Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

POSTED: Thursday, January 23, 2014, 10:05 AM
Filed Under: Music & Nightlife
Bill Joel will perform in Philadelphia at Citizens Bank Park in August. (Photo: Getty Images)

Billy Joel will headline Citizens Bank Park for the first time as a solo act on Saturday, August 2nd, it was announced this morning in a press conference at the baseball stadium.

The piano man is second only to Bruce Springsteen when it comes to selling out South Philadelphia sports venues. Joel has 48 total, with 28 coming from the Spectrum, which closed in 2009, 18 at the building that is now known as the Wells Fargo Center, and two ‘Face to Face’ dates at Citizens Bank on which he shared a bill with his fellow ivory tickler, Elton John.

In recent years, Joel has kept a low pop music profile. His last non-classical studio album, River Of Dreams, came out in 1993, when he was still married to Christie Brinkley. 

PHOTOS: Great Billy Joel moments through the years

He last played Philadelphia solo in 2008, when he headlined the Academy Ball with Philadelphia Orchestra. He performed the last concerts at Shea Stadium before it was demolished later that year, and drew positive notices in 2012 for his The Concert for Sandy Relief.

Last month, he rang in the New Year at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, and he's playing a half dozen sporadic dates at Madison Square Garden in New York, beginning this month through April.

American Express® Card Members can purchase tickets before the general public beginning Monday, January 27th. Tickets for the general public on sale will be available Friday, January 31 at 10am at Ticketmaster.com, LiveNation.com, Ticketmaster Outlets or by-phone at 800-745-3000.

POSTED: Wednesday, January 22, 2014, 2:24 PM
Gene Clark, and the 'No Other' album cover.

The Gene Clark: No Other tour kicks off tonight at Union Transfer.

A number of illustrious indie-rock players, plus 67 year old folk-rock vet Iain Matthews, all gathered together by Alex Scally and Victoria Legrand of Baltimore dream pop band Beach House, will play No Other, the lost classic 1974 solo album by Clark, the Byrds founding member who wrote "Eight Miles High" and "Feel A Whole Lot Better." 

My interview with Scally about the endeavor, which is only scheduled to happen four times, with the Philadelphia show being the first, is in last Friday's Inquirer Wkend section, and here.


POSTED: Wednesday, January 22, 2014, 9:44 AM
Yannick Nezet-Seguin conducting the Philadelphia Orchestra.

This Saturday, Jill Scott headlines the Philadelphia Orchestra's 157th Academy Ball, with the R & B soul diva from North Philadelphia joining Yannick Nezet-Seguin and the Philadelphia Orchestra, as well as Robert Glasper, the Bacon Brothers and Stewart Goodyear on the stage of the Academy of Music for the Orchestra's annual fundrasing party / society gathering. 

During a break from rehearsals for Dvorak's opera Rusalka at the Metropolitan Opera in New York (which opens tomorrow with Super Bowl "Star Spangled Banner" singing soprano Renee Fleming in the title role), I talked to Nezet-Seguin for a story that ran in this Sunday Inquirer A & E section. (Punch in code H38G and read it here.)

The 38 year old French-Canadian conductor waxes poetic about Scott, who he's been a big fan of since before coming to Philadelphia to take his place at the podium full time in 2012.


Janelle Monae, “Dance Apocalyptic.”

Jill Scott, “Blessed.”

Radiohead, “Codex”

Bjork, “It’s Oh So Quiet”

Sarah Vaughan, “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love”

POSTED: Wednesday, January 15, 2014, 8:41 AM
Bruce Springsteen and Jimmy Fallon.

Bruce Springsteen was on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon last night promoting his new album High Hopes, and he and the host dressed up in matching Born in the U.S.A. bandanas and sleeveless denim and did a song parody called "Gov. Christie Traffic Jam" set to the tune of "Born to Run."

It's funny, and pointed. Fallon starts off mocking with "In the day we sweat it out on the streets, stuck in traffic on the GWB / They shut down the toll booths of glory, 'cause we didn't endorse Christie." Springsteen comes out of the shadows to join him, addressing his biggest fan with "Governor let me in, i want to be your friend, they'll be no partisan divisions."

The tune built to a crescendo as Fallon as Bruce sing "Highways jammed with pissed off drivers with no place left to go, and the press conference went on for so damned long..." with Bruce as Bruce completing the line "... it was longer than one of my own damn shows!"


POSTED: Tuesday, January 14, 2014, 1:46 PM
Foo Fighters.

The lineup has been announced for the Firefly Music Festival, expanded this year to take place over four days in Dover, Delaware from June 19-22.

The big fish is OutKast, the reunited rap duo who are also topping the Coachella Festival. Other big names among the more than 100 acts scheduled to perform on the 7 stage very indie rock heavy fest are Foo Fighters, Jack Johnson, Weezer, Iron & Wine, Lumineers, Arctic Monkeys, Courtney Barnett, Pretty Lights, Chance the Rapper, Girl Talk, Ziggy Marley, Sleigh Bells, Phosphorescent, Jake Bugg and Tegan & Sara.

The day to day lineup is not yet announced. So far, there's only an alphabetical list. Watch the lineup video below. More info on the Firefly Facebook page.


POSTED: Tuesday, January 14, 2014, 12:52 PM

The line-up for the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival has been announced, with Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band, Arcade Fire, Alabama Shakes, Eric Clapton,  Christina Aguilera, Public Enemy, Robin Thicke, Phish, Solange, Bobby Womack, Robert Plant, John Fogerty, The Head and the Heart, Tre Songz, Alejandro Escovedo, The Avett Br0thers and Chaka Khan among the non-native Louisianan headliners.

Of course, those big names are less than than half of the good reason to go to The City That Care Forgot for Jazz Fest, which takes place over the last weekend in April and the first weekend in May. Also on the bill: Allen Toussaint, Galactic, Kermit Ruffins & the Barbecue Swingers, BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet, Irma Thomas, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, The Hot 9, Hurray for the Riff Raff, Sonny Landreth, Nicholas Payton XXX, John Boutte, Treme Brass Band, Geronimo Hunters Mardi Gras Indians, and more.

Springsteen and Arcade Fire both play the second weekend. Phish and Clapton are set for the first. This is the first U.S. Springsteen date announced for what is likely to be a full tour behind the new album High Hopes, which comes out today.


POSTED: Monday, January 13, 2014, 11:52 AM

This weekend I finally caught up with Nothing Can Hurt Me, the documentary about the late great sui generis 1970s Memphis British Invasion-influenced power-pop band Big Star.

Drew DiNicola and Olivia Mori's 2012 film has been up streaming on Netflix since the first of the year, so there's no longer any excuse. The movie is essential for Big Star fans, and compelling on its own terms, though I can't say that I feel I know Alex Chilton all that much better than I did before I saw it. But then it doesn't seem like many of his fellow Memphians that talk about him in the movie knew the frequently self-destructive and sardonic mystery man very well when he was alive, either.

At one point, in the sad, subdued story, Big Star drummer Jody Stephens explains that he assumes Chilton must have been enjoying himself during the band's 1990s reunion shows, because he never knew the singer-guitarist to do anything he didn't want to do. That kind of guess work was required when it came to Chilton, who spoke and frequently sang with a mixture of sincerity and sarcasm that was difficult to parse.


POSTED: Thursday, January 9, 2014, 11:20 AM
The Jim Jones Revue.

I haven't seen The Jim Jones Revue live yet, so tonight at the North Star Bar is the night.

This Jim Jones is not a New York rapper or a kool aid drinking cult leader but a a howling British rock and roll singer who has taken frontman pointers from old time adrenalized showmen like Jerry Lee Lewis and Little Richard as well as more recent rip roarers like The Stooges and Nick Cave.

The band's latest album, last year's The Savage Heart, raises quite a ruckus, but word has it that the only way to go with The Jim Jones Revue is to see them on stage because, as one web wag put it, they put on "a ferocious and almost unfeasibly exciting live show."


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