Posts filed under ‘reviews’
Greetings to all you folks who still like CDs! I’m still buying vinyl and occasionally shellac, so I understand.
We have some new titles in this week:
Chromatics- Kill for Love
Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti- Mature Themes
An Epic No Less-Echo of Love
Sollee, Ben-Half Made Man
White, Mathew E-Big Inner
Pantha Du Prince-Elements of Light
Cry Out To Jesus (compilation)
Skyzoo-A Dream Deferred
Gabriel, Juan- Celebrando
I’m especially excited about that John Hartford compilation. As a fan of “newgrass” (a combination of tradtional bluegrass,rock and jazz that Aereo Plain helped foster), this quote from Sam Bush puts it into perspective, “Without Aereo-plain, there would be no ‘newgrass’ music.” Do yourself a favor-go out and hear Denton’s own Boxcar Bandits to get a taste of where he led us.
The Louvin Brothers, Ira and Charlie, have been called one of the most influential duos in Country Music. And, as so often happens with brothers who collaborate, they fought like dogs but made moving sounds. Yin-yang. I just finished Charlie’s autobiography “Satan is Real”, completed shortly before his death at age 83 in 2011. Here is the cover in full pulp fiction glory:
Pretty cool idea for a book cover: make it look like a dime store pulp fiction novel and base it on one of the cheesiest, classic album covers of all time. The thing is, its all true and reiterates my belief that reality is oftentimes stranger than fiction and more powerful because of it.
Charlie may have followed a straighter path than Ira’s womanizing, alcoholic one, but his storytelling pulls no punches both in language and subject matter. The reader gets a good sense of their hardscrabble upbringing, life on the road, and the volatile nature of their relationship. In full Nudie suit glory: Ira on the left, Charlie on the right-
Posted by Chuck
Everyone seems to be in love with Daughter of Smoke and Bone, the new book by Laini Taylor, and I have to say it’s with good reason. It’s been on my list for awhile, namely because of all of the great reviews, but once I actually started to read it, I couldn’t put it down.
The story centers around Karou, a seventeen year old art student who lives in Prague. Karou is a little strange and mysterious. Her hair grows blue, she’s covered with tattoos, and she fills dozens of sketchbooks with creatures that could surely only exist in the imagination. Karou never talks about herself and deflects all questions from friends so that they don’t find out the truth. See, Karou isn’t really from Prague. She’s not from anywhere, actually. She’s from Elsewhere. Karou grew up in a shop with four chimaera and was raised by the Wishmonger, Brimstone. Brimstone, like all of the chimaera, is part animal, part human with the head and horns of a ram, eyes of a crocodile, torso of a human, legs of a lion, and feet of a dragon. Brimstone sells wishes to any who can pay the price, but instead of cash and coins, Brimstone’s currency is teeth, and only the best teeth will do. He gives Karou small wishes and provides her with money and a place to live in the outside world, and even a fake grandmother to enroll her in school. In return, Karou runs errands for Brimstone, errands that are often very dangerous and even life-threatening, but Brimstone is the only family she’s ever known. Karou doesn’t even know who she really is, but a chain of events that starts with handprints scorched into the doors to Elsewhere leads her to find that the chimaera are not the only ones in Elsewhere, and her family is under attack by beautiful, winged creatures.
Laini Taylor creates a world – two worlds, really – that is complex and rich in detail. Karou is the perfect, fierce heroine, good enough to rival Katniss of The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and Katsa of Graceling by Kristin Cashore.
Here’s an insider tip for all of you: Read the book now before it starts getting a huge hold list! The movie rights have been acquired by Universal Pictures, and the second book is due out September 2012. I predict that this book is only going to get even more popular.
- Heather Botelho, South Branch Library
Miss Emily’s JukeJoint, 9.22.11: Puppets Rock & an Historic Marker for the Texas International Pop Fest
As was proven this past Sunday nite @ Dan’s Silverleaf, puppets and rock (or at least a rocking style of folk music) do mix. For those who haven’t heard about the Sunday residency of Hares on the Mountain at Dan’s (are there any of you left?), consider this your wake up call.
On Saturday October 1st, a new historic marker will be dedicated at the Hebron Station of the DCTA A Train in Lewisville commemorating the 1969 Texas International Pop Festival that featured acts such as Janis Joplin, Led Zeppelin, B.B. King and many others. Go to the link to learn more about the dedication. Led Zeppelin and Santana tribute bands will perform and the event is free.
Personally, I’d love to see more historic markers that deal with cultural events such as this one does. Don’t get me wrong, I love old buildings and history in general but it seems like cultural events may get lost in shuffle. How does one commemorate something ephemeral like creativity?
Greetings JukeJointers. On Sept 18 and 19th, the 13th Annual Denton Blues Festival comes to Quakertown Park in Denton. Perusing the website I see that one of my favorite DJs on Soul 73 KKDA, Bobby Patterson, is performing on Sunday! KKDA is an old-school AM R&B station out of Dallas that has actual R&B performers/legends as DJs. You remember them, right? I’ve heard some of the best music I’ll ever hear on that station-too bad they are lousy at naming who the artists are that they put on the air…
Lots of new CDs in. Here we go…
Killer Mike- Pl3dge
Jadakiss- I love You
Moonshine Bandits-Whiskey and Women
Aventura-14 + 14
Sondre Lerche- Sondre Lerche
Tech N9ne- All 6s and 7s
Jolie Holland- Pint of Blood
Trin I Tee 5:7- Angel & Chanelle
Youssou NDour- Dakar Kingston
Kasey Chambers- Little Bird
Matt Nathanson- Modern Love
Chloe Hanslip- Chloe
Ema- Past Life Martyred Saints
Grayson Capps-The Lost Cause Minstrels
Ben Allison- Action Refraction
JIll Andrews- The Mirror
Stephen Marley- Revelation Part 1
Los Tigres Del Norte- MTV Unplugged
King Creosote- Diamond Mine
Yael Naim- She Was A Boy
Dinastia De Tuzantla Mich- Te Seguire
Mynabirds- What We Lose In The Fire We Gain
David Bazan- Strange Negotiations
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.- Its A Corporate World
Curren$y- Weekend At Burnie’s
City and Colour- Little Hell
DJ Kazzanova- Reggaeton Mix
Jorge Santacruz- La Supermacia
Eleanor Friedberger- Last Summer
Random Axe-Random Axe
Shabazz Palaces- Black Up
Are you tired of books where the girl dies, and it’s all oh-so-tragic? Are you tired of the high drama of yay-you’re-my-bf-and-now-you’re-not books? Are you looking for a book where the girl seriously kicks butt and takes names?
Okay, that’s not exactly how it goes down in Uncommon Criminals, Ally Carter’s sequel to Heist Society. In fact Katarina Bishop gets completely double-crossed within the first couple of chapters, and then she has to travel all over the world to try to rectify her mistake. Of course, when you’re dealing with a cursed Egyptian gem, there’s no telling what else will go wrong. I will say, though, the twist at the end is so extremely clever, that it will fool you too, and Kat’s reputation as a thief is redeemed. As usual, Carter proves herself to be witty author who sucks you in and doesn’t let go. Uncommon Criminals is a light, fast-paced, and completely engrossing read — perfect for summer.
And, BTW, more exciting Ally Carter news: her Web site, allycarter.com, has listed March 20, 2012 as the release date for the fifth installment of the Gallagher Girls series! I know, still over six months away, but don’t forget to keep checking the catalog so you can place your hold.
If you’ve already read everything by Ally Carter, and you’re looking for more female detectives, try The Agency series by Y.S. Lee that starts with A Spy in the House, or the Forensic Mysteries series by Alane Ferguson, starting with The Christopher Killer.
Honestly, when I saw this cover, I was a bit dubious if I would like the book. She is, after all, almost beheaded and in a bikini (implications?), but the cover is saved by the bandolier crossed by her beauty queen sash.
Of course, Beauty Queens is by Libba Bray, author of Going Bovine, which won the Michael L. Printz Award last year, as well as the Gemma Doyle books, so I had high hopes. She definitely did not disappoint. The book is in turns both horrifying and hilarious (hilarifying?). She starts the book with a plane full of Miss Teen Dream contestants on their way to compete for this illustrious title. It’s too bad that everything goes down from there, and I mean down literally. The plane crashes on a deserted (or is it?) island, killing off all of the adults and most of the contestants. Only a handful are left, and it’s true that at first, most of them seem like shallow airheads who are only concerned with continuing their choreography practice while they wait to be rescued (yes, that would be Miss Texas). Eventually, they realize that rescue just isn’t going to happen, and they set about using what they’ve scavenged from the wreck to provide food, fresh water, and shelter (and still practice their choreography). It turns out that most of these girls are not dumb and actually have hidden talents, like the one who is pre-pre-med, or the one who is on her way to becoming an electrical engineer. Miss Texas is a member of Femmes and Firearms, and she goes first militant and then out-in-the-field-too-long crazy when the girls start to find out they aren’t alone on the island.
In the midst of all this character development, Bray introduces pure satire that makes fun of everything from reality TV to product advertisements to politics to religion. This is not a book to be taken too seriously (see Bray’s Q & A with herself on the book’s Amazon page). True, there is no cannibalism to make this really Lord of the Flies-esque, but you can’t read this book without a healthy appreciation of its absurdity.
And speaking of… Bray creates a playlist for each book she writes, so if you’d like a soundtrack for Beauty Queens, here are a few tracks taken from her self-conducted interview: Beauty Queen/Roxy Music, Mystery Girl/The Yeah YeahYeahs, Guyana Punch/The Judys, Paper Planes/M.I.A., Diamonds Are Forever/Shirley Bassey, Porpoise Song (Theme from “Head”)/The Monkees, Teenage Dream/T-Rex, and Ladybird/Nancy Sinatra in honor of Ladybird Hope (you’ll meet her in the book).
- Heather Botelho, South Branch Library
There are two trailers out now, and they both have the same actor as their main character, which is a little confusing. I’m talking about Beastly and I Am Number Four.
In Beastly, written by Alex Flinn, Alex Pettyfer plays Kyle Kingsley, a golden-haired popular boy who ticks off the wrong witch and is turned into – you guessed it – a beast. In the movie version, he becomes super scarred and bald, but in the book he really becomes a beast, complete with fur and claws. He has to find true love to break the curse. Hey, this sounds familiar, doesn’t it?
In I Am Number Four, written by Pittacus Lore (pseudonym of James Frey), Pettyfer plays Number Four, known on Earth as John Smith. He and nine others escaped from their home planet Lorien after it was taken over by the Mogadorians, but now they are being hunted. Three are already dead and Number Four is next. I think the best part about this movie will be Dianna Agron (Glee‘s Quinn) playing Sarah.
Even though it’s not even close to production, I have to bring up the (still hopefully pending) adaptation of The Hunger Games, written by Suzanne Collins. The right actors in this movie will make it completely awesome, but if the wrong people are chosen, it’s going to flop hard. So what do you think? Who should play Katniss, Peeta, and Gale?
The walls separating the human world from the Fae have fallen. Over three billion people are dead, and Unseelie are roaming the earth. There’s only one hope of restoring order, and that’s the Sinsar Dubh, which, by the way, is a completely evil book that likes to possess people before killing them. In Karen Marie Moning’s fifth book of the Fever series, Shadowfever answers questions, poses even more, and leaves the reader unsure of whether or not there will be a happy ending for our protagonist, Mackayla Lane, who may or may not be evil herself.
It is extremely hard to say anything about this book without giving something away, other than if you’ve read the Fever series, you must read this book. If you haven’t read the Fever series, this isn’t a normal fantasy. It’s dark and twisted, extremely graphic, not for the faint of heart, but enthralling in a way that sucks you in and doesn’t let go. Romance readers may find that although this series is not romantic, there is some familiar element in the relationship between Mac and the enigmatic Jericho Barrons, especially in Shadowfever.
I’ll say one more thing: If you’ve read the Fever series and are expecting this book to wrap everything up tidily, don’t. Suspend your disbelief and throw out your expectations because in the world of Fae, nothing is ever what it seems.
- Heather Botelho, South Branch Library
Is a little gem of a film from Aron Gaudet, 80 minutes long and a real perspective – changer. This documentary features the Maine Troop Greeters
in Bangor, Maine, the jumping off spot for troops headed to the Middle East or returning from the front. Three elderly greeters give viewers a glimpse into their lives as tireless volunteers who provide every single soldier a handshake, pat on the back or big thank you. This movie goes beyond the airport scenes to reveal some of the personal tribulations of growing old. One particularl poignant scene for pet lovers involves a final goodbye to a treasured friend. As the mom of a soldier, I expected to be touched by the scenes of soldiers leaving. What I didn’t expect was the immense compassion I felt for the greeters. I want to call them up, pat them on the back and tell them thanks. What an example.