July 16, 2012 |
Several years ago, when I was working for a congregation of Catholic sisters, I visited their mission in Swaziland, a landlocked country in southern Africa. Swaziland is ruled by a king who has been known to make Parade Magazine's list of "world's worst dictators. " St. Philip's Mission is far removed from any city and most of the nearby homesteads have no running water or electricity. Rural Swaziland only began to get pit toilets in the 1990s. St. Philip's has a school, medical clinic, and orphanage that houses 127 children whose parents died from HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, or other diseases that are all too common in region.
July 16, 2012 |
In the summer of 1997, as a young reporter scouring the suburbs for stories, I landed on the Sunday front page with a 1,000-word ode to a Swarthmore College professor's belief that kids growing up in the ugliest of places could make the most beautiful music. Back in the corner, another fight is brewing , the story began. Up front, a couple of boys are dozing. But in the middle of the school bus lumbering toward some of Chester's most impoverished neighborhoods comes a voice straight from the heavens.
June 15, 2012 |
There's a not a band in the world better at projecting postmillennial unease on a grand scale than Radiohead, the six-man art-rock outfit from Oxford, England, that spent a lovely late-spring evening in Camden on Wednesday making beautifully jittery music. All century long, ever since the career-redefining Kid A in 2000, Radiohead has been turning inward, relying on fractured polyrhythms, ambient textures, and Thom Yorke's elegantly alienated vocals to convey a sense of sublime digital-age anxiety.
May 19, 2012 |
In its East Coast premiere, Daniel Catán's operatic version of the film Il Postino is infinitely more engaging than one could ever have predicted from an opera that has little exterior action, characters that aren't especially heroic, and music that hasn't a fraction of the usual tension of the opera's 20th-century predecessors. You aren't likely to walk away from the Center City Opera Theater production, which opened Thursday at the Prince Music Theater, thinking you've seen a masterpiece.
December 31, 2011 |
Bucks County authorities ruled the death of a Levittown blues guitarist and songwriter a homicide Friday. But two days after Bristol Township police found Daniel DeGennaro, 56, dying from a shotgun wound to the chest near the front door of his Crabtree Drive home, investigators remained tight-lipped regarding any leads they may have. "We don't believe it was a random attack," said District Attorney David W. Heckler. "But there are a number of avenues of investigation to pursue.
October 31, 2011 |
IN HIS REVIEW of Amber Heard's new movie, "The Rum Diary," Daily News film critic Gary Thompson referred to Heard as "a dish. " It's an objectifying term, for sure, but one from a previous era - the type of term Alan Ladd might say about Veronica Lake, or Robert Mitchum in referencing Marilyn Monroe. And it's fitting for Heard, whose beauty and style is from another era. Yes, she's been on the cover of Maxim , but her image could just as easily be painted on the side of a World War II plane, like Betty Grable, or working for French director Roger Vadim in the 1960s, like Brigitte Bardot.
July 22, 2011 |
Alison Krauss' crystalline voice, simultaneously airy and weighty, lends even the saddest songs - and her new Paper Airplane is full of sad songs - a sense of affirmation and pristine beauty. It's Krauss' first album in seven years with her longtime bluegrass band Union Station, and it was one of her most challenging to create, although it doesn't sound that way. Krauss spent several of those interim years working with Robert Plant and T Bone Burnett on the Grammy-winning Raising Sand.
April 3, 2011
Basil Twist's Petrushka Basil Twist reprises his 2001 Petrushka , the Punch-and-Judy show-cum-Ballets Russes Stravinsky ballet turned back into puppet theater. He adds brilliant choreographies to his dancing dolls, which even pull off the Kozatsky, those deep-knee-bend Cossack kicks. Wednesday to April 16 at the Annenberg. Pulcinella Alive Pennsylvania Ballet and the Philadelphia Orchestra in a notable collaboration, with both on the Verizon Hall stage for a world premiere of Stravinsky's Pulcinella by Boston Ballet's resident choreographer, Jorma Elo. Thursday to next Sunday, Kimmel Center.
November 17, 2010
LIKE RODGERS and Hammerstein, Simon and Garfunkel and Hall and Oates, Michael Vick and DeSean Jackson make beautiful music together. They've shared the same huddle for just 19 quarters this season, but already have established themselves as one of the league's most lethal passing combinations. Jackson's blazing speed plus Vick's powerful left arm and incomparable ability to extend plays with his feet is equaling a defensive back's worst nightmare. If the Giants' corners and safeties get any sleep this week, it will be with the help of a strong sedative.
September 26, 2010 |
It's the first rehearsal of the season, and the Greater South Jersey Chorus dives one-two-three into "The Encore Song. " "We worked very hard to get all the songs as polished as we could," the members sing, blanketing the basement of Cherry Hill's Unitarian Universalist Church in a lush blend of soprano, tenor, alto, and bass. Their sound is polished, all right - I swear there's a gleam in the air. These men and women make beautiful music together from equal measures of labor and love.