Another 15 Diva Records to Always Be Thankful For

Janet….Shirley…Gloria….Madonna…Cyndi….Poe…..Cathy….Mariah….Wilson Phillips….Debbie….Britney…..TLC…..Katy…P!nk and our dearly departed, Ms. Houston. 

Let’s get to praisin.’ 

Janet/Rhythm Nation 1814   No words here….just lots of repeat viewings of the videos for “Miss You Much,” “Escapade,” “Alright,” “Come Back to Me,” “Black Cat” and “Love Will Never Do(Without You).” Or, as any Ms. Janet fans knows them as….the classic clips that changed the fucking music video landscape forever. But of course, it’s the video and oh, so still relevant thunder of the album’s title track that truly put this epic event record in its place…as a part of true pop music history. Is that end? Never when it comes to this standout Janet Jackson venture. 

Garbage/Self-titled “I can’t use what I can’t abuse” coos lead Garbage diva Shirley Manson on electric lead single, “Vow,” just one of the many satisfying Butch Vig cooked up offerings on the legendary rock band’s amplified debut opus. Whether you’re still just feeling all sorts of life with “Only Happy When it Rains,” trying to figure out exactly what “Queer” is really all about, or just straight up rockin’ it the fuck out to “Stupid Girl,” “Supervixen,” “Dog New Tricks,” or “Not My Idea,” even two decades later, there’s still not a dull moment to be found on Garbage’s groundbreaking freshman record…and that’s the angst-y truth.

TLC/OOOOH….on the TLC Tip While, yes, T-Boz, Chili and the dearly departed Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes’ sophomore set, CrazySexyCool, is indeed that fucking record, there’s no denying that their debut was–and most certainly still is–that fire. Whether gettin’ it done on “Ain’t 2 Proud 2 Beg,” keepin’ it actual and factual for their men on “Baby, Baby, Baby,” or serving up friendship truth tea on “What About Your Friends,” the ladies of TLC delivered a stellar debut that’s still in a “Hat 2 Da Back” class of its very own because “Das Da Way We Like ‘Em,” indeed.

Katy Perry/Teenage Dream:The Complete Confection  No matter the shade you’re still throwing at Ms. Perry’s latest set, Witness (it’s not really that bad, is it?…sigh), it wasn’t too long ago that she was giving us hit-after-number-one-hit (five, to be exact…you know them) off of her wildly successful Teenage Dream venture, which in turn was completely confected with the chart-topping “Part of Me” and the number two grabbing, “Wide Awake.” They’re all here and so much more, and for that we shall be forever grateful, bish. 

Poe/Hello While we could easily spill about how every beat, rhyme, ebb and flow (“Dolphin,” “Beautiful Girl,” “Junkie”) from Ms. Poe‘ s excellent debut set sounds as fresh as the day they were served into our lives over two decades ago, let’s face it, the album’s spooky title track and oh, so delightfully murderous “Angry Johnny” still hit our music “G” spots every fucking time.  And for that, we’ll certainly be saying “Hello” to all things Poe and this album for centuries to come. 

Debbie/Out of the Blue Before Ariana, Taylor, Selena, Demi, Mandy, Willa, Jessica, Xtina, Britney and Tiffany there was…Debbie. Not only was she just as perky as her music, but she truly was–and still is–a talented force to be reckoned with. Although her debut set is now thirty years old (pass the, each track including the cheeky title anthem, as well as “Shake Your Love,” “Staying Together,” “Red Hot,” and of course, “Only in My Dreams,” still get us shakin in our Jellie shoes upon every delightful romp. And when it comes to the music history making ballad “Foolish Beat” (at sixteen, Ms. Gibson is still the youngest person to have ever penned a number one single) and all of its sax-ed up, brokenhearted realness? Well, pass all of the Bon Bon’s and Kleenex now because it just came on and we still fucking can’t. Sigh…

Britney/Britney   Just think…..without this epic 2001 Godney offering there would be no “Slave” choreo…Banana the Python…Wade Robson…Dream Within a Dream Tour…performing in the god damn Bellagio water fountain…”I Love Rock and Roll”…..”Boys”(Co-ed Remix)…..”I’m Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman”…Crossroads………”What It’s Like to Be Me”(Hay, JT)…..and “Anticipating”( which is one of the best fucking tracks of Brit’s career). But most importantly, without Britney there would be no Britney. Now, get to praisin’ and thankin,’ y’all…because we must. 

P!nk/Can’t Take Me Home  Judging by the light rock anthem vibes of her chart bulldozing new single,”What About Us,” (and its politically charged music video), you would never know that there was a time that Mizz Alicia Moore was living that hot fushica haired R&B life on her 2000 debut. But, gurrrl, that she did for a sound that was complete with lots of cut-a-bitch sass, especially when it came to the 1,2,3 punch of singles “There You Go,” “Most Girls” and “You Make Me Sick.” And that time she owned MTV Icon Janet Jackson with her on point “Miss You Much” choreo? Fucking classic…and one of the top reasons we still live for all things P!nk today. 

Wilson Phillips/Self-titled  Corny? Yes. All things ’90s pop music cheese? Omg…seriously, kween. But those harmonies laced on #1 smashes “Hold On,” “Release Me” and “You’re in Love?” God damn priceless. However, any true, true fan of this Billboard Album Chart owning set knows that the true standouts are “Impulsive” and “The Dream is Still Alive,” you know, those two times that lead songstress Chyna Phillips (let’s face it, she was) let sisters Wendy and Carnie Wilson take lead vocals. Pure magic..and arrows through hearts drawn on misty windows for life, of course. 

Whitney/I Look To You   While any of our dearly departed Nippy’s Billboard smashing records will do just fine at any given one music moment in time, it’s I Look to You that deserves special attention as it’s not only Houston’s final record before she left us, but it’s actually, like, really, really good. While it’s noticeable that her voice is blessed with a huskier vocal range than we’re used to, it’s taken to full advantage here and shines on tracks “Million Dollar Bill,” “Nothin’ But Love,” “Like I Never Left,” and, sigh, “Call You Tonight.” And when it comes to the Diane Warren penned balladry of “I Didn’t Know My Own Strength” and the album’s title track? Well, it’s like Ms. Houston never left us because it’s all still here and then some in her final studio set. Miss you, boo. 

Madonna/Erotica   One of the best albums of the ’90s is also the most controversial as Madge’s fifth studio offering was full of in-your-face bedroom beats and sex club sonnets, all of which were fueled by the fire that came prior with the release of her now, oh, so infamous Sex book. And Since ’90s soccer Mom’s across the globe were busy throwing all of their shade at Madonna during this time, the Erotica struggle became a little too real and nearly eclipsed Dita’s music career. However…this album, tho. Full of Shep Pettibone provided deep house ditties “(the steamy title track, “Secret Garden,” “Deeper and Deeper,” “Thief of Hearts,” “Waiting”)with lyrics about finding yourself sexually (“Colonel Sanders says it best..finger lickin’ good,” Madonna spouts out on the oh, so double entendre laced “Where Life Begins”), indeed Erotica was a sex album for the ages. And guess what? It still is…and there’s a good chance those soccer Mom’s eventually did the nasty to it because it really is that fucking good. And when it comes to “Rain,” one of the the best ballads ever god damn recorded? Well, we’re still drippin’ and livin’ for all things Erotic….a

Mariah Carey/Daydream   As much as ’97’s Butterfly is the MC album that settled the diva into a more R&B laced territory, it was her fifth studio set that started to pointed the singer’s fancy heels in a new musical direction. From the Tom Tom Club sampling stomp of “Fantasy” to the Jermaine Dupri perfected “Always Be My Baby” (Camp Mariah, anyone?) to the dearly departed pearl clutching fodder that’s still laced in the Boyz 2 Men co-starring “One Sweet Day” (which is still the longest running Billboard Hot 100 #1 single..ever), it’s Daydream that started to turn Mariah into Ma…rye..uh…and for this Mimi moment of truth we shall forever be thankful. Isn’t that right, Mr. O.D.B? Yes. And of course, “Underneath the Stars” and “Open Arms” for life. 

Cathy Dennis/Into the Skyline If there are any of you out there who might be shaking their heads in wondering who Cathy Dennis is, first of all, shame on you, second..listen up and then let’s fucking dance. Not only is Ms. Dennis’ sophomore set loaded with lip smacking’ ’90s dance flavor(“Why,” “You Lied to Me,” “Falling,” “Everybody Get Up”), but the English Breakfast tea sipping dance diva has also penned and produced many, many pop hits over the decades including Kylie’s “Can’t Get You Out of My Head,” Britney’s “Toxic,” Katy’s “I Kissed a Girl,” Janet’s “Island Life” and many, many more. There’s really nothing left to say here except bow down and let’s keep movin’ to everything served up by the one-and-only, Ms. Cathy Dennis. 

Cyndi Lauper/Bring Ya to the Brink    With a slew of producers including Max Martin, Kleerup and Basement Jaxx, everyone’s favorite Unusual gal cooked up one of the best dance pop records of the late ’00s…it’s just a shame that no one paid attention to it as it’s a truly mah-valelous studio set. From the twerks and thumps of “Rocking Chair,” “High and Mighty,” “Lay Me Down,” “Lyfe,” “Same Ol’ Story,” “Give it Up,” and the simply gay-mazing lead single,”Into the Nightlife,”(the video was shot at now closed NYC gay hot spot, Splash), Ms. Cyndi’s ninth studio set is one that everyone should experience at least one or two hundred times in their lifetimes. Meaning..right now. Go. 

Gloria Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine/Let it Loose  While pretty much every track and single (“Betcha Say That,” “1-2-3,” “Surrender,” “Love Toy”) served up from Ms. Estefan and her merry MSM band mates’ sophomore set taught us to bailar por el resto de nuestras vidas, we also learned a valuable life lesson here…..that indeed the “Rhythm is Gonna Get You.” And when it comes to this still fiery record..we might as well let it. Now, dance..todos los dias..because we must when it comes to not just this set, but all of these diva offerings. Let us bow our heads and..go. 

For Part One… here. 

For Part Two… here. 

Cover photo courtesy of Billboard 



Philly Weekend Entertainment Groove

Let’s weekend, shall we? Yaaas.

Sing Your Life Karaoke w/Ms. Sara Sherr Those annoying end-of-summer doldrums you down? Well, get the f#$k over it and head out to belt out your favorite Sing Your Life Karaoke groove at any one of these fabulous locations listed below. Of course, it’s all while you show your love to the always lovely and gracious, Ms. Sara Sherr, whose got you covered like a banana hammock until Labor Day weekend and beyond with all of your song butchering need. Now, sang. Sun, 9-2 Bob and Barbara’s, 1509 South Street Tues, 9-2 12 Steps Down, 9th and Christian Thurs,9-2 W/N W/N 931 Spring Garden, Fri, 9-1 Southhouse, 2535 S. 13th St. Saturday, 9-1:45 Les & Doreen’s Happy Tap,1301 E Susquehanna Ave

Wicked If you’re one of the very few left in Philly and the burbs who hasn’t experienced Wicked at The Academy of Music yet, you better fly to the box office because like summer itself, this award snatching show will be zipping off before you know it. Go right here to spend your green and prepare to get lost in all of those dazzling green-lit Broadway memories that’ll be headed your way when you experience this show. Various dates & showtimes through August 27th/Academy of Music/1420 Locust St.

Dawes/John Mayer As if the swooning powers provided by Mr. Mayer weren’t enough to get our weekend lives in check, folk-ed up L.A. based band Dawes will also be along for the live music ride across the river tonight. Get those tickets and let us pray that the weather holds up…sigh…is it fall yet? Tonight, BB& T Pavilion, 7 pm, 1 Harbour Blvd.

Faith Hill/Tim McGraw   While anyone with tickets to this show has certainly been counting down to witness the concert pairing of everyone’s favorite Grammy owning husband and wife country kissed duo (there’s still some tickets left so get yours here), we just can’t help but to relive that time (over and over again, of course) Ms. Hill was a tad bit upset with Carrie Underwood…classic. Tonight, 730 pm, Wells Fargo Center 

And of course, “This Kiss” for life. 

DJ Jimmy DePre  Although summer may be rapidly coming to an end, the werk provided by Mr. DePre every Friday & Saturday night at everyone’s favorite yaaas kween dancing spot is always in sun-kissed season. Now, dance…bish, dance. Every Friday & Saturday night, 10 pm, Tavern on Camac, 243 S. Camac St. 

DJ Chris Urban   You know how it’s going down like Ms. Blige when it comes to the weekend feast of beats cooked up by one of Philly’s most right DJs…..L’Etage every Saturday (10 pm, 624 S. 6th St.) and Positano Coast every Sunday(12pm-4pm, 212 Walnut St.) Go. 

American Idyll:An Original Burlesque Story  Gird your tassels, guys, galz, kings and kweenz, because the always fierce Honeytree Evil Eye and Isa Ardiente are serving up Nudey Tunes: American Idyll, an original dark-and-twisty Philly Burlesque kissed story about the future of making ‘Murica great again and so, so much more. For more spilled tea about this truly one-of-a-kind local entertainment event (plus its killer cast list) peep this. And for tickets..go here, right now because you don’t want to miss this one, kids. Seriously, tho… Tonight, 9 pm, Ruba Club, 416 Green St. 

Drag Me to the Landmark:Queens for the Kitties Edition    If you’re looking to add a little meow, purr and pussy….cat lovin’ into your weekend, then the time has come for you to hiss-y that walk (or take an Uber because the event’s in New Jersey) to join your crazy cat lady hostess for the evening, Ms. Astala Vista, along with Brittany Lynn, Iris Spectre, Maria Top Catt, Cleo Phatra and Ms. Vinchelle for a night of drag-tasctic entertainment and all of the pussy grabbin’ you can muster! Of course, the most purr-fect part of this whole shindig (besides all that talent) is to raise funds for the wonderful New Jersey based Animal Welfare Association(which you can donate to right here if you can’t make it tonight), so get out there and put your paws up for the kitties, kweenz! Tonight, 9 pm, Landmark Americana, 1 Mulica Hill Road, Glassboro, NJ 

Foxes & Friends  In the mood to get a little Fox-ed up this weekend? Really, who the fox isn’t? Then you must not hesitate to shimmy it on over to Franky Bradley’s and head on upstairs for the brand spankin’ new launch of Foxes & Friends–an early dinner and show experience featuring Philly’s Foxes (go right here to greet all of this fucking talent and grab those tickets) and some truly very special and entertaining guests! Your debut round will not only give you everything the Foxes have to offer, they’ll also be joined by Dottie Riot, Fagl Roq and Onyx Onyx, all while giving you a fabulous night of pure Philly entertainment. So, get over your shit and go. It’s that simple. Tomorrow, 7pm-10 pm, Franky Bradley’s, 1320 Chancellor St.

Das EFX/The Sugarhill Gang/Doug E. Fresh/MICHEL’LE/Big Daddy Kane/Schoolly D  As if that stellar lineup isn’t enough to make you want to snatch those tickets up and get ready to relive those delicious old school Hip Hop and R &B memories, it’s really nice to see the name Michel’le again, isn’t it? When it comes to the classic vibes and sass of her smash, “No More Lies,”….abso..god…damn..lutely. Sunday, 7 pm, Dell Music Center. 33rd/Ridge/Dauphin Streets

Also on the local and legendary entertainment decks for your Friday……..  Soul Clap @Coda (11 pm, 1712 Walnut St.)…….  Dayne Jordan/Lupe Fiasco @The Foundry (830 pm, 1000 Frankford Avenue)…….  Luke Holland @Voltage Lounge (5 pm, 421 N. 7th St.)…… Timeshares @Kung Fu Necktie (7 pm, 1248 N. Front St.)…….   In the Presence of Wolves @Bourbon & Branch (8 pm, 705 N. 2nd St.)………..Saturday……….Hank Williams Jr. @BB&T Pavilion (7 pm, 1 Harbour Boulevard)……..  Nicky Romero @Haven Nightclub (10 pm)…….   Bel Heir @Boot & Saddle (8 pm, 1131 S. Broad St.)……….  RFA @The Barbary ( 7 pm, 951 Frankford Avenue)…….  The Only Way @The Trocadero (6 pm, 1003 Arch St.)……..  Dave P @The Dolphin Tavern (8 pm, 847 N. Third St.)……. Sunday…….   Showtunes Sundays @Tavern on Camac (9 pm, 243 S. Camac St.)……. Sinful Sundays w/The Godess Isis @Tabu Lounge & Sports Bar (9 pm, 200 South 12th. St.)…….   Liberty Music Fest @The Grape Room (all weekend, 105 Grape St.)……..   Santana @Borgata Event Center (8 pm, One Borgata Way)………  Vance Joy/Portugal. The Man @Festival Pier (2 pm, Columbus Blvd & Spring Garden Sts.)………. Cormega @ Silk City (830 pm, 435 Spring Garden St.)……..


Cover photo courtesy of 



Philly Weekday Entertainment Groove

In today’s f@cking bat shit crazy world, there’s no better time to live and get lost in as much as local and legendary entertainment shenanigans as possible. In other words….go and be god damn kind to one other for f@ck’s sake.

Sing Your Life Karaoke w/Ms. Sara Sherr   Those end of summer blues got you down? Well, get the f#$k over it and head out to belt out your favorite Sing Your Life Karaoke groove at any one of these fabulous locations listed below. Of course, it’s all while you show your love to the always lovely and gracious, Ms. Sara Sherr, whose got you covered like a banana hammock with all of your song butchering needs. Now, sang. Sun, 9-2 Bob and Barbara’s, 1509 South Street Tues, 9-2 12 Steps Down, 9th and Christian Thurs, 9-2 W/N W/N 931 Spring Garden, Fri, 9-1 Southhouse, 2535 S. 13th St. Saturday, 9-1:45 Les & Doreen’s Happy Tap,1301 E Susquehanna Ave

Wicked   If you’re one of the very few left in the city who hasn’t experienced Wicked at The Academy of Music yet, fly to the box office because like summer itself, this award snatching show will be zipping off before you know it. Go right here to spend your green and prepare to get lost in all of those dazzling green-lit Broadway memories that’ll be headed your way when you experience this show. Various dates & showtimes through August 27th/Academy of Music/1420 Locust St. 

Full Front Street  If you (yes, you) haven’t gotten lost in all of the tassels worthy talent that takes over the fabulous Victoria Freehouse every Monday, then the time is…now. Meaning, head over there tonight to join your ever so yaaas hostess, Ms. Honeytree Evil Eye, along with Lezzie McGuire, Vonka and Sara Soda who’ll be serving so much Philly Burlesque truth that it’ll be sort of ridiculous. Go.  Every Monday/9 pm/The Victoria Freehouse/10 S. Front St. 

Mister E’s Shock-Show Gong Show   Get ready, kids, because the always delightfully cray Philly entertainment trip, Dead Flowers, will be hosting the Gayborhood’s only TV’s “Gong Show” inspired competition show! Join the DF crew for an incredibly fun night of stupid human tricks and unpredictable weirdness as competitors (for the full list, go here) compete for the title of most shocking and a healthy $150 cash prize…..and yas, kween, there will be a gong and it may (definitely will be) used.  Tuesday/9 pm/Tabu Lounge & Sports Bar/200 South 12th St. 

Cloud Nine Shimmy on over to the Gayborhood this Thursday night and join your esteemed local DJs–Brando Calrissian and JCLEF–who’ll be joining forces at Tavern on Camac’s Ascend Lounge to serve you a wildly fabulous mix of deep house, club hits, rewerks, throwbacks and lots, lots more, all while your Gayborhood bartending bestie, Michael Rasmussen, will be serving up them dranks to make you dance, bish. Because you will. Wednesday/9pm/The Ascend Lounge at Tavern on Camac/243 South Camac St. 

Sheila E./Dave Koz/Larry Graham  While we could easily go on and on about the impeccable live music artists of all of these artists (seriously…you might not want to miss this one), we just have to press play on Ms. E’s “The Glamorous Life” over and over and over again. No further statements.  Thursday/Dell Music Center/7 pm/33rd/Ridge Dauphin Streets 

Jimmy Buffet   “Margaritaville” for life.  Get those tickets.   Thursday/8 pm/BB&T Pavilion/1 Harbour Blvd.

Lionel Richie w/Very Special Guest Mariah Carey  There’s really nothing to say here except that the entire tri-state area has been waiting five long months for this rescheduled show from March so it better be damn good. However, lucky for us, word on the live music street is that it quite simply is. In other words, get those tickets while you still can while we prepare our “Dancing on the Ceiling” and “Shoo do do do do” lives for this Thursday night. 7 pm/Wells Fargo Center 

Nitty Gritty:Beach Boys Meet the Lost Girls-A ’60s Dance Party  If you like gettin’ down the classic sound of such legendary old school music artists like The Crystals, The Rosettes, Beach Boys, The Sunrays (really…who doesn’t??) and many, many, many more, then you must head over to The Dolphin this Thursday night where the esteemed DJ, Mr. David Atlas, will have it all ready for you and all of your doo-wop needs. They just don’t make ’em like this anymore, kids, and this Thursday night you’ll hear exactly why. Thursday/8 pm/The Dolphin Tavern/1539 S. Broad St. 


Also on the local and legendary entertainment decks for your Monday……………..The Funeral Portrait @Voltage Lounge (530 pm, 421 N. 7th St.)…….Most Selfless Cheerleader @Johnny Brenda‘s (8 pm, 1201 Frankford Avenue)……The Phonies @Kung Fu Necktie (8 pm, 1248 N. Front St.)……..UhF @Blacony Bar @The Troc (8 pm, 1003 Arch St.)…………Tuesday………..Playboi Carty and Young Nudy @TLA (8 pm, 334 South St.)……….West Philadelphia Orchestra @Franky Bradley‘s (9 pm, 1320 Chancellor St.)……..Zeshan B @Boot & Saddle (830 pm, 1131 S. Broad St.)……….Flowercrown @The Barbary (8 pm, 951 Frankford Avenue)………Wednesday……In the Valley Below @Boot & Saddle (830 pm, 1131 S. Broad St.)………. Kari Faux @The Barbary (9 pm, 951 Frankford Avenue)…….. Lizdelise @Ortlieb’s (8 pm, 847 N. 3rd St.)………  TWEN @Everybody Hits (529 W. Girard Avenue)……..Thursday……   Mark Lanegan Band @Underground Arts (9 pm, 1200 Callowhill St.)…….Hoots & Hellmouth @Boot & Saddle (830 pm, 1131 S. Broad St.)…….. Jesse Hale Moore @Spruce Street Harbour Promenade (5 pm, Columbus Blvd @Spruce Street)……. Subtronics @Coda (9 pm, 1712 Walnut St.)