Musical Notes

18 May

Freebie Friday: Michael Franti and Spearhead STAY HUMAN Tour at the Rialto!

***CONTEST CLOSED***

Michael Franti’s much-anticipated STAY HUMAN TOUR is making its way to Tucson on Friday, June 8th. Heads up, because tickets are selling out fast! We know that you’re excited to see Michael Franti and Spearhead hit the stage, and so are we! We even wrote a whole blog about why you should see this outstanding performer live. The Rialto Theatre has generously given Bookmans a pair of Michael Franti and Spearhead tickets to give to one very lucky customer for #FreebieFriday!

15 May

Michael Franti and Spearhead: Stay Human Tour 2018

Music with a message…  Music with substance is making a comeback with recent works like Childish Gambino’s music video “This is America”, Imagine Dragons’ strong lyrical compositions and even Hamilton taking the world by storm. The craving is real, and Tucson is getting a dose of some soul-groove with Michael Franti & Spear Head’s “Stay Human Tour” on  Friday, June 8, 2018.

10 May

A Beginner’s Guide to Vinyl

Over the past few years, vinyl records have made a comeback in a big, big way. More and more music enthusiasts are heading to their local record stores to discover or collect music. There are a lot of reasons why vinyl has made a resurgence in recent years, and if you are just starting to create your own vinyl collection, you’ll want to know all about how to pick and choose records – and what else you need to make them play beautiful music.

Flagstaff Vinyl 2

04 May

Learning an Instrument is Good for the Soul

As summer approaches, you may be finding yourself with more free time on your hands. Yes, you can waste away the days on your smartphone scrolling through social media or mindlessly searching the web, but does that actually sound appealing? No, but most of us do it anyway, simply out of habit. Instead of having a summer not worth remembering, why not learn a new skill that you can carry with you and make it unforgettable? Learning how to play an instrument has TONS of hidden benefits that you might not know about and can contribute to your overall happiness.

Row of electric guitars hung on a wall at Bookmans

19 Apr

Record Store Day is Almost Here!

*Bookmans is NOT A PARTICIPATING RECORD STORE DAY STORE*

If you’ve ever been to Bookmans, you know that we LOVE our VINYL! Our stores across Arizona are proud to share our love of music with the world. Visit any Bookmans store and you’ll find row after row of shiny, supremely cool vinyl records, both new and used. it should be no surprise that we are so excited to celebrate vinyl in all its glory on Record Store Day 2018.

Bookmans Record Store Day sale and event flyer

09 Apr

I’m With the Banned: Banned Musicians

Bookmans knows the importance of fighting censorship. Taking a stand against censorship is what keeps this nation free. Got a favorite musician from the good old days? From political rallies to terribly staged photographs, you may be surprised about some of these famous banned musicians!

22 Mar

Your Uplifting Music Playlist by Female Artists

Music speaks to the soul. It has the power to make you feel different emotions depending on the lyrics, rhythms, and beats. Each song on this list is sung by an inspiring woman in the music industry and they send an empowering message too. Anytime you need to take a step back from the daily grind, add these more-than-uplifting female artist tracks to your playlist and you’ll feel a wave of funk-fighting relief.

Female Artist Playlist collage with Sia, Katy Perry, Shakira, and Rachel Platten

14 Mar

Movie Soundtracks That Rock My World: Part Two

No matter how many years after their release, these soundtracks have found their way onto playlist after playlist. Some are newer but hit all the right notes. Some are nearing 20 years old and still have so much life in them that I can’t bear to take them out of my rotation. And why would I? In my last blog, I covered just half of my go-to movie soundtracks. Here are the rest of the soundtracks that put a smile on my face every single time I hear them.

09 Mar

Black Panther Movie and Music Review

Haven’t seen Black Panther yet? This isn’t a movie I’d wait to take a stroll to go see – I’d sprint if I were you. This movie has taken over not only the big screen, the internet, and, at least temporarily, pop culture! I don’t want to spoil my own review, but I have to say that the movie truly lives up to all the hype. There are spoilers ahead, so if you haven’t seen Black Panther yet, turn back now. If you have, read on because there is so much to talk about!

Black Panther movie poster collage

***SPOILERS AHEAD***

25 Feb

Songs You Won’t Mind Getting Trapped In Your Head

Ever get a certain beat or anthem stuck in your head for hours? It’s pretty much an everyday thing for me. Often times around Bookmans, you can spot me singing to the catchy piece of music trapped in my head at the moment. These new tunes have been playing on a loop in my brain, and though sharing them might not get them out anytime soon, I’m happy to have them playing on repeat in my head. You might find yourself singing along in a minute too.

Fetty, Kyle, and Drake Album Covers

19 Feb

Movie Soundtracks That Rock My World: Part One

Movies are true works of art. Most of us use our inner critics to take in a movie’s acting performances and the director’s storytelling abilities.  Those who study film (or are just passionate movie watchers) will also pay attention to the world of the story created by the writers and the cinematographer’s eye for space and light as well. There are costumes, sets, edits – a million little things that can make a movie great or merely average. My favorite “little thing” is the movie soundtrack.

For me, music can make or break a movie. These are just some of the most outstanding movie soundtracks that make my world go ’round.

Movie still image graphic: The Life Aquatic, Drive, and Purple Rain

03 Feb

The Greatest Showman

Loosely based on the life of P.T. Barnum, The Greatest Showman delivers something truly special to the big screen. Between the choreography, storyline, and music from the composers (Benj Pasek and Justin Paul of La La Land), it’s no wonder that people are flooding into theaters to see this masterful movie. Here’s why I think you should see it too, even if you’re not a lover of spectacle.

27 Jan

Add These Tracks Your 2018 Playlist

One of the advantages of working for a company like Bookmans is the ability to digest music, movies, games, and books effortlessly. As new material makes its way in our stores we eat it up and spit it out – in the form of reviews so that you, our avid reader and listener, can decide just what goes on your shopping list for your next trip to Bookmans. And here we are back at it again.

Album covers surrounding the title Favorite Tracks of 2018 so far

29 Dec

Bookmans Northwest: Best of 2017

Bookmans has always been your store to explore! As you know, we’re not your average bookstore or ordinary video game trade stop. Our orange shelves hold everything from movies to music to electronics to instruments, *BIG BREATH* jewelry, more books, magazines, toys, collectibles, and housewares… basically, we have a bit of just about everything! And just like our merchandise, our staff is as diverse as our store. To help Bookmans NW say goodbye to this year, we asked some of our employees to tell us their favorite books, video games, albums, movies, and instruments that came our way in 2017.

26 Dec

Lady Gaga: Top 3 Music Videos

Lady Gaga is one of those artists who always has people talking. She’s shown up in the media for her crazy costumes, insane music videos, and much more. It seems that Mother Monster herself has seemingly been keeping low on the radar. And when I say low, I mean not on the news every 5 minutes for her outrageous stunts but is still so famous that she performed at last year’s Super Bowl.

09 Nov

Above and Beyond

Lately, I have been getting the question “who your top favorite DJs in electronic music?” That’s a tough question, isn’t it? I’ve decided that the best way to answer this question (instead of just listing of countless DJs) by sharing a break down of one of my all-time favorite electronic group: Above and Beyond.

24 Oct

H.E.R. | Mariah’s Favorite Tracks from the Albums

Have you heard new R&B artist H.E.R.? This mystery artist who has bypassed exposing her real identity has the internet questioning “who is the female behind the shadow?”As always, I just came here for the music and there is no denying that enough was revealed to keep these ears lingering for more. Whoever H.E.R. may be, she guarantees mesmerizing soulful melodies.

So here is my highlight of my top 3 favorite tracks from H.E.R. – H.E.R. Vol. 1 & 2


Track 1: Losing

By far my #1 track off this album. It’s like getting lost in a relatable atmosphere carried by a serene tempo over clouds of emotion. I think we have all been caught up in that scene, yet she puts up her own unbreakable stamina.  The title may be “Losing” but I think with this one, H.E.R. may be winning.

Track 6: Facts

Apparently, facts aren’t the only thing she brought. She didn’t leave behind her fierce mindset for this one. “You make me wanna put my phone down” must be the complement of the year of 2017. Nonetheless, H.E.R.’s vocals blend smoothly with a nice rhythmic groove. Definitely worth adding to the playlist!

Track 11: Changes

“Changes” sounds like she is craving something more steady this time around, mixing vulnerability and willpower! She definitely puts out there what she wants in addition to pretty much leaving the ball in their court. Lesson took!

Intrigued and interested in taking a peek behind the curtain (as much as you can, anyway)? Check out H.E.R.’s official site to learn more about this talented young woman whose acronym H.E.R. – Having Everything Revealed – is just as killer as her music.

Excited about the mystery that is H.E.R.? Tell us about it! Loving the music? What are your favorite tracks and why? There’s so much to love and discuss about the Vols 1 &2 and it is clear that we’ll all be talking about H.E.R. for a long time.

Love Mariah’s taste in music? Check out her other reviews for Galantis’ The Aviary and Jhené Aiko’s Trip!

19 Oct

Frightful Fall | Classic Halloween Songs

Everyone celebrates Frightful Fall differently. Costumes, candy apples, trick-or-treating and fall festivals are all popular ways to show your autumn spirit. At Bookmans, we like to celebrate with the perfect Halloween playlist. With so many creepy songs to choose from, we recommend making a few different playlists in order to capture each specific spooky mood. Today, we are highlighting the classics. These songs are a must at any Frightful Fall party. Whether you will be watching horror movies or carving pumpkins this Halloween, here is a list of knock-your-socks off songs to get you in that scary spirit.

06 Oct

Bookmans Recommends | The Aviary by Galantis

If you know much about Electronic Dance Music then chances are, you’ve heard of Galantis. This Swedish duo consists of Christian Karlasson and Linus Eklöwn. The two have made their mark in sculpting House music. Galantis is best known for their 2014 hit single, Runaway (U & I) as well as individual accomplishments within the music industry. Their latest album, The Aviary infuses their unique sense of vitality into the songs while keeping their melodies groovy. Today, I’m highlighting my top three tracks on Galantis’ The Aviary to help break down the album.

04 Oct

Top Five Reasons to Learn a Musical Instrument

Johann Sebastian Bach once said, “It’s easy to play any musical instrument: all you have to do is touch the right key at the right time and the instrument will play itself.” Music has been around since the dawn of time. Its incredible diversity in the sounds, genres, instruments, and emotions makes music is a universal language. Well, maybe not technically a language, but people can connect in such a way that sometimes words cannot reach. So here are a list of the top five reasons why you should learn a musical instrument!

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