Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Stop Now, Whats that Sound?

Starting Mon., Sept. 5, and continuing through Sat., Sept. 10, we will once again be playing music in the audio-visual area to help promote the upcoming Jazz Festival. As in the past, there will be a "mixed bag" that will include: swing, traditional jazz, smooth jazz, blues, and modern jazz.
Most of the items you will hear are from our collection - so if you hear something you like, ask one of the librarians to get it for you.

If you find that the music is distracting, please note that there are additional seating areas located near the Technology Center. If you like hearing music while you browse the audiovisual area, please let us know.

Once again, I urge you to take any opportunity to let us know what you are thinking about the audiovisual area? Do you have suggestions for items to add to our collection? Do you have programming ideas that you would like to see in your library? Use this blog to make your voice heard!

Monday, August 29, 2005

Jazz Festival: Reviewers Wanted

The 3rd Annual Long Beach Jazz Festival is almost upon us. If you haven't seen a schedule yet, there are plenty at the library - or you can check

Aerial Acoustics , a guitar duo, kick off the festival on Thursday, Sept. 8. Unfortunately, I will not be able to attend the opening session. I think this would be a great opportunity for some of you to get involved with this Blog. How about - you can write reviews of the shows at the library? Or for you nightbirds who believe that things don't start cooking until the last set -tell us about the shows at the local venues. Your thoughts about the performances, the venues, and the festival in general will help make the next one a better event.

Speaking of the Jazz Festival, I had the opportunity to do a "stop and chat" (a subtle reminder that Curb Your Enthusiasm will be starting a new season shortly)with Mike Barnett, the other day. Barnett is very excited about opening the Saturday lineup at the library. He, like so many of the performers have played in front of larger crowds in more prestigious venues. Yet playing in his hometown and being part of this local effort gives him great satisfaction. He is proud of the growth of this festival and feels that it will continue to generate "buzz" among musicians and music lovers.

An interesting blend of styles will be on display throughout the day. Barnett will lead his quartet through a set of traditional jazz and will be followed by Long Island's favorite blues band, The Kerry Kearney Band. Festival coordinator Steve Adelson will display his Chapman Stick virtuosity at 2:15 and promises some "special guests," as well. The Stephane Wrembel Trio will do their gypsy swing thing, before John Favicchia's Dharma All-Stars present their Latin/funk fusion sound to close the days events at the library.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

It Can Happen to Anyone

My post on Aug. 18 contained an inaccuracy. "Dita" was kind enough to point out that Juan Formell was not associated with Buena Vista Social Club. A check of the Internet Movie DataBase ( confirmed this. Despite my embarrassment, it felt good to know that someone was reading the blog. Apologies to all!
If you aren't familiar with IMDB, it is definitely worth looking at, especially if you love movies. Librarians refer to it all the time when asked cinema-related questions. Plot summaries, complete cast lists, links to reviews, and individual acting credits can be found for hundreds of films and actors.

This years video music awards can be seen on MTV this Sunday, August 28. The event, hosted by "Diddy" this year, will feature performances by Coldplay, Green Day, the Killers, and Kanye West.

Diddy, formerly known as P Diddy, Puff Daddy, Puffy Combs, Sean Puffy Combs, and just plain Sean Combs has set a new record for most name changes within a career. The old record was held by John Mellenkamp (John Cougar, John Cougar Mellenkamp, and Johnny Mellenkamp). Of course the most dramatic name change belongs to Prince, who traded in his name for a symbol and the phrase "artist formerly known as Prince." Only in the wonderful world of Rock and Roll!!!

Look for Sufjan Stevens' Come on Feel the Illinoise among the new CD arrivals in the next few weeks. This album is the second part of an extraordinarily ambitious project to record albums devoted to each of the 50 states. I've heard a few cuts that remind me a bit of Ben Folds and Rufus Wainwright. I hope to be able to listen to the rest real soon.
Also available soon is Honeycomb, the solo album from Frank Black, formerly of The Pixies, and Man Alive by Stephen Stills, who is joined by former partner Neil Young on a tune that sounds like it could have been lifted from the O Brother Where Art Thou soundtrack.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Some kind words

Finally some feedback. OK it wasn't unsolicited - I asked Mike Gladstone, whose reviews can be found at to check out this blog and comment on it. Here is what he wrote:

sorry that it took a few more days than I planned.
went to your site and was interested to see the latest
entry. I tried to respond but there was no apparent link
to button to hit so if you'd like to cut and paste the following
and count it as a response please feel free to do so.

I enjoyed your current event updates in relation to the library
facilities and Long Beach area concerts. Although I don't ever
get the LB Nights on the Boardwalk, it would be good to know
if I were in the area.

Thanks for the tip on the Jonathan Butler at Eisenhower Park
It was a good one and I'll give you more later if you want to hear it.
I got a report from the Ani DiFranco at Bald Hill concert and was
told that Toshi Reagon had an attitude problem without an apparent
fan base in the audience. She evidently was expecting a larger welcome
from the crowd.

Good to see a tie in with the death of Ibrahim Ferrer and available artists
in the Library collection and you're quite correct to tie in the Chavez Ravine
album with the Michelle Shocked. BTW, Juan-Carlos Formell, son of
Juan Formell of Buena Vista Social Club and Los Van Van is touring
to plug his new album Cemetaries & Desire, opened for Norah Jones
at The Living Room tuesday night.

I heard the new Van Morrison on which he does I'm Confessin' plus at
least one other late 40s type standard which was surprising.

Keep up the good work!

Thanks Mike, for those kind words.

In order to post comments on this blog you must register. This involves getting your email address to me (send me an email with it to or leave a note with your name and email address at the reference desk. Be sure to mention that you want to register to blog. You will then receive an email invitation from "" to join the lblibraryav blog. When you respond to that e-mail, you will be registered and ready to post comments to the blog.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

This and That...

This weeks issue of Rolling Stone reports that concert ticket prices, in the first half of 2005 have decreased for the first time since 1996. Before you start calling ticketron, however, you should know that the average ticket price for the top-grossing U2 concert is a whopping $96.94. OK, Bono and the boys are probably worth it - but can you believe an average ticket to Celine Dion was $136.70????

Also in this weeks RS, Steve Knopper talks about Jack, a new radio format that is gaining popularity around the country. In New York, Jack replaced the all oldies format at WCBS FM to the protests of loyal fans. To its credit, the new format offers a more varied selection and a much larger rotation. On the downside (maybe) most DJs have been replaced by recorded voices. An interesting local tidbit is that the format's founder is Bob Perry, a DJ from Island Park who uses the "on air" name - Cadillac Jack Garrett.

Fans of Buena Vista Social Club were saddened by the passing of Ibrahim Ferrer on Monday. Ferrer and a number of other Cuban musicians were experiencing a resurgence of popularity because of the movie and sound recording inspired by Ry Cooder's musical visit to Cuba. Ferrer had just finished working on a studio album that will be released in September.
You can find a number of CDs that feature Ferrer in the International Folk (Q) collection.
Buenos Hermanos Q FERR BH N02
Ibrahim Ferrer QFERR IF F22
Viva Cuba Libre Q CUBA VCL A00 (new)
Buena Vista Social Club Q BUEN BVS N82

Jazz is in the air! The banner is up and the 3rd Annual Long Beach Jazz Festival is right around the corner. A partial list of scheduled artists is available at the library. If you weren't able to make any of the shows in the past - you should make it a priority to attend this year. Some terrific Jazz and Blues performers will once again grace the library's stage. Returning acts include: The Mike Barnett Band, Ben Lacy, Steve Adelson, John Favicchia's Dharma All Stars, Afrodysia, and The Kerry Kearney Band. The Festival kicks off on Thursday, Sept. 8 and runs through Sunday Sept. 11. All performances at the library are free of charge - so plan on getting there early.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

We Have a Winner!!!

Thanks, Pete.

What a treat to have a "man on the beach" to review some of our local concerts. Pete just reaffirms the notion that there is lots of talent on our own little island. We should all get out there and support the arts on a local level.

Believe it or not, Pete's posting was the first on this blog from a library patron! See Michael to claim your prize.

It would be great to have more people posting to this blog. Let us know about concerts that you've seen, CDs that you've listened to, movies that you've watched, or library programs that have impressed you. This is an open forum, please use it. And yes, there are still prizes left.