February 2015 AV Reviews

Tomorrow is my Turn, Rhiannon Giddens 

I am writing this the day after the Grammy Awards.  I enjoy awards season for the discussions that are generated as a result of the awards shows; Is Sam Smith this year’s Adele?  Did Beck’s album merit being selected as album of the year? What was the most interesting live performance?  More
than these questions and the associated commentary related to block buster artists, my interest gravitates toward the awards that are not part of the prime time televised extravaganza.  I was excited to hear that Rosanne Cash won a Grammy for the Best American Roots Performance and Best American Roots Song "A Feather's Not A Bird" which is on the CD The River & The Thread, (Decca/UMG UPC 00602537559114) which also won the Grammy for Best Americana Album, and that Old Crow Medicine Show’s, Remedy (MCA/MCA Nashville/Mercury UPC 00880882204129) won the Grammy for Best Folk Album.

On February 10, the album, Tomorrow is my Turn, by Rhiannon Giddens (Nonesuch Records/Wea Corp)  became available.  I believe this album merits consideration for significant awards in the future, and is likely to show up on many “best of” lists in 2015.  Produced by T. Bone Burnett, the song selection and arrangements represent not only the artist’s credibility as a “roots” musician, Ms. Giddens being one of the founders of the Grammy Winning Carolina Chocolate Drops, but also displays the breadth of her of her artistry beyond this categorization.  My favorite tracks are “Don’t Let it Trouble Your Mind,” which has roots elements and a haunting violin bridge, “She’s Got You,” in which Ms. Giddens displays her blues strength, and “Up Above My Head,” that strikes me as a call and response Gospel/transition to early rock an roll number.  There is not bad track on the album, and it showcases Ms Giddens’s incredible range and versatility. I strongly recommend this album for any library’s collection.

Format: Music CD     RELEASE DATE: February 10, 2015  UPC: 00075597956313

Martin Warzala

Director, Collection Management & Technical Development

Baker & Taylor



Music is a passion for me.  I have no favorite artist or genre, as music suits whatever mood.  What really gets me excited are the cds that to me are odd combinations like, “Van Lear Rose” with Loretta Lynn and Jack Black, “Raising Sand” with Robert Plant and Allison Kraus and “Under the Covers” with Matthew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs.  I often wander, who puts together artists and what went through their mind when coming to the conclusion that this all makes sense.  Obviously, a genius and a bigger music geek than I am.  These combinations are the ones that make me the music lover that I am.  I want and need to be the first to listen.  That is why when I heard that Bob Dylan was putting out a cd called “Shadows in the Night”, with nothing but remakes that Sinatra himself made famous, my ears perked up.  

I scoured the internet to find a track, a snippet something to satisfy me until I had the CD in my hands, in the player and filling my ears. (no I do not download music as I love to hold the cd, pull out the artwork and read the liner notes over and over just as I did as a kid with albums).  Expecting the distinctive voice and notes that Dylan made famous, I happily realized, I would not get that.  What I heard, dare I say, were gossamer sounds, and unexpected restrained performances of each song.  Dylan hand-picked each of the titles he performs on his new release.  I cannot choose a favorite track, as I have listened to “Shadows in the Night” over and over and over….and has enjoyed every single one.  This is a MUST HAVE and MUST LISTEN to for every collection.

Format: Music CD        Release Date: 03-FEB-2015        UPC:  888750579621    ISBN:  9786315839382  MSRP: $11.98

Julie Dyson

Inside Sales Manager, AV

Baker & Taylor

Antarctica: A Year on Ice
Visually stunning with an intriguing story, this documentary from Music Box Films, Antarctica : A Year on Ice follows the lives of average people living and working in Antarctica over the course of one year: the firemen, mechanics, and retail clerks who keep the Antarctic research stations fully operational for scientific discovery. While there isn’t a TV or movie screen wide enough to appreciate the serene icy landscapes during the summer months filled with 24 hours of sunshine or the glowing lights of the Aurora Australis during the winter months with 24 hours of darkness – the viewer still feels like part of an amazing, real-life adventure few humans have ever experienced.
In small, tight-knit communities, Antarctic residents celebrate international holidays, mourn time apart from family and friends, marvel over how amazing the human body is to become accustomed to certain climates, savor the taste of the first apple eaten in 6 months, and laugh off pale complexions after getting through the dark winter. The viewer is taken to a penguin colony to experience the wildlife, and we hear the residents discuss how T3 syndrome affects their everyday routines – which delve into some scientific portions of the narrative. However, the real stars of the story are the people who travel to Antarctica, not as scientists, but to further science – and of course, the expertly photographed, magnificent, untouched landscape.
In the final few minutes of the film, as the group we have watched weather a year’s worth of work and camaraderie in one of the most frigid places on Earth prepare to leave the place they called home for so long – the emotional upheaval is overwhelming. How does one go back to the American workforce culture, a predictable 9-5 pace with little zeal and now, a palpable wanderlust? Exploring such themes throughout the film’s length, we learn what it is like to live on a faraway continent not many humans have seen and can only dream about the adventures we all wish to explore.
FORMAT: DVD, BD  RELEASE DATE: March 24, 2015     UPC: 741360538658 (BD-00741360538719)    ISBN: 9786315839351     MSRP: $29.95 (BD- $34.95)
Heather Guenther
Inside AV Sales
Baker & Taylor


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