Tag Archives: music

How to Stream Rolling Stone’s 20 Rock Albums Turning 20 in 2016 with Your Hoboken Public Library Card

27 Jul

Rolling Stone recently published an article about rock albums that are turning 20 this year. After reading it, I remembered owning and loving several of those albums back in 1996. Reading the article made me feel old, a feeling I’ve been struggling with as my eldest niece prepares for her bat mitzvah later this summer. 😦

I decided to write about some albums from the list that are memorable to me. Many of these albums (there are some exceptions) can be streamed via Hoopla Digital or Freegal, which you can access with your Hoboken Resident library card. Did you imagine, back in 1996, that streaming music online would be possible in the future? For those that prefer CDs, those are available as well.

metallica-load

Metallica / Load

When Napster reigned, circa 2000, Metallica was their biggest foe. Napster was popular when I was in college as my dorm’s Ethernet offered my first, life-changing taste of high-speed internet. I mention Metallica first here because their strong stance against illegal music downloading is now part of their legacy.

Metallica isn’t available on either Hoopla or Freegal, but the CD can be borrowed. Hoopla has Metallica-inspired albums for lullabies and yoga, and Freegal has this album featuring covers of Metallica songs.

apple-tidal

Fiona Apple / Tidal

What I remember most about this album (available on Freegal and on CD) was how in-your-face it was and how I hadn’t experienced music like that before. Apple’s defiant tone in the opening track “Sleep to Dream” is like a punch in the face. This album still sounds good after 20 years, and “Criminal” is still my favorite track.

wallflowers

Wallflowers / Bringing Down the Horse

Time to be honest: I strongly dislike this album (available on Hoopla and CD). My brother listened to it NONSTOP in 1996 and I hated hearing it through the wall between our bedrooms. In hindsight, my brother probably hated hearing me play the Les Miserables soundtrack (I’ve written here, here, and here about being a musical theater geek) on repeat while I sang along, poorly. So I guess it’s all relative.

rage-evil

Rage Against the Machine / Evil Empire

Who here tried to play “Bulls on Parade” in Guitar Hero 3 and realized that you will never do it quite as well as Tom Morello? I certainly did. You can revisit this album on Freegal and on CD.

sublime

Sublime / Sublime

What’s bittersweet about this particular album turning 20 is that it also marks 20 years since lead singer Bradley Nowell passed away. Nowell died two months before the self-titled record (on Hoopla and on CD) was released, which became a breakthrough hit. Sublime broke up after this record, but “Santeria” and “What I Got” remain on rock radio playlists today.

pinkerton

Weezer / Pinkerton

I didn’t appreciate this album (on Hoopla and on CD) until college. Weezer had a huge hit with the Blue Album (on Hoopla and on CD) in 1994. Pinkerton, their sophomore record, had a darker, at times creepy (see: “Across the Sea”), more autobiographical tone that was so different than the Blue Album and wasn’t well received. Time has been kinder to Pinkerton. “El Scorcho” is my favorite track.

Here is a list of the rest of the rock albums turning 20, with links to either Freegal or Hoopla or the BCCLS catalog (where applicable):

Beck / OdelayHoopla, CD

Sheryl Crow / Sheryl Crow: Hoopla, CD

Failure / Fantastic PlanetHoopla

Fountains of Wayne / Fountains of WayneHoopla, CD

Korn / Life Is PeachyFreegal

Dave Matthews Band / CrashFreegal, CD

Pearl Jam / No CodeFreegal, CD

R.E.M. / New Adventures in Hi-FiHoopla, CD

Sleater-Kinney / Call the DoctorHoopla, CD

Soundgarden / Down on the Upside: Hoopla, CD

Swans / Soundtracks for the Blind: n/a

Tortoise / Millions Now Living Will Never Die: n/a

Tool / Aenima: CD

Wilco / Being ThereHoopla

Were any of these albums your favorites back in 1996? Do you now feel old after learning that these records are now 20 years old? Do you know any other albums turning 20 this year?

-Written by Kerry Weinstein, Reference Librarian

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.

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