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ICON

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEWS k.d. lang | 18

The intersection of art, entertainment, culture, opinion and mad genius

Twenty-five years after Kathryn Dawn Lang released Ingénue, with its seductive songs “Constant Craving” and “Miss Chatelaine,” she is revisiting that star-making time in an anniversary tour.

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Filling the hunger since 1992 icondv.com

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Harmon Leon | 20 Leon and cartoonist Ted Rall infiltrate Trumpland, to find the people Clinton called deplorable and understand what makes them tick.

Fran Leyenberger, Pterodactyl Box. Touchstone Art Gallery, Yardley

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FILM

ART Jim Hamilton

26 | REEL NEWS Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

6 | EXHIBITIONS I The Particular Past Baker Center for the Arts, Muhlenberg College

Faces Places Quest Florida Project

Ceramics by Fran Leyenberger Jewelry by Yvonne Reyes Touchstone Art Gallery Moonlight In Empty Rooms 1867 Sanctuary at Ewing

Django Reinhardt.

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FOODIE FILE 8 |

MUSIC Jane Birkin

28 | JAZZ, ROCK, CLASSICAL, ALT Kate McGarry Keith Ganz Gary Versace

ENTERTAINMENT

Steve Tyrell

10 |

Valley Theater

Morton Feldman

10 |

City Theater

12 |

The List

35 |

Agenda

Bruno Maderna Dennis Russell Davies Jackie DeShannon

30 | SINGER / SONGWRITER Chris Smither

FILM 16 |

Amy Rigby Janiva Magness

The Young Karl Marx

Trina McKenna trina@icondv.com EDITORIAL Publisher & Editor / Trina McKenna Raina Filipiak / Advertising filipiakr@comcast.net PRODUCTION

Richard DeCosta Susan O’Neill

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

27 | POP

I’ll Drink to That

PUBLISHER

A. D. Amorosi / divaland@aol.com

Robert Beck / robert@robertbeck.net Jack Byer / jackbyer@verizon.net

Peter Croatto / petecroatto@yahoo.com James P. Delpino / JDelpino@aol.com

Geoff Gehman / geoffgehman@verizon.net Mark Keresman / shemp@hotmail.com

George Miller / gomiller@travelsdujour.com Thom Nickels / thomnickels1@aol.com

R. Kurt Osenlund / rkurtosenlund@gmail.com Bob Perkins / bjazz5@aol.com

Keith Uhlich / KeithUhlich@gmail.com Tom Wilk / tomwilk@rocketmail.com

Sue Foley

Black Panther

22 | FOREIGN

Jeffrey Gaines

Django

22 | DOCUMENTARY

32 | JAZZ LIBRARY Art Farmer

Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story

ETCETERA

24 | FILM ROUNDUP Before We Vanish Black Panther

33 |

Harper’s Findings & Index

Did You Wonder Who Fired the Gun?

34 |

L. A. Times Crossword

Western ON THE COVER:k.d. lang. Page 18.

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essAy And pAinting by robert beck

art

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JIM HAMILTON Goodbye to the Porkyard Spirit

THE STORY OF JIM Hamilton’s life requires a much longer consideration than this. In a region of exceptional people he was a Hall of Famer, living his life to the edges, grasping every shred, a man of unflagging zest. Jim’s accomplishments included designing and building A-list Broadway and rock-concert sets (right in Lambertville), introducing the original Ford Mustang at the World’s Fair, creating wonderfully atmospheric architectural spaces and events around the country, establishing a celebrated restaurant, and much more. The Grill Room, the Boat House, the Swan, and many private homes speak the Hamilton language. The mark he left on Lambertville and New Hope is immense. Jim fed us. He helped us raise money. He showed us how to throw a party, how to work together, and how to be a friend. He supported it all. Fisherman’s Mark, New Hope Arts, The Ball Park—more than I can list. Dinner for 1,000 in the street to benefit the Fire Department? Okay. A gala event for the schools? Sure. Toward the end he could only sit on a stool or make a brief appearance, but it still gave the occasion a spotlight. Jim lived a life of risks; a creative life propelled by his love for making fabulous things happen. He was theatrical, stylish, classy, and driven. When Jim called asking you to get involved you climbed on the rocket, reservations or not. It wasn’t always a smooth ride, but you could count on an adventure and some excellent food. He might wander out ahead of the rest of the squad and things could

get complicated, but there you were—part of a grand undertaking and having a blast. He pulled everyone with him in his dream for better things. There was a yin to Jim’s yang. Tragedies, dysfunction, and slap-your-forehead stories that showed him no different (or better) than the rest of us at being human. And just like any artist, not all his ideas worked or were realized. But if there was something in the water that accounted for the unconventional creativity that thrived in this area, Jim bathed in it. He was quoted as saying, “Mediterranean cooking is a marriage of respect, integrity, enthusiasm and sheer joy,” which sounds like he was talking about more than food. It sort of all ran together. Jim lived his entire life over-capacity and was still engaged at the end despite staggering health issues—and then he finally crumpled, his body used up, nothing left. It deserves a book. Jim’s passing warrants a long pause and reflection. It

comes at a time when Lambertville and New Hope are reconfiguring at a dizzying pace, closing the door on a time, a life, and a way. Our towns have become hot property. We can look back to the seventies when Lambertville was a real mess and see Jim helping pave the road back to vitality in his hometown, creating plans for the business district, and helping the locals with solutions for rehabilitating their houses. He was an advocate for the kind of progress and enterprise that worked for everybody, and he backed it up with hard work. Jim understood community and believed there was an “us.” He gave so much. There are many photos of Jim Hamilton, but the perfect image has him in his kitchen-whites and bandana giving a crêpe the two-handed flip from a large, well-used pan. He’s got his eye on the delicate pancake as it executes a lazy backflip a good three feet in the air, and a look on his face of command and enjoyment. A pinch of flair, a dash of circus. Every bit the Ringmaster. And so he was. n f A C e b O O k . C O M / I C O N d v n I C O N d v. C O M n M A R C H 2 0 1 8 n I C O N n 5


Yvonne Reyes, “Mardi Gras”

EXHIBITIONS I

Jessica Posner, “Venus,” 2017. Butter and beeswax over carved, plastered foam form

The Particular Past explores the spaces between knowledge and belief. By rewriting and reimagining past and present, these artists embody our political and cultural moment where expertise, truth, and even the past are malleable. Shifting between witness and advocate, these artists alternately illuminate and gaslight their way through a conversation on the value of knowledge. Tom Bendtsen anchors the show with a new installation entitled Conversation #6, comprised of over 8000 books; other pieces from Sharka Hyland, Andrew Johnson, Bang Geul Han, Donald Porcaro, Jessica Posner, and Jessica Walker are both challenging and timely.

Spring Coming, 36” x 56”

Moonlight In Empty Rooms Ceramics by Fran Leyenberger Jewelry by Yvonne Reyes Touchstone Art Gallery 11 E. Afton Ave., Yardley, PA 215-595-2044 touchstoneartgallery.com Through March 31 Reception March 10, 5–7 Ceramicist Fran Leyenberger, has been experimenting with Raku pottery for over 30 years. Fran merges contemporary raku and stoneware with reclaimed vintage metals and a touch of nostalgia. Her work is unique, exciting, and appreciated by discerning collectors. Yvonne Reyes uses artisan lamp work beads from all over the world and sterling silver to design and artfully make one-of-kind jewelry. Once acquired, these wonderous beads are the inspiration for her vibrant, colorful and playful jewelry designs. Touchstone Art Gallery got its start in Yardley in November of 2017, with the onset of the holiday season. We represent painters Annelies van Dommelen, Stacie Speer Scott, Dion Hitchings, Cindy Roesinger, Pat Proniewski and Claudia Fouse Fountaine; jewelry designers Monique Perry and Lara Ginzberg; kiln-fired glass, paintings and drawings by Nancy Allen; and batik artist Madonna Davidoff.

Don Porcaro, “Talisman,” marble and brass, 67” x 24” x 20”

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Fran Leyenberger, “Pterodactyl Box 2”

The Particular Past Baker Center for the Arts, Muhlenberg College 2400 West Chew St., Allentown, PA 484-664-3467 Muhlenberg.edu/gallery Through May 20

1867 Sanctuary at Ewing 101 Scotch Rd., Ewing, NJ 609-392-6409 1867Sanctuary.org March 4, 7:30 PM In a private corner of the very public worlds of music and art, you will find the eminent Russian realist Alexander Volkov (www.alexandervolkovfineart.com) and his wife, award-winning pianist-composer Heidi Breyer (www.heidibreyer.com) in their respective studios, working alone on their inextricably connected art forms. These two artists have pushed the boundaries of collaboration well beyond synergy to synonymity through sharing their lives, their observations of the world around them and their love of art as a nourishing life ingredient. After ten years of working together, Alexander and Heidi have arrived at “Moonlight In Empty Rooms,” an art and musical immersion that speaks to anyone looking for an opportunity for deep contemplation in the comfort of their home, or the seat of a recital hall. www.moonlightalbum.com

Winter Rose II, 34” x 24”


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A.d. AMorosi

FOODIE FILE

I’ll drink to that

Cristina Martinez and Benjamin Miller at El Compadre, Phila. Photo ©Reese Amorosi

Chef Pat O'Malley of Hungry Pigeon, Phila. Photo ©Reese Amorosi

Essen Bakery’s Tova du Plessis

O

ONE THING WE HAVE learned about distillery Philly (or Distillery Phillery?) is that we now have the goods to make the greats. Then again, that might not be a recent phenomenon when you consider that I had an aunt who used to be employed by Publicker Commercial Alcohol Co. at Snyder Avenue and Swanson Street in South Philadelphia where new whiskey flowed as did water. She said it was faaaaantastic. She may have been inebriated. So, now there are the recently opened (well within the last five years recent) likes of Pottstown’s 18-mile wide Manatawny Still Works— Pennsylvania Craft Distilled Whiskey and Gin such as J. Potts Whiskey, and New Liberty Distillery’s craft whiskey makers on N. Cadwallader Street, and Frankford Avenue’s Rowhouse Spirits Distillery. There is, of course, Philadelphia Distilling on E. Allen Street near The Fillmore where new Bluecoat gin and absinthe pour freely. Several additional recently opened tasting rooms in the area such as Red Brick Craft Distillery on Martha Street have small batch fixings and sippings to go. The Brandywine Branch Distillers on Warwick Road in Elverson, PA seem to be the guys currently going for the gold in the gin and whiskey stakes (they pour a mean bourbon aged off-site) with their new-ish Revivalist Botanical Gins. Served up in cool cocktail form at a recent tasting at Rittenhouse Square’s Rouge, Brandywine’s Don and Scott Avellino, gave downtown Philadelphia a hint of its brand’s newest modern gins done up with botanicals including herbs, flowers, spices, and fruits to say nothing of “essential oils extracted through hot maceration and infused with a neutral spirit carefully distilled to a purity of no less than 96% ABV.” More complex than the usual Juniper-heavy gins you imbibe? Indeed. With top notes of citrus (its “Summertide” bottle), jalapeno (“DragonDance”), spice (“Harvest”), and a warm set of flavors enhanced by its being finished in red wine barrels (“Solstice”), Brandywine Branch Distillers made a damn good set of flavored gins that push the boundaries without getting corny (with flavored liquor you always risk going goofy) or overly sweet. Whether you’re an old gin rummy or new to the gin game this Brandywine Branch Revitalist stuff pours and tastes like a dream. PHILLY’S JAMES BEARD SEMIFINALISTS Regarding the prestigious James Beard Awards for 2018—the culinary Oscars—there is much big news for the area. Sure, Philly scored 14 nominations across seven categories this year including several in the bread and pastry department (Essen Bakery’s Tova du Plessis, Zahav’s Camille Cogswell, Hungry Pigeon’s Pat O’Malley), Ellen Yin for Outstanding Restaurateur and in the

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Best Chef, Mid-Atlantic category, Vedge’s Rich Landau, Nick Elmi and El Compadre’s Cristina Martinez and Ben Miller. The bigger news in a weird way is that the whittling down to the finals ceremony will be announced in Philly on March 14 at Parc, owned by 2017 Outstanding Restaurateur Stephen Starr, starting at 9:30 a.m. and streamed live. On March 13, a private dinner for the Beard Foundation happens at Osteria; the Gala, shame to say, will play out in Chicago on May 7. CHEF SWITCHEROOS Philadelphia’s George Sabatino is a varied fare chef name you have known for the last 15 years—from Ansill, Fork, the Turney’s team (Lolita, Bindi and Barbuzzo), Morgan’s Pier, and, of course, Stateside, his East Passyunk Avenue spot where he acted as executive chef ’s position and made small plates at a bar an art form. By 2014, however, the Sabatino marrieds opened Aldine in the Rittenhouse area, and made a splash. Sadly the Sabatinos have split apart as marrieds with Jennifer Sabatino carrying on the Aldine name with Chad Gelso, a Michelin-starred chef from Washington D.C. As for George Sabatino he’s moving his act just down the road a piece—the Rooster Soup Co. at 1526 Sansom Street where 100 percent of its profits go to charity through Broad Street Ministry—through the Cook N’ Solo(monov) team. Sabatino has been brought in as exec chef to spruce up an already heady brand of diner fare at the Rooster. I didn’t think Roosetr Co. needed the boost but Sabatino is a welcome forward thinking presence wherever he goes. As for Gelso he’s actually Pennsylvania raised, a one-time fixture at Philly locales such as 10Arts and Buddakan, and is promising big dealing with local farms. Last August, South Philly’s East Passyunk Avenue restaurant community got rocked—rocked I tell you— when the rustic Italian meat-n-pasta specialists of Le Virtù and Brigantessa and its owners Francis Cratil Cretarola and Cathy Lee dispensed with the services of its longtime executive chef (and partner in Brigantessa) Joe Cicala and his wife, Angela; all this after Cicala snagged his fingers in a pasta sheeter and couldn’t work for six weeks. While nigh has been heard about any legal snafus and lawsuits since that time, the Cicalas created Antico, where they design and lead gastronomic tours of Italy throughout the year. Then there is the case of chef Damon Menapace who by February’s end had taken over the kitchens at Le Virtù and Brigantessa while leaving behind the teeth gnashing carnivore confines of Kensington Quarters in Northern Liberties. n


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theater VALLEY The Trojan Women. Caroline Bird places Euripides’ cock-fighting females in a mother-and-baby unit in a prison stocked with smart phones. Former queen Hecuba battles daughters-in-law Helen of Troy, who eloped with Paris, and Andromache, who complains that Achilles enslaved her after falling for her salmon-and-hollandaise tarts. The most abused Trojan is the Chorus, a pregnant lady handcuffed to a bed. Bird wrote poems for the 2012 London Olympics and authored the play The Trial of Dennis the Menace. (March 1-5, Northampton Community College) Hedda Gabler. The National Theatre in London stages a live telecast of Ibsen’s savage comedy about a ruthlessly cruel, recklessly self-destructive woman who will say and do anything to escape the boredom of a new marriage and such enervating womanly duties as pregnancy (“I won’t make something that makes demands”). This female Hamlet, or modern Medea, is played by Ruth Wilson, who in the cable series The Affair weathervanes as a star-crossed wife, mother and co-owner of a seafood restaurant where she once waitressed in her native Montauk, Long Island. Director Ivo van Hove, a Tony winner for reviving Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge, shapes a script by Patrick Marber, who wrote the screenplays for Closer and Notes on a Scandal. (March 4, Lafayette College) A Voice of My Own. Five actresses perform the words of 14 disenfranchised, franchised female writers, 26 centuries’ worth of journal entries, poems, letters, speeches and songs. The all-star literary lineup ranges from Sappho to Mary Shelley to Murasaki Shikibu, an imperial lady-in-waiting in 11th-century Japan. The late playwright Elinor Jones was a movie producer who helped writer Robert Benton develop Bonnie and Clyde. (March 22-25, Cedar Crest College) Saint Joan/Hamlet. Four performers play 50 characters in Bedlam Theater Company’s creatively spare, wildly inventive takes on Shaw’s take on a spiritual soldier trying to save France and Shakespeare’s take on a philosophical, political puppeteer trying to avenge his father’s murder. (Saint Joan, March 29 and 31; Hamlet, March 30, Lafayette College)

CITY The Humans. Directed by Bernard Havard, this Walnut Street Theatre production starring Mary Martello as the mother of a working class Irish family was high on promise but short on delivery. The Blake family travels from their small Pennsylvania town to celebrate Thanksgiving at their daughter’s New York Chinatown apartment that she shares with her boyfriend, Richard (Ibrahim Miari). What happens devolves into a series of bizarre vignettes without a “unifying” zeitgeist. Zany characters full of stinging quips can be wonderful Mary Martello, Greg Wood, Ibrahim Miari and Alex Kelper. but this cornucopia of zany had this reviewer zoned out on all things weird. The dementiaplagued, wheelchair-bound grandmother, Fiona “Momo” Blake (Sharon Alexander) twitched and babbled stereotypically like a character in a bad Adam Sandler film, while daughter Aimee (Julie Eisenhower, granddaughter of President Eisenhower) lent a contemporary accent when she went on at length about the breakup of her lesbian love affair. The bizarre circus continued unabated—“Momo,” for instance, leaves her wheelchair and disappears, inspiring momentary panic among family members. The father, Erik (Greg Wood) dies inexplicably at the end of the dinner when he exits his daughter’s apartment into a battery of bright lights. This is “copy and paste” supernaturalism at its worst. (Till March 4 2018)

Kinky Boots. Cyndi Lauper won Tonys for score and musical for this funky, fun musical based on a British film revolving around a son who revives his father’s shoe factory by producing high-heeled boots designed by a drag queen. Lauper will share a show with kinky-haired Rod Stewart on Aug. 3 at the PPL Center in Allentown. (March 29, Lehigh University)

The Tempest. Leo Tolstoy called Shakespeare’s plays “trivial” and George Bernard Shaw said that The Bard’s plays showed “weakness and incoherence,” The Lantern Theatre begs to differ. Director Charles McMahon will put his stamp on this fable about two rulers who have to choose between conflict and resolution. Back in the limelight is (the rarely seen) Frank X as Gonzolo/Stephano; Ruby Wolf plays Miranda; and Chris Anthony is Ferdinand. March 15-April 22, 2018.

Glory. Holly Cate directs her brand-new adaptation of Shakespeare’s Richard III and the three parts of Henry VI, a cornucopia of labyrinthine power plays involving English kings, nobles and other rival royal executives. An associate professor at Muhlenberg College, Cate acted in the soap opera As the World Turns, acts in the online series The Other F Word and played Prospero in The Tempest. (April 5-8, Muhlenberg)

The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley Jr. In this children’s story by Jeff Brown we meet 10 year old Stanley Lambchop who wakes up one morning to discover that he has become as flat as a Buckwheat pancake. Unlike that Kafka character in ‘The Metaphor sis,’ Stanley decides to roll with the punches and make lemonade out of the lemons that life has given him. Walnut Street Theatre. March 31-April 14, 2018.

BrouHaHa. How do you intend to spend The End? Happenstance Theater invites you to sit a spell in the Apocalypse Café & Grill, where drinks are made by a miming bartender. That was one of the cosmic, comic fare-thee-wells in this spry, sly cinematic vaudeville performed last month at Touchstone Theatre. Inspired by Chaplin and Beckett, six performers tossed each other’s hats onto one another’s heads and danced a slo-mo ballet under the ocean. Alex Vernon’s Rowland mastered mime moves and sound effects. As Pandora, Sarah Olmsted Thomas had the graceful flair of a Noel Coward ghost. Sabrina Mandell fulfilled the daffy Rose’s final wish by diving into the laps of two spectators, fulfilling her role as Happenstance’s “visionary tornado.” n — geoff gehMAn 10 n I C O N n M A R C H 2 0 1 8 n I C O N d v . C O M n f A C e b O O k . C O M / I C O N d v

Love, Lies and Taxidermy. The tale of two teenage lovers, Ashley (U of Arts grad Francesca Piccioni) and Valentyn (Drexel student Joseph Teti) is a bumpy albeit slapstick and cartoonish ride into a surrealist world involving porno films, an ice cream man Dad, a stuffed owl containing a wad of bills, and a Mom who doesn’t love her husband. Seth Reichgott plays the ice cream and taxidermist Dads’ with passion and humor. Will this teenage love survive Ashley’s naked porno film bath? On a bare stage with zero scenery the three actors turn UK playwright Alan Harris’s words into visual realities. The play’s rambling beginning segues gracefully into a delightful little work of art. Inis Nua Theatre Company, Directed by Tom Reing. Louis Bluver Theater, The Drake. (Till March 4, 2018). n — thoM nickels


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MARCH

the list

6 SPOON The eternal art-indie-pop godheads made a rips-northing return to form several years ago and now we can’t seem to get rid of them. How can we miss you when you won’t go away again? (TLA)

10 BLACKISH COMEDIAN DEON COLE The weirdest of mainstream comedy’s sidekicks - Anthony Anderson’s office place pal – plays the big room at the newly refurbished Parx Casino as does….

7 DAVID BYRNE Along with American Utopia, his first solo album in nearly a decade, the one-time Talking

11 CHAKA KHAN The one-time Rufus front woman and queen

15 JON BATISTE The Louisiana bandleader of Stay Human and

cUrAted by A.d. AMorosi

22 ROBIN TROWER How many Bridge of Sighs can you cross over quizzes th English rock guitarist and vocalist who first achieved fame with Procol Harum during the 1960s, before going onto 70s solo glory. (Keswick Theatre) 23 DJ KHALED + DEMI LOVATO The world’s most annoying hip hop producer

the music man behind Stephan Colbert plays a mean melodica. (TLA) 16 JON DORENBOS Whether you know him from his time with the Philadelphia Eagles or as an America’s Got Talent finalist this guy has some stories to tell. (Sugarhouse) Head opens what promises to be his most theatrical tour in this neck of the Pennsylvania woods. (Hershey Theatre) 7 ORCHESTRAL MANEUVERS IN THE DARK The British synth-pop avatars didn’t start off as chirpy and mainstream but that’s how they

of the sexy low growl absolutely feels for you. (Tower Theatre) 11 BETH DITTO The one-time crooner of punk modernists The Gossip break free of band shackles and records a bruising solo album. (Union Transfer)

17 BLAKE SHELTON Being a judge on The Voice has turned Shelton into something of a soft cartoon which is a

and child pop’s most recent grown up join forces for huh? (Wells Fargo Center) 23 CRAIG THATCHER BAND W/GE SMITH Thatcher has some deep blues on his die but G.E. Smith – Gilda Radner’s ex-husband an an

11 FLAMING LIPS Is this Parx’s first real stab at alternative music

shame as he’s made some damn fine smoky country music in his time. (Wells Fargo Center) wound up when they hit the States and John Hughes soundtrack fame. Since the original duo - Andy McCluskey and Paul Humphreys reformed in 2006 they’ve since rekindled the darker inclinations of its origins with new albums such as The Punishment of Luxury. (TLA) 9 STEVE WINWOOD The original young British blue eyed soul singer and multi-instrumentalist returns for another round of touring with his children and several of old time band mates. (Tower Theatre)

a la Wayne Coyne’s oddball psychedelic ensemble? Most certainly. (Parx Cashino) 11 THE RIGHTEOUS BROTHERS Now that Bobby Hatfield is gone, Bill Medley and some other guy are left to sing “Unchained Melody,” “ You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'” and other Righteous hits. Hey, Medley still has one of the best baritones in pop, so dig that. (KeswicK Theatre)

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18 SHABAZZ PALACES The one-time originator and still acting frontman of DIgable Planets has a far funkier Sun Ra-ish ensemble in Shabazz Palaces (Boot & Saddle) 19-25 QFLIX PHILADELPHIA GAY FILM FEST Film curator and festival maker Thom Cardwell’s latest shot at gay cinematic glory across several downtown screens. (VA)

occasional Bowie/Hall & Oates collaborator has the star shine on this one. (Steelstacks)

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12 / the list

24 THE FABULOUS THUNDERBIRDS W/ KIM WILSON Slick and dirty blues at their finest these guys put the musical form on the charts and in car commercials with “Tuff Enough” (Steelstacks) 24 LARRY CAMPBELL/TERESA WILLIAMS Two of cosmopolitan country’s finest instrumentalist/singers/act backers do their own thing. (Ardmore Music Hall) 24 FREDDIE COLE Nat’s singing brother is almost as honeyed as ole king Cole. (South Jersey Jazz) 24 CHICAGO AUTHORITY The Chicago Authority pays tribute during a three-hour show that mimics the look and duplicates the sound of the touring

25 DAVID MURRAY You don’t get much of a chance to see or hear this brilliant noisy saxophonist in this small of a place. (South) 25 BOBBY RUSH The legendary composer and singer digs mixing up the blues, rap and funk. So let him. (Steelstacks) 29 HARRY CONNICK, JR. WRITES AND STARS IN THE STING Now that his talk show is ended (you didn’t even believe it was on – admit it) Connick, Jr. has time to co-write and star as Henry Gondorff in the world-premiere production of The Sting; the 1973 buddy film, which hosts a world premiere at Paper Mill Playhouse for a limited run until moving (they hope) to Broadway. (Paper Mill Playhouse) 30 DEEN WEEN The skinnier half and non-Billy Joel covering half of New Hope’s Ween has solo tricks up his dolmen sleeve. Plus if you get bored he is a fishing boat captain and you can go for a sail. (TLA) 31 WYCLEF JEAN This famed Fugees made many hits for himself with various versions of the sounds of the Carnival. Enjoy some of his rare live vibes. (Ardmore Music Hall) 31 ROY WOOD JR. Comedy Central’s go-to comedian – loved for his bits on The Daily Show – does his first stand-up gigs n the area sicne the days of South Street’s Laff House. (Steelstacks) n

group. The band has been called “the best Chicago tribute band in the world” (Mauch Chunk Opera House)

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pete croAtto

film

The Young Karl Marx THE YOUNG KARL MARX is the perfect movie for a high-school history class. Students get a chance to see “history come alive” while they and their substitute teacher covertly check their smartphones. For the rest of us, director-writer Raoul Peck’s latest effort after his incendiary 2016 James Baldwin documentary, I Am Not Your Negro, feels like a preamble to a movie that never arrives. Peck follows Marx (August Diehl) and his compatriot Friedrich Engels (Stefan Konarske), the fathers of modern Communism, through their twenties. Marx’s authority-flouncing reputation gets him bounced from country to country. Engels struggles to separate himself from his gilded lifestyle. The two make a terrific creative tandem, if they can endure real life. Aside from being a marked man, Marx is perpetually broke. Engels’ privileged state—his father owns a factory in England—means he must continually prove his affinity for the working class. To capture their travails, Peck shoves the narrative from 1843 to 1848, which halts the story’s momentum and eliminates a base for us to define the

two men. Peck is all about moving the action along to get to the exclamation point, the publication of The Communist Manifesto. Instead, a seminal moment in world history elicits “oh” and a head nod. So much distracts us from the result of that passion— joining the League of the Just; courting the attention of Pierre-Joseph Proudhon (Olivier Gourmet); money woes—that our attention flickers and then shuts off. Ultimately, we’re watching the thought process behind the birth of Communism. Trust me, the story behind the words landing on the page is less interesting than the words and their effect. What about I Am Not Your Negro? Well, that was personal. Baldwin was living the words that Samuel L. Jackson spoke in a rage-whisper and Peck’s imagery captured the contemporary relevance. Engels and Marx were not factory workers risking dismemberment; they weren’t falling into a fetid mattress, exhausted emotionally and physically, after an endless workday. The people represented in their ideas are hardly covered in the movie. Peck tries to compensate with those personal

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touches, which feel as forced as the exposition-flavored dialogue, giving The Young Karl Marx all the sweep of an encyclopedia entry. The Young Karl Marx shows the roots of today’s class division and its reaction—from #MeToo and #BlackLivesMatter to all the marches—but Peck can’t tie together the old and the new. The story is hopelessly fragmented and the movie’s visual style consists of a series of alternately passionate and somber conversations in a variety of darkened rooms. We’re filled in and informed and never moved. We wait for Engels—dapper and filled with righteous rage—and Marx—rakishly unkempt, his quill quivering with passion—to do something, to get us excited for their ideals. Peck, locked in an information-first mind-set, only succeeds in portraying Marx and Engels as titans of Communism. And the first two people we would avoid at a dinner party. Peck even attempting this movie—with 85 percent of the dialogue not in English—after his recent success is admirable. Like the men and women leading today’s activism, I wish Peck favored action over ideas. [NR] n


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Always the Ingénue

TWENTY-SIX YEARS AGO, k.d. lang—embraced by the industry, its elders (e.g. collaborators such as Tony Bennett and Roy Orbison) and audiences for her powerfully emotional voice and often quirky quirky/kitschy take on country music and its lyrical mores—moved toward songs and words that allowed the passion of her vocals to creep into the eclectic sounds that she made. That passionate, sophisticated, even cosmopolitan album released a year later, Ingénue, was brilliant in a manner that even outshined its predecessors. And they—albums such as Absolute Torch and Twang—were really great. Lush but subtle, Ingénue allowed lang and cowriter-producer Ben Mink to toy with the jazz, cabaret and Tin Pan Alley songsmith-ing that they loved as kids in Canada with the results being the somnolent balladry of “Save Me,” and the joyful yearning “Constant Craving,” all the while pushing lang toward deeply introspective singing and writ-

soundtrack to Even Cowgirls Get the Blues. What’s the attraction of reliving that Ingénue moment? Obviously it was a personal high or summit for me… my biggest record. It’s also more of the fact that it marked a social signpost; a time in the evolution of gay rights. Also I’m doing this because the audience has had a relationship with that record for 25 years. I believe it’s a culmination of all those things.

The silver anniversary party is a big deal for a lot of records. I do know that a lot of bands celebrate the benchmark; but then again we live in a society where everything is so disposable and quickly paced that the sentiment for so many things in the past is waning. So I’m embracing it. I saw your Angel with a Lariat tour and loved the early C&W stuff, but gathered that you had started—

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shower. Or a Leonard Cohen song. It comes to you and you do it when you do it or you don’t do it. Do you believe that the music gave you an entrée, emotionally, toward lyrics that were more intimate than before? I really do think that it was right. That I was ripe. That it was what I was longing for… or at least one of things that I was longing to do with my songs; to write something that was raw and vulnerable. And real. Because the country songs were such that I was using the tools and the imagery it was more like craft. I was playing with a treasure chest. And Ingénue was a change in vernacular and vocabulary in that it was personal—finding some romantic space. It was time. It was me. I had gotten to a time and point where I wanted to be me. Considering just how personal it wound up, was

“INGÉNUE WAS A CHANGE IN VERNACULAR AND VOCABULARY IN THAT IT WAS PERSONAL—FINDING SOME ROMANTIC SPACE. IT WAS TIME. IT WAS ME. I HAD GOTTEN TO A TIME AND POINT WHERE I WANTED TO BE ME.” ing. Lang has done other work since, but nothing with the woeful wallop of Ingénue. Now to celebrate its 25th anniversary, lang—not a woman to look back—has released the two-CD Ingénue: 25th Anniversary Edition of new mixes and rarer live versions and begun an Ingénue Redux tour that hits the Keswick Theatre on March 23. You’ve been touring Ingénue since 2017. Throughout the process are you finding things that may not have manifested previously? Through re-learning the material and working with new musicians—or musicians that didn’t play on that record—there are definitely new perspectives to be had. There are interesting little quirks to the songs that I didn’t hear before, but I believe that happens – I hope that happens —nightly what with being challenged by great musicians. Even the audience’s perspective and their relationship to Ingénue and the way they’re hearing it, somehow, by proxy… there’s a new synergy with the music. The bond changes everything. It’s constantly evolving. Are you writing new material? No. I’m living my life and touring. It’s all Ingénue stuff for me right now. I don’t think you’re someone who looks back often or rests on her laurels. I mean you followed Ingénue, a platinum pop Grammy winner with All You Can Eat, a weird disco album and the odder-still

before country and rockabilly, before Owen Bradley and Dave Edmunds—with European music and cabaret. Why did you move from that into something as cosmopolitan as Ingénue? I started to become obsessed by country at that time. I started to enjoy the traditional tools of it—the clothes and the chord changes and the instrumentation. I loved having a contained amount of influences. And I loved infusing a youthful punk influence into something so traditional. I loved it. I’m from the country in Canada. I get the people and mindset. I felt as if I could have fun with it and yet do something meaningful with it. That waned, however. I did it for seven years and went as far with it as I could have gone at that time. Then I returned to the influences that ran deeper for me. Do you remember the first song for the album that gave the rest of it its vibe? I think it was “Save Me,” and yet I also recall that Ben Mink had discussed the direction of where we wanted the album to go. We knew that we were making that move, so then songs such as “Pulling Back the Reins” or “Trail of Broken Hearts” were indications that the leap was definitely going to happen. How do you relate to these songs now without Ben as he was so much a part of Ingénue? Well, we certainly stayed friends and he’s in the process because we do communicate. I don’t know how to answer that because it’s like singing in your

there any one song that was more challenging than the others? “Constant Craving” was easily the most challenging because I was reticent. I knew that it sounded like a pop song and sounded even like a hit to me. That didn’t fit the record. And I was afraid of having a hit because of what it meant or could mean… that it could have seemed like a sell-out. That feeling was one I had to get over. How did Ingénue set you up for the next set of records, the rest of your career? [Laughs] That’s a whole lot of answer to unpack. I believe that I got a taste of success and the success made me want to both imitate it and simultaneously want to sabotage it. It’s extremely complex that psychology. Did you believe that Ingénue opened a door for you to come out at that time? Perhaps not Ingénue directly but that whole moment did, yes. I knew I wanted to move away from country and I did. That was a big shift in marketing and having the public understand me. When I released Ingénue, and I was doing this article for The Advocate, my manager, my record company, my friends, and I all debated whether coming out was a good idea at that time. Then again I didn’t really believe that was ‘in’ anyway so it just happened. I came out. It just happened to coincide with the all of the rest of the changes. n

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Getty Images.

Author Harmon Leon. Photograph: Joel Sheakoski

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Illustrator Ted Rall at a book signing in Washington, D.C.


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INTErview

Going Undercover to Meet the Deplorables FOR SOMEONE WHO SPENDS much of his professional life immersed in the practitioners of right-wing ideology—folks who hate Muslims but love automatic weapons; righteous men and women who believe in conversion therapy for gays but not in evolution—Harmon Leon is optimistic. “We as human beings have more in common than differences when it really comes down to it,” he says. Writer-comedian Leon, whose work has appeared in The Nation, Wired, and VICE, mingled with the people of Donald Trump’s America. In his new anthology of articles, Meet the Deplorables: Infiltrating Trump America (co-authored by political cartoonist-columnist Ted Rall, who provides illustrations and commentary), Leon campaigned for Trump doorto-door in Blue Bell. He escorted a busy repo man in Reno and visited Las Vegas’s residents. YOU JUST THINK SOMETHING WILL Frequently, Leon went undercover, which is when the book shakes our soul. HAPPEN. YOU GO, ‘ALRIGHT, THE Whether he’s attending an ACT for AmerBAR HAS BEEN LOWERED AND IT ica rally in Staten Island or spending a CAN’T POSSIBLY BE LOWER,’ AND day with Minutemen patrolling the MexiTHEN A DAY LATER IT DOES. IT’S can border, we behold these people in all JUST A CONSTANT SEA OF THAT. their confused, scared vulnerability. They YOU KNOW, WHAT ELSE CAN HE feel the same way about an ever-evolving POSSIBLY DO THAT WOULD BE America as many of us feel about Trump, an unabashed white supremacist who at WORSE THAN THE THING HE’S PREbest is a barely sentient Ponzi scheme. VIOUSLY DONE? AND THEN THAT Whether that fear swings back to clarity THING HAPPENS. in the 2018 and 2020 elections are unbearable cliffhangers. Maybe that’s why Leon doesn’t offer any answers in his book or in this interview, which has been edited for space and clarity. On why he returns to the right wing, a recurring subject of his work: “I always find it interesting, intriguing, and fascinating to be amongst groups largely when I’m undercover when they have an ideology that’s just so vastly different than my personal ideology. You know, just getting inside their head and see how they’ve come to the place of where they are and their whole thought process. It does get exhausting, but, again, even if it’s exhausting and even if it’s horrible, it’s never boring.” On how he interprets the enthusiasm of the groups he infiltrates: “From my point of view, I’ve done my job well. [With] the ACT for America, the anti-Muslim hate group, you’re hearing [about] wanting to close mosques and picketing mosques and picketing refugee camps, it’s discouraging. But you know that it’s not a majority, but it’s a minority. They’re like, here comes another one of us, we’re growing in numbers. “We shouldn’t generalize that all Trump supporters are just the racist, Tiki torch-hoisting people we see in places like Charlottesville. There’s also people that came to Trump because of economic situations, like in the final chapters, where it’s people in Indiana, Mike Pence’s home state, where their entire community is ravaged by meth addiction. Or they’re out of work like in the repo man story where people are getting their cars repossessed in the middle of the night. Suddenly there’s [Trump] who comes on the scene just saying, ‘Washington doesn’t care about you, but I’m gonna bring the jobs back because look at me,

I’m a big fancy pants billionaire’ and they were drawn from that aspect. Obviously, he claims—and has sort of duped people—that he’s the great job creator.” Pete Croatto: There really isn’t a model Trump supporter. Harmon Leon: Yeah, again, that’s why it’s interesting. In this book, you have everyone from people that know him as a pop culture icon from The Apprentice to the Christian Right who have embraced the most unholy man on the planet. But he’s a salesman; he’s himself. Being a snake oil salesman, he’s gonna take on the Christian agenda to the gun lobby who will back any candidate that will support their gun right cause. PC: Do you feel empathy for the people you profile? HL: That was sort of our overall take on the final edit of the book: we’re trying to satirize and humanize the people of these groups. It’s easy to write a book like this being a liberal and just going in guns blazing—metaphorically, of course, [laughter]—and shooting fish in a barrel, like joke, joke, joke, joke. Let’s mock, mock, mock. Just having some restraint in the writing and flesh [these people] out as three-dimensional characters and let them hang themselves with their own words, rather than just blatantly mocking them. On why there are no funny right-wing comedians: “You have to consider that the Blue Collar Comedy Tour is one the biggest comedy tours in recent history so you still have conservative humor with ‘Git-RDone’ stemming all the way back to Hee Haw. I figure it’s like in the case of GOP humor, why isn’t there like a GOP Daily Show is because the obvious rule of humor is you punch up, not punch down. Where liberal humor is more punching toward the powers-that-be to a Trump White House. If there were a conservative Daily Show, they’re the ones in power, so they’re punching down at the people that aren’t in power.” On how he’s faring under a Trump presidency: “You just think something will happen. You go, ‘Alright, the bar has been lowered and it can’t possibly be lower,’ and then a day later it does. It’s just a constant sea of that. You know, what else can he possibly do that would be worse than the thing he’s previously done? And then that thing happens. Everything is just erratic, always. And again, maybe he makes a little bit of headway and you think, ‘Oh, it’s all going to change,’ and then it just gets even more erratic.” On viable presidential candidates in 2020: “Well, Al Franken, until he was ousted. I like Elizabeth Warren. Cory Booker is good.” PC: Yeah. I like my Senator in New York, Kirsten Gillibrand a lot. I hate to say this, but I don’t know if a woman is really going to be a viable candidate after Hillary. It’s all a great big question mark. HL: Yeah, the book’s take away is, we’ve done crazy for a while. Now we kind of want to organize and get back to sane. PC: Do you think in 2020 that we’ll get back to sane? HL: Yeah, yeah. I mean, fingers crossed. I’d be happy with a Jeb Bush in office right now [laughs], if that was the choice…We’re only one year in, and it seems like a decade. I don’t see it going saner and saner. n f A C e b O O k . C O M / I C O N d v n I C O N d v . C O M n M A R C H 2 0 1 8 n I C O N n 21


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Django JAZZ MUSICIAN DJANGO REINHARDT (1910-1953) was arguably among the most distinctive and influential guitarists in history—not jazz or rock or whatever history, but MUSIC history. Guitarists diverse as Jerry Garcia, Tony Iommi (Black Sabbath), Jeff Beck, Chet Atkins, and Wes Montgomery all bear the stamp of Django Reinhardt. He was one of the first important European-born jazz players, melding jazz with the music of his Romani (Gypsy) roots, winning the respect of American jazz titans Duke Ellington and Coleman Hawkins. Some of his compositions became jazz standards (“Nuages”) and John Lewis of the Modern Jazz Quartet wrote “Django” for him, becoming a standard, too. Django is nominally a biopic about Reinhardt—like the movie Capote, it’s really more about a particular, somewhat defining period in the subject’s life. For Truman Capote, it was the writing of his book In Cold Blood; Django is about the time in Nazi-occupied Europe in which Gypsies were on the Nazis’ list of Undesirables Marked for Extinction. While some Germans liked Django, others were all too aware of the (decadent, disruptive) music he was playing. French actor Red Kateb (Zero Dark Thirty) portrays Reinhardt well with a combination of roguish charm similar to the young Johnny Depp and the young Clark Cable (both of whom Kateb/Django slightly resembles here). While this is not a straight-up biography (it is in fact based on a novel), Kateb does convey a sense of Django as a person—as a music fan, this writer knows a bit of Reinhardt’s history, and he was something of a flake (in terms of professionalism). As a scene in the movie shows, Django’s band is onstage, an audience is getting restless waiting for the concert to begin—and their leader is fishing for catfish. He seems oblivious to the realities of the Nazi occupation. But he is devoted to music and his enthusiasm and talent is palpable—Etienne Comer’s direction puts the viewer literally on the fretboard of Reinhardt’s guitar, and the music here is wonderful, compelling, stirring, and swinging. (Purists might find some of the interpretations of Reinhardt a bit amped-up, but that’s not a deal killer in this writer’s opinion.) Where the movie falters is in the storyline incorporation of a subplot—Django’s ex-girlfriend cozying-up to a Nazi official while working with the French resistance fighters seems a bit shoehorned-in and melodramatic. Surely Reinhardt’s real life was fascinating enough and didn’t need the WWII intrigue angle. We could’ve seen more of the Romani/Gypsy milieu that nurtured a talent such as Reinhardt’s, or the way he interacted with visiting American jazz musicians who came to regard him as a peer. A crucial part omitted: Stephane Grappelli (1908-1997), the violinist in Reinhardt’s Quintet, mentioned but not seen nor heard. He’d relocated to England by the time of the events portrayed—he was both close to Reinhardt and his opposite in terms of professionalism, and he became one of the finest jazz violinists in history and played with non-jazz icons Paul Simon and Pink Floyd. Casually mentioning Grappelli is like a story about Dean Martin and just “mentioning” Jerry Lewis in passing. Django is a fine introduction to the man’s music and aspects of his life, but nowhere near definitive. n 22 n I C O N n M A R C H 2 0 1 8 n I C O N d v . C O M n f A C e b O O k . C O M / I C O N d v

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Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story THE TITLE OF THE documentary Bombshell is, slyly, double-edged. A “bombshell” is the sobriquet given to actresses with such incredible beauty it is virtually newsworthy. On one hand, Hedy Lamarr (1914-2000) was a Hollywood bombshell, on the other she contributed to the design of an electronic system with the goal of guiding US Navy torpedoes to sink the U-boats (submarines) and warships of the Nazis. Lamarr was, figurative and literally (excuse the poetic licensee), a star who lived up to both implications of Alexandra Dean’s inspiring biopic. It’s difficult to imagine a modern counterpart for Lamarr—to attempt a cultural context, she had the somewhat exotic beauty of Angeline Jolie and Isabella Rossellini and the scientific acumen of Mayim Bialik—aside from acting in Blossom, Bialik is also a neuroscientist. Like Bialik, Lamarr was also Jewish, albeit at a time and in a place wherein being Jewish could get one killed. Somewhat chronological, Dean’s film revisits Lamarr’s origins in Austria as a bright child, a budding actress who liked to tinker with mechanical devices (such as clocks and windup toys). She had an early role in the 1933 Czechoslovakian film Ecstase (Ecstacy), the first nonpornographic movie to feature a sex scene. While that scene was chaste by today’s standards, Ecstase also featured Lamarr swimming (tastefully) nude. The reaction by the Powers That Be of the times was stern—she was denounced by the Pope and German dictator Adolf Hitler. Talent-scouted by Louis B. Mayer, cofounder of MGM Studios, Hedy Lamarr starred in Hollywood films Algiers and Boomtown (the latter co-starring Clark Gable), going on to become a capital-I Icon. The way Lamarr wore her hair influenced hairstyles of her Hollywood contemporaries; the way cartoon characters Snow White (via Disney) and Catwoman (from the Batman comic book) were drawn was inspired by her. (Fun fact not in this movie: Anne Hathaway modeled some aspects of her performance as Catwoman in The Dark Knight Rises on Lamarr by studying her films.) Lamarr remains unique among actresses for her role as inventor. Primarily selftaught, Lamarr’s interest and acumen was so pronounced that onetime boyfriend, magnate/industrialist/playboy Howard Hughes put a team of engineers at her disposal and took seriously her aeronautical sketches. In 1940 the German Navy was a fearsome force, sinking even ships loaded with noncombatants. The patriotic Lamarr, along with her friend George Antheil, designed a guidance system for torpedoes, which at the time, were easily compromised by jammed radio signals. She co-designed a system in which (shown in some detail) the guiding frequency would not be so rigidly set and thereby resist jamming. What happened to her invention and her career? See Bombshell and learn. Dean, with snappy pacing, varied talking-head interviews with historians and fans, vibrant reading of Lamarr’s letters by German actress Diane Kruger, attention to historical context(s), and focusing on her career /personal highs as well as lows, has crafted a celebratory film that will appeal to Lamarr fans and non-fans, film aficionada and not. n


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keith Uhlich

Black Panther

film roundup

Before We Vanish (Dir. Kiyoshi Kurosawa). Starring: Masami Nagasawa, Ryûhei Matsuda, Hiroki Hasegawa. Or, Invasion of the Emo Bodysnatchers. Japanese writer-director Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s adaptation of a sci-fi-themed play by Tomohiro Maekawa follows three extraterrestrial invaders who forcibly inhabit host bodies and learn about human behavior by stealing people’s “conceptions” of ideas/emotions such as “ownership” and “love.” It’s that latter feeling, of course, that provides a key to the Martians’ downfall. How, indeed, can “love” be reduced to a mere concept devoid of any muddying mystery? If that makes the film sound like some kind of listless philosophical tract, know that Before We Vanish is filled to brimming with off-kilter Kurosawa touches very much in line with his beloved ’90s features Pulse and Cure. Thus does he profoundly explore many poignant problems of the heart and mind while simultaneously reveling in the sight of an E.T.-possessed schoolgirl going hog-wild with a machine gun. [N/R]

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Black Panther (Dir. Ryan Coogler). Starring: Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Letitia Wright. Once a Marvel movie, always a Marvel movie. But

the Walt Disney-owned, superherocinema-producing studio is less in evidence than usual in cowriter-director Ryan Coogler’s take on African man-intights T’Challa, aka Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman). Coogler makes his voice heard and his vision apparent throughout. For every numbing, impersonal action sequence there are correspondingly affecting scenes like the opening and closing ones set on a basketball court in Oakland, California (Coogler’s hometown). The cast is a pure delight, too, featuring not only old pros like Angela Bassett and Forest Whitaker (both treated, deservedly, like royalty), but scene-stealing upand-comers like Letitia Wright as T’Challa’s witty, wise and technologically-obsessed sister, Shuri. Best in show is Michael B. Jordan (Coogler’s muse between this and his prior two features, Creed and Fruitvale Station) as Erik Killmonger, a morally complicated villain out to puncture T’Challa’s idealized conception of his futurist homeland, Wakanda. Would that all this artistry was devoted to a project that wasn’t first and foremost intended as a tentpole cash-cow. [PG-13]

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Did You Wonder Who Fired the Gun? (Dir. Travis Wilkerson). Documentary.

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The fiercely independent filmmaker Travis Wilkerson delves into his own terrible family history in this incendiary personal documentary, which was initially presented as a multimedia piece with live narration. Yet even as a more straightforward A-to-B feature (albeit constructed primarily from archival material, as well as present day footage, mostly absent any people, of the site of the crime and surrounding areas), it retains its upsetting eloquence. In 1946, Wilkerson’s white great-grandfather, S.E. Branch, shot and killed a black man, Bill Spann, in the Alabama grocery store that Branch owned. He was never charged and Spann was near-completely erased from the historical record. Did You Wonder… is therefore something of an attempt at expiation, though Wilkerson, always keenly self-critical, recognizes that acknowledgement of such horror only goes so far. Indeed, the further he digs into the murder, the more muddled things become, any easy catharsis proving impossible. What power there is to effect change comes from giving Spann back some semblance of the identity that Branch and, by extension, Wilkerson’s own relatives (one of whom is a black sheep white supremacist/Southern secessionist), stole. [N/R] HHHH

Western (Dir. Valeska Grisebach). Starring: Meinhard Neumann, Reinhardt Wetrek, Syuleyman Alilov Letifov. This mesmerizing, enigmatic effort from the German writer-director Valeska Grisebach plays on the iconography of the American western in thought-provoking ways. There is a lone man, construction worker Meinhard (Meinhard Neumann), who could be a hero. There’s an exotic, literally one-horse setting (a remote village in the Bulgarian countryside), ruled over by tough guy Adrian (Syuleyman Alilov Letifov), who might be a black hat villain. But the lines separating good and bad, pure and poisonous motive, are much more blurred. Initially, Meinhard acts as a kind of goodwill ambassador between the German hard hats and the Bulgarian villagers. It soon becomes clear, however, that he’s something of an aimless soul looking for an idyllic place to belong—as much as he’s a bridge-builder, he is also an unconscious exploiter of this exotic culture. Grisebach never hammers these points home, but coaxes them out with exquisite subtlety. The effect is not unlike gazing at a pointillist canvas that gradually deepens in essence and resonance. [N/R] HHHH1/2 n


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Agnes Varda and JR in Faces Places

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Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri Cast: Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson, Sam Rockwell Life happens moment by moment with no guarantee that you or I will survive the day, and with no regard to justice. Justice is not the purpose or responsibility of the cosmos, but a willful action for humans to practice and dispense. When the daughter of Mildred Hayes (McDormand) is raped and murdered, she demands justice. She reacts with all-consuming anger and grief, both toward the heartless universe and the inept local law enforcement. When months pass with no resolution, she rents three billboards to challenge the sheriff, William Willoughby (Harrelson) and his loathsome Deputy Dixon (Rockwell). The story is not a police procedural about finding the killer, but about the gauntlet of human emotions each character experiences by the unforeseen consequences that cascade from the billboards. Mildred and the two officers are not villains, nor or they helpless victims. Each develop as fully realized characters transformed into warriors. This powerful movie bares the basic emotions that motivate us in the daily battle to survive, or not. [R]

In this inspiring documentary, the 89-year-old French New Wave film director Agnès Varda and 33-year-old French street artist JR set out on a journey of discovery. Agnès long ago stamped her creativity and avant-garde vision on French cinema. JR is famous for creating murals with building-sized photos of people’s faces. Based on their belief that everyone has a story, the mismatched but dynamic pair travel to overlooked corners in the French countryside to get to know the locals. They interview an unemployed coal miner, farmer, longshoreman, factory workers, and retirees. The two artists weave a tapestry of the everyday concerns and challenges, of loves and loses, expectations and disappointments that we all share—that in many respects define who we are and who we wish we were. As though combating the inevitability of mortality, JR photographs each person and places their image on the sides of houses, trains, barns, and even shipping containers. Unlike personal snapshots that capture a slice-of-life moment, the greater-thanlife images enter the collective memory, which can long outlive the mortal life it represents. [PG] HHHH

Faces Places Cast: Agnes Varda, JR

Quest Cast: Christopher & Chrstine’a Rainey. This ethnographic immersion opens a

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window into the lives of one North Philly family, Christopher and Christine’a Rainey. For eight years, Obama to Trump, we become an unseen but intimate family member. Why them? The every-day look at an everyday urban couple mirrors the personal and familial challenges we all experience, regardless of our culture or socioeconomic status. Though struggling to make ends meet with multiple odd jobs, both are true activists dedicated to improving life in their lower-income, African-American neighborhood. Christopher “Quest” mentors the young rap artists he records in his basement studio, a haven from the mean streets. Christine’a is so loved at the women’s shelter where she volunteers that everyone calls her “Ma.” For nearly a decade we stand alongside Quest and Ma as life takes many a twist. We see their daughter mature into a teen, celebrate the good times, and commensurate the bad. Lightening strikes with serious illness, addiction, gun violence, and nearly insurmountable family responsibilities. The retrospective doesn’t lionize the Raineys. The takehome reality is that the best role model may not be on screen or stage, but living right next door. [NR] HHHH Florida Project Cast: Willem Dafoe, Brooklynn Prince

The Magic Castle is not an attraction in Disney World. It’s a cheap motel on the unmagical side of the theme park’s toll gates. Yet in its own way it is a fantasyland. Inside the shabby rooms live down-and-out families who can only dream about a job, a home, a stable life. But the beauty of magic is that it can pop up even in the most desperate circumstances. Especially when a gang of free-ranging preschoolers runs rampant through the streets of a gaudy tourist town. Every gang needs a leader and the charismatic Moonee (Prince) leads her pack with pizzazz, while her loving but hapless mother Hailey watches daytime TV. But the little hellcats aren’t totally unsupervised. The motel manager and absentee father figure Bobby (Dafoe) keeps a watchful eye and steps up when hard love or adult authority is needed. With both humor and heartbreak, the movie powerfully contrasts the joys of Moonee’s wanton freedom and her mother overburdened with responsibilities. Eventually, the bubble bursts and the lens shifts focus from the fantasyland of unencumbered youth to the hardships and challenges of poverty, homelessness, and parenting. Like a soft serve cone covered with sprinkles, it’s a delicious fairytale that eventually melts in the hard-edge heat of reality. [R]

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A.d. AMorosi

MUSIC POP

F

FOR EVERY SOUND AND image of actress Jane Birkin—alone, lean and angular—burned into memory (e.g. Antonioni’s Blow Up, Vadim’s Don Juan, or If Don Juan Were a Woman), there is an equal amount of image and obsession dedicated to her time with Serge Gainsbourg. From 1969 to 1980, the love-pair made the legendarily naughty Je t’aime... moi non plus, a film (Slogan), and a daughter, singeractress Charlotte. Gainsborough, too, made Birkin something of a muse, writing dozens of complexly wordy songs for her, and in turn, she has continued the observance of their co-joined legacy with 2017’s lush Birkin/Gainsbourg: Le Symphonique, and a rare live celebration occurred on February 1 at Manhattan’s Carnegie Hall. With that whispery performance before a magnificent, swirling 40+ piece orchestra, Birkin—dressed elegantly in a simple black suit, blousy white shirt and boat sneakers—did what she had never done in the past: play to an American audience. Oddly enough, for all his streetwise sophistication, neither did Gainsbourg. “I don’t know if he saw it as so grand,” said Birkin, talking both of traveling to NYC (“he never made it to America at all”) and working within the confines of orchestral music. “But he did use classical music as inspiration and when he wanted to give us something beautiful. His father was a classically trained musician who played piano in cabarets and casinos. It is a bit pompous for this show as I didn’t know if I had the voice for it. But I did this first as a reading of his lyrics—to show off what sort of poet he was. I believe Serge would have been pleased as he was only able to use full orchestras for his movies. Orchestras were always so frightfully expensive. I believe he would be moved, especially hearing “Je t’aime... moi non plus” played that way.” The British-born Birkin never returned home to London once she made her way to France to do a screen test when she was 20 (she was born in 1946). John Barry—her then-husband and the English composer known for composing music for James Bond films—had already left for Los Angeles (as well as the marriage) with Birkin holding the bag. But not that bag. “So I went to Paris and never came back—I just wound up staying with Serge after John and I divorced for the next 13 years or so.” Chatting about Gainsbourg heroically—a man who is a saint to a nation as well as an influence to Nick Cave, Rufus Wainwright and their daughter

Jane Birkin

Je t’aime... moi non plus

Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin in 1968 on the set of “La Piscine,” directed by Jacques Deray, in St. Tropez. Credit Jean-Pierre Bonnotte/Gamma-Rapho, via Getty Images

Charlotte’s writing—Birkin compares Serge’s compositional style to that, “very much like Cole Porter, really; of cutting words into two and singing them as part of the next lines. So it is a whole thing. He was the most modern writer that ever existed in France, more so than Brel and such. It was his way of shortening words or using slang. No one has really been like him since so he is a constant reference to anybody who writes in French.” With Gainsbourg brilliantly mixing the erudite with the erotic—even foul, Birkin is still shy about the idea of embracing that which he wrote for her: many songs since the start of their relationship—eventually one every two years over 20 odd years even after she left Serge for another man and until he passed at age 62 in 1991. “What he gave me to sing was what I believe was most feminine about him, and all his sadness, and all his break ups, even the one involving me as well [Jane left Serge for director Jacques Doillon],” she said. “That’s a very strange psychological position to be in. it was intriguing to try to be up to his standards and honor it in some way. When we were to-

gether I guess it felt more normal for him to write about me or to me as I was always by his side. He gave me the most beautiful of his songs always.” I don’t mean to sound naïve in discussing this, but if someone was writing songs for me and about me on a regular basis I might find them difficult to sing. Flattered and moved, yes—but did Birkin find that awkward? “Not a naïve question at all, because it is really not that simple,” she said. “I mean, there were songs that he wrote explicitly about me having an affair and about how he cried. And they were written in such a beautiful way. I was like you. Terribly moved and awkward. I could understand they were wonderful songs and from a man soul. I just tried to sing them as high as I could in pitch to make him as pleased as he could and feel as if I was interpreting his words to the very highest of standards. I would watch him through the glass of the studio and hoped they were as beautiful as they could be. And not disappoint him I was singing his pain. I always hoped for another 12 songs—then another and then he died.” n

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MUSIC JAZZ / ROCK / CLASSICAL / ALT

Kate McGarry/Keith Ganz/ Gary Versace HHHH1/2 The Subject Tonight is Love Binxtown What is it with many contemporary jazz singers? Too many are not very “contemporary.” Too many keep burning the fires of the tradition without extending that tradition—they sing the same batch of standards, oft-

folk—not just mixing stylistic aspects and/or instrumentation, but the essences of each: The poetic introspection of folk, the finesse and improvisation of jazz, and directness and impertinence of rock. (At times this set evokes the folky side of Traffic.) Listen closely and see. (12 tracks, 62 min.) katemcgarry.com

McGarry Trio. Photo: Kerry Kehoe.

Steve Tyrell HHH1/2 A Song for You East West/New Design At first glance Steve Tyrell seems to be yet another retro crooner, a guy in a nice suit who’s carrying on the tradition of Sinatra, Nat “King” Cole, Dean Martin, and Tony Bennett. To some degree, he is—but he’s also more like Bobby Darin, a contemporary of Sinatra and Martin that by the mid-1960s had one foot in their old-school mainstream, swingin’-in-Vegas pop-craft and the other foot in the then-new counterculture, rock & roll, the R&B

presented in standard-ish fashion. Kate McGarry’s Subject… takes that tradition and enriches it. With her band of Keith Ganz (acoustic & electric guitars) and Gary Versace (keys), McGarry dispenses with typical instrumentation and take a well-worn clutch of tunes—“Secret Love,” “My Funny Valentine”—and dresses them up sharpply by stripping them down. The settings are bare-bones, almost in the manner of folk music (instrumentation-wise, spacious arrangements) while singing them with a luscious elegance worthy of Helen Merrill or Jane Monheit and the intimacy and phrasing of Joni Mitchell circa 1975-80. Swing is there, but implied more than felt. McGarry is indeed a jazz singer, but one can tell she grew up listening to and impacted by folk and rock (she’s covered Mitchell, Bjork, and Peter Gabriel songs)—she doesn’t exist in that realm in which no good songs were writ post 1960. Subject… stands a TRUE fusion of jazz, rock, and

of Ray Charles, and the folk sounds of Dylan and Tim Hardin. Look at the songs he sings here: “Someone Like You,” “Try A Little Tenderness,” Leon Russell’s “A Song for You.” Yet Tyrell is “retro” in more than one tradition, namely the rock & roll/R&B ballad tradition of Russell, Charles, Joe Cocker, and (especially) Van Morrison. Tyrell sings with the not just the suave assurance of Sinatra but with some of his sense of swing as well (It’s taken for granted how jazz-oriented Sinatra’s vocal approach was). Tyrell doesn’t stop there, thankfully—he incorporates the worldly grit of Charles, he bluesy yowl of Russell, and Morrison’s

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lilt and vocal malleability. The musical backing is tasteful—there’s orchestral backing, but it’s never overdone— graceful, sighing strings, burred bluesy guitar fills. And speaking of “overdone,” that’s one thing Tyrell AVOIDS—unlike some singers emerging in the past few years, he never over-sells the songs, singing with a touch of tenderness and humility. Song is a platter you may spin when that special someone comes over for that extra-cozy dinner by candlelight (or smartphone-light, for younger readers.) (12 tracks, 47 min.) stevetyrell.com Morton Feldman HHHHH For John Cage Bridge Morton Feldman (1926-1987) was a unique American composer—with John Cage (1912-1992), he was part of the “New York School,” a circle of composers associated with the burst of creativity in New York in the 1950s (Jackson Pollock, Frank O’Hara, etc.). Both went different ways, Cage with his chance-oriented concepts (and influencing tons of performers in classical, jazz, and rock), Feldman with his love of the intricate detail of Persian rugs and quiet sounds. That detail is apparent with For John Cage, a 71+ minute composition for violin and piano of gentle, at times almost imperceptible repetition and uncommon simplicity. Pianist Erik Carlson and violinist Aleck Karis perform with an aching sensitivity, their playing so elemental at times the sighs, bleats, plunks, and rumbles don’t even sound like they emanate from a piano and violin. While listening to this very quiet music can be a serene experience there is also a tension present. I think I once said Feldman’s later music is akin to hearing snowflakes form— allow me to say it again. (PS: If you enjoy Brian Eno’s “Discreet Music” give this a try.) (one track, 72 min.) bridgerecords.com

Bruno Maderna/ Dennis Russell Davies HHHH Now, and Then ECM Italian composer Bruno Maderna (1920-1973) was somewhat unique among 20th century composers—he wrote avant-garde and electronic music but he was also an orchestra conductor known for interpreting the “old masters,” the music of baroque composers J.S. Bach and Antonio Vivaldi. Now consists of pieces of notmodern composers—such as Frescobaldi and Gabrielli—arranged/re-orchestrated for a modern orchestra (in this case, one conducted by D.R. Davies). No, he’s not “deconstructing” or parodying them—he gives these works by baroque and Renaissanceera composers a faithful yet fresh revamp. Maderna kept the harmoniousness and grandeur of these compositions but looked at them through a modern lens. The exception is Luciano Berio’s 1992 piece “Chemins V” for acoustic guitar and orchestra (world premiere)—it’s the ringer here, and the dissonance and modernity of this interrupts the flow of Maderna’s other interpretations/orchestrations. While there are clearly influences of early music therein and it’s fascinating, it’s very dissonant compared to the rest of the compositions. For non-classical fans: Imagine suddenly going from Renaissance [the band] or Electric Light Orchestra to Frank Zappa (in his knotty composition/classical mode). Despite that, this album is a boon for those enjoying old-school European classics with a contemporary flair. (15 tracks, 65 min.) ecmrecords.com Jackie DeShannon HHHHH Stone Cold Soul: The Complete Capitol Recordings Real Gone Music Maybe the music industry thinks it has room for only “one” Carole King— like King, Jackie DeShannon is as


MArk keresMAn

much a princess of pop. If you’ve been near a radio at all since 1965 you’ve heard her—as a songwriter, “When You Walk in the Room” (The Searchers) and “Bette Davis Eyes” (Kim Carnes) or as a singer, her hits “Needles & Pins” and “Put a Little Love in Your Heart,” and duetted with Van Morrison (“Warm Love”). (She’s dabbled in acting, TV’s Wild, Wild West and C’mon Let’s Live a Little, among the worst movies ever made.) In the early 1970s DeShannon had some excellent solo albums that, unfortunately, didn’t do well in the marketplace. Stone Cold Soul reissues her 1971 album Songs and includes an album’s worth of previously unissued songs. For the most part this is excellent stuff—smooth, accomplished early ‘70s pop with overtones of Memphis R&B (think Dusty Springfield’s In Memphis) and

Southern gospel. She even does a dandy version of William Bell’s “You Don’t Miss Your Water” and perhaps foreshadowing her collaborations with Morrison, a smoldering version of VM’s “And It Stoned Me” (from Moondance). DeShannon’s voice is like a cup of tea laced with lemon (and something stronger)— smoothly soulful and comforting with a bit of tartness. Dated? Only slightly—it’s of its time BUT this stands well along recent music by Mavis Staples, Boz Scaggs, and Joss Stone. (This set even stylistically evokes Scaggs’ pre-disco era opus Slow Dancer, a good an album of white R&B as you’re likely to hear.) Why this album was not better known in the ‘70s is a mystery, but better late to the party than not at all, right? Excellent and HIGHLY recommended! (25 tracks, 79 min.) realgonemusic.com n

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toM Wilk

music SINGER / SONGWRITER

Chris Smither HHHH Call Me Lucky Signature Sounds/Mighty Albert In 2014, Chris Smither released Still on the Levee, a two-CD retrospective, to mark the 50th anniversary of his career as a working musician. He’s embarking on the next chapter as a recording artist with Call Me Lucky, his first album of new songs in six years. The CD finds him in top form as an insightful songwriter and skillful interpreter at age 73. “The Blame’s on Me” marries an upbeat tune to a rueful lyric with a touch of humor. “I wrecked my karma livin’ way too fast/Tryin’ to catch the future ‘fore it’s in the past,” he sings with a hint of resignation. “Nobody Home” shows his way with words while bemoaning the lack of personal communication. “Everybody wants to text me cuz they ain’t got nothin’ to say,” Smither grouses. “Change Your Mind” serves as a philosophical commentary on life, cleverly utilizing the word change as a noun and verb. Smither recasts Chuck Berry’s “Maybellene” as a slow blues, turning the classic number inside out to make it a new song. Matt Lorenz’s violin adds a touch of Western Swing to Smither’s reading of the blues standard “Sittin’ on Top of the World.” Call Me Lucky comes with a second CD that starts off with an acoustic rendering of the Beatles’ “She Said She Said” that gives the song a melancholy feel. The next five songs are alternate versions of those found on the first CD. “Everything on Top” is revisited as a flat-out rocker. More successful are “Nobody Home” and “Change Your Mind,” which are taken at a slower pace and place more emphasis on the lyrics. (16 songs, 60 minutes) Amy Rigby HHHH The Old Guys Southern Domestic Recordings Following a series of collaborative albums with her husband Wreckless

Eric, Amy Rigby is back as a solo artist with The Old Guys, the first CD under her own name since Little Fugitive in 2005. As a songwriter, Rigby imaginatively tackles such topics as aging, the contemporary arts, coming to grips with the past, and the joys of being alive. “From philiproth@gmail to rzimmerman@aol.com” imagines an email exchange between the famous novelist and the Nobel-winning songwriter and musician. “Spare a thought for the man who labors on the page,” Rigby sings in the voice of Roth as she considers the merits of music as literature over a rock beat. On “Playing Pittsburgh,” she reflects on performing as a middle-aged woman in the hometown she left as a teenager. The spirited title track serves as a tribute to those who endure on their own terms, while “One Off ” celebrates individualism as she declares, “There’ll never be another you.” The reflective “Robert Altman” praises the filmmaker who bucked the Hollywood system to stay true to his artistic vision. Wreckless Eric isn’t absent from the album. He serves as producer and adds an edginess and sonic muscle to the music with electric guitars on “New Sheriff ” and “Slow Burner.” (12 songs, 44 minutes) Janiva Magness HHH1/2 Love Is an Army Blue Elan Records Better to light a candle that curse the darkness. In a divided world, that observation serves as the underlying message on Love Is an Army, the 14th album from Janiva Magness. The country/folk title track, one of four songs she co-wrote, offers a soothing message for the spirit on both the personal and political level. “There’s no divine inspiration,” she sings with a sense of urgency. “Something else calls us here and our hearts know what to do.” The call-and-response vocals suggest a community coming together.

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The bluesy “Hammer,” bolstered by Charlie Musselwhite’s harmonica, serves as a testimony to the power of persistence. “You’ve got to keep swinging until the walls come down,” Magness sings. With the gospel-flavored “Some Kind of Love,” Magness urges her listeners not to give up and fight for change. Magness makes good use of her musical guests. Delbert McClinton joins her for a heartfelt rendition of “What I Could Do.” Pedal steel guitarist Rusty Young of Poco provides a lift for the romantic yearning of “On and On.” (12 songs, 45 minutes) Sue Foley HHH1/2 The Ice Queen Stony Plain Records Born in Canada, Sue Foley established herself musically in Austin, Texas. She returned to the Lone Star State to record The Ice Queen with a group of Texas musicians. The resulting album allows her to shine in a band and solo format, spotlighting her work on electric and acoustic guitar. The sultry “Come to Me,” which features guitarist Charlie Sexton, finds Foley singing with a smoldering intimacy that recalls Lucinda Williams. The bluesy title track clocks in at just over six minutes and gives Foley a chance to stretch out instrumentally and vocally. She projects a mood of rollicking desperation on “Run” as Foley and the rhythm section of upright bassist Johnny Bradley and drummer George Rains lock into a groove. Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top adds a

bluesy growl to “Fool’s Gold,” a lively duet with Foley, while the five-piece Texas Horns provide an emotional depth on “If I Have Forsaken You.” On the CD’s final three songs, Foley switches gears. “Death of a Dream,” a rueful ballad, finds her successfully venturing into cabaret territory. “The Dance” allows her to display her flamenco skills on acoustic guitar, while she wraps up the album with a spirited folk-styled rendition of Mother Maybelle Carter’s “Cannonball Blues.” (12 songs, 53 minutes) Jeffrey Gaines HHH1/2 Alright Omnivore Recordings After a 15-year break between studio albums, Jeffrey Gaines has released Alright, a welcome return with a CD that mixes rock, pop and a touch of folk that plays to his strengths as a songwriter and distinctive vocalist. The tuneful and upbeat “Feel Alright” starts off the album on a reassuring note, while “Firefly Hollow” features some Tom Petty-styled guitar work from Val McCallum and producer Chris Price. The melodic “No Longer” shows the bittersweet side of Gaines’ writing, while the use of violin and cello adds a wistful feeling to “Children’s Games.” A Harrisburg native and currently a Bryn Mawr resident, Gaines is backed by drummer Pete Thomas and bassist Davey Faragher, the rhythm section for Elvis Costello. They provide a continuity to the sound, ranging from the full-throttle rocker “Promise of Passion” to the pop-oriented “Seems to Me.” Gaines shows his penchant for word play on “Bjorn Toulouse,” pronounced “Born to Lose,” and the ability to turn a phrase on “Yin and Yang.” “I know just where I’ve been, but who knows where I’m going,” he sings. Alright stands as an early contender for comeback album of the year. (10 songs, 36 minutes) n


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bob perkins

jazz library

American co-founders of The Jazztet, trumpeter Art Farmer and saxophonist Benny Golson visiting an urban renewal project on Chicago’s South Side, 1957.

ART FARMER THE LATE TRUMPET AND flugelhorn artist, Art Farmer, had a good number of musical accomplishments that he could look back on with pride. One of them involved his stay in the Lionel Hampton Band in the early 1950s, where he had the good fortune to be a member of the band’s trumpet section with the likes of Quincy Jones and Clifford Brown. Of course, all three had not yet evolved into greatness, but looking back on that time in their lives had to be a kick to each member when they were finally recognized and embraced by their jazz fellows and fans. Art Farmer and his twin brother Addison were born in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Their father was killed in a job-related accident, and shortly afterward the family moved to Phoenix, Arizona when Art and Addison were four years old. He became interested in music and tried out several instruments while attending grade school, and finally decided on the trumpet. Phoenix schools were segregated back then and had no courses in music education, so Art taught himself to read music while learning the trumpet. Addison was forced to learn his instrument, the bass fid32 n I C O N n M A R C H 2 0 1 8 n I C O N d v . C O M n f A C e b O O k . C O M / I C O N d v

dle, the same way. The family moved to Los Angeles in 1945, and the boys attended a high school where they received music instruction, and studied along with budding jazz giants Sonny Criss, Ed Thigpen, and Ernie Andrews. Art had been listening to, and was influenced by, the recordings of Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis and Fats Navarro. He decided to play this new music called bebop, so he quit school. His first gig was with the R&B band of Johnny Otis. There were long and short stints with other small and large bands, and, in between, odd jobs having nothing to do with music but helpful with room and board. Before joining Lionel Hampton’s band in 1952, Art wrote and recorded “Farmer’s Market” with the Wardell Gray Sextet. The song caused such a positive stir in the jazz community that the following year he was one of the most sought after trumpet players, recording under his own name, and working as a sideman with Horace Silver, Gerry Mulligan, Thelonious Monk and Charlie Mingus. He was now a firmly established entity in jazz music, and received applause from jazz critic Whitney Balliett, who wrote, “Art Farmer has become one of the few genuinely individual modern trumpeters. Nine out of ten modern trumpeters are true copiers of Dizzy Gillespie or Miles Davis.” Art and saxophonist Benny Golson formed the Jazztet in 1959, which enjoyed a successful run until 1963. Addison, was a member of the group, as was pianist McCoy Tyner. (Ironically, 1963 was the same year that Addison died from a brain aneurism.) When someone asked how he and Addison could tell themselves apart, Art, with tongue-in-cheek, replied: “When I wake up in the morning I pick up the bass. If I can’t play it, I know I must be Art.” After the Jazztet, he established associations with musicians Jim Hall and multi-instrumentalist Jimmy Heath. He toured Europe a couple of times before moving there permanently in 1968, and often said, “I’m traveling 90 percent of the time. I can live anywhere. It’s just a matter of getting to the airport.” Art Farmer will be remembered as an excellent trumpet player who switched to flugelhorn toward the latter part of his career because of its warmer sound. To paraphrase an Ellington composition, with the flugelhorn, Art began to play in a “mellower tone.” He had a son by his first marriage who tragically died at a young age; his second marriage ended in divorce; and his third wife, with whom he had a son, died from cancer in 1992. Art Farmer died in 1999 at age 71 in Manhattan, his second home. n Bob Perkins is a writer and host of an all-jazz radio program that airs on WRTI-FM 90.1 Monday through Thursday night from 6 to 9 and Sunday, 9 to 1.


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harper’s FINDINGS

INDEX

Those who believe in a just world are more likely to behave dishonestly. People think themselves to be morally superior even beyond their self-inflation of other positive qualities. Four fifths of 1 percent of American adolescents engage in chronic self-trolling. The most common known motivation for doxing is justice. Voting is not a crime deterrent. An odd shape does not reliably predict whether a district is gerrymandered. In Britain, only 17 percent of the public trust politicians, while 94 percent trust nurses and 64 percent trust the man in the street. People with an analytic cognitive style are less prone to conspiracy theories, but only if they value logic and evidence. Basic human social instincts—such as free-rider detection, fairness-based partner choice, and ownership intuitions—influence folk-economic beliefs. Attitudes of progressive mutualism in wildlife management face rising populist sentiments that call for a return to traditional, human-centered policy. Sea slugs practice kleptopredation. Salamanders in vernal pools can be lured with glow sticks. Plant scientists discovered why seeds form sprouts in the dark. Researchers warned of the loss of night.

Estimated average number of arthropod species living in a US home: 100 Estimated portion of pet reptiles that die within a year of being brought home: 3/4 Length, in months, of the Copenhagen Zoo’s waiting period for owners requesting to feed their dead horses to the lions: 3 Minimum number of soldiers who fought in the Battle of Stalingrad whose bodies were found last year: 975 Minimum number of South Koreans currently imprisoned for refusing compulsory military service: 400 Of Israelis: 3 Number of US veterans who have been waiting more than thirty years for decisions on disability-benefits appeals: 22 Who have been waiting more than fifty years: 2 Number of helicopters the United States announced that it would give to Afghanistan’s air force: 159 Number of trained flight crews in the Afghan military: 4 Number of US civilian colleges that have received government funding for intelligence-studies programs: 45 Minimum number of US universities that received funding from the Charles Koch Foundation in 2016: 300 Number of classroom teachers on Forbes Magazine’s 2018 30 Under 30 Education list: 0 Years of Irish-language study that are required in Irish schools: 14 Portion of Irish who feel confident speaking the language: 3/10 Minimum number of words catalogued by the Dictionary of American Regional English before it lost its funding last year: 60,000 Percentage of Britons aged 18 to 25 who find it easier to express themselves in emoji than in words: 72 Portion of Australians who have had an intimate photo or video posted to social media without their consent: 1/10 Amount the US Treasury has paid congressional staff in legal settlements since 2008: $5,963,825 Percentage by which the first FBI crime report under Donald Trump contained fewer data tables than the previous year’s: 58 Estimated portion of US workers whose employers do not grant paid leave for jury duty: 2/5 Amount guaranteed in daily payment for serving on a jury in Arkansas: $50 In Kansas: $10 Amount the federal government spent between 2006 and 2016 responding to extreme weather: $357,000,000,000 Minimum number of Americans who registered for federal disaster aid last year: 4,764,974 Average annual number over the previous decade: 456,998 Number of days by which US winters have grown shorter since 1895: 14 Portion of the global population who cannot see the Milky Way because of light pollution: 1/3 Percentage change in the level of glyphosate, an herbicide, in Americans’ urine since 1993: +1,200 Percentage of Americans who stream movies and television outside the home who have done so in a public restroom: 12 Hours that a driverless bus in Las Vegas operated before getting into an accident: 1 Portion of US drivers who do not know how to change a tire: 1/5 Average cost of traffic congestion to a US driver in 2016: $1,400 Date on which Virginia opened express toll lanes to ease traffic on I-66: 12/4/17 Maximum price of a one-way commute into Washington that day: $34.50 Amount of funding for the MTA that NYC mayor Bill de Blasio said he would raise this year at an October event: $700,000,000 Number of minutes by which his subway to the event was delayed: 10 Date on which Japan’s Metropolitan Intercity Railway Company issued an apology for a train departing early: 11/14/17 Number of seconds before the departure time that the train left: 20

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Doctors questioned the practice of string tying as the preferred method for removing babies’ superfluous fingers. A study of 680 men who presented at a Burmese clinic with complications from penile self-injection of mineral oil found that 22 percent suffered from purulent secretion. A Taiwanese man presented with pornography-induced headaches. A study of Nigerian secondary school students found 20 percent to be suffering from Brain Fag Syndrome. Engineering students are more susceptible than social-science students to the Macbeth Effect. Schizophrenics may be helped by talking to a digital avatar who represents their auditory hallucinations. Neurologists identified a connectome pattern unique to seafaring sailors. High levels of hair cortisol predict postpartum depression. Low GPA at age sixteen predicts high suicide risk among middle-aged Swedes. Synesthesia fades with age, and oversharing increases.

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Scientists warned that politicians underestimate the extent of public belief in global warming; that the world’s forests are now sufficiently depleted that they are emitting rather than absorbing carbon; that the atmospheric CO2 rise in 2016 was 50 percent higher than the average increase in the preceding ten years; that previous warming models may have underestimated the coolness of prehistoric oceans, which would mean the current rate of climate change is without precedent in the past 100 million years; and that rising temperatures are stupefying bearded dragons. Vikings, who may have adorned some of their textiles with the name of Allah, may also have spread pre-medieval English leprosy through their trade in red squirrels. An analysis of 1,347 eastern towhees, field sparrows, grasshopper sparrows, horned larks, and red-headed woodpeckers found that the first decade of the twentieth century was the time of peak sootiness in the US manufacturing belt. Archaeologists praised the craftsmanship of the Pylos Combat Agate, which was uncovered in the tomb of the Griffin Warrior. Muon radiography revealed a vast void in the Great Pyramid. Rising wealth inequality predicted the collapse of ancient societies. The First Apocalypse of James was preserved in its original Greek. The Bakhshali Manuscript was found to contain a true zero. Welsh mountain ewes can distinguish Jake Gyllenhaal from other white men. Coconut crabs, whom some suspect of having eaten Amelia Earhart, were reported to have killed a sleeping redfooted booby.

“Harper’s Index” is a registered trademark. SOURCES: 1 California Academy of Sciences (San Francisco); 2 Clifford Warwick (London); 3 Copenhagen Zoo (Denmark); 4 Office of the Press Service of the Governor of Volgograd Oblast (Russia); 5,6 Amnesty International (NYC); 7,8 US Department of Veterans Affairs; 9,10 US Department of Defense; 11 Michael Landon-Murray, University of Colorado Colorado Springs; 12 Charles Koch Foundation (Arlington, Va.); 13 Forbes Magazine (Jersey City, N.J.); 14,15 Conradh na Gaeilge (Dublin); 16 Joan Hall, University of Wisconsin–Madison; 17 TalkTalk Mobile (London); 18 Office of the eSafety Commissioner (Sydney); 19 US Congress Office of Compliance; 20 Federal Bureau of Investigation (Clarksburg, W.Va.); 21 Bureau of Labor Statistics (Washington); 22,23 National Center for State Courts (Williamsburg, Va.); 24 US Government Accountability Office; 25,26 Federal Emergency Management Agency; 27 National Centers for Environmental Information (Asheville, N.C.); 28 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Washington); 29 Paul J. Mills, University of California, San Diego; 30 Netflix (Los Angeles); 31 City of Las Vegas; 32 American Automobile Association (Heathrow, Fla.); 33 INRIX (Kirkland, Wash.); 34,35 Virginia Department of Transportation (Richmond); 36,37 Office of the Mayor of New York City; 38,39 Metropolitan Intercity Railway Company (Tokyo).

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The Los Angeles Times

a

SUNDAY CROSSWORD PUZZLE

PT EXERCISE

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By Matt McKinley

ACROSS 1 6 10 15 19 20 21 22 23 26 27 28 29 31 32 33 34 37

Photo: Stephane Tabet

40 41 45 46 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 58 60 62 65 66 67 70 73 75 76 78 81 82 83 84 85 88 89 90 91

Peaks Two-letter pop group Prepares potatoes, in a way Card in a wallet Zagreb native Vanishing sound Seating option It gives you the big picture Most highly regarded seasoning? Side Call for icing, maybe Author Binchy Limo amenity Literally, “shady side” Like two Beethoven piano sonatas Groom on a 1952 Life cover B, in a sandwich Bridget Riley’s “Movement in Squares,” e.g. 23rd of 24 Gets more friendly, with “up” __ collar Brusque orchestral violinists? Alley in comics Soft shoe Portends Bush boss Singer DiFranco Card game shout “Trinity” novelist “__ Not There”: Zombies hit Child with a sponsor, maybe Homer’s “Northeaster,” for one Wall covers Quick quality Italian noble family Actress Helen with her personal programmer? One of a program dozen Big-eyed bird “Tristram Shandy” author Bag by the barbecue Lit Honey beverage “Hamilton” award 97-Across output Holiday drink Knockoff hr. Glittery rock Logician’s letters Granite St. campus Kids responsible for breakfast

bread? 94 Town 95 Low choristers 97 See 83-Across 98 Golf bag set 99 “Not a chance!” 100 Pie nut 102 Kiss at the mall, briefly 103 Security briefing org. 104 Lunch with fish 107 Large crosses 109 Head honcho, e.g. 113 Finished 114 Well-ventilated chef’s hat? 117 It’s often stained 118 Language that gives us “kayak” 119 “ The Clan of the Cave Bear” author 120 Old Eurasian rulers 121 Wine adjective 122 Ideal areas 123 Letters before Q? 124 Limited-choice, as a question

DOWN 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 24 25 30 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40

John follower Sticking point? Extra Near the start Yalta Conference notable Informal pricing words __ vivant High time __ de coeur: amorous relationship Forgo Put on Musician’s suffix Pipes and such Welcome Former “Today” co-host Source of film trivia Complex story Lumberyard supplier Staple __ Doesn’t hold back Ski resort refreshment? It borders three oceans Mystify Does penance (for) Chocolate-loving gang? Rex in the classics It may be given with a bow Saddlebag carrier Radio tuning shortcut

34 n I C O N n M A R C H 2 0 1 8 n I C O N d v . C O M n f A C e b O O k . C O M / I C O N d v

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42 Measurement for meat rotating on a spit? 43 Like many Bing Crosby records 44 Slant 46 Sacred scroll 47 Got hot online 48 Joke 51 Florida NFLer 56 Words often about details 57 Yogi Bear co-creator 59 CD part 61 Bastes, say 63 Talking point? 64 Educates 68 Lures 69 Straights and flushes 71 Place to grab a bite 72 Promise 74 Randy Johnson and Aroldis Chapman 77 Deli choice 78 Oscar __ 79 O’Neill’s daughter 80 Giuseppe’s god 86 Wanderer 87 80%-Disney-owned channel 88 Nats pitcher González 92 Done with 93 Slow and steady 94 Just barely, at the track 96 Animated

99 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108

Powerful Adorable one “Dead __ Society”: film Half-__: coffee order Stink Middle eye layer Part of the woods? Really mess up Hit hard

109 110 111 112

Shed Start of a sad tale Bird related to the noddy Brand that’s a homophone of its company’s initials 115 N.Y. neighbor 116 Where some pounds are spent: Abbr.

Answer to February’s puzzle, SUBSTITUTE MEASURES

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agenda

CALL TO ARTISTS

register for the hunterdon Art tour (thAt.) the open studios weekend will be May 4-6, 2018. thAt 2017 was a spectacular success. two hundred people came to the exhibition; over fifty artists participated and a lot of art was sold.  learn more and link to registration @ thehunterdonarttour.com FINE ART

thrU 4/7 2nd Annual Juried show, printmakers. bethlehem house contemporary Art gallery, 459 Main st., bethlehem, pA. 610-419-6262. bethlehemhousegallery.com thrU 4/10 katya grokhovsky: system failure. opening reception 2/14, 56:30pm, performances 3/14 & 4/10, 5-6pm, public artist talk 3/21, 5-6pm. Martin Art gallery, baker center for the Arts, Muhlenberg college, 2400 West chew street, Allentown, pA. muhlenberg.edu/gallery thrU 4/14 hypothetically. lafayette Art galleries, lafayette college, easton, pA. 610-330-5361. galleries.lafayette.edu. thrU 5/12 lalla essaydi. the trout gallery/the Art Museum of dickenson college, carlisle, pA. troutgallery.org thrU 5/20 the particular past. opening reception 2/14, 5-6:30pm. Martin Art gallery, baker center for the Arts, Muhlenberg college, 2400 West chew street, Allentown, pA. Muhlenberg.edu/gallery 3/10-4/15 Jean childs buzgo, solo exhibition. opening receptions, 3/10, 58pm & 3/11, 1-4pm. silverman gallery bucks county impressionist Art, in buckingham green on route 202, 4920 york rd.,

holicong, pA. 215-794-4300. silvermangallery.com

484-664-3333. Muhlenberg.edu/theatre

DANCE

4/5-4/15 dictators 4 dummies, a new musical satire by christopher shorr. touchstone theater, 321 east 4th st., bethlehem, pA. 610-867-1689. touchstone.org

3/16-3/18 dance ensemble concert. Act 1 performing Arts, desales University, 2755 station Ave., center valley, pA. 610-282-3192. desales.edu/act1 THEATER

3/9 erth’s dinosaur Zoo, family friendly. 7:30 pM, free event parking attached to center. Zoellner Arts center, lehigh University, 420 e. packer Ave., bethlehem, pA. 610-758-2787. Zoellnerartscenter.org 3/23 the Midtown Men, four stars from the original cast of broadway’s Jersey boys. 7:30 pM, state theatre, 453 northampton st., easton, pA. 610-252-3132, 1-800999-stAte. statetheatre.org 3/24 romeo & Juliet, Moscow festival ballet. 7:00 pM, free event parking attached to center. Zoellner Arts center, lehigh University, 420 e. packer Ave., bethlehem, pA. 610-758-2787. Zoellnerartscenter.org 3/29-3/31 bedlam. saint Joan. hamlet. stripped-down stagings by nyc’s most exhilarating theater company. Williams center, lafayette college, easton, pA. Williams-center.org 4/5-4/7 shrek the Musical, Jr. civic theatre of Allentown, 527 n. 19th st., Allentown, pA. 610-433-8903. civictheatre.com 4/5-4/8 glory, a new adaptation of shakespeare’s henry vi tetralogy. Muhlenberg theatre & dance, 2400 chew st., Allentown, pA.

4/10 david sedaris, notations. 7:30 pM free event parking attached to center. Zoellner Arts center, lehigh University, 420 e. packer Ave., bethlehem, pA. 610-7582787. Zoellnerartscenter.org CONCERTS

3/4 Moonlight in empty rooms, a musical portrait of the artwork of Alexander volkov. one third of ticket sales will be donated to latin American legal defense and education fund to serve low income latino immigrant communities of Mercer county. 7:30 pM, 1867 sanctuary Arts and cultural center, 101 scotch rd., ewing, nJ. 609-3926409. 1867sanctuary.org 3/4 pennsylvania sinfonia orchestra, "An Afternoon with Mozart." sinfonia virtuosi with simon Maurer, violin and Agnès Maurer, viola. 4:00 p.m., christ lutheran church, 1245 W. hamilton st., Allentown, pA. All-Mozart program. tickets- $20-$35 in advance/at door. 610-434-7811. www.pAsinfonia.org 4/3 eliezer gutman, violin, concertmaster, in collaboration with the Allentown symphony. 12:10 pM, Arts at st. John’s, st. John’s lutheran church, 37 so. fifth st., Allentown, pA. visit stjohnsallentown.org/arts-at-st-johns or phone 610-435-1641

4/7 pennsylvania sinfonia orchestra, "sonic transformations." pianist Michael gurt with full chamber orchestra. Music by beethoven, franck, shostakovich, Wagner. 7:30 p.m., first presbyterian church, 3231 W. tilghman st., Allentown, pA. tickets- $20-$35 in advance/at door. 610-434-7811. www.pAsinfonia.org

3 9 10 17 24 29 31

Albert cummings scott sharrard tartan terrors (parade Weekend event) kilmaine saints (patty’s day celebration) chicago Authority (the music of chicago) emi sunshine the big fat Meanies (40 story radio tower presents)

MARCH 3 low cut connie 4 lehigh valley Music Awards 6 deer tick 8 tab benoit’s Whiskey records revue 9 comedian ryan hamilton 10 scythian 18 irish comedy tour 23-25 blast furnace blues fest 31 comedian roy Wood, Jr

APRIL 5 billy cobham crosswinds project 6 Mipso with special guest tom brusseau 7 david lindley 8 dangerMuffin with special guests serene green 12-15 the 2nd Annual Jim thorpe independent film festival 19 eckley Miner’s village benefit with the Jim thorpe premiere of Molly Maguires Movie 20 Arjun 21 Who’s next (Ultimate tribute to one of rock’s greatest bands, the Who) 27 Martin carthy and John doyle 28 kick: the inxs experience with guests doUble vision tribute to foreigner 28 Mrs. o’brien’s guide to the golden rule

APRIL 5 steve earle & the dukes

EVENTS

4/10 Jonathan clark, principal horn, in collaboration with the Allentown symphony. 12:10 pM, Arts at st. John’s, st. John’s lutheran church, 37 so. fifth st., Allentown, pA. visit stjohnsallentown.org/arts-atst-johns or phone 610-435-1641 4/27 Westminster concert bell choir, 40th Anniversary concert. cathedral Arts, cathedral church of the nativity, 321 Wyandotte st., bethlehem, pA. 610-865-0727. nativitycathedral.org MUSIKFEST CAFÉ 101 founders Way, bethlehem 610-332-1300 Artsquest.org

MAUCH CHUNK OPERA HOUSE 14 W. broadway, Jim thorpe, pA mcohjt.com 570-325-0249 MARCH 2 the Weeklings

3/11 lehigh valley Arts council presents young at Art, a fun-filled day of arts exploration for kids and their families. Admission free, 10AM-2pM. penn state lehigh valley, center valley, pA. lvartscouncil.org/young-at-art n

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Profile for ICON Magazine

ICON March 2018  

ICON, a sophisticated yet unpretentious, quirky yet serious, cultural magazine with a focus on entertainment, fine and performing arts, musi...

ICON March 2018  

ICON, a sophisticated yet unpretentious, quirky yet serious, cultural magazine with a focus on entertainment, fine and performing arts, musi...