News Feed


East of the River to Perform Oct. 6 in Music at Noon: The Logan Series at Penn State Behrend

East of the River will bring its haunting and virtuosic melodies from the traditional repertoires of the Balkans, Armenia, and the Middle...

City Scape

Arts & Culture News

CHICAGO (Reuters) - David Bowie has been best-known throughout his five-decade career as a prolific musician and songwriter, with hits like "Changes" and "Space Oddity" in constant radio circulation.

VIENNA (Reuters) - A Jewish museum in Vienna returned a painting that was seized by the Nazis in 1938 to the artist's grandnieces on Friday, part of a wider move in Austria to deal with art illegally acquired after Germany annexed the country in 1938.

DETROIT (Reuters) - The Detroit Institute of Arts is prepared to sue to prevent the sale of its collection if Detroit's plan for exiting bankruptcy is not approved, the museum's chief operating officer told U.S. Bankruptcy Court on Thursday.

FLORENCE Italy (Reuters) - Florence officials ordered the closure of many of the Tuscan city's museums on Friday, including the famed Uffizi Gallery, while technicians checked for damage after a particularly violent storm.

LUXEMBOURG (Reuters) - Private banking hub Luxembourg sought to lure more wealthy investors on Wednesday by opening a high-security center designed to look like a jewel box, where collectors can store and trade valuables without paying customs or sales tax.

Sports News

BEIJING (Reuters) - A teary-eyed Li Na said on Sunday she has no regrets about her retirement and the Chinese trailblazer was confident her country will produce more grand slam winners in future.

TOKYO (Reuters) - Former world number one Ana Ivanovic brushed aside Caroline Wozniacki to win the Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo on Sunday and move closer to sealing a berth for the season-ending WTA finals in Singapore.

INCHEON South Korea (Reuters) - South Korean sharpshooters snatched two early golds to put the hosts top of the Asian Games medals table on Sunday, but the highlight of the second day's action will come later in the pool when China's Sun Yang takes on local hero Park Tae-hwan in the 200 meters freestyle final.

(Reuters) - A sprint race car driver died after crashing during practice at a Wisconsin dirt track on Saturday, the raceway said in a statement.

(Reuters) - A South Dakota man charged last year with killing NFL star Adrian Peterson's 2-year-old son has been released on $2 million bond, U.S. media reported on Saturday.

Science News

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. drive to end its reliance on Russian rocket motors got a boost this week when Inc founder Jeff Bezos unveiled a new engine project, but officials and industry insiders say it will take years and hundreds of millions of dollars to develop a locally built alternative.

CAPE CANAVERAL Fla (Reuters) - An unmanned Falcon 9 rocket blasted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on Sunday to deliver a cargo ship to the International Space Station for NASA.

CAPE CANAVERAL Fla (Reuters) - A NASA spacecraft designed to investigate how Mars lost its water is expected to put itself into orbit around the Red Planet on Sunday after a 10-month journey.

CAPE CANAVERAL Fla (Reuters) - Space Exploration Technologies delayed its cargo run to the International Space Station for NASA on Saturday after thick cloud and rain socked in its central Florida launch site.

MONTREAL (Reuters) - The United Nation's civil aviation body, currently wrestling with how to help airlines maintain safety over conflict zones, is taking first steps toward protection for commercial vessels in space.

Movie Reviews

For his 44th film as director, Woody Allen revisits a pet theme: a man mooning over a woman decades his junior. That man is Stanley Crawford, a London magician who performs in yellowface as ‘Wei Ling-soo’, a purported mystic from the Orient. Well-versed in the art of deception, he’s soon whisked off to the French Riviera on a special mission: to expose a supposed American spiritualist as a charlatan. But meeting Sophie Baker (Emma Stone), Stanley is instantly enchanted. And given that the milksop (Hamish Linklater) currently courting her leaves the tweedy conjurer looking like prime beefcake, the attraction is duly reciprocated. True, the ensuing flirtation does go all round the houses. Also, Stanley’s idea of seduction is to conduct himself like a prat. But, despite the age gap, the romance does convince, thanks in no small part to the charming, funny Stone, who also keeps us guessing as to whether she really is clairvoyant or pulling a fast one. Her physical radiance, meanwhile, is rivalled by Darius Khondji’s glorious cinematography. For all its pleasures, this isn’t A-grade Allen, coming off lightweight next to the recent double whammy of box-office smash Midnight In Paris and Best Actress-winner Blue Jasmine. Yet it’s certainly a cut above some of the Wood-man’s other dalliances with illusionism like The Curse Of The Jade Scorpion and Scoop. There are scene-stealing turns from Jacki Weaver and Marcia Gay Harden, and if the script gets rickety in places, the clever climax goes some way to paying back our patience.

Whatever you think of Eugenio Mira’s thriller, it has a pretty solid pitch: Phone Booth, with a piano. Joel Schumacher’s high-concept effort saw Colin Farrell trapped in a public booth, with a sniper torturing him from afar. This time, it’s Elijah Wood in the hot seat as concert pianist Tom Selznick, who returns to the limelight some five years after he cracked on stage whilst trying to play the notoriously difficult piece ‘La Cinquette’. Playing in Chicago, Tom’s comeback performance is soon looking like it might be his last, when his sheet music is scrawled with the menacing letters: “Play one wrong note and you die.” Somewhere in the theatre is Tom’s tormentor, training his rifle right at the stage. After a swift departure to his dressing room, Tom gets a text, telling him to look in his backpack. Inside is an earpiece, allowing his assailant (voiced by John Cusack) to whisper instructions. Written by Damien Chazelle (who has since gone on to write/direct Sundance winner Whiplash), Grand Piano gets more ludicrous with every tick of its metronome. Never mind that Tom leaves the stage on numerous occasions. Or that, at one point, he texts on his phone one-handed for helpwhile still tinkling those ivories. Or that Cusack’s killer has spent three years engineering this diabolical scheme in the most ludicrously complicated way possible. Still, all this could be forgiven if it weren’t for the disappointingly mundane reason behind it all. Really, Grand Piano is a one-act idea stretched, barely, across three. But at least it’s attacked with zest by Spanish director Mira, who serves up some impressive visual flourishes – notably an overhead camera shot near the end. Wood, too, is thoroughly convincing, as he hammers at those keys. Cusack, largely off-screen, is effective, and there’s a welcome appearance by Bill & Ted star Alex Winter as his assistant. A pity they’re all made to hit duff notes.

Imagine The Hangover scrubbed clean of any salacious bits. That’s this film. As the ‘Too’ would imply, it’s a sequel to the 2012 hit Think Like A Man, a manic romcom based on a self-help book aimed at women with relationship woes. In this one, the ping-ponging couples from the first film, led by motormouth Kevin Hart, descend on Vegas for the wedding of mama’s boy Michael (Terrence J) and worldly-wise single mum Candace (Regina Hall). Not surprisingly, gags about gambling and strippers ensue. Also not surprisingly, the lightweight laughs dissolve into eye-rolling melodrama.

A rock one-off gets suitably singular treatment in Brit artists Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard’s rich, wry, sumptuously styled study of Nick Cave. We see Cave recording, in therapy, joshing with bandmate Warren Ellis, giving Kylie Minogue a lift... Most rock-docs would present this material as “the real Cave”, but Forsyth/Pollard diss genre clichés and adopt a semi-staged ‘day in the life’ pitch to show how Cave truly is larger than life. Cave’s wittily hard-boiled voiceover and on-stage potency complete the picture: a properly artful portrait of an artist in total command of his myth.

Ten years after Garden State, Zach Braff delivers his second film as writer/director/star. He plays Aidan, an aspiring actor sent into a tailspin when his father (Mandy Patinkin) contracts cancer. Lacking – perhaps deliberately – its predecessor’s hipster edge, WIWH functions as a grown-up weepie, following Aidan on a journey of enlightenment. Penned by Braff and brother Adam, there’s an unevenness to the script – one subplot seems to exist solely to give Kate Hudson (Aidan’s wife) something to do – but there are genuinely touching moments amid the slush.

CD Reviews

- Kitty Empire

Shepherds Bush Empire, London W12The Australian rapper has been vilified by some, but the crowd cheers every wiggle at her dazzling London show

Tall, blond and radiating fame-glow by the kilowatt, rapper Iggy Azalea looks every inch the pop star of the moment. She also looks a tiny bit like a lightning rod, another job the 24-year-old Australian is currently working.

Azalea prances on stage for this one-off London show later than advertised, surrounded by half a dozen dancers, backed by her DJ, Wizz Kid, and two backup singers. In the wings are controversy and scandal. She performs for a dazzling hour, working her hips and her hits, as well as material from the mixtapes that first gained her notoriety. But its Azaleas current hit single that really gets the rafters rising.

Continue reading...

- Fiona Maddocks

Coliseum; Royal Opera House; Barbican theatre, LondonENOs new Otello sidesteps an old problem, while the ethnic tension is viscerally felt in an African Macbeth

When Laurence Olivier played Othello he studied the mannerisms of Sammy Davis Jr to give the noble Moor what he called negritude. Not everyone was impressed. Those days are long gone. In a spirit of liberal optimism we might hope that we can sidestep the question of Othellos colour or race entirely. Yet it indelibly shapes text and action, whether in Shakespeare or in the shorn libretto version for Verdis penultimate opera nearly 300 years later.

Our own multicultural times may be closer to the Venetian-Ottoman melting pot of the play, but our sensibilities are entirely different. The issue, with all its unanswerable variables, is as alive as ever. Verdi, significantly, does not give his Moor any distinctive stylistic music to sing to set him apart (as Mozart or Rossini did with their exotics). Yet he codenamed the work Chocolate or African, which gives pause for thought.

Continue reading...

- Kitty Empire

(Rocket Recordings)

Goats first album, 2012s World Music, fused African music, psychedelia and elaborately costumed Swedish eccentricity. Their gigs were like rituals hence Commune, album number two, a title probably more verb than noun. Appropriately, Talk to God finds Goats female vocalist chanting alongside some heady guitar runs. Its fair to say that Goat have not really recalibrated since World Music theres a dash more Turkish psychedelic folk here, a mite more tempo variety there. But Commune is every bit as immersive. You get the feeling that Goat could just keep this sinuous groove going forever.

Continue reading...

- Fiona Maddocks

Magdalena Consort/Harvey, Elin Manahan Thomas, Daniel Taylor, James Gilchrist(Channel Classics)

Buoyant and agile in performance, small in scale and steeped in the best traditions of period playing putting musicality over scholarship the Magdalena Consort was founded in 2008 by bass/director Peter Harvey. He and his musicians have grown up with the pioneering work of the Monteverdi Choir and John Eliot Gardiner, many having worked with him. The Magdalenas are the next generation, heading out alone. if you dont know them, try this brilliant disc. The three cantatas here the earliest surviving BWV 150, Nach dir, Herr, verlanget mich; BWV 78, Jesu, der du meine Seele and BWV 147, Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben are linked by numerical and musical symbolism, acrostics and similar devices so often explored by Bach. On the other hand, just listening is reward enough.

Continue reading...

- Killian Fox


Although he has released music under other aliases, Richard D James has kept his work as Aphex Twin under wraps for the past 13 years. The expectations on this comeback are so vast, no album could rise above them. But Syro, though not a work of staggering genius or a revelation of electronic musics future, is a gratifyingly strong record. More hospitable than Drukqs, it is still bracingly strange in places and never complacent (though it contains many familiar Aphex touches). At times, the whirl of ideas threatens to spin out of control, but more often, as on CIRCLONT6A, they cohere thrillingly. A welcome return.

Continue reading...

Book Reviews

Top 5 at a Glance1. THE CONFESSION, by John Grisham2. WORTH DYING FOR, by Lee Child3. AMERICAN ASSASSIN, by Vince Flynn4. THE GIRL WHO KICKED THE HORNET’S NEST, by Stieg Larsson5. SIDE JOBS, by Jim Butcher

Top 5 at a Glance1. LIFE, by Keith Richards with James Fox2. BROKE, by Glenn Beck and Kevin Balfe3. EARTH (THE BOOK), by Jon Stewart and others4. THE LAST BOY, by Jane Leavy5. AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF MARK TWAIN, VOL. 1, by Mark Twain

Top 5 at a Glance1. THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO, by Stieg Larsson2. THE GIRL WHO PLAYED WITH FIRE, by Stieg Larsson3. THE FINKLER QUESTION, by Howard Jacobson4. LITTLE BEE, by Chris Cleave5. CUTTING FOR STONE, by Abraham Verghese

Top 5 at a Glance1. THE LOST SYMBOL, by Dan Brown2. THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO, by Stieg Larsson3. THE RECKLESS BRIDE, by Stephanie Laurens4. THE GIRL WHO PLAYED WITH FIRE, by Stieg Larsson5. 61 HOURS, by Lee Child

Top 5 at a Glance1. EAT, PRAY, LOVE, by Elizabeth Gilbert2. INSIDE OF A DOG, by Alexandra Horowitz3. STONES INTO SCHOOLS, by Greg Mortenson4. THE GLASS CASTLE, by Jeannette Walls5. THREE CUPS OF TEA, by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin

Funny Pictures

The Melting Pot


Shortest Books Ever Written



Internationally Acclaimed Book of the True Story of Two Holocaust Survivors is Now Available in French

Author and Holocaust survivor Leon Malmed kept a secret for more than 60 years – a secret he has unveiled in his moving book,...


‘Send This Instead’ App Gives Kids an Alternative to Sexting

Members of the Ontario Provincial Police, Child Sexual Exploitation Unit in Ontario, Canada launch a sexting alternative app for teens...


Turn Back Time with Oldies Music Radio Which Brings Good Old Hits Back to Life

Nimaxy presents a new radio app for the most enjoyable music experience. Nimaxy studio has the pleasure of announcing the release of the...

Local Scene

behrend lightpole sign

Admissions Open House is Saturday, October 18

Got questions about Penn State Behrend? We have answers!  Penn State Erie, The Behrend College, will host a free Admissions Open House for...

Backstage Pass


Find Out Where Your Favorite Band Is Playing

                Want To Know Where The Best Bands Are Playing And Where The Hottest Shows Are In...