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ENTERTAINMENT
November 6, 2004 | By A.D. Amorosi FOR THE INQUIRER
It was a downright sin that so few people - less than 70 - witnessed the prayerful soul power of Mavis Staples at the TLA. Chilling rains might have kept crowds from Thursday's display of rough, godly R&B and hickory-switch gospel, but Staples didn't care. "If there was only one of you, I'd still sing," said Staples, who is 64. "I didn't come to Philly to frown. We're going to rejoice. " Guided by her deep voice's scuffed lows, tattered holy highs, and sexy, modulated twitches, Staples did more than rejoice.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 15, 1995 | By Larry Kay, FOR THE INQUIRER
Most side projects from artists in huge bands prove to be quickly forgotten affairs, little more than massive doses of ego-stroking that leave the listener wondering why the effort was made in the first place. Similarly, the side project album from Guns N' Roses lead guitarist Slash - Slash's Snakepit's (It's Five O'Clock Somewhere) - was way off-target. But on Wednesday at the TLA, the live side of the band managed to hit its mark. "The Pit," as they refer to themselves, is an all-star aggregation of sorts.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 31, 1995 | By A.D. Amorosi, FOR THE INQUIRER
Watch as Keanu sweats! Thrill as Keanu grins! And grow wildly alarmed as Keanu points! You may imagine those exclamations as advertisements for the next Keanu Reeves film venture. This time though, however, Reeves is not the goofy adventurer, the hulky cop, or the cyber-messenger. This time, Keanu is just the bassist for a still-unsigned band - Dogstar - that sold out the Theater of Living Arts on Saturday night. But as he casually exits his taxi and unloads his own bass upon arriving at the back of the TLA, we see from the almost exclusively female drove of fans who stand frozen in the humidity awaiting their hero that Reeves is not just any old bassist.
NEWS
October 21, 1991 | By Sam Wood, Special to The Inquirer
Saturday night's show at the TLA was called "Women's Voices. " It would have been just as accurate to call it "An Evening With a Couple of America's Best Songwriters. " Nanci Griffith, Mary-Chapin Carpenter, and Beth Nielsen Chapman re-created the warmth of an old-fashioned song-circle. In round-robin fashion, each took turns in the spotlight. Griffith clearly owned the house. Each of the six songs she performed won rounds of rapturous applause. Inspired by Wim Wenders' film Wings of Desire, "If Wishes Were Changes" was typical of her highly burnished style.
NEWS
April 9, 1991 | By Tom Moon, Inquirer Music Critic
If Roger McGuinn's sold-out show at the Theater of Living Arts last night was intended to celebrate the recent creative renaissance of a seminal rock artist, it was less than successful. But if it was designed to prove McGuinn's influence on popular music, the show made its point. Though two opening acts - the Wisconsin quartet Another Carnival and the Florida-based quartet The Headlights (which served as McGuinn's backing band) - offered only tepid and tired original songs, they could not disguise their admiration for the Byrds and their effervescent jingle-jangle pop-rock.
NEWS
October 15, 1990 | By Kevin L. Carter, Inquirer Staff Writer
From the Hollywood Hills or the cabin of an airplane, Los Angeles at night is beautiful, its lights shimmering as far as the eye can see. But when you get deep into town, L.A. at night is drab, lifeless and, in places, downright ugly. This is the L.A. of films such as Repo Man and Miracle Mile. It is also the L.A. of David Baerwald, who, backed by his six-piece band, sang of his home town Saturday night at the Theater of Living Arts. Baerwald is a gaunt, frail man, and his lean, angular face and physique gives him the look of a hungry coyote.
NEWS
November 17, 1990 | By Dan DeLuca, Special to The Inquirer
It doesn't seem right to call someone as happy as Charles Brown a blues singer. The 68-year-old pianist, whose show at the Theater of Living Arts last night was an impeccably played - somewhat overly showy - affair, is so pleased these days that he can't stop himself from grinning from ear to ear even when singing a line like: "No one cares about me, ain't got a friend" or contemplating jumping off a bridge in song. But then, he's got plenty of reason to be upbeat. Forty-five years after first hitting the R&B charts, his interpretive powers are undimmed.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 2, 1996 | By Dan DeLuca, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
It would be silly to call Mazzy Star boring. Of course they're boring: The exploration of boredom, despair and emotional paralysis is the Los Angeles band's reason for being. Mazzy Star fans know they're in for one after-the-party downer after the next, and they like it that way. Bracing myself, I slurped down a double latte before their show at the TLA on Saturday, but was still stifling yawns by the fifth song. Here's the Mazzy formula: Singer Hope Sandoval stands motionless in the dark, perpetually pouting in her shimmering party dress, a Lolita lost in a post-prom haze.
NEWS
April 7, 1990 | By Dan DeLuca, Special to The Inquirer
The Roches - sisters Maggie, Terre and Suzzy, who played before a sold-out crowd at the Theater of Living Arts last night - have been concocting their eclectic brand of folk music for 15 years now. Relying on acoustic guitars, breathtakingly odd harmonies and unobtrusive synthesizers, the sisters sing songs of romantic struggle that walk a line between poignancy and being too clever for their own good. The Roches have always resisted the temptation to trim their eccentric, poetic lyrics into placard-sized slogans or iron the quirks out of their music.
NEWS
May 14, 2012 | By Steve Klinge, FOR THE INQUIRER
In Spiritualized, Jason Pierce uses minimalism for maximum effect. Most of the songs during the band's 130-minute performance Friday night at the Theater of Living Arts built on a one- or two-chord guitar riff, but they became majestic, inspiring monuments. Pierce's roots are in psychedelic rock (going back to the '80s, when he called himself J. Spaceman in the British band Spacemen 3) and in the Velvet Underground (the new Sweet Heart Sweet Light and its lead track, "Hey Jane," jumble the titles of VU's White Light White Heat and "Sweet Jane")
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
September 4, 2016 | By Dan DeLuca, Music Critic
Sylk 130 reunion. In the mid-'90s, Philadelphia DJ-producer-songwriter King Britt brought an all-star cast of local talent together to form the soul-funk-jazz collective Sylk 130. The crew, which included poet Ursula Rucker, bassist Jamaaladeen Tacuma, and trumpeter Jafar Baron, made its recording debut on 1997's When the Funk Hits the Fan , and now the band is getting back together. Sunday at the TLA. "Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk" by Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 4, 2016 | By A.D. Amorosi, For The Inquirer
No artist can stay a child of her hometown forever. Philadelphia-born Santigold - who started life here as Santi White, singer of local ska-pop band Stiffed, and duet partner to rapper GZA and nu-soul songstress Res - became an internationalist, a singer-composer touching on a melange of funk, dub, reggae, ragga, punk, Africana, New Wave, hip-hop, house, electronica, and noise, often in one go. With three eclectic albums to her name (each four...
ENTERTAINMENT
March 12, 2016 | By Sofiya Ballin, Staff Writer
R&B singer Tinashe is no longer on the come-up: She's arrived. Lately, the 23-year-old vocalist killed her Janet Jackson tribute at the 2015 BET awards, posed for Playboy's first no-nudity issue, and made a fan of Kanye West. She's in the middle of her Joyride World Tour, a precursor to her sophomore album, Joyride . She'll perform Tuesday at the TLA. With more than 40 shows to go, it's her day off - kind of. She slept in this day and is relaxing, a fan meet-and-greet on the horizon.
NEWS
October 16, 2015 | By A.D. Amorosi, For The Inquirer
With 2014's Down Where the Spirit Meets the Bone , tousle-haired Lucinda Williams put her roots country-rocking money where her mouth has long been and released an album on a label of her own, Highway 20 Records. Her robust lyricism, blunt musicality and distinctly rusty vocal tones have put her in a league of her own since 1979's Ramblin' on My Mind . Frankly, Williams never did sound like any other alterna-country presence, a fact she proved once more on Tuesday night at Theatre of Living Arts.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 19, 2015 | By Bill Chenevert, For The Inquirer
In the 2012 annual BBC Sound Of . . . poll, Lianne La Havas got edged out by an impressive cadre of artists, among them Frank Ocean, Azealia Banks, and Skrillex. But she garnered a great deal of attention for her debut LP from Warner Bros., the outstanding Is Your Love Big Enough? It took off on the merits of singles "Forget" and the title track. They're funky, bouncy, packed with punchy choruses and a potent, empowered feminine playfulness. She dazzled audiences around the world with a tour (she, a Londoner, calls them "campaigns")
NEWS
September 10, 2015 | By Aubrey Whelan, Inquirer Staff Writer
Philadelphia police have arrested a Parkside man in a fatal shooting Friday night outside the Theatre of Living Arts on South Street. Tylee Wilbur, 28, was arrested Saturday in the death of John Green, 25, of West Philadelphia. Police found Green at 8:13 p.m. on the sidewalk at Third Street and South with a gunshot wound in his abdomen. He died about a half-hour later at Hahnemann University Hospital. Wilbur was charged with murder, firearms violations, and related offenses. Police said the killing stemmed from an argument, but did not elaborate on what the argument had been about.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 8, 2015 | By A.D. Amorosi, For The Inquirer
For a headlining rapper with a deep catalog (including the work of his sometime band, Odd Future and recordings by Madlib and Mac Miller), Earl Sweatshirt is kind of a goofball. When Tyler, the Creator did a Theatre of Living Arts gig with him in March 2013, the rapper (real name: Thebe Neruda Kgositsile) hid in plain sight - head down, as if looking for loose change - under a hoodie, popping his head out turtlelike only when his turn came to rhyme. For his October 2013 gig at the same venue, he mostly left the stage to then-lesser-known rapper Vince Staples.
NEWS
September 7, 2015 | By Al Heavens, Inquirer Staff Writer
Philadelphia police said Saturday that they are continuing their investigation of a Friday night shooting outside the Theater of the Living Arts on South Street that left a man dead. The identity of the 25-year-old victim has not yet been released. "Nothing has changed since last night," a police spokesman said Saturday. The shooting, about 8 p.m., came two doors east of the TLA, where Chicago rapper Lil Durk was to appear. A large number of people were in line to see the show, which also was to feature acts by Hypno Carlito and Gunplay.
NEWS
September 6, 2015 | BY VINNY VELLA, Daily News Staff Writer vellav@phillynews.com, 215-854-2513
CHAOS CUT THROUGH the humidity of Friday night, deadly gunfire that caught one man among a crowd of hundreds on South Street. The incident happened just after 8 p.m., as throngs of people lined up outside the Theatre of the Living Arts, on South near 3rd, Chief Inspector Scott Small said. Lil Durk, a Chicago-based rapper, was set to perform at the venue, when a scuffle broke out among a group of men near the front door. Officers assigned to South Street saw the violence and then heard the subsequent gunshots.
NEWS
August 23, 2015 | By Elliott Sharp, For The Inquirer
Bands rarely improve with age. Many implode before they have the chance, of course, but many more keep trucking when they should have sold the tour bus on Craigslist. It is especially a pity when once-wonderful bands (for example, Metallica and Gang of Four) create new music that is so bad it threatens to revoke their legacy and makes us wonder why we ever championed them in the first place. And so it is always nice to find an exception. High on Fire, which headlined Wednesday at the TLA, is one of those rare bands that get better as they get older.
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