June 2, 2014 |
READY FOR some musical "Hot Fun in the Summertime"? How much can you take? Afford? Festival-mania heats up, fowl-weather-phobic acts come out of hibernation and large-capacity, lawn-enhanced "sheds" like the Mann (now solidly booked with good acts) and the Susquehanna Bank Center reopen for the season. Hardly a day or night will go by this summer without several interesting options. These 14 have larger-than-life (you'll be talking about this for weeks) potential: 7th Annual Roots Picnic, May 31. Will the Roots shizzle with Snoop Dogg?
May 25, 2014 |
Though Rickie Lee Jones started as a post-Beat Gen babe with cocky, restless wiles - a wordsmith reminiscent of poet Anne Waldman with the musicality of Joni Mitchell - time has shown her to be more stately and adventurous than her boho-folk jazzbo start. She became the soul of complexity, lyrically and sonically, as her music opened to great spaciousness. Balm in Gilead , Jones' last disc of originals, found her in a cheerful, intimate mood, pulling her strains of blues, folk, Tin Pan Alley jazz, and cool contemporary oddity into one blunt vortex.
May 24, 2014 |
Jesse Boykins III has offered quite a few funky innovations and soulful reveries since his 2008-09 releases, the Dopamine: My Life on My Back EP and his first full-length, The Beauty Created . Yet the alt-R&B multi-instrumentalist and singer, who sports a five-octave vocal range, has remained an enigma to all but his devoted cult following. "I don't feel as if I have purposely operated under the radar," Boykins says. "I have simply taken my time and paid close attention with each release.
May 17, 2014 |
'I'm in a Southern California punk band! Who would have thunk that?" So says Dimitri Coats, who led the Philly psychedelic hard-rock band Burning Brides in the early 2000s. Now, Coats is the guitarist in the punk rock supergroup Off! alongside singer Keith Morris, who was in an early incarnation of Black Flag in the late 1970s before forming the Circle Jerks; bassist Steven McDonald of Redd Kross; and drummer Mario Rubalcaba of Rocket From the Crypt. Coats ended up with Morris by accident.
May 7, 2014 |
BEFORE the Philadelphia Orchestra departs on a three-week visit to Asia with Yannick Nezet-Seguin, making his first tour with the musicians, they're offering six free programs throughout the region. Designed to reach audiences in different venues, and in collaborative participation with other organizations, the week could be seen as a present to the public after Yannick's second season here. To make that gift, the 95-member ensemble will split into smaller groups, the better to reach more neighborhoods.
May 4, 2014 |
Youthful embraces and lonely leave-taking occupied each half of the Philadelphia Orchestra's Thursday concert at the Kimmel Center with an unexpectedly particular characteristic in common: Unguarded emotionalism unlike anything else heard from the respective composers, whether in Bartok's Violin Concerto No. 1 or Bruckner's Symphony No. 9 . Smartly devised by music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin, the concert had long-term contour, starting...
May 3, 2014 |
What makes a collaboration work? In the case of the unexpected and seemingly unlikely one between solo acts Aimee Mann and Ted Leo, more factors are in their favor than you might think. When the duo - who headline Union Transfer as the Both on Saturday - toured together in 2012, "I started watching Ted's shows," says Mann, talking on the phone over a shared line with Leo from Brooklyn. "There was a new song of his that I really wanted to play bass on," she says. That song was "The Gambler," the first track on their new album, The Both . "So I asked to sit in. It's really interesting to hear the sound he gets with just one guitar.
May 1, 2014 |
Cher. Just. Is. The singer/actress, now 67, has been her own singular brand of spectacle since Sonny & Cher of the '60s. Her long career has embraced, in turn, Phil-Spector-style pop, thumping '70s kitsch, disco, hair-rock, mod burlesque, and Auto-Tuned house music, yet seldom in a manner you've heard elsewhere. Her quirky take on those genres and musical mood-swings was on full-feathered display Monday at Wells Fargo Center - to the delight of a packed house, which was equally delighted by Cher's supporting act, the indestructible Cyndi Lauper.
April 26, 2014 |
The overdriven guitar riff that opens "Oblivious," the first track on Jessica Lea Mayfield's new album, Make My Head Sing , sends out a loud and distorted message. The 24-year-old songwriter has taken her sound into her own hands. Both her previous albums, With Blasphemy So Heartfelt (2008) and Tell Me (2001), were produced by Black Key Dan Auerbach. They marked Mayfield - who began playing with her family's country band when she was 8 and was writing songs at 11 - as a writer of precise, haunting, slightly rootsy songs that tastemakers tended to categorize as Americana.
April 25, 2014 |
AS USUAL, WE'LL get the big news out of the way first: Miley Cyrus has left the hospital. Miley was hospitalized on April 15, for an "absolutely horrible reaction" - elsewhere called an allergic reaction - to flu medication. In the interest of public safety, could someone please tell us the flu medication so flu sufferers can be aware of its potentially scary nine-day hospital-stay side effects? "She is feeling much better and Europe [tour] is still on," an unnamed Miley source told E!