Summer Heights High
“In this mockumentary series set in a real Australian high school, comedian Chris Lilley brings to life three hilarious characters: Jonah, a 13-year-old delinquent breakdancer from Tonga; Mr. G, an ego-driven drama teacher with delusional showbiz dreams; and Ja’mie, a spoiled private school girl on a student exchange.”
Probably the most well-known of Chris Lilley’s several forays into mockumentary, this series really established one of his signature characters, Ja’mie. Lilley effectively skewers several fixtures of school life that I think any student can relate to, Australian or no: the overly self-important teacher; the snobby and superficial bully; the disruptive class clown. If you enjoy shows like The Office
where the characters aren’t exactly the most lovable people, but their awkward antics are hilarious, you will enjoy this show (though you will probably develop a soft spot for Jonah, Lilley’s troubled 13-year-old boy from Tonga).
This album is great for both dance hits as well as more soulful, introspective tracks. Li’s voice oscillates from light and fanciful to low and mournful. I like that most of the tracks are simply-arranged– there’s definitely something to be said for going for the understated sound rather than something overly-produced. My favorite tracks are “Little Bit,” “I’m Good, I’m Gone,” and “Breaking It Up.”
All summaries from http://catalog.ccls.org/.
Hell or High Water
“A divorced West Texas dad and his ex-con brother resort to a desperate money making scheme in order to save their family’s farm from foreclosure.”
This modern-day western features excellent performances by Chris Pine and Jeff Bridges, and adapts the genre to themes that are common discussion points in this day and age: the generational conveyance of poverty, the shady dealings of financial institutions, the dying off of small towns that used to be brimming with farming and industry. Every single character in this movie is fully-conceived, whether it’s the bank-robbing brothers, the Texas Rangers tracking them, or the waitresses, bank tellers, or bank customers who only appear for one memorable scene. You won’t regret taking an hour and a half to sit down and watch this movie! One of the best to come out in 2016.
She & Him
This album was Zooey Deschanel’s debut as a singer/songwriter in partnership with M. Ward, and it’s completely lovely. It’s full of romantic pop songs with a vintage feel, and her voice has a wonderful soulful crackleyness. As the weather warms up, this album would be great listening for gardening outside or having a backyard picnic.
All summaries from http://catalog.ccls.org/.
This album cover is a photo of the abandoned Rosedale Diner near Pottstown, PA.
Today is John Oates’ 69th birthday, one half of the legendary duo Hall & Oates, who hail from the Philadelphia area (Daryl Hall is from Pottstown, and they met at Temple University). Let’s celebrate! Here are some of their albums that you can find in the library:
Abandoned Luncheonette (1973)
Private Eyes (1981)
Greatest hits: Rock ‘n Soul Part 1 (1983)
Change of Season (1990)
Ultimate Daryl Hall + John Oates (2004)
The Essential Daryl Hall and John Oates (2005)
It’s a Wonderful Life
Summary: “An angel helps a compassionate but despairingly frustrated businessman by showing what life would had been like if he never existed. A Christmas classic.”
This movie probably does not need any promotion, but it is nonetheless one of my favorite Christmas movies and is on my “Required Christmas Movie” watching list every year. I can’t let the holiday go by without seeing the gym floor open up to reveal the pool underneath at the dance, or watching George lasso the moon, and crying at the end when the town comes together to help him. The holidays can be sad just as much as they can be happy, so if you are in need of something life-affirming, this should be on your watch list this month too.
P.S. You can rent this DVD individually using the link at the top of this post OR you can rent it as part of our Holiday Favorites Binge Box! For more information on Binge Boxes, see this post.
Once: music from the motion picture
Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova
An excellent soundtrack from this sort-of-musical. If you haven’t seen the movie, I recommend checking it out. This is definitely not your typical musical, and the soundtrack is more of a folksy rock/pop album than a broadway show-stopper. Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova are a great pair both on screen and musically; if you enjoy singer-songwriter types, then this will be right up your alley. Their song “Falling Slowly” won an Academy Award, and this soundtrack was nominated for a Grammy.
Images and summaries from catalog.ccls.org.
In a surprising decision, the Swedish Academy decided to name Bob Dylan for its 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature, “for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition.” If you’re interested in exploring Dylan’s catalog, the library has many of his albums available. Here’s a selection of his albums that we have– though there are many more!
Blood on the Tracks (1974)
Blonde on Blonde (1966)
Highway 61 Revisited (1965)
Bringing It All Back Home (1965)
All images from http://www.rollingstone.com/music/pictures/readers-poll-the-best-bob-dylan-albums-of-all-time-20120912