Tonight: Reef the Lost Cauze and Smif-n-Wessun

Hometown hip-hop hero Reef the Lost Cauze.

Hometown hip-hop hero Reef the Lost Cauze.

This stacked rap bill promises righteous beats to bob heads and badass rhymes to move minds. Which is not to say either act gets the “conscious hip-hop” tag too often: Both are forged in the ’90s/2000s underground and come from tough streets (and tough scenes), and they wear that badge proudly. They rep their hometowns. They talk about guns. They’ve seen some things. Both Smif-n-Wessun (aka Tek and Steele of Brooklyn’s Boot Camp Clik) and hard-touring, rap-battle-tested, Philly MC Reef the Lost Cauze make witty, gritty, adrenalized hip-hop. This two-fer makes good sonic sense.

Okay, now let’s watch some (NSFW) videos. Read more »

The Pancakes and Booze Art Show is Back on Saturday

Photo by Bunny Mast

Photo by Bunny Mast

Tom Kirlin got the idea for the Pancakes and Booze Art Show during his college partying days in Tucson, Arizona, where the only place open after a night of drinking was IHOP. He often thought how great it would be to open a restaurant that combined the two, serving up both pancakes and alcohol. Kirlin didn’t open that restaurant, but when he started curating art shows he kept the concept, combining up-and-coming artists, live music and DJs with drinks and, of course, free pancakes. Read more »

6 Shows To See This Week That Have Nothing in Common

Dance to Audien at SoundGarden Hall. Photo provided

Dance to Audien at SoundGarden Hall. Photo provided

Teyana Taylor @ TLA | Thursday, April 28
Apparently some people on MTV’s My Super Sweet Sixteen can do more than complain that their new BMW has the wrong color birthday bow on it. When R&B singer Teyana Taylor was on the show, she had just signed to Pharrell’s record label, then later moved to Kanye’s G.O.O.D. Music to release her debut album, out now. Also, she may have been a character on Empire.

Yo-Yo Ma @ Verizon Hall at The Kimmel Center | April 28 to May 1
The famed cellist has a slew of Grammys under his belt, including his most recent one for Best Folk Album. He’s teaming up with the Philadelphia Orchestra to perform American composer John Williams’ Cello Concerto, which Williams wrote specifically for Ma. If you’re not convinced: Williams wrote the score for every film you love, from Jaws to Jurassic Park.

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Concert Review: Thao & the Get Down Stay Down at Underground Arts

Photograph by Chris Sikich

Thao Nguyen at Underground Arts. Photograph by Chris Sikich

Awash in memories personal to her, the crowd and this reviewer, Thao Nguyen, the powerhouse leader behind Thao & the Get Down Stay Down, delivered a stinging set at Underground Arts on Sunday. Playing behind their stellar 2016 release A Man Alive, Thao and company took Philly into Sunday morning with a vengeance. Read more »

“Kathapalooza!” to Benefit Beloved Punk Rocker Battling Cancer

12525396_10206493988002444_8928253392027928759_oSix regionally renowned bands of the ’80s and ’90s are sharing the Underground Arts stage Arts this Saturday for an alternative type of Lollapalooza whose artists are gathering for a greater cause – helping to fund cancer treatment for a beloved punk rocker named Kathleen Mullaney.

After the Levittown native was diagnosed with metastasized breast cancer last spring, Jason Cox, a close friend, used his influences as a recording engineer and record producer to organize “Kathapalooza!” Read more »

Interview: Lil Dicky

Courtesy of Lil Dicky

Courtesy of Lil Dicky

Fame and success has come to Lil Dicky so quickly that he’s made it look a little too easy. The 27-year-old rapper, whose real name is Dave Burd, carved out some fresh territory in the crowded world of rap a mere two years ago by head-faking the entire rap culture and taking it to the hoop the opposite way. (He’s a huge basketball fan and a serious three-point specialist.) He’s amassed a huge fan base with his comical, raunchy raps that espouse self-deprecation, hard work, thrift and authenticity, speaking the “truth” of his life, which is white, upper-middle class, well-educated and Jewish. Yet, he doesn’t neglect weaving in familiar rap themes like weed, sports and sex.

If he didn’t have an impressive “flow,” no one would really care how unique he was. But his most recent single, “$ave Dat Money” with Fetty Wap and Rich Homie Quan (and a cameo by NBA MVP Kevin Durant), has nearly 12 million views on YouTube in only one month. Let that sink in a moment, because there are so many reasons why that sentence should make your jaw drop.

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America’s First Sex Toy Vending Machine Launching in Philly

Dr. Timaree (center) with creators TK and TK.

Dr. Timaree (center) with creators Vaughn Sandman and Dean Kitagawa.

It’s a vending machine where you’ll be able to get a whole different type of candy: Called PinkBox, this nifty new invention takes products that you would find in a sex toy store and makes them as easy to purchase as a Diet Coke or a packet of Skittles.

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Meet the Philly Man Who Played “Keanu” in Point Break Live

Point Break Live Philadelphia

From left: Jo-Anne Lee (Keanu handler/stunt double), Bob Babjak (Keanu fill-in plucked from the audience) and Michael Christoforo (Bodhi) at Point Break Live at Underground Arts last weekend. (Photo: Dan McQuade)

“My name is Johnny Utah,” the man on stage said. Everyone at Underground Arts screamed the next line along with him. “I am an FBI agent!

The man on stage was Bob Babjak, a freelance copywriter in Philadelphia. Last Saturday night, he was playing “Keanu” at Point Break Live, a parody of the 1991 action/bank heist/surfing/skydiving film. The movie stars Keanu Reeves as Johnny Utah — a former Ohio State quarterback-turned-rookie FBI agent — tasked to investigate a sting of bank robberies committed by surfers wearing president masks.

The conceit of the stage show, written in 2003 by Jamie Keeling, is that Keanu didn’t show up to play the lead in that night’s performance. But the show must go on, and so the role of Keanu is cast from the audience right there. People who audition have to read two lines and perform a physical feat. Read more »

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