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Best of Patron Requests: Music (September 2011 Edition)


The New York Public Library's Office of Central Collection Development fields dozens of requests to purchase new material from our patrons each month. It is a great way to enrich our collections and cover lesser-known titles and areas of interest.

This list is a monthly compilation of my own personal favorite patron requests for music. I hope you will check out some of the great music that library users have suggested we acquire!

Provided are some great preview tracks for each. Just click on the titles to be taken to the Catalog.

Ancestral Star by Barn Owl

The coolest find this month! This one just stunned me! Dreamy, noisy soundscapes that seem to lead you to the edge of the universe and leave you there hovering over who knows what? Who knows how? But once there, the journey ends. The only thing is, the track is half over! So now what? Where you gonna go from there? Nowhere! You just peer out over the edge with them taking it in, stunned, in awe! Incredible! And they sustain this feeling for what seems like an eternity, because even the laws of time begin to distort. Of course they do. There are no words to explain what lies at the edge of the universe; there is no science; no religion. There is only Barn Owl. (Preview)

20th Century Masters: Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell

Some serious, serious smoothness from the Motown Era. Many great tunes that seemed to have escaped being overplayed, especially for those of us who came along after the fact. If you like anything on Motown, I'll bet you'll love this record, and most likely some songs you've rarely, if ever, heard. (Preview)

This Unknown Science by Joy Kills Sorrow

A sweet, down-home album, with traces of Irish folk and back porch, early American country; a sincerely captivating sound carried by the impressively effortless vocal abilities of singer Emma Beaton... hardly fair to the impressive line-up of obviously accomplished musicians. They all make it look so easy! (Preview)


Jim Jones Revue self-titled

Full-on punk rock blues. Part Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, part Jerry Lee Lewis, and all unquestionably over-the-top. These guys are serious. Very impressive! (Preview)


Apex by Rudresh Mahanhappa & Bunky Green

A jazz collaboration between two pretty much awesome alto sax players. An approach sometimes called "inside-outside," this album just clicks. Special guests include the incredible drummer Jack DeJohnette. (Preview)


Go Tell Fire to the Mountain by Wu Lyf

A new band from Manchester, England. They pummel the listener with an onslaught of washed out reverb: a rockin-yet-drony, "heavy pop" sound. Rumor has it they recorded this, their debut album, in a deserted church. Some of that eerie abandoned spiritual energy certainly made it on to the master tapes! (Preview)


Unknown Mortal Orchestra self-titled

This album proves that pop music and psychedelic music are not mutually exclusive genres. Upbeat, almost danceable, but definitely out there. (Preview)


Beirut Slump/Shut Up and Bleed by Teenage Jesus and the Jerks

Not to make too many comparisons, but since this music isn't for everyone I'll make it: If you like the Cramps you should check these guys out! (Preview)


Bobby self-titled

It doesn't matter what I say about this album, because I'm asleep, merely dreaming I'm listening to some sort of music that my subconscious illogically presents to my mind, turning musical corners midstream, scenes turning into other scenes that my conscious mind would find suspect: a sound so weird, so pleasant and creepy at the same time, that it couldn't really exist in reality. (Preview)

Compete Early Recordings by Skip James

Going all the way back to 1930 for this one. Skip James championed the "Bentonia" blues sound, which set his playing apart from much of the other recorded blues of the time. One might even argue it is bluesier, certainly more drony, more haunting. And for me, the earlier the better. (Preview)


American Common - Barn Dance - Horse costume and band, Digital ID 1652413, New York Public Library


Patron-generated content represents the views and interpretations of the patron, not necessarily those of The New York Public Library. For more information see NYPL's Website Terms and Conditions.

So this is how it's done...

So this is how it's done... Great post, Andy! I especially love the picture at the bottom of the blog!

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