Saturday, May 20, 2017

Nine Truths and a Lie

Today I'm playing along with the latest Facebook meme, by listing ten live concerts or documentaries you can watch on Qello Concerts - the library's newest online offering - except for the one that I am lying about. Can you guess which?



1. Bruce Springsteen Live in Barcelona, 2002. The first concert released in its entirety, with a "deliriously insane" crowd.


2. The Grateful Dead and Janis Joplin, Festival Express, 1970.  For five days, the bands and performers traveled by train across Canada, performing at each stop.

3. Joey and Rory Country Classics: songs and interviews with the couple, before Rory's tragic diagnosis.

4. Beatles Beat Box. A 15 minute film with press interviews and worldwide footage documenting the rise of Beatlemania.
  
5. Coachella: a documentary about the music festival, 1999-2005.


6. Queen at Rock Montreal, 1981. The only Queen concert ever recorded.

7. Rage Against the Machine's Battle of Mexico City, 1999. As Rage Against the Machine supported political causes in Mexico, this concert attended by thousands in Mexico City was especially electric.

8. Shostakovich's Symphony No. 5. Written after his earlier works displeased Stalin, did Symphony No. 5 with its rousing final march appease the Communist Party, or is it a secret protest?

9. Audioslave Live in Cuba, 2005. The first American rock band to perform in Cuba, in Havana's the Anti-Imperialist Plaza, whose frontman was the recently deceased Chris Cornell.

10. Prince's music album Love Symbol Album: you will need a special key on your keyboard to search for this one.

OK, obviously number 10 is false: Qello does not have any Prince videos yet. But it was difficult to find something Qello didn't have, as there are more than 1500 music videos/concerts/documentaries available in dozens of genres, from the 1920s to the 2010s, Duke Ellington to Tiesto.

To get to Qello (pronounced Kwel-oh), go to the library's website, bhplnj.org and click on All Things E, then scroll down to Qello Concerts.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Reading Ulysses by Bloomsday

Regular listeners of WNYC's Leonard Lopate Show on 93.9 FM will know that Leonard's book club is reading Ulysses, with the deadline of Bloomsday - June 16, the day on which the James Joyce novel takes place, 113 years ago. There's no way I will finish by this Bloomsday, but at least I've cracked open "the greatest novel never read" and gotten started.

In college when I was studying abroad, I visited Dublin with friends, one of whom had read Ulysses and dragged us across the city tracing Leopold Bloom's route. Now Ulysses is haunting me the way the stories of Flannery O'Connor niggled at the back of my mind after I sat in a rocking chair on her front porch, until I gave in and read A Good Man is Hard to Find. 


The Leonard Lopate radio show has had several Joyce scholars on to speak about Ulysses recently, and you can listen to them here.  Professor Michael Groden recommended listening to Ulysses; you won't get bogged down by points you don't understand because the audiobook will go on. BHPL has the complete audiobook on CD - all forty discs of it - along with a shorter audiobook that was adapted for BBC Radio. A dramatized reading of Ulysses that was originally broadcast on Irish radio is also available free online.


I am tackling the book, not the audio, but I'm taking it slowly.  After all, Ulysses was first published in installments over two years in the American journal The Little Review (March 1918 to September 1920). The publishers lost an obscenity trial after that and could not print the last four episodes of the novel. Read more about the banning of Ulysses in the 2014 book The Most Dangerous Book: The Battle for Ulysses.




Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Consumer Reports & People magazine on your iPad/PC

If I had to name the two most in-demand magazines here at the library, it would be Consumer Reports and People magazine.  In fact, we have to keep the latest issue of People behind the circulation desk to safeguard it from a persistent thief.  And we often get calls or visits from residents looking for Consumer Reports, whose independent ratings are the mainstay of residents shopping for a new appliance or device or car.







It's very easy to swipe through a digital version of People or Consumer Reports now, even if the library is closed. Simply download the Flipster app from the app store.

If you'd rather read the magazine on your computer, go to the library website and click All Things E (E for electronic), then click on Flipster.

Either way, you will need your library barcode number handy once you open up Flipster.