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All the Hoopla about the Holidays!

8 Dec

I find Hoopla is my go to for fun holiday reads, movies and more.  I often recommend it to patrons for holidays from Hanukkah to Kwanzaa to Lunar New Year since Hoopla has lots of enjoyable holiday books.  Since my family celebrates Christmas, I thought I’d look at a few of the things I’ve been checking out this holiday season.

The Twelve Jays of Christmas
by Donna Andrews
Donna Andrew’s avian themed mysteries are always a hoot.  This year I’m listening to her latest audio book of The Twelve Jays of Christmas narrated by Bernadette Dunne who brings Meg Langslow, a blacksmith and mom of twins, and her extended family of quirky characters to life.  In this book, Meg must juggle a troublesome wildlife artist, Roderick Castlemayne, and her brother Rob’s surprise elopement plans along with the usual holiday festivities.  Many of Andrews other Meg Langslow mysteries are also available including several holiday themed audiobooks. You can read my blog post about her previous novel, Murder Most Fowl.

Inside Lyndey’s Kitchen:  Celebrating Christmas
If you are always looking for new holiday dishes to wow your friends and family like I am, then you may enjoy Inside Lyndey’s Kitchen: Celebrating Christmas.  They star Australian cooking host, Lyndey Milan. Broken down into three half hour episodes, she looks at classic, contemporary, and “lazy” dishes you can prepare.  On my must try list are her appetizers featuring duck breast with sour cherries and white gazpacho with scallops.  Also beautiful looking and delicious sounding is a raspberry terrine for dessert.  My favorite food, mushrooms, are featured in a Christmas morning mushroom custard.  Several other of Lyndey’s baking and travel series are also available from Hoopla.  As mentioned in a previous post our library patrons also have access to a variety of cooking and crafting videos from Craftsy that feature everything from roasting to bread making.

Midwinter Graces
by Tori Amos

I can remember as a freshman in college having to get up at 4 AM to stand in line for tickets for a Tori Amos concert.  I may not be willing to do that anymore, but she has always remained a favorite.  In Midwinter Graces, Tori puts her own unique spin on classic carols with her versions of Star of Wonder, Coventry Carol, and Emmanuel.  Plus enjoyable are her lush original songs like A Silent Night with You.  You can also borrow Tori’s latest Ocean to Ocean from Hoopla.  Also check out my previous blog post on eclectic holiday albums you can enjoy.

What favorite holiday items have you checked out from Hoopla for the upcoming winter holidays that you celebrate?

And don’t forget you also can check out a variety of holiday related items from our other ebook and streaming media services including Kanopy and Freegal!

Written by:
Aimee Harris
Information and Digital Services

Celebrate World Goth Day with Music from Sonsombre, SYZYGYX, Astari Nite, and Aesthetic Perfection!

19 May

One of the things that helped me get through the pandemic was checking out Goth DJ streams on Twitch. I loved seeing how people from all over the world would get together for 2 day marathons and it was a great opportunity to see what others around the world were enjoying. I’m mourning the recent loss of local venues like the Pyramid Club, where I got to see great performances over the years from bands like Black Tape for a Blue Girl and Ayria, but I’m hopeful that there will be a resurgence for the scene in the upcoming years.

World Goth Day is May 22. It was started back in 2009 as a way to celebrate the Gothic subculture’s music, clothing, and art. Though of course I’m going to be celebrating listening to classics like music from Siouxsie and the Banshees, Sisters of Mercy, and Bauhaus, I thought for this post it would be good also to look at the current state of Goth in our nation with some popular US bands currently creating music with a gothic aesthetic.

Sonsombre
Northern Virginia based Sonsombre was founded by Brandon Pybus, who had previously been involved mostly in the metal scene. The band puts a modern take on the classic goth rock sound of bands like The Wake and Rosetta Stone. You can stream songs from their album One Thousand Graves from Freegal. If you are a Sisters of Mercy fan then this is a band to hear.

S Y Z Y G Y X
Though tricky to say and trickier to spell SYZYGYX is a Washington DC dark wave duo of Luna Blanc and Josh Clark that you should definitely check out. Their name derives from Syzygy a term for the alignment of celestial objects with an added X for the unknown. They describe their music as “bleak post apocalyptic soundscapes fused with retro punk biting synth lines and minor scale hooks.” Stream songs from their EP Hex’n Equinox from Freegal.

Astari Nite
The Miami based band Astari Nite brings a mix of goth and post-punk to delight your nights; they are especially well known for their excellent live shows. Of course if you don’t want to wait to catch them on tour, you can stream music from their album Midnight Conversations from Freegal. One of my favorites is their cover of Voices Carry.

Aesthetic Perfection
One of my current favorites, Aesthetic Perfection is the dark synthwave project of Daniel Graves. You can stream albums including Blood Spills Not Far From The Wound, All Beauty Destroyed, and Til’ Death from Hoopla. My favorite song is the popular single, Antibody. I was lucky enough to get to catch a live performance a few years ago and it was great high energy show.

What is your favorite music to stream? Share it in our comments!

Written by:
Aimee Harris
Head of Information and Digital Services

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