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The intersection of art, entertainment, culture, opinion and mad genius
Talking about Neil Diamond is like discussing Mount Rushmore, the Bible’s Old Testament and the catalog of songs that lined the figurative walls of Tin Pan Alley: full of legend and holy holy gravitas and epically tuneful emotion.
5 | CITY BEAT 5 | VALLEY BEAT 24 | JIM DELPINO 26 | SALLY FRIEDMAN
ART 6 | Exhibitions Philadelphia Sketch Club New Hope Arts Allentown Art Museum
7 | Blizzard 8 | Oscar Wilde’s Salome 10
| Jean Dubuffet
| CINEMATTERS She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry
| KERESMAN ON FILM
| KERESMAN ON DISC The New Basement Tapes Dengue Fever Wasted Wine The Staple Singers The Rev. Peyton’s Big Damn Band Tony Joe White
34 | NICK’S PICKS Duane Eubanks Quintet Art Hirahara Marcus Roberts and the Modern Jazz Generation 36 | JAZZ LIBRARY Bud Powell
| Tapas on Main
| Fadó Irish Pub
Kingsman: The Secret Service 16
| BAD MOVIE Seventh Son
Jean Dubuffet, 1901-1985, “Bird Perched on the Corner of the Wall,” 1945. Photo courtesy: MOMA
| REEL NEWS Birdman The Theory of Everything Interstellar Nightcrawler
ETCETERA 42 | L. A. TIMES CROSSWORD 43 | AGENDA
20 | FILM ROUNDUP Focus Da Sweet Blood of Jesus Jauja Queen and Country
ENTERTAINMENT 28 |
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President/Publisher Trina McKenna email@example.com
V g V
Assistant Raina Filipiak to the Publisher firstname.lastname@example.org
ON THE COVER: Neil Diamond. Page 22.
Executive Editor Trina McKenna
DESIGN Designer Lauren Fiori Assistant Designer Kaitlyn Reed-Baker
CITY BEAT Thom Nickels / email@example.com
VALLEY BEAT Geoff Gehman / firstname.lastname@example.org
FINE ARTS Edward Higgins Burton Wasserman
MUSIC Nick Bewsey / email@example.com Mark Keresman / firstname.lastname@example.org Bob Perkins / email@example.com Tom Wilk / firstname.lastname@example.org FOOD Robert Gordon / email@example.com
CONTRIBUTING WRITERS A. D. Amorosi / firstname.lastname@example.org Robert Beck / email@example.com Jack Byer / firstname.lastname@example.org Peter Croatto / email@example.com James P. Delpino / JDelpino@aol.com Sally Friedman / firstname.lastname@example.org Geoff Gehman / email@example.com George O.Miller / firstname.lastname@example.org R. Kurt Osenlund / email@example.com Keith Uhlich / KeithUhlich@gmail.com
ICON is published twelve times per year. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is strictly prohibited. ICON welcomes letters to the editor, editorial ideas and submissions, but assumes no responsibility for the return of unsolicited material. ICON is not responsible for claims made by advertisers. Subscriptions are available for $40 (shipping & handling).
Taron Egerton and Michael Caine in “Kingsman”
PO Box 120 • New Hope, PA 18938 (800) 354-8776 Fax (215) 862-9845
30 | SINGER / SONGWRITER James McMurtry Jeff Austin The Valentinos Vashti Bunyan Eric Bibb
Filling the hunger since 1992 1-800-354-8776 • 215-862-9558
NEIL DIAMOND | 22
Barry Moser (born 1940), Salomé Kisses the Head of Iokanaan, 2011, Illustration for Salomé: A Tragedy in One Act by Oscar Wilde, translated by Joseph Donohue (University of Virginia Press 2011)
Copyright 2015 Prime Time Publishing Co., Inc.
Winter doldrums vanished at the Vetri Foundation Benefit at the Rittenhouse Hotel. Thanks to Laura Krebs (Cashman and Associates) we heard co-founders Marc Vetri and Jeff Benjamin explain how the Foundation’s Eatiquette program is improving school lunches. Vetri’s talk reminded us of our own struggle with childhood stuttering when speaking before groups was as frightening as a parachute jump. Stuttering forces people to speak slowly—in Ventri’s case, the audience hung onto every word. “Pictures at an Exhibition,’ sums up Inliquid Art & Design’s fifteenth anniversary at Northern Liberties’ Crane Arts Building. Many of the city’s better known artists were in attendance: Diane Burko (just back from Patagonia), Tish Ingersoll (we keep missing her PAFA Alumni exhibitions), Warren Muller and Keith Breitfeller. Inliquid founder Rachel Zimmerman cut the proverbial ribbon to this mammoth art showcase, one of the city’s largest. We noticed there wasn’t much framed photography on hand. Photography, as Susan Sontag once said, is not really art but something in the upper stratosphere of technical skill. The Barnes’ William’s Glackens exhibit, now history, was the topic of a chat we had with former New York Magazine staff writer Edith Newhall, who told us that Glackens’ best work is the early stuff, but that he slipped up later in life when he painted beach scenes like a modernist. Speaking of beaches, Opera Philadelphia’s Oscar, about the life, loves and imprisonment of England’s greatest playwright since Shakespeare, left out a lot of juicy stuff, but maybe for good reasons. Lord Alfred Douglas, or Bosie, the cause of Oscar’s problems, changed after the playwright’s death. He became a one-man ex-gay ministry—until, of course, various “researchers” set out to (successfully) seduce him so they could say that they slept with the man who once loved Wilde, etc. But that’s an opera that belongs on the therapist’s couch. Tackiest newspaper headline of the month: PGN’s cold blooded “Lesbian Gunned Down in North Philly” (January 14). Kim Jones, 56, who was shot in the back of the head by Randolph Sanders, might have preferred “a woman who happens to be a lesbian,” or something along those lines. What was PGN thinking? Lynne Abraham has none of Rizzo’s showy bullying tactics, although what she says (quietly) can be just as fierce. When we met her last year on a Center City bus she was a pacific force—hands folded on her lap while she stared meditatively at the floor. We liked what she said to us then—“Have a nice evening”—but we liked Frank L. Rizzo, too, when he put his arm around us and suggested we do lunch. W remember how Rizzo’s police ruled the city with an iron fist at that time making the city seem more like East Berlin. An African American friend suggested it was time for a “white” mayor. He talked about the diversity pendulum—how a racial/cultural switch would be good for the city. He also gave Michael Nutter a passing grade, but compared his formal entourage style to the more causal style of ex-Mayor Rendell, who transformed City Hall into a fun place when he’d walk into events with Midge and an impromptu jazz band. “You get a more formalized air with black politicians,” our friend added. “Political power is still relatively new to blacks, so there tends to be additional formality in the public sphere.” Our friend is throwing his weight behind Kenny. Anthony Williams, he says, is the offspring of the corrupt Hardy Williams (Anthony’s father). Does the apple fall far from the tree?
Downtown Allentown is in the middle of a building boom stimulated by a new hockeyand-concert arena. From April 28 to May 3 the Allentown JazzFest will debut in the city’s oldest venue, Miller Symphony Hall, which opened in the late 19th century as a vaudeville joint. The bill will begin with a funk big band led by trumpeter Al Chez, a go-to guy for presidential inaugurations and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductions. It will end with the inter-galactic trio of guitarist Oz Noy, Guitar Player’s 2013 “out there” instrumentalist, bassist Will Lee and drummer Anton Fig, Chez’s comrades in David Letterman’s late-night orchestra. The festival is produced by Bryan Tuk, an Allentown attorney who drums in a group led by veteran jazz guitarist Frank DiBussolo. Tickets: $25-$37. Information: 610-432-6715, www.allentownjazzfest.org. Criss Angel didn’t need to walk on water to make his State Theatre fans think he walked on water. The wild, wildly popular magician levitated the spirits of the Easton crowd with tricks hi-tech, lo-tech and no-tech. The January show was a homier version of Angel’s TV and casino circuses. He siphoned David Copperfield splash by zooming invisibly from the stage to the middle of the house. His Alice Cooper shock side surfaced during a routine where a spectator controlled a series of suspended swords, one aimed lethally at his heart. The self-proclaimed “Mindfreak” made two volunteers pick the same stuffed animal after one had picked the wrong one. The best magic had nothing to do with magic. It was Angel finally fulfilling his dream to play the State, an old movie/vaudeville palace that captivated him during childhood visits to relatives in Easton. Still spellbound, he regularly interrupted his act to salute a magical place and magical people like his mother. Sitting in a box, she watched a projection of herself as an increasingly antsy assistant for her increasingly ambitious teenaged son. John C. Reilly was awfully goofy and awfully good as an awfully clichéd musician in the comic film Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story. He was awfully reverent and irreverent in his Sellersville Theater gig with four musical friends. They transformed the lovely Victorian parlor into a Prairie Home Companion broadcast from the Grand Ole Opry An old-time radio vibe was beamed by Reilly, Becky Stark and Tom Brosseau singing around an antique circle microphone. They performed pretty much everything—bluegrass waltz, tear-stained letter, cowboy elegy, hobo reverie—with a shimmering softness, a hushed lushness. Stark’s nightingale-sublime soprano and Brosseau’s high-lonesome, feminine tenor were grounded and glued by Reilly’s earnest, father’s-lullaby baritone. His humor served him well in night-and-day movies like Chicago and Stepbrothers. His onstage humor was more dumb like a fox. He made a running joke of being awed by the eerily quaint, Brigadoonish surroundings, which let him blame every mistake on “the Sellersville Mystery Vortex.”
David Mamet’s A Life in the Theatre at the Walnut, mesmerized us with its conflict between an older and younger actor, two men who share the same backstage space and trade stories about their lives. Mamet’s carefully nuanced interplay between the actors captured many of the issues inherent in this competitive pairing. Mamet hasn’t always interested us— his obsession on the angst of married couples has become a cliché. But this play restored our faith in one of America’s most important playwrights. ■
Marky Ramone’s chat and signing at the Bethlehem Area Public Library was an impossibly polite punk rave. More than 300 people—some in T-shirts, some in suits—stood patiently in a large fluorescent-lit room to cheer the last survivor of the Ramones, the shotgun godbrothers of two-minute lock-and-load anthems. The 58-year-old drummer discussed his SiriusXM radio show, a showcase for forgotten punk groups, and a former attraction to drugs started, he quipped, by delivering drugs for a pharmacy. He popped the mythic bubble that Phil Spector pointed a gun threateningly while producing the album End of the Century. He didn’t mention that the Ramones could have used the weapon to threaten Ramone for taking six months to finish an LP they could have finished in three weeks. The real fun began when Ramone began signing his 2014 autobiography Punk Rock Blitzkrieg. Sitting with co-writer Rich Herschlag, who lives near Easton, he autographed more than 200 pre-sold copies, a sales bonanza that would impress Ramones fan Stephen King. He demonstrated a bionic drummer’s arm by autographing scores of souvenirs: drum sticks, boxer shorts, records cut by his pre-Ramones band, records cut by a fan’s band, the 3-D comic book Weird Tales of the Ramones. He demonstrated a good guy’s grace by posing smilingly for photo after photo after photo. He even clapped after Kai Lukity-Mazepa, a 5-year-old drummer, shouted the Ramones chant “Hey, ho, let’s go!” in a death-metal-fast 1.5 seconds. The event was a raving success for library executive director Josh Berk, who has a major Ramones jones. He got that jones as a teen, when “Beat on the Brat” helped him recover from a lousy basketball game. He insists the Ramones’ cheery anarchy guided him through “adolescent personhood” and introduced him to “a whole different way of being,” which led him to write celebrated children’s novels. ■
Thom Nickels is the author of Philadelphia Architecture, Tropic of Libra, Out in History and Spore, and the recipient of the 2005 Philadelphia AIA Lewis Mumford Architecture Journalism Award.
Geoff Gehman is the author of the memoir The Kingdom of the Kid: Growing Up in the Long-Lost Hamptons (SUNY Press).
Barely twelve hours after we attended an event for mayoral candidate Ken Trujillo he dropped out of the race, citing family obligations. We were surprised that no one seemed to be over 30 among the crowd of supporters at that event. Trujillo himself seemed to address this fact when he said it was a good thing that there were no “old” people present because you can’t get anywhere without the support of “the young.” And yet despite this support, the very next day the champion of extreme youth threw in the towel and walked away.
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Golden Gate from Sausalito, ca. 1937, silver gelatin print. Allentown Art Museum.
Skull and Braids
Caroline Goodman, Wishing for a Garden, Oil. (detail)
Art of the Flower Exhibit Philadelphia Sketch Club 235 South Camac Street Philadelphia, PA www.sketchclub.org March 6 – 28, 2015 Opening reception 3/8, 2–4pm Philadelphia Sketch Club is America’s oldest club for artists. On November 20, 1860, six artists who were former students at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts formed the “Sketching Club.” Their goal was to improve their skills at illustration. They met weekly and would select a subject and prepare drawings or paintings. The Club’s membership soon included many painters, sculptors, illustrators, print makers and art critics who would make their mark on American art history. Members have included virtually a who’s who in the art world such as N.C, Wyeth, Hugh Breckenridge, Daniel Garber and many more. The Philadelphia Sketch Club began hosting art shows back in 1865 with its first Small Oil Show. Monthly art exhibits take place year round in the Club’s Main Gallery and lower level Stewart Gallery. The very popular Art of the Flower juried exhibit attracts artists from all over the region. This show runs concurrently with the Philadelphia Flower Show and is the most colorful show of the year.
Sumbioun Factory 418 site-specific installation New Hope Arts 2 Stockton Ave., New Hope, PA 215-862-9606 newhopearts.org Fri., Sat. & Sun,. noon to 5 pm March 14 – April 12 Opening reception, 3/14, 6-8 pm This collaborative exhibition is NHArts’ first presentation offering emerging artists a showcase for their innovative process involving both two-dimensional and sculptural media. Factory 418, a working collaborative of three Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts graduates, Lauren Prince, Eliza Serocki, and Brigid Tray, merge a variety of materials, textile, wood, and found objects into a single cohesive work. The theme Sumbioun resonates to the collaborative process. Special presentations are scheduled throughout the exhibition. Sumbioun is sponsored by the W. Paul Beckwith Endowment, honoring NHArts board member who passionately supported work by young artists.
California the Beautiful: William Dassonville Photographs Allentown Art Museum of the Lehigh Valley 31 N. Fifth Street, Allentown, PA 610-432-4333 AllentownArtMuseum.org Through May 3, 2015 William Dassonville (1879–1957) produced photographs of idyllic landscapes and escapist city scenes in and around San Francisco, representing California as the new “Promised Land.” He was friendly with the naturalist John Muir, artist William Keith, and fellow photographer Ansel Adams, who initially used Dassonville’s own brand of printing paper. In tune with the times, he embraced the Arts and Crafts Movement, which inspired him to use soft focus and a limited tonal range. As a result, his poetic images go against the inherent nature of photography as a mirror of reality. Most of the works in this exhibition are from the Museum’s permanent collection, with additional works lent by Charles Isaacs Photography and James Main Fine Art. Special thanks to the Lehigh University Art Galleries for their generous loans and assistance.
Point Lobos, ca. 1920, silver gelatin print. Allentown Art Museum.
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A Thousand Words
STORY AND PAINTING BY ROBERT BECK
I CAN’T DO THE same painting twice. The second one doesn’t benefit from the mistakes, solutions, and discoveries, and lacks spontaneity compared to its older sibling. It doesn’t have stories to tell of the journey. But completing a painting doesn’t always mean I’m done with the subject. Climb to the top of the hill and along the way you see other paths, other hills. Painting is not about creating a series of isolated, unrelated images; it is a continuum. Each one draws on what has come before and informs the next—or it should. I grew up in rural Bucks County and New York seems an anomaly—a great hive built to compress and concentrate human activity, a fortress against things natural. In spite of its fortification, snow, rain, and storms manage to find ways to challenge the city’s inward gaze and self-regard. Each weather event is a turf war. Last year I painted a large image of a snowstorm at night in the city. This January I was there during the Almost Blizzard and had time to consider what was right in that painting and what I left on the palette. I felt there was more to be had, so I decided to address it again in a different fashion. Another recent city painting featured a steam vent—those orange and white striped pipes sticking out of the pavement that release vaporous blooms amidst the bustle on the street. They blend invisibly into the everpresent construction, yet are more part the city’s identity than stuff in magazine photos, quietly symbolizing all that is going on that you never see from the sidewalks. I decided that having a steam pipe in the new snow painting would add both New York street feel and help describe the blow. It’s one thing to suggest snow with cartoonish speckling of white, but another to have the viewer’s ankles go cold from spontaneous recall. You identify a snowfall by how it occupies space, alters light, and diminishes visibility. You don’t see it through a curtain of dots. That atmospheric effect was my goal for the painting. I experimented with Flake White, which has a transparency to it, along Robert Beck maintains a gallery in Lambertville, NJ. firstname.lastname@example.org.
with my usual, opaque Titanium White—the first time I worked with two whites on my palette. The color of my grays was important, as well as the calligraphy and direction of the brush strokes. There were triggers woven into the image. In addition to describing the blizzard’s intensity I wanted heartbeats—the guy shoveling, the dog walker, the woman hailing a taxi, etc. It’s important that figures have iconic gestures created for a purpose, not a duplication of what was happening at the moment a photo was taken. Snapshot gestures detract from a good painting. So does bad anatomy. Plus, opportunity is lost. The figures have to diminish in size and visibility at the same rate as everything else, otherwise they will look pasted on. When placing objects in the image, I avoided even numbers, even spacing, or symmetry. Those things do occur in real life, but you have to be in a specific place to see them, and that ties the viewer down. I want things moving. It can be difficult to maintain a position between nostalgia on one end and not letting the image get hijacked by contemporary details on the other. (For instance, plop somebody riding a segue in your painting and forget any other part of the image having significance—for now, anyway. And notice how in just a few years the classic Crown Victoria cab went from ubiquitous icon to rare and dated.) The woman has a furlined hood and the cab carries one of those tall advertising boards on the roof, but they don’t compromise the timeless statement. If they felt out of place I would have changed them (they were invented anyway). Each element has to earn its place in honing the impression or it gets removed. Everything is where it is in the painting on purpose, both for the larger composition and its contribution to the narrative. Your eyes didn’t end up on the woman’s hand silhouetted by the taxi advertisement by accident. I’ve learned that my work is not a series of precious creations, but rather stepping stones, experiments, and personal discoveries. It’s all about me. That encourages remorseless autocratic behavior. Objects and figures are added, shifted, and stricken from the image with gleeful ruthlessness until they march in unison and sing in harmony. My harmony. My song. ■
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Illustrating Death and Desire
The Stomach Dance, 1906, Illustration for “Salome” by Oscar Wilde. Aubrey Vincent Beardsley (1872‑1898) Offset lithograph, 8 3/4 × 6 5/16 inches. Delaware Art Museum, Acquisition Fund, 2010
OSCAR WILDE, THE LATE 19th century Irish bon vivant, playwright and public scandal, wrote Salome in 1891, a one-act play that so disturbed London’s public morals at the time that it wasn’t produced until six years later, and then in Paris, even though Sarah Bernhardt was ready to take the lead role. Today, Wilde is best known for the novel, The Portrait of Dorian Gray and the play, The Importance of Being Ernest. The illustrations from the published text of Salome are currently on exhibition at the Delaware Art Museum through May 10. The recent run of Oscar by the Opera Company of Philadelphia did occur to Delaware Art Museum’s curator, Margaretta S. Frederick, when she heard about it in 2013. But the opera is based on Wilde’s account of his time in jail for homosexuality, rather than the Biblical tale of John the Baptist’s beheading at the insistence of Salome, King Herod’s stepdaughter. The opera doesn’t have a dance of the seven veils. The real star of Oscar Wilde’s Salome: Illustrating Death and Desire, however, is not Wilde but the most famous illustrator of the play when it was published, Aubrey Beardsley. To Frederick, it was an ideal time to display the Museum’s recent acquisition of the complete Beardsley portfolio. Beardsley had a short and dramatic life, flavored with elegance, style—some would say decadence—and left a legacy that continues.He died at age 25 after suffering for years from tuberculosis. His specialty was black and white pen drawings that were flowering, eccentric, and naughty. The Museum is showing his complete set of illustrations for Salome, along with some by Barry Moser, the illustrator of the most recent translation from the original French. In this context, Moser doesn’t stand a chance. The Beardsley illustrations are of the period and are consistent with Wilde with whom he traveled in the same circles. It was a time of the dandy or, rather, the naughty dandy, and no gesture was too extravagant for the foppish gentlemen who made up the Wilde crowd. The outlandish lifestyle probably irritated the public as much (if not more) than the illegal act of homosexuality. Even for the text publisher, two of the Beardsley drawings were a bit too much and were removed prior to publication. Beardsley was born in Brighton in 1872 and moved to London with his family in 1883. After a number of jobs, Beardsley, following the advice of Edward Burne-Jones and Pierre Chavannes, took up art and he began classes in 1892. He was influenced by poster maker Toulouse-Lautrec and the current French passion for Japanese prints. By the very next year he had a major commission, the illustration of an edition of Le Morte d’Arthur. His style was set, and for the remaining six years of his life his drawings appeared in any number of magazines, even one which he co-founded. His drawings are characterized by large black areas, open space and flowing lines. His art foreshadowed Art Nouveau, but he and his art were unique. He sought out the outrageous and is quoted as saying, “I have one aim—the grotesque. If I am not grotesque I am nothing.” Toward the end of his life, he converted to Roman Catholicism and attempted to have his drawings destroyed. The Delaware Art Museum’s focus is the relationship of Beardsley’s art to that of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood art from which it is an offshoot. Burne-Jones was a part of that movement and the leader in the Arts and Crafts movement for which the state is also known. Because of his association with Wilde, Beardsley also suffered from society’s attitude toward homosexuality, although there was never any evidence that Beardsley was homosexual. He lost a magazine position because of the uproar. Beardsley died in 1898 in Menton, France where he was cared for by his mother and sister. ■ Edward Higgins is a member of The Association Internationale Des Critiques d’Art.
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The Peacock Skirt, 1906, Illustration for "Salome" by Oscar Wilde. Aubrey Vincent Beardsley (1872‑1898) Offset lithograph, 8 15/16 × 6 3/8 inches Delaware Art Museum, Acquisition Fund, 2010
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JEAN DUBUFFET DARED TO break his art free from the aesthetic servitude perpetuated and promoted by the guardians of an outdated and outworn academic tradition; one that had long since lost its fresh cutting edges. Instead, he devoted himself to inventing what, in French, is called art brut (raw art) and is also often referred to as outsider art. Still other terms used to accurately classify his unique idiom: primitive and juvenile. On the other hand, the distinctive language of expressive form he created may also be described as brilliantly imaginative, boldly courageous and incisively refreshing. Those connoisseurs who wish to judge his art for themselves have a golden opportunity to do so by visiting the current exhibition of his work titled Jean Dubuffet: Soul of the Underground. It is on display in the Paul J. Sachs Galleries of the Museum of Modern Art at 11 West 53rd St., in New York City, where it will remain on public view until April 5, 2015. Incidentally, the show is well worth several return visits. The overall installation consists of paintings, drawings, original graphic prints, collages, sculptures and illustrated books from the Museum’s holdings. Together, they demonstrate how he developed a unique grammar of design that approaches almost total abstraction in images initially based on animals, human figures, eroded city walls and all manner of earthy materials. In some respects, they call to mind some wonderful examples of work by the Swiss painter Paul Klee, as well as reminiscences of treatments encountered in artworks by such American abstract expressionists as Willem
Dr. Wasserman is a professor emeritus of Art at Rowan U. and a serious artist of long standing.
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Opposite page: Jean Dubuffet (French, 1901–1985), Smile (Sourire) 1962 Lithograh, sheet: 25 13/16 x 19 15/16" (65.5 x 50.7 cm) The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Ralph F. Colin, 1965 Photograph: Kate Keller. © 2015 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris
This page: Jean Dubuffet (French, 1901–1985), The Cow with the Subtile Nose (Vache au nez subtil) 1952. Oil and enamel on canvas, 35 x 45 3/4" (88.9 x 116.1 cm) The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Benjamin Scharps and David Scharps Fund, 1956 Photograph: Paige Knight. © 2015 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris
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March, August 26, 1970. Photo: Diana Davies.
She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry
IN HIGH SCHOOL I had an English teacher who would joke about papers needing focus. “It’s like me asking, ‘Write about the Civil War.’ You wouldn’t know where to begin, right?” The principle applies elsewhere. The documentary She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry (opening in Philadelphia March 6) covers the women’s movement in America from 1966 to 1971. That sounds like a pretty manageable period of time to chronicle. Then you remember the Civil War only lasted from 1861 to 1865. It turns out that the territory director Mary Dore wants to cover is impossibly huge. Twenty minutes in, you can practically hear the exhausted gasps of a movie that will forever be two laps behind. Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique leads to the National Organization for Women (NOW), which leads to a number of women feeling marginalized. That leads to movements featuring blacks, lesbians, Puerto Ricans, and so much more. Forget about seeing the forest
An ICON contributor since 2006, Pete Croatto has been writing about movies for 15 years. His work—which includes everything from personal essays to sports features to celebrity interviews— has appeared in The New York Times, Grantland, The Christian Science Monitor, Publishers Weekly, and Broadway.com. Follow him on Twitter, @PeteCroatto.
from the trees. I’m pretty sure Dore can’t see the world on a globe. Dore’s intentions cannot be faulted. The veteran documentarian interviews dozens of key contributors in the movement, ass-kickers such as poet/publisher Alta and Rita Mae Brown. It’s nice to see these women given their due, but they are presented with such assembly line alacrity that they become a blur of older women sitting in book-lined living rooms sharing quick historic remembrances. There’s no hero to rally around, so She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry plays like a complement to a college course, or what a lazy professor will show in lieu of actual teaching. The just-the-facts approach turns Dore’s effort into “We Didn’t Start the Fire” for the women’s movement. The subjects’ memories race by, as does their significance. At least four or five events could have been made into their own movie, such as the Jane network for women who needed to get then-illegal abortions or the development of the lesbian movement or the sterilization of women in Puerto Rico. Everything becomes a footnote, something you make a mental note to read about later, or hope gets explored when PBS presents a ten-hour documentary series. Unanswered questions pile up. When Dore presents the factions that sprung from NOW, we never know if an accord
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was reached. We never learn what prompted the immense popularity of Our Bodies, Ourselves or why—after there are women on the Supreme Court and in space—the battle for equal treatment persists. It speaks volumes that, still, I’m not sure how the women’s movement made strides other than circulating essays and organizing nationwide protest marches. There has to be more to it. She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry veers from first-person honesty to accolades, with little consideration given to the former. With this glossy overview—I kept asking, “What happened?” and “How did we get here?”—Dore gives us little reason to recommend this movie other than as a pep talk for feminists. There’s no scene that strikes us across the face, no moment we can present to a myopic individual and say, “Chew on this.” The movie is solid and interesting and other vaguely complimentary adjectives that doom it to be ignored by a wider, skeptical audience. By reveling in shallow nostalgia—at the expense of whitewashing the questions and ignoring the enemies that nearly divided the movement—She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry is little more than a polite retort. It should be screaming from the rooftops. After all, what seems so basic—women not being marginalized where they live—is still seen by many as a waste of time. [NR] ■
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Keresman on Film
Kingsman: The Secret Service
HE SUPER-SPY—OR GENTLEMAN spy— genre has been ever so popular since James Bond hit the screen in the early 1960s. It’s been duplicated (for better and worse), parodied, and satirized countless times since, most recently by the Spy Kids and Austin Powers films. Kingsman is the latest in this series and it’s one of the most entertaining. It’s over-the-top in all the best ways, and for action and lighter-hearted spy film fans it’ll be a gas. In the UK there’s a super-elite with no-official-existence organization, Kingsman—sort of the Navy SEALS and SAS (the UK’s Special Air Service, the inspiration for the USA’s elite Delta Force) of the spy world. Colin Firth is Harry Hart, the ultimate British gentleman spy, impeccably dressed, polite, suave, erudite but capable of dispensing brutal violence at the drop of a bowler hat. Taron Egerton is Eggsy Unwin, a working class street kid with a penchant for getting in trouble— aside from that, he’s the classic screw-up: Dysfunctional family (his widowed mother is dating a vile small-time gangster), high IQ but low grades, dropped out or washed out of athletics and military service. Hart is on the lookout for new raw talent, and as it happens Eggsy’s late father was a Kingsman, one to which Hart owes his life. As Eggsy lives a hardscrabble life, it takes very little persuasion to convince him to join the organization, which has so many cool gimmicks and deathdispensing toys that J. Bond’s Q would puke jealous bile.
Eggsy and a few others youths are given grueling tests to prove, and then hone, their capabilities. Those are the heroes, but what of the villain? Samuel L. Jackson is Valentine, something of a cross between Steve Jobs and a hip hop mogul, a billionaire megalomaniac with a lisp and a plan to remake the world in his image. Jackson seems to have been taking lessons from William Shatner (the king of overacting) and I mean that in the best possible way. Jeez, Ernst Stavro Blofeld (a recurring Bond nemesis) would tell Valentine to chill out a bit. Valentine has a plan to stick it to the man—nearly every man, and woman and child on Earth, by culling the world’s population so it can heal itself. To anyone who’s seen a lot of the Bond, Flynt, Helm, etc. movies (not to mention Machete Kills), this is not an original plan… but the method Valentine plans to employ is. Of course, every megalomaniacal mastermind has to have an enforcer, a hatchet man, a cleaner, someone to remove with extreme prejudice any human obstacle to the master plan—Valentine’s is Gazelle (the lovely Sofia Boutella), a lethal lady with razorsharp artificial legs. (I couldn’t make this stuff up…honest.) All this sounds a bit preposterous…and it is. This movie is over-the-top and delightfully so. Firth’s Hart does more damage with his high-tech umbrella than Bruce Willis or Jason Statham can do with their pet bazookas. Unlike many action movies wherein the camera movements are so rapid
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and/or jerky that it’s difficult seeing who is doing what to whom, we get to see Hart use a gun, ax, and knife to, uh, dispatch many people…and we get to see what body parts these tools enter. There are plenty of references to many other films—the James Bond movies, naturally, but also the Jason Bourne movies and even Get Smart, along with the conventions therein. (For younger readers, Get Smart was a ‘60s TV show parodying the super-spy genre before it was made into a mediocre movie years ago.) Egerton’s Eggsy is a likable balance of cockiness, class resentment, anger, and vulnerability. Some of the stunt-workings are so surreal as to be absurd… and so absurd as to be surreal. (The hero always seems to have a gun that rarely runs out of bullets.) It’s almost worth the price of admission to hear Jackson say, “Mankind ith a viruth.” Matthew Vaughn’s direction is brisk but never at the expense of the characters…as in, Kingsman is an Action movie with actual Characters, and of course plenty of droll witticisms that seem to especially occur in spy movies. This is, simply put, great fun with a touch of very (stereotypical) British class. ■
Mark Keresman also writes for SF Weekly, East Bay Express, Pittsburgh City Paper, Paste, Jazz Review, downBeat, and the Manhattan Resident.
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Photo: Kit Harrington.
TWO EXCRUCIATINGLY POPULAR FRANCHISES, Dungeons and Dragons and Lord of the Rings, have spawned sequels and, naturally, imitations. Seventh Son is a primo example of the latter, a long-delayed (the movie was completed circa 2012) rip-off/knock-off of the sword-and-sorcery genre, made by people that probably had little real grasp of why the Lord of the Rings series was so successful. All the ingredients are there—it’s practically boilerplate. There’s a good sorcerer Gregory (played by Jeff Bridges, who seems to be taking career advice from Nic Cage), an apprentice, an evil witch (Julianne Moore), flying dragons, amulets, and no mention of why being the seventh son of a seventh son is so darn important to the plot. A farm boy, after a mere week of training, becomes a killing machine. Gregory is supposed to be the Obi Wan Commode, the motivating and training wise man/teacher/mentor, but he comes across as an unlikeable schmuck, one that seems to regard his “apprentices” as ex-
pendable—and who sounds like Bridges’ Rooster Cogburn character with peanut butter-coated marbles in his mouth. (Like Cage, like William Shatner: When in doubt, overact.) Moore seems to want to out-wicked the Wicked Witch of the West—she’s Shatner-ific! Ben Barnes, playing the plucky young hero Tom Ward (he’s a WASP, I guess), is too bland even for a Nickelodeon series. Of course there’s a boy-girl romance squeezed in, another one of those “screen romances” where the principals have no visible chemistry. Further, I know it’s not cost-effective to breed real dragons for this kind of movie, but the whole CGI (Computer Generated Imagery) thing has become in some cases—like here—a substitute for real filmmaking. The Ray Harryhausen stop-motion effects of the 1950s and ‘60s are still thrilling and/or charming (depending on one’s frame of reference, naturally)…and some younger minds molded by Hollywood’s special effects post-1980 might find the Harryhausen effects “cheesy.” But there is a difference in tasty, real
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cheese—and the cheese that comes in aerosol cans. If you’re going to do special effects, continuity, which is lacking here, helps—such as when it rains, some characters are untouched by the rain and others are soaked. A script? This film seems to say, “Why bother.” Seemingly telling plot points are illustrated for half a minute while silly, extraneous scenes feel like they go on forever. Character development? What’s that? Credible acting? When you’ve got plenty of CGI? If you subtracted the CGI from this mess, it’d be 44 minutes long. Dialogue? Sample: “Empty your heart of grief. Fill it with courage.” (Didn’t Sgt. Hartman say that to the recruits in Full Metal Jacket at one point?) Another gem: “You were a worthy enemy, now honored and welcomed. Now we are together.” Sheesh. Bottom line: There is a reason this “film” sat on a shelf for over a year and was released in February. You have been warned—should you decide to spend your folding green on this junk, may Ray Harryhausen have mercy on your soul. ■
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Birdman (2014) ★★★★★ Cast: Michael Keaton, Edward Norton. Genre: Comedy, drama Rated R Awards: Golden Globes Best Actor, Screenplay; Oscar nominated Best Film, Actor, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress. A lot has been said comparing Michael Keaton’s career arc, which peaked as the first Batman (1989), to his role as Birdman, a washed-up superhero trying to make a comeback as a flawed mortal. But forget all the hype. Focus on the tale of Riggan Thompson (Keaton), a fallen actor trying to relaunch himself and his career with a Broadway production of a Raymond Carver story. The movie chronicles his inner struggles as he fights to balance past and present, relationships with his daughter and ex, ego matches with his costars, and most of all, his own selfdoubts. To succeed on stage, Thompson must reinvent his inner self, which compared to revitalizing his acting career, requires a true superhero effort. The ensemble’s superb performances, not coincidences with Keeton’s career, make this a great movie.
GEORGE OXFORD MILLER / REVIEWS OF RECENTLY RELEASED DVDS ★=SKIP IT; ★★=MEDIOCRE; ★★★=GOOD; ★★★★=EXCELLENT; ★★★★★=CLASSIC
The Theory of Everything (2014) ★★★★ Cast: Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones. Genre: Biopic drama Based on the biography “Travelling to Infinity” by Jane Hawking Rated PG-13 Awards: Golden Globes Best Actor, Best Drama; Oscar nominated Best Film, Actor, Actress, Screenplay. This inspiring hero’s saga based on the life of Stephen Hawking, arguably the smartest physicist of the 20th century, is about love, tragedy, and ultimately the conquest of the spirit over the frailties of the human body. At age 21, Hawking (Redmayne) held a jackpot-winning poker hand. He had met Jane (Jones), the love of his life, and was about to launch a career as a cosmologist at Cambridge, one of the world’s most esteemed universities. Then he was diagnosed with the neurodegenerative disease ALS and given 2 1/2 years to live. The disease slowed and left him unable to walk or talk, but fortunately didn’t effect his ability to think. The movie chronicles the critical years after he was diagnosed and how he adapted to the new realities of his life. Redmayne’s sensitive portrayal won the Golden Globe’s Best Actor, which he dedicated to sufferers of ALS.
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Interstellar (2014) ★★★★ Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Michael Caine. Genre: Sci-fi adventure Rated PG-13 In The Hollow Men, T. S. Elliot wrote, “… This is the way the world ends: Not with a bang but a whimper.” Such is the future world of Cooper (McConaughey ), a retired astronaut, and his family. Soon the poisoned planet will no longer support the human race. For years NASA has conducted a secret mission led by Professor Brand (Caine) to find other habitable planets, and now he has three candidates. Brand calls Coop back into service to head a last-chance mission. Now the real story begins, the story of family, not technology. When Coop abandons his children on a dying Earth, his daughter Murphy (Chastain) can’t forgive him. The spaceship travels near the speed of light so Coop sees his family grows old while he hardly ages. Murphy goes to work with Brand out of defiance, or maybe respect, for her father’s mission. In the end, the father-daughter bond, not futuristic technology, holds the key for saving the human race. The actors bring multi-layered nuances to the life and death drama on the spaceship, conspiracies on Earth, and heartbreaking family decisions.
Nightcrawler (2014) ★★★★ Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo Genre: Thriller Rated R Awards: Nominated Golden Globes Best Actor, Oscar Best Screenplay. Ever stood on the edge of a precipice and felt the seductive urge to step just one foot closer to the abyss? Staring into Lou Bloom’s (Gyllenhaal) sociopathic soul is like that, horrifying yet compelling. Every up-andcoming petty thief, con artist, and hedge fund manager needs a business plan and Bloom discovers his as a freelance crime videographer. His amoral ethics fit perfectly into the age of no-boundary media excess, especially the 6 o’clock news cycle. A lastplace news director, Nina (Russo), gives him the winning prime-time formula: look for white victims, black perps, and lots of agony. Bloom cruises the midnight streets of LA, a new type of predator stalking the helpless and transforming their tragedies into glib segments for living-room viewing. The story holds a mirror so we see how leading-bleeding news reflects the channel-flipping audience’s thirst to stare into the horrifying yet compelling abyss of social depravity. ■
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Da Sweet Blood of Jesus.
★=SKIP IT; ★★=MEDIOCRE; ★★★=GOOD; ★★★★=EXCELLENT; ★★★★★=CLASSIC
Focus (Dirs. Glenn Ficarra and John Requa). Starring: Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Rodrigo Santoro. Will Smith turns on his considerable charm in this slick con artist romance from Crazy Stupid Love writer-directors Glenn Ficarra and John Requa. The first two acts are seductive and thrilling as Smith’s charismatic grifter Nicky plays both smarmy guide and burly bedfellow to amateur scammer Jess (Margot Robbie), who desperately wants to break into the confidence game underworld. The highlight is a lengthy setpiece at a New Orleans football game where the deceptions are plentiful and nothing is as it seems on the surface. But this dizzying high-wire act quickly goes slack once the setting changes to Buenos Aires where Nicky and Jess find themselves at odds after they target a race car-obsessed criminal (Rodrigo Santoro) for a lucrative payday. Sad to say, the movie leaves you feeling bilked. [R] ★★1/2
Da Sweet Blood of Jesus (Dir: Spike Lee). Starring: Stephen Tyrone Williams, Zaraah Abrahams, Rami Malek. Though it never
quite tops its ecstatic opening credits sequence (in which elastic dancer Charles “Li’L Buck” Riley hoofs his way around Brooklyn’s Red Hook neighborhood), Spike Lee’s sanguine horror romance more than gets by on sheer discordant strangeness. A mostly faithful remake of Bill Gunn’s cult classic Ganja & Hess (1972), this Kickstarterfunded feature tells the tale of an African American archaeologist (Stephen Tyrone Williams) who gets a taste for hemoglobins after he’s stabbed with a pointy ancient artifact. The body count begins (one of his victims is played by a dolled-up Felicia “Snoop” Pearson of The Wire), but then he meets the wife (Zaraah Abrahams) of a recently deceased colleague and falls madly in love… for eternity. Lee throws everything he possibly can into this strange brew: musical numbers, earnest spirituality, lesbian sex scenes, blunt social commentary. It doesn’t “work” exactly, but damned if it isn’t consistently arresting. [UR] ★★★1/2 Jauja (Dir. Lisandro Alonso). Starring: Viggo Mortensen, Viilbjork Agger Malling. Viggo
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Mortensen trudging through the mythical wilds on horseback…is this a stealth sequel to The Lord of the Rings? It’s actually the latest movie from the very talented Argentinean writer-director Lisandro Alonso, who made the sublimely enigmatic drama Liverpool (2008). Beautifully photographed in a square aspect ratio (the effect is not unlike looking through a child’s ViewMaster), this is the surreal story of a 19th-century Danish immigrant (Mortensen) wandering (very slowly, and often silently) across a desolate landscape in search of his missing daughter (Viilbjork Agger Malling). There are several stunning interludes; the best is Mortensen’s run-in with a cave-dwelling enchantress. But there’s also a vaguely misogynist undercurrent that emerges once the film arrives at its cryptic finale. The destination isn’t worth the journey. [UR] ★★★ Queen and Country (Dir: John Boorman). Starring: Callum Turner, Caleb Landry Jones, David Thewlis, Tamsin Egerton. The semiautobiographical Hope and Glory (1987)— about a young boy’s tragicomic experiences
during the London blitz—is one of John Boorman’s finest efforts. So it’s great to be back in the same world, as the writer-director’s onscreen alterego, the now 18-year-old Bill Rohan (Callum Turner), is conscripted into the UK army during the Korean War. He never sees action, but instead has a series of comic-romantic misadventures while stationed at a London military base. The actors are uniformly superb, with Caleb Landry Jones (as Bill’s mischievous best friend) and David Thewlis (as a stuck-up, PTSD-suffering superior) the particular standouts. And there’s a potent sense of melancholy (for both lost youth and a particularly personal kind of cinema) that Boorman mines in tandem with the film’s blithe satire of British mores. This is a deceptively lighthearted work that plays as a wistful valediction to the art form to which Boorman has dedicated his life. [UR] ★★★★1/2 ■
Keith Uhlich is a critic and writer based in New York. He is a member of the New York Film Critics Circle.
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Neil Diamond ﬁnds romance on Melody Road
ALKING ABOUT NEIL DIAMOND is like discussing Mount Rushmore, the Bible’s Old Testament and the catalog of songs that lined the figurative walls of Tin Pan Alley: full of legend and holy holy gravitas and epically tuneful emotion. Like fellow American songwriters of the early 60s—from Bob Dylan to Brian Wilson to Leonard Cohen—there is no new musical moment or ruminative lyric that Diamond can tackle without retaining the juices of all he has done in the past. And that’s a lot: million-selling songs he has written that have been covered by the likes of The Monkees, Urge Overkill, Elvis Presley and UB40; hits he has recorded with singers such as Barbra Streisand; live albums such as Hot August Nights which have come to
be doing. It’s built into my genetic code at this point. When I finish an album, within a matter of weeks I start writing again. I can’t help myself.” Diamond riffed about the simpler times, the smaller times, when he was just a troubadour with just a guitar to call his partner: “...then it grew from there to a three-person band and then a larger band and a road manager and lighting directors and catering and traveling. For me, it’s not a lot different because it’s all about the show. The audiences have been there, thank God, and they’ve been with me and that is something that trumps anything, any other consideration. I could be carrying 100 people or just going out by myself.” What Diamond counts on, always, is the audience; their love and acknowledgment. “If I know that they’re there,
its own rewards without having to delve into Diamond’s daily diary. “Melody Road is really a place in the mind,” he says. “It talks about what music is to me and how I find it and how it comes to be. Then I start the journey with a song called ‘First Time’ and go on from that point. It’s not a story, per se, it’s a—well, I don’t want it to be too thought out. I want it to just move from one piece of music to another and add up to something. The songs are pretty positive; the songs are autobiographical. There’s some pain involved in some of these songs, but that’s part of life, too.” For Diamond, another part of life is change— forced change if necessary—and the desire to shake things up by moving from his label of four decades-plus (Columbia) to Capitol/Universal, a label that holds the
“…at some point I felt that I owed it to myself just to make a change, even if it was only for the sake of change, to see what I was missing. Fear is a great motivation and I was afraid, but I made the change anyway.”
define the meeting of Vegas glitz and rock’s heft; iconic films he has starred in (OK, just The Jazz Singer) which portray his pride in his Jewish heritage and upbringing; smash albums and singles and song cycles (remember the misty eyed poetry of Jonathan Livingston Seagull?) that make up our collective consciousness, as well as his. So… When Diamond decides to make a new album (2014’s Melody Road), switch labels (Columbia for Capitol/Universal) and hit the road (Wells Fargo Center, March 15), it’s a thing worth considering, especially if the usually reticent Diamond wants to chat. “Why new music now?” asks Diamond, 75, of a desire to continue writing and recording adventurously— not so much in the Spartan folksy vein of his albums 12 Songs and Home Before Dark, but rather the grandly lustrous sound of “Cracklin’ Rosie” and “Solitary Man,” just a few of his more kitsch-ly orchestrated hits. “Music is what I do. I can’t think of anything I’d rather If A.D. Amorosi can’t be found writing features for ICON, the Philadelphia Inquirer or doing Icepacks, Icecubes and other stories for Philadelphia’s City Paper, he’s probably hitting restaurants like Stephen Starr’s or running his greyhound.
they’re going to get everything that I can give.” When it comes to sharing his songs, old or new, with even the most devoted crowds, Diamond still feels a twinge of jitters. “I’m not nervous, but I’m not complacent, either,” he says of being prepared without making himself stale and un-improvisational. “I want to be able to express the music without the middle man of intellectual thought coming into the process.” Interestingly enough, Diamond brings up the idea of over-thinking the musical process when he talks about making and writing Melody Road, and its connection to his life. “As far as the journey… I don’t like intellectualizing, first, the songs, and second, the whole concept of the album, but you have to do it a little bit to shape the way these songs go together.” As far as the romanticism of the new album goes, yes, he is not intentionally writing love songs that are overly enthusiastic. “I’m just trying to write down on paper whatever comes out of me. I can only look at this in retrospect, and say, yes—this is saying where my head is at right now, there’s a lot of hope for the future in this album.” There’s no question that his personal life (remarried just three years ago) figures into Melody Road. Just don’t make a thing of it—optimism and adoration are
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rights to catalog material prior to Diamond’s signing with Sony. “I was with Columbia Records for 42 years. When you’re with a label that long, you have to begin to wonder what’s going on outside of that world—what are you missing, what kind of input are you missing even though you don’t feel it.” He says that he never felt constrained at Columbia, creatively or personally, despite having passed through several regimes and ten different label heads. “I was proud to be on Columbia. It was kind of like a little dream of mine. But at some point I felt that I owed it to myself just to make a change, even if it was only for the sake of change, to see what I was missing. Fear is a great motivation and I was afraid, but I made the change anyway.” The other more pronounced shift for Diamond is in the way he portrays his new music, from the spare dark acoustic folk elements of Rick Rubin-produced albums such as Home Before Dark, to the Technicolor pop landscapes and epic arrangements of Melody Road. “It was a conscious decision,” he says about going toward Melody Road’s luster. “I wanted to fill out the record…to hear guitars, horns, and electric instruments, again, to do them in my own way.” Funny enough, for a man as iconic and technically adept as Di-
A. D. AMOROSI
amond, he loves working with a good producer, someone such as those names he’s worked with in the past—Rubin, Robbie Robertson—and now Don Was and Jacknife Lee to aid him in hearkening back to the old Uni label days and the bigger sounds of his past. “What do I look for in a producer? First of all, it’s got to be somebody that you like and respect because you’re like married to a person. You’re living with that person daily—sometimes, it’s for a year and longer. Robbie Robertson and I spent a year and a half, every single day, working on Beautiful Noise. You have to like and respect that person. Forgetting about the talent that they have, there must be likability, respectability and the ability to communi-
cate with that person, to be honest with that person. It’s critical. You’re not going to come up with anything very good on record if you can’t feel free to collaborate with a person. That’s what I look for in producers.” As for Lee and Was specifically, Diamond says he paired the unlikely duo just to see what would happen. “I kind of forced them together into a marriage and, because they’re both mature and talented, it worked beautifully.” Listening to Melody Road, and hearing Diamond at his richest, grandest brooding yet is proof enough of how beautifully it all worked. ■
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JAMES P. DELPINO, MSS,MLSP,LCSW,BCD
Knowing Knowing the depths of another’s heart and soul is afforded only to those who listen carefully, who explore courageously, who assess rather than judge and who invest the effort over time to discover what is true about someone else.
THERE ARE INCALCULABLE EMOTIONAL wounds and an infinite way to disappoint each other because one lacks an understanding of other people. Understanding people may one of the most difficult tasks we face in the course of life. If it were easy, everyone would be able to do it with a great deal of accuracy. The time and effort required to have a deep and broadbased understanding of another person is limited because we don’t have long enough lives to know and understand everyone we meet. Sigmund Freud said we’re like icebergs, where only a small portion lies above the water and is visible by simple observation. Freud’s favorite student, Carl Jung, explained the process of being able to differentiate the persona—the face people show to the world—and the shadow, which are all of the other parts of the person not visible to the public eye. What we can easily and quickly notice about others is the tip of the iceberg, and what is not so easily observable are the pieces that fill out and deepen our understanding of another. When we judge too quickly with limited information we’re most likely to be wrong. In this way judgment reflects an ignorance of sufficient data upon which to draw an accurate conclusion. One basic key for understanding a person is to gather lots of information. Knowing the hopes, fears, conflicts, patterns and history is a necessary part of the process. While knowing some or all of these things is necessary to know another person better, this knowledge is not sufficient to truly and fully understand. Building an honest and open rapport is no easy task for most people. It’s not obvious to know where one person finds it easy Jim Delpino is a psychotherapist in private practice for over 33 years. email@example.com Phone: (215) 364-0139.
Titian (Tiziano Vecellio) (Italian, Pieve di Cadore ca. 1485/90?–1576 Venice), Venus and Adonis. Oil on canvas, 42 x 52 1/2 in. (106.7 x 133.4 cm) Courtesy: Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Jules Bache Collection, 1949
to disclose this kind of inner information, while the next person struggles with the basic trust needed to open up. Sometimes the sea is frozen around the iceberg and sometimes there is open water surrounding it. The pace of understanding is different with everyone. Some people trust too much at the outset and reveal more than they’re comfortable sharing. They may lock up the next time you try to explore deeper. When someone speaks about their life, it’s important to notice things that seem to reoccur. Noticing patterns and the thoughts and behaviors associated with them explains the feelings driving a pattern from inside a person. Patterns that may on the surface seem confusing or difficult to understand are rendered more understandable when the inner dimensions are known. Being aware of deeper aspects of another helps to reduce personalizing their words and actions. Exploring someone without personalizing keeps the observer on the path of learning what is true. The behaviors of another may have little or nothing to do with the person doing the exploring; instead, behaviors are the outward manifestation of underlying feelings and conflicts. If the observer can reduce or eliminate his or her own thoughts and feelings, what remains will be truth about someone else in that moment. It is important to refrain from judgment. Instead, think of assessing the other person. Assessing sadness means to find out how deep the sadness is, how long it has been there and what the source of the sadness is. Knowing these things allows for the hope of finding ways to relieve the suffering. It was only after Pandora opened the box and exposed all the suffering in the world did hope emerge. And so it is with people. To understand someone well, spend time with them. Sharing experiences often result in a deeper rapport, so that disclosure and sharing become the the norm. Doing this allows the explorer to see, feel and hear how the other person takes their inner world into the outer world—as well as the inner states that are triggered by venturing into different experiences. People most often reveal themselves by bits and pieces. Like clues to a detective, once they’re put together they form a great whole and help to explain many unanswered questions. ■
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A second bridal shower
[For illustration purposes only.]
I STILL REMEMBER MY bridal shower. It was a poorly kept secret staged just a few days before my graduation from college and our summer wedding, and the whispers and the giggles among my compatriots gave it away. I was so young and so totally unprepared for domesticity that I remember unwrapping a gift that had something to do with cooking, and faking my way through a thank you to an aunt. I did love getting gorgeous nightgowns with matching peignoirs which would mark a dramatic change from my collegiate flannels and T-shirts. In later years, three daughters got their hands on those delicate lingerie items for playing dress-up. Those lacey things did not survive. The sparkling pots and pans, some with copper bottoms, likewise have not made if through the fiveplus decades of this long marriage. They were warehouses for steaming breakfast oatmeal, soup, and occasionally an exotic beef dish back when we were still eating beef. But they, too, have met unfortunate fates. So I’m ready. I’m eager. I’m psyched. I want a bridal shower! I want the kind at which packages are gaily wrapped and I sit in the center of a circle of laughing, cheering women opening them. I want to exclaim over beautiful, thick towels and heavenly blankets. I want to swoon when I get gadgets that will make me a gourmet chef, and yes, I want to receive a few naughty nighties. Everything in the enchanting world of bride-dom that was once exotic and new is no longer. And despite period-
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ic replacements, we still have an unfortunate collection of mismatched towels and fading sheets. Even our pot holders have seen better days. Sure, I could and should go out and buy all new things. I could write a sober list and cross out each item as I buy it like a sensible lady. But what fun would that be? So I’m ready for that second shower, this one a lot more free-wheeling than the original. This time, I would decree that there be no silver trays, candy dishes or crystal ashtrays. Remember ashtrays? My best friends chipped in and presented me with a crystal wine decanter and matching wine glasses. I think we used it four times, and several moves later, have no idea where it may have ended up. So yes, this an old-married broad would find the prospect of a second bridal shower delicious. Maybe other women yearn for diamonds, or trips to the French Riviera. At this stage of life, I’d happily settle for one of those fancy coffeemakers. I wouldn’t mind a few chic mugs that don’t bear slogans like “Grandma knows best.” to go with that coffeemaker. Boy, would I love a showerhead that offers the feel of a tropical rain forest, assuming there were no assembly required. That never washes well (if you’ll forgive the verbal mischief) with my husband. Gift me, pretty please, with those thick, thirsty towels in pristine white that you find in hotel bathrooms—and throw in those matching thick, thirsty bathrobes that await you in the same fancy hotels. Add a few of those sheets with ultra-high thread counts, a down comforter complete with a duvet in some enchanting pattern and fabric. And oh, how happily I’d accept a set of unblemished stainless steel kitchen knives that actually cut through a roast chicken. If I ever get a second bridal shower, I solemnly promise to shriek in unabashed delight, to send thank you notes promptly and to invite all guests back for a decent cup of coffee. Meanwhile, just to tide me over, I’m off to buy pot holders without scorch stains and a tablecloth that doesn’t bear the scars of spilled cranberry juice and chocolate icing. You have to start somewhere. ■
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The List : MARCH 3 Juliana Hatfield (Boot & Saddle) The darling of the pop-indie 90s returns with less snark than in her prickly past. 4 Punch Bros (Union Transfer) Not so much punchy as they are brotherly, nu-folksy and creepily atmospheric.
Philly’s rising rap star plays his biggest solo show to date on South Street. 8 Of Montreal (Union Transfer) If you shook up David Bowie and Curtin Mayfield in a barrel, well, mainly you’d make them dizzy. The other thing is they would sound like this non-Canadian glam-funk act. 9 Maroon 5 with Magic! (Wells Fargo Center) Another televised music competition show
4 Gang of Four (TLA) The U.K.’s first post-punk funk band to tackle geo-politics and England’s ills, just made a
A curated look at the month’s arts, entertainment, food and pop cultural events
Yes, it is all about the bass. Then what?
make you cry.
12 Ariana Grande (Wells Fargo Center) I can’t put my finger on what bothers me about this new pop princess, but the nagging sense that something ain’t right is in place.
26 James Murphy (Dolphin) The man behind the rhythmic mystery that was LCD Soundsystem hosts this rare, intimate DJ event in a South Philly hipster strip bar. Sounds about right.
14 Don McCloskey (Tin Angel) The Brooklyn-born, cluttered folk-musicmaking, local favorite whose compositions have appeared in It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia makes an album.
26-29 Street Scene (Muhlenberg Theatre) The Great American Mural Musical of a happily, dreary everyday existence written by Elmer Rice and Langston Hughes with a score by the legendary German Langston Hughes. expatriate of Threepenny Opera fame, Kurt Weill.
21 Meek Mill (Wells Fargo Center) First and foremost, the king of Philly rap is out of jail, and this mega-gig is his homecoming. That’s great. Now, he can be free to do his thing with his lady (Nicki Minaj) and his boss (Rick Ross). judge, Adam Levine, is in town doing his day job. Fine. 10 The Church/Sharp Things (World Café Live) One of post-punk’s gentlest, most literate American bands, The Church simply won’t cease from aging elegantly.
new album despite the fact that only one of the original guys is still in the band.
A. D. AMOROSI
21 Lily Tomlin (Sands Casino) It’s been at least 20 years since the goddess
10 Jazmine Sullivan (TLA) Philadelphia soul-hop diva Sullivan returns
28 Cassandra Wilson (World Café Live at the Queen in Delaware) One of dark jazz’s most passionate reserved
5-22 11th Hour presents Michael Ogborn’s Field Hockey Hot (Adrienne Theatre) The 11th Hour Theatre Company commissioned one of America’s most adventurous playwrights to make a musical about field hockey. Of course it did, and of course it is gender bending and whaaaack.
of female solo character stand up comedy hit the boards. What she’ll do is anybody’s guess.
6 Harry Connick Jr. (Sands Casino) Maybe we know him now, sadly, as a judge on American Idol. In reality, though, he played a heck-of-a pilot in Independence Day. Oh, yeah, he plays piano, too.
23 Swans (Union Transfer) Swans’ frontman/composer Michael Gira has forever made the most awesomely gloomy yet dynamically bright and enlightening post-rock roar.
6 Tango Buenos Aires (State Theatre, Easton) The famed authentic tango team tackle the legend of Argentina’s First Lady, Eva Peron, “a journey through dance and music,” and a tale of fame and dismissal, without all that Andrew Lloyd Weber drama.
after three years of being away due to the effects of an abusive relationship. I’m sorry that happened to her, but the wait was worth it.
23 Bob’s Burgers Live (Tower) Voice-over comedian Eugene Mirman and a cast of, well, three, make merry and bring the alterna-cartoon to life.
7 Chill Moody (TLA)
11 Megan Trainor (TLA)
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27 Miranda Lambert and Jukebox Mafia (Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, NJ) Quite frankly, the best female country artist working has turned up the heat with a new album filled with broken-hearted balladry and hot-as-hell rockabilly.
24 Perfume Genius (Union Transfer) Art pop’s new best friend makes squirrely, dramatic singer-songwriter stuff that will
singers, players and composers, puts her own work on hold to celebrate the life and legacy of Billie Holiday. This should be stirring stuff. ■
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Singer / Songwriter
TOM WILK ★=SKIP IT; ★★=MEDIOCRE; ★★★=GOOD; ★★★★=EXCELLENT; ★★★★★=CLASSIC
James McMurtry ★★★★ Complicated Game Complicated Game “Honey, don’t you be yelling at me when I’m cleaning my gun,” James McMurtry sings in the opening lines of “Copper Canteen,” the first song on Complicated Game. The lines illustrate McMurtry’s strength as a songwriter and his ability to create a full-blooded character in just a few words. It makes Com-
plicated Game, his first studio album in seven years, one of the strongest of his 26year career. McMurtry opts for a largely acoustic sound on the CD, a departure from Just Us Kids, his 2008 album. The decision allows his expressive vocals to come to the forefront on the introspective “You Got to Me” and the romantically ambivalent “She Loves Me.” Working with producers CC Adcock and Mike Napolitano, McMurtry finds ways to keep his sound fresh. “How’m I Gonna Find You Now” weds a propulsive banjo to a rap-like delivery of the lyrics to create a compelling narrative. Uilleann pipes provide an Irish air to “Long Island Sound,” underscoring the song’s wistful spirit as a transplanted Midwesterner encounters life in the East. “Ain’t Got a Place” echoes Woody Guthrie’s “I Ain’t Got No Home” as it illuminates the narrator’s restless character. At more than seven minutes long, “Carlisle’s Haul” unfurls like a fisherman’s line as McMurtry describes the trials of an angler who’s bypassing the law to make a living. As the son of novelist Larry McMurtry, the younger McMurtry shows his own talent in creating songs that are short stories set to music. 12 songs 55 minutes Jeff Austin ★★★1/2 The Simple Truth Yep Roc Records With his departure from the Yonder Mountain String Band, mandolinist/vocalist Jeff Austin makes the move from group member to solo artist with The Simple Truth, his first album under his own name. Austin enjoys a smooth transition to the role of a front
man, expanding his sound without abandoning his bluegrass roots. Austin signals the change in his music with “What the Night Brings,” a song he recorded with his former group. The new version is an up-tempo, pop performance, signaling Austin’s intentions for a fresh start with a new band. Similarly, “Shake Me Up,” another Austin song from his earlier band, is recast with a rhythm-andblues groove complete with horns. The banjo work of Danny Barnes is a highlight throughout the CD, particularly on “Simple Truth,” an exploration of discerning reality from deception. “Over and Over,” which Austin co-wrote with Sarah Siskind, employs a country-folk vibe, while “Fiddling Around” returns Austin to his familiar bluegrass turf. The biggest sonic contrast occurs on the hard-edged “Gatling Gun,” which segues into the sprightly “Run Down,” a duet for acoustic guitar and banjo. Austin is enjoying the opportunity to take chances and operate outside the lines. 10 songs 36 minutes
black and white listeners. The former became a concert showpiece for the J. Geils Band, while the latter song became an early hit for The Rolling Stones and established Bobby Womack as a songwriter. Curtis Womack displays a sweet vocal style on “Darling, Come Back Home” and the romantically cautionary “Baby, Lots of Luck.” His singing served as a counterpoint to the rougheredged, soul shouting of Bobby Womack on “She’s So Good to Me” and the Isley Brothers exuberance of “I’ve Got a Girl.” Both songs were written by Bobby and Cooke. The brothers showed their versatility on “Don’t Go Away,” a doo-wop flavored number, and “Somewhere There’s a Girl,” a dreamy ballad that had originated as a gospel number. Their cover of Cooke’s “Sugar Dumpling” falls short of the original, but the brothers turn a previously unreleased version of Cooke’s “Shakin’ This Way and That (Lassie)” into an invitation to the dance floor. 25 songs, 60 minutes
The Valentinos ★★★★ Lookin’ for a Love: The Complete SAR Recordings ABKCO Records Bobby Womack’s death at age 70 last July silenced the voice of the soul music legend whose career spanned more than half a century. Lookin’ for a Love: The Complete SAR Recordings provides the opportunity to hear Womack and his four brothers launch their musical career under the guidance of Sam Cooke on his SAR Records label in the early 1960s.
Vashti Bunyan ★★★ Heartleap DiCristina Minimalism is the underlying thread that connects the songs on Heartleap, the latest solo album from British songstress Vashti Bunyan. Pared-down music and lyrical brevity allow her to create an intimate atmosphere throughout the recording.
The Womack Brothers, four siblings from Cleveland, started as a gospel group, bringing a passionate intensity to “Somebody’s Wrong” and “Couldn’t Hear Nobody Pray.” Under Cooke’s guidance, they renamed themselves The Valentinos and aimed for a secular audience with a rhythm and blues sound. The energetic “Lookin for a Love” and the rhythmically driven “It’s All Over Now” demonstrated their ability to appeal to both
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“Across the Water” opens the album with a meditation on consciousness and unconsciousness that seems to unfold like a dream. Bunyan creates an ethereal mood on “Holy Smoke,” which features Devendra Banhart on backing vocals. On “Mother,” Bunyan uses a childhood memory to examine the emotional distance between generations. Musically, Bunyan plays a subdued guitar and forgoes bass and piano for a strippeddown approach that recalls the work of Nick Drake and suits her songs. “Gunpowder” looks at the power of words and their ability to build walls or bridges between people. “The words that I let fly out of my mouth/Don’t ever say what I want them to say,” she sings. The title track is built around phrases beginning with the words “heart” and “head,” creating a memorable alliterative pattern throughout the song. At 70,
Bunyan has said Heartleap is her final album. If so, she is going out on a high note. 10 songs 34 minutes Eric Bibb ★★★1/2 Blues People Stony Plain Records Part concept album and part history lesson, Blues People, the latest studio CD from Eric Bibb, recounts the African-American experience from slavery era to the 21st century. Blues People, a nod to the book of the same title by Leroi Jones (Amiri Baraka), reflects both studio craftsmanship and a deep well of feeling on Bibb’s part.
The somber “Rosewood” recounts a shameful episode in U.S. race relations, the destruction of an African-American community in Florida in 1923. Performed with acoustic guitar and a string section, the song serves as an elegy for those killed in the massacre. Bibb finds hope in “Dream Catchers,” a celebration of civil rights activism in the 1960s with music that recalls Stax Records and Sly and the Family Stone. Bibb utilizes a strong supporting cast to give other voices a role in the project. He duets with bluesman Guy Davis on “Chocolate Man,” an earthy celebration of being black. Taj Mahal, the Five Blind Boys of Alabama and Ruthie Foster add a gospel grit to the traditional “Needed Time,” which includes a reference to Sam Cooke’s anthem “A Change is Gonna Come.” “Remember the Ones” is a joyous call not to forget the achievements of those who went before. The song has echoes of the Staple Singers with references to Martin Luther King and Woody Guthrie. “Where Do We Go” ends the album on a philosophical note with a contemplation of the afterlife. “One day we’ll sing together, hand in hand on higher ground,” Bibb declares with a belief that life’s struggles will end in reward. 15 songs 60 minutes ■
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Keresman on Disc The New Basement Tapes ★★★★★ Lost on the River: The New Basement Tapes Electromagnetic/Harvest Many music fans born after [pick your own cutoff year] know of the legendary Basement Tapes by Bob Dylan and The Band—these unofficial, once heavily-bootlegged, relatively unpolished performances (recorded in a rustic basement in NY state) are generally valued as both performers at their respective peaks as well as some great songs that never made it
MARK KERESMAN ★=SKIP IT; ★★=MEDIOCRE; ★★★=GOOD; ★★★★=EXCELLENT; ★★★★★=CLASSIC
into interesting permutations. Take Dengue Fever—some American musicians were smitten with the pop and rock of Cambodia, and they got a Cambodian singer living in the USA, and et voiila: Imagine if the B-52s were less joke-y and inspired by the mutant surf rock and world pop (Southeast Asia division). Take some old-school 1960s organ, ‘70s dance beats, noir-ishly twanging guitar, hints of African pop grooves and the winsome, bittersweet vocals of Chhom Nimol (sung in Khmer and English), and you’ve got a recipe for a thinkglobal capital-P party. (19 tracks, 47 min.) tuktukrecords.com Wasted Wine ★★★1/2 Wasted Wine vs. The Hypnosis Center Bear Kids Recordings While the name might sound like an alternative- or bluesrock band, Wasted Wine is not strictly speaking a rock band, though elements of progressive rock are there. This quintet is the offspring of Kurt Weil and Bertolt Brecht, of The Doors
Pops Staples’ guitar sound is rich with the after midnight, coiled kingsnake bite of John Lee Hooker and twang-laden sparkle of Carl Perkins. This is music with which to pray and sway, to reach out of the darkest of times toward the light. Essential. (18 tracks, 77 min.) legacyrecordings.com The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band ★★★★ So Delicious! Yazoo/Shanachie Tony Joe White ★★★★★ The Complete Warner Brothers Recordings Real Gone Music Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band is one of those bands that fit into that-there “roots music” category. A trio, Peyton and company present a gumbo based in a particular phase of the blues, when that music still had its raggedy rural storytelling presence but it had to be amped-up—electrified—to be heard in a crowded bar. Their songs have some of the folkish ramblin’ of Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee and their contemporary offspring Eric Bibb and Otis Taylor and an infusion of the stomping/wiry irreverence of The Black Keys and Reverend (see a thread here?) Horton Heat. Ever feel like telling the Kanye Wests of the world that they wouldn’t know truly soulful music if it bit them on the ass? To sing a song about a
Marcus Mumford, Rhiannon Giddens, Elvis Costello, Jim James and Taylor Goldsmith. Courtesy of Showtime
into Dylan’s (or The Band’s) “official” repertoire. These New Basement Tapes are based upon mid-1960s Dylan lyrics that were not set to music…until now. The “band” of the same name consists of Elvis Costello, Rhiannon Giddens (Carolina Chocolate Drops), Taylor Goldsmith (Dawes), Jim James (My Morning Jacket), and Marcus Mumford (Mumford & Sons)— with the addition of a few other players, this core lot put some Dylan-inspired (but in no way imitative) music to the bard’s words. True, Dylan is a pretty massive influence allaround, but this combo takes his inspiration and actually runs with it in a very inspired manner. Sung by Costello, “Married to My Hack” is a droll, bitter rocker that would’ve fit been perfectly on Dyl’s Highway 61 or Costello’s Spike. “Duncan and Jimmy,” sung beautifully by Giddens in her hearty big-asAmerica voice to music that encompasses mountain music (an ancestor of bluegrass), an Irish march, and some atmospheric, slightly noisy rock. “Florida Key” is winsome folk evoking the Americana of Stephen Foster. The production of T. Bone Burnett is sleek yet warm, and there’s never any overt “attempt” to evoke the original Basement Tapes collection. Dylan and/or non-purist roots fans: This is a must. (15 songs, 56 min.) harvestrecords.com Dengue Fever ★★★1/2 The Deepest Lake Tuk Tuk While you’d never know it from US mainstream radio, many cultures have absorbed Western pop and rock & roll
and Tom Waits, of Leonard Cohen and Lotte Lenya (who sang the original “Mack the Knife,” a big hit by Bobby Darin). The tinny barroom piano tinkles, the violin cries with beautiful Central/East European melodies, electric guitar smolders, voices whisper ominously and rant theatrically, tempos lurch like a drunken senator on a fact-finding mission—it’s nightmarish and strangely soothing at the same time. While this lot is from South Carolina, they’d be right at home in a pre-WWII Germany cafe or in the movie/musical Cabaret. (11 tracks, 54 min.) bearkidsrecordings.com The Staple Singers ★★★★★ Freedom Highway: Live at the New Nazareth Missionary Baptist Church 1965 Legacy This is the compact disc debut of a long-unavailable album by the legendary Staple Singers, recorded live in Chicago 1965 (with a half-dozen selections added). Then, the Staples were exclusively a gospel group, but let not that deter the more secular among you, pilgrims. The Staples’ harmonies are as joy-filled, rollicking, and sumptuous as anything in American music, period. If one needs an example of how gospel music was a significant influence on American music (after all, Saturday night always precedes Sunday morning— two sides of the same coin, if you will), one can listen to this.
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The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band.
“Scream at the Night” or something sublimely silly and sexy as “Pot Roast and Kisses” (with a catchy chorus of “sooo delicious” that even vegans will groove upon)? This lot will do it for you. (11 tracks, 43 min.) shanachie.com If Tony Joe White had only two items only on his resume, his place in music history would be set in stone: His swamp rock hit “Polk Salad Annie” and “Rainy Night in Georgia,” a hit by Brook Benton that stands as one of the most perfect records ever made. White made three albums for Warner Brothers Records in 1971-73: A self-titled album, The Train I’m On, and Homemade Ice Cream, all collected here plus a few singles. If Elvis Presley was from Louisiana and never succumbed to the two-headed bitch goddess Success/Excess, he might’ve made music that White made: A lazy, sultry amalgam of old-school Southern rhythm and blues and funk, blues, country, and rock, with wee touches of smooth urbanity. TJW’s singing: Imagine a smoky Presley without the crooner’s polish. So essential, pilgrims. (40 tracks, 144 minutes) realgonemusic.com ■
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Nick’’s Picks Duane Eubanks Quintet ★★★★1/2 Things Of That Particular Nature Sunnyside Trumpeter Duane Eubanks isn’t as well known as his brothers (trombonist Robin and guitarist Kevin) yet, but his highly listenable album, Things Of A Particular Nature, should mitigate his under-the-radar status. This Philadelphia native is a top-notch musician, having fronted the horn section in the late pianist Mulgrew Miller’s group, Wingspan, and as a member of two-time Grammy-winning Dave Hol-
land Big Band, while playing with many others. He’s such a solid performer with a tone so sweet and clear that you wish he could have put out more records during the ten-year gap since his previous solo effort. Timing seems to be everything for Eubanks, and certainly his time is now. Things is a state-of-the-art modern jazz recording, deeply grounded in swing and vigorously performed by Eubanks and his all-star band—the smooth-toned tenor saxophonist Abraham Burton; pianist Marc Cary; bassist Dezron Douglas; drummer Eric McPherson; and the incomparable Steve Nelson on vibraphone. Artfully co-produced with his wife, Aleta Eubanks and McPherson, the record serves up a feast of Eubanks originals and a lovely ballad track written by Miller. This stout group floods your ears with fine sounds throughout, starting with “Purple, Blue, and Red,” a hot swing track of fast grooves and absorbing solos. There’s a warm slice of soul-jazz (“Rosey”) and plenty of razor-sharp improvisation (the finger-popping “As Is” and “P”). A spontaneous, brief, in-the-studio moment—“Anywhere’s Paradise”—fades in and out as a mysterious yet sure-footed blues, with a beautiful melody that recalls Herbie Hancock’s exotic tune, “Mimosa.” It’s a tease that leaves us wanting more. However, “Dance With Aleta” is a true highlight, an acoustic thrill, full of good feeling and swing. Obviously, Mrs. Eubanks doesn’t deserve less, but ultimately it’s Duane Eubanks that you’ll be hooked on. (10 tracks; 54 minutes) Nick Bewsey has been writing about jazz for ICON since 2004 and is a member of The Jazz Journalists Assoc. He also paticipates in DownBeat’s Annual International Critics Poll.
Art Hirahara ★★★1/2 Libations and Meditations Posi-Tone As interesting and involving as pianist Art Hirahara’s debut recording Noble Path (Posi-tone, 2011) was, his sophomore release gives him the chance to expand his creative palette. The intriguingly titled Libations and Meditations pairs Hirahara with superior musicians, the much in-demand bassist Linda Oh and furiously creative drummer John Davis. As a unit, they open up the leader’s compositions to their fullest, improvising together with a capacious degree of ingenuity. The mostly original set—there are two excellent covers, including the swinging “Only Child” by Bill Evans—takes time to find its flow, but when it does about halfway through, we’re already invested in Hirahara’s musical stories. The best tunes include “Father’s Song,” perhaps a play on the title of the famous Horace Silver standard, but the melody is majestic and Hirahara injects a welcome intensity in his soloing in lock step with his trio. The suggestively titled “Dead Man Posed” is touching and beautifully lyrical, while the impressionistic “Big Country” has a sinewy modern pop groove. These tunes spotlight Hirahara’s songwriting and playing quality well.
The former Bay-area musician, now based in NY, is on solid ground on this disc. You can imagine the pleasure of hearing these tunes played live in a club. Libations has a late night vibe, where it’s easy to picture the proficient Hirahara leaning in at the keys, with his post-bop piano skills and selfassured sense of swing at the fore. (11 tracks; 52 minutes) Marcus Roberts and the Modern Jazz Generation ★★★★1/2 Romance, Swing and the Blues J-Master There are jazz pianists who lead their own bands. and then there is the innovative Marcus Roberts, an Ellington acolyte and original Young Lion along with his peer, bandleader and collaborator Wynton Marsalis. Though some critics shrugged when Roberts released his early opus, Deep In The Shed (Novus, 1998), many—including me—found that
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work exhilarating and an essential jazz recording. The double-disc Romance, Swing and the Blues was originally commissioned by Jazz at Lincoln Center in 1993, but this newly recorded (2013) grand scale work with a 12piece band is an honest fulfillment of Roberts’ early promise as a leader, orchestrator, composer and pianist. The Modern Jazz Generation features Roberts and his trio, bassist Rodney Jordan and drummer Jason Marsalis along with veterans like trumpeter Marcus Printup, tenor saxophonist Stephen Riley and trombonist Ron Westry, and rounded out by a precocious group of younger up-and-comers.
Roberts reaches into the classical tradition (i.e. Gershwin) and plays with an authentic signature style absorbed from 20th-century jazz composers like Ellington, Jelly Roll Morton, Monk and Nat Cole, to name a few. A genuine virtuoso, the pianist composes stories where the instrumentation becomes the characters that invoke the adventure, mystery, romance or conflict that’s woven through Roberts’ tunes. The measure of Roberts’ writing skill and leadership is faultless. This engrossing work telegraphs its intentions with song titles like “A Festive Day,” “Evening Caress,” It’s a Beautiful Night To Celebrate,” and the provocative “Being Attacked By The Blues.” The latter tune decidedly marks its territory beginning with a deep, thick bass solo. It’s a poetic start to disc 2 that segues into a duet with a crisp and jaunty Roberts, before the band leaps in—that smooth brass sound is indicative of the engine that propels the pianist’s compositions. That, and a whole lot of syncronized swing. There’s no style that escapes Roberts’ pen or his playing. If you caught his profile on 60 Minutes in 2014, you understand that he’s a musical encyclopedia of jazz. The tunes on Romance are thoughtfully sequenced and each stands on its merit, making this album essential as well.. “The Mystery Of Romance” off the first disc typifies all the emotional elements at Roberts’ disposal—syncopated rhythms, big band swing and sweeping harmonies all blend easily. Roberts’ fealty to Ellington and the Marsalis tradition of jazz (that New Orleans flavor is liberally applied) may confound those with a modern jazz bent, but Marcus Roberts is a one-of-a-kind master, relentlessly inventive and just as modern in his own way. (Disc 1: 6 tracks; 49 minutes/Disc 2: 6 tracks; 54 minutes) ■
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IN THAT BYGONE ERA when radio was king, the drama known as The Shadow, was clearly one of the genre’s best. The dulcet voice of the announcer preceded each program by the question, “Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men?” He then finished off the quiz with a sardonic laugh, and the clincher, “The Shadow knows.” Leaning on that question, and invoking poetic license, another question might also be asked, as to why in the early days of modern jazz, so many devils seemed to lurk in the minds of the jazz practitioners of that era? The list of known jazz artists of that time, along with many up-and-coming players who died due to dependence on drugs and/or booze, coupled with hard times, is long. Some survivors of these troubled times prevailed, are still around, and a scant few are making music. One talented soul who let the devils in and couldn’t shake them, was pianist Bud Powell. Many jazz greats have, and still consider him “The Charlie Parker of the piano,” because before him, his creative improvisations and lightning-fast execution on the piano, had only been done on a horn—Parker’s horn. But running parallel with his creativity and greatness, were his destructive habits, which over time robbed him of his abilities, got him into trouble with the law, and institutionalized him on several occasions. Bob Perkins is a writer and host of an all-jazz radio program that airs on WRTI-FM 90.1, Mon-Thurs. 6 to 9pm & Sun., 9am–1pm.
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Earl “Bud” Powell was born September 27, 1924 in New York City. His grandfather was a flamenco guitarist who learned to play in that fashion while in Cuba during the Spanish American War. Powell’s father was a stride pianist, and he began lessons with his dad at age five. By age eight, he was playing his own transcriptions of pianists Art Tatum and Fats Waller. At age 15, he was playing in his older brother William’s band. His younger brother, Richie, was also studying piano, and some years later gained fame as a member of the Max Roach-Clifford Brown Quintet. While still in his teens, Powell played in a number of other small bands, including that of trumpeter Cootie Williams. But even prior to joining Williams’ band, he’d met Thelonious Monk, who befriended him, became a mentor, and introduced him to Charlie Parker, Sonny Stitt, Charlie Christian, and a number of other young jazz stalwarts who played at Minton’s Playhouse, where modern jazz was born. Monk later penned a song in honor of his friendship with Powell, titled “In Walked Bud,” which became a jazz standard. By age 20, Powell had joined the Cootie Williams band, and persuaded Williams to record Monk’s “Round Midnight”—the first recording of the now Monk classic. The following year may have been the beginning of Powell’s personal and musical downward spiral. While in Philadelphia he was beaten about the head by a police officer and charged with being drunk and disorderly. Those who knew him say he never was the same after that beating. He became mentally unstable after the incident, and over the years his irrational behavior resulted in his admission to mental institutions. Besides whatever physical ills he was suffering, his heavy drinking was also blunting his playing. At times he was brilliant, and his playing could challenge Charlie Parker or any other modern jazz great. Herbie Hancock said of Powell, “He was the foundation out of which stemmed the whole edifice of modern jazz piano. Every jazz pianist since Bud, either came through him or is deliberately attempting to get away from playing like him.” But when Powell was off, even some of his true admirers admitted that his playing was painful to hear. To add to his discontent, he became attached to a woman named Buttercup, who his friends said used him as a meal ticket, and further helped ruin his life. She moved him to Paris in 1959, where he garnered much adulation and respect. In 1964, a Frenchman and longtime fan named Francis Paudras freed Powell from Buttercup and helped him return to New York, where he arranged for some club bookings. Powell’s ailments and drinking by then had diminished his once formidable skills, and he lasted only two more years, finally succumbing to tuberculosis, alcoholism and malnutrition at the age of 41. Powell had more than made his mark, and had contributed to the Modern Jazz Songbook with the compositions “Celia” (for his daughter), “Dance of the Infidels,” “Un Poco Loco,” “Hallucinations,” and “Oblivion,” among others. The last three titles may have been literal testimonies to his suffering. There are also several books charting Powell’s life and times, one of them by his friend, Francis Paudras, titled Glass Enclosure. Here again, a title alluding to Powell’s being consumed by—but wanting to be free of—his devilish pursuers, even though he alone had summoned some of them. ■
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TAPAS ON MAIN BETHLEHEM’S BEAUTIFULLY GENTRIFIED MORAVIAN quarter hosts a tapas restaurant that turns chill into cheer even during wintertime’s recent gruesome grip. Tapas on Main’s affable ambiance is cordial and casual, with tapas that are both classic and classy, and a cadre of sunny, knowledgeable servers on constant patrol. Tapas, not surprisingly, are the menu stars. But soulful, crustilioso flatbreads that stand up nobly to their supercharged toppings, also merit a visit. As a bonus to the meat and potato contingent, there’s a lot to choose from on the entrée menu as well, a plus that puts Tapas on Main in play as a venue where friends with diverse palates, even those unfortunates who are not tapa fans, can meet and eat. Entrées include a dozen diverse, generously portioned, moderately priced dishes. Many recipes are Spanish-influenced and add spark to familiar preparations of meat, fish, and vegetarian dishes. Yes, there’s plenty for vegetarians, too, like Paella Vegetariana—garlic quinoa, long-grain rice, red beets, portobello, carrots, zucchini, red peppers, and asparagus—punctuated with a generous handful of pine nuts. At $18.95, this entrée’s value/ price ratio is sky-high. For small-plate lovers, the menu further supplements tapas with several soups and salads. Soup selections include a muscular White Bean & Chorizo Stew. The Ensalada de Remolacha is comprised of beets, goat cheese, Serrano ham, arugula, blood orange vinaigrette & toasted almonds. The Mediterranean Salad is a potent passel of goat cheese, jamon Serrano. The Beef & Arugula salad is sparked with blood-orange vinaigrette. There’s also a fine selection of Charcuterie and Cheeses, ideal to include with dinner or with a few drinks at the bar. Among the cheeses, I particularly like the Mahon Curado Reservo, a mellow, creamy cow’s milk cheese. Among the cured meats, Cantimpalo, redolent of rosemary and garlic, has a beguiling smoky complexity. Stowed atop each cheese and cured-meat tray is a Chicken And Chorizo Croquettes diverse convoy of whole grain and cherry walnut bread, guava paste, and grape compote. Mushroom & Quinoa Flatbread piles delicious, crisp flatbread with mushrooms, quinoa, arugula and Manchego cheese, all drizzled with chocolate balsamic vinaigrette. The Steak Flatbread is dominated by diced steak accompanied by apple chunks, caramelized onion, tomato, arugula, and bracey Valdeon bleu cheese. Tapas here are mostly Spanish- and Latin-influenced creations. The compositions run from popular Latin street food to upscale dishes rendered with finesse and presented with panache. The hand-cut Papas a la Francesa (French fries), with Manchego cheese and truffle oil, are sided with a tub of whole grain mustard aïoli. Salmon Tartare, served as four mini-sandwiches, underscores how a tweak can have major impact. Diced onions, capers, and olive oil make a rich amalgam. Whole grain mustard aïoli streaked and mounded alongside the queue of sandwich adds punchy bite. Another tweak: using housemade potato chips as bread sandwiches gives salty crunch and pizzazz to an outstanding tapa. Charred tomatoes bathe Shrimp Crudo served with red onion. A queue of four Portobello and Leek Croquettes lightly breaded and topped with roasted jalapeño and tomato aïoli, fall a bit short. Though a satisfying dish, the croquettes seem bland compared to most of its peers. Not so for the Bacon Wrapped Dates where fig balsamic, Valdeon cheese and crisped bacon harmonize nicely with the fresh figs. The brightness of the fare is echoed in the décor. Salmon colored walls, black painted wood floor, and cozy brown wood tabletops circumscribe the bar room. The dining room wall flaunts a beautiful wall-length wine rack that is in common with Chef Rafael Palomino’s newly opened, stylishly rehabbed Cachette Bistro & Crêperie. Rafael, a Columbian native, owns several restaurants, and boasts cooking credentials on three continents. His tutelage under the French legend Michel Guérard in Eugènie-les-Bains, inspired him to launch Cachette, which I’ll be visiting soon—but only if I resist the temptation to turn into Tapas On Main for some salmon tartare and flatbread. ■ Tapas On Main, 500 Main St., Bethlehem, PA (610) 868-8903 tapasonmain.com 38 ■ I C O N ■ M A R C H 2 0 1 5 ■ W W W . I C O N D V . C O M ■ W W W . F A C E B O O K . C O M / I C O N D V
S WA N
HOTEL Modern Cuisine h Classic Comfort Corner of Swan & Main Lambertville, NJ 609-397-3552
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Jean Dubuffet (French, 1901–1985), Pollination of Palm Trees (Fécondation des palmiers) 1948. Distemper on paper, 17 5/8 x 21 7/8" (44.7 x 55.5 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of the artist in honor of Mr. and Mrs. Ralph F. Colin, 1968. Photograph: John Wronn. © 2015 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris
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deKooning, William Baziotes and Richard Poussette-Dart. He was also attracted to the art of children and emotionally troubled patients in hospitals for disturbed people. Together, they serve as centers of artistic gravity, somehow casting light on the areas of darkly clouded uncertainty everyone inevitably encounters in life. Dubuffet was born in 1901 at Le Havre, to a wealthy bourgeois family in the wholesale wine business. He wanted to be an artist, but early on felt he was a failure. And so for many years he concentrated on selling as many bottles of wine as he could. Eventually, however, Dubuffet did came to be widely recognized as a vanguard presence in the art scene. But success came slowly. Following the end of World War II, he held exhibitions that ran counter to the prevailing taste of collectors who sought to acquire examples of conventional beauty. Refusing to compromise with their expectations, he showed off-kilter pictures with coarse textures and insipidly dull colors. Many critical members of his audience said his work reminded them of dirt and human waste matter, excreted by natural bowel movements. By contrast, his admirers maintained that Dubuffet’s interest in media with crude over-
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tones must be understood as expressions of an underlying reality that ties various forms of existence together. All of his life as a serious artist Dubuffet constantly explored unorthodox media and techniques that avoided the imitation of forms created by others. Simultaneously, he made rich use of a rare gift for exercising bare simplicity. Whether he did it with the shape of a human head sporting a carrot-shaped nose, or a cat vibrating with rage, his talent for unleashing visual surprises was boundlessly enduring and ever-pointed. If nothing else, many art students could well take a lesson from his singularly personal approach to creating offbeat laughter. No matter how the far-out works by Dubuffet were made, in the end they emerge as forms with a newly contrived sense of style, unceasingly wrapped in an identity entirely their own. Through his art, Dubuffet took what he felt intuitively and then let it all hang out. Virtually without exception, they add up to a sound avoidance of tiresome clichés and boring mannerisms. ■
fadó irish pub FADÓ IRISH PUB JUST might be the epicenter of Philly’s March Madness. Like every other pub and sports bar in the city, college basketball will roll across Fadó’s flatscreen from Selection Sunday on March 15 until the tournament finale. But so will that other round-ball sport: European football (“soccer” to us Yanks) rolls year-round at Fadó. Watching it at Fadó is, itself, a Philly happening. The raucous crowd is electric. But the March pièce de résistance at Fadó is its Gaelic reverence for St. Patty’s Day. Combine those three elements and Fadó just might be the rabbit hole to ultimate March Madness. Attractive wood floors connect a warren of rooms partitioned out of the extensive interior. Ubiquitous heavy woods breathe rustic Old World elegance. Numerous embossed figures—enough to fill a museum—colonize the walls. But it’s the energy at Fadó that best defines the scene. Fadó is the city’s locus of soccer. From August through May, English Premier League matches air live. Fadó hosts a spirited fantasy soccer league and attracts ex-pats from the global soccersphere.
Fadó’s chockfull schedule for St. Pat’s events includes a St. Baldric’s Fundraiser (St. Baldric’s is an organization that funds research for children with cancer), Beer Dinners, Whiskey Dinners, and other legal forms of release. Fadó hardly hibernates the rest of the year. Check their website for their constant stream of events like trivia contests, 9 – 11 PM happy hours, weekend sing-alongs, and special pairings-dinners. Most importantly, Fadó’s fare is good. Until recently, I would have said surprisingly good for the pub genre. No longer. The Philly dining scene has morphed significantly in recent times. A litany of talented chefs, each debuting stellar little eateries, keeps growing and keeps elevating Philly’s dining profile and prestige. In one recent ranking, Philly placed 12 restaurants in the top 100 restaurants nationally. In lockstep with this wave, and far less noticed and commented on, is a significant upscaling of fare now served on the pub and tavern scene—a godsend to budget-stressed city-dwellers who can’t afford the most prestigious and pricy tables night after night. Fadó is part of that wave, offering a bonanza of appealing small plates, some with clever substitutions like the fluffy Gaelic red-chili-aïoli-drizzled boxty that replaces traditional tortilla in Chicken and Vegetarian Quesadillas. This version transforms the familiar south-of-the-border version, replacing the familiar crunch with pleasing, mellow smoothness. Magners cider reduction bathes every rich, flavorful strand of Slow Roasted Pork Belly to perfection. Fish ‘n’ Chips is presented French bistro-style. A school of lightly-battered, moist white cod pokes out from a brown paper bag, which is set beside a second brown paper bag brimming with malt-vinegar-drizzled fried potatoes cut thick or thin to your liking. Fronting the dish is a quartet of dipping sauces, including a tub of lip-smacking house-made tartar sauce. Deliciously tender Lamb Sliders power up on caramelized onion, lamb jus, and Bleu Cheese. There are a number of traditional pub plates as well, like “Mom! The Meatloaf!” which is belly-filling comfort food. The comfort starts with the price: $11.95. The serving is large, the gravy, thick, aromatic, meaty and whiskey-laced. And the accompanying chive-flecked Colcannon, traditional Irish mashed potatoes with kale and/ or cabbage. The comfort theme echoes in the “Sweets” selections that include tangy Rhubarb Pie sided with a rhubarb coulis, hefty Harvest Bread Pudding, and Chocolate Brownie with Guinness Ice Cream. Not a bad idea to mix a little Gaelic comfort at Fadó into your March Madness. Join the crowd. ■ Fadó Irish Pub, 1500 Locust St, Philadelphia (215) 893-9700 fadoirishpub.com/philadelphia W W W . F A C E B O O K . C O M / I C O N D V ■ W W W . I C O N D V . C O M ■ M A R C H 2 0 1 5 ■ I C O N ■ 41
The Los Angeles Times SUNDAY CROSSWORD PUZZLE
HIDE AND SEEK By Ed Sessa Edited by Rich Norris and Joyce Nichols Lewis
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Head up, in a way Future MD’s exam Pick-me-up pill Left, in slang One on the trail Short-cut pasta Windy City hub Opposite of a pan *Come (to), more or less Many a worm Emphatic type: Abbr. Adjust, as a spreadsheet Company VIP Observation platform E Street Band guitarist Lofgren “Mr. Pim Passes By” playwright “Thank Heaven for Little Girls” musical *Subject of lengthy debate Versailles assembly Line partitions: Abbr. “Friendly Skies” co. Observed Observes Former red state: Abbr. Like the bell of a trumpet Biblical shepherd South Korean sportswear company Was duly humiliated *Union proposal? IMO, in “Hamlet” Spare tyre sites Old “Oyez!” shouters “__ of robins ...” “Give Peace a Chance” co-writer, per Lennon Colonial story Holds tight Metal-threaded fabrics Diminished *Play it safe 70-Across function Fit to __ Of no consequence London borough Network with a three-box logo Admission of error Swipe from Cedar Rapids college Fountain order Chief Powhatan’s son-in-law *Mitigate Reproductive cell Lee __, first African-American to
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play in the Masters Bearing a grudge Scroll key Where lines may be read Pity-evoking quality St. Patrick’s land Medical co. in the DJIA Hide-and-seek activity utilizing GPS ... and what is literally done in the answers to starred clues In __ of: replacing “Shaq Diesel” rapper Regarding Standing tall Facility __-Croatian language Word with waffle or sugar Bros
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Scorch Like many old soaps Turner and others Soft-wool sources 2014 World Cup site Comedian Howard with a bowl-cut hair style Whip handle Bleu shade Aboriginal emblems Noodle “What do we have here?!” __ Criss, who plays Blaine on “Glee” Twistable treat “Gravity” effect *Sulu, for one Well beyond one’s prime FEMA concern Old TV host with an accordion Neuter, as horses Comic strip about a high schooler Flounder, e.g. Complains __ Fál: Irish “stone of destiny” “Don’t go yet” State in northeast India “Beau __” Heron relative Former Mideast org. K-5 or K-6: Abbr. Freud contemporary Nicholas and Alexander Mooch Puts in, as a political office __ benefit
53 Like the town in a Ricky Nelson hit 54 Tops, slangily 56 Fundamental 59 *Trial movement 61 Blakley of “Nashville” 62 Digs for bats 63 Prayer 65 Canonized fifth-cen. pope 71 6-Across takers, e.g. 72 Offer to a guest 73 Move on 74 Guiding doctrines 76 Starlike 78 Jar Jar Binks’ home planet 79 Staff sequence 80 “Unleaded” drink 82 Sign of approval 83 “We are __ stuff / As dreams are made on”: Prospero 88 Tot’s piggy 91 Duel precursor, perhaps 93 Signed off on 94 Road alert 96 Sexy, in a way 98 Sawbuck 99 Lamentable 100 L-__: Parkinson’s treatment 101 Honored 103 Magic charms
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Sports legend of 5-Down Musical highlight Taper off Fallon’s predecessor Poetic time Ran, old-style
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Fairy tale start Mil. base drillers Small application “Idol” judge, familiarly Central opening?
Answer to February’s puzzle, MOVIE TRAILERS
Agenda CALL TO ARTISTS 4/17 – 5/9 152nd Exhibition of Small Oil Paintings. Juried Show/Cash Awards and Medals. Juried online exhibition open to all participants. Prospectus: sketchclub.org. Deadline for entries March 28, 2015 Philadelphia Sketch Club America’s oldest club for artists 235 South Camac Street Philadelphia. 215-545-9298 ART EXHIBITS THRU 3/31 Rosalie Kicks, “Sundae Matinee.” Kicks creates sweet whimsical home décor. Paperboat and Bird Art Shoppe, 21 Risler St., Stockton, NJ. (Route 29) 609-397-2121. paperboatandbird.com THRU 5/17 Past Present. Allentown Art Museum, 31 N. 5th St., Allentown, PA. 610-432-4333. AllentownArtMuseum.org THRU 6/14 Rodin: The Human Experience. Selections from the Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Collections. Selected bronzes represent the major achievements of Rodin's career, including works from The Gates of Hell. Michener Art Museum, 138 S. Pine St., Doylestown. 215-3409800. michenerartmuseum.org 3/3 – 4/5 Painterly Perspective. Williams Center Gallery, 317 Hamilton St., Easton. 610-330-5361. galleries.lafayette.edu. 3/6 – 4/19 Barbara Mayfield, True Stories. Opening recep. 3/7, 2 PM. The Quiet Life Gallery, 17 So. Main St., Lambertville, NJ. 609-397-0880. quietlifegallery.com 3/10 – 4/18 We Place Our Ideas/Our Ideas Place Us. Lucy Gans, Kelly Goff, Emilio Rojas, Scott Sherk, Stacy Lynn Waddell. Grossman Gallery, Lafayette College Art Galleries, 243 North Third St., Easton, PA. 610330-5361. galleries.lafayette.edu. 3/14 – 4/12 Factory 418, Sumbioun. A collaborative site-specific installation. New Hope Arts Center, 2 Stockton Ave., New Hope, PA. 215-862-9606. Newhopearts.org 3/14 – 4/12 New Hope Arts hosts FACTORY 418 in a site-specific installation, Sumbioun. Opening recep. 3/14, 68 PM. Fri., Sat. & Sun., 12-5 pm.
2 Stockton Ave. New Hope, PA 215-862-9606. newhopearts.org 4/22 – 4/25 Spring Open House. Denise Ahlum-Sandy, Artist/Owner. Ahlum Gallery, 106 North 4th St., Easton, PA. Open by appointment. Ahlumgallery.com CONCERTS 3/4 – 6/3 Cathedral Arts Presents Basic’lly Bach at the Cathedral. First Wednesdays at 12:10 P.M. Mostly Bach, Mostly Organ. Cathedral Church of the Nativity, 321 Wyandotte St., Bethlehem, PA. 610-8650727 x 303. nativitycathedral.org 3/20 Peggy King & The All-Star Jazz Trio. Jazz Upstairs, a Jazz Cabaret at Miller Symphony Hall. 23 N. 6th St., Allentown, PA. 610-432-6715. millersymphonyhall.org 3/22 Pennsylvania Sinfonia OrchestraAn Afternoon with Mozart. Christ Lutheran Church, 1245 W. Hamilton St., Allentown, PA. 610-4347811. pasinfonia.org 3/27 Eric Plutz. Arts at St. John’s, St. John’s Lutheran Church, 37 So. Fifth St., Allentown, PA. Suggested donation $10. 610-435-1641. stjohnsallentown.org 4/1 – 4/30 Noon-Ten Concerts, Tuesdays. Arts at St. John’s, St. John’s Lutheran Church, 37 So. Fifth St., Allentown. 610-435-1641. stjohnsallentown.org 4/11 & 4/12 Beethoven No. 9. Eduardo Azzati, Chorus Director. Wittry Ode to Joy and Estacio Borealis. Miller Symphony Hall, 23 North 6th St., Allentown. 610-432-6715. millersymphonyhall.org 4/17 Rob Stoneback Septet. Jazz Upstairs, Miller Symphony Hall. 23 N. 6th St., Allentown, PA. 610-4326715. millersymphonyhall.org 5/1 & 5/2 The Bach Choir of Bethlehem, 108th Bethlehem Bach Festival. Brimming over with festive brilliance. Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA. Bach.org 5/8 & 5/9 The Bach Choir of Bethlehem, 108th Bethlehem Bach Festival. Brimming over with festive brilliance. Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA. Bach.org
3/13 – 3/15 Dance Ensemble Concert. Act 1 Performing Arts, Labuda Center for the Performing Arts. DeSales University, 2755 Station Ave., Center Valley, PA. 610-282-3192. Desales.edu/act1 3/14 & 3/15 Tangos & Dances, with Meredith Klein and Andres Amarilla. Allentown Symphony Orchestra, Diane Wittry, Music Director. Miller Symphony Hall, 23 N. 6th St., Allentown, PA. 610-432-6715. MillerSymphonyHall.org 3/21 Camille A. Brown & Dancers. 8 P.M., Zoellner Arts Center, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA. 610758-2787. Zoellnerartscenter.org
Jekyll & Hyde, National Touring Broadway Musicals. State Theatre, 453 Northampton St., Easton, PA. 610-252-3132. Statetheatre.org 4/24 Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rustican, Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci. Met Opera, Live On Screen in Theatres. Miller Symphony Hall, 23 N. 6th St., Allentown, PA. 610-4326715. MillerSymphonyHall.org
3/22 Rumpelstiltskin. Miller Symphony Hall, 23 N. 6th St., Allentown. 610432-6715. MillerSymphonyHall.org
BURNING BRIDGET CLEARY
DINNER & MUSIC
WINE TO THE RESCUE
Every Monday, Live guitar with Barry Peterson, 7-10. Karla’s, 5 W. Mechanic St., New Hope. 215-8622612. karlasnewhope.com
RAYMOND THE AMISH COMIC
KESWICK THEATRE Keswick Theatre 291 Keswick Ave., Glenside keswicktheatre.com
3/21 Rossini’s La Donna Del Lago, Met Opera, Live On Screen In Theatres. Miller Symphony Hall, 23 N. 6th St., Allentown, PA. 610-4326715. MillerSymphonyHall.org
START MAKING SENSE & NOW HERE THIS PRESENTS GIVING GUITARS LEHIGH VALLEY STANDUP SHOWCASE
FILM 3/20 – 3/21 DeSales University Film Festival. Act 1 Performing Arts, Labuda Center for the Performing Arts. DeSales University, 2755 Station Ave., Center Valley, PA. 610-282-3192. desales.edu/act1
3/25 & 3/26 Jekyll & Hyde, National Touring Broadway Musicals. 7:30 PM, State Theatre, 453 Northampton St., Easton, PA. 610-252-3132. Statetheatre.org
LV MUSIC AWARDS
Thursday & Friday nights: DeAnna’s Restaurant, 54 N. Franklin St., Lambertville, NJ. LIVE JAZZ. 609-3978957. deannasrestaurant.com.
3/6 A Midsummer Nights’ Dream, American Repertory Ballet. 7 P.M., Zoellner Arts Center, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA. Free event parking attached to center. 610758-2787. Zoellnerartscenter.org
RIVER CITY EXTENSION
4/19 Momix Alchemia. “Momix draws its audiences into futuristic dreamscapes which are joyful and fun and filled with bemused delight.”The Royal Gazette. Zoellner Arts Center, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA. 610-758-2787. Zoellnerartscenter.org
Thurs.-Sat., Dinner and a Show at SteelStacks, Bethlehem. 5-10. Table service, valet parking. artsquest.org
ONE NIGHT OF QUEEN
WOMEN OF IRELAND
SETH AVETT & JESSICA LEA MAYFIELD
GEORGE THOROGOOD & THE DESTROYERS
THE FAB FAUX
WELCOME TO NIGHT VALE + DESSA
MS. LAURYN HILL
JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR
DAVID SEDARIS MUSIKFEST CAFÉ 101 Founders Way Bethlehem, PA 610-332-1300. artsquest.org
3/26-3/29 Street Scene, American Opera in Two Acts, Kurt Weill. Muhlenberg College of Theatre & Dance, 2400 Chew St., Allentown.484-664-3333. Muhlenberg.edu/theatredance
THE SKLAR BROTHERS
3/27-29 BLAST FURNACE BLUES W/TOMMY CASTRO, JOHN NEMETH & THE BO KEYS, SHEMEKIA COPELAND, HERITAGE BLUES ORCHESTRA 3/30
WHO'S BAD - A TRIBUTE TO MICHAEL JACKSON
TOM PAXTON EVENTS & FESTIVALS
3/14 Parade of Shamrocks, Downtown Bethlehem. Join us for a free Celtic concert in the Sun Inn Courtyard. Bring your chair and dancing shoes. Beer and soft drinks available for purchase. 11 AM- 4 PM., presented by Celtic Cultural Alliance. Bethlehem, PA. For schedule of events, Celticfest.org BOOK READINGS & POETRY READINGS 3/21 Panoply Books Reading Series: Poet and author Therese Sellers. Sellers is a Hellenist who specializes in teaching Ancient Greek to young children. She’ll read and sing from her first book, Alpha is for Anthropos, a collection of nursery rhymes composed in Greek to be sung to the tune of familiar children’s songs. Panoply Books, 46 N. Union St, Lambertville, NJ. 609-397-1145. Panoplybooks.com
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Carol C. Dorey Real Estate, Inc. Specialists in High-Value Property www.doreyrealestate.com (610) 346-8800
AURORA SPRINGS FARM
Spring Gate Farm is a classic Pennsylvania stone farmhouse, set in the midst of 20 acres, and removed from a quiet country road. This property has been recently renovated with panache, combining every conceivable comfort with its historic charms. Built with southern exposures to capture the light, these stone manor houses were positioned on the high point of their acreage to overlook their fields and pastures, and with long driveways leading past bank barns, spring houses and other outbuildings. Such bucolic settings are rare now… but this 1820’s, gracious, gentleman’s farm is an example of the very best. $3,950,000
Stonecroft Manor is the quintessential Bucks County property. From the stone floored foyer, a feeling of warmth, and good design create a unique welcoming space. The family room has custom cabinets and wet bar. A modern kitchen, replete with warming drawers, granite and gas stove, is artfully finished with etched copper. Enjoy a panorama of beauty as the sun dances on the pool, the sky opens up beyond and tree tops bend in the wind… all from the sunroom that opens to the quite of the woods. $750,000
Located along 1,000 conserved acres in Upper Bucks County, Aurora Springs provides a private setting surrounded by spectacular grounds and views. The 18th century farmhouse effortlessly combines historic architectural details, such as original beamed ceilings and fireplaces, with the comfort of modern amenities, such as its spacious kitchen/great room. The multi-level bank barn features a fantastic open space with vaulted ceilings, wide-plank flooring, and stone walls. Adjacent pool, bathrooms, laundry, and kitchen facilities complete the barn as an ideal space for celebrations. The lower level provides ample room for 4 cars, a workshop, and seasonal storage. $1,295,000
LUXURY IN THE LEHIGH VALLEY
Timber Crossing is a former carriage house in a prime Saucon Valley location minutes from I-78. Wide plank floors, hand hewn beamed ceilings and textured plaster walls blend with luxurious appointments in more than 3,400 sq ft of living space. There are 4 baths and 4 BRs, including a master suite on the main level. Entertaining flows seamlessly from the living room with vaulted ceiling to the gourmet kitchen with the private deck to bluestone patio framed by breathtaking views of meticulous gardens, trees and boulders. A finished LL and attached garage are found here as well. $625,000
An enclave of prestigious residences to be built is anchored by this extraordinary European-style home currently under construction. Steep cedar roofs with turrets, a thick stone façade, and a 2.5 acre lot surrounded by lush meadows and stands of hardwoods distinguish Newport Ridge. A well-conceived floor plan has 9' and 10' ceilings. First and second floor master bedroom suites feature dual walk-in closets and massive retreat/exercise areas. Rooms are accented with walls of windows, detailed moldings and woodburning fireplaces. The buyer of this home will work with the highly regarded builder in choosing personalized finishes. $1,950,000 completed
Big skies are the backdrop for this elegant and unique cedar home in the Parkland School District. An intriguing floor plan creates light washed spaces filled with warm wood accents over multiple levels. More than 3,600 square feet of open space plus a finished basement on 1.7 acres means room for everyone to have a little fun. 4 bedrooms, multiple levels and rolling lawns ready for your next adventure. Peaceful Skies is an imaginative home that makes life a lot more interesting. $499,000
LONG VIEW MANOR
All the elements of this wonderful Saucon Valley property combine to create an inspiring symphony of substance, elegance and bold design.Approached by a circular drive, the private 2.3 acre setting complements a classic exterior with stone, which in turn, is the overture for the splendid interior space. The main passage of the symphony is a broad, two-story entrance, graced with columns that provide dramatic venues in an open floor plan, perfect for entertaining. An incredible pool and 6 BRs beckon your family to settle in and enjoy. $1,049,000
Sumptuous, refined and rich with hardwood floors – this impressive 4 BR estate home delivers commanding views, wonderful outdoor amenities and comfortable living in one of the Lehigh Valley’s most desirable neighborhoods. Movie night will never be the same with the theatre room featuring a fireplace and built-in TV. Estate finishes of hardwood, tile and marble. Outdoor entertaining will be a breeze at this custom-built home. A tiered patio has slate topped cooking area and built-in grill and wisteria-covered pergola. A refreshing inground pool is heated and has 6-person spa and waterfall. $945,000
Time-honed beauty and handcrafted quality comfortably nestled in the shade of towering trees, this 1830s stone colonial offers the magical essence of life in a historic Bucks County home. The natural color of random width chestnut, oak and pine flrs, exposed wood ceiling beams, panel doors, bible cupboard, stone fireplace wall and bookshelves give a soft, honey amber glow to the interior. Old mullioned glass windows, hand wrought hardware, pegged floors and butterfly stairs. The covered rear porch provides calming scenery and an appreciation of the warm cozy world you love to come home to. $399,000 M AY 2 0 0 9