Joshua Thomas and His Obsession with Joni Mitchell

This is the (really old) YouTube video that started it all:

This cover of Joni Mitchell‘s “A Case of You,” by singer Joshua Thomas, caught the attention of Mitchell’s neighbor, who showed Mitchell an entire series of covers that Thomas uploaded to YouTube. Several months later, when Thomas met Mitchell at a concert, she immediately recognized him from the videos. Read more »

REVIEW: Taylor Swift Brings Down-Home Charm to Lincoln Financial Field

Photo by Jeff Fusco

Photo by Jeff Fusco

Last night was my first Taylor Swift concert, and I learned a Taylor Swift concert is many things. There are costume changes—10 by my count, over the course of two and a half hours—and each one will involve sequins or rhinestones or fringe, perhaps leather or thigh-high boots, and almost always an exposed midriff (though never, ever navel). There are Fitbit-like wristbands for each concertgoer that flash and flicker, creating a mesmerizing light show across the crowd. There are surprises, and for anyone attending tonight’s second sold-out show, beware of potential spoilers ahead. There is excessive pandering to the hometown, though most of the assembled will consider it bonding, and weirdly, I sort of did, too. And you will become a part of a 50,000-strong group therapy session. There is also music.

Read more »

Tickets to Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett at Borgata Go On Sale at 10AM

Via Shutterstock.

Via Shutterstock.

It’s Mother Monster like you’ve never heard her before: The epic duo of Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett are coming to the Borgata in Atlantic City on July 24 with their “Cheek to Cheek” tour, and tickets go on sale at 10AM this morning.

Unless you’ve been hiding under a giant rock, most likely you’ve heard and seen Gaga and Tony perform classic jazz hits from their duo album, which just won a Grammy on Sunday evening. It’s been said once, but it is worth saying again: This is amazing music, and we finally get to hear Gaga reach vocal heights outside of her pop routines. Case in point:

And we can’t forget the iconic Tony Bennett. At 88 years old, he can still croon like none other. The event is a perfect compliment to the Atlantic City resort’s new OUT at Borgata LGBT initiative, which includes plenty of travel and entertainment opportunities.

Tickets to the show run $125-250, and can be purchased here.

Aretha Franklin at the Kimmel Center: The Queen Took Us to Church

Aretha Franklin

From the outside, the Kimmel Center looked as it always does on Monday evening. But, on the inside, the Queen of Soul took everyone inside Verizon Hall (donned with a disco ball, mind you) to church.

The iconic Aretha Franklin, in her first public Philadelphia performance since her 2010 concert at the Mann Center with Condoleezza Rice, showed exactly what it means to be royalty: she donned a stunning floor-length sleeveless black and white sequin gown for the first half of her act, looking every inch a queen. Her opening number, a cover of “Higher and Higher,” roused the nearly sold-out crowd to their feet…as if they needed a reason to give Ms. Franklin a standing ovation. Read more »

Francois Zayas and Venissa Santi Win Kimmel Center Jazz Residency. See Them Perform Tonight

Francois Zayas and Venissa Santi

Francois Zayas and Venissa Santi

Tonight, Kimmel Center’s Commonwealth Plaza will be jamming to the sounds of two of Philly’s most talked about jazz artists, Francois Zayas and Venissa Santi, as part of the Sittin’ In performance series. The free jam session starts at 8 p.m. and also features the beats of DJ PHSH.

But there’s another reason why music lovers should head on down to Broad Street this evening: Zayas and Santi will be named the winners of the Kimmel Center jazz residency, a prestigious honor for the two musicians. Read more »

PHOTOS: “It Gets Better” Finale Concert at the Kimmel Center

Community Choir

The huge community choir performs the closing number of the “It Gets Better” concert at the Kimmel Center.

It was quite a Saturday evening to remember as the Kimmel Center wrapped up its weeklong “It Gets Better Project” residency with a concert featuring nothing less than a 150-piece choir comprised of various Philadelphia area singers and members of the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles. Concert goers were surrounded by some of Philly’s most renowned LGBTQ supporters, including State Representative Brian Sims and Kimmel Center CEO and President Anne Ewers. The musical event featured cover songs from the likes of Kelly Clarkson, Cher, Elton John, and Gnarls Barkley, amongst many others. We were there to capture the night’s festivities.



Why the Kimmel Center Got Involved With the “It Gets Better Project”

A scene from the It Gets Better concert.

A scene from the It Gets Better concert.

This week, the Kimmel Center presents the Philadelphia engagement of the “It Gets Better Project,” a series of performances, panels, and concerts that celebrate LGBTQ youth. Branded around the now-famous YouTube campaign encouraging young folks to embrace their identities and sexualities, the residency here in Philly includes partnerships with over 40 local community organizations. We had the chance to chat with Kimmel Artistic Director Jay Wahl about the project’s impact on the region and what exactly “It Gets Better” means to him. Read more »

Our Chat With Mimi Stillman, the Coolest Flute-Player in Philly

Mimi Stillman

Mimi Stillman

Mimi Stillman started playing flute when she was six years old after her mother, an amateur clarinetist, taught her how to play the recorder (remember those from elementary school?) and read music.

“I had fallen in love with the sound of the flute from being taken to concerts, hanging out at my brother’s youth orchestra rehearsals, and recordings, and told my parents I wanted to play it,” she recalls. This lead to Stillman studying at the New England Conservatory Preparatory School growing up in Boston, where she played youth orchestra and chamber ensembles from the time she was 9. At 12, she was the youngest wind player ever accepted into the prestigious Curtis Institute of Music, where she graduated with her Bachelor’s degree in music by the time she was 17. Read more »

Q&A: Out Singer-Songwriter Jo Stones

Jo Stones

Jo Stones

When you hear out singer-songwriter Jo Stones make some sweet love to a keyboard, you know the guy has got talent: The Philly Gayborhood favorite recently released his first single, “The Letter,” on iTunes, and will be spooking out listeners this Halloween at a free noontime concert at LOVE Park. We threw Jo some rapid-fire questions about his music, his performances, and his guilty pleasures. Read more »

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