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Engaging Methuen Readers


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Free Online Concert Series: America’s “Great Organ” Perseveres

Pandemic or no, the Methuen Memorial Music Hall continues to have it’s annual Wednesday evening concert series featuring its Great Organ.  This year, due to the novel coronavirus, the series will be streaming from the MMMH’s YouTube channel.

When the Great Organ, shipped from Germany at great peril during the Civil War, had its inauguration concert in the Boston Music Hall in 1863, it was considered a celebrated musical event throughout the country.  This beautiful, gleaming organ was indeed great; having some 6,000 pipes, it was then the largest concert organ in America.  The variables of changing times and maintenance issues led to a decline in the organ’s fortunes.  In 1897, Edward Frances Searles, a railroad magnate from Methuen, MA, bought the neglected organ ‘for a song’ and moved it to Methuen where he had a remarkable barrel-vaulted concert hall built for the purpose of preserving the sounds of this great American treasure.

Since 1947, the Trustees of the Methuen Memorial Music Hall have shared this sonorous object of pride with the community through tours and their annual Organ Recital Series.  This year’s series, running through August 26th,  will be streamed live through YouTube.  Don’t miss out on this opportunity to hear the majestic sounds of the Great Organ and to learn about its curious history!  The music must go on!

For more information on the concert series, the remarkable history of the Organ and the Building, or to donate to this organization, see the MMMH website.

If you are a Massachusetts library patron, you may have free access to The Boston Globe and their recent (6/14/20) article on Methuen’s Great Organ, “Now Streaming From Methuen:  a treasured organ with nine lives” (Jeremy Eichler), through our online database.

 


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Let there be music!

 

Freegal Music

Let there be music:  dance, scream it out, or just chill with the tunes…

Freegal music has upgraded Merrimack Valley Library Consortium member’s Freegal Music accounts to 24 hour-per-day streaming at no cost.

With your library card you can set up a Freegal Music account and search for songs and listen to a playlist all day if you care to.  If you don’t have a library card, you can email contactcirc@nevinslibrary.org for a temporary card good through the end of September 2020.

Heart made of musical icons | Free Vector


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The Library, Comic Books, and Punk Rock

 

Punk. Comics. Punk and comics. Punk and comics and angsty teens who are now well-balanced adults who write comics about being angsty punk teens. It’s all kind of a perfect fit. What more needs to be said? Nothing. Go read.

Image of itemPunk Rock Jesus by Sean Murphy

It’s a rocket-fueled ride, an allegory that seems entirely plausible in our hyped-up reality TV world. A huge media corporation clones Jesus from the Shroud of Turin and proceeds to run a live reality TV show around his life. As you might expect, teenaged J2 develops a little bit of an anger issue. Luckily, there are musical ways to take care of anger, and they have been known, on occasion, to change the world.

 

 

Punk Rock and Trailer Parks by Derf Backderf

From the auteur behind My Friend Dahmer comes a nostalgic look at growing up punk. Otto is a Loser. Not just a loser, but a capital-L Loser high school band dork who nobody wants to be around, despite his growth spurt. He lives in a trailer park and gets beaten up by bullies half his size. But that’s all about to change! When he’s exposed to Wendy O., Klaus Nomi, and the Ramones firsthand, Otto will transform from weird kid to punk adult living on the edge of the 1970s music scene.

 

Image of itemBumperhead by Gilbert Hernandez

Coming on the heels of Gilbert Hernandez’s Marble Season, this book follows Bobby as he navigates through – or, rather, floats through – his teenage years. Friendships, relationships, musical styles, and life itself flows on with Bobby riding the current, never plotting his own course or noticing as opportunity passes him by.

 

 

Cut My Hair by Jamie S. Rich

If Catcher in the Rye took place in history, then Holden Caulfield would have been a punk. Mason is another blank slate, but unlike Beto Hernandez’s Bobby, Rich’s protagonist may have a chance to capture something more meaningful: a vision of who he really wants to be. That may involve a sepcial girl, a raucous band, and a punk rock coming of age story.

 

 

Image of itemHopeless Savages by Jen Van Meter

What happens when punks grow up? They move to the suburbs and have kids, of course! But they never, ever abandon their identity. The children of Dirk Hopeless and Nikki Strange grow up, and remain, resolutely punk. (Except Rat, who betrays his family by going corporate. Where did they go wrong?) As they navigate the globe, getting into trouble and living life to the hilt, you’ll know that punk isn’t dead: it’s just grown up!