Wednesday, August 17, 2011

New Music Books

I Feel So Good: The Life and Times of Big Bill Broonzy

by Bob Riesman

"This book sets Bill's extraordinary life and career in meticulously researched perspective...if rock 'n' roll and all its recent spawn can in any sense be regarded as art, or carries any social meaning, or transmits reflective or historical relevance to those who love it, this book will help to explain why."--Pete Townsend

Keep On Pushing: Black Power Music from Blues to Hip-Hop

by Denise Sullivan

"A pleasing survey of soul music, from Lead Belly to Johnny Otis to Michael Franti to Louis Farrakhan...Sullivan offers a welcome exploration of how African-American popular music becam America's vernacular." --Kirkus Reviews

All The Things You Are: The Life Of Tony Bennett
by David Evanier

"The great thing about David Evanier's biography - beyond its reliable research, nuanced evaluations, and stylistic eloquence - is that by looking closer at a great artist than the artist might have wished, it uncovers a man even more worthy of our admiration than we knew: a valiant defender of civil rights as well as the classic American songbook and the singer's right to enhance it by his own light." -- Gary Giddins.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Your favorite opening?

Some songs just have a great opening line - one that starts things off perfectly. Please click on "comment" and post yours. I'll start with two favorites!

"I was cutting the rug down at a place called "The Jug" With a girl named Linda Lou... "

"I saw a werewolf with a Chinese menu in his hand walkin' through the streets of Soho in the rain..."

Monday, August 8, 2011


Several high profile releases have come into the Media Department recently. The long-unreleased Neil Young work A Treasure, the new Arctic Monkeys, the new Beyonce, and more.

Perhaps a little under the radar, but well worth a listen is the 1966 recording Face To Face by the Kinks. The band, one of the most influential of its time, entered a new and significant phase with this release. Ray Davies' writing for the album represents "the first full flowering of Davies' use of narrative, observation, and wry social commentary in his songs (Wikipedia)." And what great songs: "Party Line," "Dandy," and "Sunny Afternoon." The edition owned by the library contains another true Kinks classic "I'm not Like Everybody Else." Not all pop recordings sound good 40 years after their release. Face to Face remains fresh, compelling and fun.

More from the Kinks:
BBC Sessions: 1964-1977
Greatest Hits
Lola Versus Powerman and the Moneygoround
Muswell Hillbillies
Something Else (another significant recording from the year after Face to Face)
The Kink Kronicles