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Music Tea w/Felix and the Future

In today’s somewhat confusing(not to mention…so f@cking frustrating)times, it might seem a bit intimidating for an aspiring performer to just get out there and truly be themselves out of fears of this puzzle that has become our everyday lives. 

But really, where’s the fun in that?

In fact, now is the absolute best time for all of us to be who we are, whether on or off the music block.

And if there’s one invigorating performer out there who’s not just delivering a unique, out-of-this-world sound, but is also inspiring others to just simply….be themselves….it’s Mexican-American queer pop artist, Felix and the Future

Hailing from Brooklyn (and will hopefully be serving the likes of Philly very soon), Felix has crafted a style, sass and sound that has carved him out as a force to be reckoned with in the LGBTQ community, with this being in correspondence to the vivid response to his latest album, Holy Hands Vol 2 (go here), which has caught the eyes of ears of fans across the country.

However……you betta call Pink because Mr. Felix is just getting the party started. Just ask OUT Magazine, Heart is a Spade and Golden Press who’ve had nothing but fabulous things to say about Felix and the Future’s visually and electronically stimulating new clip, “Karen,” which is only a true pre-cursor to his latest intergalactic set. 

And since you’ve been such good guys, gals and gays, you’ll get to hang out with “Karen” below, but first get to know Felix as he stopped by Philly Mixtape for a far out music tea about, well,….it all

Take a sip….you’ll be glad you did. 

First up, spill for everyone about where you pull your musical influences and style from…  I am very inspired by Clara Rockmore, the virtuoso theremin player and the incredible uneasiness of music that she brought to the world. It was beautiful, otherworldly and also a bit sad. Klaus Nomi is another inspiration. He was so ahead of his time and so bizarrely talented, but had his career cut short by AIDS. If you don’t know his music, please look it.

Okay, let’s get this one out of the way because it stumps everybody….shout out a few albums you simply can’t live and breathe without…. I couldn’t live without The Hours soundtrack composed by Phillip Glass. (I’m actually listening to it right now.) it sends me into a deep meditative place that makes me hyper focused. I imagine that’s what Ritalin is like for college kids studying, although I’ve never taken it. I [also] couldn’t live without Boys for Pele by Tori Amos. When I listen to this album I see a black void with iridescent images floating in and out like storytelling angels. The level of imagination and surrealism inspires me every time. Kate bush’s Aerial is the album I listen to when I want to be bathed in sunlight. It floods me like July and it helps me through winter days.

Let’s spill about your riveting new set, How did it all come to light?  It came to light through darkness. Almost none of the songs take place during the daytime. I was on a night train in Southeast Asia when I started writing Karen. She was the gateway song into black space. For me, I was at a crossroads. Each song, like a mini planet, pulled up memories, dreams, failures, and struggles that had been bubbling under for years. Once I started writing they poured out of me like a fountain. I made a conscious decision to look into the face of everyone who made me feel inadequate, who mocked me, and also those that I had wronged and used my songs to speak to them. Maybe the songs will keep them from haunting me. Or maybe they are now e-ghosts! 

What are some other messages you hope to get across through your music and performances? The songs are a sanctuary for those in need. They are strange and sometimes disturbing, but they allow you to be whoever you want to be and take what you want to take. I hope the songs help you mine for your inner diamond.

What are some words of inspiration you would personally give to those who may be struggling through to make it in today’s tough times? Nothing is real. Reality isn’t real. Social media isn’t real. Everything is an illusion, and an illusion for you to mold to your liking with a little bit of glitter and resourcefulness.

What’s next for Felix and the Future on the 2018 horizon?  I’ll be on a mini tour with Hunger City this coming June. It’ll be East Coast/West Coast! He and I are also doing a weekly music + life chat via Instagram Live every Sunday at 10PM. So if you want us to come to your city hit us up! My new video A Voice from the Future will be premiering in the next couple of weeks with director Michael Saint-Onge. I’m playing at Transpecos next month. I’m shooting more music videos this spring and working on a Photo Concept Project with the photographer Joe Kramm.

One last sip…….describe Holy Hands Vol. 2 album in one word… Translunar

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‘Rain’ Tea w/Steve Landes

If there’s one thing that we can all agree on as time (quickly!) flies by, it’s that the sound, style and legacy of the Beatles will remain timeless for all of music eternity. 

Not only did the Fab Four change the entertainment landscape for which we lay our headphones upon into a brighter, bolder place, but they also provided us with a soundtrack that is still very, very, very much celebrated today just the same as when they stole our hearts appearing on The Ed Sullivan Show all the way back in 1965. 

Remember? Of course you do. 

In music fact, one of their most celebrated records, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, is celebrating fifty years of captivating our lives this year. So, to commemorate this truly golden occasion, members of the critically acclaimed stage show, Rain:A Tribute to the Beatles, have incorporated the entire album in their standout act.

And guess what?

They’re taking it to the beloved Academy of Music stage this Friday for a limited engagement that’s not to be missed…seriously. 

Yes, get those tickets and join Paul Curatolo(Paul McCartney), Aaron Chiazza, (Ringo Starr), Alastar McNeil  (George Harrison) and Steve Landes (John Lennon) as they not only deliver a show full of that one-of-a-kind Sgt. Pepper life and legacy, but a night out that any Beatles fan will never forget anytime soon. 

And as fabulous luck would have it, the multi, multi-talented Mr. Landes was kind enough to stop by Philly Mixtape for a hearty spot of Rain tea, where he broke mugs about his favorite tunes, what he wants the audience to take away from the show, and of course, just how he came to play the legendary John Lennon. 

It’s all here and so much more. There’s really nothing else to say except….get ready, Philly. 

Okay, first up….how does it feel to be a part of such a legendary show like Rain? It feels really great to be performing this particular version of our show, with the whole Sgt Pepper album included in our performance. The songs on that album were really groundbreaking at the time, and they hold up. This album really could’ve been made this year, and not 1967!

Tell everyone the story of how you came to play John Lennon…. My parents and my older sisters were Beatles fans back in the day. So by the time I came along, years later, The Beatles’ records were still some of the albums my family would play regularly. So The Beatles were always a part of my life. From there, I sang around the house as a kid, and wanted to learn to play guitar. My parents bought me my first guitar for my 10th birthday, and some of the first songs I learned to play were Beatles songs, of course! From there, I came to connect to John Lennon, his music, and his message of peace & love, more so than the other Beatles, so when the chance came up to do this sort of thing onstage, it was he who I wanted to portray. Studying the recordings & videos, reading all of the books I could get my hands on, just doing as much research as possible to him embody his character onstage, was, and is, an ongoing process.

Besides the Beatles–obviously!!–what are some of your personal musical influences? One of my favorite artists outside of The Beatles is New Zealand singer/songwriter Neil Finn, of the bands Split Enz & Crowded House. But growing up in the Philly area, I was really immersed in the Philly sounds growing up, from listening to Fifties and Sixties music on Oldies Station WFIL, to all the pop-soul stuff going on as I was growing up, like Hall & Oates, and the Philly Soul sound. I think that really helped shaped my tastes and musical styling. I love everything in that rock/pop/soul vein, from Marvin Gaye to Adele.

Speaking of Philly, as well as audiences everywhere, what is the one thing you hope they take away from this production of ‘Rain?’One of things I hope, when they see us performing the songs live, is that people realize what a great band The Beatles were. I feel that they’re still underrated as musicians (except – maybe people realize what a great bass player Paul was). But they were all incredible rock musicians, and really just a good solid rock band altogether. Also, the message of John Lennon’s and The Beatles’ music is one of positivity, and hope – Give Peace A Chance, ‘take a sad song and make it better’, All You Need Is Love. These are important messages, and I think we need them now more than ever. I hope audiences take that hope, positivity, and peace, love, & happiness with them after seeing our show. I know The Beatles’ music has the power to do that.

What has doing this show meant to you personally? Personally, this whole experience so far has been a dream come true, a real labor of love. The rest of the original Rain band members and I created the show, so seeing some of the things I suggested actually get used as a part of the show was exciting, and seeing what the other guys had come up with to create the show was equally exciting. It was quite the creative process for all of us, and we continue to add new elements to it all the time, such as the Sgt. Pepper album this time out. So that side of it is exciting for me, and I’m sure for the other guys as well.

What words of wisdom would you give any young dude or diva out there who decided right this second to enter this crazy music and entertainment business? If you find something you love to do, and it makes you happy, like singing, acting, playing guitar, or creating something — do it, do it, do it, do it, do it!! People can be negative sometimes – Don’t let anyone or anything keep you from doing it. Keep your options open, be willing to listen & pay your dues. And in the words of Del Paxton from “That Thing You Do”, “Watch your money; you’ll land on your feet”.

One last spot of tea……describe ‘Rain’ in 1 word….  LOVE. Audiences love The Beatles, what their music means to them, and how the love and brotherhood of those four guys affect them. We do what we do because we love the music, we have an admiration and respect for what The Beatles accomplished musically, and have a passion for recreating it live onstage.

For much, much more Rain tea (and to get to know the talents of each of the guys), check this out

Cover photo courtesy of The Kimmel Center

Get those tickets. 

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Rewerk Wednesday/Dzeko

So, who likes to f@cking dance? 

If you answered hell yes to that question (hopefully everyone did), then floor-filling DJ and dance music producer Dzeko is throwing the perfect pulsating party for all of us at NOTO this Saturday night. 

Getting his strobe-lit start in the late ’00s spinning at local hot spots in his native Ontario, the rising DJ first hit it big on floors across the globe with the deliciously thunderous anthem, “Whoop” (along with Torres), which was followed by a string of rewerks, festival appearances and a budding friendship with the one-and-only Club Life connoisseur himself, Tiesto

A couple of Dzeko dance ditties for your collection are certainly his latest fire, “Heart Speak.” The chill, yet ready “In Too Deep” also gets the werk done, and we just can’t leave out the glorious anthem, “Unforgettable,” which also co-stars French Montana and Tiesto. Hey, six million streams can’t be wrong, right? 

Get lost in all of it below and then go see, err, experience Dzeko take over NOTO this weekend

And for many more ways to celebrate life and stuff as we head into March (yes), work it on out right here and here

 

 

Cover photo courtesy of DJ Times