Interview: Stand-up Comics Sean Donnelly and Rus Gutin

Comedian Sean Donnelly
Comedian Sean Donnelly
By A.D. AMOROSI

On Sunday, August 21, stand-up comedian Sean Donnelly (notable for Comedy Central's The Half Hour) and Rus Gutin – comedian and promoter – will share the bill at the recently-opened Punch Line comedy club in Philadelphia. The lineup, which also features Luchana Gatica and James Mattern, also serves as the debut of Rus Gutin's Fishtown Premium, a showcase he hopes to bring to Punch Line on a regular basis. We spoke with Donnelly and Gutin about their long-time friendship and comic inspiration.

Review: Bobby Rydell: Teen Idol on the Rocks

Bobby Rydell: Teen Idol on the Rocks
Bobby Rydell: Teen Idol on the Rocks
By A.D. AMOROSI

To most people, singer Bobby Rydell is a happy voice from their past, a joyful, rock n' rolling presence best known for early 60s hits such as "Volare" and "Wild One" as well as Hollywood musicals such as 1963's Bye Bye Birdie. Now, you can add author to that list as the crooner – with fellow musician and writer Allan Slutsky – has penned and published his autobiography Bobby Rydell: Teen Idol on the Rocks.

Hall & Oates to Stream Concert from Camden's BB&T Pavilion

Hall & Oates receive plaque for platinum sales
L to R: Hall & Oates celebrate platinum sales with execs Jeremy Holiday and Adam Block (Legacy Recordings) and manager Jonathan Wolfson
By A.D. AMOROSI

Daryl Hall and John Oates may not currently spend much time (OK, any time) recording new music as a duo. Yet, as Hall & Oates, the Philadelphia-born, blue-eyed-soul twosome continue to create new work apart, host new milestones as a unit and tour together. On Sunday, July 10, 2016 beginning at 9 PM EST, the newest Hall & Oates show will stream live from Camden, NJ's BB&T Pavillion exclusively on Yahoo Music. Live Nation TV will present the July 10 show with a stream lasting for 24 hours at this Yahoo.com link. To see Hall & Oates tour in person (with opening acts Trombone Shorty and Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings) visit Ticketmaster.com.

Interview: Don Rickles Discusses His 70+ Year Career in Comedy

Don Rickles and Regis Philbin
Don Rickles and Regis Philbin
By A.D. AMOROSI

Don Rickles may have just celebrated his 90th birthday in May of 2016, but the legendarily caustic stand-up comedian – famously a friend to show-biz greats such as Frank Sinatra, Johnny Carson, Bob Newhart and Martin Scorsese – is not about to sit down. Known throughout his career as "Mr. Warmth" and "The Insult King," the comic who all but invented politically incorrect humor returns to Atlantic City's Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa on Saturday, June 11. This time he'll appear with his old pal, Regis Philbin. "I don't need him there, you know, I can do it myself," deadpans Rickles on suddenly having a comic foil for his act.

Lakaye Studio Brings Henna and Jagua Tattoos to the Masses

Earth Jagua Premium Kit from Lakaye Studio
Earth Jagua Premium Kit from Lakaye Studio
By REESE AMOROSI

Mehndi, the practice of temporarily staining the skin with plant-based dyes – usually ground henna leaves – is an ancient art with origins in the Middle East, Africa and Asia. Many people associate mehndi with India, where pre-wedding celebrations often include ceremonies to paint intricate designs on brides (and sometimes grooms). In the 1990s, mehndi became popular in the West, largely due to being seen on celebrities like Madonna and Liv Tyler, and is now appreciated by a new wave of patrons and practitioners who often call the designs "henna tattoos." Along with using henna that results in a reddish-brown stain, Lakaye Studio offers jagua, a gel that develops into a blue-black color.

'Daily Show' to Broadcast from Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia

The Daily Show host Trevor Noah
The Daily Show host Trevor Noah
By A.D. AMOROSI

When Philadelphia plays host to the 2016 Democratic National Convention at the Wells Fargo Center July 25th through the 28th, potential nominees Hilary Clinton and Bernie Sanders won't be the only celebrities in town. On April 14, it will be announced that Comedy Central's late night The Daily Show with Trevor Noah will also be in Philly, broadcasting live from University City's Annenberg Center from Monday July 25 until Thursday July 28.

Interview: Andrew Bird on Old Songs, New Songs and Fiona Apple

Andrew Bird
Andrew Bird
By A.D. AMOROSI

Violinist, composer and singer Andrew Bird has been making swinging, folkish, art pop as a soloist since 1996. Beginning with his first album, Music of Hair, and continuing with each recording and project (e.g. the soundtrack of the Louis C.K. produced FX Network sitcom Baskets) proving to be more intriguing than the last. No less is true of his newly released Are You Serious album, one that finds him singing his most personal, least cryptic lyrics yet (getting married and having a son can do that), crooning a duet with Fiona Apple and generally sounding as if he's loving life more than ever.

New Documentary Focuses on Career of Musician Kenn Kweder

Kenn Kweder
Kenn Kweder
By A.D. AMOROSI

With Adventures of a Secret Kidd: The Mass Hallucination of Kenn Kweder, documentary director John Hutelmyer has created a literate, harrowing, comic piece about one of the East Coast's most legendary folk rock heroes, Kenn Kweder. The film premieres Friday, March 25, at Philadelphia's International House in University City with several screenings, Q&A sessions and an acoustic showcase by the titular singer-songwriter.

PBS Chef Christina Pirello to Host a Series of Culinary Pop-up Events

Christina Pirello of  PBS Show Christina Cooks
Christina Pirello of the PBS show Christina Cooks
By A.D. AMOROSI

Many chefs and restaurants are currently using farm-to-table menus and healthy eating as a marketing tool. Christina Pirello, however, has been doing that for ages. Since the 2001 launch of her PBS series, Christina Cooks, the Philadelphia chef has prepared gourmet vegan dishes. On Friday, February 12, 2016, she'll start hosting culinary pop-up events dedicated to healthful eating. The first of these moveable feasts is a romantic, 5-course, pre-Valentine's Day dinner/cabaret with live music at Caffe Valentino in South Philadelphia.

Goodnight, Starman: Remembering David Bowie

David Bowie
David Bowie
By A.D. AMOROSI

David Bowie didn't seem like a man who would ever die, but rather go on forever-and-ever until he popped like a bubble or flamed out like a comet. Bowie was to me – and others like me who held his work as Pop scripture – a beacon, a prism, an avant-garde seal of approval. This wasn't just passive listening or a set of albums and shows – Bowie birthed a new world that touched on Burroughs, Rechy, Kubrick, Dylan, Czukay, Mackie, Brecht and beyond, without aping their sound and vision.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Announces 2016 Inductees

Cheap Trick
Cheap Trick
By A.D. AMOROSI

The 2016 inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame have been announced, and without a doubt, all of its nominees are deserving of the honor: rap act N.W.A. along with 1970s era rockers Chicago, Cheap Trick, Deep Purple and Steve Miller. The induction ceremony will be held on April 8 in Brooklyn's Barclays Center with HBO televising the event later that spring. While delighted for the Class of 2016 (especially Deep Purple who practically birthed heavy metal with "Smoke on the Water") one question must be asked: why not Chic, Nile Rodgers' influential disco band, who in its 10th year as a nominee, still failed to win induction.

New Releases (and Re-releases) Commemorate Frank Sinatra's 100th Birthday

Re-releases commemorate Frank Sinatra's 100th birthday
By A.D. AMOROSI

On December 12, 2015, Frank Sinatra would have been 100 years old.  He was always protean and strong, a sound and vision of the smart American male who had, in the words of author Gay Talese, "survived as a national phenomenon, one of the few pre-war products to withstand the test of time, "even in an age when the very young seem to be taking over, protesting and picketing and demanding change." Sinatra is the music of America's 20th Century, its swing, sway and romance. Though it's grand to celebrate his catalog of music and film at any time, marking 100 years just seems appropriate.

Glamorosi Recipe: Vanilla-Poached Quince and Membrillo Quince Paste

Glamorosi Recipe Membrillo (quince paste) with Manchego Cheese and Marcona almond
Membrillo (quince paste) with Manchego Cheese and Marcona almonds
By REESE AMOROSI

My late Father was a professional horse trainer, and in his job he traveled and befriended people in all walks of life. So, when we wanted something – no matter how obscure – my Father knew someone who had it. Such was the case for the elusive quince (Cydonia oblonga), the ancient, yellow, lumpy relative of apples and pears that some believe was the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden. Quince is a rare find: it's not widely grown (in 2012 The New York Times reported that the USA's "entire quince crop covers a paltry 250 acres" compared to 350,000 acres of apples) and it's almost never seen in stores. My Father, of course, knew a man with quince trees on his land, and every Fall he'd invite us to pick as much of the fragrant fruit as we desired. We'd gather the quince (or, more accurately, I'd gather quince while my Father and his friend talked horses) and then spend months cooking through our repertoire of quince recipes.

Spike Lee's 'Chi-Raq' Adapts Ancient Greek Play to Show Modern Chicago Violence

Spike Lee's Chi-Raq - the film and soundtrack released on December 4, 2015
Spike Lee's Chi-Raq film and soundtrack released on December 4, 2015
By A.D. AMOROSI

Director and writer Spike Lee has done smart and sexy film, hard satirical film and Afro-conscious socio-political film in his past with, respectively, She's Gotta Have It, School Daze and Do the Right Thing. Those early flicks created the blueprint for his films to follow (save for Inside Man, his heist drama anomaly). With Chi-Raq, Lee's new "joint" released on December 4, Lee merges all three concepts into one bawdy, colorful dramedy based on Aristophanes’ Lysistrata, the 5th-Century B.C. play in which women organize sex strikes to stop men from making war. Lee's modern setting is present-day Chicago with warring gangs and black-on-black violence as the reason the women withhold sex.

Vetri Named Best Italian Restaurant in America

Chef Marc Vetri and food writer Rick Nichols at the 2015 Great Chefs Event
Chef Marc Vetri and food writer Rick Nichols at the 2015 Great Chefs Event
By A.D. AMOROSI

Executive chef and culinary entrepreneur Marc Vetri is known nationally for his annual Great Chefs Event for Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation and his Eatiquette program that provides healthy dining options to school cafeterias. This week, however, Vetri and his business partner Jeff Benjamin won acclaim for something more personal: Vetri's self-titled boutique restaurant at 1312 Spruce Street in Philadelphia was named the Best Italian Restaurant in America by Time Out Magazine.

David Bowie Drops 'Blackstar' Single and Video, Launches 'Lazarus' Musical

David Bowie
David Bowie
By A.D. AMOROSI

Starting with the preview of his art theater musical Lazarus at Off Broadway's New York Theater Workshop, David Bowie fans are having their best week ever. On November 19, Bowie will drop his new single, ★ (pronounced "Blackstar") and its accompanying video, both from the album of the same name that will be released on January 8 2016, his 69th birthday. November 19 is the same day that Blackstar is available for pre-order, something fans should jump on quickly as differing packages featuring clear vinyl, die-cut covers and lithographs all sold in limited editions will be available at davidbowie.com.

Sebastian Schipper Film 'Victoria' is a One-Take Wonder

A still from the Sebastian Schipper film Victoria
A still from the Sebastian Schipper film Victoria
By A.D. AMOROSI

Cineastes and critics still in awe of Orson Welles' 1958 film noir Touch of Evil and its 3-minute, 20-second opening tracking shot, take a seat. Director Sebastian Schipper's new film Victoria is a rare, magical treat, a film that was made in, as its poster states, "One city. One night. One take." Victoria was shot in a continuous, 134-minute take across 20+ locations in Berlin, Germany – cafes, nightclubs, etc. The English and German language flick that won three awards at the Berlin International Film Festival 2015 opens wide on October 30.

Peaches Brings Her 'Rub' Tour to Philadelphia and Washington DC

Peaches by Daria Marchik
Peaches
By A.D. AMOROSI

Fifteen years after her debut, 2000's The Teaches of Peaches, Merrill Nisker – aka Peaches, Canada's queen of rude electro – is continuing to seed the sexual path she's long tilled with her new album, Rub. There is but one major change: "Everything is much the same as when we started, but it's taken 15 years for people to get it," says Peaches during a recent interview. "People wondered if I was a one-trick-pony with all the albums and tours in-between my first album and Rub, but I've lasted. It's nice to stick around and reap the rewards." On October 25 and 26, audiences in Philadelphia and Washington DC (The Trocadero and the 9:30 Club, respectively) will learn just what Peaches is teaching.

Miley Cyrus Announces Club Tour for Fall 2015

Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz will tour clubs this Fall
Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz will tour clubs this Fall
By A.D. AMOROSI

As soon as Miley Cyrus finished hosting the season opener of NBC's Saturday Night Live (SNL) on October 3, the singer's PR team went into full-swing and sent post-midnight press releases announcing a special limited-run club tour that would start on November 19, 2015 in Chicago, and includes dates in New York City, Washington DC, Detroit, Philadelphia and Boston. For this tour, Cyrus is accompanied by Her Dead Petz aka Wayne Coyne's Flaming Lips, who, with the singer, released the internet-only album Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz. Tickets go on sale October 7 at 4 p.m. EST at http://www.Ticketmaster.com.

Pope Francis in Philadelphia: It's Hard Out Here for a Pope

It's Hard Out Here for a Pope sticker in Philadelphia
It's Hard Out Here for a Pope sticker in Philadelphia
By A.D. AMOROSI and REESE AMOROSI

For the third and final leg of his visit to America, Pope Francis hit Philadelphia for a two-day stop – September 26 and 27 – and an itinerary that includes a mass at the Cathedral Basilica of Ss. Peter and Paul, a prayer stop at Independence Hall, a concert in his name at the Festival of Families event at Eakins Oval and, on the 27th, a large outdoor mass that begins at 4 PM on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. For all the deserved holy pomp and circumstance, there are many humorous elements on display during Papa Franciso's visit.

Glamorosi Recipe: Roasted Cauliflower Soup

Glamorosi Recipe: Roasted Cauliflower Soup
Glamorosi Recipe: Roasted Cauliflower Soup
By REESE AMOROSI

I'm not a fan of steaming or boiling vegetables; I prefer to roast vegetables because it intensifies their flavor and achieves a crisp-but-tender texture and a tasty caramelized coating. My Roasted Cauliflower Soup – pureed smooth then garnished with florets – works for refined and rustic meals and can be served hot or chilled. This soup can also be made with Brocco-flower or Romanesco; it can be made vegetarian by using vegetable stock instead of chicken; it can made dairy-free by omitting the milk or cream (and if you're not in a soup mood, simply roast the cauliflower then sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese – it's ridiculously good). Prep: approx. 90 minutes; yield: 5-6 cups.

Philadelphia Record Exchange Celebrates its 30th Anniversary

Purling Hiss will perform at the Philadelphia Record Exchange 30th anniversary party
Purling Hiss will perform at the Philly Record Exchange 30th anniversary party
By A.D. AMOROSI

It is often said that the record business is in a steady decline and that no one sells physical copies of their releases anymore because music is now online (and frequently stolen, at that). The now 30-year-old Philadelphia Record Exchange belies that lament by continuing to sell vinyl, CDs and cassettes – used and new – to the masses AND staying independent. To celebrate, Philly Record Exchange will host a 30th Anniversary Block Party with acts such as Ben Vaughn, Strapping Fieldhands, Dixy Blood, Purling Hiss, Aye-Aye, Chris Forsyth & The Solar Motel Band, Watery Love, Rosali, Monkey 101, and Wasted America on location at 1524 Frankford Avenue on Saturday, September 19, beginning at 1 PM.

Glamorosi Recipe: Salsa Verde with Avocado

Glamorosi Recipe: Salsa Verde with Avocado
Glamorosi Recipe: Salsa Verde with Avocado
By REESE AMOROSI

Despite the fact that I cook Mexican food at home, we still enjoy ordering from the taquerias and taco trucks in my neighborhood. The sauces that come with the orders are often too hot for me (I'm a spicy food wuss) so I keep my own milder versions on hand including salsa verde, a flavorful green sauce made with fresh tomatillos. For my recipe I use one poblano or half a jalapeno, but you can use whatever pepper you fancy. If you don't care for cilantro, don't use it (or try parsley); the sauce will still be delicious. We use salsa verde on Mexican food, of course, but it's tasty on almost everything; lately I've been adding to grilled tofu.
Preparation: approx. 20 minutes; yield: 2 to 2.5 cups.

Jay Z Showcases TIDAL Artists at Made in America Festival

Tanlines will perform at the 2015 Made in America festival
Tanlines will perform at the 2015 Made in America festival
By A.D. AMOROSI

When Jay Z, Live Nation and Budweiser combine forces for the fourth annual Made in America (MIA) festival, they'll have headliners such as Beyoncé (September 5) and The Weeknd (September 6) along with major alterna-rockers (Modest Mouse, Strands of Oaks), rappers (De La Soul, Meek Mill) and more. The surprise highlight of the 2015 MIA fest (with an expected 70,000+ attendees per day on Philadelphia's Benjamin Franklin Parkway) however, is Jay Z's other business venture, the TIDAL streaming music and content provider that will have special stages and offer members-only access.

'Top Chef' Alums Mike Isabella and Jennifer Carroll to Open Restaurant

Chef Jennifer Carroll
Chef Jennifer Carroll
By A.D. AMOROSI

Bravo TV's Top Chef alums Mike Isabella and Jennifer Carroll will partner on Requin, a French Mediterranean concept that will first exist as a pop-up in Isabella's second location for his Kapnos Kouzina restaurant (due to open early in 2016) in Fairfax, Virginia. Requin, which means "shark" in French, intends to feature Mediterranean fish along with local seafood including an area favorite, Maryland crabs. After the pop-up, Requin will open in 2017 as part of Washington D.C.'s Wharf Development Project as a Southwest Waterfront boardwalk location. The Requin launch dates have yet to be announced.