash
Song:”Tainted Love” by Soft Cell
Song: “New Sensation” by INXS
Song: “American Pie” by Don McLean
Now it’s your turn! Whether you just graduated or graduated decades ago, share what songs make you think of your time at high school by tweeting at us at @MPPLib or by commenting on our Facebook wall.
“You hear that? That is life. And destiny. That is the get down.”
Part two of Netflix series The Get Down recently dropped, and though it isn’t yet available through the Library, we know some of you are already primed to lose yourselves in the music, the style, the art, and the drama of the Bronx in the late 1970s.
The fascinating world of early hip hop is one born of frustrations, passions, and even activism. To experience more of this electric era, try one of these:
Hip Hop Family Tree 1: 1970s – 1981 by Ed Piskor
The early days of hip hop have become the stuff of myth, so what better way to document this epic true story than in an explosively entertaining, encyclopedic history presented in graphic format? Piskor’s exuberant cartooning takes you from the parks and rec rooms of the South Bronx to the night clubs, recording studios, and radio stations where the scene started to boom. The Hip Hop Family Tree is an exciting and essential cultural chronicle for hip hop fans, pop-culture addicts, and anyone who wants to know how it went down back in the day.
Wild Style, directed, produced, and written by Charlie Ahearn
A perfect point of contrast to a series that recreates the emergence of hip hop is one that was created during the era in question! Wild Style is a 1983 docudrama that celebrates the colorful lives of teens who live in the South Bronx (sound familiar?). There they are seen break dancing, creating graffiti art, and listening to raucous rap. One focus is on the figure of Zoro, who likes to spray-paint subway cars, another reference point from The Get Down in the character of Dizzee, played by Jaden Smith.
The Adventures of Grandmaster Flash: My Life, My Beats by Grandmaster Flash with David Ritz
In the 1970s Grandmaster Flash pioneered the art of break-beat DJing–the process of remixing and thereby creating a new piece of music by playing vinyl records and turntables as musical instruments. In this powerful memoir, Flash recounts how music from the streets, much like rock ‘n’ roll a generation before, became the sound of an era, as well as his own rise to stardom, descent into addiction, and ultimate redemption.
Whether you’ve seen the series and can’t let it go or you want to experience it vicariously, the series soundtrack will satisfy your yen. Featuring both original songs and era classics, the line up includes artists such as Miguel, Christina Aguilera, Michael Kiwanuka, Janelle Monae, and Donna Summer, as well as the talented cast. Consider this your hot summer soundtrack!
On Southeastern, singer/songwriter Jason Isbell has crafted soulful, catchy songs with lyrics of dust-coated poetry about finding warmth in love when the world offers none, “Cover Me Up”, watching a friend die, “Elephant”, and a rollicking barn-burner about barely surviving an addiction,“Super 8”. It’s an album that proves the famous quote about how a great country song is only “three chords and the truth.”
Hoopla is a website and app that you can use to instantly borrow books, movies, music, ebooks, television episodes, and comics with no added cost. Luckily for Hamilton lovers, there is a wealth of material to fully invest into your current (or new) Hamilton obsession!
This season Hoopla has in store for you…
You may not have realized you wanted a Leslie Odom Jr. Christmas album until you listen to his 2016 release, Simply Christmas and you realize the season wouldn’t be complete without it. Odom’s silky jazz voice has a calming effect, setting the for curling up in a Library chair as you watch the snow fall and the cars drive past. For Sara Bareilles and Ingrid Michaelson lovers, it includes a cover of “Winter Song.”
#2: A mashup of the 18th and 21st century
The Hamilton Mixtape has an all-star mashup of recording artists coming from all different genres, including Sia, Usher, Alicia Keys, K’NAAN, and Kelly Clarkson. There’s a healthy mix of keeping some of the songs close to the original Broadway recording and completely re-imagining them. Plus, there are demos of Valley Forge and Cabinet Battle No. 3 by Lin Manuel-Miranda included.
Has your interest in American history been peaked? Take advantage and start with The Federalist Papers which was rapped about in “Non-Stop.”
“Alexander joins forces with James Madison and John Jay to write a series of essays defending the new United States Constitution, entitled The Federalist Papers. The plan was to write a total of twenty-five essays, the work divided evenly among the three men. In the end, they wrote eighty-five essays, in the span of six months. John Jay got sick after writing five. James Madison wrote twenty-nine. Hamilton wrote the other fifty-one!”
“Non-Stop” by Lin Manuel-Miranda
#4: 7.5 hours of Lin Manuel-Miranda reading to you
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe is story of two boys and how their friendship helps them to discover more about themselves and where they fit in the world. The combination of this award-winning story by Bejamin Alire Sâenz and Lin Manuel-Miranda’s voice is an incredible duet.
And last but definitely not least…
For the person who still hasn’t gotten a copy of the cast album or listened to it entirely, we’re here for you. Hamilton: An American Musical is available 24/7 to download and listen to at you’re leisure!
For more suggestions to feed your Hamilton obsession no matter how big or small it is, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or stop by the Fiction/AV/Teen Services desk!
I would blissfully listen to Kristin Chenoweth sing nearly anything, but the dreamy standards in The Art of Elegance (also available via Hoopla) are especially suited to her vocals. Close your eyes and you’ll see yourself dressed glamorously in a formal cocktail lounge, spellbound by “Someone to Watch Over Me”.
The Hot Sardines’ third album French Fries + Champagne is aptly titled. Catchy lyrics, swinging brass, and uplifting beats gives this album all of the accessibility of french fries and all of the bubbliness of champagne. This mix of jazz, blues, and big band also features a new arrangement of “Running Wild” from the film Some Like it Hot by Marilyn Monroe, the song “When I Get Low, I Get High” and “People Will Say We’re in Love” from Oklahoma played as a tango.
A strength of this album is The Hot Sardines’ versatility. As a result, checking it out can act as an excuse to host a dinner party and dance around or a reason to relax and be wrapped in the warm gritty romantic sounds.