Every week, we try to take our girls to the local public library. We have a really great system here in our county and since we pay taxes for it, we should use it. I hear people complain about the expense on their tax bill, but shame on you if you never use it. You also pay for public schools and a myriad of other things you probably don’t realize. Regardless of if you use any of these things or not, its a fact of life. It’s an expense that is part of the price of the community you choose to call home. Remember that, you choose to live there. The only thing you should be complaining about is the quality of the services you pay for.
Sorry about that little rant, so on with my point.
The girls absolutely LOVE going and I love taking them. Now that my 5yo can read, she is obsessed with doing just that. She always makes sure to get a good mixture of fiction and non-fiction books too. If you told her she could only have 2 books, she would get one of each. The 4yo cannot read yet, but is really trying hard to keep up with her older sibling and is doing well. I love to see her get picture books as well though because she tells fabulous stories just based on the pictures.
Anyway, I love to go too but for different reasons. See, we have a great system where I live. Very up to date materials from books, to movies and Cd’s. I usually get a handful or two of Cd’s to “try them out” and expand my horizons. This wees haul is what inspired this post though. I got perhaps the most eclectic mix of music I’ve ever borrowed. See, I don’t always go for new titles. I like to find old albums I probably had on cassette back in the day along with stuff I couldn’t buy as a kid, weren’t born yet when it was made, or just liked one song and want to hear the rest without investing $10-$15 for.
As you may know, I LOVE music. I have such passion for it and I listen to it almost constantly. Even in my daily activities, simple things remind me of songs all over the spectrum and I’m singing in my head. I have certain things I listen to before I play hockey, before I go to bed, and while I work all day. I don’t just hear music, I listen to it. I study the lyrics and emotion of the singer in each track. I love passionate music. I don’t mean love songs, I mean I can hear, see, and feel the passion behind the track. Mostly though, I love re-discovering old songs I’ve heard for years that suddenly become a favorite because something in my life can now be related to it. That’s the most fun about having a large library I listen to constantly on shuffle.
So, here is my list of borrowed Cd’s. I think it shows the variety of things I like. What do you think?
Jim Croce – Photographs & Memories – His greatest hits
Track after track of classic rock genius. I promise there’s at least one on this alum you like
How did that get in there? “They taught us how to rock, then they taught us how to love” said the infomercial. Hehe, I really got into the hair metal bands and this is a good mix tape of the ballads. I never had the hair, but don’t deny it, you like some of this stuff too. At least one.
Pavarotti’s Greatest Hits
Yeah, this dude can sing like no one else. I don’t have much opera so I may as well have some of the best by the best. I love Nessun dorma! for its passion. Pure passion.
Conor Oberst – Conor Oberst
New acoustic rock by a fairly unknown. This is a solo effort and I really liked his group stuff with Bright Eyes. Look up “First Day of My Life” as a good starting point. It was mine with Conor.
Beastie Boys – Licensed to Ill
I had the tape. This album is still awesome. Somehow the wife didn’t know it. I hadn’t heard it in years, yet still knew most of the lyrics to Paul Revere. Genius early hip hop by a brilliant trio with a legend in the making producer Rick Rubin. I usually listen to anything he produces, regardless of the genre.
George Michael – Faith
Although some of this record dates itself to the 80′s pop of my junior high days, the first 4 tracks are timeless classics. Faith, Father Figure, I Want Your Sex, One More Try. You know you have memories to these.
Regina Spector – Far
I love her voice, I love her arrangements, I love her sound. She’s just different in the right kind of way.
Rush – The Spirit of Radio (Greatest Hits 1974 – 1987)
I still love these tracks, the best the band did. I know you probably had a boyfriend who was really into them or maybe you were that boyfriend. Just a great collection of tracks from their early works which in my opinion were they’re best. Still one of the best live shows I’ve ever seen.
Thelonious Monk & John Coltrane – The complete 1957 Riverside Recordings
When it comes to the improvisational genre of Jazz, these two are legends. Smooth and sultry at its finest.
So there you go. My typical variety of sounds and rhythms that fill my ears every day. Thanks if you made it this far into my list. As a bonus, I will give you my favorite little past time activity to do in a library. Find the non-fiction section of your public library, you know the area with those crazy numbers that organize the mess. Anyway, pick an aisle or two at random and just walk down them paying close attention to all that’s there. I kind of find it amazing about all the information out there about everything you probably didn’t think of. If you’re feeling adventurous, grab something in a subject that made you stop and look longer than usual and check it out. You’ll certainly learn something you didn’t know about the world around you. Enjoy.
Last night was “music’s biggest night” with the Grammy awards. It’s one of the few and only music awards I will watch. Come to think of it, it’s one of the only awards shows I watch period. I like that they focus on the performers and not so much the trophy distribution. That’s boring, especially when music is involved. I also respect that the awards are given based on voting members of the academy. You become a voting member by being credited creatively or technically on produced music. Getting on the list is probably skewed by sales figures, but at least it doesn’t determine who actually wins unlike most others.
Anyway,I have to say in list night’s telecast, the performances overall fell flat. Most were poor song choices and the execution fell flat. Lady Gaga opened with her usual artistic interpretation and it was the best of the night. The overall theme seemed to be to mix in another song with your own and she did it best with Elton John in a dueling piano setup. Beyonce doing Alanis? Flat. Beyonce is hardly a scorned woman. Should have brought Alanis out to sell it. I would like to see future performers not try too hard to “blow it up.” Just be themselves and do what got them on the stage in the first place.
The whole Michael Jackson tribute, was insanely disappointing. Somehow, MTV totally did this better. Aside from the kids speaking, I expected much more than Celine Dion and Smokey Robinson.
As for the winners, everyone will have their own opinions skewed to their personal preferences. In the big album of the year, I actually own 3 of the 5. I’m not surprised or disappointed Taylor Swift won. It’s one of the 3 I own. It’s a good album, but I don’t know if it was better than the others. It’s hard to compare crossover country to R&B to Adult Contemporary to Dance to Pop. It was a well put together record and is good top to bottom. So I’m not disappointed or surprised that she won. It was worthy.
Black Eyed Peas should not have won est Pop Vocal Album though. No one that uses an auto-tune should be eligible for anything that has the word vocal and not the word electronic in it. Sorry. Oddly enough Lady Gaga won the electronic dance album yet she sings all her own tracks and never lip syncs in concert. Seems backwards to me.
Also, I just REALLY hope the voting members don’t use sales as a key element to deciding who wins. I have my doubts in the whole process, but one can hope something is still pure.
2010 is shaping up to be a slow year in terms of new music releases based on some initial lists I’ve seen. Not much to look forward to up front, but I guess we’ll see. Thanks to my sister’s strong recommendation I decided to give another Train record a chance. I like the band and I like lead singer Pat Monahan but after Drops of Jupiter, they failed to really deliver for me. The new record though, titled “Save Me, San Francisco” is a brilliant release. Top to bottom the songs are well put together with endearing lyrics and just enough snag in the hooks to make it stick for a long time. I really like this record. I highly suggest you pick it up.
Sadly, I think their commercial popularity ship has sailed and we won’t see them on the list of next year’s Grammy nominees. Too bad, this is great stuff.