Music & Movies December Newsletter

There are loads of CDs in our December book sale, come and grab a pre-Christmas bargain! Plus, find loads of new films and music in our selections below.

Library News

DVDs

The highlights of new arrival DVDs include the long-awaited Wolf Hall, Woman in Gold and Jurassic World. Exciting new DVDs keep coming. Check out our new DVDs here and reserve the items you like.

cover image Wolf Hall.
“It is 1529 and Henry has been married to Katherine of Aragon for 20 years without producing a male heir. Requests to the Pope for an annulment have gone unheeded. The King’s link to Rome, Cardinal Wolsey, has failed his sovereign in only this one matter and as a result his life hangs in the balance. Enter Cromwell – a pragmatic and accomplished negotiator, from humble beginnings and with an enigmatic past. As he walks the corridors of power at the Tudor court, Cromwell must navigate deadly political intrigue, the King’s tempestuous relationship with Anne Boleyn and the religious upheavals of the Protestant reformation.” (Syndetics summary)
cover image Woman in gold.
“Sixty years after she fled Vienna during World War II, an elderly Jewish woman, Maria Altmann, starts her journey to retrieve family possessions seized by the Nazis, among them Klimt’s famous painting Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I. Together with her inexperienced but plucky young lawyer Randy Schoenberg, she embarks upon a major battle which takes them all the way to the heart of the Austrian establishment and the U.S. Supreme Court.” (Syndetics summary)
cover image A royal night out.
A Royal Night Out is a film about one perfect, glorious evening in the lives of two real-life princesses. They are Elizabeth and Margaret Windsor and the night is 8 May 1945, V-E Night. The whole of London is on the streets to celebrate the official end of World War II in Europe. It is known the young princesses, aged 19 and 14, slipped out of the palace to join the communal euphoria and went dancing at the Ritz. They apparently returned to Buckingham Palace just after midnight. Directed by acclaimed UK director Julian Jarrold, A Royal Night Out is an affectionate ‘what-if’ story about the adventures Elizabeth and Margaret might have had on the joyous night that brought the whole of London together.” (Syndetics summary)
cover image Jurassic World.
“Twenty-two years following the events of Jurassic Park, Isla Nublar now includes a completely functioning dinosaur theme park, as once envisioned by John Hammond. After ten years of operation and decline in visitors, a unique attraction is designed to ignite visitor’s interest, which fails horribly.” (Syndetics summary)

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Film and television books

Explore the TV revolution by reading Taschen’s favorite TV shows. Journey inside North Korea with The director is the commander. Plus, many other great new arrivals!

Syndetics book cover Taschen’s favorite TV shows : the top shows of the last 25 years / Jürgen Müller (ed.).
“In the last decade, shows like Breaking Bad, Borgen and Mad Men have toppled cinema from its leading position in the popular culture universe and ushered in a whole new level of small screen excellence and appreciation. Networks such as HBO, AMC, and ABC have launched a new era of cinematic narrative, while cable TV networks, DVDs, and the Internet have brought about new, flexible ways of watching and engaging. Global fan communities devour episode after episode, independently of programs and broadcasting schedules, and probe the multiple levels of meaning in their favorite series in blogs, fan groups and online forums. Alongside a wealth of stills, this overview of the TV revolution presents the most important and successful series of recent years, from David Lynch’s groundbreaking masterpiece Twin Peaks to current highlights like Game of Thrones, Girls and House of Cards. Learn something new about your favorite shows, and about those you’re still to discover.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover The science of TV’s The big bang theory : explanations even Penny would understand / Dave H. Zobel.
“The highest-rated scripted show on TV, The Big Bang Theory (CBS) often features Sheldon, Howard, Leonard and Raj wisecracking about scientific principles as if the rest of us should know exactly what they’re talking about. The Science of TV’S The Big Bang Theory lets all of us in on the punchline by breaking down the show’s scientific conversations. Covering every angle, author Dave Zobel maintains a humorous and informative approach and gives readers enough knowledge to make them welcome on Sheldon’s couch.” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover The director is the commander / Anna Broinowski.
“Looking for respite from her crumbling marriage and determined to stop a coal seam gas mine near her Sydney home, filmmaker Anna Broinowski finds wisdom and inspiration in the strangest of places: North Korea. Guided by the late Dear Leader Kim Jong Il’s manifesto The Cinema and Directing, Broinowski, in a world first, travels to Pyongyang to collaborate with North Korea’s top directors, composers and movie stars to make a powerful anti-fracking propaganda film. The Director is the Commander centres around the bizarre twenty-one day shoot Broinowski did in North Korea to make her documentary, Aim High in Creation! Funny, multi-layered and utterly compelling, The Director is the Commander is a gripping account of an extraordinary journey inside a nation we can usually only see from the outside looking in.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Special effects make-up artist / Jonathan Craig and Bridget Light.
“Movies are full of amazingly odd creatures, from aliens to zombies, but what goes into creating them? Many of these bizarre creatures are brought to life with make-up and prosthetics. Find out what’s involved in being a special effects make-up artist, the tools and skills you need, and the difficulties of bringing imaginary creatures to life.” (Syndetics summary)

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Popular Music

This selection of new CDs includes new music from popular artists such as Don Henley & Lana Del Rey as well as some lavish new multi-disc box sets from old favourites.

Cover image Julia Holter – Have you in my wilderness
Have You In My Wilderness is the fourth full length album by Los Angeles artist Julia Holter and her most intimate album yet. Recorded in her hometown over the last year and once again crafted with Grammy-winning producer and engineer Cole Greif-Neill. Have You in My Wilderness was written from the heart – warm, dark and raw – and explores love, trust, and power in human relationships. While love songs are familiar in pop music, Holter manages to stay fascinatingly oblique and enigmatic, with some of the most sublime and transcendent music she has ever written.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)
Cover image Don Henley – Cass County (Deluxe Edition)
“Don Henley will release Cass County, his fifth studio album, and first solo album in 15 years. Cass County was produced by Don Henley and Stan Lynch, who also co-wrote 11 of the songs on the album, and represents both Henley’s roots and the next stop on his creative journey. Recorded primarily in Nashville, Tennessee, and Dallas, Texas, the album includes guest appearances from Merle Haggard, Miranda Lambert, Mick Jagger, Martina McBride, Jamey Johnson, Alison Krauss, Vince Gill and Dolly Parton.” (adapted from amazon.com)
Cover image Mercury Rev – The light in you
The Light In You more than lives up to its billing. The record is filled with wondrous and voluminous kaleidoscopic detail, but also intimate moments of calm, and altogether stands up to the very best that this notable band of maverick explorers has ever created. Its ecstatic highs and shivery comedowns also reflect a particularly turbulent era in the lives of Grasshopper and fellow co-founder Jonathan Donahue, of calamities both personal and physical, but also rebirths and real births (Grasshopper became a father for the first time in 2014). There’s a reason for the seven-year gap since the band’s last album, Snowflake Midnight.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)
cover image Lana Del Rey Honeymoon
“The singer revealed the album title to Billboard in January. It’s very different from the last one and similar to the first two, Born to Die and Paradise, she said. Last year, Del Rey released Ultraviolence and contributed 2 songs Big Eyes and I Can Fly to the Tim Burton film Big Eyes as well as songs to the film, Age of Adeline starring Blake Lively.” (adapted from amazon.com)
cover image David Gilmour Rattle that lock
Rattle That Lock is the new solo album by David Gilmour, the voice and guitar of Pink Floyd. This is David’s fourth solo album, and the first since 2006′s # 1 album On An Island. The primary lyricist for Rattle That Lock is Gilmour s long-term writing partner, Polly Samson, and the album is co-produced by David Gilmour and Roxy Music’s Phil Manzanera. The album’s striking cover has been art directed by Dave Stansbie.” (adapted from amazon.com)

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Books on popular music

A wide variety of new books on popular music feature the marvellous study of Krautrock (Future Days), which our staff member Neil highly recommends, and Republic or Death offers the unique read about national anthems. Check them out!

Syndetics book cover Future days : Krautrock and the building of modern Germany / David Stubbs.
I’m a bit tardy reviewing this and apologies if someone else has beaten me to it, but it takes some time to savour a work like this. A brilliant overview of post-War Germany and its creative evolution, the book shows how the Krautrock cosmic warriors shied away both from the country’s tainted past and the new American cultural imperialism in a determined effort to forge something fresh. The music of the major bands – Can, Kraftwerk, Tangerine Dream, Amon Düül, Faust, Cluster, Neu!, etc. – is discussed in detail, and the author summons up the spirit of an age when radical young Germans were throwing off the past and heading bravely towards a new dawn, the echoes are which are still heard today. (Neil)
Syndetics book cover AC/DC : the story of the original monsters of rock / Jerry Ewing.
AC/DC tells the story of the world’s biggest band. All of its members are analysed and tracked such as the Young brothers and the late, great Bon Scott. This definitive AC/DC experience pores over every album the band ever released, from 1974′s groundbreaking High Voltage through 2008′s monster Black Ice.” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Republic or death! : travels in search of national anthems / Alex Marshall.
“There are a couple of hundred songs that are sung by millions across the world each day, that school children know by heart and sports fans belt out perfectly even after eight beers. And they aren’t pop songs – they are national anthems. These are songs which inspire the fiercest of feelings: for some they are a declaration of nationalistic pride; for others a rallying cry for revolution; and for others still they serve as a shameful reminder of past wrongs. And yet, despite the fact that for many of us they form a fundamental part of our national consciousness, the fascinating stories underlying the creation and adoption of each national anthem have rarely, if ever, been told.” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover In search of Pharrell Williams / Paul Lester.
“First substantial overview of the life and career of Pharrell Williams, the foremost producer of the modern era, and performer in his own right. It follows him from his days growing up in Virginia, his meeting with musical partner Chad Hugo and formation of The Neptunes, through his collaborations with the great and the good of pop, rap and R&B, including Jay-Z, Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, Usher, Snoop Dogg, Gwen Stefani, Nelly and Kelis. It assesses his ground-breaking work with the radical rap-rock-pop band N*E*R*D, and his emergence as a solo superstar. It delves behind the immaculate facade to find out what makes Williams one of the most driven and inventive musicians of the last 20 years.” (Syndetics summary)

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Classical Music

Hot off the mail truck so to speak; Brahms quartets, Bach variations, and a compilation focusing on the remarkable hotbed of composition that was Vienna.

ClassicalrecentNov15b1 String Quartets nos. 1 & 3, Brahms. Performed by the Artemis Quartet.
“Brahms’ first and third string quartets, composed in the 1870s, are two contrasting works that the members of Artemis Quartet describe as ‘remarkable and multi-faceted, tying a Romantic spirit with the structure and forms of Classicism, both imbued with a sense of warmth, immediacy and friendship as well as with a more spiritual, timeless beauty’.” (cover)
ClassicalrecentNov15b2 The Vienna Album. Performed by Lang Lang.
Acclaimed pianist Lang Lang performs a selection of Viennese classics. Works include Haydn and Mozart piano sonatas, a Beethoven duet (with Christoph Eschenbach), two Beethoven piano concertos (number 1 and 4), with a Schubert Fantasia thrown in for good measure. The concertos are performed with the Orchestre de Paris.
ClassicalrecentNov15b3 Goldberg Variations, Bach. Performed by Alexandre Tharaud.
The Goldberg Variations were first published in 1741 as the final part of the Clavier-übung cycle and is one of his most well-known keyboard works. “This release of what is arguably JS Bach’s masterpiece for the keyboard has the potential to be a landmark in [Alexandre Tharaud’s] recording output.” (amazon.com)
ClassicalrecentNov15a2 Four Impromptus, Piano Pieces, Hüttenbrenner Variations, Schubert. Performed by Steven Osborne.
“British pianist Steven Osborne shines in lyrical new performances of seven of Schubert’s greatest late works for piano, Four Impromptus D935 and Three piano pieces D946. Rounding out this program are the extended Huttenbrenner Variations of 1817 named for Schubert’s close friend and fellow pupil of Salieri, Anselm Huttenbrenner.” (amazon.com)

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