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Archive: May, 2012

POSTED: Thursday, May 17, 2012, 12:08 PM

TMZ is reporting that Donna Summer, the disco and pop diva who was a consistent, underrated 1970s radio hit maker with songs like "Last Dance," "Hot Stuff," "Bad Girls," "Love To Love You Baby," "She Works Hard For Her Money," and "Macarthur Park," has died.

The five-time Grammy winner was 63 and had been battling cancer. A selection of Summer videos, including a 15 minute version of Jimmy Webb's "Macarthur Park" and the exceedingly rare "Black Power" from German TV in 1969 (thanks to, are below. Her Associated Press obituary is here and Annette John-Hall's appreciation from Friday's Inquirer is here.

Previously: Philadelphia Folk Festival announced Follow In the Mix on Twitter

POSTED: Tuesday, May 15, 2012, 1:55 PM

The Holy Grail of jazz albums has finally arrived on CD today. It's still driving me crazy.

Lured to Toronto on May 15, 1953 by a bunch of cash flashing fans,   "The Quintet: Jazz at Massey Hall" brought together saxophonist Charlie Parker, trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie, pianist Bud Powell, bassist Charies Mingus and drummer Max Roach - all major figures and  leaders unto themselves.   Typical of way too much jazz of the era, no rehearsals were deemed necessary. The cats would  rely strictly on standards ("Perdido," "All The Things You Are," "A Night in Tunisia") that they could "wing." In truth a lot of it came out raggedy. 

Adding insult to injury -   recording  the show was almost an afterthought. The summit was captured on a single microphone and a borrowed Ampex tape recorder which Mingus  hauled across the border. And yet, despite its' distant, "into the mystic" sound, this album would still achieve legendary status  worldwide, considered  one of the most important jazz events and recordings, ever.

POSTED: Tuesday, May 15, 2012, 8:17 PM

Lucinda Williams, Steve Earle and John Hiatt will be among the Americana guitar pickers at the 51st annual Philadelphia Folk Festival on the weekend of August 17-19.

This year's solid lineup for the fest, as always hosted by deejay and jokester Gene Shay and held at the Old Pool Farm in Upper Salford, near Schwenksville, in Bucks County, also includes Wanda Jackson, Mary Gauthier, Strand of Oaks, Little Feat, Pokey LaFarge, the Holmes Brothers, Paul Thorn, Mary Chapin Carpenter, and The Secret Sisters, among others.

For the first time this year, there will be single tickets for each day, rather than separate admissions for individual concerts, with Williams, Earle, Hiatt, Jackson and Little Feat all playing on Saturday the 18th.

POSTED: Monday, May 14, 2012, 2:35 PM

After his press conference with Mayor Michael Nutter this morning, Jay-Z sat down for an interview with me atop the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art where Rocky Balboa stood to talk about the Budweiser Made in America festival he's headlining and curating. It'll take place on September 1 and 2 on Labor Day weekend on three stages, one of which will be a giant DJ tent, on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

That's where Live 8 drew half a million people in 2005, but the two-day ticketed festival will be on a much smaller scale. It will be limited to a capacity of 50,000 per day, according to Geoff Gordon of concert promoters Live Nation, and Jay-Z - a.k.a Shawn Carter - will headline one of the two nights. The full line-up will be announced May 21, and tickets go on sale on May 23 at Ticketmaster and with early bird two day passes going for $99 plus ticketing fees, and a "significant" portion of the proceeeds going to United Way charities.

With Mayor Nutter, the husband to Beyonce, father to baby Blue Ivy Carter and part owner of the soon to be Brooklyn Nets - who also goes by the nickname "Hova," said that the Fest "will be a great day for Philly." When a fan called out "You're the best, Hov!," he replied "I agree." Then he pressed the flesh with the fans, before sitting down to talk.

POSTED: Sunday, May 13, 2012, 7:31 PM

UPDATED May 14th, 11:19 am

"Philadelphia is a great music town, everybody knows that," said Mayor Nutter as he introduced Jay-Z , who took the the stage after representatives from The United Way.

Jay Z appeared on stage dressed in a white tee shirt and suit jacket with Philadelphia rapper Freeway.

POSTED: Sunday, May 13, 2012, 6:45 PM

Jay-Z will join Mayor Nutter atop the Art Museum steps at 10:30 Monday to announce a multi-day concert festival called Made in America over Labor Day weekend.

It is unclear whether the event will be held on the Parkway or elsewhere.

Jay-Z posted this video featuring the Philadelphia skyline, screaming fans and a microphone, on his website Friday.

POSTED: Friday, May 11, 2012, 9:05 AM
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Lynyrd Skynyrd's Saturday concert will be the first staged at its racetrack by the newly re-branded Harrah's Philadelphia. Photo: Harrah's Philadelphia

Friday’s ceremony officially marking the name change of Harrah’s Chester to Harrah’s Philadelphia (see below) is only one of two major events set for the riverside gaming hall this weekend. Saturday’s performance by Southern-rock avatars Lynyrd Skynyrd is, in the overall scheme of things, pretty important, too.

That’s because the gig, which takes place at the racetrack portion of the complex, marks the introduction of the casino as a significant show biz player.

Although Harrah’s has been aggressively booking big (or semi-big) name entertainment since January, promotion has been low-key. Now, it’s ready to establish itself as a regional venue.

POSTED: Thursday, May 10, 2012, 4:58 PM

Lucky Oceans, the Philadelphia-reared steel guitar playing founding member of Western Swing kings Asleep at the Wheel has lived in Australia for a number of years now. He's home for a visit, however, and tonight at McShea's in Narberth he'll be sitting in with local Texas swingers Beats Walkin'.

Below, take a look at Lucky, who's really name is Rueben Gosfeld and who formed ASATW with Ray Benson in Paw Paw, W. Va. in 1969, playing an 8 string Dobro along with a bunch of Down Under cowpokes called the Darling Rangers in 2010. The man can pick.

More on Beats Walkin' here. The music starts round about 9:30 at McShea's, and goes till late. It's free.

About this blog
Encompassing the sounds and beats of the city, we're here to turn you on to the local notables and under-the-radar artists, while showing you more of the bands and hot spots you already know and love.

Gab Bonghi Staff Writer
Dan DeLuca Inquirer Music Critic
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