Pharrell, Lil Wayne, Solange to Headline 2017 Roots Picnic

Roots Picnic

Pharrell will join The Roots on stage for the 10th-annual Roots Picnic this spring. Live Nation announced the lineup on Monday.

The concert will be held once again at the Festival Pier at Penn’s Landing. As usual, The Roots will join an artist on stage as the headlining act. This year that’s Pharrell, whom you probably know from “Happy,” from his production duo The Neptunes, and from his giant hat. Read more »

WATCH: That Time Randall Cunningham Interviewed Donald Trump

“Donald Trump: Businessman. Billionaire. Ladies’ man. Celebrity. And, believe it or not, big sports fan!”

The year was 1992. Despite having one of the greatest defenses of all time, the Eagles had still missed the playoffs the previous year. But this season was looking up: The Eagles would get back QB Randall Cunningham, lost for the season in the opener the previous year. And Randall was ready: He spent the offseason endorsing a candy bar (all proceeds went to charity), working on a game show pilot (Scramble), and, most importantly, hosting an interview special on Channel 10 called Randall Cunningham’s Celebrity Rap.

In the special, Cunningham interviewed a number of celebrities, including one who’d later go on to be president of these United States: Donald Trump! It opens with the quote above from Randall Cunningham, as well as footage of Trump showing off to Cunningham by handing him some trophy Trump got from Jim Kelly. Sure, why not? Read more »

Two SEPTA El Trains Collide Near 69th Street Station

Two trains on SEPTA’s Market-Frankford El line collided this morning at 69th Street Station.

The crash happened sometime around 8:30. SEPTA says two “non-revenue” (not-in-service) trains were involved in an accident. About 18 cars were involved in the collision, six of which derailed. Police say the collision was not head-on; one train struck another from the rear, which led to a third train becoming involved. Read more »

Pat Toomey Is Moving His Philly Office to Old City

Protesters outside of Pat Toomey's office

A protest outside of Pat Toomey’s office at 17th and JFK earlier this month. | Photo: Dan McQuade

Pat Toomey announced today that he’s moving his office to the U.S. Custom House in Old City.

Typically, the relocation of a regional Senate office one-and-a-half miles would not make the news. But ever since the election of Donald Trump, a group known as Tuesdays with Toomey has been protesting outside his offices in 8 Penn Center (17th and JFK) every Tuesday.

That hasn’t been the only group protesting outside the normally sleepy office, which also has a state liquor store on the ground floor. Earlier this month, a group of med students from various universities in Philly gathered outside to protest. Read more »

Where Did All The Jobs Go? Michael Nutter Took Them!

Michael Nutter looks through a smartphone

Michael Nutter in May 2015, when he was still mayor and didn’t have quite so many jobs. | Photo: Matt Rourke/Associated Press

The official U.S. unemployment rate last month was 4.8 percent. Some say the actual unemployment rate is higher, for various reasons. I have another theory: The unemployment rate is skewed because Michael Nutter is taking all the jobs in America.

Nutter was in a feud with his predecessor as mayor of Philadelphia, John Street, late last year. Nutter sent an email to the Inquirer blasting Street (after Street sent the first email volley). In it, his hilariously long email signature revealed he had no fewer than five jobs:

  • CNN Political Commentator
  • Chair, Airbnb Mayors Advisory Board
  • UChicago Urban Labs Fellow
  • Drexel University Executive Fellow
  • “David N. Dinkins Professor of Practice, School of International Public Affairs Colombia University.”

I assume he’s fixed that typo of Columbia University since then.

Sure, none of these are full-time job, though he does have to write opinion pieces shilling for Airbnb. But Nutter has just kept collecting more! Read more »

The Philadelphia Union Are Hiring a Chief Tattoo Artist

Philadephia Union - Richie Marquez and Giliano Wijnaldum

The Union’s Giliano Wijnaldum and Richie Marquez show off their tattoos. | Photos courtesy of Philadelphia Union

The Philadelphia Union signed a bunch of new players this offseason. When VP of marketing Doug Vosik went to meet some of them, he realized they could bond over a common interest: tattoos.

Vosik, a Bucks County native and Council Rock High School grad, has a full tattoo sleeve. He and several players on the Union — Giliano Wijnaldum, Richie Marquez and Fabinho, among others — have lots of tattoos.

And so Vosik came up with an idea: He’d have the team create a position of Chief Tattoo Artist. Earlier this week, the team announced the search for a team tattoo artist. Whoever the team picks will be the official tattoo artist of the Union. Fans will be directed to that artist’s shop for Union and other tattoos; Vosik envisions a time when the team holds official tattoo events.

And the team may even bring in the chief tattoo artist into the team facility to give tattoos to players. Read more »

Snider Family Plans Marijuana Farm in Far Northeast

Flyers logo with a pot leaf in the center

Perhaps one day the Flyers will score for an ounce of marijuana instead of a case of Tastykakes.

Snider Health, a company founded by the heirs of late Flyers founder Ed Snider, has plans for a marijuana grow operation in Far Northeast Philadelphia. The Inquirer reports that the facility would be located in an industrial park at 14515 McNulty Road, which is near the Community College of Philadelphia’s Northeast campus. Read more »

Why You’re Hearing So Much About Garth Brooks’s Philly Shows

Trisha Yearwood, then-Philadelphia Mayor Ed Rendell and Garth Brooks

Trisha Yearwood, then-Philadelphia Mayor Ed Rendell and Garth Brooks pose before six shows at the building then known as the CoreStates Center in September 1998 | Photo: Chris Gardner/Associated Press

Garth Brooks is coming back to Philadelphia, and people want you to know about it.

Brooks was a megastar. Only The Beatles have sold more albums in the United States. When he last played solo shows in Philadelphia, in 1998, he attracted 115,212 fans to six shows at the CoreStates Center and made $2,509,672. His foray into rock music failed, but dude was still a rock star.

Brooks basically retired after his success in the 1990s, playing only occasionally and selling albums exclusively at Walmart. He played 186 shows at a residency in Vegas over four years, then began his first tour in nearly 20 years in 2014. It’s finally hitting Philadelphia this March, with four shows at the Wells Fargo Center (and two in one day!). Most tickets are the same price ($74.98), which is a pretty cool gimmick. Since it’s 2017, there are also $3,500 VIP packages.

And Comcast Spectacor is really pushing it. I’ve gotten four press releases about it from the WFC. A 40×40 banner was unveiled on the side of the building this morning. There was a promotional blitz for ticket sales for the fourth show, which was added this week and went on sale at 10 this morning. Comcast even tried to get a social campaign going: “Comcast Spectacor encourages all fans to help welcome the iconic country music star to Philadelphia and ‘get their Garth on’ by posting pictures to social media with a cowboy hat and the #GARTHinPhilly.” Read more »

Villanova Plans $60 Million Makeover of Pavilion

Villanova’s Board of Trustees on Wednesday approved a $60 million makeover of the Pavilion, the team’s basketball gym. After the renovation, it will be rechristened the Finneran Pavilion, after 1963 grad William Finneran. He donated $22.6 million to the renovation efforts last year.

“With the renovation and opening of the Finneran Pavilion, Villanova will have an on-campus home that embraces the incredible tradition of our University and its basketball programs,” Villanova men’s basketball coach Jay Wright said in a release. “The Finneran Pavilion will be a gathering place in which the Nova Nation can take great pride, and its impact will be felt on our program for years to come. I am grateful for the leadership of the Board of Trustees and President Donohue and the generosity of the donors, led by Bill Finneran. We can’t wait to get started!” Read more »

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