November 14, 2014 |
The city of London has given Oscar-winning actor Morgan Freeman the Freedom of the City award. The time-honored ceremony makes Freeman a freeman in the city of London. This is different from Joni Mitchell making Freeman a Free Man in Paris. The Freedom of the City award is believed to have originated in the 13th century. It allows Freeman to carry out his trade. What, acting? Has someone in London been stopping Morgan Freeman from acting? Uh, no. In days gone by, freemen (not to be confused with Freeman)
November 25, 2012
Pop Unapologetic (Def Jam ***) If you count Good Girl Gone Bad 's "Reloaded Edition," Rihanna has put out an album a year since 2005. Wow. The good, early Pon de Replay , S.O.S. , and Umbrella were defined by their lack of a personality. So she and ex-boyfriend Chris Brown have spent the latter half of her career on mutated carnality. Last year's Talk That Talk was her most joyous, sexual, carpet-bombing album, all dubstep synths and hard-as-nails Euro-dance structures alongside all the staccato-hook FX she nicked from The-Dream.
July 22, 2011 |
Alison Krauss' crystalline voice, simultaneously airy and weighty, lends even the saddest songs - and her new Paper Airplane is full of sad songs - a sense of affirmation and pristine beauty. It's Krauss' first album in seven years with her longtime bluegrass band Union Station, and it was one of her most challenging to create, although it doesn't sound that way. Krauss spent several of those interim years working with Robert Plant and T Bone Burnett on the Grammy-winning Raising Sand.
January 28, 2011 |
The former governor of Pennsylvania may have been correct when he characterized America as "a nation of wusses. " But if that's so, Led Zeppelin fans are surely the exception to the rule. On Wednesday night, the Philadelphia region was transformed into a fearsome landscape that looked for all the world like the frozen "land of the ice and snow" that Robert Plant once ululated about in "Immigrant Song. " But that was not one of the Led Zep tunes the 62-year-old, gray-goateed golden god sang that night to a packed house of hardy souls at the Tower Theater, during an often-breathtaking 100-minute set with his six-piece knockout ensemble Band of Joy. For the record, Plant and Band of Joy - which shines a spotlight on the luminous talents of guitarist-bandleader Buddy Miller, multi-instrumentalist Darrell Scott, and singer Patty Griffin - did reworked versions of five Zep songs: "Tangerine," "Houses of the Holy," "Gallows Pole," "Ramble On," and, yes, "Rock and Roll.
September 14, 2010 |
Bilal and the Beatles, Robert Plant and the Killer of Las Vegas share the talent spotlight with new CDs and DVD packages this week. PHILLY'S OWN: It's easy to imagine the "suits" at major recording labels wondering outloud "What are we gonna do with this?" when auditioning the long-in-coming new album from Bilal, "Airtight's Revenge" (Plug Research, A). Taking neo-soul to a higher plateau, with layer upon layer of natural and synth keyboards playing off his limber, dynamic vocal lines, hip-hop percussion, jazz/rock/Eastern guitar jams and spacey, backward-tape loops, Bilal's carnival of funky sounds and light is unlike anything else out there.
February 8, 2009 |
With a collapsing economy adding to the woes of a music industry that's been contracting for a decade, the winners at tonight's Grammy Awards will be everybody who gets the chance to go on stage to hawk their wares on prime-time television. That's a long list, and it includes Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder, Radiohead, Jay-Z, Kanye West, Taylor Swift, U2, B.B. King, Katy Perry, Rihanna and the Jonas Brothers. On top of that, of course, 110 winners will go home with golden gramophones.
May 4, 2008 |
There will be bigger rock stars on stage at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts this summer than in a number of years, though the marquee attractions are in the latter stages of their careers. No, I'm not talking about Duran Duran, the '80s fashion plates who open the Mann pop season May 22. One big fish swimming in the Fairmount Park pond will be R.E.M., the Michael Stipe-led trio who headline a strong triple bill on June 18, along with Modest Mouse and The National. R.E.M.
June 21, 2005 |
The fans who sported Led Zeppelin paraphernalia and filled the Borgata Event Center in Atlantic City on Sunday might vehemently disagree with this observation (especially after paying upward of $95 and not hearing "Kashmir"): This mystical hard-rock mojo that Robert Plant has working with Strange Sensation, his backing band of four years, is as thrilling as anything he has done during his 37-year career. The union began as a covers-heavy vehicle in which Plant paid tribute to the Summer of Love muse of his youth - artists such as Love, Tim Hardin and Moby Grape.
November 29, 1993 |
Robert Plant's banshee wail may be a bit ragged around the edges, but when he hits the road, he still packs his leather lungs. On Saturday, Plant roared, literally, through the second of two weekend shows at the Tower Theater. Cocksure as ever, he didn't bother with the mellow side of his music so evident on his current Fate of Nations album. He did a few from it, including a lengthy, raging "Calling to You," an infectious "I Believe" and the brooding "29 Palms. " Otherwise, Plant used his powerful voice to good effect on oldies such as "In the Mood" and a strutting "Tall Cool One," which opened the two- hour show.
June 15, 1993 |
He's no longer the roaring young lion of yore. Robert Plant's voice bears the scars of decades of abuse. It's worn and frayed, drained of power. The full-throttled urgency he once summoned so effortlessly during Led Zeppelin's glory days is now beyond his grasp. Still, with the release of Fate of Nations (Es Paranza/Atlantic ) comes a strong argument against writing him off as another wheezing geezer calling from the crypt. On this, his seventh solo album, there's evidence that he's warring with a fear of his own mortality.