July 28, 2016
Paul Simon's "Bridge Over Troubled Water" was an obvious choice for a convention striving to be one - and much more apropos than his "America," the adopted theme of the Bernie Sanders insurgency. Fans couldn't help but notice, however, that Simon had chosen a number that was sung by his estranged former partner Art Garfunkel, of whom he recently told NPR, "Quite honestly, we don't get along. " Simon's rendition was in that way analogous to the Democratic National Convention: a paean to building a bridge sung over the unmistakable crackle of a burning one. Much depends on the Democrats' ability to cobble together this particular piece of infrastructure.
June 5, 2016
Stranger to Stranger (Concord ***1/2) Given his four-and-a-half-decade, post-Simon & Garfunkel career, Paul Simon's durability is beyond question. What's more impressive though, is his enduring ability to surprise. The 74-year-old songwriter's latest is an 11-song set that brings his various world-music proclivities, playful love of language, and new interests in digital music-making to bear on a percussion-happy collection alive with rhythmic energy. "Wristband" cleverly uses a story about being banned from the backstage area as a metaphor for the American dream's being accessible only to elites - "If you don't have a wristband, then you can't get through the door.
June 2, 2016 |
NEAR THE TOP of the list of spectacular things we haven't seen yet has to be the meeting room for the Eagles' quarterbacks. "We have a really good room," Sam Bradford said Tuesday. "We've got an awesome quarterback room," Carson Wentz said, minutes later from behind the same NovaCare auditorium lectern. "I've been a part of some pretty good quarterback rooms . . . and I feel like this one is going to be a really good one," Chase Daniel told reporters. An anonymous insider confirmed both accounts.
May 18, 2016 |
'The music of the spheres. " It's not just a poetic turn of phrase: For centuries, from ancient Greece to the Renaissance, the idea was at the center of European ideas of the cosmos and how it worked. Classical writers such as Plato and Pliny developed the idea that the distances between the planets corresponded with musical intervals as identified by Pythagoras, and that the heavenly bodies literally produced harmony - the music of the spheres - as they moved in their orbits around (as they understood at the time)
December 13, 2015 |
My taste in mixed drinks has drifted away from the elaborate concoctions that marked the early days of the cocktail revolution. Most busy bartenders, eager for streamlined recipes, will say the same. But something just happened as Jesse Cornell began dipping enthusiastically into various French spirits for a beguiling new fall drink at Restaurant Neuf called Les Arbres, Les Feuilles, Le Râteau ("the trees, the leaves, the rake. ") The brandied backbone of cognac took on the quinine-tinged wine aperitif called Byrrh.
October 17, 2015 |
Last year, singer-songwriter and magician Garrett Borns left New York City for Los Angeles, where he dropped the legerdemain act and his first name, becoming simply BØRNS. As if inspired by the shorter moniker, he immediately wrote an anthemic hit single, "1Ø,000 Emerald Pools" and got the coolness seal of approval, as it seems everyone must, from Taylor Swift. He'd soon create a debut album, Dopamine , that rivals the best of latter-day Beach Boys. That release brings him Wednesday to Union Transfer.
June 12, 2015 |
Good Girl Mprynt There's something about good harmony that melts your soul. Especially an R&B harmony - and it's been a while since we've heard one of those on the radio. Now, Philly has two groups in the city that have harkening back to that sound and energy: Good Girl and Mprynt. Both have four members. One is all-female (Good Girl) and one all-male (Mprynt). On Christmas, in the wake of the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson and the death of Eric Garner in New York, the two groups released the One Sweet Day Project, a YouTube video covering the hit "One Sweet Day" by Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men, to promote social awareness of those who have died in police-related incidents.
February 27, 2015 |
Before the singers embarked on the tour, music director Deke Sharon told them: "This isn't the competition, and these guys are not your competitors. " It was a good reminder for the members of some of the country's top a cappella groups - Voiceplay, Street Corner Symphony, and the Exchange - as they began the Sing-Off Live Tour, which comes Sunday to the Keswick Theatre in Glenside. The three groups had, indeed, competed against one another - on the NBC show The Sing-Off , in which a cappella groups vie to be dubbed the best in the country.
April 21, 2014 |
Usually when neighbors and developers lock horns over a project design, things turn ugly and stay ugly. There's a happier ending for One Riverside, a high-rise that Carl Dranoff plans to build on the Schuylkill next to the popular riverfront trail. First proposed last summer, the project at 25th and Locust has undergone a major redesign at the insistence of neighbors, who bitterly objected to the design - and even to the tower's very existence. Now the blank walls on the ground floor are gone.
September 18, 2013 |
Were you to see and not hear the Crossing's U.S. premiere of the John Luther Adams choral work Canticles of the Holy Wind , the sight would be mouths and eyes wide open in a state somewhere between rapture and terror, amid video projections of quiltlike patterns morphing into flocks of birds. And that's more or less what one heard Sunday at Crane Arts. The music operated at a level of imagination conveying rarefied states of perception - and in complete harmony with Dan Cole's video in the Ice Box space, a large, blank white room.