November 15, 2014 |
THESE DAYS, Hollywood doesn't want to make a big, gooey romance about you unless you're a vampire or live within an hour's drive of Nicholas Sparks. Have we forgotten "The Bodyguard," that corny glam romance about a famous-but-vulnerable pop star and the strong, silent man who protects her? One who has not is Gina Prince-Bythewood, who (14 years ago!) made "Love and Basketball," and now returns with "Beyond the Lights," a bodyguard-ish love story about suicidal singer Noni (Gugu Mbatha-Raw)
August 9, 2014 |
When it comes to rejuvenating the economy, sectors like housing, manufacturing, and small business tend to steal the most attention. Councilman David Oh, however, has his eyes on music. At a Thursday news conference in City Hall, the councilman unveiled PHL Live, a four-month contest to bring prominence - and prizes - to deserving Philadelphia musicians. A sort of Philadelphia's Got Talent. "We want to recognize music as not just a hobby, but a job that needs to be paid," Oh said.
August 9, 2013 |
In the age of WikiLeaks and NSA spying, when government contractors leak like sieves, trumpeter Roy Hargrove works hard to hold back. "I never disclose what I am going to play," he says in a conspiratorial half-rasp. "People ask me, and I don't ever tell them. It destroys the whole thing. The music is a lot better when it's more spontaneous. " Hargrove and his quintet plan to explore spontaneity on Friday night for two shows at the Philadelphia Clef Club. This is no arrogant jazzman.
July 26, 2013
CLEARLY, race is not an issue in our country. We elected the first black president, we have elected black mayors and judges, police, firemen, many in sports and the music industry are black or non-American/non-white. Come on, it's 2013 - you really gotta come up with something better then the race card - it's really getting old! The only race/nationality that's getting persecuted and prosecuted are white Italians! Janice DiJoseph Philadelphia As a lifelong resident of this city I see the similarities between Philadelphia and Detroit: a huge, violent underclass that leaves the city with more tax consumers than tax producers; crime; out-of-wedlock births; and a population with a high rate of illiteracy.
July 12, 2013
IF THE Nobel Peace Prize committee ever decides to hand an award to an app, I'd recommend (half seriously) the newly launched Shazam for iPad. In one pretty little package, this free app holds the power to end bar fights, salvage the music industry - maybe even revitalize the economy. Oh, and it also puts a positive spin on the whole high-tech-surveillance business that's been freaking us out of late. Shazam is the originator and still big daddy of smartphone and tablet apps that can "listen" to and identify music.
May 4, 2013 |
When it works well, the music business can be Darwinian: The best music will find its audience, somehow. Parquet Courts' Light Up Gold is a case in point. Released last summer on the band's own label, the album followed the Brooklyn band's noisy, lo-fi debut, which was first released only on cassette and generated little notice. But Light Up Gold , recorded in three days in the band's rehearsal space, is a bold, bracing blast of punk rock, full of sharp, rousing riffs behind wordy, witty rants, and it found enough acclaim for a larger indie label, What's My Rupture?
April 15, 2013 |
Friendly and outgoing, Harmonie delights in laughing at a good joke. What the 9-year-old likes most about herself are her dimples, her height (she's tall), and that she knows how to dance. Harmonie is also good at singing and has not ruled out a career in the music industry. Her favorite subjects in school are computer technology and music. She does well academically and has many friends in school and in her neighborhood. Harmonie dreams of being a billionaire some day. On the way to that goal, however, she plans to finish high school, attend college, and then become a teacher.
April 12, 2013 |
Back in 1994, Bill Mallonee and his Athens, Ga., band, Vigilantes of Love, attempted to introduce themselves to a national audience with their fourth album, and their first with major-label distribution. Its title, Welcome to Struggleville , was apt, even prophetic. For Mallonee is a cult artist who's never found a wide audience despite consistent critical acclaim. In 2006, he was ranked the world's 65th best living songwriter by Paste magazine - ahead of Michael Jackson, Merle Haggard, and Allen Toussaint, among others.
February 21, 2013 |
When Jim James comes to town, it's usually as the front man for My Morning Jacket, the adventurous jam band that has made a habit over the last few years of entertaining 7,000 or so souls at the Mann Center in Fairmount Park on steamy summer nights. It was a little different Monday night at Johnny Brenda's, the cozy Fishtown club. The singer with the haunting, luminous voice launched a tour for his debut solo album, Regions of Light and Sound of God , in front of a packed house of about 200, who snapped up tickets in a matter of seconds when they went on sale last month.