In a sun-filled 7,200-square-foot space in the arts district east of downtown Long Beach, something extraordinary is unfolding: The record business is growing. Boxes long confined to dark storage see the light again. Bins brim with new and used CDs. Jazz swings in its own room. So does vinyl. Books too.
For more than a decade, Americans have pondered the appeal of the French singer-actress-model who captured the heart of Hollywood's sexiest leading man. Outside of Chanel ads and foreign films, Vanessa Paradis has remained a primarily European enigma.
Consider the chanteuse hereby found in translation. After her sultry, charming performance at the Orpheum Theatre on Friday -- her second-ever concert in North America (she'd played New York on Wednesday) -- we're now wondering if it's Johnny Depp, Paradis' baby daddy, who's the lucky one.
Jack White is a gifted guitarist obsessed with elusive morsels of rock’s past -- archeological evidence of the music’s soul. Having been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2009, Wanda Jackson is officially a living, yodeling piece of history. Almost 40 years (and a good 18 inches) separate them. Yet while the statuesque guitarist stands literally heads and shoulders above the diminutive singer, onstage Sunday at the El Rey, the pair was evenly matched.
The show launched "The Party Ain’t Over," Jackson’s new album. On the White-produced disc, the 73-year-old sometime country and gospel singer returns to the musical form that Elvis Presley, her then-boyfriend, first nudged her toward, in the mid-'50s: rockabilly. On Sunday, White -- known for his bands the White Stripes, the Raconteurs and the Dead Weather -- proved to be a skilled taskmaster.
He led an 11-piece band of youngish talents, including drummer Joey Waronker, bassist Olivia Jean and pedal steel player Rich Gilbert, through rollicking versions of Jackson’s old hits and new tunes. The septuagenarian singer held forth center stage, relishing her comeback with a charming mix of feisty come-on and self-confessed senior moments.