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Weekend Entertainment Groove

Happy second weekend of summer! 

Now, let’s keep those sun-kissed vibes going and get into…all of it. And newly reinvented Atlantic City….we see you and we’re comin.’ 

Let’s do it. 

Aladdin We’re heading into the final performances of this Tony Award winning darling before it flies out of Philly after what’s been a spectacular two-week run, so if you haven’t already, grab those tickets now before, well, you can’t. You should also get to know Aladdin himself, Mr. Clinton Greenspan, as he stopped by Philly Mixtape recently for a fun chat about it all. But seriously, go see this show while you can….your inner Genie will thank u. Tonight through this Sunday, July 1st/Academy of Music/240 S. Broad St. 

Sing Your Life Karaoke  What better way to kick off the start of summer other than to go sing your little heart out courtesy of the fabulous Ms. Sara Sherr and her always scorching Sing Your Life Karaoke collection, which will be serving Philly all summer long at all of these fabulous locations listed below. Fri/9-1 Southhouse, 2535 S. 13th St.Sat/9-1:45 Les & Doreen’s Happy Tap,1301 E Susquehanna Ave Sun/9-2 Bob and Barbara’s, 1509 South Street Tues/9-2 12 Steps Down, 9th and Christian Thurs/9-2 Milkboy South Street/401 South St.

You Can Never Go Down The Drain If you’re looking for a truly side-splitting night out (and a place to cool off) over this weekend look no further than the final few shows of this Mr. Rogers inspired and delightfully entertaining spectacle right here. Fresh off the official Facebook page…..”Mr. Rogers always said: no matter how bad things are, “You can never go down the drain.” Using and abusing iconic songs from the program, Philadelphia’s Bearded Ladies Cabaret puts this idea to the test. In this performance, expect a goldfish funeral, gay romps into the land of make-believe, and some earnest questions about irony. ” Bottom line? Don’t miss it and go right here for those tickets….now. Through this Sunday, July 1st/Wilma Theater/various dates & showtimes/265 S. Broad St. 

Mamma Mia! Since there’s still over three weeks until the gayest movie sequel ever made descends into our worlds (now until July 20th is, like, forever in Cher and Meryl time) why not go see the critically acclaimed national production of the original to help pass the grueling seconds along while it’s in Philly this summer? Yes. Just a word to your bell bottoms…tickets are going quick–because as we all know this show is life within itself–so don’t delay and shimmy on over to them right here and right now. Ready, set, “Fernando.” Tonight-through July 15th/various showtimes/ticket prices/Walnut Street Theater/825 Walnut St.

DJ Jimmy DePre  If you’re looking to channel your inner yaaas dancing kween with those grooves all summer long, look no further than right here. And of course, may you forever respect the DJ. Friday & Saturday/Tavern on Camac/243 South Camac St. 

Chris Stapleton Like you don’t have your tickets already. But for those who may not, grab them right here before you head over to Camden for what’s sure to be the most rockin’ concert of the summer. Tonight/BB & T Pavilion/7 pm/1 Harbour Blvd. 

Jesse McCartney If you’re wondering if this is the former Summerland star and “Beautiful Soul” crooner we’re talking about here…yes..yes it is. Ans rumor has it there may be, like, one ticket left, so check this out and then get ready to swoon for your TRL’d life.  Tonight/TLA/8 pm/334 South St. 

Radio 104.5 Birthday Show w/Imagine Dragons/Judah the Lion  Who’s ready? Get those tickets because this summer rock spectacle is not to be missed. Saturday/BB & T Pavilion/1 pm/1 Harbour Blvd. 

Summer Block Party w/ Jill Scott/Boyz 11 Men/DJ Jazzy Jeff  What’s going to happen when classic fires like “Golden,” “I’ll Make Love to You,” “A Long Walk,” “Motownphilly” and “Summertime” take over the Mann Center stage tomorrow night? Pure bliss. Check this out for yours and get ready to reminisce in the best way possible…through those killer baby makin’ grooves. 

2018 Summer Concert Guide What do Cher, Sam Smith, Jimmy Buffett, Britney Spears, Beyoncé, Jay Z, Pitbull, Foo Fighters, Cirque De Soleil and Shania Twain all have on common? They’re well on their way from taking over the Philly music stages this summer, which means you should waste no time in spending your hard-earned coin on it all. So, check this out and have the best summer concert season possible. What could be better than that? Absolutely nothing. 

Hard Rock Casino Atlantic City/Ocean Resort Casino You want might want to start clutching your pearls now as you start to read this because the next statement is actually very true….Atlantic City is returning to form once again and it’s all kicking off right now. With the opening of Ocean Resort Casino (the former Revel) and the Hard Rock Casino (the former Taj Mahal), the buzz is certainly hot, but what’s most important is that people checking out the new casinos are optimistic in saying that it’s all beginning…again. After losing five casinos in five years, these two new hot-spots seem to be just what the doctor ordered for a once booming Atlantic City. Plus, when you’ve got Jamie Foxx, Mark Wahlberg, Carrie Underwood, Pitbull, Tiesto and Diplo stoping by to kick things off, it’s safe to say that things are off to a rockin’ good start. So, if you’re looking to boogie down with the grand opening sounds taking over AC this weekend, check this and this out. Plus, Sam Hunt (sigh) is performing on the beach this Sunday so….yes. 

…….also on the local and legendary sun-kissed entertainment decks for your…..

Friday……

Sebastian Maniscalco @Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa(through Sunday/7 pm/One Borgata Way)……..Snarky Puppy @ The Fillmore(8 pm/29 E. Allen St.)…………Yob@Underground Arts(9 pm/1200 Callowhill St.)………..Brodinski @The Dolphin Tavern(9 pm/1539 S. Broad St.)………Pierce Brothers @Boot & Saddle(830 pm/1131 S. Broad St.)………..Rich Medina@Silk City (10 pm/435 Spring Garden St.)………Bbqt@Kung Fu Necktie(730 pm/1248 N. Front St.)…………Nick Colionne@South(8 pm/600 N. Broad St.)…………..Weller@Everybody Hits(529 West Girard Ave)……Johnny Taylor Jr. @Punchline Philly(7 pm/1004 Canal St.)………..Hype@Bourbon & Branch(7 pm/705 N. 2nd St. 

Saturday…… 

DJ Chris Urban@L’Etage(10 pm/624 S. 6th St.)………………Free In/Outdoor ’90s Dance Party @FringeArts(830 pm/140 Christopher Columbus Blvd.)………FAM Fest 2018 @Voltage Lounge (through Sunday/421 N. 7th St.)………..Tony Bennett @Sands Bethlehem Event Center (8 pm/77 Sands Blvd.)…………Good Old War@TLA(730 pm/334 South St.)………Underdog@Kung Fu Necktie(7 pm/1248 N Front St.)……….The Tins@Ortlieb’s(10 pm/847 N. 3rd St.)……….Lovelorn@Johnny Brenda’s(9 pm/1201 Frankford Ave)………..Creem Circus@The Barbary(930 pm/951 Frankford Ave)……….So Far Gone @The Fillmore (9 pm/29 E. Allen St.)……..Mage Hand @Connie’s Ric Rac(9 pm/1132 S. 9th St.)………Shawn Ryan@Franky Bradley’s(10 pm/1320 Chancellor St.)

Sunday…..

DJ Chris Urban @Positano Coast (12pm-4pm/212 Walnut St.)……………..Independence Day Celebration @Musueum of the American Revolution(through Wednesday/101 S. 3rd St.)………….Sinful Sundays w/The Goddess Isis @Tabu(10 pm/200 South 12th St.)……..Showtunes Sundays @Tavern on Camac (9 pm/243 S. Camac St.)…………Blac Rabbit@Milkboy Philly(7 pm/1100 Chestnut St.)………..Tapes & Tubes@Ortlieb’s(7 pm/847 N. 3rd St.)…………PART@The Trocadero(1003 Arch St./4 pm)………..

For much more second weekend of summer shenanigans (plus, lots of fireworks!), you should check this and this out. 

Cover photo courtesy of NPR 

 

 

 

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10 Albums That Once Ruled Our Summers(And Still Most Certainly Do)

To the ten classic albums on this list, thank you for making all of our summer music dreams come true over the years………..

…….and thank you for still doing so today. Especially you, Alanis. 

Ready, set, “Batdance.” 

Prince/Purple Rain (June 25th, 1984) Classic…legendary….epic….music industry/life changing. Yes, those are all of the correct words and phrases anyone can use to describe the dearly departed Prince’s incredible music contribution to the film of the same name, for which the Purple One also starred in–and straight up owned. While the film and its accompanying heavenly sonnets are close to comparison in equal goodness, the songs take the slighter lead because well, you’ve got the life-altering title track, “I Would Die 4 U,” “Let’s Go Crazy” and of course, “When Doves Cry” in which we still get misty eyed whenever it enters our f@cking souls. Bottom line–if this ’80s music masterpiece isn’t in your summer rotation, well, you’re just not doin’ it right. 

Madonna/ True Blue (June 30th, 1986) So much to relive and um, tell here, so we’ll just kick it off with two little words…Sean Penn. Yes, besides being her best-selling set to date, (10 million worldwide), the Material Girl’s love-kissed third offering mostly plays out as an ode to her then husband. But of course, it’s all about the music here, and what a fantastic experience this album truly is. One of Madonna’s best vocal efforts (no, no that wasn’t a question), each True groove showcased a stronger, confident pop star. Of course, we also got a serving of a young diva who wasn’t afraid to musically stir things up a bit, and lead single, “Papa Don’t Preach” certainly did just that and got the icon in trouble deep with Planned Parenthood and the Church thanks to the chart topping single’s lyrical content about, well, you know. Of course, a little controversy goes a long way in Madonna’s world, and the buzz would not only send “Papa” straight to her greatest hits collection, but it kicked off a long line of now classic True Blue music moments including “Open Your Heart,” “Live to Tell,” “Where’s the Party,” “La Isla Bonita” and the album’s oooey-gooey title track. But if we really want to sum up this era of the Queen of Pop, take a closer look at the absolute fierceness that’s still contained in the Herb Ritts shot True Blue album cover….because it’s all still right…here. 

Aerosmith/Permanent Vacation Although this summer-of-’87 effort was the legendary rock band’s ninth studio set, it would go on to become their most successful record in more than a decade, selling over five million copies in the U.S. alone. This was not only thanks in part to three Steven Tyler worthy top 20 singles–“Rag Doll,” “Dude(Looks Like a Lady)” and “Angel”–but to the fact that this was right around the time that MTV actually played music videos, like, all of the time, which ultimately helped music artists like Aerosmith and so many others gain massive chart success back then. Yes, it’s hard to believe that it actually worked like that, but what’s not hard to believe is that we simply love this Aerosmith record…especially in the rockin’ summer months. 

Janet Jackson/janet(May 18th, 1993) “Like a moth to a flame burned by the fire…” you know…the words. Actually, if you don’t know the words to Ms. Jackson’s still epic and bedroom ready lead single to her just-turned-twenty-five year old single-named masterpiece, then you should start to familiarize yourself with it all right now. Here we not only have one of the best recorded (and interluded up) albums of all time, but a record full of life about coming into your own both sexually and artistically as Ms J fiercely displays both throughout this still satisfying music ride. From “Love” to “If’ To “Again” to “This Time” co-starring the incredible Kathleen Battle, to “Throb, ” “You Want This,” and “Anytime, Anyplace,” there isn’t a janet groove on here that still doesn’t hit the spot in all of the right ways possible. But perhaps the grandest part of the whole janet experience is that this record is iconic not just with the LGBTQ community, but as a pivotal turning point for every closeted gay man in 1993. If you fit that description, you know you’re shakin’ your head yaaaas. Go on, Ms. Janet, go on. 

Forrest Gump/Soundtrack (June 28th, 1994) There’s truly no need to argue that the classic Tom Hanks Oscar snatcher is indeed one of the best ’90s flicks of all time, which is mainly in part to its glorious and iconic back-in-the-day setting and storytelling. The film’s six-times-platinum soundtrack remains as groovy and timeless as Mr. Gump himself, as we get an array of legendary tunes from Elvis Presley, Duane Eddy, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Bob Dylan, Simon and Garfunkel, Jefferson Airplane, Lynyrd Skynyrd and many, many more. The epic 2 disc soundtrack doesn’t just contain some of the greatest music of all time, but will continue to be heard and experienced by every new generation that experiences Forrest Gump along the way in this box of chocolates we call life….and that’s the best part of it all.  

Alanis Morrisette/Jagged Little Pill (June 13th, 1995) An album that not only defines summer but god damn life itself, Ms. Alanis’ conformed and deliciously feisty third studio outing has no doubt been owning and defining our lives since its release all the way back in the summer of ’95. Much, much more than an angry love letter to Uncle Joey (the album is a frickin’ Broadway show now!), lead single “You Oughta Know” opened up the angst ridden gates to a Billboard chart destroying (twenty-six million!) record that was smart(“You Learn,” “Hand in My Pocket”), truthful (“All I Really Want,” “Right Through You,” “Ironic”) and just a little–or a lot–rockin’ thanks to Alanis new energy alongside Jagged super producer, Glen Ballard. While you could search all day long to find a record that contains a stern, yet beautiful buffet of hooks, a lavish display of lyrics and an oh, so young music star who seemingly understood the world for all of us ’90s kids back then, chances are, you’re certainly not going to find it. Thank you, Alanis for this f@king record and may we feel forever feels those nails scratchin’ down our backs. 

Beyoncé/Dangerously in Love (June 24th, 2003) Picture it…fifteen years ago this summer….it happened….Beyoncé started on her journey to becoming Beyoncé with the serving of her soon-to-be Grammy snatching debut record. Yes, it’s hard to believe that Bey made her big splash away from Kelly and Michelle that long ago as each groove on the record has certainly withstood the sands of summer music time. From the one, two punch of “Crazy in Love” & “Baby Boy” to “Naughty Girl” &”Hip Hop Star” from “Me, Myself & I” and the album’s delicious title track…this is truly where it all began for the Lemonade legend. Of course, this is also where it all began for our obsession with Jay and Bey as the release of the record was around the same time we all started to realize that they just might be more than “Crazy” co-horts…and we’ve been in ‘”Love” with them every single second of it ever since. Uh, oh, uh, oh forever. 

Rihanna/Good Girl Gone Bad (June 2nd, 2008) If you weren’t gettin down to a newly reformed RiRi’s Bad sounds in the summer of ’07 (and ’08 thanks to the Reloaded edition) well, you just weren’t born yet because everyone and their mother from back then is still obsessed with everything on the Barbadian songstress’ career defining third studio set. Aside from killer singles and album cuts, “Don’t Stop the Music,” “Shut Up & Drive,” “Take a Bow,” “Disturbia,” “Breakin’ Dishes,” “Sell Me Candy” and “Push Up on Me,” Girl is also blessed with “Umbrella,” which is undoubtedly one of the greatest summer singles ever recorded. Although Ri was already well into the game at this point, this record truly transformed her into the icon who owns everything she touches today…..and we’ll be forever be grateful for everything that Good Girl has to offer until the god damn end of music time. 

Katy Perry/Teenage Dream (August 24th, 2010) No matter what you may think of Ms. Katy these days (anyone listen to Witness lately or watch American Idol this year…anyone?), there wasn’t a radio station back in 2010 that wasn’t blasting lead Dream single “California Gurls” or the still bubbly title track all summer long. Isn’t that right, the cast of Glee? Not only did Perry’s sun-scorched sonnets set her up for a truly smashing  third studio effort, but the tantalizing tracks would become the whipped cream wearing diva’s first pair of five consecutive Billboard chart topping hits from the record (becoming the only female to do so), and would no doubt launch her to true music icon status. Oh, and the fact that most of the Teenage tunes were dedicated to then husband Russell Brand? Well, that’s just f@#king priceless. Kitty Purry 4 lyfe. 

Prince/Batman Soundtrack (June 20th, 1989)  If you’ll recall (really, how could anyone forget?), there wasn’t a person on the globe who wasn’t struck with Dark Knight fever thanks to Tim Burton’s late ’80s blockbuster. Our beloved Purple One took over the accompanying soundtrack and simply flew with it, where it would go on to become the music legend’s eleventh studio offering. With each track derived with delicious bits and pieces from the classic superhero flick (“Batdance” and “Electric Chair,” anyone?), Prince truly hits the mark with every dark twist and turns along the way and also gives us the reason why we’ll never, ever forget the name, “Vicki Vale.” An equally iconic record paired with an equally iconic film in a summer we’ll never forget.

Now, let it all play. 

 

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2018 Summer Music Tea

Dear Betty Who, Panic! At the Disco, Ariana Grande, Xtina(!!), Nicki Minaj, Drake, Florence + The Machine, Troye Sivan, Meghan Trainor, Years & Years, Bebe Rexha and The Carters…..thank for making all of our summer music dreams come true this year. 

Happy streaming! 

Betty Who/Betty (pt. 1)  What’s short, sweet and will hit you in the right music spots all over? That would be part one of sauce-y Australian songstress Betty Who‘s one named music adventure. Showcasing five tracks, with each one pairing up Ms. Betty’s trademark sass on top of some truly feisty ’80s inspire rhythms and beats (see…”Ignore Me,” “Just Thought You Should Know”), all of which are guaranteed to make your summer fling just a tad bit more special. Get lost in Betty below. 

Panic! At the Disco/Pray for the Wicked  After taking some time away from the band to own the role of entrepeneur Charlie King in Broadway’s Kinky Boots, lead Panic! member Brendon Urie has certainly incorporated his recent stage sass into the group’s sixth studio set. From the humbling “Look Ma, I Made it,” to the stumbling “One of the Drunks” to the charismatic, “Old Fashioned,” these fine tuned gentlemen have shown no signs of aging–or slowing down–over their now decade (!!) long career. Listen up. 

The Carters/Everything is Love Is everything love for Bey and Jay these days? It certainly sounds like it thanks to the dynamic pairing’s latest romp. The fiery set can not only be labeled as the album of the summer, but of the year, and it’s also the perfect companion to the duo’s On the Run 2  Tour, which is about to slay Lincoln Financial Field on July 30th. While tracks, “Apeshit,” “713” and “Friends” are perfect for cruisin’ with the windows down, it’s opener “Summer” that’ll make your neck bob without even tryin’…and that’s the best part of it all. 

Xtina/Liberation  Yes, the voice is back. Wait, wrong choice of words? However, will Mizz Aguilera’s sixth studio set propel her back to her superstar “Genie in a Bottle” days? Most likely not. But, it’s all worth a listen to here because the “Beautiful” diva still knows how to make an album that’ll demand your attention. Whether it’s the empowering (and a little bit ear drum shattering) “Sick of Sittin” or the Demi Lovato co-starring, “Fall In Line,” the slinky “Right Moves” and “Like I Do,” or the most confusing, “Pipe” and/or Accelerate,” it’s all part of the wild ride that’ll forever be named…Xtina. Welcome back, bitch…..and we can’t wait to see you on tour with this one.  

Bebe Rexha/Expectations If you think you’ve been hearing the name Bebe Rexha for quite some time now…you most certainly have. Besides earning her keep as a songwriter for the likes of Rihanna, Selena Gomez and many, many more, the eclectic young diva also co-starred with Florida Georgia Line on the Billboard number one single, “Meant to Be,” which is still owning the charts as we kick off summer. Now, Ms. Rexha is striking out on her own on her fiery debut set, which contains all of the music heat you could ever want in your headphones right now. A few ignited examples would be the revved up opener, “Ferrari,” the summer ready, “Lose Control,” and the Quevo co-starring “2 Souls on Fire,” which you must now play on blast from now until Labor Day starting right…now. Yeah, it’s all that good. Thank you, Ms. Rexha. 

Drake/Scorpion  He’s back. Who’s ready? Judging by the way “God’s Plan” and “Nice for What” have destroyed the Billboard charts…it’s safe to say….everyone. Let’s get ready to dance those Dreezy moves all summer long like everybody’s watching. June 29th 

Florence and the Machine/High as Hope It’s lovely to hear you and your band mates destroying our worlds again, Ms. Welch. Is there really anything else to say here? June 29th 

Years & Years/Palo Santo For their much-anticipated sophomore set, this British pop trio has wasted no time in giving us the goods thanks to the three singles released–“Sanctify,” “If You’re Over Me” and the title track-ahead of the album’s official release next month. But perhaps the main reason you might want to grab this album is because the English Breakfast tea sipping boys teamed up with legendary producer Greg Kurstin (Adele, Kelly Clarkson), so you know the Y&Y good times are guaranteed to just keep rolling all summer long until the band hits the road this fall. Get ready. July 6th 

Nicki Minaj/Queen With a buffet singles already under her tricycle–“Rich Sex,” “Chun-Li,” “Barbie Tingz” and the glorious, “Bed” (hey, Ari!)–, Ms. Minaj has already given us plenty to feast on from her much-anticipated fourth studio set. So, why the recent delay from June 15th to August 10th, gurl? While the world may never know, we’re just more than f@#king ready for the Young Money spitstress’ first set in four years. And remember, at the end of the day, there’s plenty of room for everyone in the spotlight and of course, plenty of room in the summer music headphones for Nicki’s–and everybody else’s–latest studio adventure…and that it will certainly be. Aug.10th 

Ariana Grande/Sweetener  From the life-changing “No Tears Left To Cry” to the Nicki co-starring “The Light is Coming” to the hot-to-headphones “Raindrops,:” and to the fact that she’s on everyone else’s tracks, too (see..Troye Sivan, Nicki..again), there’s no denying that our Ms. Grande will be the undisputed Kween of the Summer by the time her fourth studio set finally enters our ponytailed worlds in August. Throw in our little obsession with her and Pete Davidson and well, slay, Ari, slay.  Aug. 17th 

Troye Sivan/Bloom   If you don’t know the fabulous musical stylings of Mr. Sivan yet, you certainly will by the time summer is over. Already a young advocate for the LGBTQ community, the out-and-proud singer recently gave us life with the track and video for album single “My My My” (just ask Ellen), and recently he teamed up with the queen of the summer herself, Ms. Ariana Grande,” on “Dance To This,” which you must put on repeat right now. Then mark those calendars for the official release date of what’s sure to be one of the hottest albums of the summer…and of the year. Aug. 31st 

Meghan Trainor/Treat Myself  While we have no idea why Ms. Trainor is on Fox’s The Four (sigh…), what we do know is that we’ll forgive her if her upcoming third studio set hits the mark. And listening as to how her latest singles, “Let You Be Right” and “All the Ways” have a fresh, funky synth-ed up feel to them, it sounds like she could be all about that dance floor just in time for the end of summer, which of course is always the best place to be. Aug. 31st 

 

 

Also for your 2018 sun-kissed playlists…..

Leon Bridges/Good Thing(out now)………………..Charlie Puth/Voicenotes(out now)……..James Bay/Electric Light(out now)……..Dave Matthews Band/Come Tomorrow(out now)…………..Lily Allen/No Shame(out now)………Lykke Li/So Sad/So Sexy(out now)……..Marshmello/Joytime 11(out now)……………….Nine Inch Nails/Bad Witch(out now)…………….Dan + Shay/self-titled(out now)………….Gorillaz/The Now Now(June 29th)……..Rick Astley/Beautiful Life(July 20th)……….Jake Shears/self-titled(August 10th)…………happy streaming!