June 25, 2014 |
When odd-pop icon Ben Folds opens the Philadelphia Orchestra's season at the Mann Music Center on Tuesday with his Concerto for Piano and Orchestra , the 47-year-old keyboardist will do what he's done best since releasing the goofy "Underground" in the late '90s: Confound audience expectation. First, he has to get his teeth fixed. "Man, it's not by choice," says Folds, sitting in a dentist's office in Nashville where he's currently recording his concerto. "I've been in the chair all year.
August 28, 2003 |
Ben Folds and Tori Amos, the headliners on the Lottapianos Tour, have more in common than their versatile instrument. Both are natives of North Carolina. Both delighted the Tweeter crowd on Tuesday night with covers - Folds mugging his way through Wham!'s "Careless Whisper," Amos delivering a spellbinding reading of Tom Waits' "Time. " And both are adept at exploring a variety of moods. The difference is that Folds' compositions alternate between sensitivity and wryness, like John Mayer with a sporadic sense of humor.
October 6, 2012
Music Picnic with Puccini. Join fellow opera aficionados on Independence Mall for a free broadcast of Puccini's La Bohème presented by the Opera Company of Philadelphia. This is the second annual opera on the Mall. The broadcast will present the piece in a new, more art-inspired way. Bring blankets, lawn chairs, and picnic baskets. Free, but registration is required. Time: 7 p.m. Saturday. Info: 215-893-3600, www.operaphila.org/boheme . Ben Folds Five.
October 5, 2012
Ben Folds Five From the Everything Old Is New Again Department, we have the much-heralded reunion of North Carolina pop-trio Ben Folds Five. But this isn't a listless retelling of past glory: The band just released its first studio album in 13 years, the energized The Sound of the Life of the Mind , and it has launched a brisk-selling 12-city U.S. tour to plug it. Piano-playing lead singer Ben Folds - who has several critically acclaimed solo...
December 8, 2000 |
In a year that saw songwriters such as Dan Hicks, Emmylou Harris and even Paul Simon celebrate their quirkiness, you've got to hand it to Rickie Lee Jones. Like Joni Mitchell, Jones, the bohemian queen, went cover-version-happy on her most recent CD, It's Like This (Artemis). Unlike Mitchell, the squeaky, skronky Jones, who has one of pop's most puzzlingly sensual voices, did not celebrate bombast or over-stringy orchestration. Instead, with the help of guitarist Taj Mahal and pianists Joe Jackson and Ben Folds, Jones went for lean, angular smooth jazz set to a bongo-ing beat.
June 1, 1998 |
The annual suburban teenage rite of passage known as the Y100 Feztival outclasses the rest of the traveling summer music festivals for one simple reason. The other day-long 'paloozas all target a niche: Lilith loads up on female singer-songwriters, HORDE is for hippies, Warped rolls with the skateboarders. But with the Feztival, pulled together by WPLY (100.3-FM) program director Jim McGuinn, the only divining concept is pop. If the kids like it right now, then it qualifies.
May 19, 2006 |
The conflict between man and beast long has been a theme in movie cartoons, from the hunter who killed Bambi's mom, to Elmer Fudd's eternally harassing a certain Bugs, to bulldozers upending the natural order of warrendom in Watership Down. In Over the Hedge, a ho-hum adaptation of the long-running Mike Fry/T Lewis comic strip, furry, four-legged scavengers terrorize oversubscribed suburbanites and vice versa. The humans see the animals as vermin; the animals view Homo sapiens as exterminators.
July 12, 2004 |
It's rare to see pop performers work harder than they have to onstage. Usually what you get is a well-rehearsed impersonation of energy and enthusiasm. But on Saturday night at the Electric Factory, Hanson genuinely ripped it up, romping through a two-hour-plus set that was an unalloyed pleasure. The sibling singers certainly didn't have to try so hard. Their still rabid female fan base would scream deliriously if Isaac, Taylor and Zac merely strolled out and waved to the crowd.
December 20, 2001 |
The Gaza Strippers, the quartet led by former Didjits/Supersuckers guitarist Rick Sims, rocks the Khyber with Sugar Skulls, Smut and Lisa Christ Superstars (10 p.m. tomorrow, 56 S. 2nd St., 215-238-5888, $8). For fans of this kind of meat-and-potatoes punk-and-roll, meet the Prisoners, who will make it worth your while to drive all the way out to Media of all places (10 p.m. tomorrow, Old State Tavern, 38 State Road, 610-566-9920). They're rockin' the suburbs, just like Ben Folds never did. Not to be confused with Swedish rockers the Hellacopters, Kent, Ohio's Party Of Helicopters are part Mould/Mascis, non-ironic metal, and enough mathematical noodling to keep the Don Cab fans happy (9 tonight at the Khyber, $7)
November 28, 2003 |
There's a good chance that Something Corporate's excitable lead singer and pianist Andrew McMahon had a parent or older sibling who exposed him to the piano-based theatrics of Styx and early Billy Joel during his musical development. That's cruelty in most instances, but in McMahon's case, he owes his burgeoning career to whoever hipped him to those '70s middle-of-the-road staples. His Off-Broadway vocal delivery (hello, Styx's Dennis DeYoung) and slice-of-young-life vignettes (thank you, Billy Joel)