Music & Movies March Newsletter

Are you thinking about getting a tablet this year? With Wellington City Libraries, you can now loan a tablet for three weeks and enjoy all the benefits for just $5. Click on the link below for more details! Also enjoy this month’s pick of music, movies, books and much more.

Library News

DVDs

This month’s new DVDs feature a doco on The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s most attended fashion exhibition in history; new comedy with David Brent & Bridget Jones; real life drama with Captain “Sully” Sullenberger; unconventional parenting with Viggo Mortensen; female investment banking with Anna Gunn; a Detective Superintendent’s journey to exact justice for the victims’ families with Gillian Anderson; and Western action with seven outlaws, bounty hunters, gamblers and hired guns.

MyLibDVDs3 Sully.
“On January 15, 2009, the world witnessed the “Miracle on the Hudson” when Captain “Sully” Sullenberger (Hanks) glided his disabled plane onto the frigid waters of the Hudson River, saving the lives of all 155 aboard. However, even as Sully was being heralded by the public and the media for his unprecedented feat of aviation skill, an investigation was unfolding that threatened to destroy his reputation and his career.” (Editorial Reviews, amazon.com)
MyLibDVDs4 Bridget Jones’s baby.
“After breaking up with Mark Darcy, Bridget Jones’s “happily ever after” hasn’t quite gone according to plan. Fortysomething and single again, she decides to focus on her job as top news producer and surround herself with old friends and new. For once, Bridget has everything completely under control. What could possibly go wrong? Then her love life takes a turn and Bridget meets a dashing American named Jack (Dempsey), the suitor who is everything Mr. Darcy is not. In an unlikely twist she finds herself pregnant, but with one hitch…she can only be fifty percent sure of the identity of her baby’s father.” (Product Description, amazon.co.uk)
cover image Equity.
“A female investment banker, Anna Gunn, fighting to rise to the top of the corporate ladder at a competitive Wall Street firm, navigates a controversial tech IPO in the post-financial crisis world, where loyalties are suspect, regulations are tight, but pressure to bring in “big money” remains high. Equity is a unique Wall Street drama about women who thrive on competition and ambition to stay equal in the game.” (Product Description, amazon.co.uk)
cover image The fall. Series 3.
“At the climax of the last series, audiences were left reeling as Spector, critically injured in a devastating ambush, lay bleeding in the arms of Detective Superintendent Stella Gibson. Moments before, the intense and single-minded investigator thought she had her man; now, shocked and desperate, she’s losing him. Bringing a killer to book is going to take much more now than simply catching him. In the emotionally charged aftermath of the shooting, Gibson’s personal journey to exact justice for the victims’ families must begin with the blood-soaked fight to keep Spector alive. As the Fall reaches its inexorable conclusion, it’s clear that the rules of this deadly game of cat and mouse are set to shift once again.” (Syndetics summary)

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Film and television books

New books on movies and TV offer a great summer read in a wide variety of topics. They include the lovely biography about Bill Murray and the official guide book of the much-loved TV series Outlander. A Star is Born and The Fashion of Film can be fantastic coffee table books. Check them out!

Syndetics book cover Last girl before freeway : the life, loves, losses, and liberation of Joan Rivers / Leslie Bennetts.
“Joan Rivers was more than a legendary comedian; she was an icon and a role model to millions, a fearless pioneer who left a legacy of expanded opportunity when she died in 2014. Her life was a dramatic roller-coaster of triumphant highs and devastating lows: the suicide of her husband, her feud with Johnny Carson, her estrangement from her daughter, her many plastic surgeries, her ferocious ambition and her massive insecurities. But Rivers’ career was also hugely significant in American cultural history, breaking down barriers for her gender and pushing the boundaries of truth-telling for women in public life. A juicy, intimate biography of one of the greatest comedians ever-a performer whose sixty year career was borne, simply, out of a desire to make people laugh so she could feel loved-LAST GIRL BEFORE FREEWAY delves into the inner workings of a woman who both reflected and redefined the world around her.” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover The making of Outlander : the series : the official guide to seasons one & two / Tara Bennett ; introduction by Diana Gabaldon.
“Get an exclusive look behind the scenes of the first two seasons of Outlander with this official, fully illustrated companion to the hit Starz television series based on the bestselling novels. Best of all, The Making of Outlander offers a veritable feast of lavish photographs–including an array of images spotlighting the stars in all their characters’ grandeur and up-close personal portraits. Featuring an introduction by Diana Gabaldon herself, this magnificent insider’s look at the world of the Outlander TV series is the companion all fans will want by their side.” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover A star is born : the moment an actress becomes an icon / George Tiffin.
“Marlene Dietrich, Marilyn Monroe, Catherine Deneuve… Feted, adored and desired, successful movie actresses are icons of modern culture. But what was it that made them true stars? Was it looks, talent, drive, personality – or just plain luck? What was the first captivating image or unforgettable line that etched them indelibly on our collective memory – and transformed the screen actress of the passing movie credit into the screen goddess of eternal legend? In a sequence of elegant pen-portraits, George Tiffin takes a microscope to the movies and the moments that established 75 female icons of cinema. These penportraits are supplemented by quotes, notes and anecdotes, including script excerpts from key scenes. A STAR IS BORN is a seductive celebration of the eternal feminine at the heart of the movie business – and an informal and engaging history of cinema itself.” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover The fashion of film : how cinema has inspired fashion / Amber Butchart.
“The Fashion of Film is the perfect book for the fashion fan. In it, fashion historian Amber Butchart takes a journey through the last 100 years of cinema style and its influence on the catwalks. With beautiful imagery and thoroughly-researched text, she looks at how our most iconic movies have transformed the world of high fashion. Karl Lagerfeld was influenced by the dystopian vision of Metropolis, the picture-perfect world of Wes Anderson’s films are echoed in the collections of Miuccia Prada, and Audrey Hepburn was key to Hubert de Givenchy’s work. Fashion designers have long taken their inspiration from silver screen idols, and continue to do so today.” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover The real James Dean : intimate memories from those who knew him best / edited by Peter L. Winkler ; foreword by George Stevens.
“In the decades following his death, many of those who knew James Dean best–actors, directors, friends, lovers (both men and women), photographers, and Hollywood columnists–shared stories of their first-person experiences with him in interviews and in the articles and autobiographies they wrote. Their recollections of Dean became lost in fragile back issues of movie magazines and newspapers and in out-of-print books that are extremely hard to find. Until now. The Real James Dean is the first book of its kind: a rich collection spanning six decades of writing in which many of the people whose lives were touched by Dean recall their indelible experiences with him in their own words.” (Syndetics summary)

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Books on popular music

A lot of intriguing books on popular music have been added to our collection. They include Total Records, which is a wonderful art book about album covers, and Uproot: travels in twenty-first-century music and digital culture. Fantastic biographies about Bruce Springsteen, Prince, and ABBA’s Agnetha Fältskog round out a great reading selection. Check them out!

Syndetics book cover Fashion + music : fashion creatives shaping pop culture / Katie Baron.
“As twin agents of creative expression fashion and music have long shared a powerful mutual attraction: from the Sex Pistols to Madonna, Kylie Minogue to Lady Gaga, fashion has consistently amplified our understanding of the band (and in many cases the brand) – fuelling the fantasy, giving context to the sound and adding depth to artists’ wider agendas. From pop videos to editorial shoots, via the evolution of some of the industry’s most significant and era-defining pairings/collaborations this book will focus on the power of fashion as a make-or-break tool within the music industry’s creative process.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Uproot : travels in twenty-first-century music and digital culture / Jace Clayton [aka DJ Rupture].
“In 2001 Jace Clayton was an unknown DJ who recorded a three-turntable, sixty-minute mix and put it online to share with friends. Within weeks, Gold Teeth Thief became an international calling card, whisking Clayton away to play a nightclub in Zagreb, a gallery in Osaka, a former brothel in Sao Paolo, and the American Museum of Natural History. Just as the music world made its fitful, uncertain transition from analog to digital, Clayton found himself on the front lines of creative upheavals of art production in the twenty-first century globalized world. Uproot is a guided tour of this newly-opened cultural space. With humor, insight, and expertise, Clayton offers an unparalleled understanding of music in the digital age.” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Born to run / Bruce Springsteen.
“In 2009, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band performed at the Super Bowl’s halftime show. The experience was so exhilarating that Bruce decided to write about it. Over the past seven years, Bruce Springsteen has privately devoted himself to writing the story of his life, bringing to these pages the same honesty, humor, and originality found in his songs. He describes growing up Catholic in Freehold, New Jersey, amid the poetry, danger, and darkness that fueled his imagination, leading up to the moment he refers to as “The Big Bang”: seeing Elvis Presley’s debut on The Ed Sullivan Show. This is a book for workers and dreamers, parents and children, lovers and loners, artists, freaks, or anyone who has ever wanted to be baptized in the holy river of rock and roll.” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Agnetha Fältskog : the girl with the golden hair / Daniel Ward.
“Her iconic blonde looks, stunning voice and songs of loneliness and melancholy have endeared her to millions, yet Agnetha Fältskog remains an enigmatic and distant figure. From her success as a teenage singer and songwriter in Sweden in the late 1960’s to her years of global superstardom with pop giants ABBA and beyond, Agnetha has fascinated generations of fans. Agnetha Fältskog–The Girl With The Golden Hair is the first full-length biography dedicated to the life and career of the one of the most beloved and successful performers in music history.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Paul McCartney : the biography / Philip Norman.
“The first biography written with McCartney’s approval and with access to family members and friends closest to him. Covers Paul McCartney’s life from his boyhood and the death of his mother – the formation of the Beatles – the creative relationship between Paul and John Lennon resulting in so many of their hit songs – the Band’s success and the resulting fame – the breakup of the Beatles and it’s impact on Paul and his relationship with the other three Beatles – Linda and the formation of Wings – his life with Linda and his family – Linda’s death – through to his romance with Heather Mills and their well publicised divorce.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

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Classical Music

This time among the new additions we found these interesting gems.

Rafał Blechacz, Johann Sebastian Bach.
“Rafał Blechacz, ‘a superlative pianist’ (BBC Music Magazine), further demonstrates his versatility in his first album devoted to Bach. Among the highlights of his wide-ranging programme are the Italian Concerto, one of Blechacz’s signature pieces (‘His reading was, above all, a model of textural transparency’ – Portland Press Herald), and the Partita No. 1 (‘It was immediately clear from the first sweet, liquid notes that Blechacz is a musician in service to the music, searching its depths, exploring its meaning and probing its possibilities’ – Washington Post)” (cover).
Voyages: Orgue de la Philharmonie de Paris. Performed by Olivier Latry.
Organ compilations are unique in that they are a recording of a specific instrument installed in a specific space. Olivier Latry says, “A space within a space, bonded for all time with the environment in which it is housed, the inherent rapport between the organ which we are about to hear and its surroundings means that it is without a shadow of doubt the soul of the Philharmonie. May the listener relax and be transported to rediscover universal music illuminated by an instrument with so many attributes” (cover).
Piano Trios Op. 65 & 90, Dvořák. Performed by Trio Wanderer.
“The Trio Wanderer pays tribute to Dvořák and his last two trios, including the rarely played no. 3 in F minor, heartfelt and sombre. The famous Dumky Trio… opens this new recording. Passionate and melancholy by turns, it is also the most innovative and the freest of Dvořák’s trios…” (cover).
ClassicalrecentFeba3 Rostropovich Encores. Performed by Alban Gerhardt and Markus Becker.
“For the young Alban Gerhardt, Rostropovich was ‘a reason to become passionate about the cello.’ In the liner notes he recalls being ‘blown away’ on first hearing Slava play live in Berlin. This splendid follow-up to his program of Casals Encores sees Gerhardt paying homage to his great predecessor with an eclectic program of shorter works, including two by Rostropovich himself” (amazon.com).
ClassicalrecentJanb2 Symphonies 4, 5, 6, Tchaikovsky. Performed by the Arctic Philharmonic.
The final three of Tchaikovsky’s variously-flavoured symphonies together on a 2 CD set, performed by the Arctic Philharmonic, who are indeed based within the Arctic circle (and are in fact the world’s northernmost orchestra).

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Vinyl now available for lending!

Vinyl, records, LP’s – they’re all the same thing, produce great sound, are once again in high demand and now, Wellington City Libraries is lending them out!

Wellington Vinyl

Vinyl is now available to borrow from the Central library, covering Popular, Soul, Electronica New Zealand, Wellington genres and more at the reasonable price of $1.00 for seven days.

Take your borrowed vinyl home and then return titles to the library in our convenient cardboard satchels.

Satchels

You can reserve vinyl using our catalogue, by searching for titles with call number ’vinyl,’ – click reserve and have them delivered to your local branch.

We’ll be adding new release, re-issues and deluxe titles every week, so keep an eye on our display spaces in the Central library’s Sound and Vision area.

Lynda.com

Neil’s top vinyl picks

Resident music expert Neil has put together his favourites of our vinyl collection, launching this Saturday (see all the event details here). Browse his picks below, and check out our previous blog posts for more staff vinyl picks.

The EpicThe epic.
This beautifully packagedthree-disc album by saxophonist Kamasi Washingtonis indeed Epic. After playing on albums by Kendrick Lamar and Flying Lotus, Washington has gathered a fine ensemble of musicians for his debut, which embraces elements of the past as well as contemporary funk and hip hop and a taste of the future,. Plus, there’s a bass player called Thundercat. What else do you need?

TigermilkTigermilk.
Taking their name from the French children’s televison programme, Stuart Murdoch and his Glasgow chums released this album on vinyl only as a school project in 1996, but by the time it got a general release three years later, it was changing hands for huge sums. Strong tunes and quirky lyrics frame the lush and bittersweet songs, peopled by outsiders, dreamers and misfits. An instant classic.

Brothers and Sisters of the Black LagoonBrothers and sisters of the black lagoon.
Third album by the Wellington psychedelic funsters, this showcases their wide range of styles from funk to Latin to electro to prog to fuzzed-out rock, all in a broad kiwi accent. If New Zealand ever get their space programme together, this album would be the perfect soundtrack, as well as providing a handy packing list.

Songs in the Key of LifeSongs in the key of life.
A sprawling double album, encompassing funk, gospel, love songs and social comment, reflective songs and insanely catchy party music, with liberal doses of his newly-discovered synthesizer, this finds Stevie at the peak of his powers and is probably the greatest soul album of the seventies. Nothing he’s produced in the ensuing 40 years has come anywhere close to this, and it was certainly all downhill from here, but this album contains more classic tracks than most artists manage in their entire career.

Wolf PartyWolf party : New Zealand werewolf sounds from Stink Magnetic / compiled by D. Thomas Herkes.
Subtitled “New Zealand werewolf sounds from Stink Magnetic”, this is a brilliant and warped collection of surf music, primitive fuzzy rock and psychobilly from Boss Christ, The Damned Evangelist, Delaney Davidson, The Chandeliers and many other local talents. The perfect soundtrack to a tripped out full moon costume party, or for just getting the blood flowing on a cold winter’s morning…

Axel’s top vinyl picks

With our vinyl collection launch coming up on September 24th (see our event page for more details) we’ve asked some of our library staff about their top picks from our upcoming vinyl collection. Axel puts together Spotify mixes for us, and his taste is varied and eclectic. Here are his recommendations for must-listen records you’ll be able to borrow from us:

Bill Evans – Sunday at the Village Vanguard
Best recorded live jazz EVER!!!

Black Sabbath – Paranoid
CANNOT wait to play that one backwards!

DJ Shadow – Endtroducing
An ode to vinyl right here!

Daft Punk – Discovery
Well, this will be the funkiest and grooviest sounding vinyl for both reference and dance purposes.

The Doors – L.A. Woman
I’ll enjoy this while reading Blake. Thank you Jim!

Jon Hopkins – Immunity
For a late night of dance (and neighbourly complaints!)

Sunday at the Village VanguardParanoidEndtroducing
DiscoveryLA WomanImmunity

Music & Movies May Newsletter

Enjoy New Zealand Music Month this May with our selected CDs, DVDs, and books. Features ‘Adore Life’ by Savages, ‘Bluenote Café’ by Neil Young, ‘Spectre’ the newest Bond film and much more. Also you can listen to the Ruth Gotlieb oral history online. Check them out!

Library News

DVDs

New movies for April include the smash new Bond film ‘Spectre’, popular Spielberg historical drama ‘Bridge Of Spies’, and ‘Queen & country’; while new TV shows include the latest season of  popular period piece ‘The Village’.

cover image Bridge of spies.
“Directed by three-time Academy Award winner Steven Spielberg BRIDGE OF SPIES is the story of James Donovan (Two time Oscar winner Tom Hanks), an insurance claims lawyer from Brooklyn who finds himself thrust into the centre of the Cold War when the CIA enlists his support to negotiate the release of a captured American U-2 pilot.” (Product description, Amazon.co.uk)
cover image Queen & country.
“The sequel to Hope and glory, Bill Rohan is grown up and drafted into the army where he and his best mate battle their snooty superiors on the base and look for love in town.” (Syndetics summary)
cover image The village. Series two.
The Village is a timeless coming-of-age story, told through the nostalgic eyes of one man, Bert Middleton. From lustful first-love and the dramas of war, to a father’s hard lessons and a mother’s love; Bert has seen it all. The Great War is over but what kind of England has won? Now in a world of boom and bust, motor cars and the Charleston, the twenties bring a blast of energy and freedom to the village; as the outside world continues to break down barriers, bringing with it big dramas and change.” (Syndetics summary)
cover image Spectre.
“A cryptic message from the past sends James Bond on a rogue mission to Mexico City and eventually Rome, where he meets Lucia Sciarra (Monica Bellucci), the beautiful and forbidden widow of an infamous criminal. Bond infiltrates a secret meeting and uncovers the existence of the sinister organisation known as SPECTRE. Meanwhile back in London, Max Denbigh (Andrew Scott), the new head of the Centre for National Security, questions Bond’s actions and challenges the relevance of MI6, led by M (Ralph Fiennes). Bond covertly enlists Moneypenny (Naomie Harris) and Q (Ben Whishaw) to help him seek out Madeleine Swann (Léa Seydoux), the daughter of his old nemesis Mr White (Jesper Christensen), who may hold the clue to untangling the web of SPECTRE.” (Product description, Amazon.co.uk)

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Film and television books

This month’s picks feature a variety of books on the history of entertainment, including costume, comedy and Coronation Street. Enjoy!

Syndetics book cover The comedians : drunks, thieves, scoundrels, and the history of American comedy / Kliph Nesteroff.
“Based on over two hundred original interviews and extensive archival research, Nesteroff’s groundbreaking work is a narrative exploration of the way comedians have reflected, shaped, and changed American culture over the past one hundred years. From comedy’s part in the Civil Rights movement and the social upheaval of the late 1960s, to the first comedy clubs of the 1970s and the cocaine-fueled comedy boom of the 1980s, The Comedians culminates with a new era of media-driven celebrity in the twenty-first century.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Deirdre : a life on Coronation Street / Glenda Young.
“From her first appearance in 1972, Deirdre Barlow (nee Hunt) went on to become one of the street’s most iconic stars and been at the centre of some of its most explosive storylines; including her affair with Mike Baldwin, her imprisonment for fraud which prompted the then Prime Minister, Tony Blair, to raise her case in the Commons and her relationship with daughter Tracy, a woman who has literally gotten away with murder. Deirdre: A Life on the Street is a tribute to one of the most recognised and loved characters on television.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover And on that bombshell / Richard Porter.
“I was Top Gear’s script editor for 13 years and all 22 series. I basically used to check spelling and think of stupid gags about The Stig. I also got to hang around with Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May. It didn’t feel like something you should get paid for. From the disastrous pilot show of 2002 to the sudden and unexpected ending in 2015, working on Top Gear was quite a rollercoaster ride. I realised that I had quite a few stories to tell from behind the scenes on the show. I remembered whose daft idea it was to get a dog. I recalled the wilfully stupid way in which we decorated our horrible office. I had a sudden flashback to the time a Bolivian drug lord threatened to kill us. I decided I should write down some of these stories. So I have. I hope you like them.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Strictly Bruce : stories of my life / Bruce Forsyth.
“Bruce Forsyth, the consummate performer and much-loved face of British entertainment, invites you to share with him in a collection of his favourite photographs, which tell the story of a remarkable life lived to the full. Charting his life story from talented young lad growing up in north London to achieving national treasure status, Strictly Bruce is full of dazzling photographs and warm anecdotes spanning eight decades of Bruce’s life, man and boy. It’s a chance to take a trip down memory lane, celebrate the golden age of British showbiz and step behind the scenes of Bruce’s personal life, meeting the people he loves and learning what makes him tick.” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Bond vs. Bond : the many faces of 007 / Paul Simpson.
“Who is your favorite Bond? Whether you love Sean Connery, Roger Moore, or even Timothy Dalton, you are going to love Bond vs. Bond . A fully comprehensive guide, Bond vs. Bond compares and contrasts all of the various ways Ian Fleming’s iconic British Secret Service agent, code name 007, has been interpreted through the years, from the books and movies to the guns and gadgets. Spanning from Fleming’s 1953 book Casino Royale to Sam Mendes’ 2012 film Skyfall, Bond vs. Bond features every incarnation of 007. This is definitely a book that no Bond fan should be without!” (Syndetics summary)

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Popular Music

Exciting new CDs feature from the up-and-coming talents Savages as well as the rock legend Neil Young. The Roy Orbison’s 13 CDs-set has been added to our extensive box set collection. Fantastic new music keeps coming. Check them out here, and reserve the items you like.

B016Z8K7US_02___SCMZZZZZZZ_ Savages – Adore life
“Savages’ second album Adore Life was recorded in RAK Studios, London in April 2015. Johnny Hostile was the producer and Richard Woodcraft the engineer. Anders Trentemoller took care of the mixing in Copenhagen. All songs were written and played by Savages – Ayşe Hassan (bass), Fay Milton (drums), Gemma Thompson (guitar), Jehnny Beth (vocals). Lyrics by Jehnny Beth.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)
Cover image Neil Young – Bluenote Café
“Neil Young has announced that the latest Performance Series release from the Neil Young Archives is Bluenote Café. The album collects various performances captured during Neil’s 1988 tour. This superb live 2-CD set documents one of Young’s most funky and heartfelt periods and features seven unreleased songs: “Soul of a Woman,” “Bad News Comes to Town,” Ain’t it the Truth,” “I’m Goin’,” “Crime of the Heart,” “Doghouse,” “Fool for Your Love,” and a searing 19+ minute version of the immortal “Tonight’s the Night” from The Pier in New York City.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)
cover image Jeremih – Late nights : the album
“The great magnitude of Jeremih’s extracurricular successes, combined with slips the singer pinned on himself and his label, made the five-year separation between All About You and Late Nights: The Album an odd one. It’s apparently truer to Jeremih’s vision than his first two albums, though only the most attentive listening reveals an artist with more dimensions — or more vocal ability — than the one who sang “Birthday Sex” and “Down on Me.”” (adapted from fishpond.co.nz)
RecentPicks1 Suede – Night Thoughts
“Night Thoughts is a quintessentially Suede title: specific yet vague, a notion that seems either romantic or sad depending on perspective. Twenty years, a decade of which was spent in a split, certainly has shifted Suede’s perspective, particularly that of leader Brett Anderson. With that past behind them, Suede can still dwell on big issues of love and mortality, but now that the past is in perspective, it all means a little bit more and what lies ahead is a little more precious, and that wide view makes Night Thoughts all the more moving.” (adapted from fishpond.co.nz)
Cover image Roy Orbison – The M.G.M. years – 1965-1973
“This MGM Years box set is a summation of that marvelous work 13 full-length albums including the long sought-after The Fastest Guitar Alive soundtrack (Roy starred in the film) and a new collection of B-Sides & singles that have never before appeared on a full-length Roy Orbison album. This collection is the largest compilation of Orbison music to date.” (adapted from amazon.com)

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Books on popular music

Another exciting line-up for new books on popular music includes the fantastic biography of Nina Simone and The Faces, Woodstock contains marvellous photographs by Baron Wolman and is simply unmissable. Check them out!

Syndetics book cover What happened, Miss Simone? : a biography / Alan Light.
“Inspired by the Academy Award-nominated Netflix documentary What Happened, Miss Simone? , an intimate and vivid look at the legendary life of Nina Simone, the classically trained pianist who evolved into a chart-topping chanteuse and committed civil rights activist. From music journalist and former Spin and Vibe editor-in-chief Alan Light comes a biography of incandescent soul singer and Black Power icon Nina Simone, one of the most influential, provocative, and least understood artists of our time. Harnessing the singular voice of Miss Simone herself and incorporating candid reflections from those who knew her best, including her only daughter, Light brings us face to face with a legend, examining the very public persona and very private struggles of one of our greatest artists.” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Cobain on Cobain : interviews and encounters / edited by Nick Soulsby.
Cobain on Cobain places the reader at the key moments of Kurt Cobain’s roller-coaster career, telling the tale of Nirvana entirely through his words and those of his bandmates. Each interview is another knot in a thread running from just after the recording of their first album, Bleach, to the band’s collapse on the European tour of 1994 and Cobain’s subsequent suicide. Including many interviews that have never before seen print, Cobain on Cobain will long remain the definitive source for anyone searching for Kurt Cobain’s version of his own story.” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Had me a real good time : Faces : before, during and after / Andy Neill.
“Forty years ago one of the world’s best-loved rock ‘n’ roll bands, The Faces, formed from the ashes of The Small Faces and the Jeff Beck Group, featuring a charismatic, raspy-voiced frontman in Rod Stewart alongside Ron Wood, Ronnie Lane, Ian McLagan and Kenney Jones. They offered a welcome antidote to the more serious excesses of the early seventies, being as devoted to the mayhem as they were to the music. This is their story…” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Woodstock / photographs by Baron Wolman ; with Michael Lang ; foreword by Carlos Santana ; edited by Dagon James.
“Baron Wolman’s evocative and stunning photographs of Woodstock are published here for the first time. Wolman captured the atmosphere of Woodstock like no other photographer. More interested in the crowd than the performers, his photographs are hugely evocative and offer an insight into this legendary event that is rarely seen. Wolman writes, ‘everything was totally different, the behaviour was new and unexpected.’ With interview with Woodstock creator, Michael Lang, and a foreword by musician Carlos Santana, this exceptional volume is not to be missed.” (Syndetics summary)

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Classical Music

Here are the highlights of our latest classical CD arrivals!

ClassicalrecentApr16b3 Scarlatti, Chopin, Liszt, Ravel. Performed by Lucas Debargue.
“2015 Tchaikovsky Competition sensation Lucas Debargue gained worldwide attention for his remarkable background and ‘genius-like playing’ (Boris Berezovsky) at one of the world’s foremost piano competitions. He started formal piano training aged 20. Only four years later he won the competition’s fourth prize, was described as its ‘real winner’ and received the Music Critic’s Association award as the pianist ‘whose incredible gift, artistic vision and creative freedom have impressed the critics as well as the audience’.” (cover)
Live recording.
ClassicalrecentApr16a2 Bach. Performed by Nelson Freire.
Recorded on his 80th birthday, this compilation is like a world-tour of Bach’s keyboard music and includes some works for organ arranged by Ferdinando Busoni, Alexander Siloti and Dame Myra Hess. “The sheer beauty and elegance of Freire’s playing, his crystalline tone and infinitely subtle range of touch and colour are combined with all the technique needed to cope with whatever challenges these pieces present him” (The Guardian, via amazon.com).
ClassicalrecentMar16b3 Overtures, Dvořák. Performed by the Prague Philharmonia.
“Antonin Dvorak’s overtures are comparable in length and form to the first movement of a symphony. The pieces were written with the intention of preceding a performance of a spoken play or opera. The works on this recording, however, begin to show a transition away from the preceding purpose and toward full independence, each overture expressing a story or scene rather than anticipating what is to follow. The overtures In Natures Realm, Carnival, and Othello, ranging in composition date from 1891-1892, were intended from the beginning to be concert works, with the plot specified by the title or verbal indications written into the manuscript score.” (amazon.com)
ClassicalrecentMar16b4 Journey: Two Hundred Years of Harpsichord Music. Performed by Trevor Pinnock.
“This unique harpsichord recital by Trevor Pinnock charts two incredible musical journeys four hundred years apart. Inspired by the travels of Antonio Cabezón, the sixteenth century organist and composer, Pinnock’s programme weaves a path not only through Cabezón’s life but also through his own enviable career. In celebration of his seventieth birthday, Pinnock has chosen a personal selection of works that evoke vivid memories from different stages of his life.” (amazon.com)

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Some highlights from our Wellington Music project in 2015

Our Wellington Music Project began properly around October in 2014, so this was the first full year of our page and blog on Wellington Music. Here are some highlights we wrote about during the year that you may have missed at the time.

Nicole Andrews2
[Nicole Andrews recording the piano tracks for her album In The Shallows at the New Zealand School Of Music]

Interviews:
We interviewed lots of people, and whether the interview was long or short, each offered up a unique perspective on what it is like for an artist making and recording music, and releasing albums as part of the eclectic Wellington music scene..
Lee Prebble
Vera Ellen
Nicole Andrews
Christopher Hill
Rhys Stannard
Matt Hyde
Orchestra Of Spheres
Bruce Brown

New (and old) Music from:
This year we added lots of new & older titles to our Wellington collection. Some of which included new albums from..
Trinity Roots
The Close Readers
The Labcoats
Head Like A Hole
French For Rabbits
Eb & Sparrow
The Phoenix Foundation
Reuben Bradley
Wayne Mason
Fat Freddy’s Drop
The Jac

New Zealand Music Month:
We caught up with a variety of local musicians, artists, writers & critics on what makes Wellington music unique for New Zealand Music Month. Some of which were..
Steve Francis from Bulletbelt
Grayson Gilmour
Damien Wilkins
Luke Kavanagh from Sunken Seas
Simon Grigg from Audioculture
Sophie Burbury
Matt Hyde of Beastwars
Norman Meehan
Jessie Finn from Towers

Photo of Nicole Andrews courtesy of Nicole & Bradley Garner Creative.

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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Looking for ideas for your K-pop performance video?

poster

Find inspiration and brainstorming techniques on how to generate creative music by browsing through a fun collection of Korean K-pop featuring talented singers and cool, high energy performances.

Take a look at a fabulous K-Pop music selection showcasing Korea’s high-energy pop music by famous groups and singers at the Wellington Central Library.
Just visit the Korean Corner Collection on the First Floor, or ask at the Music section on the Ground Floor.

You can now enter the K-pop World Festival 2015 and make it to the top of the K-pop music world!
For information contact the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in Wellington. You could even win a trip to Korea. Wow!

Check out this eclectic selection of K-Pop music listed below to get you started and read about the history of the Korean Popular culture. Have fun!

kpop-rootsK-pop : roots and blossoming of Korean popular music / Kim Chang Nam.

Image from Amazon.co.ukIllusion.

CNBLUEFirst step : CNBLUE, the 1st album.
Performers are:Jung Yong-hwa (lead vocals, rhythm guitar), Lee Jong-hyun (lead guitar, vocals), Lee Jung Shin (bass guitar, vocals) and Kang Min-hyuk (drums, vocals).

UkissCollage.
‘Includes booklet with lyrics (in Korean) and colour photographs of the performers.’

Image from Amazon.co.ukThe first album : to anyone.
‘Take a look at the booklet with lyrics (in Korean) and colour photographs of the performers.’

Syndetics book coverThe Korean wave : Korean media go global / edited by Youna Kim.
“Since the late 1990s South Korea has emerged as a new center for the production of transnational popular culture – the first instance of a major global circulation of Korean popular culture in history. Why popular (or not)? Why now? What does it mean socially, culturally and politically in a global context? This edited collection considers the Korean Wave in a global digital age and addresses the social, cultural and political implications in their complexity and paradox within the contexts of global inequalities and uneven power structures. The emerging consequences at multiple levels – both macro structures and micro processes that influence media production, distribution, representation and consumption – deserve to be analyzed and explored fully in an increasingly global media environment. This book argues for the Korean Wave’s double capacity in the creation of new and complex spaces of identity that are both enabling and disabling cultural diversity in a digital cosmopolitan world.” The Korean Wave” combines theoretical perspectives with grounded case studies in an up-to-date and accessible volume ideal for both undergraduate and postgraduate students of Media and Communications, Cultural Studies, Korean Studies and Asian Studies.” (Syndetics summary)

Play music to your ears at the Central Library

Discover new music and enjoy old favourites by browsing through the large collection of Songbooks and Scores at your City Library.
Use the Music Room available on the first floor to practice, experiment and play at the keyboard. You could even bring in your own guitar or ukulele if you’d prefer!
Look for your beloved artist, song or composer and play the music you love or browse through the music we have listed below for inspiration.
With so many songs to choose from, you’ll always find a favourite!

Syndetics book coverBig book of 70s songs : 26 of the very best songs from the 1970s / compiled and edited by Jenni Norey.
“For voice and piano, with guitar chord symbols. Words and music by various songwriters. Compiled and edited by Jenni Norey.” –Back cover

Syndetics book coverWe will remember them : music for remembrance : for mixed voice choirs.
“Contains 18 choral works suitable for Remembrance Sunday, concerts, memorial and funeral services.
They are mostly unaccompanied (with piano reduction for rehearsal only). Some with organ or piano accompaniment.” –Back cover

Syndetics book coverRachmaninoff : 16 great classics.
“It comes complete with song background notes, and playing hints and tips.
Works and selections are arranged.” –Back cover

Syndetics book cover20 classic hawaiian songs for ukulele / compiled and edited by Adrian Hopkins.
London : Wise Publications, [2014]
“A lovely collection of twenty classic hawaiian songs for ukulele including: Akaka Falls / Darlene Ahuna — Aloha ka manini / The Gabby Pahinui Hawaiian Band — Hawai’i aloha / Nina Keali’iwahamana — Aloha oe / E. K. Rose / Blue Hawaii — Ellis March / Tau Moe & Mmm. Rivière’s Hawaiians — Everybody does it in Hawaii / Jimmie Rodgers — Hard hearted Hannah / Cliff ‘Ukulele Ike’ Edwards — Hawaiian cowboy / Sol K. Bright’s Hollywaiians — The Hawaiian wedding song / Andy Williams — Hi’ilawe / Gabby Pahinui — Honolulu city lights / The Beamer Brothers — Hula blues / Jim & Bob, The Genial Hawaiians — I’ll remember you / Kui Lee — Little pad / The Beach Boys — Mele Kalikimaka (Merry Christmas in Hawaii) / The Puppini Sisters — That’s how much I love you / Eddy Arnold — Over the rainbow ; What a wonderful world / Isreal Kamakawiwo’ole — Sophisticated hula / Sol Bright — Sweet Leilani / Bing Crosby.” –Back cover

Syndetics book coverRodriguez : selections from Cold fact & Coming from reality / piano, vocal, guitar.
“Songs as performed by Sixto Rodriguez on sound recordings originally released 1970 and 1971; words and music by Rodriguez. For voice and piano; with chord symbols and guitar chord diagrams. “Universal Music Publishing”–Back cover.

Syndetics book coverCarly Simon : guitar chord songbook.
“Includes complete lyrics, chord symbols & guitar chord diagrams.”–Back cover

Syndetics book coverRiverdance : music from Riverdance the show / composed by Bill Whelan.
“Instrumental pieces and songs from Riverdance, the show (composed in the idiom of Irish folk music).
Reel around the sun — The heart’s cry — The Countess Cathleen/Women of the Sidhe — Caoineadh cú chulainn (lament) — Shivna — Firedance — Slip into Spring — The harvest — Riverdance — American wake — Lift the wings — Heal their hearts — Freedom — Trading taps — Macedonian morning — Marta’s dance/The Russian dervish — Oscail an doras — Andalucia — Home and the heartland — Heartland.”–Back cover

Syndetics book coverThe best jazz piano solos ever : 80 classics, from Miles to Monk and more!
“Afternoon in Paris — Allen’s Alley — Along came Betty — Azure-Te (Paris Blues) — Back home blues — Bags and Trane — Bags’ groove — Baia (Bahía) — Bernie’s tune — Billie’s bounce (Bill’s bounce) — Birdland — Birk’s works — Blues for Martha — Blues in A minor — Blues in the closet — Born to be blue — Bouncing with Bud — Bremond’s blues — C-jam blues — Close your eyes — Come Sunday — Cotton tail — Crazeology — Day dream — Dear old Stockholm — Delauney’s dilemma — Django — Dolphin dance — Don’t you know I care (or don’t you care to know) — Doodlin’ — Doxy — Everything but you — 52nd Street theme — Giant steps — Ginger bread boy — The golden striker — Gotta be this or that — Gravy waltz — Groovin’ high — I hear a rhapsody — I mean you — In walked Bud — Intermezzo — Invitation — Jeru — Jordu — Killer Joe — Like young — Line for Lyons — Midnight sun — Moonlight in Vermont — Moten swing — My little suede shoes — Nica’s dream — A night in Tunisia — Night train — Nuages — Oh, good grief — Oleo — On Green Dolphin Street — Relaxin’ at the Camarillo — Robbin’s nest — Seven come eleven — Shiny stockings — Sippin’ at Bells — So what — Some other spring — Song for my father — Stolen moments — Things ain’t what they used to be — Topsy — Tune up — Turnaround — Un poco loco — Up jumped spring — Watermelon man — West coast blues — What am I here for? — Whisper not — Yardbird suite.” –Back cover

Our staff CD picks for July/August

Another eclectic mix from our librarians during these dark winter months:

Cover imageHouse masters.
As fans of the House dance music genre will tell you…”house music is a spiritual thing”…. and Charles Webster is the one to lead the congregation! He helped develop the genre known as deep house with its characteristic soulful vocals, jazz influenced samples, dubbed out electronics and relatively slow grooves and has lovingly curated, edited and programmed this double CD compilation from his own personal archive of remixes and original productions. Smooth and sultry, this is a beautiful late night ride into the heart of a lush dance music sub-genre. (John)

Cover imageThe Magic Band plays the music of Captain Beefheart.
The legendary Captain Beefheart died in 2010 and it was fair to assume that his live show died with him, however, ex-musicians of his Magic Band got together to perform some of their favourite Captain’s songs live in London to an enthralled audience in 2013 and recorded the concert .The band are in fine form and, surprisingly, original ‘Trout Mask Replica’ drummer, John “Drumbo” French, actually does a pretty good take of the Captain’s infamous vocal and harmonica style across 13 tracks, drawn from the Beefheart back catalogue, including ‘Hot Head’ and ‘Click Clack’. A fitting tribute to a key figure in contemporary musical history that will help his memory live on, and after you listen to this seek out the original albums, all of which are included in the library’s collection…..(John)

Cover imageFour directions / Marc Cary Focus Trio.
This year Downbeat has voted him as a rising star of the keyboard, but Marc Cary has been around more than two decades, enjoying a low-keyed but stellar career. He was a right-hand man of two outstanding black female singers: Betty Carter and Abbey Lincoln, whom he made a tribute album for. He also worked with neo-soul and hip-hop artists such as Erykah Badu, and played on Q-Tip’s masterpiece The Renaissance. ‘Focus Trio’ is one of his main projects and probably most loved one. Apparently his ‘focus’ is ‘to bring indigenous rhythms together with American Jazz to create new ‘palettes of sound’, and in fact, he integrates a lot of sounds such as Indian raga, African, Native American as well as electric fusion into his bop-based jazz world. His acoustic piano play shows shadows of Herbie Nichols and McCoy Tyner and he uniquely uses synthesizers and Fender Rhodes on some tracks. This tremendous trio seems to change their style and character on every track like a chameleon, but generate rare spiritual, bluesy grooves throughout which no one else does. Fantastic. (Shinji)

Cover imageCheatahs.
A squall of raucous twin guitars announces the arrival of this London band that has taken five years to produce their first album. The breathy melodic vocal lines buried under swathes of rich textured noise recall the heyday of early ‘90’s shoegaze and college rock and they recreate that sound so well that on first listen this could be mistaken for a lost ‘90’s recording. However, further listening reveals a band transmuting those influences into something, while not original, exciting and compelling, like the missing link between My Bloody Valentine and Dinosaur Junior. (John)

Cover imageLive in NYC.
Daughter of Frank Zappa band, The Mothers’ bassist Dave Parlato, Gretchen Parlato won the Thelonious Monk Institute International Vocal Completion in 2004, and since then she released three acclaimed albums and appeared on more than 70 recordings. Taking new standards of jazz such as Herbie Hancock’s Butterfly and Wayne Shorter’s Juju in her prime repertoire, her fresh approach to create a hybrid urban jazz makes her one of the most successful jazz singers today. This CD/DVD set contains her well-known repertoire including aforementioned tunes and Lauryn Hill’s All That I Can Say and sums up her career to the date. Led by her whisper voice, it showcases her mellow and lyrical world, which soul, hip-hop and Brazil essences are subtly blended into modal-jazz. She uses her voice as an instrument as a part of the total sound, and the chemical of the band is marvellous. They are all young exciting musicians in NY jazz scene today where abound in new talents, and extremely sensitive on every sound they make (accompanying DVD clearly shows it). Mesmerising. (Shinji)

Cover imageHot dreams.
Canadian band Timber Timbre’s fifth record finds this excellent collection of musicians hitting their stride. Imagine the soundtrack to a Spaghetti Western directed by David Lynch and you get some idea. The pace is alt-country slow, the vocals are reverb laden, the guitars twang and the entire production is just nicely askew enough to create an original surreal take on Southern Gothic via ‘50’s Americana. “This is Bates Motel schmaltz, with the entire record a decrepit, cobweb-clogged anthology of past styles and vintage genres”. (John)

Cover image6 feet beneath the moon.
A young British musician. Kind of post punk, reminiscent to me of Joe Strummer, but with a modern edge and intriguing vocals. Some of the tracks lean towards Jazz and Electronica. Very interesting, particularly love the first track Easy Easy. (Kim)

Cover imageSunbathing animal.
The follow up to 2012’s excellent ‘Light Up Gold’ finds the band tighter, more confident but just as wonderfully wonky and off kilter. Their sound is derived from the spiky, angular post punk of bands like Wire and the Fall, with the chug of VU and the quirkiness of the Modern Lovers all channelled through Pavement, but theirs is a post-modern version, powered by scratchy repetitive guitars and super smart lyrics they are, to quote Pitchfork, “using the past to write their own version of the present”. (John)

Cover image4-bands split. Vol. 1 / Naam, White Hills, Black Rainbows, The Flying Eyes.
As the title suggests, four bands share a CD that serves up the some of the best of the current crop of U.S. heavy psychedelic stoner rock. Trippy, hypnotic tracks evoke shimmering desert scapes and/or the cold emptiness of space. Fuzztastic… (Neil)

Cover imageEntropicalia / The Soundcarriers.
It is no surprise that the latest album by UK band, the Soundcarriers, is released on Ghost Box, a label dedicated to the very British sub genre known as ‘hauntology’, which references Jacques Derrida’s idea that ‘the present exists only with respect to the past’. Consequently, influences abound within the Soundcarriers hallucinatory dream-world, including the Hammond organ sound of the swinging ‘60’s, the jazz flute of ‘50’s tropicalia, the sweet vocals of Pentangle and the rhythmic drive of the Velvet Underground. With Stereolab no longer around it’s great to know that the ‘Soundcarriers’ are there to continue the retro future space jazz folk revival! (John)

Cover imageWe Are Catchers.
Freed from the restrictions of hobbits and orcs, Peter Jackson has made a splendid little album of piano and vocals. Ok, this is a different Peter Jackson. The Liverpool singer-songwriter has crafted a simple but heartfelt reverb-drenched record that calls up Brian Wilson through a porthole on the Mersey ferry. (Neil)

Cover imageOnly lovers left : Detroit et Tangier.
Whatever you thought of indie film director Jim Jarmusch’s recent take on the vampire genre it’s hard to deny that the soundtrack was fantastic, a moody and invocative collection of tracks by no other than the director’s own band SQURL and lute player, Josef van Wissem, which won the 2013 Cannes Film Festival Soundtrack Award. The guitars are overdriven, the pace is generally pretty slow and the tunes unfurl like dark flowers. The movie is set in Detroit and Tangiers and the soundtrack is correspondingly divided into two halves – ‘Detroit’ featuring a dense murky sound with lots of feedback, while ‘Tangier’ is lighter, featuring middle-eastern influenced plucked strings. Overall, a soundtrack that stands alone as an accomplished musical work. (John)

Cover imageNightclubbing.
Grace Jones’ 1981 album ‘Nightclubbing’, was recorded at Compass Point employing the legendary Sly and Robbie as rhythm section and became one of those rare records that helped define a generation. This 2014 re-issue features two discs – one a beautifully crisp remastered version of the original recording and the second containing a collection of extended versions and remixes. Has it aged well? Like Grace Jones herself – definitely! And, in what must stand as a high water mark for Sly and Robbie, it still sounds as funky as hell. (John)

Cover imageAldous Harding.
Aldous Harding sings like an angel. A very unique singing style that in some of the tracks I had to listen closely to see if she was singing in English or not (she was). Vocals backed by folky, atmospheric music. A beautiful album. (Kim)

Cover imageT. Rex.
Another good retro re-release is the 1970 record that saw Marc Bolan transmutate from the acoustic elfin hippie of Tyrannosaurus Rex to the electric proto glam-rocker of T. Rex, inspiring a young David Bowie on the way. This is an interesting record that captures an artist in transition – well illustrated by the disparity between the hippie mysticism of the opening track “The Children of Rarn”, which closes in true hippie fashion with an “OM”, and the cover version of Eddie Cochran’s rock ‘n’ roll classic, “Summertime Blues”. The make-up, cross dressing and primitive rock beats of Glam Rock that followed is rock history, with Marc Bolan attaining super-star status, and here is the early genesis. (John)

Cover imageDo it again / Royksopp & Robyn.
A perfect marriage of electro-pop & dance floor beats fuel this short 5 track 36 minute mini-LP from Royksopp & Robyn that prefaces an upcoming tour. From the sunny summer pop of title track ‘Do It Again’, to the atmospheric late night club vibe of ‘Inside The Idle Hour Club’, the 5 tracks demonstrate a range of styles & moods that make you wish for a full album’s worth of tracks. Addictive. (Mark)

Cover imageFabric 74.
The latest in the very popular Fabric DJ Mix series features veteran ambient techno producer David Moufang in his Move D guise, who delivers a compelling set of crowd-pleasing, lush, groove laden House as much selected from the genre’s past as from its present. While technology has spawned an era over-run with dj mixes, this is possibly the most enjoyable, danceable and listenable mix released so far this year. ‘Fabric 74’ is an expertly curated history lesson from a genuine member of ‘da old skool’, a very cool document affirming that, as dance fans, we’re all here to have a good time in the end. (John)

Cover imageAventine.
I don’t know how to describe her music, I just love it. The songs grow on you and you keep discovering more and more depths to them. Amazing voice. (Kim)

Cover imageArtificial sweeteners.
This is the Brighton based UK trio’s fifth album of intelligent beat-driven, post-Krautrock, dance grooves and one reviewer has asked “how does a band this good continue to remain a cult concern?”. They arrived fully formed on their first record and since then have refined their analogue synth, bouncing bass lines, krautrock rhythms and trademark arch, near-whispered vocals to deliver yet another excellent record. If you like up-tempo grooves that appeal both to the hips and the mind then dip into this or anywhere in their back catalogue and you won’t be disappointed. (John)

Cover imageThe best of 1981/1997.
Terry Hall is one of the great but hugely underrated songwriters and singers of the last thirty years. This 2-disc collection collects some of his best songs from his post-Specials work with Fun Boy Three, Colourfield, Vegas, Terry Blair & Anouchka, as well as solo material. (Neil)