May 15, 2016 |
Rich Cohen, a veteran journalist and co-creator of HBO's Vinyl , achieves the unlikely feat of adding a worthy Rolling Stones book to an overcrowded shelf, full of personal recollections and astute observations. Spiegel & Grau, $30.
May 15, 2016 |
Releasing your super-secret, heretofore not-known-to-exist album with absolutely no advance notice to surprise the internet and snap the music world to attention? That's soooo early 2016, like something Kendrick Lamar would have done - and did, with his unexpected Untitled Unmastered - way back in March, for goodness sake. The new strategy, it seems, for fans trying to to figure out how they can actually listen to new music by their favorite acts, is a little different. Instead of ambushing them out of the blue - as Beyoncé did in 2013 when she revealed her previous, self-titled album with a midnight Instagram post - you tease with a hint beforehand, so fans can be ready to convene for a virtual listening party.
February 28, 2016
Dig in Deep (Redwing ***1/2) Bonnie Raitt reintroduces herself like an old friend: The opening track, "Unintended Consequence of Love," is quintessential Bonnie - a mid-tempo, R&B-laced number that allows her longtime band to, well, dig in deep on the groove while she adds some of her emotive slide guitar. Raitt and her crew rock it up even harder on Los Lobos' "Shakin' Shakin' Shakes" and her own "The Comin' Round Is Going Through. " But the digging deep the album title refers to involves not just the approach to the music, but the emotional content of the songs themselves: The continuing rewards of the 66-year-old Raitt lie in hearing how she uses these familiar forms to cut to the bone.
January 19, 2016 |
President Obama's Tuesday night address to Congress was less about the state of the union than the state of the presidency. And the state of this presidency is spent. The signs of intellectual exhaustion were everywhere. Consider just three. After taking credit for success in Syria, raising American stature abroad, and prevailing against the Islamic State - one claim more surreal than the next - Obama was forced to repair to his most well-worn talking point: "If you doubt America's commitment - or mine - to see that justice is done, just ask Osama bin Laden.
January 17, 2016 |
A Moon for the Misbegotten , Eugene O'Neill's last mighty play, is at the Independence Studio at the Walnut Street Theatre, about to start a 15-city tour. It is an exhausting play to watch (so long, so sad, so much blather about pigs, so many lies), so I can only imagine how exhausting it must be to perform. Even more so if you are just recovering from a leg amputation, as Michael Toner is, after a hit-and-run accident seven months ago. He is a superb actor, and he plays Hogan with such twinkly charm, such authenticity, and such a tasty Irish accent that the performance would be a triumph without admiring his strength of will to return to the stage.
July 16, 2015 |
John M. Moon, 94, of Rosemont, a chocolate-company executive, churchman, sailor, and motorcyclist into his 80s, died Friday, July 3, at his home of causes due to aging. His life centered on service to Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church and successive careers at Whitman's Chocolates and Godiva Chocolatier. A cheerful presence, Mr. Moon, known as "Jack," was loved by family and neighbors, churchgoers, and the merchants with whom he did business. "His sense of humor in regaling hilarious stories was contagious to all around him," his family said in a tribute.
July 8, 2015 |
Moon Man Walk is the first of six productions of Orbiter 3, a new playwrights' collective in Philadelphia, created to give new scripts a chance to be seen. James Ijames, the author of Moon Man Walk , is an excellent high-profile starting point, having scooped up Barrymore Awards, Pew grants, and all manner of career-making prizes. Last summer, we saw his brilliant tragicomedy, The Most Spectacularly Lamentable Trial of Miz Martha Washington . But unlike that fiercely unsentimental work, Moon Man Walk is a quieter, sweeter, smaller play, about one "mighty manboy" named Monarch (Lindsay Smiling)
June 1, 2015
Seveneves By Neal Stephenson William Morrow. 880 pp. $35 Reviewed by Scott F. Andrews Neal Stephenson's palindromic Seveneves demands your attention from the first sentence: "The moon blew up without warning and for no apparent reason. " This opening may sound absurd, but readers can count on Stephenson to deliver credible science and satisfying narrative. Not that Stephenson has anything left to prove. He's won just about every major award the science-fiction community offers.
April 25, 2015 |
There's a certain type of American man who never changes and never disappears. Often overlooked, and even looked down upon, he nonetheless degrades himself in humiliating jobs to support his family while clinging to dreams of wealth and fame. On television, this man has appeared by many names: Al Bundy, Homer Simpson, Fred Flintstone, and Ralph Kramden. The latter finds life on stage as Scottie (Scott Greer) in 1812 Productions' To the Moon. Jen Childs and her creative team wrote To the Moon as an homage to the comedy style of Jackie Gleason, with Greer standing in for The Honeymooners star in a number of respects.
April 20, 2015 |
In 1962, President John F. Kennedy committed the nation to landing a man on the moon by decade's end. In July 1969, it was mission accomplished. A half-century later, invoking Kennedy's challenge, scientists at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center announced they, too, were shooting for the moon. They launched the Cancer Moonshots Program, with the aim of reducing cancer deaths within five to 10 years. "It's a very goal-oriented effort that seems to impact one thing - and that is cancer mortality," Dr. Ronald DePinho, president of MD Anderson, said Saturday at the annual meeting convened by the Philadelphia-based American Association for Cancer Research (AACR)