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Kickstarter Jam of the Day/Katy Perry/”Last Friday Night(T.G.I.F)”

I don’t know about you guys, but it has certainly felt like a long week. Most likely it’s because the last week of February always seems so much longer than any other week of the year, right? I must say though, it is delightful to know that March is almost here and warmer weather is THIS close to heading in our direction once again. Also, tonight is the last Friday night of February, so I figured Katy’s ode to destroying your weekend was just the perfect groove for today’s kickstarter jam. And THIS video….a Katy classic.

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5 Reasons Why You’ll Fall In Love With Bassist Ethan Farmer

Ethan Farmer is an artist, producer, musician, music director, genuinely a great guy. He is also one of the most well known bassists in the business. In fact, you might even hear one of his songs right now on your favorite station, as the extraordinarily talented Mr. Farmer has worked with everyone from Darius Rucker to Mary J. Blige and Pitbull, just to name a few on a very long list of collaborators. If the fact that Ethan has worked with Mary J. doesn’t sell you on his amazing talents, I’ve come up with 5 other reasons why you’ll certainly fall in love with him once you get to know this gifted bass player. Dive into my convincing case below:

1. He followed his passion…

He didn’t choose the bass guitar, it chose him. At the young age of five years old, he picked up his fathers bass and just a few years later, he joined his family’s gospel group, The Amazing Farmer Singers. From that moment, it all made sense to him. “This is who I am and what I was supposed to do. It was destined,” says Farmer of his career.

2. He’s a rockstar…

After his gospel roots and a major tour with Mary J. Blige, he took a left turn and became touring bassist for Hootie and the Blowfish. “I could roll right out of the tour bus onto the stage in jeans and a t-shirt. We would rock these festivals without a care in the world. That was Rock n’ Roll to me. It was the first time I actually felt like a rock star,” states Farmer of his Hootie experience.

Ethan playing with…Lionel Ritchie!

3. He’s just a regular guy…

Aside from touring, Ethan is a laid back regular dude. “While you’re on tour you miss that humble security. It’s nice to come home and be a normal person around your friends and family.” Before every show he prays to God and asks for his guidance while on tour. When asked about his experiences in Philly he mentioned that going to a Phillies game was his first baseball game..ever. “I went with Craig Robinson, we had box seats with amazing hospitality,” says Farmer, “I think it messed up everything for me for a future baseball game. It was just too awesome of an experience.” Ethan also shared a few music peers of which he looks up to as an artist-“I still would love to work with Sting, Eric Clapton, and hopefully play a show in the Dave Matthews Band.”

“Watch”

4. He welcomes spontaneity…

Ethan’s mind is always constantly changing. While his days may be organized by the tasks at hand (wake up, check the email, do a little social media, catch up with the band, make the setlist), he’s always changing things up to the last minute. “Each audience and each demographic brings something out of you. This makes you improvise. The band is always adapting to the crowd and the environment.” Ethan also shares his advice to aspiring performers and recording artists as well, sharing his inspiring words, “You weren’t wearing the shoes you were 10 years ago. Don’t hold on to the same thing. Get yourself outside the box, be spontaneous, and get your light on.”

5. He lives in the moment…

For years, Ethan had people breathing down his neck to record a solo album. “I didn’t have the self confidence in who I was until recently. I wanted this album to show my personality.” ‘Wine and Strings’ is him at his most personal, an invitation into his world. The album was recorded in less than 2 weeks. Of the groovy record Farmer says, “Where you were at that moment in time, that is the masterpiece. That’s when you should make a record.” Are you guys in love? We certainly are.

To listen to ‘Wine and Strings’ check this.

For more jam sessions with Mr. Farmer, go here.

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“Throwback Thursday”/’The Box’

What do late-’90s videos, “…Baby One More Time” by Britney, “Candy” by Mandy and “Faith” by Limp all have in common? While yes, all three are all ‘TRL’ staples and they’re also songs you continuously butcher on karaoke nights, but they’re also videos that you used to dial up and pay for on a little known T.V. channel called, ‘The Box.’ Yes, this music channel ruled our lives and drove our parents crazy in the late-’90s and early -’00s, because for just $.99 you could pay for and control the videos that you wanted to see. Today, we’re going to press pause on featuring a classic album for your Philly Mixtape “Throwback Thursday” and instead, we’re going to take a stroll down the music memory runway in a different way, by diving straight into ‘The Box.’ You know you miss it…

Founded in Miami in 1985 by Steve Peters and originally called, ‘Video Jukebox Network,’ the channel served as a television station for new Hip-hop artists and was hosted by a group of local Miami Bass rappers known as Miami Boyz. From the revenue Peters collected from the station, he formed a record label called Peter’s Records, but quickly went belly up after none of his featured artists had managed to produce a hit record. (I tried.) In turn, he ended up selling the name and the label in the early ’90s, and the service shortened the name to ‘The Box.’ Soon after, viewers were able to request videos through a designated telephone number, having them enter a code to request either a new or classic video and ‘The Box’s’ infamous slogan, “Music Television You Control” was born.

At first, all of the channel’s request lines used a large chunk of Miami telephone numbers and callers were only charged for the fee of a long distance call. However, in order to make it rain for the newly bought company, they switched the line to a 1-900 toll number, with callers being charged anywhere from $1.99 to $3.99 per call and were allowed to request up to three videos. (Britney, Britney, Britney, please.) Once the new lines were in place, ‘The Box’ blew up and would go on to be widely known as being an “underground’ network for not only discovering new music artists, but for playing videos that were banned from MTV. (“Erotica,” “Justify My Love” and “Erotica,” please.)

It’s no secret how ‘The Box’ met its demise….no one gave a shit about music videos anymore and the launch of ‘TRL’ was such a dominate force to be reckoned with that the channel quickly lost steam. MTV daddy company Viacom bought ‘The Box’ in 2001 and went on to adapt its concept for a short while in a network you guys now know as MTV2. The concept lived on again in 2010 when cable music service Music Choice launched a similar version called, SWRV. So, don’t worry guys, ‘The Box’ truly never left us…

I remember some of my favorite ‘The Box’ moments were seeing Mariah’s epically choreographed “Heartbreaker” for the first time, J.Lo was all over the channel with “Waiting for Tonight” and I’ll never forget the first time I saw Mandy Moore in ’99 an wondered…”Who the fuck is that?” Alas, ‘The Box’ was the one that started the “Candy” singer’s career, leading her to a solid two more years delivering hits. Ahh, memories. Dive into ‘The Box’ favorites below, and remember kids, ask your parents first! Happy “Throwback Thursday!”

Britney Spears/”…Baby One More Time”

J.Lo/”Waiting for Tonight”

Mandy Mooore/”Candy” 

Mariah Carey/”Heartbreaker”

XXXtina/”Genie in a Bottle”

Korn/”Freak on a Leash”

Limp Bizkit/”Nookie”