January 10, 2016
Hip Hop Family Tree #3, 1983-1984 by Ed Piskor. Pittsburgh cartoonist Piskor continues his authoritative and highly entertaining graphic history of hip-hop, with tales of the early days of Run-DMC, the Beastie Boys, and the Fat Boys. Fantagraphics, $27.99. Metz/Bully. Bang-up double bill featuring Canadian noise rock trio Metz, with Bully, the Tennessee rock quartet fronted by Alicia Bognanno, who put her own stamp on '90s alt-rock on the band's 2015 debut, Feels Like. Tuesday at First Unitarian Church.
September 8, 2015 |
The last time we saw 5 Seconds of Summer, the Australian power-pop band played up the pop side of that equation when they opened for One Direction in August 2014. 5SOS (drummer Ashton Irwin, bassist Calum Hood, and guitarists Luke Hemmings and Michael Clifford) had a large stage to play on and showed off harmonic boy-band luster to go with a spunky attitude and surprisingly taut musicianship. On Friday, 5SOS sold out Camden's Susquehanna Bank Center. Now on a smaller stage, they played up the power side, with a punky, crunching guitar sound that also managed to be sugar-sweet.
June 20, 2015 |
While America's alt-rock scene lumbered through its wild '90s - the period of Beck's Odelay , the Beastie Boys' Ill Communication , Soundgarden's Superunknown , and Ice-T's Body Count - a nice Philly band, holed up at Manayunk's Grape Street Pub and Old City's Tin Angel, moved tiny mountains with a mellow brand of pop: June Rich. Twenty years after its first album, and 17 years since the band broke up, June Rich has reunited, re-releasing its debut disc with a new song ("Who I Am")
June 10, 2015 |
Radio 104.5 FM threw a summer block party three weeks before the official start of the season on Sunday at Festival Pier. It had all the makings of a good street fair. It was free (station fans had to register for tickets). There were cold brews, grilled food, party games like beer pong, and teens lying around in shorts. And there were cool kid-indie bands as the long afternoon's sound track. The Oxford, England, alt-rock unit A Silent Film was the headliner - a good, not entirely contagious act. Entering to the sound of swarming bees, military drum riffs, and the splintered synths of "Tomorrow," A Silent Film was reminiscent of Psychedelic Furs toward the end of the '80s - a spooky but overly slick brand of sinister new wave.
April 11, 2015 |
To cite a generational icon - and there's a lot of that going on in While We're Young - I believe it was Mr. Wizard who used to proclaim, "Be just what you is, not what you is not. Folks what do this has the happiest lot. " OK, maybe that dates me (but hey, King Leonardo cartoons were in reruns for decades). Still, if there's a moral in Noah Baumbach's cuttingly comic and keenly observed new film, surely it's that same message Mr. Wizard gave to Tooter Turtle every time the hapless reptile returned from his latest wish-fulfillment disaster.
March 26, 2014 |
Rock clubs come. Rock clubs go. And memories of most of them are fleeting, gone in a haze of sex, drugs, and decibels. What, then, would anyone recall of a ratty Trenton punk venue called City Gardens that existed from the 1980s to the mid-'90s? Just about everything, if you ask Amy Yates Wuelfing and Steven DiLodovico, authors of a newly self-published oral history, No Slam Dancing, No Stage Diving, No Spikes . Or filmmaker Steve Tozzi, who has documented the eccentrically edgy haunt in Riot on the Dance Floor . Or the countless musicians and hangers-on who contributed recollections.
July 12, 2013 |
FOR A GUY just 21, Mac Miller sure thinks a lot about mortality - as well as oral sex, drugs and rap 'n' roll. "Retrace my steps back to Biblical times/We're all gonna wind up meeting at the finishing line," he pontificates on one track of his new sophomore set, "Watching Movies With the Sound Off. " On another track Miller requests, "When I die throw a couple bad bitches in my casket. " And later ponders "Is what I do important in the grand scheme of things?" The latter, for sure.
May 31, 2013 |
Along with the privilege of judging the Brew-vitational, I was charged with a task: To make a beer-drinking music mix that would be a soundtrack for sipping, mulling, and scoring the local brews placed before Craig LaBan, his six esteemed expert panelists, and me, the IPA-loving, craft beer-quaffing regular schmo. We listened to this 36-song list, which is called Drinkin' Thing, while we drank (and, as soberly as we could under the circumstances, judged). And you, Dear Reader, can listen to a streaming version by going to my "In the Mix" blog at philly.com/inthemix , where you'll find a Spotify widget to play it, and also an annotated list of all the tracks.
May 7, 2013 |
JUSTIN BIEBER HIT the stage two hours late in Dubai Sunday night, and near the end of his set a fan hit him. According to thenational.ae, Bieber was playing "Believe" on the piano when a young man in a white shirt and jeans jumped onstage and tackled him from behind . Security quickly pounced on the tackler as Bieber ran to the side of the stage. The attacker, meanwhile, pushed the piano off its hinges and the unplayable instrument was taken offstage shortly after he was. Bieber, rattled trooper that he is, finished the song with his band.
May 1, 2013 |
WHEN TATTLE heard that "Teen Mom" Farrah Abraham made a sex tape with porn star James Deen and then lied about it (pretending that it was a secret sex tape that no one was supposed to see), we thought, what kind of message does lying send to your young daughter? We already know what kind of message the tape sends. But a 21-year-old single mom has to take care of her kid, so Farrah has sold the tape to Vivid Entertainment for an undisclosed amount - rumored to be close to $1 million, but who knows.