10 Things We Saw, Heard, And Learned At #Faymeproblems Starring Alaska Thunderfuck At Tabu Last Night
Tammy Faymous can host a party. She’s a qualified and talented emcee and last night she invited RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 5 contestant Alaska Thunderfuck to grace Philadelphia with her presence. It was fun.
1. Tammy had a bit of a stage built up on the second floor of Tabu, a welcome addition to make better sight lines and create more of a performance space. It’s nice to have a living room feel to a drag show but last night was much more of a stage performance and it worked.
2. It started shortly after 11:30pm with Tammy wearing an unconventionally large, tall platinum wig with hints of pale pink in it. She started by toying us with the first few measures of Beyonce’s “End of Time” before she told us it wasn’t going to be that kind of show and if we didn’t like it, the door’s downstairs and Voyeur’s across the street before ripping into “Bitch” by Meredith Brooks.
3. Luna Lavey, Philly’s long-legged faerie princess nailed out a punk-flavored number and then the dark and beautiful Aeryanah Von Moi brought sultry R&B flavor. But then Maddy Milan delivered on bizarro beauty with her giant, swinging bush-anchored limp dick. Seriously, Maddy always brings it with her elaborately-handmade bodysuits and this one was perfectly over-the-top.
4. The Goddess Isis, who never disappoints, swooped in and did a Taylor Dayne song called “Original Sin,” the theme from The Shadow. She wore horns that made her look like the evil queen from Snow White. Isis always nails whatever vibe she’s trying to pull off and her witchy, Wiccan, Stevie Nicks enchantress ways were not lost on this audience.
5. Then something pretty sweet happened – Tammy did Weezer. She sang “Say It Ain’t So” and it was fantastic. Ms. Faymous always manages to inject a little bit of the unconventional, a little unexpectedness. Weezer at a drag show? Why not?
6. Alaska herself is a tall, weird queen. She had on a big, slightly natty wig and in the interview she did with Josh Middleton for G Philly, she confessed that her name came from doing drugs; weed, that is. She and some friends were getting stoned when they started talking about names of weed strands when she decided to adopt one as her stage name. Her presence is a goofy one; her face is pretty staid until she works those wild lips – it’s where she’s perhaps most expressive. She tends to pose for photos with a contorted mouth. For her first performance of the night, the crowd went ape and she did a pretty amusing mashup of RuPaul songs.
7. There were lots of straight people in attendance. Even Tammy joked throughout the show that she saw so many New Jersey names on the list of pre-ordered tickets. Even straight people love RuPaul’s Drag Race, this is a reality we live with. They even wore Alaska t-shirts. A few youngbloods went a little crazy, and even in the 10-minute set break they were dancing all over each other like they’d never had alcohol before. One lady kept pulling her shirt up and above her bra. Not cute.
8. After a typically spot-on Carrie Underwood moment from Isis with “Two Black Cadillacs,” a cute and quirky Roxxy Glamour came out and did Yelle’s “Safari Disco Club.” Lip-syncing French pop is not easy. Maddy nailed “I Knew You Were Trouble” by Taylor Swift, a questionable song choice because we all hate T Swift, we being the human race, but “Trouble” has that little bit of rage that Maddy channels so well. She took it to a dark and angry place that worked as well as her Limp Bizkit “Faith” moment at last winter’s Josh’s Drag Ball at iCandy. Her bandeau bikini top fell off her tits many times.
9. Tammy made a big announcement: JuJuBe’s coming to the gayborhood for Pride and Sinful Sundays. Yup, in June, the RuPaul’s Drag Race alum and America’s Asian Sweetheart is going to grace us with her electric charm. THAT’s a season I watched and THAT is a drag queen I will pay to see perform.
10. Alaska finished up with a sickening rendition of Lil’ Kim’s “How Many Licks?” in which she finished the lines with “How many licks does it take ’til you get to the center of Alaska Thunderfuck?” in a gold, lame tunic. Then Tammy sang “Glamazon” and all the girls came down with what looked like rolls of wrapping paper before they pulled the ends and they exploded with glitter and confetti. It was quite a night.
Yup, the Queen Bey seems to be all in on supporting her very gay fanbase. And with this brilliant collection of Instagram comments, dutifully dug up by our friend and distinguished alum at the Village Voice, Brian McManus, we are briefed on the shitstorm that ensued. See, it makes sense. Beyonce’s a big pop star and she has Christian and gospel roots. And for some fans, Beyonce’s the paradigm of clean morals and modest beauty; a hardworking humble girl from Texas. So for her to come out, vocally, and advocate for gay marriage as the Supreme Court hears arguments for and against the Defense of Marriage Act and Prop 8, well it pissed some people off. Obviously, it also thrilled millions of Bey-hive worshippers who feel excited to continue to support a seemingly LGBT-friendly pop star, but some Christians are ripshit. They’re ready to abandon Beyonce like she’s Satan’s tool to convert the masses into heathens and perverts. You’ve surely noticed waves of Facebook profile pictures turning into red equal signs, and Bey’s added to a quickly growing list of even moderate and Christian folks who are proudly affirming simple guarantees of rights and protections. Need a reminder of how bleak the state of Pennsylvania’s LBGT citizens’ rights are? Check out Randy LaBosso’s helpful and informative rundown on the brutal truth.
We thought we’d pull a few choice ones from Brian’s blog post to share with you these entertaining pearls of discourse:
@redbadchica: “Marriage should be between a man and woman and that’s it! Just because the media and society says its ok does not mean that I do! We are all entitled to believe what we want and I will raise my kids to know that this bs isn’t right no matter how much society throws it in our face! Ppl are so stupid if they think that this girl OR HER HUSBAND agree with this shit. It’s a good career move to fight for gay rights!”
Isn’t it mystifying how some spelling and grammar fixes would make this bullshit just a little more digestible?
This one’s great especially for the use of “Adam and Jose”: @star562: “Adam and Eve were put on this earth for a reason. If the Lord intended to have same sex marriage the Mighty one would have put Adam and Jose or Ellen and Christi but he didn’t. Now if you want to be in a same sex relationship then go for it. But there is no way two people of the same sex will have their signature on an official certificate. No way.”
And then there are these two gems:
@janyouweary: “Im not tryna preach on instagram, but @2sweeet_t is right fans. Its always an opposing force to another; opposite. Black/white, day/night, male/female, God/devil. We are merely on this planet to find or way to Heaven as creations of God. The devil is here to cast us astray. Homosexuality is an abomination whether our paths decide that for us or not. If you don’t believe in God/His word; the Bible…Im sorry but Im no judge.”
@fashion_icon25: “This world coming to an end, people really think its okay for women to fuck women and men to fuck men . Smh , Satan got all his hoes out.”
Satan got all his hoes out! It’s too much.
On the third season of Master of the Mix, Smirmoff sponsors an elimination-based competition with round of challenges for up-and-coming yound DJs from around the country. And Philly’s got a youngblood repping us strongly with DJ Royale, a Temple Owl who’s been working the scene hard over the past few years.
On his really quite pimp/smooth homepage, he posts a preview for the season, which kicks off Monday night, and the following:
“I’m VERY EXCITED to Announce that I’ll be competing on VH1′s Master of The Mix Season 3. This DJ Reality Show hosted by Smirnoff has selected 19 DJs from around the country to compete for $250,000 & the Title of Master of The Mix. Tune in to VH1 Monday April 1st at 10PM EST. I hope to have everyone’s support throughout the season.”
He currently holds four residencies: two in Philadelphia at Whisper and G Lounge, one in AC with a party at Dusk at Caesar’s Palace, and one in NYC at The Volstead. He’s also had runs in the past six years at a bunch of Philly locales: Tavern on Broad, Bamboo Lounge, Ortlieb’s, Bleu Martini, Recess Lounge and Lotus Lounge. He identifies with an old-school and traditional love for the craft with years of mastering transitions, technique, scratch presence and crowd manipulation. With a love for breakdancing, DJ Jazzy Jeff and B Boy culture, he started his obsession at 14 and nearly as many years later is on a national DJ show. Props on him for that.
He got to open for Jeff in Rome at the Piper Club, no doubt a career highlight for a Philly DJ. Lord knows Jeff’s a proper hero of many aspriing hip-hop heads and turntable enthusiasts. The man is talented way beyond scratchin’ and spinnin’. Royale emulates Jazz’s all-aroundedness, no doubt; respecting and striving for his knack with production, beat-making and professional flexibility. He releases a monthly mix of curated new tunes called MONTHLY MEDS and has appeared on a handful of mixtapes including collaborations.
He’s hosting a big debut viewing party at Ten Six Club at 1709 Walnut. Guest DJs include: Elivis Suarez, Arun, Mr. Sonny James and Sat One. Party kicks off at 9pm and runs right up to 2am.
Straight from the press release, here are the deets:
“Designed for solo artists, bands, and singers who are not signed to a major label record company, Unsigned Only’s goal is to find an outstanding, talented performing artist: a band, singer, or solo artist…a newcomer or veteran…raw or polished – the “gem” that needs to be discovered. Unsigned Only is looking for the total package. Launched in 2011 by the founders of the International Songwriting Competition (ISC), Unsigned Only offers the Grand Prize winner $10,000 and all First Place winners $1,000 in cash (plus additional prizes) as well as the unprecedented opportunity to be mentored by a group of record company presidents, A&R reps, and more. This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance for an artist to directly network with the highest level of record company professionals and get guidance, advice, feedback, and networking opportunities.
First Place and Second Place winners will also be selected in each category. Categories include: AAA (Adult Album Alternative), AC (Adult Contemporary), Christian Music, Country, Folk/Singer-Songwriter, R&B/Hip-Hop, Rock, Pop/Top 40, Teen, and Vocal Performance. All entries must be original music except for the Vocal Performance and Teen categories, which allow original or cover songs.”
That’s a lot of cash to grab at, friends. And look at all those categories! Check out the name-dropping in the list of mentors and judges:
“The judging panel is comprised of an impressive group of recording artists and top-level music journalists. Judges include: Chrissie Hynde (The Pretenders); Cyndi Lauper; Iggy Pop; Carly Simon; John Oates (Hall & Oates); Eve; 3 Doors Down; Neon Trees; Brandi Carlile; Hunter Hayes; Manchester Orchestra; Black Francis (The Pixies); Ryan Bingham; Faith Evans; David Crowder; Craig Morgan; Robert Smith (The Cure); Darryl McDaniels (Run DMC); Of Monsters and Men; Wynonna; Aaron Shust; Kirko Bangz; G. Love; Jason Gray; Dustin Lynch; The Mountain Goats; Anthony DeCurtis (Contributing Editor, Rolling Stone); Josh Jackson (Co-Founder and Editor-In-Chief, Paste Magazine); Vanessa Satten (Editor-In-Chief, XXL Magazine); Christopher Weingarten (Senior Editor, Spin); and Chris Richards (Pop Music Critic, The Washington Post).
The panel of mentors who have signed on to participate is equally impressive. Included are: Monte Lipman (President of Universal Republic Records); Pete Ganbarg (Executive VP/Head of A&R, Atlantic Records); Shawn Holiday (Senior VP of A&R, RCA Records and Sony/ATV Music Publishing); Josh Bailey (Sr. VP of A&R, Word Label Group); Kim Stephens (President, Forward Entertainment and A&R/Capitol Music Group); Allison B. Jones (VP of A&R, Big Machine Label Group); Lisa Ramsey-Perkins (Senior Director of A&R, Sony Music Nashville).
Sponsors include: D’Addario, Disc Makers, Sony Creative Software, The Music Business Registry, CAD Audio, Celebrity Access and Mrs. Fields Cookies.”
Alright, Mrs. Fields!
Follow this link for details about how you put your hat in the ring. The deadline for submitting is April 16th.
Afraid of Heights
(Mom + Pop/Warner Bros.)
Sounds like: The fourth from Nathan Williams (and whoever’s joining him; this time, it’s bassist Stephen Pope) is a bouncy, lo-fi and great grungy surf record.
Free association: The pleasant halfway point between Nirvana and Weezer.
For fans of: Best Coast, Cloud Nothings/Male Bonding + Jenny Lewis, train wreck rock.
The Chronicles of Marnia
(Kill Rock Stars)
Sounds like: Her fourth is right in line with her trajectory of fret-tapping, guitar-shredding female domination, but doesn’t take any huge risks.
Free association: She doesn’t have Karen O’s charisma, but she’s a premier shredder.
For fans of: Sleater-Kinney x Don Caballero, Hella/Jack White, mandolin slicers.
The 20/20 Experience
Sounds like: The glorious reunion of JT and Timbaland has been seven years in the making, and they’ve made a sophisticated soul suite. All the haters can stop.
Free association: Like FutureSex/LoveSounds, this one’ll soon be a classic.
For fans of: Prince/Usher/Robin Thicke/Missy + Jay-Z, pop with big bands.
Sounds like: An outstanding fourth collection of folk-heavy, guitar-focused psychedelic rock from the New Jersey music Ph.D student and gifted weirdo.
Free association: He’s family with Ducktails and Real Estate, and they all rule.
For fans of: Kurt Vile/Ariel Pink x old Animal Collective, Sic Alps, NJ kush.
Sounds like: Brit glam experts who nearly became victim to their excesses regroup in middle-aged maturity to make the record they’ve been destined to.
Free association: This and Bowie’s new one? Old-man glam’s never looked better.
For fans of: Pulp/Oasis/Manic Street Preachers, Blur x The Verve, anthemic ballads.
(Groggy Pack Entertainment)
Sounds like: Less-than-superfluous hip-hop is always the best kind—a sick collection from the Orange County duo who focus on craft, not on bombast and guests.
Free association: Gave me a throwback to being stoned and listening to CRU.
For fans of: Mobb Deep + Neatuts, Inspectah Deck/RZA/GZA, blunt cruisin.
As someone who attended an inner city public high school where creative and professional opportunities were pretty much non-existent, I felt to compelled to share this announcement.
This June, The Art Institute of Philadelphia is offering local high school juniors and seniors the opportunity to explore one of 14 different creative trades during a hands-on, one-day-only workshop. At each Summer Studio, students will have access to professional-grade tools and technology as they work on real-world projects under the guidance of an experienced faculty member.
What really sold me was the selection of workshops students have to choose from: Advertising; Animation; Audio; Baking & Pastry; Culinary; Digital Filmmaking; Fashion Design; Fashion Marketing; Game Art; Graphic Design; Interior Design; Photography; Visual Effects; and Web Design.
While obviously, The Art Institute is attempting to recruit soon-to-be high school grads, that’s neither here nor there. What’s important is that these soon-to-be high school grads will have a chance to see how their passion can be translated into an actual career.
The deadline for registration is June 6 and all of the workshops will be held on June 20 at one of two Center City locations. The $25 dollar registration fee covers the cost of instruction, supplies and lunch for the students.
I can only assume that time is of the essence, so click here for all the deets and sign your kid up ASAP.
I don’t know about you guys, but I thought the 2010 mixtape, I Am Not A Human Being, was totally awesome. The thing about Lil Wayne is that he’s kind of a joke and yet Tha Carter IV, from two years ago, was the biggest selling hip-hop album of the year. His notoriety’s come, gone and come back again with various guest spots, videos, stunts, tour antics and moments in the news. Naturally, you’ve heard all about his check-in at Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles for seizures. Mad people speculated that it was too much sizzurp (you know, that cough syrup/codeine/juice shit), but naturally, he and his people say he’s just been working too hard. Well, mere hours after making headlines, his newest piece of work is ready for consumption; download it on DatPiff or stream it on Spotify.
Now, let’s get down to the real question – Is it any good? As the mixtape nearly comes to an end, the garbage track “Hello” is a bit of a red herring. This record isn’t full of poorly-conceived genre mashups. The guests spots are pretty austere and none of the tracks where guests show up are entirely based on their feature spot (the way it often happens). Thing is, Lil Wayne’s not reinventing the wheel or himself here. None of these tracks are exceptionally surprising or leaps forward toward elevated artistry. In fact, it kind of reduces him to a little bit of a one-trick pony. However, that one trick is just so much damn fun.
How many songs can you take that are entirely based on sex and swagger? MANY if they’re good. It’s hilarious to hear song after song about beating up a pussy with your big fat dick. And yet that’s what he does simply with variety and humor. He’s gotta know the joke’s on him, or at least, he clearly knows that he should probably stick to what he knows best; rapping about pussy, weed and “pussy-ass n*ggas.” I use those quotes because it doesn’t look okay when I write it but it’s a phrase he uses probably 25 times in this collection of tracks. Who are these “pussy-ass n*ggas” that he’s so concerned with? Or, not necessarily concerned with, but, feels the need to separate himself from.
Some of the most absurd moments come from raps on “Days and Days” (”She swallow so many nuts / You fuckin’ round find a squirrel in her throat / I go tapeworm in that ho / Let my snake squirm in that ho”), “Beat The Shit” and the stunning Trina-guested “Wowzerz” (”My tongue is a oozy / My dick is a AK / My tongue brrrrrrrr / My dick go bah! / Bitch, lay on that bed / Open that twat / I french kiss that pussy / Like mwah / Sit on my face / M U A H / Before I eat that pussy / I say my grace”).
Lil Wayne enjoys the idea of him being an alien: a huge dick-having, pussy-eating expert, dank weed-consuming and tough as nails real-ass n*gga (in direct opposition to a pussy-ass n*gga). And he just may be from a different world, but his talents in the hip-hop arena lie mainly in pushing the envelope on how ridiculous raps about heterosexual desire can be before we stop taking you seriously.
UPDATE: Pitchfork reviewed it today and gave it a 3.9.