Local Musician Invents Game to Teach Music Improv Skills

tonic music improv game

Local musician Scott Hughes created Tonic to help musicians of all genres with a very important yet often times difficult part of their craft: improvisation.

Hughes, a Pittsburgh native, moved to Philly nine years ago to study jazz music at the University of the Arts. Although he ended up transferring to Temple University to pursue a degree in physics, Hughes remains passionate about jazz music, continuing to take lessons and stay practiced.

“I’ve been a musician for as long as I could touch the keys on the piano,” says Hughes, who first fell in love with jazz band in high school. He decided to launch Tonic out of his own frustration with improvisation skills while studying music at UArts.

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The Kickstarter Party You Need to Hit Up Tonight

Image via Kickstarter

How to get your hands on these skirts. | Image via Kickstarter.

Here’s the latest in local fundraising news: Bucks County-based fashion designer Victoria Wright is launching a Kickstarter to fund the production of her contemporary womenswear collection. The former Philly Mag Fashion Project contestant (she designed this gorg swing coat) has designed a modern collection of black and white skirts, dresses, jackets, tops and one Audrey-Hepburn-worthy jumpsuit.

By backing her Kickstarter, you’ll score rewards like limited-edition illustrations, scarves and early bird access to her collection. The best part? She’s feting the launch tonight.  Read more »

Why You Should Definitely Back Felt + Fat’s Kickstarter

We’re positively enamored. | Images via Instagram

This month in the print edition of Philadelphia magazine, we called out the Port Richmond-based ceramics line, Felt + Fat and teased an upcoming Kickstarter campaign. Well, exciting news: their Kickstarter is finally live and it’s your chance to nab some painfully cool dishware for yourself. Who knew we’d ever be this psyched about plates? Read more »

Smak Parlour Launches Kickstarter for New Capsule Collection

Image via Smak Parlour

Image via Smak Parlour

First you helped local jewelry brand Geography 541 reach their fundraising goal. Then, you rallied to make United by Blue’s bison socks a smashing success. Now, local boutique Smak Parlour needs your help. To celebrate 10 years in their Old City brick-and-mortar, they are releasing a new collection and they’ve launched a Kickstarter to help fund it. The ultra-feminine, retro collection includes two dresses, two peplum tops, a tent blouse and a high-waisted skater skirt — all in the sweetest prints imaginable. Prices will range from $78 to $128.

Brand masterminds Abby and Katie have collaborated with local artists to create their one-of-a-kind prints. Collaborators include: muralist and street artist Joe Boruchow, Smak Parlour employee and illustrator Chelsea Goich, and Dave Holley, an artist and graphic designer (he imprinted their insanely cool fashion truck!). And we’re officially smitten with this homegrown collection.  Read more »

Brewery ARS Kickstarter Party Is a Victory Party

The brothers

The brothers

Sean and Andrew Arsenault, the twins behind the kickstarter to raise money for Brewery ARS, have hit their goal of raising $30,000 (it was all Rose!). To celebrate the end of their campaign they’re throwing  a “Kill the Kickstarter Campaign” party at Kraftwork in Fishtown.

You can check out the event on Facebook, but here are the details: the twins will be serving their “Salted Caramel Chocolate Stout” and “Old Stoop” (a “lightly smoked dark ale infused with wildflower honey”), and the party starts at 5:30.

You can still donate to their campaign and get cool stuff like t-shirts, growlers, or even a pizza party.

Help Two Charming Redheads Fund Their Brewery

Come play with us, Danny. Forever and ever and ever.

Come play with us, Danny. Forever and ever and ever…

Sean and Andrew Arsenault are twin gingers (twingers?) hoping to fund their dreams of opening Brewery ARS through a kickstarter campaign.

According to their campaign video (which you can, and should, watch below because it’s amazing), “Philadelphia deserves more great breweries.” Apparently Portland has 50, and I personally refuse to be out-drunk by Portland. That’s like losing a shot competition with your grandmother. Not acceptable.

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10 Best, Worst and Weirdest Philly Kickstarter Campaigns That Have Actually Been Funded


They funded what?

Thanks to Kickstarter, over 77,000 projects — from art and design to fashion and tech ventures — have been independently funded. Some of these projects are wonderful, admirable even, and others are odd (“Let’s crochet a house!“), odder (“a study testing the effectiveness of medieval warbows against medeival armor“) and, well, human skin wrapping paper.

Many Kickstarter projects — both fully funded and sadly unsuccessful — have been launched in our great city. Here are the best, worst and weirdest of the bunch, as well as updates on where everyone is now. (Spoiler: If you ordered a Smart Pen, you might be out of luck.)

See ’em all here.

Kickstarter We Love: Graffiti Lamps, the Splashy Alternative to Boring Lights


Light it up!

The latest Kickstarter campaign I’m digging is by a guy called Seth Manlove. (Yes, real name.) His lamps are completely handmade in his Lancaster County workshop and they’re a breath of fresh air in a home decor category that can take itself very seriously. (See: this. And this.)

While grand crystal concoctions have a place—Versailles—spunkier versions like Manlove’s feel cooler, fresher, a bit like your artwork jumped off the wall and splashed itself onto the nearest object. But it’s not all could-be-garish tagging—some of the designs are more polished than you’d expect.

Click here to see them all.

Birchrun Hills Looking to Expand Cheese Business

birchrun-hills-farm-940Birchrun Hills Farm in Chester Springs, PA is already known for several of the cheeses that they produce on the farm. But in order to move their cheese-making business forward they need a cheese cave and some other pricey additions. The family-run dairy has already secured financing to build the cheese cave but they’ve turned to Kickstarter to raise funds for a curd vat, shelving and cooling system.

Sue Miller and her family hope to raise at least $25,000 in the next month and is kicking off her Kickstarter with some launch events.

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