Sunday, November 14, 2021

Music Matters - Music of the Native American Music Awards

The new episode of Music Matters is available, featuring winners of Native American Music Awards. This show features a wide variety of music. From pop and rock, to hip hop and country, to gospel and traditional, the Native American Music Awards represents a cross-section of the diversity found in contemporary music of First Nation peoples.

The Native American Music Awards were founded in 1998 to highlight and celebrate the music of contemporary Native musicians, artists and bands. This playlist on Music Matters has a wide variety of music, including tracks from Jim Boyd, Redbone, Twin Flames, Joanne Shenandoah and many, many more.

Join us for this special episode, and then head on over to the NAMA website to dive further into the wonderful world Native music.

Listen below, or on our Mixcloud channel.

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Harold and Maude -- TONIGHT -- 7pm

 Why come to see Harold and Maude? This trailer has three great reasons:

Harold and Maude was released in 1971. When it was released, people didn't know how to take the film. After all, it is essentially a love story between two people nearly 50 years apart in age. I remember renting it on VHS in high school in the 80s, and was really taken with its dark humor. By that time, public opinion had changed and Harold and Maude was considered a classic. 

Despite all of its darkness, there is a tremendous amount of heart in Harold and Maude. Ruth Gordon is a treasure. And the soundtrack from Cat Stevens is a classic.

The film screens as part of our ARCLight Film Series, bringing you classic films, cult films and films of cultural significance. Harold and Maude definitely fits that bill.

The screening starts at 7pm. I will briefly introduce the film, talking about its historical place and a little about director Hal Ashby. Then, stay for a discussion.

See you in the ARC!

Sunday, November 7, 2021

The ARCLight Podcast Explores Native history on the Next Episode

You ever wonder what is was like here before there was Arlington Heights, or Chicago for that matter? On the new episode of the ARCLight Podcast, Joe Podlasek, the founder and CEO of Trickster Cultural Center, talks about Native history and reminds us that Indigenous people are not just found in history, but continue to impact the region and country today. This area is home to the largest population of Native people outside of traditional Tribal lands. And the Trickster Cultural Center aims to raise awareness and place indigenous people rightfully in the present.

Listen to the episode below or in your favorite podcast app.

This short video is an introduction to the Trickster Cultural Center. Stop down and take a look at the ARC display case to see more videos from Trickster.

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Harold and Maude at the ARCLight November 9

When it was released in 1971, Harold and Maude received mixed reviews and low box office attendance. People thought the film was weird. And a little too dark.

However, within a decade--with the film getting a second life on VHS tape--attitudes changed. By the 80s, Harold and Maude was an acclaimed masterpiece.  

Harold and Maude tells the story of two people, separated by over 50 years, making a connection. Harold, played by Burt Cort, is a morose young man, obsessed with death. Maude, played brilliantly by Ruth Gordon, is a nearly 80 year-old woman who meets Harold at a funeral. Her attitude and love of life is infectious, and Harold catches it and is changed. 

Today, the film is critically acclaimed. Mark Caro, critic in Chicago, recently wrote about Harold and Maude in the New York Times.  "I’m sorry, "Harold and Maude,” for denying you for so long," he writes.  "You’re my favorite movie once again." 

We will be screening Harold and Maude on Tuesday, November 9 for the ARCLight Film Series. 

Free and open to the public. Screening starts at 7pm in room 124F.

Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Artist of the Month: Jim Boyd


I first became acquainted with the music of  Jim Boyd when I saw the 1998 film, Smoke Signals. He contributed three songs to the soundtrack, and I was  immediately drawn to his voice, which to me seemed to have not just intensity, but an emotional fragility as well.  This is particularly true with "A Million Miles Away," which remains one of my favorite songs:

When I see you read by the candlelight
I wonder if you'll hurt your eyes
Some people like happy endings
But I've always liked a surprise
And I've got a map here in my pocket
That shows where Lucifer fell
Ya I'll fall from Heaven
If you guide me through Hell

From that point on, I purchased every available album produced by Boyd. This was not easy, because Native artists are not necessarily carried by major suppliers or played on mainstream media outlets, even though someone like Boyd had the potential to reach a much larger audience, as his music is American music, plain and simple.  Although he often sings about Native issues, his music spans rock, singer-songwriter and country.

Jim Boyd was a member of Arrow Lakes Band of  the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation in Washington. He even had been elected Chairman of the Colville Tribes before his untimely death in 2016.  

Jim Boyd was not only a solo artist, but had also performed with several bands, such as Greywolf and Winterhawk. Over the course of his career, he had won seven "Nammies" (Native American Music Awards) and a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2014. He also appeared in several films.

This month, we are highlighting the work of Jim Boyd. Listen to the Spotify playlist I created, showcasing some of my favorite songs. 

My top 5:  

5) "Reservation Blues"
4) "My Heart Drops But I'm Proud"
3) "Ichelium"
2) "Filtered Ways"
1) "A Million Miles Away" (I particularly like the acoustic version that appears on the Smoke Signals soundtrack. The one in the Spotify playlist is a more electrified version from his album, First Come, Last Served)

It is Native American Heritage Month. In the ARC, we have a selection of books available that inform and amplify Native voices. We will also be producing a special episode of Music Matters that will highlight Native American Music Awards Winners.

And yes, you'll hear Jim Boyd there, too.

Monday, November 1, 2021

Native American Heritage Month

It is Native American History Month, and the ARC is celebrating in several ways.

First of all, check out our book selections that highlight Native American voices. These books span from non-fiction to fiction, poetry and graphic novels.

You can browse the collection through our catalog or view these books in a downloadable pdf.

This month, we are featuring the music of Jim Boyd, our artist of the month. His music can be streamed via our Spotify playlist.

On an upcoming episode of the ARCLight Podcast, we sit down with Joe Podlasek, the founder fo the Trickster Cultural Center in Schaumburg. He talks with us about the work the center does in raising awareness of Native issues. We also touch on the people who lived in the area before European settlement.

Finally, listen for the new episode of Music Matters, which will feature artists who have won Native American Music Awards, or "Nammies" as they are know. Coming soon!