July 2, 2015 |
Standing ovations peppered Brian Wilson's concert Monday night at the Mann Center - for spectacular renditions of Beach Boys classics like "Good Vibrations," "God Only Knows," a triumphant "Darlin,' " and "This Whole World," and new song "Runaway Dancer" - but one ovation said the most about this night and about Wilson and his music. That was when the crowd, mostly age 50 and up, with a generous component of younger heads, rose as one to applaud "Surf's Up," from Wilson's storied Smile project.
June 27, 2015 |
Sixto Diaz Rodriguez - the long-haired, shades-wearing, Mexican American folksinger known singularly as Rodriguez - opens Monday night for Brian Wilson at the Mann Center. That will be special for several reasons. Not only is it the meeting of a couple of '60s pop legends ("rock-and-roll history," exclaims Rodriguez), but it also will be a fascinating peek into the famously troubled lives of its performers. "Between Brian and I, we both have had complicated lives, so to speak," Rodriguez, 72, says with a laugh, as his family chats and giggles behind him. "We have both been through some stuff.
June 8, 2015
COMING THIS WEEK Aloft "How can a mother abandon her son?" Not easily, as Jennifer Connelly, Cillian Murphy, and Mélanie Laurent find out in this wintry drama of estrangement and reconciliation from Oscar-nominated director Claudia Llosa ( The Milk of Sorrow ). R Jurassic World A new breed of genetically engineered dinosaur causes trouble at the Isla Nublar theme park in this third sequel based on Steven Spielberg's 1993 runaway megahit. Spielberg executive-produced this one; Colin Trevorrow of the tiny Aubrey Plaza time-travel indie Safety Not Guaranteed directs.
June 7, 2015 |
Iris Albert Maysles' winning portrait of Iris Apfel, the freethinking nonagenarian New Yorker whose uncanny sense of style has inspired several generations of fashion-world movers and shakers. "Less is more" is definitely not this woman's credo. PG-13 Love & Mercy Breathtaking psychological biopic of Brian Wilson, the songwriting savant behind the Beach Boys, toggling back and forth between the mid-'60s and the band's landmark Pet Sounds album and the '80s, when Brian, wrongly diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic, was under the despotic care of a psychologist.
June 5, 2015 |
AS BIOPIC subjects go, Brian Wilson is a doozy. After all, the story arc of his almost 73 years seems far more the stuff of fiction than fact. Physically and emotionally abused as a child (he claims he lost 96 percent of the hearing in his right ear to the corporal punishment administered by his father, Murray), he nonetheless went on to found the Beach Boys and serve as the iconic band's original bassist and chief composer, conjuring such pop-rock totems as "Wouldn't It Be Nice," "God Only Knows," "California Girls" and "Good Vibrations.
June 1, 2015
When Brian Wilson played the Non-Comm radio convention at the World Cafe Live in West Philadelphia this month, the 72-year-old songwriter sat center stage at the piano and introduced one of his most beloved compositions. "Here's probably the best song I ever wrote, in 1966, off the Pet Sounds album," he said, before playing the song Paul McCartney has said is his favorite of all time. "It's called 'God Only Knows.' " The rapturous reception the celebrated tune received, and with which it will undoubtedly be greeted when Wilson plays the Mann Center in Fairmount Park on June 29, contrasts mightily with the way it goes over on first hearing in Love & Mercy , the unconventional biopic directed by Bill Pohlad that stars both Paul Dano and John Cusack as the troubled songwriter.
January 25, 2014 |
TRENTON Frigid temperatures, a looming snowstorm, and a set of jitters did not stop the grandfather of a 2-year-old medical-marijuana cardholder from showing up at Gov. Christie's swearing-in this week. Gene Gatens, a carpenter from Brick, Ocean County, was among a small crowd of 30 protesters to stake out a spot Tuesday near the War Memorial. He hoisted a homemade plywood sign that read, "Don't Force Families to Move for Medicine. " It was Gatens' first experience as a demonstrator and ended up eye-opening and bittersweet.
December 28, 2013 |
The family of a chronically ill New Jersey toddler who has been at the forefront of a battle to get Gov. Christie to loosen the state's medical marijuana regulations is moving out of state. Vivian Wilson, a 21/2-year-old Scotch Plains girl with severe epilepsy, was issued an ID card that qualifies her for cannabis a year ago. But she has been unable to get the drug. After testifying before state legislators to get the law changed, Meghan and Brian Wilson say they now plan to move their daughter and her sister in February to Colorado, where dispensaries sell the drug in a butter or other edible form.
December 13, 2013 |
As news cameras clicked, the parents of a 2-year-old girl with severe epilepsy arrived at South Jersey's first medical marijuana dispensary to buy her an ounce when it opened six weeks ago. But the green buds sold by the Compassionate Care Foundation clinic in Egg Harbor Township ended up being worthless to them, because Vivian Wilson cannot smoke. Brian Wilson of Scotch Plains said he tried reducing the marijuana to an oil for his daughter so she could ingest it - which is how some epileptic children in Colorado take it - but he found out there were no medical laboratories in the state that were able to test it to determine its safety and the dosing.
October 11, 2013 |
There isn't a pop musician alive whose name spends more time in close proximity to the word genius than Brian Wilson. The 71-year-old Beach Boys songwriter, who will play the Tower Theater on Sunday on a coheadlining bill with British guitar hero Jeff Beck, is rightly revered for the music he made in the 1960s. Peaking with Pet Sounds in 1966, he crafted perfect pop songs of startling harmonic sophistication that captured both the joyous optimism of a hot rod chase after the American dream and the sumptuous melancholy that goes with knowing happiness will always remain just out of reach.