Music

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? 

It’s always fascinating to find the singular sensation that is Nellie McKay — risk-taking vocalist/composer in a contemporary pop/jazz vein, Bernie Sanders supporter, dog lover, one-time Poconos native — elbows-deep in one of her several character-driven, live showcases.

 

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.

When you talk with Eddie Bruce — the young, but old-school-stylized nightclub Philadelphia vocalist who splits his career between wedding singing and cabaret crooning — you can feel the urgent passion in his voice as he addresses his work and his life.

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