TEN THINGS YOU MIGHT NOT KNOW ABOUT QUEEN GUITARIST BRIAN MAY
By Ray Carmen
1. He wrote a book on the history of the universe with the late British astronomer Sir Patrick Moore, called Bang!-The Complete History Of The Universe.
2. He has a degree in astrophysics from Imperial College in London, which he obtained in 2007 upon the completion of his thesis on the movement of zodiacal dust, which he had actually begun 33 years earlier in 1974, during the early days of Queen.
3. He has written two books on early stereo photography: A Village Lost And Found, and Diableries: Stereoscopic Adventures In Hell.
4. He and his late father, Harold May, built May’s famous guitar, called The Red Special, when he was a teenager. It took them two years, and used, among other things, wood from an old fireplace for the neck of the guitar, and an old bicycle saddle-bag carrier for the tremolo bar. (http://brianmayguitars.co.uk/)
5. He stood as an MP in the recent British elections under the “Common Decency” platform (they lost). (http://www.commondecency.org.uk/about-common-decency)
6. He is not only active in the campaign for the ending of the culling of badgers and the hunting of foxes, he is also active in campaigning for the protection of all animals against unnecessary, cruel, degrading and inhumane treatment.
7. Asteroid 52665 Brianmay was named in May’s honor on June 18, 2008 at the suggestion of Sir Patrick Moore (it also happened to have a professional designation of 1998 BM).
8. When Queen recorded May’s song We Will Rock You, he overdubbed the band clapping and stomping on old boards on several individual tracks. He gave each track a different delay effect, as if each track represented people stomping at different distances in a stadium (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XMLiqEqMQyQ)
9. Although Freddie Mercury was Queen’s lead singer, both May and drummer Roger Taylor often sang lead on their own songs. Some of the songs that May sang lead vocals on include Some Day One Day from Queen II, Sleeping On The Sidewalk and All Dead All Dead, both from News Of The World, and ‘39 and Good Company from their legendary album A Night At The Opera.
10. Best known for writing rock anthems like the aforementioned We Will Rock You and I Want It All, May has also written lesser-known Queen ballads. All Dead, All Dead is an astonishing ballad about the death of a childhood pet cat, and Sail Away Sweet Sister (for the sister I never had) laments the fact that May was an only child.
Oh…and he also wrote Fat Bottomed Girls.
Check out Brian May’s website at: www.brianmay.com
If you have been in the library over the past week, you may have noticed our new little Branch Buddy. We now have a 5 month old male chameleon that has become a very valued friend to the community living here with us at the branch, and is helping us with Nature Connect. Our amazing Friends of the Ellet Branch Library have provided the chameleon and his habitat for everybody to enjoy and learn from. He loves his new home here, which is situated at the end of our circulation desk.
Please stop in and say hello to him! You can also help us give him a name. We have a box by his habitat in which you are welcome to drop in any name suggestions you may have for him. We will give an update on this website next week once we have a name picked out.
Next time you are in the area, stop by and see our new little branch friend and register your family for Mind Body & Sole. Also, if you haven’t been to Tallmadge Branch Library, stop in there and say hello to their awesome turtle named Scooter.
Our Annual Mind Body & Sole Summer Reading Program has officially begun! Stop by the Ellet Branch Library to register today. We have lots of great prize packages this year for both children and adults, and incentives for exercising as well.
Click here for more information on the hottest Summer Reading Program around!
One of the greatest things about working in a public library is that you never know who you will cross paths with that might make an impact on your life and be an inspiration.
Today our branch had the pleasure of meeting a passionate group of college students from the University of Illinois working with the nonprofit group Illini 4000. They are in the middle of an epic journey riding their bicycles 4,000 miles across the country from New York City to San Francisco to raise money to find a cure for cancer. So far they have raised over $90,000 toward their goal! Their group came to rest in front of our library early this afternoon and we had the pleasure of talking to them for a few minutes while they took a water break.
As we were talking, we realized that we shared something in common. As our Mind Body & Sole Summer Reading Program kicks off Monday, our minds are turning to fitness goals as well as reading and strengthening the mind. Fitness and a healthy lifestyle is very important to this group of young men and women as well. Many of them had very fond memories of libraries and Summer Reading Programs that they grew up with at home. They held up our flyer for the photo and told us they hoped it would be a success! The young men and women from Illini 4000 agreed to take a picture in front of our LED sign holding up our flyer celebrating Monday’s kickoff.
If you are interested, you can follow along with their journey by visiting Illini4000.org or through Facebook and Twitter. We wish everybody from the Illini 4000 all the best as they work toward their goal of pedaling 4,000 miles to San Francisco and raising money to eradicate cancer! Good luck and thanks for sharing a little bit of your time with us today!
Read at Your Own Pace
June 8 – August 8, 2015
Mind, Body & Sole us a reading/wellness experience for the whole family to enjoy.
How the program works:
1) Fill out a registration card at your library and receive your reading and exercise log and program flyer.
2) Read 30 minutes today. Check off a box on your reading log. You will win a prize or be entered into a prize drawing at each of these reading milestones: 10 days, 26 days, 40 days, 50 days, and 60 days.
3) Choose to be active also! Run/walk 26 miles (or 52,000 pedometer steps), record your accomplishment on your exercise log, AND read 26 days and you will receive a Mind, Body & Sole T-shirt. Fill out the entry form at the bottom of your exercise log to also be entered into our end-of-summer Grand Prize Drawing to be held August 24. (If a pedometer cannot record your movement activity, log 1/2 hour of activity as one mile.)
Be a Super Reader This Summer!
Win prizes just by reading and exercising this summer. It’s SUPER easy! Don’t miss our special programs for children; especially our new Book Club for 1-4 graders. You don’t want to lose those super reading skills you developed over the school year!
Super Fly : the world’s smallest superhero! / Todd H. Doodler
Super Fly Guy / Tedd Arnold
My dad, my hero / by Ethan Long
Mighty Max / by Harriet Ziefert
Super underwear– and beyond! / written and illustrated by Peter Hannan
Timothy and the strong pajamas : a superhero adventure / by Viviane Schwarz
Super Guinea Pig to the rescue / Udo Weigelt
The adventures of Super Diaper Baby / by Dav Pilkey
Public school superhero / James Patterson and Chris Tebbetts
101 ways to become a superhero–or an evil genius / by Richard Horne and Helen Szirtes
Captain Awesome and the missing elephants / by Stan Kirby
Chews your destiny / Rhode Montijo
Sidekicked / John David Anderson
Tiny titans. Adventures in awesomeness / Art Baltazar
For kids ages 5-12
Thursday, April 23 at 4:00pm
Are you a fan of the Rainbow Magic series? We will make flower fairies, fairy houses and enjoy some treats! All fans of fairies are welcome!
TEN OF MY FAVORITE CDs CURRENTLY AVAILABLE FROM THE AKRON-SUMMIT COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY (IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER) Part Two0
By Ray Carmen
Since 1968, multi-instrumentalist R. Stevie Moore has been writing, recording, and releasing eclectic and eccentric homemade albums from his bedroom studio (Moore was lo-fi decades before bands like Guided By Voices became famous for it). His childhood home was full of music–his dad was Nashville session bassist Bob Moore, who has recorded with everybody from Elvis to Roy Orbison. His current catalog boasts over 400 (!) homemade albums released on cassette and cd-r. His work has also been issued on numerous independent labels all over the world. Me Too is the second release issued on the UK Cherry Red label. Compiled from 18 years of home-made tape masters, Me Too features 21 tracks of RSM’s lo-fi genius from the years 1976-1994. Despite the man’s immense musical talent, the sheer diversity of his music would make major label executives have panic attacks. They simply wouldn’t know what to do with—or know how to promote–tracks like the glee club a cappella of Horascovia, or the country hokum of Elation Damnation, or the new wave rock of tracks like Jump Out In Front Of A Car or U. R. True. Lord only knows what they would think of spoken word interludes like That Long Walk To The Barn 6am. It doesn’t matter I suppose; they have Kanye West. I’ve got R. Stevie Moore. Check out the Kickstarter campaign (and watch the trailer for) for the R. Stevie Moore documentary Cool Daddio: The Second Youth Of R. Stevie Moore!
Issued in 1991 to critical acclaim but little commercial success (and to the bankruptcy of their record label, Creation Records, of which the recording of the album reportedly played a major part in), Loveless has since been widely regarded as a landmark album in alternative rock.
There is, quite simply, no other album like it in the history of recorded music. One critic described it as “a cross between The Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds and Lou Reed’s Metal Machine Music”, and while that’s somewhat of a stretch, there is some truth to it. The songs on Loveless are melodic enough to be almost bubblegum pop, but they’re played at epic, ear-splitting levels of distortion, with guitarist Kevin Shield’s woozy “glider” guitar, and bassist Belinda Butcher’s breathy vocals rising to the murky bubbling surface. The album’s opener, Only Shallow, is a blast of screaming sampled distortion. Touched sounds like music from a Disney film played from a warped stretched old cassette tape. To Here Knows When is almost all distortion and effects, with the vocals so low you can barely hear them—in fact, it sounds like an old 45 single that’s been played a million times with a dirty, dusty phonograph needle. But my favorite tracks are Blown A Wish which sounds like something Burt Bacharach and Hal David would have written for Dionne Warwick in the 1960s, and the album’s closer, the dance-oriented Soon. Despite its being released almost 25 years ago, I find myself coming back to this album and getting lost in its swirling, distorted psychedelics again and again. After hearing this, and the Cocteau Twins’ Heaven Or Las Vegas (up next) for the first time, I never listened to pop music the same way again. Watch the official video for Only Shallow here.
The Cocteau Twins virtually invented the concept of blissed-out, heady, enigmatic, and hypnotic pop music. Many bands have sprung up in their wake, but they all pale in comparison, especially when listening to Heaven Or Las Vegas, the band’s sixth studio album. Robin Guthrie’s floating wall-of-sound guitar textures combined with vocalist Elizabeth Frazier’s ethereal, other-worldly vocals, and keyboardist-bassist Simon Raymonde made the Cocteau Twins stand out—far out and away–from all other alternative rock and pop acts of the 1990s, and Heaven Or Las Vegas was their greatest achievement. On this album, Frazier began singing some of her lyrics in recognizable English (she often sang in her own invented language), and the songs on Heaven were a little more pop oriented. As a result, songs like the upbeat Iceblink Luck—the album’s first single—uncharacteristically jumped out from the speakers, while a song like I Wear Your Ring is fascinating in its overlapping vocal interplay. The album’s centerpiece, however, is Fotzpolitic, which starts with an intense rush of sound, and culminates in an amazing vocal performance from Frazier. Her singing on the song’s coda and Guthrie’s guitar solo are the very definition of blissed-out pop. If you’ve never heard the Cocteau Twins, this is the place to start. Watch the official video for Iceblink Luck here.
Unlike the other albums on this list (especially the previous two), July Flame is pretty much an indie-folk rock record with beautifully sparse arrangements—mostly acoustic guitar with some pedal steel, percussion and electric guitar. I have especially fond memories of listening to this album during the summer of 2010 while painting the downstairs of our house, and I still put this on some nights while sitting out on our deck late at night. With poetic lyrics and beautiful, shimmering harmonies, songs like the title track and Life Is Good Blues, are hypnotic and captivating. Silver Silo is nicely accentuated with stabs from tympani and woodblock, making it one of the more lighthearted tracks on the album. The art pop of Little Deschutes with its mournful piano, underlying organ, electric guitar and string quartet is one of July Flame’s most haunting and compelling songs. And Viers’ folk tribute to Wrecking Crew bassist Carol Kaye, with its upbeat fingerpicking, lyrics that name check some of the most famous songs Kaye has played on, and backing vocals that sound like a distant train is not to be missed. Carol Kaye herself was suitably impressed! You will be, too. Watch the video for the album’s title track here.
This is almost a Brian Wilson solo album in all but name. He sings the majority of the lead vocals, and the Beach Boys themselves only actually play on a couple of tracks. Most of the backing tracks were recorded by various members of the Wrecking Crew, the famous group of studio musicians who provided the musical backing for the majority of American pop artists of the 1960s. Rather unlike their previous beach-themed albums, Pet Sounds is the sound of Brian Wilson maturing as a songwriter, arranger, and producer. The songs deal with growing up, uncertainty, and the sad but inevitable loss of innocence. Songs like Wouldn’t It Be Nice fantasize about getting married to the one you love, whereas I Just Wasn’t Made For These Times portrays Wilson’s worries and insecurities. But for me, the crowning achievement is the last song, Caroline, No. Initially released as a Brian Wilson solo single in 1966, Caroline, No is lyricist Tony Asher’s song about his high school sweetheart who had broken up with him and moved to New York City. When he saw her a year later, she had become a far more worldly person…and she had indeed cut her hair. Probably the saddest—and most beautiful—song about the loss of innocence ever recorded. Absolutely heartbreaking. Watch an incredible 49 minute documentary about the making of the album broadcast on BBC2 here!
Check out the trailer for the 2008 documentary about the Wrecking Crew at the film’s official website!
BUBBLING UNDER: Prince – Sign O’ The Times; Seal – Seal II; Counting Crows – August And Everything After; Toad The Wet Sprocket – Fear; Queen – A Night At The Opera; Steve Taylor & The Perfect Foil – Goliath; Guided By Voices – Let’s Go Eat The Factory; Hammock – Chasing After Shadows…Living With The Ghosts; Chris Bell – I Am The Cosmos; Ween – Quebec
Saturday, April 18 at 10 am
There’s no need to fear the ACT – Sylvan Test Center Director Megan Vogias will be conducting free practice ACT tests here at the Ellet Branch Library on Saturday, April 18, at 10 am, as well as answering your questions about the test, college readiness, and any other concerns you may have about the college preparation process. The test will last at least three hours. Adults as well as teens are welcome to attend.
Please register beginning April 4.
Looking for more ways to prepare for the ACT? The library has plenty of materials for you to choose from to help you become more familiar with the exam and ready to do your best. The Learning Express Library database offers practice test tutorials for the ACT, PSAT, SAT, and AP exams along with college admissions essay writing strategies. Of course, we have books to help you study, including Kaplan’s and Barron’s study guides, and ACT for Dummies.