Saturday’s Shout-Out: Ainjel Emme

In 2002-2003, I became friendly with the members of a L.A. based all-girl rock band, Goddess Freak Ensemble. Like any band, the group went through some changes in guitarists and bassists. Through each change they continued to make beautiful music while showcasing their sexy, sassy selves. But when they briefly worked with Ainjel Emme, it was mind-blowing. Her mad skills on the guitar are evenly matched by her amazing voice, which is wistful and sly and sad and wise all at once.

A couple of months ago I started thinking about Ainjel again and decided to track her down on Facebook. Sure enough, she’s got her own page and frequently posts links to videos and songs. When I heard some of the stuff she’s been working on recently, I was once again blown away. Knowing how Giles feels about his lady singers (I call them his sirens), I had him take a listen. His face lit up at the first few notes.

I don’t want to even try comparing her music to anyone else, she’s that phenomenal, but I will say this: if you love great music, and you love hearing women sing and play guitar, give Ainjel a listen. Go buy her music. And then tell a friend.

To whet your appetite, here’s Ainjel doing a cover of The Smiths “Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want”. Check out other performances on her YouTube channel.

Saturday’s Shout-Out: Operation Paperback

Any other avid readers out there with a plethora of books just laying around, gathering dust? If you know you’re not going to read that James Patterson thriller again there’s not much point in keeping the book on your shelf. And while it’s easy to donate your books to the local library or Goodwill, have you considered sending your books to military folks who are desperate for something good to read?

Earlier this week I found out about Operation Paperback, a Pennsylvania-based non-profit organization devoted to getting reading material to U.S. troops deployed overseas. They accept monetary donations, of course, but the cool thing about them is that you can sign up to be a volunteer shipper and send your gently used books to the troops. These folks make it easy to get your books to the right people, too:

“Once you have registered with us, you can log in and request addresses of troops overseas using our automated system. Input the genres you have on hand (mysteries, Westerns, etc.) and our system will generate a customized list of names for your use. Label your books and insert our standard shipping letter (or your own personal note). Pack and address your box using the names we provide. Then head to the Post Office to mail your box. It’s that simple!”

I’m a voracious reader, but I’m not much of a book-buyer – I’m a library kid, which is a topic for another Saturday’s Shout-Out. That being said, I love the idea behind Operation Paperback: anything that supports reading as a hobby AND supports the troops sounds fabulous to me.

So if you’re avoiding tackling that overstuffed Ikea bookcase because you don’t know what to do with all those Sidney Sheldon and Clive Cussler novels, go check out Operation Paperback.