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Date » 2012 » October

Sunny Ali & The Kid’s Spookwave 2012 Is Eerie And FUNKY AS HELL

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Dispatching from South Philly and New York City, Sunny Ali & The Kid have slowly unveiled a spooky batch of tracks from themselves and their friends. The nine tracks released on the 27th are as wide-ranged in their bizarro funk as they are creepy and frighteningly groovy. This, their third in a series of three, is the final collection of 26 tracks that’ve been Bandcamp-released over the past week. They’re kitschy and scary, but always polished in their dazzling web of genres and styles. A look at the records’ tags shows you that they know they’re working with a mixed bag: “american rock and roll country hip hop lo-fi psychedelic punk slime spookwave Philadelphia.”

Basically, these three records, essentially free to listen to for a limited time, are the ideal soundtrack to your not-that-thematic-but-still-a-costumey-Halloween-party-for-young-adults. Doesn’t get much better. Just about every track’s got a groove, a danceable movement to it or at least a rhythm that’s way cooler than howling winds or creaking doors. Even though a BUNCH of those sounds are present on these three records, it’s never tacky: chainsaws, ghoulish whines, zombie growls, slash strokes, off-putting organs, thunder and supernatural noises populate many of these tracks.

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In an era where many musicians are quick to put out holiday-themed releases that sink their cache and sully their name (Have you seen the deluge of Christmas albums that started this month? Lookin’ rightatchu, Cee-Lo), this one’s on the money. There’s no pretense or commercial hook here. Clearly these guys enjoy a little make-believe and gothic dress-up enough to send up a salute to many Americans’ favorite time of year, nay, favorite day of the year. In fact, these records combined kind of feel like a hip-hop artists’ fascination with a horror genre not unlike the Wu-Tang’s obsession with martial arts. The sophistication evident in the employ of samples, found sounds and sound bytes is impressive. Give em’ some spins as you greet trick-or-treaters, carve pumpkins and decorate Halloween cookies; or as you get dressed slutty and embark on intoxication. You won’t regret it, freaks, geeks and treats.



More Halloween Happenings

DevilsCrawl400Thanks to Hurricane Sandy’s swift shift, Halloween in Philadelphia will go on as planned. If you haven’t already nailed down your own plans just yet, here’s a few events to consider:

Halloween Smackdown 2012: Whether you want to come dressed scary or slutty, costumes are mandatory at this divey dance party. As an incentive, the best-dressed folks in attendance will receive prizes and possibly a $20 credit to your bar tab. This is all in addition to free candy, Halloween-themed cocktails and tunes from DJ Phunkenstein aka. “The Monster of Ceremonies.” 8pm. Free. The Dive, 947 E. Passyunk Ave.

The Devil’s Crawl: Don’t want to commit to just one bar all night? Well then how about hitting five of NoLibs’ finest watering holes—Gunner’s Run, El Camino Real, King’s Oak, Boardwalk Bar and PYT—all while simultaneously helping a good cause? Here’s how it works: first, visit Gunner’s Run or Boardwalk Bar, pay $10 and donate either a food item or new/lightly used jacket to Feel The Warmth. In exchange, you’ll receive a pair of devil horns, which will allow you take advantage of drink specials at each participating bar. 5pm-12am. $10. Various locations around The Piazza, 1001 N. Third St.

Wild Wednesday Halloween Costume Party: Rather than getting stuck at some shitty frat house, Temple students of legal drinking age can party it up at The Horse where, like every Wednesday they will have super cheap booze including, $1 Bud Light cans, $4 well drinks and $3 surprise Halloween shots. Depending how clever your costume is, you may also be able to score yourself a prize. 9pm. Free. The Draught Horse, 1431 Cecil B. Moore Ave. devilsden1

McCrossen’s Halloween Party: Basically this bash has everything you need for a good time tonight: beer, festive cocktails, a dance floor and free admission. The winner of their costume contest will go home with a $50 gift certificate and a bottle of wine from sommelier Lauren Harris. 9pm. Free. McCrossen’s Tavern, 529 N. 20th St.

Tap our Pumpkin!: While other local establishments may have one or two seasonal brewskies on tap, tonight, Devil’s Den will be serving up an impressive array of special aged pumpkin beers from their cellar in addition to their usual selection 200+ beers. This includes 2011 Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin, 2011 Bruery Autumn Maple and a firkin of Southern Tier Pumking on the hand pump. Costumes are encouraged. 7-11pm. Free. Devils Den, 11th & Ellsworth Sts.



Cuntafit Currency’s Got A Single And “So Popular” Is Quite Fresh

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Before we start, I must disclose some information. These are my friends. But as I’ve said before, as a writer about music, everyone thinks you need to hear their “new stuff” or whatever. Friends in Brooklyn constantly send me Facebook invitations and downloads of their new record, which is hard for me to write about. I don’t live in New York and pretty much no one in Philadelphia cares about reviews of concerts 95 miles away. However, here and there, you submit to curiosity and try not to listen with a cringe or eyes covered except for a little sliver of space between your fingers.

Cuntafit Currency is Emily Doofnoggle and Javas Ganguly. But those are their real names. Emily often appears as Oscar Wildchilde and Javas as DJ J++. They’re mainstays in Philly’s culture of gay club culture and drag performances that push the norm. The two of them have been a driving force behind a party called Qream that started at the Barbary. It was their way of curating drag, mixing up styles and flavors, and incorporating their own brand (especially Javas’) of dance party: hood, sophisticated in its dance jam selection, and decidedly NOT a cookie-cutter gay night of pop divas. You would most definitely expect a dose of some really bad bitches: M.I.A., Aaliyah, Azealia, Missy, Rye Rye, etc. Gays love their divas, no doubt, but it’s those diva choices that make a party so unique and J++ (get it, Java script?) knows what is really what – Britney and Gaga are not necessary to turn a party out.

So it’s with this sensibility that they’ve turned to making their own music. And with the 25th anniversary of Peter Gabriel’s So, his sixth solo record after Genesis. However, “Games Without Frontiers,” which they loosely cover with “So Popular,” appeared on his third solo LP, the Melt of his self-titled series of four records back in 1980. It features Kate Bush on backup vocals. The original’s a play on war and politics, but Cuntafit Currency mostly just take out the breathy female vocal and turn it into a kind of Mean Girls-inspired crunk dancefloor number. The beat is pretty sickening and Emily’s vocals sound in-control and thick with conviction. You can give it a spin and see for yourself, and while you’re there, peep a few more tracks from Javas’ Soundcloud to see what else they might have up their sleeve.



How To Look Like A 76ers Dancer

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Sixers dancer, Kerri McDonald getting styled on game day at Bernard’s Salon and Spa.

Even if you think they’re an obnoxious and totally unnecessary distraction, chances are you’ve leered at the Sixers’ dancers at some point and thought: “How the hell do these chicks look so damn perfectly primped? Do they not have sweat glands?”

The same goes for the Eagles cheerleaders, who have it way worse.

It turns out these girls aren’t made of plastic. Rather, the entire crew turns to the stylists at Bernard’s Salon and Spa in Cherry Hill to make sure they look great before each game. They also have plenty of grooming products stashed away on the sidelines to make sure they stay that way.

So in honor of The Sixers’ home opener tomorrow against the Denver Nuggets (7 p.m. on CSN), we figured we ask the salon to reveal the dancers’ biggest beauty secrets so that you too can look as seemingly flawless after hours of dancing.

How to keep makeup on when sweating:
1. Prep skin with a primer.
2. Use oil-free makeup and tinted moisturizers instead of heavy foundations.
3. Use gloss on lips instead of heavy lipsticks that can smudge and run.
4. Apply translucent powder to set makeup.

How to keep hair in place when moving around:
1. Curl hair or set with rollers for body and movement.
2. Use a light hairspray to set hair while still allowing it to move.
3.  Lightly tease in root area for lift.

Four products to throw in your bag for touchups:
1. Oil blotting sheets.
2.  Lip gloss.
3. Travel size hairspray.
4. Translucent powder.

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Should you want to look as good as Kerri, Bernards has another location here in Philly—B2 by Bernards—on the bottom floor of the luxury apartment complex at 777 S. Broad St. 



Sandy Ruins Shows

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This storm’s really got the east coast’s panties in a twist. Wal-Marts and Fresh Grocers are sold out of batteries, bread, water and candles. And no one will discount the body count already – the death count’s almost 70 from the Caribbean. But boy do we love a panic, don’t we? The worst is yet to come, it seems, even as the Schuykill and Delaware frighteningly swell as I type. But some Philly businesses are fighting this storm like it’s the 2012 election. Did you see the boarded-up boardwalk biz that likened their unscaredness of Sandy to their hope for Romney?

#openinPHL is a trending hashtag on Twitter that has businesses and city organizations tweeting strong words. For instance, @PhillyFireDept says: “”We hope business are #closedinPHL and not #OpenInPHL”.” (Quotes used to emphasize misuses of grammar and capitalization.) FooBooz polled readers and 37% say it’s wrong for a restaurant to be open and 55% say only if it’s voluntary for employees to show up. Only 8% basically say ‘Yeah, I want to eat and drink.’

Things are just as bad in New York, it seems. Sunday night, Louis C.K. canceled a Midtown comedy booking and penned a pretty great open letter to his fans. So here in Philly, we’ve seen some cancellations, too.

UT cancelled tonight’s Heartless Bastards show (with Futurebirds and Dana Falconberry). But the Dead Milkmen seem on for Wednesday night. The Troc cancelled last night’s lineup of Rita Ora and Iggy Azalea but seems to be cool with screening 1987’s The Monster Squad tonight. Tomorrow night’s TLA night of Pierce The Veil (with three other bands) seems to be a go, as does their sold-out Halloween night on Wednesday with Foxy Shazam. The Electric Factory has postponed tonight’s show with the xx, however Deathlok’s on for the 31st. Sound Tribe Sector 9 seems to be still selling tickets to Wednesday night’s Tower Theatre show while John Legend’s cancelled his Thursday spot. Kung Fu Necktie’s cancelled tonight’s Screaming Rattler set but doesn’t seem ready to axe anything tomorrow or later. Looks like Johnny Brenda’s is saying Sean Hayes’ set is cancelled tonight but that they’re open for business until Sandy says ‘Nuh unh.’

And maybe tomorrow everything’ll just be automatically cancelled when we don’t have power, internet, cell phone use and the fear of Walking Dead-style mania in the streets of Philadelphia keeps everyone indoors reading books or something. Until their tablet or laptop runs out of juice. But if Sandy’s done by Wednesday morning, imagine the freaks that’ll come out as the winds die down. Oooh, it’ll be scary.



Two Last Minute, Hurricane-Inspired DIY Costumes

While this meteorological phenomenon may have put a damper on Halloween 2012, it’s also given folks along the east coast two awesome and super easy DIY costume ideas, possibly to reserve for future use.

It’s hard to say right now what, if any, local Halloween parties will be going down Wednesday night as planned, but seeing as most of us are stuck spending the next 48 hours cooped up in our homes—with or without electricity—what better time to get crafty and construct a new costume?

Hurricane Sandy

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Yeah, you saw this one coming. While you can opt to embody either the innocent or rebel version of Grease’s leading lady, badass Sandy is likely to be the easiest.

Step 1: Unless for some strange reason you happen to own a black lycra body suit, rummage through your closets and drawers for any and all tight-fitting black garments. A simple strapless black top and leggings works just as good. If you don’t have a black leather jacket, any shimmery black jacket will do. Complete the ensemble with a pair of black pumps and a pretty belt.

Step 2: Draw a hurricane symbol like the one shown above on a piece of cardboard, color it in with red marker/paint then cut it out and tape it to your chest. A simple red “H” would also work.

Step 3: Tease your hair to the high heavens and proceed to curl. For those blessed with a naturally curly mane, this may be as simple as drying your hair upside down then adding some mouse/gel.

Step 4: Apply your sexiest red lipstick.

Step 5: Dangle a real or fake cig from your lip.

“Frankenstorm”

frankenstorm_halloween_costumeAnd for the fellas…

Step 1: Paint your entire face green and blacken your eyes with green/black face paint or matte green/black eye shadows, which can easily be found at any drug store or your girlfriend’s makeup bag.

Step 2: Create a few stitched-up cuts on your face, again using either face paint or makeup. You can easily create a wound with a little red lipstick/lip liner and black eye shadow. For the stiches, black eyeliner would work great.

Step 3: Gel or spray your hair down as flat as possible.

Step 4: Create bolts from whatever you might have lying around your house (a corkscrew being the easiest option), then paint them silver or black and stick on your neck. You can either construct them from

Step 5: Wear all black, possibly a black blazer or suit/tuxedo jacket.

My previous Glenn “Hurricane” Scwhartz (In A Hurricane) DIY costume idea is also now eerily appropriate. I swear I had no knowledge of Sandy when I came up with it.

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10 Things We Saw, Heard And Learned At The Old School Show At The Tower And Then At Porcelain’s Funerary Night At Voyeur

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Well, we missed Ginuwine and Jagged Edge with one of those misjudged set orders. S.W.V. and 112 closed out the night. But afterwards we hustled over to Voyeur to see some really messy drag.

1. One of the Sisters With Voices songs that was a crowd-pleaser was “Rain” from 1997’s Release Some Tension. The audience sang every word and one of the sisters called out “Y’all really know this song.”

2. As a shout-out to Philly, they covered a Patti Labelle song called “If You Only Knew.” This was also a singalong moment. Furthermore, when Cheryl “Coko” Clemons took the lead, she blew the damn house down. She went on some runs that were straight-up gospel. You were taken to church whether you liked it or not.

3. “Co-Sign” was done with the funkiness. The first single from 2012’s I Missed Us was a track that felt like SWV never stopped singing together. It had all the R&B charm of their ’90s hits with a modernized and hip-hop edge. They also pulled off some really charming dance moves during this one and throughout their set: synchronized shoulder shrugs and step routines. They sounded great, but, to be real – Tamara “Taj” Johnson-George and Coko kind of stole the show. Leanne “Lelee” Lyons is essential, but, the eye-popping vocals and breath-taking belts were courtesy of Coko and Taj.

4. 112 was kind of whack. They definitely had that old-school flavor of coordinated outfits and dance moves. But the vocals were just so strained at some points. More than a few times we were reminded of singing competition shows like The Voice or The X Factor; people just oversinging the hell out of songs that their poor voice just can’t handle. It’s been 16 years since their debut – they’re not teenagers anymore.

5. It WAS nice during the more ladies-oriented part of the show, that one of em’ took his shirt off. Dude was ripped. Mid-30s and still workin’ that old-school R&B flow of women-worshipping and sexy talk; it was impressive. Also kind of funny because he had a replacement t-shirt waiting for him in the hands of a side stage helper. In fact, the crew on the side of the stage may have been feeling their performance more than some audience members. There were lots of animated gestures of “This is so fly” or whatever.

6. During a chill-down part of the set, the boys took seats on stools to croon some covers. They did a Jodeci joint, some “Down On Bended Knee” and some New Edition. They called N.E. one of the best groups of all time and listed some members: Ricky, Bobby, Johnny, Ronnie, etc. The vocals here weren’t as strained, maybe because they were sitting still, but as they passed verses around, it sort of became clear – there’s not really a market for this, anymore.

7. After 112 wrapped up there was a mass exodus and we thought ‘Did we miss Ginuwine?!’ So 112 was the closer. Baffling. We did get to see “Weak,” which was a truly heartwarming experience. But we were also there to see “Pony.” That would’ve been an everything-warming experience.

8. What happened next was beyond anything the drag community has ever touched. Suspension. Porcelain’s a weird queen. We know this. She’s kind of a Sharon Needles-y creepy queen who specializes in scary drag. So a Halloween night of drag hosted by Porcelain seemed like something not to be missed. Suspension is when chains and hooks and shit get used with a person’s skin via piercings (it seems) to raise someone off the ground by their skin. Does that make sense? Basically, envision giant hooks that get tucked into two holes in her torso that she swings around and performs a song. Blood eventually trickles down. It looks like something from Hostel.

9. In the same league as her stunts of pissing on stage, drinking it and showering herself in her own piss, this is a divisive performance. Some people love it, find it inspiringly daring or even sexy. Other, like me, felt my stomach turn. You either gaze with awe or cover your eyes. It was astonishing.

10. Even Isis got in on it with pierced holes in her back. But she sang P!nk’s “Try” while hanging by her back skin. So it was vaguely more stomachable.



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