Tag Archives: concerts

Our Newest Streaming Resource Medici.TV is an Absolute Dream for Classical Music, Opera, and Ballet Fans!

29 Jan

This month, we just debuted our newest streaming resource Medici.TV for our Hoboken resident card holders.  Medici.TV is the world’s leading classical music channel, which includes over 1,800 programs (3,000 original works), including: concerts and archived historical concerts; operas; ballets; documentaries, artist portraits and educational programs; and master classes.  The New York Times has said Medici.TV is “The closest thing to a classical Netflix.”

As a working mom it feels impossible sometimes to get out to see the multitude of ballets, concerts and operas that are going on just across the river so I am particularly excited by the fact that Medici. TV has more than 100 live events are broadcast each year, in partnership with the world’s most prestigious venues, opera houses, festivals and competitions.  So if like me life is keeping you from getting into the city to see live performances, you don’t have to miss out, just tune in to Medici.TV.  If you can’t go to Carnegie Hall, have Carnegie Hall come to you!

I’ve just started exploring all the amazing things that Medici.TV has to offer.  I’m a huge Alice in Wonderland fan so one of the first things I chose to stream was the world premiere of Unsuk Chin’s Alice in Wonderland.  The opera composed by Unsuk Chin and commissioned by conductor Kent Nagano, features a libretto by David Henry Hwang and Chin.

unsuk-chin-alice-in-wonderland-nationaltheater-munchen

image from Medici.TV

The opera is just as unique as Lewis Carroll’s original work and puts a fresh spin on the source material.  Despite musically referencing classical composers like Handel, Puccini, and Stravinsky it also includes unusual instruments like musical saws, accordions, and a harmonica.  This was Korean born Chin’s first opera.

Also available for Wonderland fans is Being Alice, a documentary which records Lauren Cuthbertson, who performed Alice in the Royal Ballet’s production of Christopher Wheeldon’s adaptation.  Being Alice follows her as she rehearses and then performs through the season’s final performance.  I really enjoy that with Medici.TV we don’t just get to see performances, but also get insight into what goes on behind them.  If you liked the book Mozart in the Jungle, here’s your chance to get more behind the scene peaks at the actual world of classical music and dance.

Have you streamed anything on Medici.TV?  Let us know what you have enjoyed in the comments!

Written by:
Aimee Harris
Head of Reference

Inspired By: The Dixie Chicks

22 Jun

Last week I saw the Dixie Chicks at Madison Square Garden. This was a concert I have been waiting to see for more than a decade!

The show was excellent and I was thrilled to hear and sing along to my favorite Dixie Chicks songs. I left the show humming “Cowboy Take Me Away”, and carrying a souvenir tote bag printed with a line from the song “Not Ready To Make Nice”.

I also left inspired to write about my favorite tracks from the Dixie Chicks’ catalog, as well as some other related music inspired by the concert.

Fly

How did a girl born and raised in Hudson County where “Wide Open Spaces” are a foreign concept come to love the Dixie Chicks? MTV, of course! The year was 1999 and I saw the music video for “Goodbye Earl” from the Chicks’ sophomore album Fly (available on CD and streaming in Freegal).

fly

Mary Ann and Wanda getting the ultimate revenge on the Wanda’s abusive* ex-husband Earl appealed to me as a baby feminist.

You can watch the video on YouTube of course and Freegal, sans commercials. Dear reader, please don’t try anything from the video at home–poisoning people is never a good idea.

Some other choice tracks from Fly:

  • “Cowboy Take Me Away”
  • “Cold Day In July”
  • “Hole In My Head”
  • “Sin Wagon”
  • “If I Fall You’re Going Down With Me”–my very favorite. I had hoped to hear this at the concert, but sadly it wasn’t on the set list. 😦

Wide Open Spaces

wide-open-spaces

The Dixie Chicks’ first album was Wide Open Spaces, released in 1998. (CD and Freegal) The title track of this record is now an anthem for women who want to spread their wings and leave home, but I am partial to “There’s Your Trouble”.

Home

home

The album Home (CD and Freegal) came out in 2002, and includes a cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “Landslide”. There are some sadder, more introspective songs on this record, such as “Traveling Soldier” and “Top of the World”, but “White Trash Wedding” brings levity. I think that the brash “Truth No. 2” was a precursor to the music the Dixie Chicks would make on Taking the Long Way.

Shut Up & Sing

shut-up-sing

The Dixie Chicks found controversy in 2004 when lead singer Natalie Maines made a negative statement about then President George W. Bush, which brought intense criticism and backlash from the country music community. The documentary Shut Up & Sing covers this period of the Chicks’ history.

Taking the Long Way

taking-long-way

From that turmoil came the Grammy-winning Taking the Long Way (CD and Freegal). This album was a game changer, and it is my favorite. This is a rare album I can listen to all the way through without skipping around.

Excellent tracks:

  • “Not Ready To Make Nice”
  • “Taking the Long Way”
  • “Easy Silence”
  • “Baby Hold On”
  • “Everybody Knows”

Sing “Lullaby” to your loved one, your baby, your teenager, your bae, your pet, or whomever you please.

Whenever anyone asks me, “Kerry, why haven’t you [insert milestone that others think I should have reached by now] yet?” I answer that I’m “Taking the Long Way”. Thank you, Dixie Chicks, for helping me answer that nosy but usually well meaning question!

Dixie Chicks Miscellany

If you want to dive deeper into the Dixie Chicks’ music, I recommend borrowing on DVD their VH1 Storytellers episode, where they tell the origin stories of some of their songs. I love to hear about artists’ inspirations for their work. Check out Top of the World Live (CD and Freegal) if you want to experience the Chicks in concert.

This New York Times piece about the Dixie Chicks and Kacey Musgraves as “Country Rebels” prompted me to borrow Kacey Musgraves’s recent release Pageant Material (CD and Hoopla) and savor the title track, “Late to the Party”, and “Biscuits”.

With the line “…mind your own biscuits and life will be gravy…”, “Biscuits” can serve as a good response to any nosy yet usually well meaning questions.

Are you going to any concerts this summer? Do you use song lyrics to respond to questions you’d rather not answer?

-Written by Kerry Weinstein, Reference Librarian

*Click here for resources on domestic violence.

%d bloggers like this: