April 14, 2015 |
Since his death in 1993, there's been no diminished awe where Frank Zappa is concerned. An absurd, sarcastic humorist and a genre-jumping composer whose output included avant-garde classicism, psychedelia, progressive jazz, doo-wop, musique concrète, and heavy metal, the thing that made him most magical - from a purely instrumental standpoint - was his dexterous, adventurous guitar playing. Tense, dissonant riffs with shifting time signatures or speedy, clearly plucked, note-bending solos - either way, Zappa stung and swung.
December 29, 2012
Ray Collins, a singer whose dispute with one guitarist led him to hire another, Frank Zappa, with whom he would go on to form the avant-garde rock group the Mothers of Invention, died Monday in Pomona, Calif. The death of Mr. Collins, who was in his mid-70s, followed his admission to Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center a week earlier for cardiac arrest, according to local news accounts. Mr. Collins entered the national spotlight with the Mothers of Invention, an outlet for Zappa's unique sense of humor and challenging, unorthodox compositions.
January 1, 2012
Pop The Dreamer (Verve Forecast ***1/2) By all indications, this will be Etta James' last album - the 73-year-old R&B great is reported to be in the last stages of leukemia. If it is, then the singer of such immortals as "Tell Mama," "At Last," and "I'd Rather Go Blind" is going out on a high note. The Dreamer presents James' trademark blend of sophistication and sass. She can still display some grit, as she does on the jump-blues chestnut "Too Tired" and a groove-heavy reworking of Guns 'N Roses' "Welcome to the Jungle.
July 5, 2011 |
Before he became the legendary music promoter who helped shape the concert industry over a four-decade career, Larry Magid was a 12-year-old doo-wop fan in West Philly, infected with the music bug by a song called "Sh-Boom. " The 1954 hit by the African American rhythm-and-blues group the Chords "had this refrain, 'Sh-boom, Sh-boom,' " Magid, 68, recalls fondly as he sits in his gold-record-lined office at the Piazza at Schmidts in Northern Liberties. "It made no sense, but it was something so different, so new. And you felt a connection to the music.
March 17, 2011
Owsley "Bear" Stanley, 76, a 1960s counterculture icon who worked with the psychedelic rock band the Grateful Dead and was a prolific LSD producer, died in a car crash in Australia, his family said Monday. Lyrics sung by the Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix, and Frank Zappa reference Mr. Stanley and his brushes with the law, underlining his influence. Mr. Stanley produced an estimated pound of pure LSD, or roughly five million "trips" of normal potency of the hallucinogenic drug, after enrolling in 1963 at the University of California at Berkeley and becoming involved in the drug scene that underpinned the hippie movement, according to the BookRags.com website.
September 20, 2010 |
L INDSAY LOHAN 's comeback role as a woman famous for her throat may have been put on hold by her nose. The former teen star confirmed on her Twitter page Friday the TMZ.com story that she had failed a court-ordered drug and alcohol screening. If asked, she tweeted, she is ready to appear before the judge and face the consequences for her actions. Oh, she'll be asked. "Regrettably, I did in fact fail my most recent drug test," Lindsay tweeted. She also tweeted: "Substance abuse is a disease, which unfortunately doesn't go away over night.
October 20, 2009
THE SPECTRUM. OCTOBER 24. Pick a year, any year. On that date in 1972, the Moody Blues performed. In '74 it was Van Morrison. In '77, Frank Zappa took the stage. In '80, The Kinks and John Cougar Mellencamp rocked the place. And in '97, Motley Crue showed its wild side. Over the years, there were also games involving the Flyers, Sixers and Phantoms on that date. This Saturday, Oct. 24, 2009, fans can relive those memories - as well as any of the hundreds of events that happened on other dates - as the Spectrum opens its doors for "The Last Stroll.
March 20, 2009 |
WE COULD HAVE sworn that Ted Haggard's 15 minutes were up. Unfortunately, the ex-evangelist still feels the need to proclaim to the world that he's a repentant straight man. But where to go when you've already blabbed about your bi-sex life to Oprah, Larry King and an HBO documentary, and your former flock still isn't flocking? The answer: "Divorce Court. " We really thought that this was a joke when copy editor Karin Berry informed us of the pastor's plans, but, alas.
February 14, 2006
LOOK, DUDE, the School of Rock music is gonna live. Somewhere cause rock 'n' roll will never die! Oh, it may move to another site, BUT IT WILL NEVER DIE!!! (Pick up Stratocaster; blast rock riff here). We have an inkling that the Paul Green School of Rock, which must move out of its rental location at 1320 Race St. to make way for an expanded Pennsylvania Convention Center, will find a new home. It may not be as convenient as the Race Street location - the better to lure high school wannabe Hendrixes from Friends Select and Roman Catholic - but we hope it stays in Philly.
June 10, 2005 |
There have been plenty of inspirational Hollywood tales about teachers over the years - Mr. Holland's Opus; Goodbye, Mr. Chips; Dead Poets Society; To Sir, With Love. But not a one focuses on a character as indefatigably unpleasant as Rock School's Paul Green. Which isn't to say that Don Argott's documentary about the founder of Philadelphia's fast-franchising Paul Green School of Rock Music isn't enjoyable. It is, immensely. And it isn't to say that Green, an oversize personality who scowls, sneers and occasionally wields a threatening drumstick at his teenage and pre-teen charges, isn't an effective teacher.