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Just Announced: Rufus Wainwright will play an intimate show at The Foundry of The Fillmore on 5/20

Rufus Wainwright | photo via Facebook

This is a nice surprise – singer-songwriter, composer and overall ambitious artist Rufus Wainwright just announced a Philadelphia show Friday, May 20th, in the very intimate setting of The Foundry at The Fillmore Philadelphia. Wainwright’s forthcoming LP is the star-studded Take All My Loves, a collection of Shakespeare sonnets set to music to mark the 400th anniversary of The Bard’s passing; he’s also staging some performances of his Judy Garland tribute in New York and Toronto.

While details about this Philly gig are scarse, we imagine (given the humble confines) that this won’t be a decked-out event filled with pageantry and 36-piece orchestras. Most likely, the late show (it begins at 11 p.m., we’re guessing due to the voluminous Explosions in the Sky performing an early set in the main hall) will simply be Wainwright, a piano and a microphone, singing songs and telling stories – the ideal way to see him, really. Continue reading →

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Listen to Rufus Wainwright and Florence Welch duet on a Shakespeare sonnet

Cover art to Take All My Loves by Rufus Wainwright

Being a Rufus Wainwright fan means, in a lot of ways, sitting back, going along for the ride and trusting that the guy at the helm is going to steer the ship somewhere interesting.

In the past, that’s meant Judy Garland tribute concerts and full-scale operas as much as it’s meant some of the best pop singer-songwriter albums released this young century. His current outing, Take All My Loves: 9 Shakespeare Sonnets, is indeed an album setting The Bard’s poems to music in celebration of his 400th anniversary. So while it’s a safe bet we won’t hear any snappy gems like “The One You Love” or “Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk” on here, nor burning ballads like “Jericho” or “I Don’t Know What It Is,” there is a formidable guest list of collaborators involved. Continue reading →

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Travel through time with the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts (kicking off this Thursday, 3/28)

PIFAThe Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts gets underway this Thursday, March 28th and will run through April 27th.  With homebase returning to The Kimmel Center and a new theme of time travel this year, the month-long event will use performances, lectures and exihibitions to explore past moments in history including the discovery of America, the lunar landing and the fall of the Berlin Wall.  Below, check out a few musical highlights that you won’t want to miss, including a selection of free concerts happening in the Kimmel Center’s “Time Travel Plaza” (where you will also find a spiraling time machine).

Last Call at the Downbeat (4/5-4/13, Red Room at the Society Hill Playhouse):  Learn about Philadelphia’s jazz scene in the forties with this staged retrospective of trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie.  Watch a short video about the play from show producers Jazz Bridge below.

Prima! Rufus! Judy! (4/21, Verizon Hall): Rufus Wainwright reprises Judy Garland’s return to the stage with selections from her 1961 Carnegie Hall performance.  The evening will begin with excerpts from Wainwright’s own opera Prima Donna.  Watch Wainwright perform “Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart” below.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Kishi Bashi at the First Unitarian Church, XPN Welcomes Jeff Mangum to The Strand, XPN Welcomes Rufus Wainwright to the McCarter Theater, Cheers Elephant at Johnny Brenda’s

Violinist, singer and composer Kishi Bashi performs at the First Unitarian Church tonight.  Using his violin as a starting point, Bashi creates entirely new universes in his compositions with swirling loop sequences, layered vocals and atmospheric synth backdrops.  In addition to touring and collaborating with of Montreal, Regina Spektor, The Barr Brothers and Sondre Lerche, the Seattle native takes his sonic creations to new heights with occasional solo recordings like 2012’s 151a LP.  Tickets and information for tonight’s all-ages show with Plume Giant can be found here.  Watch Kishi Bashi perform “Manchester” from 151a below.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Titus Andronicus at First Unitarian Church, Rufus Wainwright at The Pullo Center, Kopecky Family Band at MilkBoy Philly, The Lawsuits at PhilaMOCA’s Tuesday Tune-Out, Des Ark at Goldilocks Gallery

Photo by Kyle Dean Reinford
New Jersey punk band Titus Andronicus make a stop in Philly tonight for a show at the First Unitarian Church that coincides with the release of their third studio album Local Business.  Led by Patrick Stickles, Titus Andronicus’ live shows are a force to be reckoned with and this one will be no exception, with support coming from hardcore punk outfit Ceremony and local post-punk band Psychic Teens.  Tickets to the all-ages show are $15 here; doors open at 8:00 p.m with music beginning at 8:30 p.m.  Below, watch a live-session video of Titus Andronicus’ “In a Big City” off of the new record.  Read Stickles thoughts on food fights, punk rock and Local Business in an interview with The Key here.

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Listen: Rufus Wainwright and Sharon Van Etten cover “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” (from the new Holdays Rule collection)


Just in time for the (imminent) holiday season, Rufus Wainwright has teamed up with Sharon Van Etten on the classic “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.” Listen to it below. The song is from a new collection called Holdays Rule being released on October 30th. The set boasts 17 all new recordings from fun., Paul McCartney, The Shins, The Civil Wars, Fruit Bats, Irma Thomas (with The Preservation Hall Jazz Band), cinematic rockers Calexico, Andrew Bird, Y La Bamba, Heartless Bastards, Holly Golightly, Eleanor Friedberger and The Head and the Heart. Check out the complete track listing below. Rufus Wainwright plays the Pullo Center in York, PA., on Tuesday, October 23rd and in Atlantic City at the Borgata on Friday, February 8th.

Track listing via Amazon.com
1. Sleigh Ride [fun.]
2. Wonderful Christmastime [The Shins]
3. Baby, It s Cold Outside [Rufus Wainwright featuring Sharon Van Etten]
4. The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire) [Paul McCartney]
5. (Everybodys Waitin For) The Man With The Bag [Black Prairie featuring Sallie Ford]
6. I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day [The Civil Wars]
7. Green Grows The Holly [Calexico]
8. We Need A Little Christmas [AgesandAges]
9. Thats What I Want For Christmas [Holly Golightly]
10. May Every Day Be Christmas [Irma Thomas with Preservation Hall Jazz Band]
11. Blue Christmas [Heartless Bastards]
12. Santa, Bring My Baby Back (To Me) [Eleanor Friedberger]
13. Its Beginning To Look Like Christmas [Fruit Bats]
14. Señor Santa (Mister Santa) [Y La Bamba]
15. O Come, O Come, Emmanuel [Punch Brothers]
16. What Are You Doing New Years Eve? [The Head and the Heart]
17. Auld Lang Syne [Andrew Bird]

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Mornin’ Old Sport, Jackson Browne; Rufus Wainwright postponed

If you missed out on scoring tickets to the now sold out Frank Ocean show at Union Transfer, fear not; there are myriad opportunities for you to get your music fix tonight.

Let’s start with Boston country/jazz-types Mornin’ Old Sport, who’ll be shacking up at PhilaMOCA along with a whole slew of good-time folky songsters. Also playing are local acts Liz & the Lost Boys, On the Water, and Joshua Alvarez. Admission is on a $7-10 sliding scale; show starts at 8. Listen to “Katie” from Mornin’ Old Sport’s forthcoming album below.

Singer-songwriter extraordinaire Jackson Browne will be plucking strings and crooning verses at the Academy of Music. Opening up the show is folk-and-fiddle hero Sara Watkins, whose latest album Sun Midnight Sun came out earlier this summer. Tickets are available here starting at $40. Stream “When It Pleases You”– from Sara Watkins’ latest album — below.

Rufus Wainwright and singer-songwriter Josh Ritter were scheduled to appear at the Festival Pier tonight. The show has been postponed, and a new date will be announced soon. Wainwright is touring to promote his latest album, Out Of The Game, out on Decca. Below, watch the video for the title track from Wrainwright’s Out Of The Game, featuring actress Helena Bonham Carter.

http://vimeo.com/40817785