Kwanzaa Celebration at Indian River Library

 

Chesapeake Public Library is committed to educating and enriching people of all ages by providing free access to information, materials, technology and cultural opportunities, as our Mission Statement reads.  And now that the holiday season is already upon us,  Indian River Library is proud to be presenting a program rich with cultural and educational significance : the Fourth Annual Kwanzaa Celebration at Indian River Library, which will take place on December 27, 2016 in the large Meeting Room.  There will be something for everyone of all ages: an arts and crafts portion for families and children, which starts at 3:00 P.M and continues until 4:30 P.M.  Then, after a short break and an opportunity for fellowship, there will be an exciting and instructional musical performance by Atumpan and the Talking Drums, running from 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM.

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Cranked Up Really High!

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The year 1975 was a watershed year in music. Glam rock – which had so dominated both sides of the Atlantic in the early 70’s with the likes of David Bowie, Lou Reed, T Rex, Iggy & the Stooges, the Sweet, Slade, Bay City Rollers, Suzi Quatro, the New York Dolls, and countless others – began losing its grip and sliding from view, only to be replaced by something much more feral and ferocious still lurking in the primordial pool. On the American side, the Ramones had been around for a few months, but in England this was the year the Sex Pistols formed and started gigging. That may be considered punk’s flashpoint, but something was afoot in other parts of Britain, too. To the north, in Manchester, two other bands were taking shape. One was Buzzcocks, a legend in their own right and a story for another time. The other was a group of rock ‘n roll hooligans known as Slaughter & the Dogs. Continue reading “Cranked Up Really High!”

Contractual Obligation

Musical artists and their record labels have a long history of contention. Countless musicians have found themselves creatively and economically squeezed, anaconda-style, by the shackles placed on them by bad record deals and the boundless greed of the music industry. Of course the industry has always had the upper hand in these proceedings, holding artists hostage to their legally-bound recording contracts. This phenomenon has resulted in a plethora of albums created to break record deals or fulfill contractual obligations, allowing artists to put the mess behind them and move on to greener, more creatively-free pastures. These albums have ranged from the strange to the downright terrible. Who could forget Lou Reed’s Metal Machine Music, for example, with its layers upon layers of feedback and distortion that were about as calming as fingernails on a chalkboard, or Van Morrison recording an album with songs about ringworm and eating sandwiches. And then there was Marvin Gaye, who famously gave the finger to both his record company and his ex by fulfilling his contract with an album, Here, My Dear, that gave a blow-by-blow description of his marriage’s disintegration. Just as we instinctively stare at car wrecks on the interstate with morbid curiosity, the lure of these albums, with all of their blood and guts strung out for public display, is strong. Continue reading “Contractual Obligation”

Emitt Rhodes/”The American Dream”

The road along the history of pop, yellow-bricked and sparkling as it can be, is also littered with has-beens, the forgotten and promising young artists who should have made it big, but never did. Chance and choice can play big roles in how things turn out for anyone, but sometimes the very forces that should be working for us turn against us instead. And the relationship between the art world and the business world has often been a contentious one, to say the least. Such are the elements at work in the story of Emitt Rhodes, whose sad tale is one of the many cautionary signs posted along the pop expressway. Continue reading “Emitt Rhodes/”The American Dream””