Ever heard Louis Armstrong and his Hot Seven playing Potato Head Blues? Ah yes, let’s talk about the perfect example and undeniable power of early American jazz of the 20th Century. Interested in hearing it? Well, you should be, dear listener*.
This piece of music from 1927 defines so much about the genius of the young Louis Armstrong and has been hailed as one of the most perfect recordings of jazz ever made, which, when you finally get around to listening to, well, hopefully you’ll understand the praise. To paraphrase Woody Allen’s character Isaac in the 1979 film Manhattan, it’s one of the reasons that life is worth living. The image, however, is from a book in our collection. It might be worth a look too, if not a listen.*
During December, I am quite content to listen to holiday music all month long. On the radio after a while, the same songs seem to be played over and over and my patience with Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Jingle Bell Rock wears thin. Every year I do seem to stumble on a great holiday album that includes new titles I'd never heard or revisions of old classics.
As a child I cherished the Chipmunks album I had! I never grow tired of "Christmas Don't Be Late" from Christmas with the Chipmunks!
When I was in college, Windham Hill came out with the first in a series of New Age holiday albums. A Winter's Solstice is great to play during a holiday party - instrumental versions of holiday favorites. Songs of Joy and Peace by Yo-Yo Ma and Friends is another great album to celebrate the holiday season with Hannukah, Christmas, Kwanzaa and New Year music.
A couple of years ago, a group of dj's who specialize in mashups and remixes came out with a collection called Santastic which they put online for download. Santastic 4 is out now. This is dance music with a holiday twist. Take a listen to Pumping Up Christmas and see if you like holiday mashups!
Maybe you saw the Sting concert on PBS last year - I did and I loved it! The concert featured older songs accompanied by the Lute - some of which I had never heard before! The Library has the CD If On A Winter's Night and the DVD A Winter's Night: Live from the Durham Cathedral.
When I heard Alicia Keys singing "Little Drummer Girl" from Jermaine Dupri presents the Twelve Soulful Nights of Christmas, I got goosebumps!
You can browse through literally hundreds of holiday songs - when you get to Freegal, just type in the word Christmas or Holiday and see what pops up. While was there I also found a Laura Nyro song, "Upstairs By a Chinese Lamp" from her album Christmas and the Beads of Sweat. Remember, you can download 3 songs a week, so I rounded out my trip to Freegal by downloading one of my favorite songs, "The Cherry Tree Carol" as sung by Jose Feliciano from his Feliz Navidad album.
I love acapella music - and I was pretty excited to see that the Library just ordered the Straight No Chaser CD With a Twist. It isn't their Holiday CD - but please, enjoy this video of their version of the "12 Days of Christmas." It is hilarious and might get you in the mood for Holiday music!
I remember singing a version of “Knick Knack Paddy Whack” way back in elementary school. I recently discovered a book called Knick Knack Paddy Whack that has colorful collage illustrations by Christiane Engel. An older gentleman plays a drum and several children play a variety of musical instruments. A cute dog with a bone follows the man and the children as they parade through the neighborhood and stop for a bite to eat. A CD with vocals by Mr. Steve accompanies this delightful book, so that readers can listen and sing while turning the pages.
Happy reading, listening and singing!
The Alum Rock Business Association is partnering with the Alum Rock Branch Library to offer the Annual 2010 Light Up the Village event at the Alum Rock community. Visit Santa Claus and participate in the tree lighting ceremony for the holiday.We also invite you to join us for music, raffle prizes, kids' activities, and free books from Alum Rock Library!
Place: 3116 Alum Rock Avenue, San Jose CA 95127
Time: 12/11 1:00-5:30 PM
Visit Santa Claus - 3:30 to 5:00 PM
Tree Lighting Ceremony - 5:00 PM
The Black Eyed Peas with will.i.am, apl.de.ap, Taboo and Fergie? Oh yes, please, let's have a helping of Peas!
For the past week I've been bobbing my head to Rock That Body and Imma be from their CD - The E.N.D which stands for energy never dies. Here is the video that combines the two songs and is about 10 minutes of awesome! Hot beats and dancing robots! That's my version of fun! If you have the time - take a watch and listen!
Previously I had heard a few of their songs in passing and didn't pay them much attention. But their focus on futuristic themes and positive experiences has made me delve further back into their past works.
Apl.de.ap is a first generation immigrant from the Phillipines and the apl song on Elephunk is in Tagalog and English and is all about his journey from the Phillipines to the US.
Their next album, The Beginning, is being released at the end of this month. The library already has it on order, so look for it in a few weeks. The Black-Eyed Peas are shelved in the Rap section.
And just because I love actual black-eyed peas - here's my family recipe:
1 can black-eyed peas - drained
1 small onion - diced
2 Tablespoons oil
Saute the diced onion in the oil until translucent.
Add the black-eyed peas.
Cook on medium heat for 2-3 minutes.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Life, by Keith Richards, is a captivating, intriguing, joy of a biography. After just 100 pages (nearly every one of which has made me laugh out loud), I have a new best friend in this book and will be sad when it ends. The lead guitarist of the Rolling Stones reviews his life with unique candor, wit, and warmth. To chronicle his youth, Keith relies on conversations and correspondence with close relatives, his own diary and journal entries, and his memory (yes, he does remember, contrary to popular belief). With heartfelt enthusiasm, he expresses his early love of music, discovery of Rhythm & Blues, and incessant work to acquire acoustic and electric guitar skills. But don’t take my word for it – request this book and read it for yourself. There are currently 44 holds on San José Public Library’s 7 copies of the book (also available now at Amazon.com and Borders for $16).