Caravan Palace plays the TLA on Saturday. (Jeremie Bouillon)
Busdriver @ Kung Fu Necktie | Wednesday, July 5
Smart, fun and decidedly weird, the music of L.A. rapper Regan Farquhar makes you think about the vitality of hip-hop — how the genre continues to evolve, mutate, sprout new limbs. The Busdriver appendage favors stuttering beats, complicated rhyme structures and deep pockets of pop culture references.
John Mellencamp @ The Mann | Thursday, July 6
In the mid-’80s, John Mellencamp had a slew of hits to rival any pop star in their prime: “Hurts So Good,” “Jack & Diane,” “Small Town,” “Pink Houses,” “Paper in Fire” and “Cherry Bomb.” True, it’s hard to remember which is which sometimes, but the Mellencamp sound — soul-grit vocals, downbeat choruses, acoustic grooves, heartland pride all over the place — is genuine and unmistakable. His new one is Sad Clowns & Hillbillies, and tourmate Carlene Carter figures heavily. Read more »
Everyone has that one thing they’ve always wanted to try: painting, singing, cooking … taxidermy. So, what stops us? Well, learning a new skill takes a lot of time and effort, as well as money and a bit of courage. (Ok, a lot). Philly is full of exciting classes and workshops to help you scratch that creative itch you’ve always had. The list of fun and funky options below is just the tip of the iceberg. Go forth and explore!
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Philly videographer Mike Cessario just wrapped on the pilot of a proposed documentary series that follows local electronic dance music (EDM) pioneer and Actual Records founder Aaron Ruxbin.
Cessario tells me he decided to shoot a film that focuses on Ruxbin because of the DJs unlikely story. He was a Drexel University business grad who “ditched the cubicle to create a grimey underground dance music empire in Philadelphia,” he says. “EDM has exploded and DJs are the new rockstars, but I want to show the less-glamorous side of the business—the side that actually powers 90 percent of [the Philly EDM scene].”
These days, Cessario says, Ruxbin basically lives out of his car while putting on sold-out shows at TLA and, for a little side money, a strip club called Purple Orchid. All that’s captured in pilot, with commentary by local MC Buddy Leezle and DJ Jack Deezl.
Cessario hopes this short film will attract investors who may be interested in backing a more-blown-out documentary. If not, this could be the only episode we’ll see. “This will remain a conceptual pilot for a series until we find more support. If we don’t, it will die and go to the pilot graveyard.”
Check it out above.
Less than a week after Diplo was in Philly with his nation-touring Mad Decent Block Party, the DJ has announced that he’s banning “kandi” at all his future shows. The decision comes after two drug-related deaths earlier this month at a Mad Decent Block Party in Maryland.
Kandi, homemade bracelets that often adorn the wrists of rave-goers, is a popular accessory to wear and trade at EDM events. The bracelets, made with colored plastic beads, sometimes display names of DJs or phrases like “PLUR” (Peace Love Unity Respect), the unofficial mantra of the EDM movement. The jewelry, however, apparently doubles as the calling card of drug dealers at these concerts—worn to signify that they are selling.
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The nightlife world lost a legend this week when DJ Frankie Knuckles died at the age of 59. Dubbed the “Godfather of House,” Knuckles played a major role role in spreading the percussive genre of dance music into the mainstream, changing the house music foundation forever.
A remixer, producer and Grammy winner, Knuckles first got his start in the ’70s, spinning at various New York nightclubs before moving to Chicago in 1977. There he turned out music at Warehouse , where he would begin his experimentations with dance music, mixing standard R&B and disco beats with a range of post-punk, reggae and ’80s Euro-synth. And just like that, a new kind of dance genre was born. Knuckles even gave it a name: house music.
7 essential DJ Frankie Knuckles tracks after the jump
Every month, Gayborhood DJ Carl Michaels puts together a mix especially for G Philly.
Winter has me in a strange mood, so I have been digging in to the crates (well, my hard drive) for a pretty wide variety of stuff. Some of it is twisted and haunting, some of it epic, some happy, and some just plain dirty. It’s not all new — that’s not how I decide what I am going to play. But it has to be well-produced and upfront, and not the same stuff you hear all over.
You can find the playlist on Spotify, or enjoy each track in the videos below.
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