Top Picks: Hunter Davies' book 'The Beatles Lyrics,' an app to help you pack, and more

Kat Edmondson's new album 'The Big Picture' has original songcraft and inventive arrangements, a multimedia project gives insight into East German refugees' journey to West Germany, and more top picks.

Brooklyn Rider
Deutschland Blog

Modern muses

Brooklyn Rider, an innovative string quartet, sought out rock musicians, jazz artists, classical instrumentalists, and others to compose music inspired by a creative muse of the composers’ choice from the past 50 years. The result is Brooklyn Rider Almanac, a lively album of modern music, moody and evocative. The group plans to roll out videos of other artistic collaborations on its website, brooklynrider.com. 

From scribble to song

As the first and only authorized biographer of the Beatles, Hunter Davies was often present when the boys swapped lines and rhymes, and he’s collected their original lyrics scrawled on everything from a half-century-old phone bill to a fish-and-chips bag to create The Beatles Lyrics. It’s a fascinating, intimate glimpse into the creative process behind some of the greatest pop songs ever written. 

Freedom train

To mark the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, a multimedia project re-creates the journey to West Germany taken by East German refugees after they occupied the West German Embassy in Prague, the capital of what was then Czechoslovakia. A website accompanying the docudrama “Liberty Train, Next Stop Freedom,” directed by Sebastian Dehnhardt and Matthias Schmidt, features fictional diary entries based on the memories of passenger Christian Bürger. Go to blog.deutschland.de/en.

Packing helper

Did you pack enough for that upcoming trip? The free phone app PackPoint creates a quick checklist of essentials. It asks for a few details: Where to? How long? Any formal dinners? It then checks weather reports, suggests activities, and compiles a full packing list. The Apple and Android app often lists more than we think is really necessary, but PackPoint’s clean, clear design makes it easy to ignore some items and include others.  

Big talent, small package

The Big Picture, the third album by diminutive Brooklyn-based singer Kat Edmonson is a giant step forward in original songcraft and inventive arrangements, all designed to frame her beguiling Billie Holiday-meets-Blossom Dearie voice. Known for her quirky and winning takes on jazz standards, Edmonson penned most of these new tracks herself, in a style simultaneously modern and timeless.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

QR Code to Top Picks: Hunter Davies' book 'The Beatles Lyrics,' an app to help you pack, and more
Read this article in
https://www.csmonitor.com/The-Culture/Arts/2014/1024/Top-Picks-Hunter-Davies-book-The-Beatles-Lyrics-an-app-to-help-you-pack-and-more
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today
https://www.csmonitor.com/subscribe