50+ Free Things You Can Do Through The Seattle Public Library

The interior of the Central LibraryWant to learn a language, improve your job skills, find free one-on-one tutoring, download new songs, learn web design, or find a read-aloud for your child?

You can do all of these things and much more through The Seattle Public Library. A dozen or so of the activities in this list do not even require a Library card.

Happy exploring, escaping and learning! And yes, this is just a sampling. Find many more programs, services, and, of course, our collections, at spl.org and at our 27 locations. (Note: We will regularly update this list, so check back. Add your favorite thing that we missed in the comments!) Continue reading “50+ Free Things You Can Do Through The Seattle Public Library”

To the Max: ’80s Music in Books

 

Let’s face it…many a music snob would declare the 1980s as the worst decade in music, while others would put ’80s music in the “so bad it’s good” category. A flurry of recent titles chronicle the highlights, and occasional lowlights, of the decade’s most influential artists.

For me and my high school friends, heavy metal ruled, starting with my first concert: Bon Jovi’s Slippery When Wet tour in 1984 at the Meadowlands in New Jersey. In Nöthin’ but A Good Time, you can explore all things metal – from the heyday of hair bands (confession: I’ve seen both Whitesnake and Skid Row in concert) to the edgier Guns N’ Roses, before heavy metal gave way to grunge in the ’90s. Spanning hard rock classics (Ratt’s “Round & Round”) and obligatory metal ballad (Poison’s “Every Rose Has it’s Thorn”), authors Tom Beaujour and Richard Bienstock take readers on a wild ride. Continue reading “To the Max: ’80s Music in Books”

Mardi Gras on my mind

Do you know what it means, to miss New Orleans? As another Mardi Gras rolls around – it’s tomorrow, in case you’ve forgotten – this question is especially poignant for NOLA expats, as well as anyone who holds the Crescent City dear to their heart. Tonight, I’ll be making jambalaya and gumbo, and baking up some King Cake for dessert, while filling the house with music such as New Orleans Party, the Jazz Fest, and some great music by The Meters, Allen Toussaint, The Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Dr. John, The Wild Tchapatoulas, and Galactic.

Continue reading “Mardi Gras on my mind”

The Show Must Go On Hoopla!

By now, theater fans are finding creative and unexpected ways to connect with their favorite medium that have grown quickly in this time of necessity. In some places, socially distanced music festivals have brought performers back to the stage. Many streaming services are picking up content as quickly as they can, and streaming shows of bands and performers are helping to keep the stage lights lit.

Hoopla logoYour library access to Hoopla is another convenient way to get your musical fix! Whether you are an original cast recording purist or a movie musical enthusiast, you already have these soundtracks and more at your fingertips!

Hamilton’s stage recording made it to Disney+ streaming July 4th, 2020 for a monthly subscription fee, but did you know the music has been here all along? Not just stuck in your head, but here, on Hoopla! This musical, much like its creator and its subject, shattered expectations. This fictional take on a controversial American figure’s rise and fall is told through modern music and a cast so diverse and talented that it truly turns the world upside down.

Image of cover of Hamilton Original Cast RecordingImage of cover of Hamilton Mix Tape Continue reading “The Show Must Go On Hoopla!”

David Bowie’s Movie Music

Today, January 8, 2021, would’ve been David Bowie’s 74th birthday. It’s been five years since we lost our patron saint of glam. Five years, what a surprise. He still turns up everywhere, that sound and vision shapeshifter, especially on movie soundtracks. When I’m watching a movie, and a Bowie song comes on, I feel like I’ve run into a long-lost friend, even if it’s performed by somebody else or it’s more Bowie-adjacent than pure Bowie.

Director Wes Anderson excels at selecting impeccable music for his films, as demonstrated by The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. About 10 minutes in, a character teases us with just a bit of “Ziggy Stardust,” playing an acoustic guitar, and singing in Portuguese, and we know we’re in for a treat. That’s Seu Jorge, who beautifully reinterprets several Bowie songs, giving us the pleasure of hearing two different versions of “Life on Mars?” during the film—Seu’s and Bowie’s. Continue reading “David Bowie’s Movie Music”