Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Pop Culture Clicks: Jazz Fest, Pacino & De Niro, Springsteen

It's the locals, stupid. That's the theme of a Jazz Fest piece I wrote for the St. Petersburg Times, published several weeks ago. And that's the theme sounded by Edna Gunderson in her USA Today preview of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.

Longtime New Orleans Times-Picayune music critic Keith Spera will be joined by colleagues from his newspaper for a live chat on all things Jazz Fest, Thursday at noon.

And here's Offbeat magazine's always valuable A-Z list of Jazz Fest performers.

Al Pacino and Robert De Niro, once at the top of their game, these days are merely phoning it in for big paychecks, while other older actors (Hackman, Eastwood, Nicholson, Caine) are aging with much more grace and style (not to mention solid performances in good movies), as Patrick Goldstein points out in a thoughtful piece from yesterday's L.A. Times.

The Boss came to town last night, after postponing three Florida dates in the wake of the death of longtime E Street keyboardist Danny Federici. Music writers for the Tampa Bay area's two daily papers loved the show, naturally*, with veteran Tampa Tribune pop critic Curtis Ross writing "If Springsteen generally plays as if his life depends on it, Tuesday night he played as if his soul and those of everyone in the arena were at stake." St. Petersburg Times reviewer Sean Daly weighs in here.

*It's one of the unwritten rules of rock criticism: Never dis Bruce! I know of few who've violated that policy, aside from a few mavericks who broke from the party line around the time of the simultaneously released 1992 albums Human Touch and Lucky Town.

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