Friday, February 29, 2008

The Weekend Watch

With the weekend here, it is time to think about one the great time-waster activities of all time: watching DVDs. In most cases, new-release DVDs end up with long hold lists that you may not get to see for several weeks or months. Instead, we will look at older releases and TV series that you may be interested to check out, starting with one from each category:

About A Boy
Starring: Hugh Grant, Rachel Weisz
The presence of Hugh Grant in any movie may automatically make you think that it is a romantic comedy. In this case, you would be wrong. Grant stars as Will, a self-absorbed wealthy slacker who tries to pick up single mothers with no intention of establishing a long-term relationship. Things are going well, until a boy he recruits to act as his son latches on and wants to hang out. While the friendship they form could turn the movie into a sappy flick, but instead, it is witty and funny all the way through.

About A Boy can be found in the DVD collection under 'A' (Humor)

Angel - seasons 1-5
Spinning off from the fan-favorite Buffy the Vampire Slayer show, Angel puts the focus on the vampire with a soul and his effort to make up for his horrific acts by helping to save others in Los Angeles. Over the series's five seasons, not only Angel but all of the supporting characters (Cordellia, Wesley, Gunn, Fred, Lorne) are fully explored and developed as they take on various evil creatures and the evil law firm of Wolfram and Hart. While there is a slight Buffy feel to it, Angel is distinctly its own show and is worth the time to watch.

Angel can be found in the NEW DVD collection under 'A' (Drama)

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Music Spotlight: Punk Rock

In an effort to bolster our music collection, we are in the process of bringing in CD's that we feel every good collection should have. Among the new additions we have are a number of early punk rock classics that any good punk fan should know all about:

The Clash
London Calling

Cited by some critics as the greatest album of all time, London Calling is loaded with songs that flat out rock. From the political "London Calling" and "Guns of Brixton," to the reggae-influenced "Rudie Can't Fail" and jazzy "Train in Vain," The Clash set themselves apart from the pack by making punk more than shouting over three chords. London Calling is an album that pulls influences from across the musical spectrum and incorporates them all into a great album from start to finish.

The Sex Pistols
Never Mind the Bollocks, Here Comes the Sex Pistols

The prototype for most people's ideas of what a punk band is all about, the Sex Pistols are loud, raucous, political and in-your-face. When their fist single "Anarchy in the U.K." first hit the airwaves in Britain, they caused an uproar that set the tone for all punk bands that followed. Every track on Never Mind the Bollocks is a hard-driving wall of noise that either draws you in or turns you away. The goal of the band was to providing biting social controversy in the most controversial way possible - and they succeeded. Many acts have followed in the same model set by the Sex Pistols but none have ever matched the raw energy that comes charging out of Never Mind the Bollocks

The Ramones
The Ramones

The Ramones are all about speed and catchy hooks. Nothing on their self-titled debut is very long, but part of that is due to the manic style in which the band tears through its songs. The lyrics take pot shots at pop culture in humorous ways - from the simplistic "Judy is a Punk" to the ridiculous "Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue." Everything kicks off with the hard-driving "Blitzkrieg Blitz" and never lets up.

All three albums can be found in the rock music (MR) section of the music cd collection. Be sure to check out other albums by The Clash (The Story of the Clash,) and The Ramones (Rocket to Russia, Ramones Greatest Hits Live)

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Summer Kick-off on June 11

It's never too early to be thinking about summer and summer at MPL means programs galore! Our YA Summer LibraryProgram kicks off on June 11 with the return of Great Big Faces artist Paul Merklein. In case you missed Paul last summer, his handiwork is on display along the second floor railing in the form of Harry Potter, Count Olaf and Abraham Lincoln. This year, he will do five new faces to get the summer started off right.

The summer program will get underway at 2 p.m. with sign-up and subs in the Balkansky Room. Then, we kick things into high gear with some Great Big Faces. We can't wait to get things started!

You can check out more on Paul Merklein at:

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Good Reads: Wintersmith


By Terry Pratchett

Every year, the seasons cycle and change: Summer turns to Autumn, Autumn to Winter, Winter to Spring. In the world of Tiffany Aching, however, Winter refuses to give way - and it is all her fault. As if things weren't difficult enough already being a witch...

Already entrenched a world of witches and little purple men, Tiffany has drawn the attention of Winter, who will do anything he can to win her love - even if it means covering land in blizzards and avalanches. As his attempts to win her grow, things turn deadly serious as the delay of spring threatens the farms under Tiffany's watch. She must rely on the help of Granny Weatherwax and the Wee Free Men to bring back Spring and save the day.

Wintersmith is the third novel starring Tiffany Aching. She also appears in A Hat Full of Sky and The Wee Free Men

Wintersmith can be found in YA Fiction:

Monday, February 25, 2008

First Wii tournament April 5 & 6

The Nintendo Wii tournament officially kicks off on April 5 and 6 at the Manitowoc Public Library! Everyone in Grade 6 and up is welcome to sign-up and compete against not just Manitowoc competitors but also others at libraries down to the Illinois state line!

We will be hosting new tournaments every month and posting the results on a leaderboard that tallies all of the top scores among the 22 competeing libraries. At the end, those at the top of the leaderboard will face off on-line to earn the title.

The games we will be playing are:

Wii Sports Bowling

Wii Sports Golf

Super Smash Brothers Brawl

Dance Dance Revolution

Guitar Hero

Even if you don't get a chance to play all the games at one tournament, you can always show up again each month to compete more. Check back to find out the times for the first tournament.

New look - courtesy of Teen Talkback

The latest Teen Talkback meeting was held last Thursday in the Quiets Study Room. Among the things discussed were the Summer Reading Program, the quickly approaching Wii tournament, the YA collection and this blog.

Per the recommendation of the TTers, Get YA Info! has a new look with more color. Let us know what you think of the changes!

The Summer Reading Programs have been selected with most of the dates yet to be worked out. In matching the Olympics theme we will be hosting: a bubble wrap decathlon, a movie marathon, scavenger hunt relays, and a Wii tournament featuring Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games! We will kick things off on June 11th with the return of Paul Merklein and his Great Big Faces program. The other programs will include henna tattooing, paint the library, and the finale.

The TTers gave some great suggestions for collection additions and recommendations.

Keep an eye on the blog for updates and check the Teen Talkback Recommends display to find these items.

The next TT meeting will be March 20 in the Quiet Study Room. We will bump up the start time to 4:30.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Music Spotlight: Guster

Artist: Guster

Albums: Keep It Together, Ganging Up On the Sun

After listeing to Guster, it is hard to understand why they aren't a major presense in popular music. Their ability to smoothly mix catchy pop songs and gut-wrenching ballads is impressive and makes their albums flow seemlessly from the first tracks to the last ones.

Though critics loved it when it was released, Keep it Together never attained the huge commercial success it deserved. The incredibly catchy single "Amsterdam" did land them on MTV and VH-1, but it wasn't enough to propel them up the Billboard list. Nevertheless, Keep It Together is rich with great songs, including the up-tempo "Amsterdam," the memorable "Careful" and the quirky "Red Oyster Cult." Guster uses Keep It Together to shows off their fantastic harmonies and their great hooks.

Guster followed that album up with Ganging Up On the Sun, a more grown-up album that showcases a slightly moodier track list. Nothing shows this off more than "Ruby Falls," a haunting seven-minute epic that makes you want to hit the repeat button as soon as it ends. Other stand-out tracks are: "Manifest Destiny," "The Captain," "C'mon," and "Dear Valentine."

Guster can be found with the rock cds:
MR Guster

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Reminder: Teen Talkback this Thursday!

The next Teen Talkback meeting will be this Thursday at 5 p.m. in the Quiet Study Room. We will be discussing the spring and summer programs, as well as making preparations for the series of Wii tournaments that begin next month.

Teen Talkback is MPL's Teen Advisory Board, a chance for local teens to get involved in the selection of YA programs, books, CDs and DVDs. Any teens in grades 6-12 are welcome to take part. All you need to do to join is show up at the next meeting.

For more information on Teen Talkback, contatct Bob at or 683-4863 x-350.

Good Reads: Sleeping Freshmen Never Lie

Title: Sleeping Freshmen Never Lie

Author: David Lubar

Scott Hudson is starting out his freshman year in high school and immediately life is much different: girls he has known all his life are suddenly beautiful , seniors demand lunch money, and he is somehow writing sprots articles for the school paper despite his lack of interest in sports. With all this going on, his mother becomes pregnant. Scott decides to create a survival guide to help his new sibling manuever through high school and survive freshman year.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Good Reads: Planet Hulk

Title: Planet Hulk

Writer: Greg Pak

Artists: Carlo Pagulayan, Aaron Lopresti, Juan Santacruz, Gary Frank

Originally published The Incredible Hulk #91-105

While you may be familiar with the Hulk, you have never seen him like this before! Launched into space and crash-landing on savage alien planet, the Hulk finds himself confronted with challenges he never had to face on Earth. As the epic story moves forward, it finds the Green Goliath sold into slavery, competeing as a gladiator, squaring off against the Silver Surfer, and leading a rebellion against the Red King. Through it all, the Hulk does what he does best: smash!

Planet Hulk is a fascinating look at the Hulk and the group of warbound allies he fights along side as he unwittingly fulfills an ancient prophesy - but is it as the world's savior or destroyer? Pak mixes in a number of twists and turns all the way to the end. Even when the story ends, there are plenty of extras to explore, such as artist sketches and detailed character profiles that add depth to an already deep story.

In addition to Pak's great storytelling, the multiple artists flow seemlessly. The details of the alien planet and creatures enhance the Hulk's experience and never detracts from the tale.

Planet Hulk can be found in YA graphic novel are of non-fiction:

745.5973 Pak

Monday, February 11, 2008

Teen Talkback moved to Thursdays!

The Teen Talkback meetings are being moved from Monday afternoons to Thursday evenings. We will be gathering in the library's Quiet Study Room at 5 p.m. on February 21 and we will continue to meet each month on the third Thursday.

Teen Talkback is MPL's Teen Advisory Board, a chance for local teens to get involved in the selection of YA programs, books, CDs and DVDs. Any teens in grades 6-12 are welcome to take part. All you need to do to join is show up at the next meeting.

For more information on Teen Talkback, contatct Bob at or 683-4863 x-350.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Music Spotlight: Paul Cebar (and the Milwaukeeans)

Artist: Paul Cebar and the Milwaukeeans

Albums: Upstroke for the Downfolk, The Get-Go, Suchamuch, That Unhinged Thing

Though his origins are in Milwaukee, Paul Cebar's music has a worldy feel to it. Covering everything from funk and soul to zydeco and Caribbean sounds, his band moves effortlessly between genres to provide music that keeps playing on in your head long after the cd is turned off. While the Milwaukeeans have changed over the years, the constant has always been their frontman, whose voice is remenicient of a young Van Morrison and his songs make you want to dance.

Cebar's career caught on with the release of That Unhinged Thing. A larger band sound complete with horns and accompanying vocals by Robin Pleur, That Unhinged Thing shows off the playful nature of the band with a solid dance hall sound. Standout tracks include: Twice Little Sixteen, the title track and I Love Soul.

Starting off with the soulful funk of Didn't Leave Me No Ladder, Upstroke for the Downfolk moves smoothly from one track to the next and closing with the simple accoustic Somewhere Further Along. Along the way, you find some salsa (A Knife and A Rose) and a lot of dance music. Standout tracks: Please Don't Tell Me More, I Can't Dance For You, and Somewhere Further Along.

The Get-Go may be Cebar's most accomplished album to date. It showcases a more well-rounded musical flavor, pulling from calypso and ragtime, in addition to Cebar's already impressive catalog of music. There are still the foot-tapping dance songs at which Cebar excels, like Clap for the Couple, but there is a wealth of musical enjoyment that lasts through the final blues notes of Itta Bena Boy. Standout tracks: She Found a Fool, Sending My Love.

Ultimately, Paul Cebar and the Milwaukeeans thrive in their live performances. In an attempt to capture the energy of a live show, there is Suchamuch, a live set recorded in Chicago. Suchamuch provides a nice overview of the band's repetiore and musical skills, through solos in Check Your Bucket and Jump in the Line. Standout tracks: She's Such a Much, Going Back to New Orleans.

Paul Cebar and the Milwaukeeans can be found in Rock Music cds:
MR Cebar