May 6, 2015 |
Shortly after Mauritanian vocalist Noura Mint Seymali stepped to the microphone in West Philadelphia on Sunday night, it became clear just how special the closing event of Crossroads Music's 2014-15 concert season would be. As the full-bodied electric bass of Ousmane Touré and the drumming of Philly's own Matthew Tinari began to pump behind her, Seymali delivered trilling and thrilling lines of exotic vocalization. Her confident control of melisma was impressive; her youthful power was well-measured (although it did require some quick sound-mix adjustment so she wouldn't overwhelm everything)
May 6, 2015 |
From the Downingtown High School West marching band to Nashville recording studios, it's been a trajectory of long odds - and long hours - for Liz Longley and Sarah Zimmermann. The Chester County natives met in the marching band as clarinet-playing sophomores, and spent their high school years singing and playing guitar at every gig they could book in the Philadelphia region. But both had bigger dreams after their 2006 graduation. And in March, just days apart, each released albums with Nashville record labels.
February 18, 2015 |
On the whole, the convulsive bombast and loud-soft- loud dynamics put forth by ascendant Southeastern Pennsylvania rock quartet the Districts proved win-you-over effective at Union Transfer on Saturday night. While snow squalls and mounting wind gusts blew down Spring Garden Street, the sold-out Valentine's Day affair repeatedly heated up the 1,200-plus adoring fans packed inside. As the 90-minute show gathered steam, the hot young band from tiny Lititz - in "The Heart of Lancaster County," as the town motto puts it - repeatedly scaled their grandiose song structures to deliver ever-increasing climactic satisfaction.
January 28, 2015 |
Benjamin E. Cavileer Sr., 80, of Egg Harbor City, N.J., who retired in 2001 as the New Gretna toll plaza supervisor on the Garden State Parkway, died of complications from heart problems Thursday, Jan. 22, at AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center. Born in Lower Bank, Burlington County, Mr. Cavileer graduated from Egg Harbor High School in 1952 and served as an Army Signal Corps communications specialist at Fort Huachuca, Ariz., and Fort Benning, Ga. He chose what became a three-decade career at Parkway toll stations because "he had a growing family and was looking for something that was steady," son Thomas said.
January 9, 2015 |
IN THE MIDDLE of the last century, the height of fashion in China was the Mao suit. Now it's breasts. There had to be some payoff to the Long March. As Julie Makinen , of the Los Angeles Times , reports, "Shapely breasts, often more ample than Mother Nature bestowed, are objects of desire and status symbols in China these days. " Bei-Schwing! Yes, it's difficult to walk around the big city without seeing a variety of methods to enhance the bust, including one ad that says, according to the Times , "Autologous fat breast enhancement can create a legendary breast.
November 11, 2014 |
SOMETIMES, even the master of horror, Stephen King, needs a little inspiration, a certain something to get the bones rolling in his head. That's where John Mellencamp came in, and that's how their project, the musical "Ghost Brothers of Darkland County," took form - evolving from the standard cabin-in-the-woods idea into a supernatural yarn about brothers at odds, set in the South with a backdrop of Spanish moss and the blues. "I had never written a play, let alone a musical, but I figured we'll learn as we go along," King said in a recent interview with the Daily News . "I had done an outline, but once [Mellencamp]
September 28, 2014 |
Before the term indie rock existed, before there was a movement, even before the grunge '90s, there was guitarist-singer J Mascis. On Thursday, he brought songs from his past as well as his new album, Tied to a Star , to World Cafe Live. Philly-based Purling Hiss opened. Mascis' bands Dinosaur and Dinosaur Jr. predated the staged rage of nearly all American-based indie-rock that followed. With his squeaky, Neil Young-ish vocals and guitar licks heavy on the fuzz, Mascis' signature sound (also heard on Sonic Youth projects as well as records from artists such as Mike Watt)
September 5, 2014 |
A GINGER-HAIRED, scruffy and increasingly tattooed "misfit" from Britain, Ed Sheeran plays guitar, beatboxes and, occasionally, fiddles. He also writes and winsomely sings hip-hop-inflected folk confessionals that enthrall young'uns - and their parents, too. And while clearly connected to the keep-it-real troubadour continuum that stretches, as he said, from "Bob Dylan and Van Morrison to Damien Rice and Jason Mraz," there's never been a phenomenon quite...
June 24, 2014 |
Older is better than newer. It's true for men, and it's true for guitars, according to the (older) guys who traipsed wide-eyed and happy through the Great American Guitar Show at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks on Sunday. The fourth-largest guitar show in America, and the biggest in the East, the six-string conclave drew hundreds of men over 40 who first fell for the power, range, and panache of guitars as kids. Wowing women had a lot to do with why a 15-year-old guy would choose a guitar over, say, a clarinet.
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.