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Pride Groove of the Day/Various Artists/”Hands”(A Song For Orlando)

Today just isn’t a sad day for the LGBTQ community, but for all of us as one year ago today we lost 49 of our brothers and sisters in the deadliest mass shooting in American history that occurred at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, which also injured 58 others. 

If you’ll also remember, it was right around this time that nearly two-dozen entertainers including Jennifer Lopez, Gwen Stefani, Meghan Trainor, Juanes, Pink and Britney Spears came together to record “Hands,” a powerful ballad in which funds from the charity project went directly to benefit the families affected during the shooting and also helped cover medical costs and counseling efforts for those in need. 

Written by incredible songwriter Justin Tranter (Adele, Kelly Clarkson), as well as Julia Michaels, BloodPop, with production by Mark Ronson, “Hands” not only sends all of our rainbow love and beyond to those we lost during that horrific night, but it also sends the message that hatred and resentment will never, ever, ever god dam win…and it’s up to us to make that happen. 

Of course, another goal in mind with “Hands” is that Tranter wanted to make sure that everyone wouldn’t forget that this wasn’t just an attack on the LGBTQ community, but one of color being that the massacre took place during Pulse’s popular Latin Night. “I’m not educated enough to speak on the political details,” Tranter spilled to Billboard last year (which you can read more of right here), ‘I’m a songwriter, not a politician. It could have been a million things but clearly, 100 percent, this was an attack on the LGBT community and people of color.”

With that being said, today also kicks off Philly’s Gay Pride week……so before you plot out who to throw shade at, block on social media, which bars you plan on getting wasted at this weekend and plan your truly meaningless headless torso photo shoot to update your gay “dating”apps, take a moment to please, please remember what it’s all about here….the fight to end the fucking hate that seems to be never-ending these days. 

So, respect ya damn life, others and the great ones we lost on June 12th, 2016...as it’s the only way we’re gonna get shit done around here.

Let’s rainbow. 

Cover photo courtesy of Miami Herald

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Philly Weekend Entertainment Groove

Let’s get our (hot!!) Philly weekend entertainment party on and stuff, shall we? You know the answer…go.

Sing Your Life Karaoke What’s your favorite karaoke song? Chances are the fabulous Sara Sherr has them all (meaning…all the ones you belt in the shower) in her always sun-kissed Sing Your Life Karaoke collection, which will be serving your vocal chords all week long and beyond at any one of these fabulous Philly locations listed below. 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

Jerry’s Girls Grab those tickets for a magical evening this week (and during the weekend, too!) that’s guaranteed to be jam-packed with the still delightful music of Jerry Herman and some of Broadway’s best musicals, including Hello Dolly!, Mame, Mack and Mabel, Dear World and La Cage Aux Folles. What it all comes down to is…go. Enough said. Now-July 2nd, Walnut Street Theatre, Independence Studio on 3, various showtimes and ticket prices 825 Walnut St.

Motown:The Musical There comes a time in life when we must not run, we must not walk, but instead just straight up….dance. And while we’re all on the dance floor of this crazy little thing called life, we must groove it on over to see an incredible Broadway experience in the City of Brotherly Love…and Motown:The Musical has just what everyone is looking for at this very moment in time. But in case you need a touch further convincing as to why everyone should experience this Tony Award owning show about Motown Records pariah Berry Gordy and all of the incredible music stars that came along on his wild music tale-Diana! Smokey! Michael!–Philly Mixtape has these 5 reasons why right here as to exactly why everyone should grab those tickets to see Motown:The Musical while it’s here until this Sunday, June 11th….which means you have 2 more days to catch it..so, go. The Academy of Music, various ticket prices and showtimes, 240 S. Broad St.

Saturday Night Fever:The Musical Since you know you’ve got that “Staying Alive” strut more than mastered, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t boogie oogie oogie over to the box office at the Walnut Street Theatre and grab those tickets for Saturday Night Fever, the smash musical based off of the John Travota disco game changer, which also coincides with the fortieth (!!!) anniversary of the classically funkdafied ’70s dance flick. Of course, in order to truly prepare for this bedazzled spectacle, play, like, every Bee-Gee’s record ever as you grab those tickets right here, right now. Walnut Street Theatre, MainStage, May 16 – July 16th, $20 – $95, 810 Walnut Stree

Bryan Adams  Because you still live that “Summer of ’69” life and because you still lose your shit every time “Everything I Do(I Do It For You)” comes on, you’re definitely ready to see a true music legend take over the Mann tonight. And if you’re not, you will be once you snatch those tickets up.  Tonight, 8 pm, Mann Music Center, 5201 Parkside Avenue 

DJ Chris Urban   No need to pull up the pre-nup because you already know the deal….L’Etage tonight (10 pm, 624 S. 6th St.) and Positano Coast (12pm-4 pm, 212 Walnut St.) tomorrow for your Sunday Funday needs. No further statements. 

DJ Jimmy DePre  Just shut the f#$k up and dance, bish, because the beats provided by Mr. DePre are speaking and we all need to pay close attention. Tonight, 10 pm, Tavern on Camac, 243 S. Camac St. 

The Final Show at Blaze’s  Although it’s a somber occasion that after tonight the upstairs lounge at Blaze’s Second Story Loft will be saying “bye,” that’s no reason why you shouldn’t sissy that strut on over to party it up. So, join the one-and-only Ms. Tina Montgomery and the always woke, Ms. Donna Ria, (as well as a complimentary open bar from 7-8!!) as they get ready to close it all out in style in true Philly entertainment formation. Tonight, 7pm, show at 10 pm, Blaze’s Second Story Loft Bar, 2372 Orthodox St. 

Glister   As if you needed anymore clarification of the many, many glittery talents of Mr. Eric Jaffe, tonight he’s about to strike again along with a tremendously talented cast as they serve up their own version (and that it will be kids) of the classic story of the Merchant of Venice. Fresh from the event’s Facebook page (which you check out here for all the info, tickets and future dates)…”Featuring original music by Anna Michael and Travis Braue-Fischbach, GLISTER will transport you to a sexy, glitter-fueled world where the Banker always wins. Join the Banker and his tribe of Sad American Clowns in this rock and roll cabaret performance, but come prepared to tip because these clowns work for cash and an empty hat can stop the show.” Go. Tonight & various dates through June, L’Etage, 624 S. 6th St. 

BB&T Pavilion  From Jack Johnson tonight to The Killers and Foster the People tomorrow night, it’s going to be a hot one (literally..because this heat wave, tho) across the river in Camden this weekend, kids. Grab those tickets.   Various showtimes, BB&T Pavilion, 1 Harbour Blvd. Camden, NJ 

Sinful Sundays  Because it’s called respect for the werk, slay and Philly entertainment truth provided by Ms. Isis, Ms. Omyra and Mizz Navaya Shay once they own the stage of the Gayborhood’s longest running drag show. Now, werque. Sunday, 10 pm, Tabu, 200 South 12th St. 

Showtunes Sundays   No explanation needed as this event is the only reason you’ll be taking a break from binge watching the new season of Orange is the New Black this weekend.  Sunday, 9pm, Tavern on Camac, 243 S. Camac St. 

Also on the decks for your Saturday…..   Rodrigo y Gabriela and Ryan Sheridan @Electric Factory (830 pm, 421 N. 7th St.)…..  Dawes @The Fillmore Philly (8pm, 29 East Allen St.)…….. Girlpool @Union Transfer (830 pm, 1024 N. Spring Garden St)……Tedeschi Trucks Band@Merriam Theater, Kimmel Center (8 pm, 250 S. Broad St.)…… Camp Lo @ Johnny Brenda‘s (10:30 pm, 1201 Frankford Avenue) 

And for your Sunday Funslay…….   Happyness @Black Box, Underground Arts (9 pm, 1200 Callowhill St.)……. Jeremy Enigk and Tomo Nakayama @The Foundry (8 pm, 1000 Frankford Avenue)……. The Steel Wheels @World Cafe Live (8 pm, 3025 Walnut St.)….. Tectonic @TheBarbary (8 pm, 951 Frankford Avenue)….. Jaunt @Bourbon & Branch (7 pm, 705 N. 2nd St.) 

For much, much more Philly entertainment goings on, peep this and be sure to follow Philly Mixtape all god damn summer long….you’ll be glad you did.

Oh, and no pettiness allowed, please. 

I hear and know a f#$k of a lot from behind these words, kids and kweens….and for the love of Eden’s Crush….get over yourself as your shade, resentments and personal vendettas (am I right, Mr. Josh Schonewolf? Sigh…) will get you absolutely nowhere. 

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Philly Music Tea w/DJ Jazzy Jeff

A Philly music legend…

First Class DJ…

Mr. Will Smith’s “Summertime” co-conspirator…

And first class gentleman. 

Yes, those are all of the words and phrases that anyone could use when it comes to describing the many talents and unlimited creative perseverance of the City of Brotherly Love‘s very own, DJ Jazzy Jeff.

And now after thirty years of straight up making us werk for our “Summertime” lives and beyond, the incredible DJ is serving it up more than ever before, with sets at the annual Roots picnics, a killer opening set at last year’s Gaga/Lenny starring Democratic National Convention concert, and now a special event at NOTO Philadelphia, in which Jeff will be spinning it all sorts of out and then some a bit later this hump day evening.

But before he takes over our Philly dance music lives once again (and that he most certainly will do..), Jeff was ridiculously gracious enough to stop by Philly Mixtape for a few beats of local music tea where he broke mugs about the continuing “Summertime” madness, what it takes to keep on in today’s crazy times, and of course, his love for all things music. 

My man! Thank you so much for taking the time to chat with Philly Mixtape, from both a personal level and from all of your fans, we truly appreciate it. Now, I know that you’ve been asked a million questions about “Summertime,” but I just want to say that I was ten-years-old when that record came out, so I’m totally about that life. So, just getting down to the nitty-gritty of it all, how did you and Mr. Smith come through with the track? What was the overall vibe like putting it together? Tell me everything, man… Well, mainly it was Will’s first season on The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, so he was in California, so you know of course anybody on the East Coast…we get the four seasons..leaves turn brown and it’s golden..next thing you know we got the winter and there’s snow. But when spring hit and everybody started to come out [Will] called me because he was he was so used to eighty-five degree winters being in L.A. He didn’t get a chance to experience that seasonal change that we all grew up with. So as it started to get warm and him being nostalgic of Philly, he would call me and be like, “Yo, so what’s going on?” and I’d be like….it was eighty-two degrees here today and I got the car out and I wiped it down and [he would tell me], “Awe, man, I miss that!” And then we would turn it into…you remember such-and-such, you should see her..she look completely different than she did last year! [Those are] the things that we go through during the changes of the seasons, especially going from spring into summer…the first day that it’s hot enough to put out shorts..somebody got a new car who didn’t have one last year…some girl looks completely different..she was the “ugly duckling” and now she’s beautiful. You get all of those nuances of summer that [Will] absolutely missed being in L.A. because it was eighty-five degrees in December! So, that’s where the nostalgia part came in. And then it was [basically us] just talking about the feeling that you get with the seasons. And that’s kind of why I feel like “Summertime” has a different meaning to people who have four season climates. [It’s a cool] record to everybody in L.A., but everybody in Philly knows exactly what we mean going from fall, winter, spring to summer. And that’s how it was basically created, man. 

Now, in those “Summertime” recording sessions, did you and Will think you would have this kind of a long-lasting impression with a seasonal flow? You don’t ever think that. You’re making a record for the moment. Especially hip-hop records back in the ’90s, you know, we were just like, let’s make a cool record that kind of talks about the summer and next year it’s going to be over. You hope in your career that you have something that just doesn’t go away…that’s an ultimate blessing. Whether it be a movie…you know everybody still talks about Scarface…it’s passed generations..Al Pacino got one with Scarface. We’ve been blessed to have that with both The Fresh Prince of Bel Air and “Summertime.” It’s a golden blessing to have one, and it’s almost impossible to have two that you created something that sticks and transcends generations. But you don’t ever think that, I think that every summer since that record’s come out I think it’s the last one and their not going to play it past that summer…and as soon as it’s warm…there it is. 

Absolutely, man…there it is. So, I have to ask, how does it feel for you personally knowing that there may be a new little dude or diva out there getting their “Summertime” on for the very first time this year? You don’t ever get used to that. I tell people all of the time that so many times when I get together with Will, we’ll go through this nostalgic period..we’ll just look at each other and be like..’you believe this? No.’ Because everybody thinks that you just get used to it and settled in. I think it’s the exact opposite or I guess it is for him and I that as you get older you become more reflective of how difficult doing something like that is, so you become more appreciative…this is crazy..look at what we’re still doing. 

What are some of your personal favorite summer jams? Definitely “Summer Madness,” (by Kool & The Gang) where we got  “Summertime” from. Roy Ayers, “Everybody Loves the Sunshine.” There’s a lot of summer nostalgia out there. The funny thing is that a friend of mine, another DJ, Mick Boogie, came to me eight years ago and was like, ‘Hey, I got an idea,.let’s make a Mix Tape that just has all nostalgic summertime records.” It was pretty much, let’s make it a little bit over an hour–you do seventeen minutes..I’ll do seventeen minutes. We did it..had someone do the cover..put it out and got over a million downloads. Everybody was playing it. It was the exact same thing..thought it was over when it was out….we cool. Come spring time, we started getting all of these Tweets and messages wondering if we we’re going to do it again. We ended up doing a second one and we’re on the eighth one now. Summer brings a feeling of nostalgia that I feel like I’m almost responsible to provide the music for your BBQ. 

Okay, just to put you on the spot for a minute, shout out for me three of your all-time favorite records…. Can’t do that..Imma tell you why. People always ask me to pick my favorite Hip-Hop track. Music is like kids to me..I can’t pick my favorite kid. Mainly because I am a walking bank of music–I have all-time jazz records, all-time rock records, all-time hip-hop records. I am a music junkie. So, when someone asks me a question about picking my favorite music my brain goes in eighty-five thousand ways as soon as I hear that question. I love the Yellow Jackets, I love Chicago, I love Rare Earth. I can go down the list..I’m infatuated with ‘7os rock…I’m infatuated with the ’60s Chicago Oakland Scene and Flower Child..I’m excited about the ’70s jazz scene…my brain just splinters. It’s kind of like, I don’t know what to say. If I get in my car and drive to Philly..I might want to listen to some jazz or some Kendrick Lamar…it’s really crazy how my brain is when it comes to music..it’s a blessing and a curse. 

You know what, I get a lot of grumbles over that question from other artists I interviewed…so I appreciate your honesty. I guess it makes me sort of a hypocrite, too, because I know I couldn’t answer it..one day I’m in a Madonna ‘Ray of Light’ vibe and on Friday I’m sure I’ll be living that Katy Perry life when her new album drops….  Exactly! Cause it’s real! I’ve been put on the spot so many times that I trip on how my brain just shuts down because it’s like you hit enter ion the computer and it just starts going. I can’t figure out my favorite record today is! 

Okay, so you’ve been in the game a long time now, but do you still get nerves before a high-profile set, much like NOTO tonight? I never have lost the anxiety before I play. It’s just an excitement, you know, because it’s really dope to play records for people. It’s even doper for me to know the journey I want to go on and they don’t know the unexpected turns that I’m about to make that everybody’s going to look at me like I’m crazy…and when I make the full turn you gonna be like ‘Oh, My God, I can’t believe he did that.’ It’s almost like you have the answers to questions that will make people happy..and they don’t know when you’re going to give them the answers. And it’s not just that, I get a kick out of playing for people all over the world…great, I get to play at a cool spot for my hometown…but then it’s like, okay, I’m playing in The Philippines in Manila where it’s a whole different group of people who are just music lovers that want to hear the direction you’re going to play. So, you always get that little bit of anxiety. I almost feel like that if you don’t get anxiety or nerves before every time you play…you’re not really playing. 

I would ask you what people can expect from your set tonight, but my guess is you’re just going to straight up make them dance… I just play. I have a little bit of an idea of what I’m always going to do..like, I got a bass, but I love the fact that, you know, I can go off target and just do some stuff. I have a lot of friends that have played at NOTO. Everybody has raved about the club and how great it is. I’m just happy that it’s my turn. I’m happy because you get to play in all of these cool places around the world and now I get to play in a really cool place in my hometown. I’ll go and pretty much wing it. I am Philadelphia, so as much as I’m playing, I’m probably in the crowd having a good time. 

One last order of business, without going into all of it, there’s no denying that it’s a crazy world out there right now. And we need to spread the message to anyone that’s creative out there to keep doing their thing and let nothing stop them. So, what words of advice would you give to someone to keep it all moving along? Well, you know what, it’s crazy because sometimes the advice that I had or the advice that I took may not apply for today. I just tell people find something that you absolutely love and would do for the rest of your life for free. And if you work at it, nine-out-of-ten times it will be the thing that will take care of you for the rest of your life. I have been blessed that I have very rarely done any kind of job that I did not love. I don’t know how to do that. It’s interesting to me to give suggestions to people to ‘follow your heart’ because unfortunately there are a lot of people who haven’t had the ability to do that. And because I don’t know anything other, it’s more important for me to be happy doing something that I love. I just push people like…find out what your passion is…everybody has that kind of passion. A lot of times there’s always something that’s going to knock you off of your passion path, but if you’re passionate about something…don’t let anything or anyone stop you from at least giving it a shot.

And there you have it, guys and gals.

To catch up with DJ Jazzy Jeff at NOTO tonight, check this out, and for much more with this truly one-of-a-kind Philly talent, check out his official website right here.  

Are you an entertainer, promoter or event planner who’s the epitome of professionalism and dancin’ along fabulously in Philadelphia? Then Philly Mixtape wants to hear from you! For questions, comments and everything else in beat-tween (everyone’s welcome here, so don’t ever be shy), become a fan on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and/or email Patrick DeMarco at iluvbeatz96@gmail.com and let’s promote it ALL up proper…and together. Slay.

Cover photo courtesy of Lifestyle Asia