It’s funny how a cover can launch a career. And with Prince Royce, his 2010 version of Ben E. King’s “Stand By Me” shot him into the stratosphere of superstardom. The 24-year-old Bronx-raised singer, born Geoffrey Royce Rojas, has seen an astonishing amount of success in his first few years out of the gate. Growing up, he was surrounded by the sounds of the Bronx: salsa, reggae and reggaeton, R&B, hip-hop and, especially because of his Dominican family, bachata. And his music is a reflection, a beautiful blend of these influences, making him akin to a Latino Usher.
Royce’s self-titled debut went triple platinum on the strength of his King cover and the charming single “Carazon Sin Cara,” the latter of which he sings in both Spanish and English. Last year’s Phase II, his platinum-selling second LP, shot up the charts on the popularity of “Las Cosas Pequenas” (The Little Things). With merely two albums, he’s already dominated charts, been nominated for some Latin Grammy Awards, issued a frickin’ hits collection (before age 25!) and opened for Pitbull and Enrique Iglesias.
Last summer, Royce was in town for Jay-Z’s Made in America fest, and panties galore wished to be dropped: The dude’s a real looker. In New York, when he appears in stores or performs, lines form that are blocks long. And it doesn’t hurt that bachata tends to specialize in romance. In fact, the root of the genre is said to be amargue, a term that literally means “bitter/bitter music.” In his video for “El Amor Que Perdimos,” he watches his girl swap spit with another dude, and it definitely hurts. Indeed, Royce’s songs are often about sadness, heartbreak and getting done wrong. And the ladies love it. There will be lots of screaming and singing along on the waterfront tonight. And while you may not speak Spanish, a few songs’ll be in English. And love’s a universal language, papi.
7pm. $32. With Alex Matos. Festival Pier at Penn’s Landing, Columbus Blvd. and Spring Garden St. elzolphilly.com
Photos c/o PW’s J.R. Blackwell.
Sometimes it’s initimdating for dudes to get something waxed. For ladies, too, I’m sure. And while males may not be brave enough to get anything waxed downtown (ya know, beneath the waist), let me assure you, gentlemen, there is no shame spending a little money to keep your body hair game tight. Back hair is rarely sexy; that’s a pretty confident statement. Now, hold up: There is nothing particularly wrong with a back sweater, and hopefully there are plenty of loving men and women out there who love running their hands through your back pelt, but maybe you want to win them over first before you let your winter coat grow out? Just an idea.
Eviama’s got to be one of the most pleasant, peaceful and easy spaces in Center City to get your body and body hair taken care of properly. With a move to a stunning second floor space at 109 S. 13th Street (between Sansom and Chestnut), they just stepped up their game and poised themselves to be the go-to for all kinds of females and males.
We caught up with Penny Ordway, its founder-owner and the wise and green proprietor of a jaw-dropping new space in Midtown Village via email:
PW: Congrats on the new space! Are you excited about it?
Ordway: Yes! I love the natural light and the garden and love the fact that I could create a healing space as I envisioned; it gives my staff and my clients new inspiration. I’m really excited!
How long were you at the old space (on 16th between Spruce and Locust), and how would you say the business has grown since it began? Do you see the business staying on 13th Street indefinitely?
We first opened 11 years ago. The menu has expanded and so has our pool of talent. More and more people discover us everyday, and now nearly everyone knows what we’re about when we say we’re a green, holistic, sustainable business. How wonderful that these ideas are more mainstream now! Frankly, I made a big financial commitment, so we want to be here a long time to benefit from the investment. So far, clients are telling us the move to this very happening neighborhood has added value. The contrast from bustling street to serene urban oasis is so inviting.
Can you tell us a little more about yourself? How long has Philadelphia been your home, and when did your first impulse for holistic well-being and green consciousness hit you?
Well, I haven’t eaten meat in 39 years or dairy in 19. I love jumping into a river, a pond or an ocean whenever I can. I’m grateful that everyday I, we, get to do transformative work and make people happy. I’ve been in Philadelphia for decades! I received a scholarship to Temple University, and the bribe stuck. As long as I can remember, nature has been a supportive force in my life, part of who I am. The wisdom so abundant in nature is part of us—a good thing to preserve and cultivate.
Has there been one service or specialty that Eviama’s seen as a staple?
Just one? Dr. Hauschka Skincare facials are a must. And too many massage services get top billing: Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy (your backs and legs will thank you), Mothers-In-Waiting Prenatal Massage Best of Philly), Houdini JINI (neck jaw shoulders unchained) and the Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy (will balance the gut and improve fertility). We have always had a rockin’ biodynamic and organic offering. But there are new menu items being introduced in June, and they will meet our green standards. Stay tuned!
Can you say a few words about your staff? How do you find them and keep them?
Often a staff member will recommend someone they have trained with—this is a great big win-win. You know we all work on each other, and we want the best for ourselves, and we want all the clients to have a wonderful experience. To keep our ace crew, we’ve really made our schedule to fit the therapists’ life. I love my staff!
When I lived in Brooklyn, I made it to the Flea once. There were bikes of all shades and colors, cool jewelry (I bought some Erica Weiner stuff), furniture that made me daydream of the budget and apartment I’d one day have, oh and food. And drink. Pretty sure I had a bangin’ pink lemonade. I never thought the spot was so organized that it could up and declare a new location. Like Philly. But on June 2nd, a Sunday, the Brooklyn Flea arrives at the Piazza. The five-year-old successful flea market will have its first weekend in the Jared Kushner-bought Bart Blatstein monstrosity in just a few short weeks.
Kushner’s the husband of Ivanka Trump, and he owns the New York Observer. He’s teamed up with Flea co-founder Jonathan Butler and Eric Demby to bring their model to a Philly space, their first moment of expansion. We’re hoping it’s a continuation of a trend; seems like New York’s finally seeing the beauty of our fair city. In the not-too-distant past we’ve seen stuff like 3rd Ward, SuitSupply, Joe Coffee and, wait, is that Uniglo coming to Philadelphia? Man, it’s awesome.
Here’s the rundown on the Philly Flea: It’s a curated shopping and food experience for your Sunday morning and afternoon in Northern Liberties, and it launches on June 2. There are limited spots, a fee, an application process, and the powers that be pick and choose to achieve a blissful mix of art, furniture, vintage, modern, crafty, handmade, prefab and mad food. (Among the vendors slated are Philadelphia Salvage, Three Potato Four, At Home Modern, Peg & Awl and Forage Haberdashery.) Brooklyn Flea’s been a fertile starting place for dozens of businesses looking to start small, build clientele and create a name for itself before moving into a brick-and-mortar location. No doubt that’ll happen in our Philly locale, and it’s exciting to see which startups will get the green light from the Philly Flea team.
The Piazza’s one weird space. But did you know that it can contain nearly 8,000 people? There’s no other space within a short radius of Center City that can so easily and professionally host such an excellent collection of vending tables and tents. There’ve been maybe a dozen businesses that have come and gone since Blatstein cut some deals for cheap rent in the piazza’s youth, a result of a number of factors, no doubt. Personally, I have no desire to dine at a place like Gunner’s Run (again). But when the Flea’s chosen food vendors populate the Brooklyn Philly Flea, they’ll pretty easily become the most solid eats outside of the dependable Bar Ferdinand and El Camino Real that will neighbor the flea (and benefit handily).
It’s just good all around: New York expanding to Philadelphia, sophistication in the form of curated shopping, a thing to do every weekend and a revitalization of one weird, underused space. Starting in June, you’ve got a good reason to head up, if nothing else for a good place to stroll with a coffee in hand and peruse high-to-low-end goods and art. Plus there’s like a 1000-percent guarantee that some cuties’ll be shoppin’ too.
Also, one quick note about the Flea’s June 2 opener: Since it’s the day after the sure-to-be-bangin’ Roots Picnic, call it the official “Roots Family Post Picnic Brunch,” ’cause according to insiders, Questlove and a slew of other dope local DJ are set to rock the Piazza stage.
This just popped into our Inbox from the Morgan’s Pier team:
“We can’t believe it’s almost here! Our doors re-open TODAY at 4pm, and the kitchen fires up at 5, with some exciting new additions and some old summer favorites.
Dave P of Making Time will be kicking-off our entertainment season in a BIG way with a FREE DJ set of futuristic sounds for your ears from 10pm-2am! We’ve also got a weekend of incredible DJ’s lined up like Harvard Bass, Liv Spencer + Prince Language. See the full list here and click here to RSVP for FREE admission to this Friday & Saturday’s shows!
Keep the dance vibes going all summer with local DJs every weeknight, and DJs from across the globe every weekend—like Simian Mobile Disco, James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem, and Dimitri From Paris.
Throughout the season, our buds over at R5 Productions are pulling out all the stops with FREE shows every Wednesday Night—including some heavy-hitters like Cold Cave, Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, and We Were Promised Jetpacks—from June 5th-August 28th.
This year, we’ll have a picnic menu, with all items around $10, that’s foodie, vegan, veggie, kid, omnivore—you name it—friendly. This menu is served in our Picnic Area. Although we won’t be taking reservations for this section, with 300 seats, there should be plenty of room for all.
In addition to the picnic options, there’s also a $30 fixed price menu, served exclusively in the elevated Dining Area. Space is limited so we encourage you to make your reservations here.
You can always find our upcoming events, specials and information at MorgansPier.com and for our nightly dinner specials & updates as they happen keep up with us on Facebook and Twitter. Can’t wait to see you at the Pier!
Man, oh man. We’d been checking in on the site to see what kind of shows and schedule they were booking, but we weren’t expecting this kind of fullness. Not gonna lie: In reading the hours of operation—and by that, we guess, they mainly mean when the kitchen’s open, not how late they’ll be serving drinks—it’s gonna be a service industry summer at the Pier. The picnic menu’s available from 5 to 11pm Sunday through Thursday and only 5 to 10pm on Friday and Saturday.
Things I can’t wait to put in my mouth from that menu: Smoky Party Wings; honey + chili glaze ($7.50), Blistered Shishito Peppers; ranch dressing + lemon wedge ($7.00), BBQ Pulled Mushroom Buns; house tofu + cucumber salad ($6.50), Really Good Fries; spicy salt + daily aioli (Side $3.00/Basket $7.00), Poached Lobster & Bibb; green goddess + brioche crumbs ($10.00), White Fish Salad Sammie; baby arugula + pickled red onion ($8.00), Slow Roasted Bacon Sammie; pickled cabbage + spicy mustard ($7.50).
Oh, and the talent. A handful of shows that made our eyes bug: a Classixx DJ set on Friday, June 14th ($5.00), a Cold Cave show a few days later on Wednesday, June 19th (free), then a Simian Mobile Disco DJ set on Saturday, the 22nd ($5.00), and OMG a Small Black free show on Wednesday, June 26th, and DAMN a James Murphy DJ set on the weekend of July 4th ($10.00) on Saturday night, the 6th). There’s obviously a ton more booked, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg and the tip that’s closest to May.
Check out this cool lil’ mini-short doc about DFA records to get excited for James Murphy to visit our little pier on Columbus Ave.
We caught up with Ang Bocca via email this week a few days before she and her band, The Damn Band, take the stage at Ortlieb’s on Friday night to, hopefully, play some new stuff they’ve been cookin’ up. It was tough shortening her verbose answers. But she dropped a few gems along the way. Can’t wait to see what she and her band’ve got up their sleeves this Friday. Get your info tight!
PW: Ang! What’s goin’ on? Seriously, what’s happening? Does the Ortlieb’s show signify a new project or new band or new record or new something?
ANG BOCCA: A LOT is going on! We are recording our untitled EP with Collapsible Empire, which will be hot and ready for release appropriately by mid-summer (July-ish). We are really super stoked to be playing Ortlieb’s! It’s one of my favorite hangs and also one of my personal favorite venues. It just looks like it popped out of a Tarantino movie. Barb (drummer & co-captain) and I haven’t performed for a minute because we have been recording. And this gig has a NEW feel for us. We have a few friends playing with us this time. We have Rachel Icenogle on electric cello, Joe Smith of Southwork on bass and Joe Humeaus of Nobody Yet filling in on guitar. I’ve been calling it Flamingo Friday! I don’t have any idea what that means, but our music feels hot pink for this show to me.
Tell us a lil’ about yourself, would ya? Where’d you grow up? Who is your spirit diva? (Spirit divas are the diva you most embody and, in a way, function kind of like a human spirit animal.)
I’m from South Philly. I was the only blonde pale person from my neighborhood. I grew up wanting to be a ballerina and competetive figure skater. I was uber serious about the dancing, but when I wasn’t getting far, I chose to try skating, and I was uber serious about that, too. I was involved in theater in between all of this. However, when I was on the ice, I had a lot of alone time and would come up with beats and melodies. I would fake sick during a lesson if inspiration struck and would record it into my Nokia. I had no idea what I was doing, but it was uncontrollable and as most people do when they fall in love with music, it became the most important thing to me forever. Hmmm, my spirit diva? Oddly enough, I always have weird dreams where Ryan Gosling shows up randomly and grabs my chin to feed me one-liners of brilliant advice, like “What’s the matter with you? You act like you’ve never been loved before!” And then he walks away. It’s very cinematic. He’s also my spirit animal.
What kinds of things have you been singin’ lately? What kind of stuff’s been influencing you? Like rock ‘n roll times? R&B flavors? Pop delights?
I’ve been lovin’ me some JT. Of course. “Pusher Love Girl” blows my mind. I cannot wait for the next 10 tracks he’s releasing. He’s my pop delight. We are pretty exclusive. I love Bruno Mars, too. He’s my side piece. Robyn’s Body Talk is literally my favorite pop album, probably of all time. I am a nerd for doo wop and swing. I love Cab Calloway—he was a huge inspiration for our EP—and I am an avid rockabilly and Americana fan. I love local bands of those genres, like Coffin Fly and the Lawsuits. The Lawsuits just played a kick-ass show at Johnny Brenda’s with Grandchildren! Just the other night, Brendan from the Lawsuits was singing some ’90s jams at Hotbox Studios with Kyle Perella from Levee Drivers and Ron Gallo of Toy Soldiers. It was slammin’.
How long’ve you been at this grind? I’m sure your performance art has taken many shades of packaging and focus. So, what’s the end goal?
I have many shades of purpose. Right now, it’s hot pink. Ya know, I’ve been wanting to perform my entire life. There was never a question in my mind that I wasn’t going to produce art in some fashion. The grind has been long. So many bands, open mics, weddings, cover bands and musicals, etc. I know that everyone in this music game has to really love it in their gut. It is your only relationship that you always have. We work that extra job to pay for our music. Rock ‘n roll, man. Nothing beats the feeling you get at a show or music blasting in your car. It is essential. We’ve re-worked all the songs, replaced band mates, and chose to work with Collapsible Empire. It finally feels right. We just hope to reach people and make people feel like they can have fun and also feel a part of this with us. I found that a lot of my writing draws from my friends’ experiences, and it reaches people we don’t personally know, and there’s something really beautiful and priceless about that. Success is truly just relentless belief in yourself and what you’re doing. And I honestly feel that same way about music as I did when I first fell in love with it, if not more.
Does Philly have your heart? Is this the city you want to keep working on your craft in? Why? And where do you most like to sing your heart out?
I love Philly. There’s no place like home. I really want to make the most of this life thang. So, the more I see, the better. Motown Philly is back again, and I intend on bringing Philly to any and everywhere I go. Philly is awesome, though, and the perfect way to spend a day here is to go grab some grub and see some local art. We have the best of both worlds. Most things can’t beat a soft pretzel and a local live show. And I sing my heart out most in the shower. Duh. Doesn’t everybody?
*Photo c/o G. Marie Photgraphy.
Suit Supply just landed in Philadelphia on the corner of Locust and 16th, and dandies with a healthy income should be totally pumped. The Amsterdam-born brand is now 13 years old with 44 locations internationally, but only five in the U. S. of A: Atlanta, Chicago, D.C., SoHo and now Philly. At the grand opening, dandies were everywhere. SuitSupply (they like to play with capitalization and title spacing) definitely skews preppy and/or Ivy League. They encourage suiting mixed with casual wear and sell everything from wingtips and desert boots to tuxedoes and weekend bags. They definitely want dudes to walk in and be able to walk out with an entire outfit (not sure about underwear, though) and at a modest to high-end pricing scale. The store manager I spoke to explained that his whole outfit costs about $700. And the handsome staff should hopefully style and size you right.
Adding significantly to the menswear shopping situation in Center City, SuitSupply will provide a lot of style to our city’s fairly grim (for dudes, at least) fashion sense. With the departure of Club Monaco’s men’s section, we don’t have a lot of places to pick up some high-end product that can be worn for years and in a ton of different situations. We’ve got Barney’s, naturally, and that’s great and all, but you’re probably looking at a much steeper price tag on a designer suit. And while we’d love to be able to afford a Philip Lim or Theory suit, it’ll probably be a little bit of a moment in time; a suit you’ll take out in 10 years and think I can’t wear this anymore. While we’ve got a nice handful of boutiques and shops that nail casual and stylish staples (like Ps & Qs and Sugarcube), SuitSupply’s a great international brand for a little more luxe. And until we get a rumored Uniglo, the more international fashion we can get in Center City, the better.
The two-floor story also prominently features an on-site tailor. There’s a fee associated with each specific service, but, depending on volume and timing, they want you to get your suit tailored while you shop. That being said, the silhouette of the SuitSupply man is slim. The fit of these clothes is a modern, fairly skinny cut — not so sure how the big boys’ll do in this store. The suit room, downstairs, is wild, and blazers line the wall, with sizing from 30s to 50s. But beyond Macy’s and heading out to King of Prussia, men have a great new option for event suiting. Meaning, you need an interview suit? A wedding or graduation suit? You can start your search with $500 in Center City and probably find a great, quality, well-constructed suit that’ll cover you—maybe for the rest of your life.
Now that it’s finally starting to feel like spring outside, many of you might be itching to go out and replenish your wardrobe. And while many retailers might have some decent season-start deals going on now, chances are, you’re not going to find many sales as impressive as this one.
Actually, can you ever beat a warehouse sale?
Hosted by Gilt.com, a members-only online style hub, this ticketed shopping event will feature racks upon racks of men and women’s fashion and accessories (suits, denim, tops, outerwear, shoes, jewelry, etc.) from hundreds of top brands as well as children’s clothes and home accessories (bedding, kitchen and bath accessories, decorative pieces etc.), all for up to 90 percent off retail.
I repeat, UP TO 90 PERCENT OFF!!!
Oh, and there’s some other perks like an onsite bar, photo kiosk, live DJ, a snack and dipping station provided by Pretzel Crisps, complimentary refreshments and a free $20 Uber gift card and a free $20 dollar credit toward your purchase. Snap a photo of your purchase(s), upload it to Instagram or Twiter with the hashtag #RaidtheWarehouse and you’ll also be entered to win another $100 dollars worth of Gilt credit.
When purchasing your ticket(s), you need to select one of three specific shopping sessions: First Look (5-7pm, $10), Evening (7:30-9:30pm, $5) and Late Night (10pm-12am, $5).