Thursday, December 25, 2014

POSTED: Wednesday, August 20, 2014, 11:53 PM
Pattern is Movement play the 2010 Roots Picnic. (Tiffany Yoon / PHILLY.COM)

Summer is flying by, and if you're a fool such as I you didn't make it out to see heavy rockers Purling Hiss at Spruce Street Harbor Park last month.

Well here's your last chance to catch a free live indie-rock show at the pop-up oasis along the Delaware River waterfront, which is open until Aug. 31. The final gratis show of the season will feature Pattern Is Movement, the tightly disciplined Philadelphia soul duo of Chris Ward and Andrew Thiboldeaux, whose self-titled fourth album on the Home Tapes label was a long time coming and worth the wait. Also on the bill: Moon Bounce, the electronic project of Philadelphia mixmaster Corey Regensburg.

Show details here. Pattern Is Movement's cover of D'Angelo's "Untitled (How Does It Feel)" is below. The good folks at Weathervane Music are the presenters. Music starts at 7:30 p.m.

POSTED: Tuesday, August 19, 2014, 10:50 AM
John Blake Jr.

John Blake Jr., the Philadelphia jazz violinist and music educator who toured with Grover Washington Jr. and McCoy Tyner and taught generations of students at the Settlement Music School and University of the Arts, has died.

Blake, who was 67, died on Friday from complications of multiple myeloma according to his son, Johnathan Blake

The jazz man grew up in South Philadelphia and studied violin and piano at Settlement, before graduating from West Virginia University with a music degree and going on to the Institute of Advanced Studies in Montreux, Switzerland. Returning home, he cut his teeth playing in orchestras and  R & B groups, at churches and community centers and in small clubs in Philadelphia and Atlantic City. 

POSTED: Monday, August 18, 2014, 8:12 PM

1989 is the year that Taylor Swift was born and it's also the name of the Wyomissing, Pa. raised no-longer-country pop star's fifth album, which is due Oct. 27 on the Big Machine label.

The world learned as much this when Swift made the announcement during a Yahoo livestream event Monday afternoon. The single sends a message that the 24 year old songwriter is all-in on the pop end, with production handled by producers Max Martin and Shellback, and a harmless (though sure to attract lots of attention) rap bridge attached to the kicky beat and catchy chorus. Swift's spoken part calling attention to the song's "sick beat" is cringe-worthy, but it's still a sure fire hit.

The song's  'players gonna play, haters gonna hate' lyric strikes a defensive posture. It's another disappointing example of a pop superstar with a seemingly picture perfect existence moaning about how 'people' are always talking trash about her. It's a tried and true strategy to rally fans, though, and the not-to-be-underestimated Swift sure has a lot of them. Her last album, 2012's Red, sold 7 million copies, an almost unheard of number in these depleted days of physical or even downloadable product.

POSTED: Wednesday, August 6, 2014, 9:56 PM
Mavericks members Eddie Perez, Robert Reynolds and Raul Malo perform during The Mavericks Album release concert for there new album " In Time" at The Bowery Ballroom on February 25, 2013 in New York City. (Getty Images)

The Mavericks broke up in 2004, after the Miami-bred band fronted by Cuban-American crooner Raul Malo had come to the end of a 12 year run in which they scored country hits such as "Oh What A Thrill" and "All You Ever Do Is Bring Me Down" and established themselves as a fantastic live band that stretched out into all sort of pop, soul and Te-Mex directions.

After nine years apart - during which Malo mounted a fruitful solo career - the band got together in expanded form for In Time, an album which, the Inquirer's Nick Cristiano wrote, once again proves the band adept at "weaving a vibrant tapestry of sound that soars gloriously beyond the borders of country music, where they began."

The Mavs have played a number of stellar shows in the Philadelphia area since reforming, and on Thursday they're at the Sun Center amphitheatre in Aston in Delaware County, the Concord Road venue whose impressive summer season also includes a Buddy Guy date this coming Monday. 

POSTED: Wednesday, August 6, 2014, 9:29 AM

One of the highlights of the outdoor-show-by-the-river summer season at Morgans Pier arrives tonight in the form of Temples, the psychedlic rock band from Kettering, England. Steve Klinge wrote about the band's "deja entendu" '60s throwback sound in last Friday's Inquirer Wkend section.

The show is free if you RSVP and $5 if you don't. Details here. "Keep In The Dark" from the band's Sun Structures debut album is below. Temples will be back in Philadelphia at Union Transfer on October 25th, with rising Lititz, Pa. rockers The Districts opening.

Previously: Miley Cyrus at the Wells Fargo Center Follow In The Mix on Twitter

POSTED: Sunday, August 3, 2014, 9:39 AM
Miley Cyrus belts out her third song of the night at the Wells Fargo Center on August 2, 2014. ( MICHAEL BRYANT / Staff Photographer )

The song that Miley Cyrus sang on Saturday night while astride a giant hot dog suspended from the rafters of the Wells Fargo Center is called "Someone Else." 

It's the last cut on Bangerz, the 2013 album whose breakout singles "We Can't Stop" and "Wrecking Ball" were accompanied by outre videos that made her the world's most Googled enfant terrible, the latest pop culture brat whose vulgar antics allegedly signal the end of civilization as we know it. 

When Cyrus sang "I've turned into someone else," on Bangerz, she was surely referring to putting her child star career as Hannah Montana behind her, as well shutting the door on former fiance Liam Hemsworth. But on Saturday in South Philadelphia, the now 21 year old pop provocateur seemed to be alluding to another, ongoing transformation.   

POSTED: Saturday, August 2, 2014, 3:14 PM
Speedy Ortiz.

You could go see Mily Cyrus or Billy or John Legend tonight, or you could seek out something tad more indie: The second and final day of OK Fest, the two day shindig at West Philly underground venue Golden Tea House, comes to a close  with a headlining set by Massachusett's quartet Speedy Ortiz.

Also on tonight's all ages bill, which starts at 7, are Philadelphia's Allison Crutchfield-fronted Swearin', as well as Pile, The Holidays, Hound, Gunk and Pinkwash. The full schedule can be found here.

Speedy Ortiz are named after a character in the Hernandez Bros.' alt-comic series Love & Rockets. Below, watch Sadie Dupuis sing "Tiger Tank," from the band's captivating Paul Q. Kolderie-produced 2013 release Major Arcana.

POSTED: Sunday, July 27, 2014, 12:35 PM
Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds at the Mann Center on Friday night. (Dan DeLuca)

I didn't bring a notebook with me when I went to see Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds at the Mann Center in Fairmouint Park on Friday, since I had written up the band at the Keswick Theatre on an earlier stop on their current tour for Push The Sky Away back in the spring of 2013.

So this wouldn't qualify as an official review. (If it was, I would have made sure to get there in time to see Kurt Vile & the Violators, who I wish I hadn't missed, but I had to have dinner with my mother before heading over to the Mann. Sorry Kurt, Jane DeLuca comes first.)

But back to Nick Cave. Way back in the 1980s and 1990s, when the Australian punk-goth songwriter Cave was in the early stages of what has become a legendary career, I was a Nick Cave skeptic.

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