In the words of the band itself, Stary "sounds like Neil Diamond except harder and more sad?!?!?" Listeners may or may not hear Mr. Diamond’s influence in their melodic indie-rock songs, but that’s beside the point. Comprised of core members Marisa B. Tejeda and Adam James in 2017, with drummer Seth Props joining later, Stary’s eponymous debut EP definitely deserves a listen. We are excited to share an interview with this new Kansas City band has they prepare more live shows and a full album. Enjoy!
If you’ve haven’t checked out what our librarians are recommending, head on over to our Staff Picks Blog to find great stuff that we’ve been reading, watching, or listening to.
Josh N. is a HUGE fan of Doctor Who and recently traced the genealogy of the classic British Sci-Fi television show, looking at works of fiction that have influenced the adventures of our favorite Time Lord over the years – which is no small task, considering the show has been around for over fifty years and still has legions of fans across the globe.
We’ve been celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Moon landing all this summer, and Kari E. wrote about the effect that outer space has had on her passion for music. Here, she guides us through a list of concept albums all based on space or other planets, including artists like Janelle Monae and Radiohead.
Michael K. recently noted the recent 30th anniversary of the movie UHF, written by and starring “Weird Al” Yankovic. He wrote about his love for the film and what the movie’s delightful collection of oddballs working for a struggling local public-access television station meant for him as a teen.
Finally, librarian Gregg W. reports back from his trip to BookExpo, one of the year’s largest gathering of publishers and authors, and highlights some titles that will be hitting the shelves at your local branch - and, just maybe, the bestseller lists. We love hearing about the next big titles before everyone else does, and Gregg always has his ears to the ground.
Each of our locations draws a name from the pool of kids who participated in Summer Reading to win a READ poster photoshoot. Here is Leawood Pioneer Library's winner! You can enjoy the adorable-ness of current and past READ poster winners at each of our Libraries.
Leawood Pioneer hosts Read to a Dog, Creative Writing Workshops for teens, Book Groups, and more!
Kids can join one of our clubs to read, have fun (and snacks!) and learn.
American Girl Book Club - at Shawnee Library and Monticello Library. American girls love to read, and this Book Club helps American girls read more. American Girl offers many character stories exploring historical perspectives from a girl's point of view. Join this group to read and craft with your American Girll!
Tween Book Club - at Lenexa City Center, Monticello Library, Central Resource Library, and Blue Valley Library. Let's read for fun! Club kids get together to talk about a new book, make new friends, enjoy snacks and explore fresh ideas. Bonus fun: build your own home library. We provide a free book while supplies last.
Check out our events for teens, too »
Artist statement: I want to make a non-destructive and positive impact in the world through sustainable art and sustainable living. I pull items out of the waste stream giving them a different purpose than initially intended to use them in a new ways, collaging images, sounds and materials into artworks, environments and experiences.
Visual collages layer images combining old ideas into curiosities of today. By layering recorded sounds an audible collage unfolds combining recognizable notes and undistinguished noises. Constructing sustainable buildings from natural and manufactured materials integrates naturally into the environment. All of these are forms of collage are combining pre-existing materials into something new.
My previous work with interactive noise machines ties into the layering of my current soundscapes. This work is an extension of William Burroughs’s cutups both in sound and vision. John Cage, Bernie Kraus and Christian Marclay have influenced my approach to art and sound. Michael Reynolds has influenced my way of making sustainable homes. I draw inspiration from science and technology and how they both reform human understanding of all things while disintegrating world views.
Introduce yourself and describe your work and the media/genre you work in.
Hello! My name is Kris Schmolze. I am an artist and a musician exploring the bounds of both, simultaneously and independently, riding the line between each on their own, while intersecting them together and trying to find what defines or denies them.
Talk about the works currently on display at the Oak Park Library. What would you like people to know about them?
The thirty or so collage works on display at the Oak Park Library embody concepts involving science and spirituality. As knowledge expands our understanding of the world we inhabit, the comprehension of this universe grows. By playing with themes of belief, fantasy, myth, prophecy and technology, a furthered narrative of science fiction develops.
Describe your creative process.
There’s a lot that goes into designing collages around concepts. Researching current events, stories and theories becomes the building blocks to hunt for images to work with. Pulling from previous events gives concrete references to facts or fibs from the past, granting validation to an addition of established ideas. Collecting pictures that have a history allows expansion upon its possibilities, much like fake news and conspiracy theories.
What do you feel is your role as an artist?
My role as an artist is to think about ideas and then to explore them—research, develop a concept, search for materials, construct these ideas, reflect and repeat. It is important to share these skills with everyone. I will be leading a collage workshop where we will be using old books from the Library to make artwork in late August. Please attend and bring your friends!
What books, movies and/or music have inspired you recently?
The catalog from the 1939 World's Fair with all its promise of a better future rings true today. The Kronos Quartet’s Music of the Spheres features a live track that plays throughout the performance, which is a recording of outer space from Voyager that was sped up to be audible and sounds like the deepest densest jungle. Visits to the Greater World Earthship Community in New Mexico and Biosphere 2 in Arizona both explore adapting to an Earthly and Martian environment.
As you continue to explore our Summer Reading theme, A Universe of Stories, we encourage you to navigate your rocket ship to the nearest wormhole or crack in the space/time continuum and trek back to 1956!
There you'll find our then temporary headquarters on Merriam Drive. We're talking way before Monticello and long before Lenexa City Center Library! Does history repeat itself? That poster those children are gathered around sure seems to say so! The Summer Reading theme in 1956? Your Ticket to the Moon!