In introducing Bob Dylan on his penultimate Late Show on Tuesday, David Letterman talked about driving around with his son Harry, teaching the tyke the two most important things to know in life.
Number one, which Dave recited in Harry's voice, is "You have to always be nice to other people." And number two is: "The greatest songwriter of modern times is Bob Dylan." Good work, Harry.
Dylan then came on and - naturally - did not do a song that he wrote himself that might somehow fit the occasion - say, "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right," or "You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go." Instead, he pulled out a touching and tender "The Night We Called It A Day," written by Matt Dennis and Tom Adair, a perfect mood piece from his new album of Frank Sinatra standards, Shadows In The Night.
Jay Z's Budweiser Made In America festival will return to the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia on September 5 and 6.
The official announcement was made Tuesday evening on Tidal, Jay Z's new streaming music service, which is offerinng two-for-one early bird two-day passes to new subscribers.
No announcement was made about the festival lineup, which was headlined by Kanye West and Kings of Leon last year, nor was there word if Made in America will again be a a bicoastal festival as it was last year, when it was simultaneously held in Los Angeles.
David Dye's World Cafe: Sense of Place radio series has been all over the globe, venturing as far south as Brazil and as close to the Arctic Circle as Iceland. (Read about that 2014 musical adventure here.)
This time the NPR series, which is produced at WXPN (88.5-FM) saved plane fare and stayed home. Sense of Place: Philadelphia is running all this week on XPN from 2 till 4 in the afternoon. It kicked off yesterday with performance and interview segments with Katie Crutchfield of Waxahatchee and the rock band Cayetana.
What's good about SOP: Philly so far is that it calls attention not just to the thriving indie-rock scene fueled by an influx of millenials, but also digs into Philly rock and soul history. Monday's show ended with the triple play of Chubby Checker's "The Twist," Howard Tate's "Get It While You Can," and The A's "A Woman's Got The Power."
Patti LaBelle to open Dell Music Center summer season in July, Anthony Hamilton, Larry Graham & Bootsy Collins, Toni Braxton & Babyface also on tap
Patti Labelle will kick off the summer season at the city's Dell Music Center on July 9, the lead act in a schedule that's stronger and more consistent with old school soul, Quiet Storm and funk acts than it has been in some time.
LaBelle, fresh off a stint on Dancing With the Stars, and has also recently appeared on American Horror Story, brings that old "New Attitude" to the outdoor venue at 2400 Strawberry Mansion Drive (off of Ridge Ave.) on July 9, on a bill that also includes trombonist Jef Bradshaw & Friends and Pamela "The Saxtress" Williams.
There's an old scool quadruple bill on July 16 with Rose Royce, Heatwave, Bloodstone and the Chi-Lites, and lots of other cool stuff throughout the summer. Toni Braxton and Babyface play on July 23, rugged soul man sings Anthony Hamilton on August 6, and Larry Graham and Bootsy Collins get down on August 27.
Of the four greatest bands of the 1960s British Invasion - The Beatles, Rolling Stones, The Kinks and The Who - nobody spent more time thinking about what it meant to be part of a youth culture revolution than Pete Townshend of The Who.
The group’s first two songs, “Zoot Suit” and “I’m the Face,” released when they were known as the High Numbers in 1964, directly addressed the Mod subculture the band helped define. And by the next year, with ”I Can’t Explain” - which the band opened with on Sunday at the Wells Fargo Center on their nostalgic ‘The Who Hits 50!’ tour - they had captured the fumbling inexpressiveness of youth (“I’m feelin’ good now, yeah, but can’t explain”).
Later that year, in “My Generation,” whose rumbling bass (now played by Pino Palladino, in place of John Entwistle, who died in 2002) and talking drums (Zak Starkey, instead of Keith Moon, who OD'd in 1978) still make you get up out of your chair, Townshend wrote the “I hope I die before I get old” line that would follow him around for decades.
Non-Comm Round-Up, with Brian Wilson, Saun & Starr, Fly Golden Eagle, Leon Bridges, James McMurtry and Madisen Ward & the Mama Bear
"Here's probably the best song I ever wrote, in 1966, off the Pet Sounds album," Brian Wilson said on Friday afternoon at the World Cafe Live. "It's called "God Only Knows"."
That was from the oh-my-god-there's-a-pop-music-genius-onstage portion of Non-Comm, the 15th annual (and 9th in Philadelphia) convention of mostly non-commercial public radio stations that brings in deejays and programmers and record label muckety mucks from all over the country for three days of networking and band-seeing at the WCL.
Most deal in the adult-alternative format of which host station WXPN (88.5-FM) is an industry leaders. It makes room for everyone from legacy artists such as Wilson to indie rockers like fellow Californians Best Coast (who kicked off the fest with a winning set of fuzzy garage pop on Wednesday night) to rising retro-soul and R & B acts - a particularly strong presence this year - like Saun & Starr, Leon Bridges and Anderson East.
The great bluesman B.B. King has died at age 89. Read his Inquirer obituary here.
Below, check out five King performances, including one from the White House with Buddy Guy, Mick Jagger, Jeff Beck, Shemekia Copeland and President Obama in 2012.
Specking of Obama, he had this to say about King's passing: "The blues has lost its king, and America has lost a legend. B.B. King was born a sharecropper's son in Mississippi, came of age in Memphis, Tennessee, and became the ambassador who brought his all-American music to his country and the world. No one worked harder than B.B. No one inspired more up-and-coming artists. No one did more to spread the gospel of the blues.Three years ago, [Michelle Obama] and I hosted a blues concert at the White House. I hadn't expected that I'd be talked into singing a few lines of 'Sweet Home Chicago' with B.B. by the end of the night, but that was the kind of effect his music had, and still does. He gets stuck in your head, he gets you moving, he gets you doing the things you probably shouldn't do—but will always be glad you did. B.B. may be gone, but that thrill will be with us forever. And there's going to be one killer blues session in heaven tonight."
B.B. King, "Three O'Clock Blues"
B.B. King, "Sweet Little Angel"
B.B. King, "You Upset Me Baby"
B.B. King, "Sweet Home Chicago," with Barack Obama, Jeff Beck and Mick Jagger.
B.B. King, "The Thrill Is Gone."
Non-Comm kicks off tonight: Best Coast, Brian Wilson, Leon Bridges and more play West Philly radio convention
Tonight, the annual Non-Comm radio convention, which brings in programmers from mostly non-commercial stations that hew to the adult-alternative music format, kicks off both upstairs and down at the World Cafe Live.
It's not the muckety mucks who are in town that are of interest to music fans, however - it's the bands they come to see. Starting with comedian Rob Schneider's songwriter daughter Elle King, who plays at 7 tonight upstairs at the WCL and ending with Neil Young-ish rocker Israel Nash downstairs on Friday at 11, a total of 30 acts will play at the 15th annual Non-Comm.
The biggest names would be Beach Boys music genius Brian Wilson, playing a Free at Noon on Friday, with Calexico, and country star Wynonna, who does a Thursday afternoon at three taping of the World Cafe with David Dye. But there's all sorts of other compelling upstart and veteran acts, from country torch singer Shelby Lynne to 12 string guitar whiz Riley Walker to rising pop songsmith Borns to Sharon Jones back-up singers Saun & Starr to Philly's own Dr. Dog and Son Little.to California dreamers Best Coast, whose singer Bethany Cosentino showed up at Sara Sherr's karaoke night at 12 Steps Down in South Philly on Tuesday. (She sang Oasis' "Wonderwall.")