The Great American Read @ SPL

Have you heard about The Great American Read?  This eight-part series from PBS explores the power of reading through the viewpoints of America’s Top 100 books.  They examine writer’s perspectives, reader’s receptions, and what these books say about diversity our nation.  At the end of the series, the results from a nationwide survey will be announced of what book wins the title of America’s best-loved book. The aim of the campaign is to get the country reading and talking about books – something we do here every day at the Sewickley Public Library!

We thought it would be fun to have our community vote for their favorite book from the Top 100 list of titles from The Great American Read.  Find the voting station set up in the library’s lobby where you can vote for your favorite book! Will it be Little Women? The DaVinci Code? Gone Girl? War and Peace? Come help us decide by casting your ballot anytime throughout the summer.  Voting will be open through Saturday, August 4th.  We will announce the winner on Monday, August 6th!

You can find more information about The Great American Read on the PBS website.  Or jump straight to the list of all 100 titles.

Happy voting!

 

New Music CDs – Summer 2008

Click on Titles to order from the Library Catalog.
All Sides O.A.R., CD 781.66 OAR 2008
O.A.R. has come to stand for authentic Rock music that reflects the collective triumphs and tragedies we all experience is this world: Real people making real music that resounds deeply with their fans. The songs on this album showcase every facet of the band and it’s musical tastes which led to calling the album ‘All Sides’.

Classical Barbra Barbra Streisand, CD 782.42 STR 1976

One of Barbra Streisand’s more esoteric projects, Classical Barbra is an album of European art songs composed by Debussy, Handel, Schumann, and others and sung in French, German, Latin, Italian, and English. Streisand is in typically good voice, and while the album must have been a stretch for her usual audience and a surprise to the classical audience, she carries the performances off.

 

Crayons Donna Summer, CD 781.63 SUM 2008

Summer helped to define the 70’s pop music generation and Crayons has all the characteristics that made Donna an icon. Containing a potent mix of the up-tempo tunes and ballads, the new album showcases incredible new material that is written by Donna (who wrote or co-wrote the majority of her hits of the 70’s and 80’s). Working with Donna were renowned writers and producers including: Greg Kurstin (Lilly Allen, Pink), Danielle Brisebois (Natasha Bedingfield, New Radicals), JR Rotem (Sean Kingston, Rihanna), Evan Bogart (co-writer of Rihanna’s smash “SOS” and the son of legendary record executive, Casablanca Records founder and Donna’s mentor, Neil Bogart), and Lester Mendez (Shakira, Santana).

 

The Dark Knight Various Artists, CD 781.542 ZIM 2008

Soundtrack album for the 2008 Batman movie, The Dark Knight. Music composed by Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard. The Dark Knight is an American superhero film based on the DC Comics character Batman. The film is a sequel to 2005’s Batman Begins, which rebooted the Batman film series after an eight-year hiatus. Actor Heath Ledger stars as The Joker.The CD contains 14 tracks of powerful punches of Batman’s adventures of good vs evil.

Esperanza Esperanza Spalding, CD 781.63 SPA 2008

Esperanza, bassist/vocalist/composer Esperanza Spalding’s debut on Heads Up International, is set for worldwide release on May 20, 2008. Armed with uncanny instrumental chops, a siren voice that spans three languages, and composing and arranging skills that weave together the best elements of the old-school with the progressive, this 23-year-old has crafted a debut album that takes a completely fresh and refreshing approach to jazz by borrowing from the rich traditions of soul, pop, world music and so much more. Esperanza is joined in the studio by a crew of A-list session players, including flamenco guitar virtuoso Niño Josele, percussionist Jamey Haddad, drummer Horacio “El Negro” Hernández, saxophonist Donald Harrison and several other seasoned talents – all of whom collectively serve as further evidence of the kind of creative energy and magnetism that she radiates.

Forgiven Los Lonely Boys, CD 781.66 LON 2008

Forgiven is the third album from Grammy Award winning multi platinum artist Los Lonely Boys. This album was produced by Steve Jordan (John Mayer). Forgiven is the follow up to Sacred which debuted at #2 on the Billboard charts in July 2006. The album’s first single ‘Staying With Me’ premiered on May 5th Cinco De Mayo. Los Lonely Boys are a rock band from San Angelo, Texas. They play a style of music which they dub as Texican Rock n’ Roll, combining elements of Rock’N’Roll, Blues, Soul, Country, and Tejano.

 

Greatest Hits: Every Mile a Memory Dierks Bentley 2003-2008, CD 781.642 BEN 2008

Five years, five #1 hits, six Grammy nominations, and one CMA Horizon Award later, Platinum-selling country superstar Dierks Bentley brings you a collection of his fan’s favorites on Greatest Hits/Every Mile A Memory 2003-2008. The compilation features ten of Dierks’ most recognizable hits, two brand new songs, and five live songs selected exclusively by his fans! Dierks has given his loyal fans creative control of this project, allowing them to handpick the content of the album, cover art, and the album title. Participating fans will then have their names listed in the liner notes of the project as executive producers. Dierk says, ‘I can’t think of a better way to get my fans involved than to have them actually act as executive producers of this record’.

Joshua Tree U2, CD 781.66 U2 1987

Having nearly exhausted their capacity for pop-song politics on War and The Unforgettable Fire, U2 turned toward themes of personal identity and complex relationships on The Joshua Tree. Not that the group was willing to come down off the barricades entirely: “Mothers of the Disappeared” and “Bullet the Blue Sky” turned a jaundiced eye toward Central America and the United States’ role there. But the predominant mood here is one of self-discovery and the hunger for something more on tracks like the pulsating “Where the Streets Have No Name” and the gospel-ish “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.” The album’s masterstroke, however, is “With or Without You,” a nasty love song dressed up as an ode of devotion and care. It ranks with the Police’s “Every Breath You Take” as the most misread smash hit of the ’80s.

Julianne Hough Julianne Hough, CD 781.642 HOU 2008

Julianne Hough is already known to millions of fans as the two-time professional dance champion on ABC-TV’s top-rated Dancing with the Stars (DWTS). The show, which pairs professional dancers with music, sports, film and television celebrities, has become a cultural phenomenon and Julianne its top star. Julianne’s debut album is a compelling collection of songs about the joys and challenges of everyday life delivered by an evocative young voice.

 

Lay It Down Al Green, CD 781.643 GRE 2008

Lay It Down with 11 tracks by Al Green. Friends laying it down with Al Green are Anthony Hamilton on the opening album title track and on ‘You’ve Got the Love I Need’. Corinne Bailey Rae sings with Al on ‘Take Your Time’ and John Legend joins in on ‘Stay With Me (By The Sea)’.

 

Life, Death, Love & Freedom John Mellencamp, CD 781.66 MEL 2008

The man who has been called `the poet laureate of the interstate’ has reached deep into his soul, bringing forth an album of unparalleled maturity powered by a piercing musical vision. Produced by T Bone Burnett (“O’ Brother Where Art Thou,” Robert Plant, Allison Krauss)

Love on the Inside Sugarland, CD 781.642 SUG 2008

Mercury Nashville’s super duo Sugarland will release their third studio album entitled, Love On The Inside, July 29. Sugarland’s Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush co-wrote all tracks and have teamed up with Byron Gallimore again to produce.

 

Loverly Cassandra Wilson, CD 781.65 WIL 2008

Long considered one of the finest singers in the jazz world, Cassandra Wilson’s new album is a tour de force of emotion, technique, interpretation and style as she brings her considerable powers to this collection of classic songs. Once again she has gathered a band of shining talent, featuring the brilliant Jason Moran on Piano with guitarist Marvin Sewell and Lonnie Plaxico on bass – a band that is so good together that Cassandra was happy to sit in the producer’s chair and let the songs speak for themselves. Featuring incredible interpretations of the classics like Black Orpheus, Caravan, and The Very Thought of You, Cassandra is one of the few singers that can genuinely re-invent a song that we all think we know, such as Wouldn’t It Be Loverly and turn it breathe new emotional life into it. However, the standout track has to be the stunning funky, soulful, brooding St. James Infirmary which has become a staple of her live set.

Modern Guilt Beck, 781.63 BEC 2008

The new album contains 10 new songs, and with the exception of last year’s Grammy-nominated, digital-only single “Timebomb”, Modern Guilt is the first new material Beck has written since the prolific stretch that produced 2005’s platinum Guero and 2006’s universally acclaimed The Information. Modern Guilt is a tightly assembled group of songs that range in lyrical tone from introspection and social commentary to off the cuff wordplay and lighthearted humor. Musically, the album’s ten tracks vacillate between economy and experimentation, hybrid and pop classicism, while consistently manifesting Beck and Danger Mouse’s shared interest in psych-rock, folk, electronic minimalism and orchestration.

Pearl Janis Joplin, 781.66 JOP 1999

Janis Joplin made the blues her own. Though she didn’t live to finish this album before her 1970 death from a heroin overdose, her intense passion and frantic cries of pain and ecstasy were enough to make Pearl one of the most memorable recordings of her era. Her band does fill up some vinyl with the instrumental “Buried Alive in the Blues,” but it’s the vocals that make this album worth hearing these many decades later. Listen to the tortured heartbreak of “Cry Baby” or the hopeful declarations of Kris Kristofferson’s “Me & Bobby McGee” and understand why Joplin remains an essential, if tragic, figure in pop. This reissue of Joplin’s final album includes four live bonus tracks recorded during the 1970 Canadian Festival Express Tour.

 

Stone of Sisyphus (XXXII) Chicago, 781.66 CHI 2008

Formed in its namesake city in 1967, Chicago is the first American band ever to propel albums into Billboard®’s pop Top 40 for five consecutive decades, and is among the most successfully charting U.S.-grown acts of all time. Now, another page in the band’s history is revealed with the long-awaited release of Stone Of Sisyphus, the once shelved album that has attained legendary status among fans and critics alike. Recorded in 1993 and originally intended as Chicago XXII, the disc marked a return to the genre-transcending, adventurous fusion of sounds that defined the group’s 1970s-era heyday. Three tracks from it surfaced on Rhino’s 2003 Chicago box, but the album itself is previously unissued—now, this momentous release also features four incredibly rare bonus tracks.

Taylor Swift Taylor Swift, 781.642 SWI 2008

Three years ago, a 13-year old Taylor Swift set out to be a star and moved from Reading, Pennsylvania, to Nashville. By 14, she had a publishing deal, and by 15, a recording contract. In these days of Bianca Ryan (and before her, Tanya Tucker and LeAnn Rimes), many are called, but few are chosen. Swift, it appears, is one of the chosen ones. Her vocal talent is modest, though sweetly affecting, her style seemingly influenced by the radio hits of early Sheryl Crow and Michelle Branch, and perhaps Cyndi Thomson. And at times, her youthfulness shows–she encoded messages in the lyrics of her CD booklet, starting with the name of the boy who cheated on her from “Should’ve Said No” (the album’s strongest offering). But in writing or co-writing all 11 songs on this debut, Swift demonstrates remarkable maturity, particularly in crafting a hooky, radio-ready chorus.

Temptation: Music from the Showtime Series Californication Various Artists, 781.546 TEM 2007

Album contains twenty tracks of music from Californication, the Showtime 12-part series production created by Tom Kapinos and starring David Duchovny as Hank Moody, a troubled novelist whose move to LA and problems with his job complicate the relationships with his ex-girlfriend Karen (Natascha McElhone) and daughter Becca (Madeleine Martin).Songs featured are from The Rolling Stones, Peeping Tom, My Morning Jacket and The Doors plus several songs from the series.

 

25th Anniversary of Thriller Michael Jackson, 781.63 JAC 2008

The Biggest Album Ever just got bigger. The 25th Anniversary Edition of Thriller celebrates this ground-breaking album with 7 bonus tracks, six of which are previously unreleased. The new tracks include exclusive remixes from Kanye West, Fergie, will.i.am and Akon along with a previously unreleased track from the Thriller sessions, “For All Time,” newly mixed and mastered by Michael Jackson. Also included is a BONUS DVD with new, digitally restored versions of the three videos from the album as well as the Michael Jackson’s groundbreaking performance of “Billie Jean” on the “Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever” television special.

Where the Light Is John Mayer, 781.66 MAY 2008

Two CD set. This album captures the multi-Grammy Award winning, platinum selling singer and songwriter in the element where fans love him the most – Live on stage! The special concert includes three sets: an acoustic performance, a rare set with John Mayer Trio (with Steve Jordan and Pino Palladino), as well as a set featuring Mayer’s full band, all recorded during the night of December 8, 2007 at the Nokia Theater in LA. This album features the quintessential performer as an acoustic songwriter, electric guitar slinger, bluesman and vocalist. Highlights include many of Mayer’s biggest hits, ‘Waiting On The World To Change’ new interpretations of cover songs, ‘Free Fallen’ and a previously unreleased Mayer gem ‘In Your Atmosphere’.

Wow Hits 2008 Various Artists, 781.7 WOW 2007

The most in-demand record of the year is back WOW Hits 2008, A 2 CD set of the year’s top Christian artists and songs. For over 10 years now the Christian music industry has partnered together to bring fans the most impressive collection of hits available anywhere! WOW Hits 2008 is also a perfect gift for those new to the experience of Christian music.