Photos: The Spring Standards at Arden Gild Hall

This weekend, The Spring Standards rocked a sold-out Arden Gild Hall for the venue’s eighth annual Boxing Day show. The band, whose primary members, Heather Robb, James Cleare and James Smith, are from Wilmington, put on an expectedly stellar show of pop rock. With undertones of Fleetwood Mac, The Beatles and their own unique aesthetic of keyboard, guitar and percussion, they enchanted the festive venue. Highlights included their brilliant “Sharks” and an acoustic segment that featured the beautiful singalong “So Simple So True,” among many other outstanding moments.



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15 Outstanding Philly Arts Moments in 2015

Ticket arts writers weigh in on what they think are the most important local arts moments of 2015. 

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Lisette Oropesa’s in Opera Philly’s “Traviata”

Brava, Diva!

It’s been a banner year generally for Opera Philadelphia, but Lisette Oropesa’s Violetta in Traviata (her first performance of the role) was special. The beautiful young soprano met every vocal demand — fiendishly difficult as they may have been – and acted it superbly. Opera lovers around the world pay attention to debuting Violettas – the great ones are so rare. Here in Philly, we found one. —David Fox

Philadelphia Film Society Saves the Prince

The gorgeous Prince Theater seemed to be in quite a bit of limbo: The resident production company had vacated a number of years ago, and their presentations were random at best. With PFS purchasing the building, the theater has becoming a bustling hub not only for movies (it’s now the only mainstream movie theater in Center City) but performing arts, and their Razz Room is hosting some of the hottest NYC cabaret acts around. —Bryan Buttler

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Watch: Local Youth Sing With Kenny Rogers at Valley Forge Casino

Photo by HughE Dillon

Photo by HughE Dillon

Country legend Kenny Rogers performed his “Once Again Its Christmas” tour Friday night at Valley Forge Casino. This is the 34th year that Rogers has taken his Christmas concert on the road, and this show sold out, with 1,700 fans in the house.

He sang hits like “Lucille,” “The Gambler” and “Lady” along with tunes from his new holiday album, Once Again It’s Christmas, which is his sixth solo holiday LP since 1998’s Christmas From the Heart. In 1984, he released a pretty fantastic duets album with Dolly Parton called Once Upon a Christmas.

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18 New and Juicy Music Memoirs You Need to Read

No, Rihanna and Kendrick Lamar haven’t written their memoirs yet, but just wait a few years. Seems like every musician is sitting down these days at his or her computer to type out their stories. (Though in 2013, it was reported that Adele rejected a seven-figure book deal with Harper Collins because she thought she was too young at age 24. Yup.) But even iconoclastic Grace Jones, who famously declared she’d never write up her life story, published hers in September. The title? I’ll Never Write My Memoirs. Ha!

We’ve compiled a list of 18 juicy rock-and-roll memoirs published this year. Get your friends and family members what they really want: a book full of drama, bad choices, tattoos, alcohol, sex, celebrities, crazy fans, artistic genius, redemption and hard-earned wisdom.



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Photos: The Arcs at Philadelphia Fillmore



Some videos from the show. More here.

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10 Awesome Christmas Songs You’ve Probably Never Heard

best-christmas-songs-robert-drakeMost folks have a love-hate relationship with Christmas songs.

Perhaps it’s the feeling of being forced to embrace the season regardless of what life has thrown your way the past 11 months. Or maybe it’s simply that many Christmas songs are so sickeningly sweet that you might as well carry a NovoLog insulin pen just in case.

But for the 200 or so Christmas songs we all know, there are thousands more that have rarely been heard — from renditions of classic songs to original tunes that embrace the season, warts and all.

For the past 22 years I have had the honor of hosting The Night Before on XPN, a live radio extravaganza. Every December 24th, I take-over WXPN (88.5FM) in Philadelphia for 24 hours nonstop to play anything I want from my insane collection of holiday music that has grown over the past 30 years.

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WATCH: Former Producer Tells Nicki Minaj Not to Marry Meek Mill

First off, I apologize. This video is more than a little irritating. It shows Noel “Detail” Fisher, a music producer who’s created big hits for folks like Beyoncé (“Drunk in Love”) and Lil Wayne (“How to Love”), coming out of a club and being accosted by TMZ reporters. He’s — allegedly! — intoxicated and does some embarrassing song and dance stuff for the cameras, but there’s once instance in the clip that may be of interest to some of us in Philly.

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7 Concerts Not To Miss in Philly This Week

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This week, Philly’s music scene has a great blend of local and out-of-town talents. See Philly folkers Dirty Dollhouse, or transplant bands like Three Man Cannon. Relive the classic sound of Led Zeppelin with Jason Bonham and his band, get a taste of Dan Auerbach’s new group, The Arcs, or check out inspirational R&B singer India.Arie on her Christmas tour. Scroll down for all our picks, or click through to the day of the week you’re most interested in.

MONDAY | TUESDAY | WEDNESDAY | THURSDAY | FRIDAY | SATURDAY | SUNDAY

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Adele Playing Two Shows at Wells Fargo Center Next Year

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With the recent announcement of her European tour, Adele left many of us wondering if she’d be coming to the other side of the pond on her tour to promote her new, record-breaking album 25. Well, she is.

On her website, the British songbird announced a lineup of U.S. and Canada shows that begin July 5th in Saint Paul. Philadelphia is her first East Coast stop, where she’ll play two shows at Wells Fargo Center on September 9th and 10th. Tickets go on sale this Thursday, December 17th at 10 am. They can be purchased through ComcastTIX.com, by phone, at 1-800-298-4200, or at the Wells Fargo Center box office. You can also buy on Ticketmaster here.

For a full list of dates, go here.

Ryan Adams Spent the Weekend in Doylestown

Singer-songwriter Ryan Adams enjoyed the 60-plus-degree weather in Bucks County this weekend, where he captured some serene images from Doylestown and shared them on Instagram. All the photos are rather vague, not giving much hint as to why he was there, but given their lonesome, introspective theme, one could only assume he was just trying to escape the hustle bustle — and the annoyance of having his divorce with pop star Mandy Moore blasted over the gossip mags again this week. Several outlets are reporting about how she’s pushing for financial support to take care of their menagerie of pets.

His comment on the first photo — which appears to have been taken around sunset on Friday — was a simple “To the new days,” hinting that maybe the yearlong D-I-V-O-R-C-E proceedings may actually be coming to a close soon.

To the new days

A photo posted by Ryan Adams (@misterryanadams) on

Fans instantly started chiming in, telling him to visit such-and-such guitar shop or tagging other friends to let them know that “Ryan Adams is flitting around Doylestown.” One person from Philly commented “You may as well just head down into Philadelphia … It’s got a vibe I’m sure you’ll dig on.” Read more »

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