Tuesday, June 16, 2020

For the Love of Music: Friendswood Library's New Music Collection

Over the past year the Friendswood Library has been making changes with the music lover in mind, creating a New Music section with more contemporary music and some of the best music in eleven different genres.  We’ve added vinyl records for the old school enthusiasts and a new listening station for both vinyl and cd listening. 
Along with our regular collection of cds, our New Music collection currently has 534 cds and vinyl records to browse and check out. 

To help us kick off this New Music promotion, feel free to send us some of your favorite summer album titles to share on our From the Reference Desk blog.  Include your name and your list (not more than 8) of favorite summer records to share with other patrons.  We will include links to these titles or similar titles found in our collection.  

Email your list to mriley@friendswood.com including the words Summer Music in the subject heading.

Check out my list here.

Pioneers of Alternative Rock, this is R.E.M.’s self-described summer record with All the Way to Reno and Imitation of Life.

Go here for all R.E.M titles in the library collection.

Aimee Mann’s universally acclaimed third album Bachelor No. 2 with wonderfully catchy melodies in songs like Red Vines or How Am I Different.
Go here for all Aimee Mann titles in the library collection.

Considered one of the best albums of 2008 and an “instant classic” according to Mojo magazine, Fleet Foxes self-titled debut is a great summer chill-out album with mesmerizing folk harmonies.  The album sounds a little like the BeachBoys if they had grown up in the mountains and streams of California instead of on its coastline.
Go here for all Fleet Foxes titles in the library collection.

Two Jazz legends together. Sublime.
Go here for all Thelonious Monk titles in the library collection.
Go here for all John Coltrane titles in the library collection.

Big Thief singer Adrianne Lenker can sound like a warm summer breeze one moment, and a hurricane force wind the next.  Her band Big Thief was nominated for a Grammy for Best Alternative Band in 2020.  Very well deserved!
Go here for all Big Thief titles in the library collection.

With such a talented family; dad Loudon, mother Kate McGarrigle, and sister Martha, Rufus Wainwright has carved out an amazing space all his own.  With 9 studio albums and a tenth on the way, his third album, Want One, is still my favorite. David Bowie praised the song "Dinner at Eight" as "the best" father/son song he knew, calling Rufus "simply one of the great writers”.
Go here for all Rufus Wainwright titles in the library collection.

Recently inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Goth pop band the Cure tried their hardest to smile with this ninth studio album.  Songs like Doing the Unstuck and Friday I’m In Love make a nice summer soundscape.
Go here for all Cure titles in the library collection.

Five albums in, Elliot Smith was still the sound of sadness, but Figure 8 makes sadness sound so very beautiful with lush Beatlesque arrangements.  Figure 8 has made many greatest albums lists.
Go here for all Elliot Smith albums in the library collection.

It’s near impossible to choose a favorite Andrew Bird album so I’m going with his latest effort, and by the album title I can’t be too wrong, “My Finest Work Yet”.  I’m not positive that Bird is his real name because it is just too fitting.  He is a classically trained musician and violinist and the most amazing whistler I’ve ever heard.  He weaves these two distinct sounds throughout his intelligent word play to create songs unlike anything else you will hear in the world of popular music.  Give it try if you haven’t already.
Go here for Andrew Bird albums in the library collection.

Josh Tillman, better known as Father John Misty, is not, by his own admission, an easy listening experience.  His songs, while always beautifully crafted and sung, explore the dark zones of his own psyche in songs such as Hangout at the Gallows and God’s Favorite Customer. He’s an immensely talented songwriter who has shared his talent in contributions to the albums of artists such as Beyonce, LadyGaga, and PostMalone.  If you’re ready to wallow a bit, it’s easy to get lost in songs such as Please Don’t Die and God’s Favorite Customer.
Go here for Father John Misty titles in the library collection.

Monday, April 27, 2020

National Poetry Month at FPL

Here at FPL, we take National Poetry Month (playfully) SERIOUSLY.  In the midst of our collective self-quarantine, it is good to take a step back and ponder the more universal and permanent things in life.  While poems usually have intimate details that summon a particular time and place, there are often universal themes that can be appreciated within any epoch.

We hope you have found time to read some poetry this month or even write some of your own.

Please enjoy these readings by Matthew Riley (Library Director) and Dru Watkins (Library Associate).

 "When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer" by Walt Whitman (read by Matthew Riley)

"A Coat" by William Butler Yeats (read by Dru Watkins)

Two poems by Tomas Tranströmer (read by Matthew Riley)

"The Lake Isle of Innisfree" by William Butler Yeats (read by Dru Watkins)

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Abby Martin Exhibit this June at FPL

Escape the summer heat and check out the work of Abby Martin at the Friendswood Public Library!

Abby's watercolors of nature and human anatomy are playfully yet profoundly juxtaposed.  Fruits and Vegetables feed our organs while these delightful illustrations feed our whimsy and wonder.

"I'm a self taught painter and have been painting for 4 years.  I'm a mom of five, an avid reader, and a student at Alvin Community College. It was during my Anatomy and Physiology class that I started using art to help me study. I painted the skulls for a project and then couldn't help myself and just kept going."

"I lived 22 years in Alaska and you can find Alaska in my paintings- the forget-me-not flowers around the magic heart, the wild Alaska roses by the hip and the Black Capped Chickadee (a bird that stays all winter and cheers everyone up)."
"The body is fascinating...it is so complex. As I studied I kept thinking I'd found my favorite thing, but then we'd learn something new and I realized the whole body is miraculous and amazing. It's as if our very bodies tell us we are a miracle, that we are important."
Be sure to check out the rest of Abby's works this June at FPL!

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Judi Coffey Exhibit at Friendswood Public Library

The Friendswood Public Library is proud to host an exhibition of Judi Coffey's work. If you are a fan of beautiful abstract art (or representational art that leans toward the abstract), visit the community room and peruse her lively and inspiring works.  

Judi is past president of the Watercolor Art Society-Houston and ISEA (The International Society of Experimental Artists). She is also a member of the Western Federation of Watercolor Society, Society of Layerists in Multi-Media, and the Rocky Mountain National Honor Society. Her works have been discussed or printed in The Houston Chronicle, American Artist Magazine, The West Wind Review, and many other outlets. She works in a variety of mediums including painting, watercolor, and collage.

Judi has a keen eye for combining vibrant colors with recognizable symbols and she frequently blurs the boundary between abstraction and representation. Her work conveys a sense of movement that is reminiscent of abstract expressionism but is more immediate and accessible than typical avant-garde painting.

"Painting abstract is my stream of consciousness. My collage works reflect my mood and my choice of materials. I love teaching workshops. The artists, using an unplanned approach, will stretch their imagination, leave their comfort zone, and find a uniqueness that is theirs alone."

"I am always trying to find new and exciting ways to present my works. Torn and cut pieces of a painting can become a whole new series."

"Some of the most beautiful things cannot be seen, they must be felt with the heart. I have always been a dreamer, a perfect way to describe my art."

"Color and flair for the unconventional play a big part in my paintings. Collage and a splash of acrylic paint create spontaneous designs, the perfect medium for my paintings."

If you are interested in participating one of Judi's workshops, email her at judiart@juno.com

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Friendswood Library Drum in the Sun

On March 23rd, the Friendswood Library hosted its first Drum in the Sun drum circle.  For about an hour, children and adult patrons alike expressed themselves through rhythm.  Those who felt inspired improvised freely over the established beat.  Drum circles are a great way to bond with people from all walks of life. Drum circles have a host of health benefits including stress relief, minimized social anxiety, and greatly enhanced well-being. Drum circles are also beneficial for  Parkinson's Disease, The Immune System, and Depression.

Drum in the Sun is open to everybody including absolute beginners.  Feel free to bring any hand percussion, shakers, and triangles.  Homemade shakers are welcome as well.  Fill a soda bottle or a plastic Easter egg with dry rice, seal it up, and shake away!  Some percussion will be provided.  Please do not bring a snare drum or drum set. 

Join us on Friday April 26th at 4:30pm for our next Drum in the Sun session!!