Music

“Who knows what’s next musically? Lennie didn’t. And, neither do I.”

It’s 2:30 a.m., and Philadelphia pianist Andy Kahn is talking about fellow jazz pianist Lennie Tristano, whose improvisational melodies and arrangements, though deeply and rivetingly complex (atonal at times), focused on beauty and freedom. From the simplicity of a love song such as “I Surrender Dear” (with lyrics such as “I may seem proud, I may act gay, It’s just a pose, I’m not that way”) to albums such as 1962’s strange, stirring “The New Tristano,” the late pianist-composer is a portrait in risk and unique display.

Depeche Mode

“Spirit”

Columbia/Mute Records

It’s nothing short of amazing how electro-pop pioneers Depeche Mode has evolved and stayed interesting and ahead of the curve in its 35-plus years of making music. From their early new-wave and synthpop sound, they pushed into industrial and alternative-rock territory by the late 1980s and early ’90s, and then, as the new millennium came and went, into a sound that kept pace with the constant shifts in tastes, all with an admirable level of sophistication. Who else from that genre and the era besides Duran Duran (a comparison we’re pretty sure Depeche Mode is sick of) can still put out albums and tour without being lumped into and packaged on some form of nostalgia circuit? 

 

Chrissy Tashjian wanted the audience to know where she was coming from. The lead singer and guitarist for the Philadelphia-based punk rock band Thin Lips vocalized her concern for the safety of LGBT youth and adults while on tour in Europe with The Superweaks and Modern Baseball, two other Philadelphia-based bands.

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