Hello and welcome to Episode Fourteen of Page Turn: the Largo Public Library Podcast. I’m your host, Hannah!
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The Spanish Language Book Review begins at 8:56 and ends at 11:33
The English Language Transcript can be found below
But as always we start with Reader’s Advisory!
The Reader’s Advisory for Episode Fourteen is The Bone Mother by David Demchuk. If you like The Bone Mother you should also check out: The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden, The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter, and Baba Yaga Laid an Egg by Dubravka Ugresic.
My personal favorite Goodreads list The Bone Mother is on is Books You Wish More People Knew About.
Today’s Library Tidbit is all about American Roots Music. Over the last few years and going in to the future Largo Public Library has brought in various musicians and groups to perform. Some of the different musical styles we’ve featured include blues, jazz, American folk, and soul. Each of these different musical styles belongs to the family: American Roots Music.
American Roots Music are music styles that are original to or were developed in the United States. The only music that is native to the USA are the various styles of music created by the Indigenous peoples of North America. Traditional Native American or First Nations music differs depending on the geographic and tribal areas. To get an idea of the similarities and differences in traditional Native American music you just have to do some research into the different drums used: footed drums, large double-sided skin drums, box drums, hand drums, water drums and even within those types there are various types depending on the tribe and the occasion.
The musical styles that developed in the USA include blues, jazz, soul, American folk, and bluegrass. The oldest of these genres is blues, the newest is soul. Although as jazz is a constantly innovating genre you could argue that it stays forever young.
Blues was developed by slaves in the United States. Blues is a combination of field hollers, work songs, spirituals, and ballads. These are combined with the rhythms and melodies of West African music, much of what we think of as the rhythms and patterns of blues is actually West African music. Blues is also classified by the use of the blues scale, characterized by the blue notes, the flattening on the third or fifth notes on the scale and the use of specific chord progressions. While there is no way to know why the blues is called the blues another characteristic of the genre is melancholic lyrics. The official beginning date of Blues comes after the Emancipation Act of 1863, and speculation exists that it was only after emancipation that African-American’s had any level of freedom enough to be vocal about their daily hardships.
Jazz developed out of blues and ragtime in New Orleans at the end of the 19th century. Jazz is a marriage of African-American musical styles, blues, West African musical expression that survived slavery, and white European military band music. Military instruments were added to the development of jazz as African-Americans were able to own these instruments as confederate soldiers pawned their instruments at the end of the Civil War. There is no good definition of jazz, however, improvisation is found in all styles of jazz and is considered a defining characteristic. Jazz also relies on off beat rhythms, which developed out of West African drumming styles. As jazz grew up through the years and moved away from New Orleans many different styles developed.
What most people think of when they hear American folk is actually Appalachian music. A combination of English ballads, Irish and Scottish fiddle music, it was further developed when slaves brought the banjo and blues into the area. Appalachian music served as broadsheets for much of the area. Musicians created songs around news and concerns from society from pregnant women being murdered by their lovers to worker’s strikes to natural disasters. The American Folk Revival of the 1940s to 1960s brought back into the mainstream not only the musical style of Appalachian music but also strengthened the critique of societal and political norms.
Out of Appalachian music grew bluegrass. Named after, and arguably started by, The Blue Grass Boys, lead by Bill Monroe. Bluegrass uses the same instruments and themes as Appalachian music, but the style is different. The singing is characterized by Bill Monroe’s vocals which are described as “high and lonesome”. Additionally, the banjo picking style of bluegrass is the three-finger picking style Earl Scruggs, also part of The Blue Grass Boys, popularized. Bluegrass, like Jazz, features different instruments throughout the song improvising around the melody with other instruments playing accompaniment. Bluegrass is another music style that could not exist prior to Emancipation. The banjo, an instrument used in most bluegrass, was created by slaves who were attempting to recreate traditional West African instruments.
Soul is the youngest of the musical styles I am going over today. It was created in the 1950s and 1960s. While soul is connected to jazz and rhythm and blues, it really comes out of traditional black gospel. African-Americans took gospel stylings and wrote secular lyrics to go with them. Such things as, call-and-response, catchy rhythms, and handclaps are considered important aspects of soul. Often it will feature auxiliary sounds and a lead vocalists with a chorus. Soul grew up with the Civil Rights movement and is considered to have been instrumental in destigmatizing black culture to white audiences.
We hope you’ve enjoyed the musical performances we’ve been able to bring you and we encourage you to learn more about the history of your favorite music style. Books can be found under the call numbers 781 and 782. Additionally as a library patron you have access to the database, Fine Arts and Music Collection, which you’ll find a link to here.
And now it’s time for Book Traveler, with Victor:
Hi. Welcome to Book Traveler. My name is Victor and I am the Community Outreach Librarian here at the Largo Public Library. Today I’m going to talk about a fiction book we have in the Spanish collection titled Hippie by Paulo Coelho.
In Hippie, his most autobiographical novel to date, Paulo Coelho takes us back in time to re-live the dream of a generation that longed for peace and dared to challenge the established social order – authoritarian politics, conservative modes of behavior, excessive consumerism, and an unbalanced concentration of wealth and power.
Following the “three days of peace and music” at Woodstock, the 1969 gathering in Bethel, NY that would change the world forever, hippie paradises began to emerge all around the world. In the Dam Square in Amsterdam, long-haired young people wearing vibrant clothes and burning incense could be found meditating, playing music and discussing sexual liberation, the expansion of consciousness and the search for an inner truth. They were a generation refusing to live the robotic and unquestioning life that their parents had known.
At this time, Paulo is a young, skinny Brazilian with a goatee and long, flowing hair who wants to become a writer. He sets off on a journey in search of freedom and a deeper meaning for his life: first, with a girlfriend, on the famous “Death Train to Bolivia,” then on to Peru and later hitchhiking through Chile and Argentina.
His travels take him further, to the famous square in Amsterdam, where Paulo meets Karla, a Dutch woman also in her 20s. She convinces Paulo to join her on a trip to Nepal, aboard the Magic Bus that travels across Europe and Central Asia to Kathmandu. They embark on a journey in the company of fascinating fellow travelers, each of whom has a story to tell, and each of whom will undergo a transformation, changing their priorities and values, along the way. As they travel together, Paulo and Karla explore their own relationship, an awakening on every level that brings each of them to a choice and a decision that sets the course for their lives thereafter.
I’m not sure what to make of this book. It feels like an interesting travel book where you get to experience wonderful places, but as a memoir it lacks direction. It goes from one event to the next without an explanation or a sense of purpose. It reads like many different anecdotes compiled into one book. It is disappointing that there is no purpose to these stories, no coming of age, not even a sense of enlightenment.
There are some interesting descriptions of places we now think of as adventurous and iconic with backpackers such as Machu Picchu and the Death Train of Bolivia which I enjoyed, but these read as snippets, vignettes of a travel diary rather than an essay on enlightenment or coming of age.
The travel aspect of this book was what appealed to me at first glance and on that level, it was interesting to see some of the travel experiences that formed this writer. It was quite fascinating to see how he lived and was before he became the writer we know today.
This is all for today. See you in the next episode of Book Traveler. Goodbye.
Thanks everyone for listening some upcoming library events to keep track of:
June 3rd 2019: Library Odyssey at 5:00pm in the Jenkins Wing and the Children’s Program Room
June 4th Baby Sign Language at 9:30am in the Children’s Homework Center
June 4th Energy Efficient Lifestyle at 6:30pm in Jenkins Room B
June 5th Game Zone at 2:00pm in the Children’s Program Room
June 6th Animate with Stikbot 4:00pm in the Children’s Program Room
-Registration is Required
June 6th Intro to 3D Printing at 4:00pm in the ideaLAB
June 10th Property Research Basics at 10:00am in the Local History Room
June 12th Children’s Summer Entertainment: Outer Space Science with DoDad’s Lab at 2:00pm in the Jenkins Wing
June 13th VR at 4:00pm in the ideaLAB
June 15th Skeletons in the Family Closet at 11:00am in Jenkins Room B
We hope you have a great month and we’ll talk to you again soon.
For everyone interested our intro music is by Break the Bans and the outro music is by Jahzzar, both artists can be found on Free Music Archive.