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music

Don’t Forget the Bootleg Series

There’s no dearth of Bob Dylan’s music. Last year the septuagenarian nobel laureate singing  songwriting extraordinaire released yet another LP. That brings him to a total of 37 studio albums, 58 singles, 11 live “albums”—some of which, like the 32 disc The 1966 Live Recordings defy any conventional definition of the word album—another 31 compilation albums, and a whole mess of collaborations. And that’s not all, as any Dylanologist worth their salt will tell you, don’t forget TheBootleg Series. Read More..

Summer Soundtracks

Ah summer.

Grown-up summer has a lot going against it. The days of three month summer vacation are long gone, and the electricity bill is higher than ever. The humidity leaves your shirt sticking to your back the moment you step outside, and getting into your car will cook you alive. The scent of chlorine is everywhere. But despite it all, I love summertime.

Part of that is the soundtrack.

Every year, starting in the late spring and going right through August, I do a little time travelling. Old friends like Simon and Garfunkel, Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Sam Cooke, and, of course, the “Fab Four” keep me constant company. A couple of classic seventies acts make appearances as well.

Is it the weather? Is it the image of hippy dippy types frolicking in the sun? I don’t know. There’s nothing to stop me from listening to these fellas year round, but for whatever reason they inevitably take over around now. It just makes sense!

Am I alone here? I got a handful of LPL audiophiles to share their summer soundtracks to find out. Read More..

FIRE DOG

On Thursday, July 20  at 11 AM and 2 PM in the Auditorium, FIRE DOG will be performing at LPL!!!!! FIRE DOG is a powerful trio of musicians that skillfully harness youthful energy and sophisticated songwriting. Their songs are humorous, poignant, original, and entertaining. This summer FIRE DOG brings you new educational tunes from their album “Endangered Species Project. TWO FREE SHOWS! ALL AGES!

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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