September 21, 2014 |
Jeff Tweedy has made a lot of records, but the front man for the esteemed American rock band Wilco (and before that, coleader of alt-country outfit Uncle Tupelo) has never put out an honest-to-goodness solo album. That will still be true come Tuesday, when Sukierae (dBpm ), the 20-song set credited to Tweedy (no Jeff), will be released. That's because although Tweedy performed almost all of the music himself, another family member also played a key role. Spencer Tweedy, his 18-year-old son, played drums on the double disc - as he will Sunday night, when Tweedy, the band, headlines the Merriam Theater.
September 16, 2014 |
The great Gothic monsters of 19th-century literature elude convincing musical treatment, probably because these semi-folkloric creatures lose their bite and mystery when baring their souls in music. Wisely, the Philadelphia Opera Collective veered away from direct dramatization of the monster at hand in By You That Made Me, Frankenstein , characterizing the circumstances behind the famous Mary Shelley novel. Seen on Saturday in the thick of the current Fringe Festival, this 90-minute, two-act opera of sorts was presented in the second-floor parlor of the cozy 19th-century-ish Benjamin Franklin Club, in something close to a site-specific performance.
September 15, 2014 |
Does anyone actually buy music anymore? Unclear. But the album release schedule still gets busy after Labor Day. Besides those blurbed below, look for releases by Chris Brown ( X , Sept. 16) Lucinda Williams (the double album Down Where the Spirit Meets the Bone , Sept. 30), Weezer ( Everything Will Be Alright in the End , Oct. 7), Florida Georgia Line ( Anything Goes , Oct. 14), Jessie Ware ( Tough Love , Oct. 21), Lil Wayne ( Tha Carter V , Oct. 28), Foo Fighters ( Sonic Highways , Nov. 10)
September 13, 2014 |
The title of Paul Thorn's new album comes from something he heard while growing up in Tupelo, Miss., where he still lives. " 'Too blessed to be stressed' - I got that phrase from an old black woman I used to go to church with, Sister Johnson," Thorn, 50, recalls from a tour stop in Connecticut. "One morning when I was a kid, I asked her how she was doing, and she said, 'Oh, I'm too blessed to be stressed.' "That phrase stuck in my head. All the songs on this record were intentionally put together to make the listener feel good.
September 13, 2014 |
Less than a year ago, the former post office on Collingswood's Lincoln Avenue was an eyesore. It had been vacant for a decade and was becoming increasingly dilapidated. Now, it is the chic new home of Collingswood Music, another business contributing to the evolving hip personality of the town. "It's probably one of the last buildings in the area that hasn't been worked with," business owner Ted Velykis said. Some work remains, including putting up a sign. The borough lost a great deal of business to Cherry Hill Mall in the 1960s, and by the 1990s, Haddon Avenue was laced with vacant storefronts.
September 11, 2014 |
Richard R. Wisneski, 71, of Cape May, a disc jockey and promoter of musical events, died of kidney failure Sunday, Aug. 3, at Cape Regional Medical Center in Cape May Court House. Born in Philadelphia, Mr. Wisneski graduated from Edison High School and served as an Army medic in Vietnam and in the New Jersey Army National Guard. "He started out in radio in Pottstown," Phil Pizzi, a friend and business colleague, said. At that time, "he was a DJ, a radio personality. " Mr. Wisneski soon became an entrepreneur.
September 10, 2014 |
Rock-star envy is creeping into the classical world, as artists from Christopher O'Riley to the Ebene Quartet transcribe music conceived for electric pop instruments for whatever they play best - with varying success. Few have hurled themselves into this rock/classical netherworld as fearlessly as cellist Maya Beiser, whose late-night FringeArts Stage concert on Sunday encompassed Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and Lou Reed with two rock-based sidemen. No question that she has the chops to make her cello a license-to-kill instrument, helped by a hybrid electric instrument she used intermittently.
September 8, 2014 |
It doesn't take long for Emily Browning to break into song in God Help the Girl . The first scene of Stuart Murdoch's impossibly charming Glasgow tale - of a young woman and the friends she makes and the hearts she breaks - is of Browning's character Eve on the run from a mental health facility. "I look down the barrel of the gun" - that is, straight into the camera - "and I start singing," says the actress. God Help the Girl , opening Friday at the PFS Roxy, declares its intentions immediately.
September 3, 2014 |
SOME PEOPLE, like Andrea Green, never fully grow up. Lucky for her - and for the thousands of others (young and young in spirit) who've been touched by Green's work as a Philadelphia-based music therapist and composer of acclaimed, bighearted children's musicals. Green's organic works aren't just toe-tapping good - chock-full of polished, pop/Broadway-style anthems that get you humming along. These nourishing shows are also good for you - as socially inclusive, thought-provoking and therapeutic as they are entertaining.
August 29, 2014 |
EVEN AVID music scenesters might not know half of the "nearly 50" acts curated by lead producer Shawn "Jay Z" Carter and friends for this weekend's Budweiser Made in America Music Festival on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. And that's a good thing. Ideally, fests should be about discovery. And if programmed right - balanced for ear-cleansing contrast and maximum sparkle - the talent grab-bags can help un-do long-held stereotypes and musical prejudices. A couple Labor Day weekends ago, the first M.I.A.