August 20, 2014 |
THE PHILADELPHIA Folk Festival last weekend wasn't the same without Dante Bucci. Dante, who died last Wednesday, had been taking his unique way of making music to the festival since 2001. His instrument was the "hang," a kind of drum in the shape of a flying saucer, balanced on the lap and played with hands and fingers. The music Dante produced with this odd device, much of it of his own composition, was unlike anything heard from traditional instruments. Its sound is usually described as "dreamlike" and "haunting.
August 19, 2014 |
Robert Harris Zimmerman, 81, of Bala Cynwyd, a lawyer and music lover, died Monday, Aug. 11, of multiple myeloma at Penn Hospice at Rittenhouse. Mr. Zimmerman was the son of an immigrant Lithuanian father and an American mother. He and his brothers, Mark and Barry, were raised in Pottsville, Schuylkill County. Though neither parent had attended high school, the Zimmerman boys excelled academically. His brothers earned advanced engineering degrees; Mr. Zimmerman graduated from Amherst College and the University of Pennsylvania School of Law. While at Amherst, he pledged Phi Delta Theta despite the fraternity's prohibition on Jewish members.
August 9, 2014 |
If you want Tori Amos - an artist renowned for her smart, passionate lyrics and melodic abandon - to talk about how she does her art, she'll chat your ear off. "I can talk process all day," she says. Good. Amos is someone who's been willing to risk her long-held position in the charts with classically inspired song cycles ( Night of Hunters ), orchestral deconstructions of her best-loved songs (Gold Dust ), sumptuous, twinkly musical theater pieces ( The Light Princess )
August 8, 2014 |
Who'll be the future Marian Anderson, Hall & Oates, Chubby Checker, or Teddy Pendergrass? Councilman-at-large David Oh has an idea that may help find out. At a 10 a.m. news conference at City Hall on Thursday, Oh will announce plans for a competition/music festival to help identify new local talent. Oh - chair of the Committee on Global Opportunities and the Creative/Innovative Economy - will announce a bill to promote Philadelphia as a live entertainment city. He will also announce PHL Live Center Stage, a music festival open to public participation.
August 6, 2014 |
Julian Scanlan, a.k.a. DJ Swoon, is too young to go clubbing - unless he brings his party tunes. The Mount Laurel resident, 17, is a rising Electronic Dance Music (EDM) artist. His composing, remixing, producing, and performing skills have landed him DJ gigs in Philly and Orlando, as well as residencies last year and again this week at Grammy Camp. "Camp is amazing," says Scanlan, who's attending the Grammy Foundation's competitive summer workshop program in Manhattan until Sunday.
August 4, 2014 |
After the genuine smoke and (mostly) simulated fire had abated at Citizens Bank Park on Friday night to signal the end of country-pop megastar Jason Aldean's show, a key metric for rating the concert was evident. Satisfied fans exited the ballpark, some in cowboy hats, some in ball caps, many in pointy-toed boots (especially women, a good number clad in high-thigh-baring "Daisy Dukes" cutoff denim shorts). Most everyone sported contented looks on their faces. Leave the qualitative and quantifiable assessments to critics and other bean counters - these folks were happy.
August 2, 2014 |
August in Atlantic City gets busy this weekend with a high-volume Comedy Central comic, a pop-metal double bill that includes a band of 2014 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees, and the second of two free massive country-pop concerts on the beach. The comedian in question is Lewis Black, the confrontational shouter who has been a regular guest on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart since 1996. Black's "Back in Black" segments, with AC/DC intro music, are typically vituperative rants that build to a sarcastic crescendo on an ever renewable theme: just how maddeningly, frustratingly, offensively stupid and disappointing the world is. Black's act is to work himself into such a state that it seems like his head might pop off in the middle of one of his hyper-aggravated routines.
August 1, 2014 |
BUILDERS USED to "wow" sample-house visitors with in-wall intercoms that could also simulcast a radio station to send music throughout the house. Seemed sexy at the time, though the sound was always tinny. Today, a growing slew of wireless multiroom audio products achieve the same, music-everywhere effect with far easier installation, radically better sound and an insane variety of music options. All you gotta do is plug a device into a power outlet (some run on batteries), link it via WiFi to your Internet service, then control the play with an app on your smart phone, tablet or computer.
July 31, 2014 |
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)
July 28, 2014 |
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.