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Concerts

Twurkaholics: Heroes x Villians & ETC!ETC! at District N9ne

Despite the promise of late-night snow in Philadelphia, fans flocked to District N9ne on Friday, January 23rd for the latest edition of Twurkaholics. The show featured opening sets from the Twurkaholics and Moombaholics crew including Ethan Dubb, Desafinado, Love City DJs, and MC Buddy Leezle. There were also the usual bells & whistles which included an appearance by Grumpy Cat and body painting from Bodypaint.ME.

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The falling snow delayed our arrival at District N9ne as we were traveling from a comedy show in Upper Darby and sadly we missed many of the opening sets. From all indications, Desafinado’s set, chock full of Jungle Terror, Moombahcore, and Zouk, was the most memorable set of the entire night. We’re bummed that we missed it but spoke with numerous fans who raved about it.

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We were able to catch a large chunk of Love City DJs set and (aside from a Daft Punk remix that we absolutely hated) we were impressed as always with his track selection and his ability to get the entire venue dancing. It’s a good thing fans started dancing early because there wasn’t a whole lot to save their energy for later in the night.

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‘Heroes x Villains’ was up next and quite frankly, wet the proverbial bed. His set started off with a good head of steam but he soon train wrecked and then the music cut out for a solid five minutes. Thankfully Buddy Leezle was there to hold things down on the mic and keep the crowd entertained. Heroes x Villains set had lots of energy but was far from fluid. There were several train wrecks and shaky transitions. At one point he began to drop ‘A Milli’ by Lil Wayne, then cut the song out completely, and when he brought the music back up, it was another song altogether. If you’re one of those people who only care about track selection and not mixing, you probably didn’t mind his set too much.

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The young crowd (the majority of them 18 to 20 years old) seemed to get most pumped up by Festival Trap which both headlining DJs dropped. What’s better than hearing a song that you really dig? How about hearing it twice?! ETC!ETC! hit the stage next and proceeded to drop several of the tracks that Heroes x Villains had already played (including ‘A Milli’), prompting us to wonder if his entire set was pre-planned or even pre-mixed. Perhaps it wasn’t; many of his mixes were flawless, but the fact that he played numerous tunes that had already been heard by the crowd, made us wonder why he didn’t switch it up once he knew he’d be doubling down. Oddly, most fans didn’t seem to mind the repeat performances.

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The snow continued to fall fast and heavy so we opted to be safe and head home around 13o AM before the roads got really bad (as did many other people). We’re not exactly sure how the night ended but it’s safe to assume it was with a track being dropped for the 3rd or even 4th time. We’ve been spoiled by great performances at past Twurkaholics events so we’re willing to chock this up to an off night (or the fact that an outside promoter booked the headlining acts themselves). It proves why it’s so important to support the openers because sometimes they have the best sets of the night. It also shows that DJs need to be able to mix it up on the fly, an art that seems to have faded away when vinyl was replaced with digital mediums.

[Photo credit: D. Jacob Miller Photography]

[Article by David Miller and James McCormick]

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**Thank you for voting Independent Philly as the Winner of “Best Local Blogger” in the Philly Region on the 2014 Hot List!**

You can view an expanded photo gallery below (click images to enlarge):

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Around Town

D. Jacob Miller Photography & Bodypaint.ME

David Miller’s ‘D. Jacob Miller Photography‘ and Matt Deifer’s ‘Bodypaint.ME‘ brands have crossed paths at many nightlife events in Philadelphia over the past few years. Miller is of course the editor of Independent Philly (which recently was voted as the Best Blogger in Philly) and his photography (and paintings) have appeared in Boyd’s Magazine, Philadelphia Style Magazine, National Geographic (online), and on HBO’s ‘Real Sports with Bryant Gumbal’, and has been displayed in Philadelphia City Hall, Woodmere Art Museum, Triumph Brewery, Grey Lounge, Mount Airy Arts Garage, and Plastic Club Art Gallery. His work has also been auctioned off for several charity events to benefit great causes such as Toys For Tots, The Red Cross, and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

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Deifer’s work has recently been seen on television and news sites throughout the United States, Japan, Australia, Canada, and the UK and he’s been commissioned to work on projects for Universal Studios, NBC, Blue Moon and the American Heart Association. He’s worked directly for big name musicians like Lotus and Bassnectar by providing album artwork and running major parts of their show production during shows at the Liacouras Center and Electric Factory.

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At the beginning of October, the two artists took things to the next level, combining their studio space into one symbiotic art space inside the Sharktown, Inc. studio complex at 155 Cecil B. Moore Avenue in Olde Kensington. To celebrate, the two artists threw a studio warming party on Thursday, October 9th from 8pm-2am. In addition to their artistic talents, the studio mates share a odd sense of humor as evidenced by this event invitation:

Legion of Doom (double face paint)

A large number of guests turned out to view paintings and photographs by the two artists, enjoy some wine and snacks, and get body painted and photographed (in front of beautiful yarn backdrops created by Jesse “Ishknits” Hemmons). The first three hours were held under normal lighting conditions and from 11pm-2am, the studio was transformed into a black-light only space.

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Several other body painters assisted Deifer in creating the the skin-canvas works of art. Dan McDonald, Britt Gentsch, Dylee Gonzalez, Steve Shorts, and Sara Posusney each painted at least one guest in attendance. All guests in attendance greatly enjoyed themselves and said they cannot wait for future events (both public and private) hosted by the two artists.

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Miller & Deifer plan to throw several upcoming events in the coming months including larger ‘Glow Jam’ blacklight painting and photography events, and smaller, more exclusive ‘invite only’ events as well. The artists are also available to be hired for individual or private group events where guests can be body painted and photographed (either in the studio or at a location of your choosing). In addition, the artists are available individually to be hired for private body painting or photo shoots.

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You can view an expanded photo gallery from the studio warming event below (click thumbnails to enlarge):

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Around Town

Moombaholics: Tempo Takeover Edition at District N9ne

Every genre of music has its own rabid following here in Philadelphia. It would be fair to call the fans of Moombahton and Moombahcore, “Moombaholics”, and on Friday the 13th (of June) under a full-moon, the Moombaholics party returned to Philly.

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The latest edition of Moombaholics, labeled “Tempo Takeover”, marked the first time the event was held at District N9ne, but like past events, featured inflatable under-water creatures, body painting from Bodypaint.ME, host MC ‘Buddy Leezle’, and costumed characters like Party Owl.

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The event kicked off around 815pm with an opening B2B set from ‘Ethan Dubb’ & ‘Desafinado’. The two dudes responsible for creating the Moombaholics party, quite literally set the stage for the numerous DJs that followed through-out the night. Although very few people showed up for their set, it didn’t keep them from throwing down and those in the building certainly got a treat from this set.

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Up next was another one of the Moombaholics OG’s, Scranton’s ‘DJ Woogie’. This DJ/producer has developed quite a strong following online (like his 45,000 Twitter followers) and his personality is almost as big as some of the sick beats he dropped on Friday night. He got some sick mixes up on his Soundcloud that you should probably check out right about now. We’ll make it easy for you:

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After Woogie was Brooklyn’s ‘Banginclude’ and the first thing we noticed about him was that the way his logo is stylized, it looks a lot like ‘Bangin dude’. We discussed this for several minutes with our friends in the 21+ section at the back of the venue before returning to the stage to catch up up close. This was our first exposure to Banginclude and he definitely had no shortage of booty music to drop at District N9ne. His set was bangin’, dude.

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Up next was duo ‘Champion Rocka’, consisting of DJ, ‘The R.O.A.R.’, and MC, ‘Vice Royale’. Championing the genres of Moombahton, Zouk, and beyond, Champion Rocka put tweaked the Moombahton sound we’re used to hearing, mixing in other genres and changing things up just enough to put a nice twist on the genre originally created by Dave Nada.

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Champion Rocka gave way to another duo making big waves in the sea of Moombahton, ‘MaxX & EJ’. These sharks have released some deadly good music and have garnered support from the biggest names in the genre since they released their debut album back in 2012. Although there still wasn’t a big crowd on hand, everyone in the building was getting down and having a great time while they were behind the decks.

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Ricky Vaughn has been called the “Moombahton King” on many occasions and it was a treat to have him showcase his skills and musical stylings in Philly on Friday night. Whether you’re a fan of straight Moombahton, Trap, Bass, Hip-hop, or Twerk, Ricky Vaughn has more than a little something for you.

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Everyone at District N9ne, including the other DJs who had played previously (and DJ Sega who showed up during his set) was rocking out to Ricky Vaughn. It was Friday the 13th and Ricky Vaughn was scary good.

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The night ended with a one-hour set (2am-3am) from JSTJR. Unfortunately we had to leave the venue just before his set began but from what we heard, he closed out the night with authority. The Moombaholics crew will be back in action again later this month as part of the massive two-day ‘Trilladelphia’ festival that will take place at several venues (including District N9ne, Trilogy, and MOCA) starting on June 27th. You can check out all of the Trilladelphia details here.

[Photo credit: D. Jacob Miller Photography]

[Article by David J. Miller]

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Please let us know what you thought about the show in the comments box below the photo gallery!

You can view additional photos in the gallery below (click thumbnails to enlarge):

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Around Town

The Lucent Dossier Experience at The Trocadero

The Lucent Dossier Experience hit the Trocadero on Saturday, May 31st for a night of… of… we’re not exactly sure what. We didn’t know exactly what the show encompassed prior to seeing it and after it was over we were left with more questions than answers.

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The night kicked off with opening DJ sets by ‘Var Lynn’ and ‘Manskar’. Despite the fact that the Trocadero’s website said “Doors at 8pm” (leading us to believe that the show would begin 30-60 minutes later) the show actually kicked off at 8pm, right when the venue opened, evidently.

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We were still expecting to see one of the opening DJs on stage when we arrived just before 930pm but instead found that live-band ‘ELM’ was already on stage. We last saw ‘ELM’ when they shared the bill with ‘EOTO’ and ‘Emalkay’ at the TLA back in February and we were impressed by them at the time.

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We again enjoyed ‘ELM’ but it couldn’t have been easy for them to play an entire set to an almost empty venue. The main floor of the Trocadero had about five people standing on it with a few more sprinkled under the balcony, in the lobby getting painted up by Bodypaint.ME, or in the 21+ areas (where the majority of the sparse crowd was located).

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Of course there was a lone guy out dancing on the dance floor without a care in the world. There always seems to be at least one. I’m sure ELM appreciated him.

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After a brief intermission to prep the stage, it was time for ‘The Lucent Dossier Experience’ to begin. The lights dimmed, fog began to drift across the stage, and the backing band began to play. Then the performers hit the stage, decked out in costumes that looked like a coven of witches. Those outfits were soon shed to reveal what appeared to be a mix of wardrobes from the movies ‘Aladdin’, ‘Stargate’, and ‘Water World’. All of a sudden it seemed as if every single person in the venue moved from wherever they’d been hiding and came to the main floor, many pressing up against the gate by the stage.

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A large mental star-like object took center stage and the female performers surrounded it, took hold, and then were lifted far off the ground by a cable suspended from the ceiling. This part of the show had a ‘Cirque Du Soliel’ feel to it, but that wouldn’t last for long. When the performers were lowered  back onto stage they began a dance routine that quickly became more of a “who can make the most eerie face we’ve ever seen” contest. It was a steep competition; we’re still not sure who won.

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The show became more and more bizarre as it progressed. The dances seemed to draw inspiration from Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’, and some robots with multiple malfunctions.

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Vocalists took the mic at a few points (they were talented singers) and there were several other off-the-cusp costume changes and performances which included another aerialist (who was suspended from a flying stripper pole), a Brittney Spears ‘I’m A Slave 4 U’ chair routine, a medical themed display of flexibility, a cloth cocoon that was then drenched with water to reveal a mostly-naked woman hatching from within, and most likely something else we’ve suppressed deep within our collective consciousness.

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When the show ended around 1145pm, we were left with several questions, the most pressing of them being:

1) Who slipped us some bad LSD? 2) What planet are we on? and, 3) What?!?

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As strange as we found the performance, others seemed to love it. The girls directly to our left were wrought with excitement from start to finish, yelling things like “You’re SO sexy!” at the performers and mimicking their dance moves, sort of. We also heard several hoots and cat calls from other members of the audience at several points. A few people we spoke with after the show definitely shared our confusion at what we’d all just witnessed, “Um…What?!” we asked them. “Exactly,” they replied.

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The Lucent Dossier Experience was definitely an experience, one that has to be seen with your own eyes to be believed (but probably not understood).

[Photo credit: D. Jacob Miller Photography]

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You can view additional photos in the gallery below (click thumbnails to enlarge):

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Around Town

Twurkaholics with Mexicans With Guns, Willy Joy, and Just Blaze at Soundgarden Hall

The October edition of Twurkaholics was held at Soundgarden Hall on Wednesday, October 30th. The ‘Day of the Dead’ themed party featured a triple billing of headliners: Mexicans With Guns, Willy Joy, and Just Blaze in addition to Twurkaholics mainstays Ethan Dubb, Schmohawk, Oddzilla, and MC, Buddy Leezle.

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We’re not going to bore you by explaining the Twurkaholics phenomenon again. It’s been well documented in our coverage of the monthly event at Soundgarden Hall. If you need a refresher, feel free to search our archives for past reviews. For those of you already in the know, we’ll get to the specifics of Wednesday night.

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Twurkaholics tends to draw a younger crowd than some of the other events we cover. Perhaps because this edition was held on a Wednesday night, or possibly because there are so many other events going on this week for Halloween, the crowd at Soundgarden Hall was a little smaller than we’ve become accustomed to at Twurkaholics (there were still a decent amount of attendees, but anything less than a packed house seems off). No matter, the fans that did show up, most of them decked out in Halloween costumes, came ready to party.

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Bodypaint.me was on hand to paint Sugar Skulls on fans faces and there seemed to be an almost constant wait to get painted up. In addition there were Day of The Dead and Halloween themed projections, carved pumpkins, and live art paintings, and of course, limited edition Actual Records t-shirt giveaways!

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The Twurkaholics residents took care of things on the early end, giving those in attendance exactly what we’ve come to expect from each of these acts:

Oddzilla continues to impress with their original productions.

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Ethan Dubb has some serious moxy behind the decks, supplementing his stellar track selection with spot on mixing skills.

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Schmohawk (the duo of Shane Sixten and Aaron Ruxbin) are purveyors of the true art of DJing. There is no pre-planning of sets, just feeling out the crowd, crate digging, and rocking the house.

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The first of the trio of headliners to perform was Mexicans With Guns. Hailing from Texas, MWG has been making some serious bass waves with his remixes for hard-hitters like Bassnectar as well as his own filthy productions. We’d been hearing nothing but good things about his live sets for weeks (leading up to the show) and he did not disappoint.

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Dawning a Mexican wrestling mask for much of his set, he dropped some serious bass bombs on Soundgarden Hall. His set, the longest of the evening, was worth the price of admission all on its own.

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Willy Joy was the proverbial meat in the headliner sandwich on Wednesday night. Did we just make it weird? If the night had been a sandwich, it would have been a grilled panini because Willy Joy was sizzling. Willy Joy has taken bass music, crumpled it up into a ball, and thrown it as a wicked curve ball for called strike three.

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Infusing his style with the house music sound that put Chicago on the EDM map (and is still our genre of choice to this day), Willy Joy puts the soul in your bass hole. Weird again? Maybe, but it feels oh so right. This guy plays bass tunes that you can dance to, strike that, dance tunes that you can’t help but dance to. It’s no wonder he’s appeared everywhere from major festivals to warehouses, and graced the credits and radio shows of some of the biggest producers on the planet.

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If we seem like we’re gushing it’s because we are. We absolutely loved his set and the energy that overtook the venue from his first track to the last. Willy Joy to the world.

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The night concluded with a DJ set from New Jersey’s Just Blaze. If you’re a fan of hip-hop, this dude needs no introduction. For those who you who need some knowledge, he has produced countless hits for the likes of Jay Z, Mariah Carey, Talib Kweli, Beanie Segal, Cam’ron, Freeway, Talib Kweli, Kanye, Eminem, Rick Ross, T.I., Fabolous, Maroon 5, Kendrick Lamar, and on and on and on.

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When you’ve made a name for yourself producing for the aforementioned artists, how should you approach a DJ set? Own it. And that’s exactly what Just Blaze did. Dropping many of the tracks that he famously produced for others, Just Blaze took Soundgarden Hall on a hip-hop infused journey through the last decade plus.

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For rap enthusiasts, it was the perfect Halloween treat. There were no tricks here, just tracks, glorious, glorious tracks. When the party finally did end around 2am, we didn’t need any sugar skulls to tell us just how sweet the night had been.

[Photo credit: D. Jacob Miller Photography]

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You can view some additional photos in the gallery below (click thumbnails to enlarge):

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