Music

Billy Stritch is so many things that it’s difficult to figure where to start in conversation. Along with composing platinum-plated accidental hits for Reba McEntire and Patti LaBelle (the same song, “Does He Love You?”) and other sophisticated tunes that could belong in the Great American Songbook, Stritch has famously played piano and arranged material for Liza Minnelli.

  Mainly though, he’s an inventive singing, piano-banging interpretive artist whose reputation places him high atop the cabaret mountain. Before he hits Dino’s Backstage & the Celebrity Room in Glenside (March 30-31) along with cabaret avatar Marilyn Maye, Stritch called PGN from San Francisco to discuss his new show, a career composing for famous women and what makes a good collaborator.

Philadelphia’s Rachel Dispenza and Lauren DeLucca, the dry wry local punk duo Coping Skills, are a non-binary force (Dispenza is genderfluid; DeLucca is agender; both use they/them pronouns) in their daily lives. When it comes to their work — albums such as “Relatable Web Content,” and “Worst New Music,” — it is a wearily humorous, monotone vocal world filled with death, taxes, college loans, weather, religion, us

Meshell Ndegeocello

“Ventriloquism”

Naïve

At first glance, just the song selection on this new all-covers album looks like a dope mix-tape of classic throwback ’80s and ’90s jams. But anyone familiar with Meshell Ndegeocello’s style and idiosyncratic take on neo-soul, R&B and music in general, knows she is going to take the listeners on a unique journey and throw them surprising curves all along the way. And they are all refreshing and amazing.

    Out singer, songwriter and musician Meshell Ndegeocello is back with her latest effort, “Ventriloquism,” a covers album that proudly brandishes unmistakable queer iconography on the cover and features songs — some classic, some a little more obscure — by artists ranging from George Clinton and Sade to Prince and Janet Jackson. 

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