November 20, 2015 |
Jesse Thorn is coming to Philadelphia to have old-school medical devices tested on himself. "I should have thought about this more before saying yes," he says on the phone from his home in Los Angeles. Thorn is the host of Bullseye , a radio show - hear it Thursdays at 10 p.m. on WHYY-FM (90.9) - and popular podcast, on which he interviews far-ranging artists, from comedians to rappers to directors, from revered soul singer Bill Withers to actress and director Elizabeth Banks to author Margaret Atwood.
November 11, 2015 |
One of the much-felt but little-addressed hurdles for classical music's prospects is its glaring lack of cool. Black Violin is on the case, and if you saw the violin-viola duo's show Sunday afternoon at World Cafe Live, you probably left feeling that this big image problem had landed in good hands. Let me say straight off that the set of a dozen and a half songs blending hip-hop with classical string technique isn't a cup of tea likely to appeal to core classical fans. It's a highly amplified, electronically enhanced, drum-heavy and monotonous brew of songs exclusively four-four, with nearly all the pieces landing loudly on beats two and four.
October 25, 2015 |
Adapted from a recent online discussion. Question: I grew up in the Midwest, and we always called adults Mr./Mrs./Miss Lastname. We now live in the South, and the thing down here is to have kids call adults Mr./Miss Firstname. This feels too informal to us, and we would prefer our kids use the Mr./Mrs./Miss Lastname construction (with the exception of close family friends who are just Firstname). I would think it's my choice to have my kids use Mrs. Lastname, but by that logic, the other mom could have her kids use Miss Firstname for me, but to me that is not super respectful.
October 11, 2015 |
VILLANOVA'S basketball team will be without 6-8 1/2 freshman Tim Delaney for an indefinite period. The Mullica Hill, N.J., native is undergoing surgery next week to repair a torn labrum in his left hip. The Wildcats have to replace three starters - including 6-7 forward JayVaughn Pinkston, a four-year starter - from a team that won 33 games last season. "Tim had a great summer and preseason," coach Jay Wright said in a statement released yesterday. "The good news is that the doctors tell us this is an injury that can be fixed and we know Tim will be fully committed to his rehab.
September 26, 2015 |
Weeks after the hip-hop-heavy Made in America weekend, this year's most adventurous rap lineup sneaked into Philly while the rest of the world was concentrating on the pope's arrival: Wednesday's gig with A$AP Rocky, the madcap likes of Tyler, the Creator, and Danny Brown, and dread MC Vince Staples on Festival Pier. "We're not about fake pop [expletive]," yelled Rocky, the headliner, talking about the underground nature of the night's quartet of rappers (Rocky is signed to Sony/RCA for big money, but one man's underground is another's pocket change.)
September 4, 2015 |
In the 1993 film A Bronx Tale , Calagero asks Sonny: "Is it better to be loved or feared?" Taylor Swift manages both. Whether it's removing her entire catalogue of music from Spotify or gathering in four awards at the MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday (including a controversial Video of the Year), Swift is a formidable - and, yes, feared - force in music and the music industry. As for love, when Swift and Nicki Minaj embraced on the VMA stage on Sunday, it was just the latest of many intriguing public displays of affection between Swift and the hip-hop world.
August 25, 2015 |
Now that "Straight Outta Compton" has proven to be a bigger hit than anticipated, would it surprise anyone if there's a rush of hip-hop biopics? How about "Don't Believe the Hype," the Public Enemy story. What about " Biggie vs. Tupac ," or Run-DMC 's "Walk This Way. " There's nothing that Hollywood likes better than finding a new potential sweet spot of filmgoers where it had never looked previously. "Compton" is an unquestionable hit. The movie finished in the top spot for the second weekend in a row with an estimated $26.8 million in ticket sales, according to studio estimates yesterday.
August 21, 2015 |
Rapper Kendrick Lamar's "Alright" has become the black joy anthem of 2015. The lyrics, "We gon' be alright!" are chanted in protests, shouted at house parties, tweeted in solidarity, and spewed in fierce rebuttal. Now the proclamation of joy in the face of adversity is the inspiration behind the "Be Alright" college scholarship launched by Oogeewoogee.com . The Philly-based online publication, founded by entrepreneur Tom Stafford, is a "global multimedia outlet with an emphasis on Hip Hop and counterculture, and how those two intersect with society and current affairs," while stressing financial, technological, and multicultural unity.
July 22, 2015 |
The whole rap-metal/punk-hop thing is a fragile musical ecosystem. One overstep - too much thumb-popping bass, guitars crunching too clearly - threatens to turn you into a '90s dinosaur. No one wants to be tragically tagged as a Limp Bizkit wannabe, not even Limp Bizkit. So why did 311 - the 25-year-old Omaha ensemble - work so well when they raged Sunday across the AstroTurf lawn of Borgata Park in Atlantic City? Well, singer/guitarist Nick Hexum is still one of pop's best, most-underappreciated vocalists, and guitarist Tim Mahoney is a king of crisp garage fuzztones.
July 20, 2015 |
Alicia Montague-Keels likes the coffee shop in her apartment complex, the outdoor lounge with twinkling lights and a fire pit, the exposed brick and high ceilings that come with living in a converted 19th-century dye works. But that's not why she moved to Oxford Mills in South Kensington. "I love it because people are fighting for the same things that I'm fighting for," said Montague-Keels, who teaches fourth grade at a Philadelphia charter school. Oxford Mills is the first development of its kind in the city, billing itself as an "urban oasis for teachers and nonprofits.