teenchoice

The votes have been counted in our 8th Annual Teen Choice Awards, and your voices have been heard. Nearly 50 teens filled out ballots this March. I discovered a few surprises, and in one category there is no winner. Without further ado, here are local teens’ choices in 7 categories: Movie, Game, Music, TV, Online Video, App, and Social Network.

Movie:
1. The Duff
2. The Fault In Our Stars
3. Mockingjay: Part 1
3. Big Hero 6

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holiday-music

Nothing brings people holiday cheer quite like turning on the radio and listening to holiday classics sung by various artists throughout the ages. But what happens when you have a particular song you want to hear that isn’t playing on the radio, or you want to listen to holiday music on your own time? This season the Niles Library is bringing you the gift of music, so stop in to pick up a CD (or six) of your favorite holiday tunes.

Here’s a small sample of the vast collection of holiday albums we have to offer:

1) Elvis’ Christmas Album

2) The Beach Boys’ Christmas Album

3) Christmas Portrait (The Carpenters)

4) A Charlie Brown Christmas

5) Merry Christmas (Mariah Carey)

6) A Motown Christmas (Jackson 5)

7) The Very Best of Bing Crosby Christmas

8) A Jolly Christmas from Frank Sinatra

9) The Lost Christmas Eve (Trans-Siberian Orchestra)

10) Cole, Christmas, & Kids (Nat King Cole)

And as always, you can check out dozens of other music genres in our catalog here. Or you can download up to ten of your favorite Christmas carols this month onto your tablet, iPhone, or other mobile device using Hoopla, a new service that lets you instantly borrow movies, music and more 24/7 with your Niles Public Library card. Check it out at hoopladigital.com/home.

Have fun jamming out to your favorite hits!

snoopy
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michael-jackson

It’s hard to believe that Michael Jackson, The King of Pop, passed away 5 years ago today.

I remember being shell-shocked when I read the breaking news online. He was an amazing performer who had many fans around the world. One of the best ways to keep his legacy alive is by listening to his music. If I had to choose one favorite Michael Jackson album it would be Thriller. Everything from the iconic music videos to the amazing songs on the album make it one for the books.

What’s your favorite Michael Jackson album? Can’t choose one? Maybe we can help below…

Check out these Michael Jackson albums at the Niles Public Library:

Xscape (2014)

Bad 25 (2012)

Michael (2010)

This Is It (2009)

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stax-book

You may not know Stax Records by name, but you will recognize many of the artists and hit records the record company released in the 1950’s through the 1970’s. Stax Records came to be known as the “Memphis Sound” with artist that include Otis Redding, Sam and Dave, Isaac Hayes, Booker T. and the MG’s, The Staple Singers, and many more. Respect Yourself: Stax Records & the Soul Explosion would have been a great book even if it had just told the stories of these artists, however author Robert Gordon powerfully tells the Stax story in the context of a segregated Memphis and the Civil Rights Movement.

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TeenChoiceAwards

50 teens in grades 7-12 participated in our annual Teen Choice Award voting this spring. The votes have been counted, and your voices have been heard. In addition to creating fun “best of” lists, these results are actually very helpful when it comes to deciding what DVDs, CDs and games to order for our collection. Here are Niles teens’ current favorites:

Song
Guess what? Musical tastes are highly subjective, and Niles teens enjoy a diverse range of artists. Very few people can agree on a single song as their favorite. “Let It Go” from the movie Frozen was the clear winner, although some people choose Idina Menzel‘s version while others prefer Demi Lovato’s. At least no one voted for Adele Dazeem.

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blogart

Whether you love or hate Valentine’s Day may depend on your current relationship status; or perhaps on how much you enjoy shopping for (cards/candy/flowers/jewelry), securing (dinner/hotel) reservations and/or (concert/theater/movie/opera) tickets and complying with whatever other demands upon your (time/energy/wallet) that your significant other may make.

Love can be (complicated/difficult/messy/maddening), so it makes sense that a holiday celebrating it would follow suit. It seems that 90% of music deals with love or heartbreak, so when it comes to selecting a soundtrack for your (bliss/misery/indifference) there is plenty to choose from. My favorites all come from artists who excel at cramming every possible shade of (love/hate/confusion) into their songs. So whether you’re (alone and happy/alone and miserable/together and happy/together and miserable) this Valentine’s Day, here’s a dedication for you:

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brunomars

Bruno Mars became a household name last Sunday after his performance during the Pepsi Super Bowl Halftime Show.

We’re used to watching music legends like The Who, Bruce Springsteen, and Prince perform during the Super Bowl Halftime, but this year was a little different. Hawaiian native Bruno Mars, who only has two studio albums, performed a few of his hits including Locked Out Of Heaven, Treasure, and Just The Way You Are. He was joined on stage by famous rock band, The Red Hot Chili Peppers. At only 5 ft, 4 in tall, he brought the Super Bowl audience on their feet with his electrifying performance. According to reports, this year’s Super Bowl Halftime Show was the most watched ever. That’s quite impressive considering the superstars that have performed in the past.

If you’ve never heard of him before, here are 3 quick facts about Bruno Mars:

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Christmas is finally here, which means that another month of listening to Christmas music is finally over.

It’s not that I don’t appreciate Christmas music — I  loved listening to my dad’s Alfred Burt vinyl every December while growing up. I’m also pretty sure I could whistle the entire Nutcracker Suite from beginning to end. But now I can go back to listening to my favorites, the music that has stuck with me all through the year whether waking up in the morning, driving, working, working out, relaxing on the couch or getting ready for bed at night.

One of the things I look forward to most at the end of each year is sifting through all the “best of” music lists; it’s a chance to discover all the great music that I’ve missed, and also to wonder about other people’s musical tastes. I also like to compile my own list each year. It’s based entirely on the number of plays that each song gets on my iPod, so I make no claims about it being “the best.” This is the music that I love, the music that has gotten me through an entire year of living; the music that I’ve shared with my friends to help them pull through, too. So here are some of my favorite albums and songs of 2013. Maybe there’s something here that’s new for you, something you’ll love or something that you’ll really hate. Either way, we’d love to hear about it, and about your favorites of 2013, too.

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