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All-ages Dinner + A Movie: LEGO Batman

Join us on Friday, June 23 from 7:30-11 PM for hot dogs, and smoothies, and crepes, oh my!

Downtown Lawrence Inc. and Lawrence Public Library invite you to eat some grub, listen to some music, and watch a movie. Grab dinner from local vendors at 7:30, settle in for some music from Joel Bonner and the Boot Stompers, then at 9, we’ll push play!


Watch the trailer!

Dreaming the Beatles

Rob Sheffield, a music columnist with twenty years experience who currently writes for Rolling Stone magazine has recently released a new book: Dreaming the Beatles. Roughly ten years ago, I read Sheffield’s first book, Love is a Mix Tape: Life and Loss, One Song at a Time, a heart wrenching autobiographical memoir concerning his late wife and their shared passion for music via the art of the mix tape.

And in 2016, Sheffield produced another emotional collection, On Bowie, a homage to David Bowie’s legacy as told through fan’s memories, as well as his own. It was a read that left me as gutted as Bowie’s final album, Blackstar, due to the artist’s passing months prior. Now, if there is one thing that Rob Sheffield excels at, it’s portraying the visceral connection between music fans and the musicians they admire, so when I picked up Dreaming the Beatles I knew it was my ticket to ride. Read More..

780s Series Presents Legendary Songwriter Jimmy Webb

We’re so excited to announce that songwriter Jimmy Webb is the library’s 780s Series music storyteller for 2017.

Webb is a songwriting legend.

Rolling Stone has called him one of the 50 greatest songwriters of all time and he’s worked with music megastars like Donna Summer, Glen Campbell, Richard Harris, The Fifth Dimension, and Art Garfunkel. He also wrote the soundtrack for The Last Unicorn.

Webb will take the Liberty Hall stage on Wednesday, July 19 at 7 PM to share stories and songs from his 50+ year music career. Named for the Dewey Decimal range for music, the 780s Series brings prominent music storytellers to Lawrence to share the stories behind their music. Previous guests have included Booker T. Jones (2015) and Kim Gordon (2016).

Made possible by the Harrison Family Fund of the Douglas County Community Foundation.

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Image courtesy of the artist.

SOUND + VISION Studio’s Intro to Logic Pro

If you like GarageBand, then you’ll love the power and creativity of its cool big brother, Logic Pro. On Friday, May 19 from 5-6 PM, we’re meeting up in the SOUND + VISION Studio to learn the ins and outs of our newest music production software, Apple’s Logic Pro X.

From writing a song from scratch all the way to mixing it down for a worldwide release, Logic Pro gives you all the tools you need to create, edit, and deliver your best music. We’ll show you how it works.

Don’t Drive Your Jet Ski in the Dark: The Wisdom of DJ Khaled

If you listen to much Top 40 radio, you’re already familiar with DJ Khaled; even if you can’t quite connect his name to a particular song or face, there’s likely some liminal awareness. Just close your eyes and think of the times a moment of transition static has been torn through with the bombastic roar of “DEE JAY KHA-LED” just as a beat starts playing. Read More..

Albums that Influenced Me as a Teen

By now, you’re probably aware of the recent Facebook trend of sharing a list of 10 albums that influenced your teenage years. Perhaps you even made one yourself.

While many see it as a way to reflect on the music that shaped your youth in a meaningful way, others have viewed it as a self-absorbed opportunity to present a revisionist version of one’s past. I’ll take it as an opportunity to promote the library’s CD and digital music collection! Read More..

New Weekly Storytime with Singing Sarah!

Monday nights just got more fun! Come explore movement, play, and the joy of active music-making with Singing Sarah, board-certified music therapist, at our NEW weekly storytime! Meet up from 6:30–7 PM in the Readers’ Theater.

ABOUT SARAH: Sarah Niileksela is a board-certified music therapist and owner of Sunflower Music Therapy, a private practice serving Lawrence and the surrounding areas.

She graduated from KU in 2003 and has worked as a music therapist with a variety of populations, specializing in early childhood music, using music to teach literacy skills, and working one-on-one with children with special needs. Sarah hopes her enthusiastic use of music, movement, and play will foster a life-long love of music and reading in children as well as help them grow and develop skills through the joy of active music-making.

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Angélique Kidjo, a Joyful & Empowering Advocate

Charismatic singer-songwriter and human rights advocate Angélique Kidjo is an energetic powerhouse. She creates world-renowned eclectic, genre-complex music and works diligently to empower others.

She has championed empowerment as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador since 2002. In 2007 she co-founded the Batonga Foundation, which supports girls’ education in Africa and continues the legacy of advocacy of Kidjo’s own family.

I’m currently reading her book, Spirit rising: My Life, My Music, released in 2014. This memoir is full of inspiration, heartfelt revelry, and the humor of a fascinating, talented activist. She points out we are all descended from Africa and can join together to make positive changes where needed, but we also need to recognize that the African continent is diverse and not universally impoverished. Her words resonate, acting as a powerful salve-therapy against xenophobia. Read More..

Discography Dilemmas

I never listened to Bob Dylan growing up. I blame it on my parents. It’s not like they banned him from the house. They just weren’t Dylan fans.

In those pre-Napster, pre- job days, it was either the radio or my parents’ music collection: Fleetwood Mac’s Greatest Hits, Madonna’s Immaculate Collection, Supertramp’s Breakfast in America. There was plenty of the Monkees (my mom never grew out of her girlhood crush on Davy Jones), but not much of the Beatles, and Dylan just wasn’t on the radar. Read More..

Modular Synthesis 101

You’ve heard a lot about our fab new synthesizer, but do you know how to use it?

Class is in session with studio manager Ed Rose on Friday, May 13 from 5-6 PM in the Sound+Vision Studio. See who’s going!

We’ll learn the basics of modular synthesis—what the individual modules do, how to connect them, and how to construct basic patches.