Blog

Bookmans Recommends: Okkervil River Band

Posted in Uncategorized on 29 Mar by


Okkervil River, formed in Austin, TX, was founded by frontman and songwriter Will Sheff in 1998.  The band has produced 8 Studio albums and has toured with other popular folk/indie artists like The Decemberists, The National, and The New Pornographers. Their sound, like any other band, has of course evolved over time, so I’ve laid out the highlights so that you can experience the full spectrum that is Okkervil River.

Okkervil River

1.  Don’t Fall In Love With Everyone You See

Don’t Fall In Love With Everyone You See, the Band’s premiere album, is titled aptly. The majority of the songs deal with heartbreak, self-destructive relationships, and the ubiquitous human need for reciprocal love. The album features a spectrum of instruments ranging from Banjo to Trumpet and Harmonica to Organ (the Banjos and Guitars are a given). The southern roots of the album can easily be heard in songs like “Kansas City” and “Lady Liberty”, while “Westfall” takes a more narrative approach (an approach that later the band would become known for), narrating the dialogue of a psychopath who realizes he is about to brought to justice. Must Hear: “Westfall”

Okkervil River

2.  Black Sheep Boy

Black Sheep Boy, the band’s third album, is widely considered to be their best. A concept album following the titular character “Black Sheep Boy”, the album opens with a cover of Tim Hardin’s song of the same name. From their the album follows the Black Sheep Boy, alone and searching for his place in the world. Black Sheep Boy has a grungier and darker tone than Okkervil’s previous two albums, in many cases abandoning acoustic guitars for their electric counterparts, though horns are still prominent throughout. Must Hear: “So Come Back, I Am Waiting”

Okkervil River

3.  The Stand Ins

Though some may prefer The Stage Names be included in it’s place, I find that sister-album The Stand Ins does a better job of speaking for the band circa 2008. If Black Sheep Boy is the band in it’s angsty teenage years, still coming to terms with the hard facts of life, the The Stand Ins is the confident college senior, ready to conquer the world. The Stand Ins really showcases the story-telling style of Will Sheff’s songwriting, each song telling it’s own story. Many of the songs on the album deal with the inability to cope with fame or having loved and lost someone famous. I may be biased, as this is the first Okkervil River album I heard, but The Stand Ins remains my favorite to this day. If you only give one of these albums a listen, let it be The Stand Ins. Must Hear: “On Tour With Zykos”

Okkervil River

4.  Away

This brings us to Away, Okkervil River’s most recent studio release. I haven’t had the chance to spend as much time with this album as the others, but it definitely signals a change in the band’s direction moving forward. As a whole the album seems to be something of a dirge for the band itself.  The opening song of the album is entitled “Okkervil River R.I.P.” and tells the story of a man struggling with the loss of an elderly loved one. It’s worth noting that this album was written by Sheff shortly after his grandfather passed away and several band members moved on to pursue other things. Must Hear: “Okkervil River R.I.P”

If you gave the songs above a listen and like what you heard, I’d encourage you to swing on in and pick up a few of their albums. Bookmans sells music on both CD and Vinyl, so no matter which way you like to Jam out we’ve got you covered. Already a fan of Okkervil River? Share your favorite song with us below in the comments!

Why Art Is Important To Us | Bookmans

Posted in Core Values, Uncategorized on 28 Mar by


Art in some way has existed just about as long as the world itself. Art has become to be a huge part of our lives; appearing in cultures all across the world. Art is such an important element because it delivers a wider perception of: self, each other, emotions, awareness, history and more. Art is created and appreciated by many different people for countless reasons. Here is why art is important to us…

Often our lives are caught living in the fast lane, while we are piled up with responsibilities, rapid decisions and scattered thoughts. Creating art provides the opportunity to hit the brakes and really transform what we think, feel and are. Observing art can help explore the feeling, thought and experience that the particular artist is portraying. Art is a tool that can help you as an individual as well as the world as a whole: grow and improve while still expressing thoughts, emotions and beliefs.

art Read More…

Art 4 All; Art History Unpacked | Bookmans

Posted in Bookie Blog, In Our Stores, Merchandise on 27 Mar by


Not everyone can be an art historian, critic or theorist, even if you actually studied art history. The Fine Arts field is a highly dynamic and ever changing arena. There is always something new to explore, always something new to learn. Art history is much broader than the Renaissance where even the most learned scholars who have devoted their entire lives and careers to it’s study are daunted. From there is can be argued that art is essential, innate to the human experience. The creation and appreciation of art can be traced back to man’s earliest history. There is a fundamental quality about artistic endeavors. Humans are compelled to pursue creativity. Art, of course, is a somewhat over-broad term that encompasses the entirety of all human creations. We could include non homosapiens in our discussion, as in painting elephants. We will, however, stick to people and people creating fine art.

art Read More…

Discovering 锦绣未央, “The Princess Weiyoung” | Bookmans

Posted in In Our Stores, Merchandise, Reel Chat on 24 Mar by


On my vacation recently, I forgot to stock up on new Manga. I was in desperate need of a new book, movie or TV series to binge. I have a great love of period dramas of all types, but it had been a while since I had found one that really captured my imagination. In researching this years Chinese New Year, I came across a random post of gorgeous historical Chinese costumes on Tumblr, I was then turned on to the Chinese drama Princess Weiyoung. It is inspired from the novel The Poisonous Daughter (庶女有毒) by Qin Jian.

The story of Princess Weiyoung begins with the Princess of Northern Liang escaping death as her entire family is slaughtered by the Chiyun clan of Northern Wei, her father having been framed for rebelling against the Emperor. She takes on the persona of Li Weiyoung, the estranged illegitimate daughter of the Prime Minister of Northern Wei, in order to infiltrate their clan and take vengeance upon those responsible for the death of her family.

Princess Weiyoung

Read More…

Celebrate #allthingsart with Mesa’s Local Art and Craft Fair | Bookmans

Posted in In Our Stores on 23 Mar by


With it being the month of March, what first comes to mind? Is it March Madness? The Ides Of March? St. Patrick’s Day? To us, it means all things art. Art, and crafts are such an integral part of our everyday lives. The East Valley is full of such a wide array of diverse artists, we thought what better time to showcase some of this talent by bringing them to you. On March 25th from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m, local artists from around the valley will be in our Mesa location selling their unique art. Interactive tables will open up opportunities to discuss and learn various techniques with local artists, try your hand at something completely new or finally try out that new craft idea you’ve been putting off and best of all give a chance to network with others who love what you love.

art Read More…

Get Active at Gilbert’s Ka-Pow! Superhero Adventure Run | Bookmans

Posted in Community Events on 22 Mar by


Attention Super Heroes of all ages!

Don your capes because…

It’s a Bird! It’s a Plane! It…it…it could be YOU!

Superheroes? Capes? Adventure Runs? What is this craziness that we speak of? We assure you, future saviors of the world, it’s no dream. Nestled deep within the greenery and tennis courts known as The City of Gilbert’s Freestone Park, lies a top secret headquarters rumored to house one of the “Most Awesomely Impressive Superhero Training Courses Ever Imagined!”

 

Read More…

The Get Down on Instruments | Bookmans

Posted in Merchandise on 21 Mar by


Bookmans celebrates all things arts and crafts during the month of March. We have craft fairs scheduled, beautifully crafted displays of coloring books and supplies for all your artistic endeavors. A department of our store that gets over looked this month, however, is our musical instruments! That’s artful, right?! At our new Bookmans Midtown we have everything you’ll ever need to start, progress or enhance your musical quest. The employees we have in our instrument department are dedicated musicians themselves and can offer the best tips for an array of players. They are knowledgeable not only on the instruments we have in stock but also on the going rates and can offer you the best deals in town. We take pride in not only providing you with the  best items at the best price  but also our dedication to being as helpful as we can possibly be.

instruments Read More…

Bookmans Recommends: Wes Anderson Films

Posted in In Our Stores on 20 Mar by


The imagination of now iconic director Wes Anderson has captured the attention of millions of fans around the world. His films, often featuring bright colors, beautiful symmetry, and idyllic set pieces, evoke the sort of wonder reminiscent of childhood. Though all of his films are brilliant, a few stand higher than the rest. Here are my recommendations for anyone just discovering Wes Anderson.

Read More…

Bookmans Recommends: Classic Rock Road Trip

Posted in Musical Notes on 17 Mar by


It’s almost springtime in Arizona! The weather is beautiful outside and we’re jonesin’ to get out and enjoy the open road. From the San Francisco Peaks to Saguaro National Park, Arizona has quite a few fabulous road trip routes. No road trip is complete without the perfect playlist, so the first stop on said journey should definitely be Bookmans. We are the place to pick up music that will complete your traveling soundtrack. With so many genres from which to choose, we’re counting down ten of the (arguably) most sing-alongable classic rock albums in history. Check out our picks from rock legends, stop by your local Bookmans, then get out of town and explore the outdoors with righteous tunes.

road trip

Bob Dylan • Highway 61 Revisited
“Like A Rolling Stone” is the most classic track on this album and the premier of Bob Dylan’s crossover into electric guitar. Tongue twisting lyrics and masterful musicianship make this album a staple of rock & roll.

Jimi Hendrix • Are You Experienced?
The debut album from The Jimi Hendrix Experience, this masterpiece exhibits some serious guitar skills and dreamy melodic structures. Play this on the way out of town and you’re sure to be inspired.

Van Morrison • Astral Weeks
One of Van Morrison’s greatest albums of all time, Astral Weeks is a dreamy take on folk, blues and soul. In addition to the title track, “Sweet Thing” and “Cypress Avenue” are sure to make your automobile feel more like magicmobile.

Led Zeppelin • Led Zeppelin II
Rockers so unique, they are impossible to ignore. Theatrical lead vocalist, Robert Plant is one of the most groundbreaking performers of his era. This album is right on for hitting the road.

The Beatles • Rubber Soul
Our top pick is from one the greatest bands of all time in the galaxy ever. We like to imagine that sums up what it would be like to spend a couple of days with John and Paul. It’s a perfect choice for getting up early and exploring new surroundings.

Wherever your travels take you, stop by and refuel your music collection at Bookmans. While you’re here, take part in the free and fun events year-round. We’re always happy to help if you’d like a recommendation, directions to the awesome vinyl section or rad conversation. See you this Spring at Bookmans!

The Wonderful World of Wrestling | Bookmans Entertainment

Posted in Merchandise on 16 Mar by


You know that feeling when you sit down in front of your TV and are faced with the insurmountable task of combing through Netflix, Hulu, or endless Cable channels, looking for that perfect something to watch? I used to struggle with that quite a bit, until I found my TV addiction. Professional Wrestling. Yep, you heard me. Men in tights, fake punching each other for a giant bedazzled belt. That’s my jam.

wrestling
Read More…

Robert talks Thrash Metal: Liege Lords Review | Bookmans

Posted in Uncategorized on 15 Mar by


What does one think of when asked about Stamford, Connecticut? Did you answer “Thrash Metal?” Of course you did! That was a hot bed of metal in the mid 80’s…oh, wait. That was Los Angeles. Well, regardless, out of this lovely, coast-side town, a metal band that has been forgotten in the annals of Metal history, was born. That band is none other than Liege Lords.

metal Read More…

Young Adult Book Club at Bookmans East in Tucson | Bookmans

Posted in Bookie Blog, In Our Stores on 14 Mar by


PSA: Bookmans East has a Young Adult Book Club.

Have you ever read a book and desperately wanted to talk about it? Some novels, especially the best ones, leave us with a multitude of questions and ideas bouncing around our minds. We believe that the purpose of art and literature is to “hold a lens up to reality” (as aptly stated in Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy) as well as educating, expanding or challenging our own ideas – even ones we aren’t aware of.

We’re calling all young adults! Bookmans East has a Young Adult Book Club and you are invited to join! The club originally began as a teen club but the excellence of the genre coupled with the attention Hollywood has given these titles inspired us to open membership to all young adults. Books such as Hunger Games, Maze Runner and Perk of Being a Wallflower and more have been adapted for the screen which bringing wider attention to young adult fiction.

book club Read More…

Part 4 Finale- TFOB’s Young Author Competition Winners | Bookmans

Posted in Uncategorized on 11 Mar by


Enjoy the final, Part 4 of our Young Author Competiton Winner’s stories:

For most, the Tucson Festival of Books is an opportunity to rub elbows with some of the literary elite. Or at the very least, stare at them from afar working up the courage to have your tattered copy of a beloved novel signed. While we wait patiently for pages to be graced with an authors John Hancock, we rejoice in celebration of the art of literature and the written word with fellow bibliophiles. We stuff Bookmans’ totes with festival author novels and new non-fic finds. We emerge ourselves in panels and discussions on the writing process. But aside from all of that sweet bookish goodness is an array of community engagement and celebrations or art, science and learning. No TFOB event embodies this more than the Young Author Competition. Sponsored by Altrusa International of Tucson in collaboration with Tucson Festival of Books, the Young Author Competition encourages young would be Pulitzer Prize winners to create. Whether it be through poetry, short story or essay, any child from pre-k to pre-college in invited to put pen to paper and try their hand at prose.

young author

Bookmans is once again involved in the Young Authors Competition and couldn’t be more thrilled to do so. In addition to offering prizes to winners in the form of some Bookmans gift certs we also invited a few to be featured here on Bookmans.com. Over the next few days we will be posting one entry each day leading up to Tucson Festival of Books.

Please enjoy today’s feature A Change of Heart by 5th grader Daphne Graham. Read More…

Part 3 – TFOB’s Young Author Competition Winners | Bookmans

Posted in Uncategorized on 10 Mar by


Here’s Part 3 of the Young Author Competiton Winner’s stories:

For most, the Tucson Festival of Books is an opportunity to rub elbows with some of the literary elite. Or at the very least, stare at them from afar working up the courage to have your tattered copy of a beloved novel signed. While we wait patiently for pages to be graced with an authors John Hancock, we rejoice in celebration of the art of literature and the written word with fellow bibliophiles. We stuff Bookmans’ totes with festival author novels and new non-fic finds. We emerge ourselves in panels and discussions on the writing process. But aside from all of that sweet bookish goodness is an array of community engagement and celebrations or art, science and learning. No TFOB event embodies this more than the Young Author Competition. Sponsored by Altrusa International of Tucson in collaboration with Tucson Festival of Books, the Young Author Competition encourages young would be Pulitzer Prize winners to create. Whether it be through poetry, short story or essay, any child from pre-k to pre-college in invited to put pen to paper and try their hand at prose.

young author

Bookmans is once again involved in the Young Authors Competition and couldn’t be more thrilled to do so. In addition to offering prizes to winners in the form of some Bookmans gift certs we also invited a few to be featured here on Bookmans.com. Over the next few days we will be posting one entry each day leading up to Tucson Festival of Books.

Please enjoy today’s feature The Bombings of Nagasaki by 5th grader Aurora Fontaine. Read More…

Part 2 – TFOB’s Young Author Competition Winners | Bookmans

Posted in Uncategorized on 09 Mar by


Part 2 of the Young Author Competiton Winner’s stories below:

For most, the Tucson Festival of Books is an opportunity to rub elbows with some of the literary elite. Or at the very least, stare at them from afar working up the courage to have your tattered copy of a beloved novel signed. While we wait patiently for pages to be graced with an authors John Hancock, we rejoice in celebration of the art of literature and the written word with fellow bibliophiles. We stuff Bookmans’ totes with festival author novels and new non-fic finds. We emerge ourselves in panels and discussions on the writing process. But aside from all of that sweet bookish goodness is an array of community engagement and celebrations or art, science and learning. No TFOB event embodies this more than the Young Author Competition. Sponsored by Altrusa International of Tucson in collaboration with Tucson Festival of Books, the Young Author Competition encourages young would be Pulitzer Prize winners to create. Whether it be through poetry, short story or essay, any child from pre-k to pre-college in invited to put pen to paper and try their hand at prose.

young author

Bookmans is once again involved in the Young Authors Competition and couldn’t be more thrilled to do so. In addition to offering prizes to winners in the form of some Bookmans gift certs we also invited a few to be featured here on Bookmans.com. Over the next few days we will be posting one entry each day leading up to Tucson Festival of Books.

Please enjoy today’s feature Why Black Widows Eat Their Husbands by 4th grader Thomas Benson. Read More…

Series: TFOB’s Young Author Competition Winners | Bookmans

Posted in Uncategorized on 08 Mar by


For most, the Tucson Festival of Books is an opportunity to rub elbows with some of the literary elite. Or at the very least, stare at them from afar working up the courage to have your tattered copy of a beloved novel signed. While we wait patiently for pages to be graced with an authors John Hancock, we rejoice in celebration of the art of literature and the written word with fellow bibliophiles. We stuff Bookmans’ totes with festival author novels and new non-fic finds. We emerge ourselves in panels and discussions on the writing process. But aside from all of that sweet bookish goodness is an array of community engagement and celebrations or art, science and learning. No TFOB event embodies this more than the Young Author Competition. Sponsored by Altrusa International of Tucson in collaboration with Tucson Festival of Books, the Young Author Competition encourages young would be Pulitzer Prize winners to create. Whether it be through poetry, short story or essay, any child from pre-k to pre-college in invited to put pen to paper and try their hand at prose.

young author

Bookmans is once again involved in the Young Authors Competition and couldn’t be more thrilled to do so. In addition to offering prizes to winners in the form of some Bookmans gift certs we also invited a few to be featured here on Bookmans.com. Over the next few days we will be posting one entry each day leading up to Tucson Festival of Books. Please enjoy today’s feature Will You Survive? by 6th grader Filomena Fontaine.
Read More…

Bookmans Reccommends – The Virgin Suicides

Posted in Bookie Blog, In Our Stores on 07 Mar by


Need a new book recommendation? We suggest The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides – it perfectly captures the adolescent obsession and infatuation that so often comes hand-in-hand with pubescence and High School. Written from the perspective of a group of young boys in the quiet town of Grosse Pointe (a suburb of Detroit.) The Virgin Suicides details their attempts to understand the mysterious Lisbon sisters, the youngest of which, Cecilia, has committed suicide at the age of 13.

             virgin suicides               virgin suicides

The Lisbon girls (Mary, Therese, Bonnie, Lux, and Cecilia) come from a very conservative household. Mr. and Mrs. Lisbon hold the girls to strict guidelines, and as a result they are largely isolated from the rest of the kids from school. Since most of their time is spent behind closed doors at home, the neighborhood boys are left to imagine what might occupy the minds of the elusive sisters. Read More…

Clever and Creative; Genius Re-purposing | All Things Art at Bookmans

Posted in Merchandise on 06 Mar by


Ever looked at something and thought “That is so clever – it’s so simple!” or “That is so cute, what could I use it for?” At Bookmans we have those thoughts daily, it is actually part of our job. Bookmans is a treasure trove of interesting items that you just can’t resist, so we want to help you find a use for these amazing finds and get organized while doing it, plus, its March which means it’s All Things Art and we think that making cool things from other cool things absolutely counts.

We know that everyone can benefit from organization but being tidy doesn’t have to come at the expense of style. You can organize your world and still have it look incredible. We also strongly believe in the transformative power of recycling and re-puposing, using existing items to spare our planet the burden of more stuff. That idea suits our creative tendencies as well – why use something boring (or worse, ugly) when you can get the same result from an interesting beautiful object?

art Read More…

Bookmans Plays: Battlefield 1 | A Gamer’s Review

Posted in Merchandise on 03 Mar by


Bookmans Plays: Battlefield 1

Battlefield 1, released this past October, is a historical first-person shooter game based on various events that took place during World War 1. The action is tense and fast paced, with plenty of tactical strategy to be had, as is to be expected from a Battlefield game. The guns feel realistic and true to the era, and the UI is well designed. I have no real complaints with the multiplayer gameplay at all. That being said, where the game really shines is in its storytelling… Read More…

Read To Me: Recommends for Kids to Love Reading | Bookmans

Posted in Bookie Blog, Core Values, Merchandise on 02 Mar by


We are literary lovers, and rightfully so surrounded by all the awesomeness that is our orange shelves. We are passionate about reading – obviously. The question sometimes posed to us is “How do I get the young people in my life to enjoy reading as much as I do?” or “My kid doesn’t like to read, how do I get them off their smart phone?” Naturally we have an answer, one that may surprise you, it is a two-part answer.

read Read More…

Bookmans Entertainment Exchange buys, sells and trades used books, music, movies, video games & musical instruments.
Our 6 stores in Tucson, Phoenix, Mesa & Flagstaff are open 7 days a week from 9am-10pm.

© 2012 Bookmans. All Rights Reserved.