Monday, March 2, 2015

POSTED: Monday, February 9, 2015, 10:04 AM

Philadelphia rockers The War On Drugs have been on the road pretty much non-stop since the release of the acclaimed Lost In The Dream last March. But the Adam Granduciel-led Fishtown band, who were unjustly ignored on last night’s Grammys, haven’t played an officially announced hometown show since their sound problem-plagued set at the Roots Picnic last June.

They’ll rectify that situation with their biggest ever local headlining date with a show at the Tower Theater on March 27 that will kick off yet another American tour on the heels of a clutch of February dates in the United Kingdom. Tickets go on sale at noon today at

Below, watch a clip of the band’s performance from the Best Kept Secret Festival in the Netherlands.

Adam Granduciel of The War On Drugs.

POSTED: Sunday, February 8, 2015, 6:48 PM
The 'Offering' album cover.

The Grammy Awards are taking place in Los Angeles this evening, and will be broadcast at 8 on CBS from the Staples Center.

Most of the awards were given out this afternoon in a pre-show ceremony at the Nokia Theater, however. And there was one Philadelphia-connected early win, New York University music historian Ashley Kahn won in the Liner Notes category for the never before issued John Coltrane album, Offering: Live At Temple University, which was recorded at Mitten Hall on the North Philly campus in 1966.

After winning on Sunday, Kahn said via email: “I'm extremely honored to have been nominated among such a strong set of contenders -- really great researchers and writers who know how to tell a story that adds so much depth to the appreciation of some truly historic music. But to have been nominated -- and to win -- for liner notes on the music of John Coltrane leaves me overjoyed and humbled in equal measure. A truly great lady in a bright orange punjabi dress once told me that in writing about her late husband that all she asked was to be honest in what I tried to convey; I'd like to dedicate this award to her — Turiyasangitananda Alice Coltrane."

POSTED: Friday, February 6, 2015, 11:38 AM
Sam Smith.

The Grammy Awards are happening on Sunday night. Will it be yet another Beyonce coronation? Or a Sam Smith sweep? Will Queen Bey use the opportunity to announce that Blue Ivy has a sibling on the way? Will Iggy Azalea win best rap album and be booed off the stage? Will all social media networks simultaneously crash when confronted with the reality of Kanye West, Paul McCartney and Rihanna on stage together?

You'll have to tune in on CBS to find out. And you'll have to wait till Sunday to find my Will Win / Should Win picks in the Inquirer Live Life Love A & E section or online at In the meantime, here's a sampling of the five Album of the Year nominees.

"Flawless," Beyonce feat. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, from Beyonce.

POSTED: Monday, February 2, 2015, 8:58 AM

Richard Thompson stepped up to the mic at the City Winery in New York on Saturday night with his his daughter, two sons, grandson, son-in-law and a couple other members of his extended family on stage with him.

“I’m going to play an old song now,” the singer, guitarist and patriarch of the musical clan said, introducing “Down Where The Drunkards Roll,” from I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight, his 1974 album with then-wife Linda.

“What, haven’t you got any new songs to play?” his son Teddy quipped from the opposite side of the stage. “Can’t you open a fresh bottle of wine?”

The Thompson Family at the City Winery in New York, with Zak Hobbs, Richard Thompson, Jack Thompson, Kami Thompson, James Walbourne and Teddy Thompson. (Dan DeLuca)

POSTED: Sunday, February 1, 2015, 11:42 PM
Katy Perry and Missy Elliott perform onstage during the Pepsi Super Bowl XLIX Halftime Show at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., on Sunday. (Christopher Polk/Getty Images)

Katy Perry's Super Bowl halftime show on Sunday night was big, brash and silly, an effectively cartoonish spectacle appropriate for an overblown event thst featured a giant golden lion, dancing sharks, Lenny Kravitz pointlessly guesting on "I Kissed A Girl" and Missy Elliott coming out of retirement to tear it up on "Get Ur Freak On," "Work It" and "Lose Control." Perry also effectively managed to change costumes four different times in 12 minutes. Watch the show below.

Previously: Bjork's 'Vulnicura'  Follow In The Mix on Twitter

POSTED: Friday, January 23, 2015, 7:50 AM
The 'Vulnicura' album cover.

There’s an open wound running down the middle of Bjork’s chest on the cover of her new album Vulnicura (One Little Indian *** ½), a gash in her heart that the music contained therein hopes to heal.

It’s not the thievery of her music - Vulnicura was leaked on the Internet last weekend, then released on iTunes on Tuesday - that has the Icelandic avant-pop singer in pain. The cause of her hurt is the end of her long term relationship with Matthew Barney, the Cremaster Cycle visual artist and father of their daughter Isadora.

Bjork’s agony is considerable. In a note she posted on her Facebook page this week, she described Vulnicura as a ”complete heartbreak album.” In "Black Lake," the most emotionally raw song, she sings “Our love was my womb, but our bond has broken / My shield is gone, my protection taken / I am one wound.”

POSTED: Thursday, January 22, 2015, 4:22 PM
Musician Bob Dylan Performs onstage during the 37th AFI Life Achievement Award: A Tribute to Michael Douglas at Sony Pictures on June 11, 2009 in Culver City, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for AFI)

Bob Dylan is the AARP's new magazine cover boy.

In a rare interview that the unretiring 73 year old songwriter gave to AARP's Robert Love on the eve of the Feb. 3 release of Shadows In The Night, his album of covers of songs assciated with Frank Sinatra, Dylan speaks of singing in Ol' Blue Eyes shadow, about how he felt the first time he heard the Staple Singers' "Uncloudy Day," and gets preachy about how "people's lives today are filled with vice and the trappings of it."

When asked if the inevitable comparisons the songs will draw with the Sinatra versions makes his recording Shadows a "risky" move, Dylan said: "Risky? Like walking across a field laced with land mines? Or working in a poison gas factory? There’s nothing risky about making records. Comparing me with Frank Sinatra? You must be joking. To be mentioned in the same breath as him must be some sort of high compliment. As far as touching him goes, nobody touches him. Not me or anyone else."

POSTED: Thursday, January 22, 2015, 3:45 PM

Super secret agent Sterling Archer, who H. Jon Benjamin gives voice to Thursday nights at 10 on FX, stopped by Late Night with Conan O'Brien this week on TNT. Or rather, the animated spy picked up the TV host and took him for a spin. Watch below.

Previously: Billy Joel coming back to Citizens Bank Park Folow In the Mix on Twitter

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