Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

POSTED: Thursday, September 11, 2014, 10:41 AM
Justin Townes Earle.

With each passing Justin Townes Earle album, it seems increasingly pointless to talk about the 32 year old Nashville songwriter in relation to his well respected father Steve. Sure, they've both got the songwriting gene, but Justin has a fully developed sophisticated folk-blues-country style of his own, and his new Single Mothers come across with his usual acute intelligence and unflinching honesty without ever settling for predictable confessionalism.

He plays the Ardmore Music Hall tonight, with American Aquarium opening.  Show details are here

Here's what the Inquirer's Nick Cristiano wrote about Eearle in last Friday's Wkend section.  Single Mothers' "White Gardenias," Earle's thank you to Billie Holiday for teaching him how to sing, is below.

POSTED: Wednesday, September 10, 2014, 4:08 PM
Stevie Wonder in 1976.

Stevie Wonder will bring his 1976 masterpiece Songs In The Key Of Life to the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia on Nov. 16.

It's part of a 10 city tour that's being dubbed the 'The Songs In The Key Of Life Performance.' It will be a 'live adaptation' of the double album, which included "Pastime Paradise," "Sir Duke," "Love's In Need Of Love Today," "Isn't She Lovely," plus a whole bunch of other classics, some of which were included on a four song 7-inch along with the original two LPs called A Something's Extra.

Wonder is still a peerless performer, so get yourself there. Tickets go on sale Sept. 22 at ComcastTix.com.

POSTED: Wednesday, September 10, 2014, 3:11 PM
Singer Bono of U2 performs onstage during the Oscars at the Dolby Theatre on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

U2 have just released what will soon be the most deleted album in history.

There it is, sitting in your iTunes Music Library whether you asked for it or not: Songs Of Innocence, the heroic Irish rock band’s 13th album, which they surprise released for free in partnership with Apple at the consumer tech giant’s iPhone 6 (and Apple Watch) rollout in Cupertino, Ca. on Tuesday.

In a stroke of Internet razzmatazz, Apple made the 11 songs instantly ready for download in the libraries of all 500 million plus iTunes users in 109 countries around the world.

POSTED: Tuesday, September 9, 2014, 5:28 PM
File: Bono and Adam Clayton (right). ( Michael S. Wirtz / Staff )

Irish rockers U2 did Beyonce one better by not only surprise releasing their new album Songs of Innocence today, but instantly surprise releasing it for free to every iTunes customer throughout the world. 

That's over 500 million copies, people. Bono and the boys made the announcement at the Apple iPhone 6 launch event in Cupertino, California this afternoon.

The album is exclusive to all iTunes users until its offical release date of October 14. There's no need to download it - just look in your music library: it's already there, in the iCloud.

POSTED: Saturday, September 6, 2014, 11:31 AM
Singer/Songwriter Miranda Lambert headlines Country Thunder USA - Day 2 on July 25, 2014 in Twin Lakes, Wisconsin. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for Country Thunder)

Miranda Lambert works the same thematic turf about growing up and growing older in rural America as her (almost entirely male) competitors atop the country charts. She just does it way better than they do.

The Texas songwriter’s show at the Susquehanna Bank Center in Camden on Friday wasn’t perfect. She did falter during “Over You,” a banal power ballad that does not play to her strengths, and “Automatic,” an admittedly catchy weak link on her formidable new album Platinum that goes in for an easy nostalgia that Lambert is usually too tough minded to fall for.

But other than that, Lambert’s hour and half show before an amphitheater full of thoroughly stoked country fans was a model of consistency and intelligence.

POSTED: Sunday, August 31, 2014, 11:12 PM

The final two acts on the Parkway on Sunday night were Dutch superstar DJ Tiësto and Southern arena rockers Kings Of Leon.

The former let loose with a hyper-adrenalized set that kicked off, naturally, with his triumphant techno race up “Rocky” and remixes of John Legend and Icona Pop songs, accompanied by a flashy light show.

The Kings of Leon took the stage at 10:45 — 75 minutes after their scheduled arrival — starting off their festival closing performance with singer Caleb Followill belting out “Supersoaker” from last year’s Mechanical Bull in his buzz-saw voice.

POSTED: Sunday, August 31, 2014, 9:49 PM

On the delayed Made In America schedule, Pharrell Williams (and his famously funny hat) hit the stage at 9 o’clock, after the soaking rain throughout mashup expert Girl Talk’s set had let up.

Pharrell opened with “Lose Yourself To Dance,” one of his vocal contributions to Daft Punk’s 2013 album Random Access Memories. That  set the tone for a set that got the still-frisky crowd’s groove on with a succession of taut, rubbery, pop-funk tunes, including his current hit “Come and Get It Bae” and catalog cut “Flirtin’.”

Williams’ name may have become a household word only in the past year, thanks to his successes with Daft Punk, Robin Thicke, Gwen Stefani, Snoop Dogg, and the ubiquitous “Happy,” but his hitmaking career spans two decades, and he pulled from his entire oeuvre in a well-paced show that drew from his rock band NERD as well as an array of hits he’s sung on and produced with his partner Chad Hugo in the Neptunes.

Pharrell Williams performs at Made in America Festival in Philadelphia on August 31, 2014. ( DAVID MAIALETTI / Staff Photographer )
POSTED: Sunday, August 31, 2014, 8:57 PM

After the rains let up, Texas indie foursome Spoon took up where it had left off. Its set had opened around 6 p.m. with “Rent I Pay” from their superb new album They Want My Soul. But Spoon didn’t get through a second tune before the rains came down and Day 2 of Made in America went into indefinite suspension mode.

An hour and a half later, the Britt Daniel-led, masterfully minimalist indie rock band was back, reaching back to reopen with “Small Stakes” from 2002’s [ITALIC]Kill The Moonlight[/ITALIC]. They bought with them news: The festival curfew had been pushed back an hour til midnight, making room for all the scheduled bands to perform slightly truncated sets.

They also brought more rain, in this case apparently free of the threat of lightning, but more than enough to transform the festival into a soaking event testing the mettle of even the hardiest partiers. The band seemed to appreciate deeply the dedication of fans gathered before them, and may or may not have added “The Way I Get By” to the set list to give Daniel the opportunity to sing the line “we go out in stormy weather.”

Spoon performs at Made In America 2014 at the Philadelphia Art Museum along the Ben Franklin Parkway on Sunday, August 31, 2014. ( YONG KIM / Staff Photographer )
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Dan DeLuca Inquirer Music Critic
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