August 23, 2008 |
In funk music or any of its cognates, cousins or relations, the power and elasticity of the groove is of utmost importance. But time, most specifically tempo, is nearly as important, as could be seen in "Still Black, Still Proud: An African Tribute to James Brown" at the Kimmel Center. When the ensemble, which combined venerable Brown sidemen with a couple of African stalwarts, got started Thursday night, the band, curiously, played "Soul Pride" at a fast pace. The groove itself was sleek, near-perfect, but its speed deprived listeners' ears - and their hips and feet - of the many nuances of the funk.
August 18, 2008 |
From the full house at Festival Pier to the full moon to the fireworks popping on the Camden side of the Delaware, it was a perfect Saturday night for a homecoming for the hip-hop and sloppy pop of Philadelphia's G. Love & Special Sauce. Even August's summer winds blew cool so not to dare mess with guitarist/harmonicat Garrett Dutton's blowsy raps and smooth vocal styling. Combine Dutton/Love's chilled-out demeanor with the density of upright bassist Jim Prescott and the cleverly clacking fills of drummer Jeff Clemens - who have been together since 1992 - and you understand how their easy, flowing funk has grown appealing to the Deadheads and Parrot Heads who filled the Pier.
July 2, 2008 |
Brett Myers was the opening-day pitcher for the Phillies on March 31. Tonight, he expects to be the starting pitcher for the Lehigh Valley IronPigs. Now that's a free fall. But that's how this lukewarm-and-really-cold season has gone for Myers. Once the darling of the Phillies' pitching staff, he is 3-9 with a bloated 5.84 ERA. Myers, sent down yesterday to the minor-league IronPigs to regain his pitching touch, has become the Phillies' poster boy for a star player gone bad. A relief pitcher last season, he was shocked at the demotion but said he would do anything to help his team win. "We're in a playoff race, and I have to be there to help my team," Myers said last night.
June 26, 2008 |
Come on, no complete game? No cycle? We kid, we kid. It's tough being picky at a time like this. Kyle Kendrick threw eight shutout innings and Chase Utley went 4 for 5 with a double and a triple last night in a 4-0 victory over the Oakland Athletics at McAfee Coliseum to snap the Phillies' six-game losing streak. They needed it. The Phils entered the night 3-10 since June 8 for the worst record in baseball in that span. "It was huge," Kendrick said. "Guys were joking around after we scored a run in the first inning.
June 9, 2008 |
Even when the Roots are alone on the bill, there are a whole bunch of bands on stage. This Philadelphia collective's picnic basket overflows with musical goodies. Look inside, and you'll find a full-on soul revue and an old-school rap outfit. There's a furiously shredding noise-rock band, and a tasty improvisational jazz ensemble. Not to mention an astonishingly focused hip-hop wrecking crew - leaders in bringing a genre-blending vision to life on stage. So the Roots Picnic, offered over 10 sweltering hours Saturday at the Festival Pier, was an idea whose time has come.
March 2, 2008 |
Brandon Huber was the buzz of the Philadelphia Flower Show preview yesterday, winning - at age 18 - his first blue ribbon. Not long after judges pronounced his Amorphophallus konjac tops in a hardy tuber-bulb-rhizome-corm class, Huber found himself the center of attention from a tag team of invited show visitors, all members of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society. They stared and giggled at his purple-brown plant, which is shaped like a phallus and not only looks bizarre but also has a smell often compared to rotting flesh.
January 30, 2008 |
Coming off back-to-back losses, Villanova doesn't figure to have things any easier tonight when the Wildcats try to snap out of their slump on the road against 18th-ranked Pittsburgh at the Petersen Events Center. The Wildcats (13-5 overall, 3-4 Big East), who fell out of the top 25 this week, need a win tonight to avoid their first losing streak of more than two games since they dropped their last five regular-season contests in the 2003-04 season. But the Panthers (16-4, 4-3)
December 1, 2007 |
DEAR Solomon, I've been reading your column for a while, and I've gotta tell ya, your wife is a lucky woman. You work hard. You spend time with the kids. You go places with your wife. So what if your dinner dates sometimes involve going to Sam's Club and filling up on the free samples? At least you make sure your woman eats! My point is, you're a good man. And who better to ask about finding a good man than you? So, what do you say? Do good men exist - and do they come with a warranty?
October 19, 2007
I THINK this is one of those watershed weeks. Either the Eagles are going to play well and put together back-to-back wins for the first time all season, finally making it to .500, or we'll see that last week's win didn't mean much and this is still a sinking ship. I think the first scenario is slightly more likely, even keeping in mind that the past two seasons, after winning coming off the bye, the Birds have then gone out and lost the next game. Chicago is in that post-Super Bowl funk Eagles fans know so well, but after last week's embarrassing loss to divisional rival Minnesota, I think we'll see a strong effort from a team that just isn't as healthy or as formidable as it was a year ago. There's a real good chance Devin Hester scores a touchdown, one way or another.
July 24, 2007 |
For music lovers who came of age in the 1980s, Prince is like a polymorphously purple Dorian Gray. While his fans are aging like Oscar Wilde's portrait in the attic, the perfectly preserved 49-year-old imp is downstairs cavorting in his funk/R&B/rock playroom, letting his libido run wild and mischievously plotting to stick it to the music industry. Planet Earth, his 24th studio album, which comes out today, finds him in fine, if not spectacular, form. The CD cements a comeback that began with Musicology in 2004 and continued with last year's 3121 before going global with his spectacular performance at the Super Bowl in Miami this year.