If you're waiting for "Muscle Shoals" to be released on DVD and still in the holds queue for "Twenty Feet From Stardom" consider watching "Standing in the Shadows of Motown" to make it worth the wait. Like the other titles, "Standing in the Shadows of Motown" gives belated credit to the extraordinary musicians who created Motown hits like "What Becomes of the Brokenhearted" and "I Heard it Through the Grapevine." Dubbed the "funk brothers," these talented men descended into the creative snake pit of Motown Records on a daily basis and spun gold nearly every time.
Patty Griffin's 2013 CD "American Kid" is getting some competition from an earlier recording that was hung up in record company purgatory. Entitled "Silver Bell," Griffin here is electrified both musically and metaphorically. Always mixing a little rock n roll in her country, with a full band she cuts loose on "Little God" and "Boston." That is not to say her lyrics don't have their usual clever precision or heartbreaking themes. They wend their way throughout, possibly most devastating in "Mother of God" and "Top of the World," a song that received a wider audience thanks to the Dixie Chicks who covered it and several other Griffin tunes.
The new mystery "RedDevil 4" was written by local neurosurgeon Eric C. Leuthardt. Leuthardt researches brain-computer interfaces and is a leader in the field of neuroprosthetics. His expertise is evident in this compelling page-turner.
"RedDevil 4" is set in St. Louis in 2053. Most of the population relies on neuroprosthetics for communication and information retrieval. People communicate directly from brain to brain without speaking and are able to retrieve and review data without equipment. Not everything has changed, however. St. Louis still has separate city and county police departments, and dog walkers still carry small plastic bags to clean up after their pets.
If you celebrate Presidents' Day with history books, you are in luck. Two recent books about George Washington and Abraham Lincoln address lesser known aspects of the lives of our first and sixteenth presidents.
"Lincoln's Boys: John Hay, John Nicolay, and the War for Lincoln's Image" by Joshua Zeitz focuses on Lincoln's personal secretaries during his presidency. Hay and Nicolay formed a close and trusting relationship with Lincoln and his family. After the assassination they were given exclusive access to Lincoln's personal papers in order to write his official biography. The multi-volume work that resulted helped to shape the popular view of Lincoln.
Michael Hainey was six years old when his father died suddenly. This loss cast a shadow over his childhood and haunted him well into adulthood. Hainey felt unsettled about the event, often doubting that his father was really dead. When he was eighteen, he looked up his father's obituaries and found reports that his father had died after visiting friends. This brief phrase prompts Hainey to undertake a search for answers about his father's death and becomes the title of his memoir.
Perhaps this happens to everyone. You hear about a book and think "I need to read that." But you are busy, there is a long waiting list, and you put it off. That was my experience with Maggie Shipstead's debut novel "Seating Arrangements." When I learned that Shipstead has a new novel coming out in April, I finally read her first book.
"Seating Arrangements" appears to be a typical family drama centered on a wedding. The Van Meters are hosting the wedding of daughter Daphne at their summer home on an island. The family faces challenges beyond normal wedding chaos.
It was February 9, 1964 when the Beatles played their U.S. debut on the Ed Sullivan Show. If you weren't even born when the Beatles played Ed Sullivan, you're in luck. SLCL carries "The Four Complete Ed Sullivan Shows Starring the Beatles" whose title says it all.
One proof of the Beatles' creative genius is how their songs still resonate today. Whether it is the pure pop of "Help" and "I Saw Her Standing There" or the more intricate works of "Norwegian Wood" and "Something" they never go out of style.