Saturday, October 10, 2015

Archive: September, 2013

POSTED: Sunday, September 22, 2013, 12:36 PM

Pet Shop Boys play the Mann Center in Fairmount Park on Sunday evening, in support of their energetic new Electric and last year's more becalmed Elysium.

One afternoon last week, I chatted on the phone with Neil Tennant before he and silent partner Chris Lowe played the first of their two sold out shows at the Beacon Theatre in New York. That interview was published in Friday Inquirer Weekend section and can be found here.

The 59 year old Pets mouthpiece, who was a pop critic for Smash Hits magazine lo those many years ago, had lots to say about many other things that couldn't be included in that story due to space limitations, including the provenance of the band's 1987 song about canine companionship and loneliness "I Want A Dog." No, he's never owned a chihuauhua. "But I did have a friend who said 'I want a dog. A chihuahua. I've only got a small flat.' That tells you all you need to know about my songwriting process."

Pet Shop Boys bring their Electric tour to the Mann Center at 7:30 p.m. Sunday.

POSTED: Saturday, September 21, 2013, 9:15 AM
The Lindsey Buckingham Appreciation Society plays all of "Tusk" at Johnny Brenda's.

Fleetwood Mac obsessed Philly band The Lindsey Buckingham Appreciation Society are playing the 1979 double LP Tusk in its entirety at Johnny Brenda's tonight. 

Listen to drummer Patrick Berkery and he'll tell you the follow-up to 1977's mega-selling Rumours is "the most punk-rock soft rock album of all time." Over on The Key, Berkery and Charlie Hall wax poetic about their ardent affection for the band. Together with pictured bandmates Birdie Busch, Tony Goddess, Eliza Hardy Jones and Dave Hartley, TLBAS will also play a bunch of other Mac tunes.

"Tusk," with the University of Southern California marching band, is below. Show details here. Dave Hill opens.

Fleetwood Mac - Tusk (Original Video) by newcanadian
POSTED: Saturday, September 21, 2013, 8:46 AM
Wendell Holmes and Popsy Dixon at the Ardmore Music Hall, September 20, 2013. (Photo by (Dan DeLuca)

The Ardmore Music Hall opened on Friday night, with blues-gospel-country trio The Holmes Brothers the first act to grace the stage at the storied space on Lancaster Avenue on the Main Line.

Expect the 600 capacity standing venue to be packed on Saturday when The Hooters headline, no doubt drawing many of the former denizens of the 1980s and early 1990s Ardmore club the 23 East, who also showed up Friday for blue eyed soul act The Billy Price Band. The horn heavy act, who played the room frequently back in the day, followed the Holmes Bros.

The room is a more than welcome addition to the starved for legitimate live music Main Line. No telling whether guitarist-keyboard plater Wendell Holmes (on the left), falsetto voiced drummer Popsy Dixon (to his right) and bass player Sherman Holmes (not pictured) were thinking about that when they did their call and response routine during "Jesus On The Mainline," in which the song's title is answered with "Tell him what you want!." But on Frifay night, anyway, it seemed like most of the suburbanites in the room would have responded that they really wanted was a spiffy new music club a few dozen steps from the Ardmore train station where they could greet each other and say: 'Seems like old times."

POSTED: Thursday, September 12, 2013, 2:41 PM

Next month, the Philadelphia Music Alliance will induct a fresh batch of local music makers into the Walk Of Fame.

In a ceremony on Oct. 24, plaques will be placed along South Broad Street in honor of: Folk deejay and Philadelphia Folk Festival host Gene Shay; late jazz record producer Joel Dorn;  the songwriting team of Johnny Madara and Dave White, who wrote "At The Hop" and "Rock and Roll Is Here To Stay"; producer, songwriter and record execitive Jerry Ross; the MFSB Orchestra, who were the principal back up band on Philadelphia International Records recordings in the 1970s; the Salsoul Orchestra, the house band on Salsoul Records whose hit "Love Break (Ooh I Love It)" was sampled on Madonna's "Vogue"; disco band John Davis & the Monster Orchestra; John Davis; Vince Montana, the vibes player, arranger and conductor who led the Salsoul and who died earlier this year; and Peter Richard Conte, the Macy's Grand Court Organist who's been playing the Wanamake Organ since 1989.

MFSB, Salsoul and the Monster Orchestra shared many members. MFSB is an acornym for Mother, Father, Sister, Brother. Joseph Tarsia, the former Sigma Sound Studios owner who the chairman of the PMA said in a statement the orgnaization is "re-energizing our original mission of aggressively inducting artists in all genres whose accomplishments have had a significant impact in the world of music. This induction comes at a time of impassioned renewal for the Philadelphia Music Alliance. There are still so many worthy candidates, that it was important to pay tribute to a number of them with this induction ceremony. We’re already planning our next event in the spring of 2014. The magnitude of the Walk of Fame and its continued impact on the Avenue of the Arts and Greater Philadelphia is overwhelming.”

POSTED: Wednesday, September 11, 2013, 1:43 PM
Bobby Martin, whose work as an arranger shaped defining hits for Philadelphia International Records, has died at age 83.

Bobby Martin, whose work as an arranger shaped such defining hits for Philadelphia International Records in the 1970s as The O'Jays "Love Train," Billy Paul's "Me and Mrs. Jones" and MFSB's "TSOP (The Sound of Philadelphia)," which became the theme song for the TV show Soul Train, has died. He was 83.

Martin, who won a Grammy award in 1978 for his work on the Bee Gees' soundtrack to Saturday Night Fever,  died on Friday in San Diego, where he had lived for the last decade, from an "unexpected illness" according to his publicist, Belinda Foster. 

He grew up in Lockland, Ohio and was inspired early on by jazz man Lionel Hampton and Frank Foster, a high school class mate and saxophone player  who would go on to lead the Count Basie Orchestra. Hampton "was my biggest infleunce when I first heard him in 1946," Martin said in a 2011 interview. Working as a vibraphone and marimba player, he toured with sax player Ilinois Jacquet. In 1951, he moved to Philadelphia, and gigged regularly up and down the east coast, once sitting in with Charlie Parker in Boston.

POSTED: Tuesday, September 10, 2013, 10:06 AM

Kanye West showed up wearing leather chaps last night for a fashion week performance of Yeezus' "Bound 2," with Charlie Wilson in tow, on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.

The Roots backed him up. Did the performance ever catch fire? Not really, though Kanye did taunt Kim Kardashian's ex Ray J with the line, "Brandy’s little sister lame and he know it now."

Notice how when Fallon comes out at the end, he seems afraid of touching the known-to-be-churlish star. Next time bring croissants, Jimmy.

POSTED: Monday, September 9, 2013, 10:27 AM

Wise Up Ghost, the new collaboration between still fecund British songwriter Elvis Costello and Philadelphia and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon hip-hop band The Roots comes out next Tuesday.

As of this morning, however, it's streaming for free at NPR music. Click here to listen to the 12 song set of Costello originals, which are all brand new except for "Stick Out Your Tongue," which is a rewrite of a 1983 Costello tune that longtime fans will recognize.

Previously: Kanye West coming to South Philadelphia Follow In The Mix on Twitter

POSTED: Friday, September 6, 2013, 9:37 AM

Kanye West took the summer off after both North, his daughter with Kim Kardashian, and Yeezus, his album on which he declared "I Am A God," were born in June.

He'll be back to work this fall, however, touring behind Yeezus in a trek that will open Oct. 19 in Seattle and arrive at the Wells Fargo Center in South Philadelphia on November 16.

Kendrick Lamar will be the opener on most dates, but apparently not here where a "special guest" will be play. Tickets for much of the tour go on sale on Sept. 13, but an on sale date for Philadelphia is yet to be announced. It's West's first solo tour in five years.

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