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ENTERTAINMENT
July 31, 2014 | BY JONATHAN TAKIFF, Daily News Staff Writer takiffj@phillynews.com, 215-854-5960
THE GODFATHER of Soul. Mr. Dynamite. Soul Brother No. 1. And who can forget . . . The Hardest Working Man in Show Business. If you're of a certain age, you know immediately who we're talking about - James Brown - and are likely intrigued by the flavorful biography of this complicated man, "Get on Up," which hard-core Brown admirers-turned-movie producers Brian Grazer and Mick Jagger have brought to the screen. Yeah, that Mick Jagger. But a lot of water has passed under the dam. Brown's gospel/soul-scorched first hit "Please, Please, Please" came out in 1956, when music radio was still divided (like most of the country)
NEWS
July 28, 2014 | By A.D. Amorosi, For The Inquirer
If anyone is having a Best Decade Ever, it's composer Robert Lopez. Along with 2013's powerhouse Frozen ($1.2 billion worldwide box office, the highest-grossing animated film ever) for which he cowrote songs with wife, Kristen Anderson-Lopez, and his controversial Broadway smash written with South Park 's creators, The Book of Mormon , at the Forrest Theatre starting on Tuesday, the 39-year-old is an EGOT (winner of an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony) - and the youngest at that.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 26, 2014 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
Time for Three has always been viscerally dazzling. The Curtis Institute-born string trio has always packed enough music into any given moment that you'd swear the group is Time for Six. In a Wednesday homecoming concert at World Cafe Live, 14 years after forming in Rittenhouse Square when the players were only students, Time for Three grew ever more interesting. The combination of charm and extreme technical prowess among violinists Zachary De Pue and Nicolas Kendall and bassist Ranaan Meyer seemed more than enough to power a career's worth of albums and concerts.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 26, 2014 | By Steve Klinge, For The Inquirer
The XPoNential Festival, now in its 21st year, revels in breadth and diversity. Ranging from Triple-A mainstays to zydeco torch-bearers, from child fiddlers to septuagenarian blues icons, from sensitive singer-songwriters to rowdy rock-and-rollers, it's a place for discoveries. The festival, sponsored by the University of Pennsylvania's WXPN, features more than 30 acts from Friday through Sunday on Camden's waterfront at Wiggins Park and the adjacent Susquehanna Bank Center. "Every year I think the common experience at the festival is people go and they're really excited about seeing this band or that band, and they always come away talking about some band that they hadn't ever seen before," says Roger LaMay, WXPN's general manager.
NEWS
July 26, 2014 | By Bonnie L. Cook, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Rev. Thomas Shawn Tracy, 74, an Augustinian priest in Villanova known for his singing and songwriting, died Sunday, July 20, of congestive heart failure at Lankenau Hospital. Father Tracy was a gentle, low-key man who saw the Scriptures as poetry, and whose special gift was in setting music to that poetry, and later in creating music as an accompaniment for quiet contemplation, said his nephew Michael Dolan. Thrust into the New York folk scene of the mid-1960s when he was assigned to St. Nicholas of Tolentine Church, Father Tracy became a spiritual troubadour.
NEWS
July 25, 2014 | By Clark Mindock, Inquirer Staff Writer
The walls are a splash of warm colors, with whimsical figures playing piano, a flowing upright bass, and a saxophone. They are a tribute to the history of Lawnside, a time when lenient liquor laws brought partyers and jazz enthusiasts across the Delaware to munch on ribs, sip drinks, and relax. The borough was a meeting ground for blacks and whites alike from the 1920s to 1970s, when the country was scrutinizing segregation and contemplating the future of race relations. The music that fills the dining room of Rochester's on summer Friday nights in 2014 serves a different purpose.
NEWS
July 22, 2014 | By Karl Stark, Inquirer Staff Writer
The first thing to know about composer and pianist Uri Caine is that he started young in the Philadelphia jazz scene, learning from masters like saxophonists Bootsie Barnes and the late Grover Washington Jr. Caine, now 58, went on to develop modernist classical chops and do daring reinterpretations of classical works from Wagner, Beethoven, and Bach, becoming almost a genre unto himself. The world premiere of Caine's The Passion of Octavius Catto on Saturday night at the Mann Center was in some ways a summary of the composer's eclectic career as well as a celebration of an epic life.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 19, 2014 | By Tirdad Derakhshani, Inquirer Staff Writer
Beyoncé gets everything , OK? The multiplatform chanteuse got eight nominations, leading the human world of human beings, for the MTV Music Video Awards, announced Thursday. Best video? Check. Best choreography? Well, yeah. Best female artist? Again??? Yep. Imposing as Bey may be, she's only one nom up on veteran rap guy Eminem and controversial Aussie street-talker Iggy Azalea : Each had seven noms. Pharrell Williams got a few for the gladdening, ubiquitous ditty "Happy.
NEWS
July 18, 2014 | By A.D. Amorosi, For The Inquirer
Aloe Blacc is a pretty serious guy. The socially conscious, California-born rapper-turned-singer graduated from the University of Southern California with honors in communications and linguistics/psychology and had a short business career before going into music, having hits like "I Need a Dollar," "Wake Me Up" (with Avicii), and "The Man," the latter from his 2013 album Lift Your Spirit . He gets a chance to show off his skills tonight at Camden's Susquehanna Center when he opens for Bruno Mars.
NEWS
July 13, 2014 | By Wendy Rosenfield, For The Inquirer
Before I proceed, I'll let Xanadu , Mazeppa Productions' summer musical offering, give itself a one-sentence review: "This is like children's theater for 40-year-old gay people!" a character announces. That's as good a summary of the campy screen-to-stage adaptation/Electric Light Orchestra jukebox musical as any - except, with the benefit of this small company's let's-put-on-a-show enthusiasm, its appeal is far broader than that. Xanadu 's plot is very loosely based on the 1980 Olivia Newton-John vehicle.
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