Now that Gamble & Huff are in the Rock-and-Roll Hall of Fame and Patti LaBelle is reforming her trio with Sarah Dash and Nona Hendryx, it's time for the rest of The Sound of Philadelphia crew to have fun in the sun. This event makes a nice counterpart to The Roots Picnic at Festival Pier in Philadelphia on the same day, the one with locals past (Santogold) and present (Diplo). The old-school at the Shore represents nearly all sides of TSOP's dynamic musical prism; socially relevant soul (the O'Jays), storming pre-disco R&B (the Blue Notes), the divas (Jean Carne) the boss men (Bunny Sigler) and the disco lolitas (Three Degrees) along with the vocal groups (Delfonics) and the wildly grand instrumentalists (MSFB) to round things out. But mostly it does what another great funkateer, George Clinton, said all great music should: It shows off one nation under the groove. Amen to that.
- A.D. Amorosi
The ghosts of British dream pop, circa 1988, will haunt the First Unitarian Church tonight. M83, from France, began around 2001 with a My Bloody Valentine obsession that was concerned more with sonics than songs, but on the new
Saturdays = Youth,
Anthony Gonzalez and friends, including cooing vocalist Morgan Kibby, step laterally toward the Cocteau Twins with shimmering and often catchy tunes celebrating teenage passions. Playful melodies like "Kim & Jessie" make it one of this year's pleasures. All those musical reference points also apply to Philly's A Sunny Day in Glasgow, who top Ben Daniels' dense instrumentation with the ethereal voices of his twin sisters, Robin and Lauren, and who will offer a taste of what they've been up to since last year's excellent
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- Steve Klinge
If in 1988 you'd bet on Mudhoney to be the last grunge band standing, you'd be rich - unlike the band members themselves. Their success has been measured more in influence than in sales, but the lean, nasty sound of eighth album,
The Lucky Ones,
shows the Seattle quartet is still going strong, day jobs and families notwithstanding. Inspired by a reissue of their debut EP,
, the rallying cry for a generation of flannel-wearing pedal-stompers, Mudhoney banged out the new album in three-and-a-half days. They may be ambivalent about the rewards of longevity, but
The Lucky Ones
suggests Mudhoney still have a few good years in them yet.
- Sam Adams
Despite the fact that they've released only four albums in 18 years of on-and-off existence, the Breeders' best songs sound effortless, as if they could have been knocked out in a matter of minutes. So the torpid, bottom-heavy sound of
brings a longtime listener up short. In the aptly named "Overglazed," Kim Deal's echoing vocals fight their way through a miasma of backward guitars and off-kilter drums, repeating, "I can feel it," over and over again, less out of conviction than desperation. The Pixies' re-and-disunion feeds into the sparse discordance of "German Studies," and "Regalame Esta Noche" is a sweet and melancholic take on a Spanish-language ballad, resonantly sung by Kim's sister, Kelly Deal. But most of the album's songs take several listens to reveal their sinister beauty. It's an uphill battle, but the view from the summit is a doozy.
- Sam Adams