July 22, 2015 |
The whole rap-metal/punk-hop thing is a fragile musical ecosystem. One overstep - too much thumb-popping bass, guitars crunching too clearly - threatens to turn you into a '90s dinosaur. No one wants to be tragically tagged as a Limp Bizkit wannabe, not even Limp Bizkit. So why did 311 - the 25-year-old Omaha ensemble - work so well when they raged Sunday across the AstroTurf lawn of Borgata Park in Atlantic City? Well, singer/guitarist Nick Hexum is still one of pop's best, most-underappreciated vocalists, and guitarist Tim Mahoney is a king of crisp garage fuzztones.
July 20, 2015 |
Alicia Montague-Keels likes the coffee shop in her apartment complex, the outdoor lounge with twinkling lights and a fire pit, the exposed brick and high ceilings that come with living in a converted 19th-century dye works. But that's not why she moved to Oxford Mills in South Kensington. "I love it because people are fighting for the same things that I'm fighting for," said Montague-Keels, who teaches fourth grade at a Philadelphia charter school. Oxford Mills is the first development of its kind in the city, billing itself as an "urban oasis for teachers and nonprofits.
June 26, 2015 |
The lineup for the fourth annual Budweiser Made in America festival has been announced, and the big star headliners are pop queen Beyoncé, who also headlined in 2013 (and who is married to festival curator Jay Z), and Canadian crooner the Weeknd (a.k.a. Abel Tesfaye) who was also recently featured at the Roots Picnic. Those two acts will top the bill on the Labor Day weekend fest on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway Sept. 5 and 6. This year, it's more of a hip-hop and R&B festival that includes other genres but does not emphasize them equally.
June 1, 2015 |
Long before they became late-night TV stars with Jimmy Fallon or were enshrined in the Philadelphia Music Walk of Fame - which happened Thursday - the Roots tasted mainstream success with "You Got Me," a 1999 hit whose chorus was sung by a then-hugely popular neo-soul singer named Erykah Badu. On Saturday night at the ninth annual Roots Picnic at a sold-out Festival Pier, the Philly hip-hop heroes - who were introduced by Mayor Nutter - were reunited with Texas soul woman Badu, who jointly headlined the all-day event.
May 28, 2015 |
SURPRISE! The Roots are performing again at the Wawa Welcome America! Festival's Philly Fourth of July Jam. The Roots, performing at the festival for the seventh straight year, will be joined by co-headliners Miguel and Jennifer Nettles. With past performers who include high-profile names like Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj and John Mayer, some observers have questioned the uniqueness of this year's acts. "In an incredibly diverse city like Philadelphia with a wide range of tastes in music, on the one hand it's probably virtually impossible to make everyone happy," Mayor Nutter said at a news conference yesterday at the African American Museum in Philadelphia.
May 4, 2015 |
One in a continuing series spotlighting real estate markets in the region's communities. When it comes to squishy boundaries, Fishtown's are among the squishiest. The 19125 zip code of which this Philadelphia neighborhood is a part "encompasses several different civic associations for whom boundary questions can be an issue," says Chris Somers, broker/owner of Re/Max Access in Northern Liberties, who sells and invests in Fishtown. No matter where the neighborhood begins or ends, however, it is "an extremely vibrant, hot real estate market, with new construction and renovated properties in high demand but with extremely low inventory," Somers says.
April 19, 2015 |
Rubberbandance Group's Empirical Quotient is a blend of ballet and hip-hop, but it's a quieter piece than one might expect. In just over an hour, six dancers dressed in subtle grays, navy blue, and dark reds perform a series of dances loosely centered on the push and pull of human interactions, set to vocals and electronica by DJ and composer Jasper Gahunia. The evening begins as the audience arrives, with the dancers warming up on stage. As the lights go down, they huddle, forming a single unit that moves across the stage.
March 16, 2015 |
For most of the season, Flyers winger R.J. Umberger has seemed slow and out of sync. The reason became clear Saturday. Umberger, 32, will undergo surgery Wednesday on his right hip and abdominal muscles, the Flyers announced. General manager Ron Hextall said that Umberger had two cam lesions in his right hip, and added that it's not unusual for players to play through that type of injury. The Flyers knew about the condition, Hextall said, when they acquired Umberger and a 2015 fourth-round draft pick from Columbus last June for Scott Hartnell.
March 7, 2015 |
Every changing neighborhood in Philadelphia seems to have one: a developer who dominates the scene. In Northern Liberties, it's Bart Blatstein. In Newbold, it's John Longacre. In Point Breeze, it's Ori Feibush. On South Broad Street, it's Carl Dranoff. They amassed their real estate holdings when the neighborhoods were cheap, then became the masters of their destinies when the places emerged, Sleeping Beauty-like, from slumber. Now, it's Fishtown's turn, and Roland Kassis is the reigning developer.
February 24, 2015 |
West Philly rapper and producer Hezekiah Davis III - usually known to the hip-hop world as simply Hezekiah - has two sides, the first of which you can catch Feb. 24 at International House, when he screens his debut, self-directed short, Dreams Don't Chase Themselves . His new album, also out Thursday, bears the same title. In both album (his first solo album since 2010's Conscious Porn ) and film, Davis portrays a man of great depth and exquisitely expressed, socially aware goals.