As the sun goes down earlier and earlier, let DPL provide the soundtrack to your surroundings with some of these new releases we have on order.
If you adore Harry Potter, do yourself a favor and check out Harry Potter: Page to Screen, the Complete Filmmaking Journey. It’s a big, heavy, hardcover behemoth absolutely stuffed with photographs and text from all 8 Harry Potter films. Interviews with the cast and crew give insider information, and viewpoints from the set designers, costume designers, directors and actors show how meticulously the details of these movies were planned. From the small things – Hermione doesn’t wear red or green, as “those are Ron colors,” the story behind Harry’s blue eyes (a controversial change from the books’ oft-referenced bottle green), and the talon design of Bellatrix’s wand – to the big things: hours of makeup for dozens of actors cast as goblins; the complex design of the set for Snape’s final scene; the massive miniatures built to stand in for Hogwarts castle, and the equally massive undertaking of covering those miniatures with “snow” for the winter scenes (and then meticulously brushing and cleaning that “snow” away before the salt it was made of could corrode the material beneath).
Whether you’re into the boy wizard or just into movie magic, you’ll adore this book. It inspired me to re-read the novels and re-watch the movies, which of course launched a relapse of full-on Potter mania at my house! These are some of the other library items I’ve been checking out:
- LEGO Harry Potter Years 1-4 and Years 5-7: these video games are total crowd-pleasers! Any and all ages love the game play (a mix of puzzles and action) and the cute cut scenes, where LEGO versions of the characters act out key plot moments.
- Harry Potter on audio: These excellent recordings are perfect for a re-read.
- Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality: not a library item, but this novel-length work of fan fiction (available for free online) is a must for Potterheads.
- Harry and the Potters: a rock group with song titles such as “The Dark Lord Lament” and “Save Ginny Weasley”
- The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook: what exactly is treacle tart?! You can find out and try it at home!
- The Unofficial Harry Potter Vocabulary Builder: Especially great for younger readers, this companion book offers definitions of 3,000 challenging words from all 7 books.
- Harry Potter for your Kindle, Nook, or mp3 player: you can check out the ebooks via WILBOR! Works for all approved devices.
- All eight movies, available on DVD from DPL!
Thanksgiving has barely passed and I’m already sick to death of the holiday glut of Mariah Carey and “Feliz Navidad” – if you too crave some alternative holiday tunes, pick up these library items to rejuvenate your playlist.
Yule b Swingin Too - a jazzy, swinging mix of old favorites with a vibrant, fun feel.
Midwinter Graces by Tori Amos - A lush mix of standard classics, re-imagined favorites, and new material from the celebrated singer.
Christmas with the Stars – Orchestral, instrumental, vocal, classical, popular, and ensemble: this album combines styles seamlessly for a joyous effect.
Songs of Joy and Peace by Yo-Yo Ma – Yo-Yo Ma’s famous cello skills make this album a relaxing, joyous listen.
Kwanzaa Music – with tracks from artists like Aretha Franklin and the Baha Men, this eclectic collection gives you a celebratory mood with none of the bland predictability of a usual holiday album.
Christmas Cocktails 1 and 2 - the unique ‘ultra-lounge’ style of these albums puts a fun vintage twist on your holiday listening.
The Beach Boys’ Christmas Album – Who doesn’t love their classic “Little Saint Nick”?
A Christmas Gift for You from Phil Spector – the legendary producer’s Christmas album is really delightful. Classic and well loved without being overplayed.
40 years of a Charlie Brown Christmas - A true classic brimming with childhood whimsy.
I’m really looking forward to listening to Moby’s latest effort, Destroyed. In fact, I like the guy more every time I read something about him.
It’s hard to encapsulate what he does, since as a multi-instrumentalist with electronic roots, he’s switched styles so many times over the years.
Obligatory Moby facts:
- He’s the great-grandson of Herman Melville, hence the chosen stage name.
- The deluxe version of the new album comes with a book of his photographs
- Until recently, he discretely waited tables at a small restaurant just because he liked to
- Didn’t use to lock his doors until he discovered a youth under the influence wandered into his living room. He gave the young man a sweatshirt and ten dollars for breakfast.
Green Hornet – Seth Rogan, Jay Chou
Britt Reid is a rich playboy with a directionless life. After his father dies, Britt inherits his vast media empire, where he meets employee Kato. The two realize that they have a chance to do something worthwhile with their lives by fighting crime, so Britt becomes the Green Hornet. With the help of Britt’s secretary, the two begin hunting down Benjamin Chudnofsky, the man who controls LA’s gritty underworld. But Chudnofsky has plans of his own: to swat down the Green Hornet once and for all
Justin Bieber – Never Say Never
Justin Bieber’s odds were a million to one, until millions of fans found him online. Now revealed is the story of his journey from average teen to global superstar, culminating with a dream sold-out show at the famed Madison Square Garden. Special features include featurettes.
Caught up in a feud between neighbors, Gnomeo and Juliet must overcome as many obstacles as their namesakes. But with flamboyant pink flamingoes and epic lawnmower races, can this young couple find lasting happiness? We just gnome it!
Biutiful - Javier Bardem
Uxbal is a man on the wrong side of the law who struggles to provide for his children on the dangerous streets of Barcelona. As fate encircles him, Uxbal learns to accept the realities of life, whether bright, bad, or biutiful.
We’ve gotten a taste of springtime. That’s when mother nature melts away winter’s desolation to reveal your pets’ nasty lawn-offerings, and the creepy crawlies that have been festering in wait come alive.
PUNKS! Lots of them! This many in a month can not be a coincidence! Artistic relevance optional…
1) Blink 182′s drummer has a promising solo effort with various hip-hop artists
Travis Barker – Give the Drummer Some
2) Dropkick Murphys let their Boston-baked punk effort loose for proper staggering just days before custodians mop up half-digested Guiness stout at your local corporate Irish-themed pub.
Dropkick Murphys – Going Out in Style
3) Garage rock dressed like the Ramones for hipsters:
The Strokes – Angles
4) I guess?
Avril Lavigne – Goodbye Lullaby
5) As if it wasn’t destined for multiplatinum status, Billie Joe and Co. have impishly included half of a swear word on the cover for maximum fifth-grade shock value. Here’s crossing fingers that he tilts at the windmills of perceived authority and administers a remedial civics lesson over someone else’s obligatory three chords. I find that in his matured efforts he uses this hands-free specialization to focus his efforts on gesticulating, standing on speakers, and wearing eyeliner.
It worked on me 16 years ago, and he’ll do it for your high-schoolers today. Wait, that means they’re old enough to be my….. and that makes me…….. AWW MAN!!!!
6 and 7) I’m not familiar, but hey, let’s milk this for all we’ve got…
8) Their lead singer just got divorced from the gal in #4. My money is on lyrical combinations of life’s unfairness, pain, and unrequited love.
It’s a lovely time of year to take a scenic drive through our bedroom communities’ rustic backroads while watching the leaves turn. Here are a few major names in the Country genre (and a couple Folk) churning out albums in September and October.
Lock in those holds on your copy at Davenport Public Library.
L-R: Kenny Chesney – Hemingway’s Whiskey
Sugarland - The Incredible Machine
Darius Rucker – Charleston, SC 1966
Toby Keith – Bullets in the Gun
Taylor Swift – Speak Now
Neil Young – Le Noise
Zac Brown Band – You Get What You Give
With a few tweaks to design and format, many classics have found themselves again at the top of recent bestseller lists and looking glamorous in the bookstore window displays. Here are a few of my favorite classic updates that would excellent viewing for recent graduates:
Wuthering Heights is all the rage right now due a certain saga of Vampire novels giving numerous nods in Emily Brontë’s direction. And if that wasn’t enough make this classic fly off the shelves, Penguin Deluxe Classics just reissued a new edition of the book featuring a FANTASTIC cover design by fashion illustrator, Ruben Toledo, where Heathcliff is looking particularly handsome and Edward-ish.
One of the most popular trends in publishing right now is the graphic-novelfying of both old and new classics. A People’s History of American Empire: a Graphic Adaptation by Howard Zinn is a great choice for those High School Graduates heading off into the heat of a liberal arts college’s world of discussion and debate.
Nothing gets more classic than a Superhero story of Good vs. Evil. Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog is a 3-part musical starring Neil Patrick Harris, Felicia Day and Nathan Fillion was produced by cult hero Joss Whedon and originally released online. Can a classic story get any more updated than that?! It has since been released on DVD with tons of extras and is a MUST SEE for anyone who will be living in a college dorm where spontaneous, amateur performances of the show are not uncommon.
Your graduate has read the books, seen the movies, and listened to Jim Dale’s narration over and over again. But have they rocked out to Harry and the Potters yet? You cannot know the depths of your love for HP until you have sung “Save Ginny Weasley” at the top of your lungs with a hundred other fanboys and fangirls. Don’t believe me that Wizard Rock is one of the awesomest things right now? Come see Harry and the Potters at the Eastern Grand Opening on July 10, 2010!
The Christmas/End-of-Winter holiday season is a wonderful time of year but sometimes it’s easy to get lost in the chaos and endless to-do lists. The librarians here at the Davenport Library Info Cafe blog offer some reasons for making time to stop and make the season “merry and bright” with their favorite holiday movies and books.
I’ll get things started with my favorite Christmas music. Firmly rooted in tradition (there’s no “Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer” here!) but with a fresh and modern approach, the Quad City-area-based Nova Singers offer some of the most beautiful music of the season.
The Nova Singers is a 20-voice ensemble with a nationwide reputation and are known for their creative song choices and virtuoso performances. They’ve produced six recordings, three of which are made up of Christmas music. All of them are beautiful but Behold a Star is my favorite partly for the Nova Singer’s version of “The 12 Days of Christmas” (you can tell they’re having a lot of fun with this) and partly because of the inclusion of “A Shoot Shall Come Forth” a gorgeous and unusual carol that speaks of renewal and peace and promise, exactly what the Christmas season is about.
The best part is that you can see the Nova Singers perform right here – they put on 8 concerts a year, divided between Galesburg and the Quad Cities. Their Christmas concerts this year will be held December 18 and 19. Be sure to check their website for times and locations. Then treat yourself and go – you’ll be glad you did!
It’s time again to celebrate one of Davenport’s own – the Bix Beiderbecke Jazz Festival kicks off today with the 22nd annual Davenport Library Bix Porch Party at our Main library. There’ll be live music – provided by Don Estes and the Prairie Ramblers – hot dogs and free lemonade and popcorn. It all starts at 11:30am.
Interested in hearing more of Bix’s music? Be sure to check out Riverboat Shuffle or Bix Lives! from the library. If you’d like to learn more about the brilliant but brief life of Bix and the era he lived in, take a look at Remembering Bix: a Memoir of the Jazz Age by Ralph Berton or Bix: Man and Legend by Richard Sudhalter.
And don’t forget – grab a lawn chair and head to the Main Library for lots of great music and fun!