Left on the Shelf

Nothing left on that DVD shelf at your local branch library?  You might want to take a closer look.

I decided to try an experiment in serendipity with the DVD shelves at the branch where I work.  I would select a movie to watch from what was left on the shelf, and, to make things a little more interesting, I decided to do this right at closing time.

“Not possible!” you might say if you have ever run in to your library at the end of the day in hopes of finding something, anything, to entertain on a quiet evening.  But this time serendipity won out and I came up with The Passenger (1975), directed by Michelangelo Antonioni of Blow Up fame.

A while back I went on a little Antonioni jag but never saw The Passenger.  So, I took it home with me and was pleased to find myself experiencing Jack Nicholson and Maria Schneider (Last Tango in Paris) being all existential and egocentric inside of amazing Gaudi buildings in Spain! There’s the whole gun smuggling, assumed identity thing going on too.  Nicholson’s 70’s swagger next to Schneider’s languid intensity captured Continue reading “Left on the Shelf”

Read & Listen: White Bicycles

The first in an occasional series in which we pair reviews of music criticism/history books with a list of accompanying albums for your reading and listening pleasure.

READ: Walking off the baseball field of his Connecticut prep school one evening in the late 1950s, Joe Boyd heard the strains of the most recent Fats Domino single and was struck by the sudden realization that he wanted to be a record producer. This epiphany led Boyd down a long and twisting career path in which he discovered some of the most gifted musicians of the 1960s and helped create ground-breaking music that still enthralls listeners today. In White Bicycles: Making Music in the 1960s, Boyd gives a clear-eyed and captivating account of his experiences making music in this tumultuous decade on both sides of the Atlantic. Want to know what really happened when Dylan went electric at Newport in 1965? Or experience the sounds, smells & sights of swinging psychedelic London at its peak in 1967? Perhaps you’re curious about what it was like that day in the studio when Richard Thompson met Nick Drake. Read this book and find the answers to these questions, plus the story of the Blues & Gospel Caravan’s triumphant tour of Europe in 1964, the Incredible String Band’s adventures in Scientology, Pink Floyd’s rapid ascent from the London underground to the pop Continue reading “Read & Listen: White Bicycles”

TV, TiVo or DVD?

Take your pick — which couch potato format would you prefer? After sampling all three formats, I choose TV on DVD for my maximum viewing pleasure.

The obvious virtues pertain — no commercial breaks, no need to skip activities that may occur and interfere with a television program and (for an addling brain) the ability to keep the script sequential and fresh in one’s memory. Seattle Public Library owns a number of award-winning television series on DVD — I have been able to discover and delve into Freaks and Geeks, The Gilmore Girls (after enough hours of the show I came to believe Stars Hollow was my real life and my real life was a television show), Grey’s Anatomy, 30 Rock, Weeds, Masterpiece Theatre, House of Eliott and My So-Called Life to name a few…

It’s easy to reserve DVDs. Here’s a handy short video that shows a simple trick that will put you in DVD heaven.

~ Susan F.

On the hunt for the latest CD by your favorite band?

Are you a visual learner? Hoping to find that hot new movie or CD at Seattle Public Library but not sure how to search the catalog? We are experimenting – Let’s us know what you think. Just click to start the video. And then start power searching the SPL Catalog .