Thursday, September 27, 2012

Go to a play, get a CD?

Sept. 28-30 is the final weekend for the funny and heartwarming "Almost, Maine" at dcp theatre in Salford Township. We're season ticketholders this year, and my fiancee says it's the very best of the bunch.
Pay attention to the recorded curtain and scene change music by North Carolina duo The Elftones. Yeah, Mara Shea and Roger Gold need a name that evokes Appalachian, Celtic and contra guitar and fiddle music -- which is what they do -- instead of awful Christmas lounge music, which is what their name sounds like they do.
The gentle waltzes from their "Mist-Covered Mountains" CD, in the words of the "Almost, Maine" playbill program, adds "a special dimension to this production," and makes for some terrific, instrumental, folk, chill out music. It rather belies the "fiery" and "high energy dance music" tags on their website.
Don't know how the dcp folks matched this music with the show, but it sure works. Some of the tunes are centuries old, like the timeless search for love and belonging that runs through all of the vignettes of the play, set in a fictional, remote New England town.  
 The album is available for $15 at the theater at 795 Ridge Road for the remaining shows at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $15.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Paying the cost to be the Boss

So I was feeling pretty proud of myself for getting a hot tip via Twitter and snagging tickets to Bruce Springsteen. My fervor for what man does was reignited by the exhibit "From Asbury Park to the Promised Land" at the National Constitution Center
But shortly thereafter Jay-Z had to steal the spotlight by announcing the Made in America concerts on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Nonetheless it was not going to keep me from enjoying my first Bruce concert.
Why the long hold out, you ask?
Since the turn of the century, I had questioned whether the price of a Bruce Springsteen ticket was worth it. Surely the 62-year-old Springsteen didn't have the same touch that made his concerts of the '70s and '80s the epic stuff of legend. That assumption was quite incorrect, and I could tell simply by following Bruce's Twitter feed @springsteen. Augmented by a formidable horn section, The E Street Band can still play for four solid hours without stopping, even after the deaths of Clarence Clemons and Danny Federici.  Bruce still fearlessly crowd surfs while singing several times during the show and directly engages his fans like nobody else you have ever seen, while continuing to release new music.
I was also surprised at the depth of the devotion of his Philly fans, seemingly knowing every lyric, even off of the new "Wrecking Ball" album.
The lone chink in Bruce's ironclad performance came while drumming up support for Philabundance and explaining the origins of the new song "We Are Alive." He repeated himself during the monologue to the point where someone near my section blurted out: "Get on with it!"     


Summertime Blues
Out in the Street
Sherry Darling
Hungry Heart
We Take Care of Our Own
Wrecking Ball
Death to My Hometown
Lost in the Flood
My City of Ruins
Spirit in the Night
Good Rockin' Tonight
Cadillac Ranch
I'm on Fire
Candy's Room
Mona/She's the One
Jack of All Trades
Human Touch
Working on the Highway
Shackled and Drawn
Waiting on a Sunny Day
Jersey Girl
The Rising
Land of Hope and Dreams/People Get Ready
We Are Alive
Thunder Road
Born to Run
Dancing in the Dark
10th Avenue Freeze Out
You Can't Sit Down
Twist and Shout

In case you missed the link, here's some *wow* Philly concert photos: