Charli D'Amelio becomes first influencer with over 100 million followers on TikTok
Charli D'Amelio surpassed the 100-million-follower mark on TikTok on Sunday, November 22. The 16 year-old American is the first celebrity to hit such a milestone, overtaking established stars like Will Smith, Selena Gomez and even Kylie Jenner.Charli D'Amelio is entering TikTok history with over 100.7 million followers to date. Last September, the influencer had already entered the Guinness Book of records becoming the "first person to reach 50 million followers on TikTok." She reached that milestone on April 21, 2020. And within just eight months, the young American doubled her number of fans...
Movie review: 'Zappa' manages to capture spirit of legendary artist
Alex Winter’s “Zappa,” a documentary biopic of the experimental rock pioneer, composer, and activist Frank Zappa is a sprawling at times shaggy work, testing the outer limits of mood and tone, tangents and details. In fact, it’s a bit like a Frank Zappa song. The film reflects the work of the man himself thanks, in large part, to the wealth of archival material from the enormous Zappa vault, to which Winter and producer Glen Zipper were granted access by the Zappa family. The film is produced by Zappa’s son and current steward of the Zappa Family Trust, Ahmet Zappa (who also has a producer cre...
Tribune News Service
Commentary: Time travel to the rock 'n' roll election of 1976
The eyes of the nation are fixed on Georgia, with two U.S. Senate seats up for grabs. In a timely twist, the man who helped reshape the South’s political landscape is the subject of a new feel-good documentary just right for lockdown family viewing.“Jimmy Carter: Rock & Roll President” is a relevant history lesson during our current, painful presidential transition. Carter, 96, remains a powerful spokesman for the value of political decency. His Carter Center, which promotes human rights globally and typically monitors elections abroad, this past week observed the hand recount of the 2020 pres...
The Seattle Times
Promoting 'Fun,' Garth Brooks talks politics, pandemic and George Floyd
He’s been performing without live audiences, appearing on all kinds of TV programs and promoting his new album, “Fun,” which dropped Friday. But Garth Brooks isn’t having any fun himself.It was apparent in his voice over the telephone.“I understand these football games can go on without the crowd, and you hear the simulated audience and you forget. It just doesn’t work that way for concerts, man,” he said Wednesday. “Nothing replaces getting to play for people in the same room. That’s the fun about entertaining.”The country megastar insists that he misses concerts more than his millions of fan...
Star Tribune (Minneapolis)
A revelatory new recording of Gershwin's landmark Concerto in F
In 1949, pianist Oscar Levant released an LP of the most famous extended work for piano and orchestra ever penned by an American composer: George Gershwin’s Concerto in F (1925).The piece looms large in our popular culture thanks partly to Levant’s hyper-virtuoso performance of excerpts in the beloved Gene Kelly film musical “An American in Paris” (1951).Ever since Levant’s renditions on screen and record, his approach has stood as definitive – the interpretation against which all others are measured.Now there’s another that can stand alongside it.Pianist Kevin Cole, currently the country’s le...
If you're holiday shopping at indie bookstores, you'd better start now. Here's why
SEATTLE — If you typically do some of your holiday shopping at an independent bookstore, it’s time to start that shopping. Now.The holiday season is typically a highlight of the year for bookstores, with customers swarming in to support local businesses and check off the names on their shopping lists. But this year will be different. Booksellers are anticipating shortages of popular books, and delays in getting shipments. And pandemic restrictions mean that very few customers can enter a bookstore at a time — which might mean that if you show up at the last minute, you’ll be waiting in line ou...
The Seattle Times
Sun Ra Arkestra is now traveling the spaceways with their first studio album in decades. We caught up with them at home in Philly.
PHILADELPHIA — Marshall Allen is sitting on the stoop of the Pharaoh’s Den, the Germantown rowhouse that’s been band headquarters of the Sun Ra Arkestra since 1968.Resplendent in a red-and-gold vest, the bearded 96-year-old Arkestra leader is seated beside his righthand man, fellow alto sax player Knoel Scott, who’s outfitted in purple and gold, puffing on a cigarette.The two are sitting for a sunny afternoon Zoom interview on the auspicious occasion of the release of “Swirling” (Strut, 3.5 stars), the first new Sun Ra Arkestra studio album in over 20 years.Since 1995, Allen has led the band t...
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Texas musician holds outdoor concerts to fill pandemic void
FORT WORTH, Texas — A line of a dozen people stand outside Melt Ice Cream Shop on Magnolia Avenue in Fort Worth, the sweet smell of sugar wafting from the open door. Families chat on the sidewalk nearby, masks pulled down to eat their dessert. a block down, the sound of a violin drifts on the summer breeze.Standing in front of the yellow light of a window, Armond Vance moves his hands assuredly with the instrument’s bow as he plays a mash-up of a Drake song and Tchaikovsky.Vance, 24, has been putting on outdoor concerts in Fort Worth since coronavirus cut off many people’s means to listen to l...
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Album reviews: Chris Stapleton, Kylie Minogue, Susan Werner
Chris Stapleton“Starting Over”(Mercury ***)An old joke asks: What happens when you play a country song backward? Your spouse comes back, you get released from prison and your dead dog returns to life.Chris Stapleton’s sound owes at least as much to blues-rock, but he’s still categorized as a country artist. And though no one spends time in jail on “Starting Over,” the 14-song album does feature many a relationship in disrepair, and one prominently featured dead dog.That would be in “Maggie’s Song,” a first-class weeper about with chord changes reminiscent of The Band’s “The Weight.” It leads t...
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Smokey Robinson talks about Bob Dylan, 'My Girl' and why he doesn't like the term 'African American'
He’s been cutting two records, one in Spanish, the other in English. Playing a little golf, too. And he checked on the grape harvest in the pre-fire Napa Valley for his eponymous wine company.But during the pandemic, Motown legend Smokey Robinson is performing only one concert — Saturday in a virtual gala for the PACER Center, the Bloomington, Minnesota-based nonprofit that works with children with disabilities and combats bullying. It will be a streamed performance.“I rented out the Roxy, a little club here in Los Angeles,” Robinson said. “The film crew came in. I have a six-piece band and th...
Star Tribune (Minneapolis)