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Forgot About Friday/soulDecision

Sigh……………………
That collective release of music life air can certainly be interpreted in many ways when it comes to today’s long since, um, faded from the Billboard music charts subjects, Canadian pop trio, soulDecision…and yes, it’s phrased out just like that. 
For one, aren’t these fine-tuned boys still just so American Eagle/frosted tips worthy and adorbs? And two, where the f@#k did they go?? 

Getting their start in Vancouver,
soulDecisionvocalist/guitarist/keyboardist Trevor Guthrie, vocalist David Bowman, and keyboardist Ken Lewko–served out their first record, No One Does It Better, in 2000 with the production help of Charles Fisher, a famed pop producer who also worked with likes of Savage Garden and Ace of Base. Yes.

Their debut ditty, the ingenious “Faded,” was a chart topping smash in Canada, and would eventually crossover on into U.S. charts thanks to the heavy rotation the accompanying video received on a little show called TRL. Hey, Carson! And admit it, you know you where there in Times Square making sure “Faded” stayed on the countdown until it was officially retired.
And that cameo rap by rapper Thrust...how’s it go? Yo, it’s priceless. 
After the success of “Faded,” soulDecision released follow-up single, “Oooh it’s Kind of Crazy,” which was just as equally delish as its predecessor. The slinky groove fared moderate on the charts and kept the group momentum going…..for just a little bit longer until soulDecision were never heard from again.

Actually, that’s not exactly true…the trio did release their sophomore set, Shady Satin Drug, in 2004, and well, after that they were basically never heard from again as they have yet to release any new material since. 
But you have to admit, “Faded” is one hell of a  TRL worthy flow that we should never, ever forget about. Actually, wait, none of us early ’00s kids and kweens never have because let’s face it, most of us are still crunching on all things soulDecision..and that makes this delightful music memory quite alright for your Forgot About Friday night. 
Happy weekend! 

For many more music memories that we’ll never be able to live without, kick back and reminisce right here and here with Philly Mixtape 

Soul Decision cover photo courtesy of Spotify 

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Table Talk w/Marcus John of ‘RENT’

So, there’s this Tony Award owning, life changing legendary Broadway extravaganza called RENT...anyone ever hear of it?

Of course…the entire universe has as the dearly departed Jonathan Larson‘s rock musical about of a group of depleted young artists struggling to survive and create a life in Lower Manhattan’s East Village under the shadow of HIV/AIDS isn’t just one of the most iconic theater events that ever took over The Great White Way, but the fact that every single show for the 20th anniversary national tour takeover at the Merriam Theater this week has been completely sold out for months now..

……so, yeah, we’re all aware and more than ready for a RENT Philly takeover.

Just on a little side note…..for those of you who may not have been able to grab those tickets for this week’s round of shows, there’s some good news…it’s coming back to the Merriam this October 8th-10th and there’s still tickets left!! So, you should absolutely head to the Kimmel Center’s website and sing it out for those seats…right now. 

But wait there’s more…….so, you really, really want to revel in this legendary show and kick it with this incredible touring cast this week, right? Well, it just so happens that..you can. After you’ve picked your “Seasons of Love” lovin’ self up off of the floor, make those plans now as the incredibly talented cast—including Benny aka University of the Arts graduate Marcus John, whom you’ll delightfully get to know in just a second–will be taking part in Cabaret for a Cause at the Arts Bank Theatre at the University of Arts this Thursday night, March 7th!

Not only will you be able to revel in all of these fine actors and actresses’ talents and then some, but your ticket will get you in a raffle to win a pair of tickets to the closing night of the show this Sunday, March 10th. Also, being that these crazily talented kids are all about the “Love,” all proceeds will be donated to the incredible David Jenkins Memorial Scholarship Fund, which you can learn more about by clicking right here.

Okay, so putting the well deserved Philly spotlight back on Mr. Marcus John. Not only has he been simply crushing it with this esteemed production in the role of Benny (he’s not so bad, right?) but all-in-all, he’s just a really good guy serving out all kinds of chill, professional vibes that you should absolutely get to know…right now. 

Kicking things off at the table, and I personally thank you for taking time out of your bonkers touring schedule to chat, you and the cast have certainly been made aware that the Philly engagements of RENT this week have been sold out for quite some time! Does that add any added pressure on the cast at all? Maybe just a little?? The shows sell out quite frequently, especially in the bigger cities that we hit up. It’s really the legacy of RENT selling the tickets, we just do our thing regardless! Whether in the big cities or in a small town, we strive to give that same great performance to everybody. 

What does it mean to you personally to be a part of Jonathan Larson’s Broadway legacy? It all just definitely hits you when the show starts and when you see the crowd packing in. Having that many people [each night], it usually means that we’re going to have a responsive audience. It’s huge just to be part of something that’s so iconic and bigger than yourself. It’s just an exciting, exciting feeling just to be a part of this! 

Have you or the cast had a chance to meet any of the original Broadway cast? Actually, we have Not too long ago we met Rodney Hicks who was in the original run [as Benjamin Coffin III]. We’ve also gotten the chance to meet Jonathan Larson‘s Dad as well. 

Oh, yeah? What was that meeting like? He was really cool. He’s still good friends with our music supervisor, so anytime we’re in the area he tries to come and say hi. I’ve also spoken to Taye Diggs over the phone once, he played the original Benny (in the ’05 film version), so getting a chance to chat with him was really, really cool. 

Let’s spill some tea about those famed RENT audiences. Do you guys feel different vibes from different audiences being that at times this a heavy, heavy show? It’s definitely different. Sometimes we’re in parts of the country that don’t necessarily agree with the themes of the show, [those audiences] can be a bit more reserved. But there’s other cities where they know [the show] and sing along and get right into it. It’s a little bit of a crap shoot what kind of audience you’re going to get, but it’s mainly positive all the way no matter where we are. 

As someone who’s been doing your professional thing for quite some time now, do you ever feel nerves take over before a show..especially with RENT? Nerves aren’t really a thing anymore, honestly. As far as touring and performing, I’m going on about six years professionally and two years with this show, so it’s not so much nerves, but more focusing your energy. You know when you do something 200 plus times over the course of a year or two, you’re less worried about being nervous or whether if it’s going to go right because you know exactly what’s going to happen. You also want to make sure that regardless of what’s going on in your personal life, you can still give your best show. Just focus on being in the moment! 

From one artist to another, I’m sure you can agree that when personal mistakes are made, it takes a toll personally.. Oh, yeah. Absolutely. But it’s basically up to you to get over it. Mistakes will drive you crazy, but nobody cares! Even if they do, each audience will be a brand new batch of people who won’t know anything about it. You just can’t carry self criticisms with you. 

Closing out our spill, I just want to go to Lady Gaga’s Oscar acceptance speech about keeping it all going and being brave. Have there been any times in your career that you truly had to dig deep to find that strength to keep it moving? It happens non-stop because in our career, you’re constantly looking for the next job, constantly auditioning, which can lead to always being told no. So, you never really “make it” because no matter how many times you do a big show or tour, everything has to end. I guess I feel brave every time I go into an audition room or hear back right away…like this show. I actually didn’t hear back after the audition for a year. But it came around and they wanted me to audition again, I had to check with myself if I was ready to go through the rejection again if it’s happens…how can I get confident again and not harp on that, so it’s been a little bit of a journey and the second time around paid off! 

For much more with Marcus John and the exceptional 20th anniversary touring cast of RENT, you should absolutely check this out..now. 

Are you a local or legendary entertainer who’s slaying your craft and want the whole wide world to pay attention? Well, please don’t be shy (there are never any Miranda Priestly‘s here) and slay it up with Philly Mixtape right here and here and let’s have everybody take a seat to you and your talents! 

Marcus John cover photo courtesy of Broadway World 

 

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Weekday Entertainment Groove

This week for the entire city of Philadelphia and the tri-state area…it all comes down to one word….RENT

Plus, there’s all delightful kinds (truth) of local and legendary entertainment events to stock up on for your first full week of March right about…now. 

And might we also say, Rest in Peace Mr. Luke Perry…all of us ’90s kids are truly in mourning right now. Your bad ass gentlemen vibes and legendary sideburns will truly, truly be missed forever. 

RENT 20th Anniversary Tour/Merriam Theater So, there’s this Tony Award owning, life changing legendary Broadway extravaganza called RENT...anyone ever hear of it? Of course…we ALL have as the dearly departed Jonathan Larson‘s universe altering show is not just one of the most iconic theater events that ever took over the Great White Way, but the fact that every single show for the 20th anniversary national tour takeover this week at the Merriam Theater has been completely sold out for months now..so, yeah, we’re all aware and more than ready. However, for those who may not have been able to grab those tickets for this week’s round of shows, there’s some good news…it’s coming back to the Merriam this October 8th-10th and there’s still tickets left!! So, after you’ve picked up your “Seasons of Love” lovin’ self up off of the floor, head to the Kimmel Center’s website and sing it out for those tickets…now. 

But wait there’s more…..so, you really, really want to revel in this legendary show and kick it with this incredible touring cast this week, right? Well, it just so happens that..you can. After you’ve picked yourself up off of the floor again, make those plans now as the incredibly talented cast will be taking part in Cabaret for a Cause at the Arts Bank Theatre at the University of Arts this Thursday night, March 7th, where you’ll not only be able to revel in all of these fine actors and actresses’ talents and then some, but your ticket will get you in a raffle to win a pair of tickets to the closing night of RENT this Sunday, March 10th. Also, being that these crazily talented kids are all about the “Love,” all proceeds will be donated to the incredible David Jenkins Memorial Scholarship Fund, which you can learn more about right here. With that being said, the 20th anniversary tour of RENT is taking over Philly this week and it should be our duty to be ready for all of the historic Broadway magic that will be taking over the city. 

Philadelphia Flower Show Presents:Flower Power Florals…..for spring?? Always when it comes to the groundbreaking and riveting Philly Flower Show, which is delighting our senses at the Convention Center right this very second until this Sunday, March 10th! So, if you’re ready to get to sniffin’ and a smellin’ all of those groovy #thinkspring scents that are always bouquet-ed into Philly’s annual flower-stravanganza, now is the time to get those tickets and get to strollin through it all! Don’t miss any of it!! (Today until Sunday, March 10th)

Sing Your Life Karaoke Hey, spring fling karaoke kweens and kids….friends and lovers…the time has come….for all of us to belt out the hits for our spring singin’ lives! All you have to do is join the most fabulous Sara Sherr (respect, y’all) and her Sing Your Life Karaoke collection at any…or all…..of these phabulous Philly locations listed below…..and then get ready to sing as if your name is Barbra…it’s not, but try those vocals out anyway….it’s just that simple. Let’s crack some vases. Sun/9-2@Bob & Barbara’s……Tues/9-2@12 Steps Down……Thursday/9-2 @Milkboy Philly South St…Fri/9-1@Southhouse….Saturday/9-145@ Les & Doreen’s Happy Tap

Miss Amateur L’Etage Pageant  Haay, we all have to begin that locally slaying journey somewhere, and for a calvary of fierce and fabulous red-hot and rising local drag queens, that somewhere will be at L’Etage this Tuesday night! Join your host, Ms. Bev, along with guest judges Miss Amateur L’Etage 2018, Timothy Antwon Toler as well as this year’s Miss L’Etage 2019 kween herself Emily Valentine and runner up Kurt David behind the judging tables as they judge the likes and lewks of Robyn Bonacci, Matt Yee, Adam Montgomery Topher Lee Carmelo D’Angelo to see which queen has what it tucks to snatch that wig…for it all. It’s a sizzling competition that’s not to be missed…so don’t!! (Tuesday/8 pm)

Got Philly Live Music Vibes? There’s simply no denying that it’s a tough world out there for us all right now, and better way to say “thank u, next” to the ughs of life other than with a plethora of live music vibes for your grueling werk week ahead? And this upcoming week is indeed the perfect one to snatch a variety pack of tickets to everything as the laid back (and almost sold out!) light rock vibes of Dean Lewis and Jack Gray (730 pm) will be on display at The Foundry on Tuesday night, “Sue Me” songstress and Disney darling Sabrina Carpenter (7 pm) will certainly be cheering us with her perky stage presence at the TLA on Wednesday, and if you’re looking to go just a touch deeper into that live music life, eccentric beat serving duo BoomBox (7 pm) will certainly have it all with their impending takeover of Union Transfer this Thursday night. So, there you have it. Now, it’s turn to catch those Philly live music vibes all..week..long..go. 

That Gayborhood Friday Night Life, Though….. So..many…things and thangs to do in Philly’s Gayborhood for the start of your second weekend of March….all of Fri-slay night to do it all. Kicking things off, sashay on over to Voyeur for ’80s night of Drag Wars (730 pm) where you’re bound to see a buffet of talented local drag queens and some fiercely krimped wigs…..a crateful of handsome DJs will have all of your dance music desires met with DJ KRK and a brand new serving of his Underground fire will take you there and beyond downstairs at 10 pm at Voyeur after DW…..…..DJs Javascript, Mike Shaffer and Jake Charles will be giving it to us ’90s/’00s diva style with another Chap Stick worthy round of their LiPSMACKeRS dance floor shenanigans @Tabu (10 pm)……and Mr. DJ Chris Urban will certainly have us workin’ it like Missy when he takes over the upstairs at Tavern on Camac (10 pm) for another one of his trademark bump-that-rump on the floor romps. Let’s also not leave out all of the boys, bros, dudes and daddies you’re bound to meet (and look up from those phones guys…seriously) at Bike Stop, U Bar, X Bar and Knock, which are all the more reasons for all of us to get over our shit and just get out there and have some fun because quite frankly, we deserve it. Happy last Friday night like Katy, kids and kweens!! 

Lil’ Kim/Ocean Resort Casino Because when the legendary Queen Bee herself rolls down to the Jersey Shore, it is our absolute priority to get those tickets, gather up our entourage and roll right down right the f@#k with her. “Not Tonight,” “Lady Marmalade,” “Magic Stick,” “No Time” and literally everything this true rap diva legend has ever served any of us…for life. (Friday/10 pm

Dannic/NOTO Whether on a crunchy club banger, sticky deep house groove or quirky refiring of the classic “Toca’s Miracle” alongside DJ legend Fedde Le Grand, there’s simply no ditty denying that this powerhouse of a Dutch DJ will certainly be giving it to all of us when he takes over NOTO this Friday night. Fist pump it up right here for tickets. (10 pm

Also to put on that MUST do list for your first full week of March in Philly……

Tuesday/3/5

Bon of Osiris@TLA(630 pm)………Ann Teak’s Drag Show@Tattooed Mom(8 pm)……….Cass McCombs@World Cafe Live(8 pm)………Smile Empty Soul@Voltage Lounge(6 pm)……..Hot Flash Heat Wave@Everybody Hits(8 pm)…….iamjakehill@Balcony Bar @The Trocadero(730 pm)

Wednesday/3/6      

Gavin James@The Foundry(8 pm)……..Hump Day Hoe Down@Tavern on Camac(8 pm)……….Open Mic Night@Connie’s Ric Rac w/Jeremy Adam(7 pm)…….Madeline Peyroux@World Cafe Live(8 pm)……Uncle Acid&The Deadbeats@Union Transfer(8 pm)……..Nina Nesbitt@Voltage Lounge(8 pm)…….Mike Krol@Boot & Saddle(830 pm)…….Rachel Andie@Bourbon & Branch   (8 pm)

Thursday 3/7 

Yannick @Verizon Hall@Kimmel Center(730 pm) …………….Gender Blender @TABU(10 pm)…….Terminally Chill Dance Party@The Barbary(10 pm)…….Hippie Sabotage@TLA(8 pm)…….Jay Critch@The Foundry(8 pm)…….Psychadelic Porn Crumpets@Kung Fu Necktie(730 pm)……..Matt Kerekes@Everybody Hits(8 pm)………American Pleasure Club@Underground Arts(9 pm)……..SayMyName@NOTO(10 pm)……..Divinity Roxx@South Jazz Club(7 pm)……Sir Babygirl@Boot&Saddle(730 pm) 

Friday 3/8 

Cameron Catastrophe’s Collection of Curiosities @2ndstory Philly (9 pm)….Throwbacks@The Dolphin Tavern(10 pm)…..Creedence Clearwater Revival @Xcite Center@Parx Casino(7 pm)……..Nothing More/Of Mice and Men @The Fillmore(630 pm)………JJ Grey & Mofro @Union Transfer(7 pm)……..Morbid Angel@TLA(7 pm)……..Her’s@Johnny Brenda’s(9 pm)…….Bob Weir@The Met(730 pm)…….

For much, much more local and legendary entertainment shenanigans to get into this month and beyond, celebrate life and pop some bottles with Philly Mixtape right here and here

RENT cover photo courtesy of Kimmel Center