February 4, 2016 |
Fans of the Duluth, Minn., trio Low squeezed in Monday night for a sold-out show at Johnny Brenda's, a date rescheduled due to Pope Francis' Philadelphia visit in September. It was a rare treat for those fortunate enough to secure tickets, perhaps the band's most intimate local show since they played at Silk City two decades ago. The band's music would have been an apt sound track for the throngs of faithful who flooded our town to see the pope. Guitarist Alan Sparhawk and drummer Mimi Parker, the married couple at Low's core, are Mormon, not Catholic, and their songs aren't conventional anthems of praise.
January 23, 2016 |
It was either a million years ago or just last June when Torres played Philadelphia. Her breakthrough second record, Sprinter , had dropped in May, and though the praise was immediate and fairly universal in indie rock circles, the Brooklyn-via-Nashville singer-guitarist, (a.k.a. Mackenzie Scott), had a nervous energy about her that June night at Boot & Saddle. She seemed a bit jittery - suspicious, perhaps, that people were suddenly buying what she was selling. Her debut disc, 2013's Torres , had been a cult favorite at best; packed rooms were a recent development.
December 20, 2015 |
Singer-songwriter Jesse Malin has long been too glam for rustic earnestness, too uncultured for commercial punk. From his glittery, hard-core band D Generation in the '90s to solo albums portraying him as Springsteen with a rooster haircut, Malin just doesn't quit. This year, he released two albums - New York Before the War and Outsiders - as ramshackle and ruminative as anything he has ever recorded. A cocksure Malin was raring to rant at Johnny Brenda's on a rainy Thursday night.
December 9, 2015 |
With ominous bass and soft drums, Car Seat Headrest started their headlining set at Johnny Brenda's on Sunday night with low-key confidence via the moody and atmospheric "The Ending of Dramamine - How to Leave Town," in which an opening repeating structure was soon joined by contemplative guitar. Sharp, recurring notes began to dance like a candle urged by subtle currents before they turned bluesy, the drum rolled, and the song shifted, still tight and compact - clinical, amid an expansive jam feel that coolly returned to that soft, minimalist beginning.
November 14, 2015 |
Historically, Philly is an organ jazz town. But the likes of Jimmy Smith, Jimmy McGriff, and Shirley Scott never summoned a sound quite like John Zorn's Simulacrum. Throughout their hour-long set at Johnny Brenda's on Wednesday night, presented by Ars Nova Workshop, the trio fused the visceral and the virtuosic, stitching together prog-rock technique, heavy-metal brutality, and avant-jazz improvisation. Despite his name on the marquee (and initial advertising that he'd be on hand to conduct)
November 7, 2015 |
CALGARY, Alberta - Calgary left winger Johnny Gaudreau, the pride of Gloucester Catholic High, is showing last season wasn't a fluke. Blink and he's zooming past a defender with his eye-opening speed. "It's pretty special watching a player like that, and it has to be frustrating for opposing defenses," said Calgary center Josh Jooris, Gaudreau's housemate and a onetime teammate of Flyers prospect Shayne Gostisbehere at Union College. "You want to try to shut him down going down the ice, but he's just so dynamic, it's tough.
September 4, 2015 |
John Dougherty, leader of the politically powerful Electricians union in Philadelphia, expanded his sphere of influence Wednesday with a new title. Dougherty was selected to succeed Pat Gillespie as head of the Philadelphia Building and Construction Trades Council, which represents nearly 40 unions in Philadelphia and the suburbs. Gillespie, who has served as business manager for the union coalition for 34 years, said he had wanted to retire by Nov. 23, his 70th birthday. He will remain on the job until Dec. 1, when Dougherty takes over.
August 31, 2015 |
Mary Martello and Johnnie Hobbs Jr. are veterans of the Philadelphia theater scene, yet they've never had a chance to work together before. But thanks to 1812 Productions, Philadelphia's premier comedy company, the two stalwarts of the city's stages come together this week for The Shoplifters . Martello plays Alma, a klepto who sees stealing as her Robin Hood-like duty. Corporations have everything, she has nothing, so she deserves to take what they have. Hobbs is Otto, a security guard who has one more day on the job, and the last thing he needs is to deal with the sticky-fingered Alma.
August 8, 2015 |
Phoenix, a moody post-Holocaust noir, stars the formidable German actress Nina Hoss. It's cowritten and directed by Christian Petzold, who shepherded Hoss through 2012's taut East-West thriller Barbara . Like the latter film, Phoenix finds its protagonist moving anxiously along the borders of postwar Germany, telling lies as if she believed them. Unlike Barbara , though, which took place in 1980 with the Stasi's informants everywhere, Phoenix is set in Berlin immediately after the Allied Forces' liberation of the camps.
June 26, 2015 |
WALK DOWN Spring Garden Street near 18th and you can't help but notice that the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 98 union hall is basically a giant advertisement for state Supreme Court candidate Kevin Dougherty and Democratic mayoral nominee Jim Kenney . The sign for Dougherty - a Common Pleas judge and brother of electricians union boss Johnny Doc - is gargantuan, spanning most of the building like a highway billboard....