Category Archives: Art & Culture


Philadelphia Printworks releases new collection “Cognitive Dissidence”

Philadelphia Printworks, today released their latest collection Cognitive Dissidence.  The new collection features topics such as: gentrification, immigration reform and police brutality.   The title of the collection,Cognitive Dissidence, is based on the term cognitive dissonance.  The collection is now available online at
From the website: “Cognitive dissidence is the antithesis of Cognitive dissonance. It is the process by which we overcome adversity, identify systemic inequalities, find our voices and seek change.”
About Philadelphia Printworks
Philadelphia Printworks is a small screen printing company based in North Philadelphia. Their mission is to encourage a culture of activism.  Their shirts focus on cultural icons or social issues.  And, they partner with community organizations such as Rockers, Rockers Closet and The AfroFuturist Affair to develop workshops, film screenings, fundraisers and political events.  For more information please visit

Octoberfest on Dilworth Park — Noon-6pm Saturdays Oct 18th and 25th

This fall festival will fill newly opened Dilworth Park with a series of all ages fun activities & games, plus a 21+ beer garden hosted by ROSA BLANCA CAFÉ. A variety of vendors, interactive art installations, DJs & live music will spice up the party. The Franklin Institute will be on hand with Live Science Demonstrations; Mural Arts Program staff will provide fun art activities, Zipcar will host face painting and balloons; and there will be games like cornhole, ring toss, and giant connect four.
October 18
1 pm: Dave P. (Making Time)
3 pm: Drgn King
4 pm: Norwegian Arms
5 pm: Philadelphia School of Circus Arts
Mural Arts offers pumpkin painting, print-making on mural cloth with make-your-own mini-murals, other art activities.

October 25
1 pm: Illstyle
2 pm: DJ Statik & Mathew Law of The illvibe Collective
5 pm: Son Little
Mural Arts offers face painting, pumpkin painting and button making.

Presented by:


#phillyDJmural Block Party – Friday Oct 17th 6-8pm

Join us as we kick off the Philly DJ Mural Project with a celebration in the city, featuring special music sets by RJD2 and DJ Cash Money, free giveaways, interactive activities, food trucks and more at this once-in-a-lifetime event.

Each year, Mural Arts offers free art classes that empower over 1500 young people in Philadelphia to acquire leadership skills while beautifying their communities with public art. Their access to art is access to life.

For more information CLICK HERE.


Friday, October 17, 2014
6:00pm to 8:00pm

13th & Chestnut sts.
Philadelphia, PA



EDM star Kiesza @ TLA: Recap

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Last Tuesday night [Sept 30th] Philly got a glimpse of a potential star seemingly on the rise in the form of Kiesza. The Canadian born songstress and dance-centric artist, along with co-writer and producer Rami Samir Afuni [who is also responsible for Lady Gaga's ummm provocative G.U.Y. - watch video HERE], have scored a massive worldwide hit with their debut Hideaway. The song topped the UK pop charts and was approaching 70million plays on Spotify at time of post and over 125million on Youtube and has electrified dance floors and even retail shops alike — if anyone stopped into Uniqlo’s opening this past weekend you’d know what I’m talking about.

The initial success of Kiesza’s chorus driven — and 90’s dance music inspired smash hit is not up for debate. But the question remaining to be answered will be the focus of the next chapter of her story… Is Kiesza here to stay? Her fans and critics will gain insight this month as her new album Sound of a Woman is set to drop October 21st.

As for her live show, she kept it short and sweet and fun, showing off her strong combined talents of high-energy choreographed dance with a supporting duo and sharp and powerful vocals ringing out above a live drummer and DJ pumping out the beats.

As expected, her show built up to and concluded with Hideaway, which whipped the crowd into a frenzy and everyone poured out onto South St. with a real good feeling about what they just saw.

During a brief technical cable malfunction, Kiesza sprung into a handstand and walked across the stage upside down and then exclaiming, “See? I’m here to entertain you!” She did just that and even alluded to her abbreviated music library she is certainly excited to see grow. So, next time we see Kiesza live in Philly there may be a whole lot more time to dance with her.

Photo credits // Daniel Wooden


Film Review: Tracks

Dir. John Curran
Score: 6.1

The thing about doing something extraordinary is it’s going to sound utterly unreasonable at first. Back in 1977, when Robyn Davidson, a young, callow Aussie woman with a penchant for animals and getting away from clutter, decided to solo hike from deep in the Australia desert all the way to the coast — a distance of some 1700 miles — with only the company of a group of camels to carry her gear and her trusty black Labrador to accompany her, it was seen as the kind of brainless lark a young person decides upon without regarding any of the consequences. But Robyn Davidson was no ordinary explorer.

As played by Mia Wasikowska, she’s sturdy, stubborn, and above all other things, undeterred by anyone else’s expectation of her limitations. Holing up in a deserted shack on the edge of the desert town she intends to embark from, she learns about working with camels and training them for many long months with local camel trainers, and when a group of friends come by for a night of revelry during her preparations, she’s lucky enough to meet Rick Smolan (Adam Driver, whom has now released a mind-boggling five films in 2014 alone — the man must not sleep), a photographer for National Geographic, as it happens, whom he puts her in contact with to sponsor the story.

And so it is, some weeks later, with camels in tow, and a National Geographic grant to fund her, Davidson bids adieu to the remaining members of her family — her mother, we are eventually told, hung herself when Robyn was still quite young — and starts off on what will come to be a nine-month journey.

With Rick popping in every few weeks to shoot her expedition for the magazine, Robyn makes her way across sacred aboriginal land with the aid of a kindly village elder (Roly Mintuma), endures a tragic loss, becomes completely sun-drenched and loses her bearings, and eventually encounters numerous tourists on buses and squadrons of journalists after her quest grows into both national and international news.

She also seems to encounter a steady stream of truly decent and caring people, in fact, as the film would have it, with Robyn’s strong desire to keep planning to a bare minimum and rely instead upon the kindness of strangers, she essentially does exactly that and seems to suffer absolutely no negative repercussions for her lack of forethought. She’s constantly getting bailed out, if not by the affable Smolan — whom, after one romantic evening encounter, becomes besotted by her — then by the few kindly people, both Aboriginal and non-native, she meets along the way. Naturally, she suffers a fair amount as well, but considering the circumstances, not nearly as much as she could have.

In fact, but for the slow pace and gritty naturalism of the film — there is much in the way of realistically harsh animal treatment and countless shots of the Outback itself, ineffable and pitiless — it could make a fine Disney treatment whose theme would revolve around one young woman overcoming terrific odds and the indomitable human spirit.

Which naturally leads to the film’s central issue: It doesn’t really have terribly much to say, either about Robyn, the Outback, or the human spirit. Curran dutifully follows her trail, documenting many of the incidents listed in her book of the same name, but as the film neither adds dramatic swirls, nor insightful meditation — its quite happy to leave the taciturn Robyn as a young, sun-blanched cypher; whatever she’s getting out of the experience remains either on the surface or largely unexplored — it doesn’t actually have all that much to do. Lip service is placed on giving us a psychological context for Robyn’s trajectory (the death of her mother and subsequent loss of her childhood dog, as her father had to move her away to live with an aunt), but it still doesn’t give us terribly much with which to work.

Given the lack of dramatic arc, Curran and DP Mandy Walker resort to countless artful shots of the landscape under Robyn’s feet and all around her. It’s a fair argument; it so happens that this part of the Aussie Outback is wondrous and varied, from scrub desert to large red cliffs, to the pure sandy white of the dunes leading up to the Indian Ocean, but with much less else to offer beyond its limited premise, the film never rises much beyond a simple travelogue, true to its roots as a National Geographic article, but with the sinking sense that you’d probably be better off just reading the original.


Vitaminwater Uncapped | Recap

vitaminwater uncapped: Last Tuesday night [Sept 23rd] was the #Uncapped concert series hosted by Vitaminwater® at 2424 Studios in Fishtown.

Fans lined up early a block long into the street and when concert-goers arrived inside, the wood-floored room was dark and filled with pink and purple lights. The ambience of the room made guests feel at ease and took them away from reality for a bit.

Many people heard about this RSVP only event by word of mouth. “My friend is a local rapper, so he informed me about this event. If he never told me, I wouldn’t know about it,” said North Philly native Deeda. “I knew I couldn’t miss it mainly because Jhene Aiko was going to perform.”

While people waited anxiously for the show to begin, a Vitaminwater® bar was set-up. They served free cold bottles of their drink in a variety of flavors along with their newest product, canned energy drinks.

Next to the Vitaminwater® bar was a t-shirt making station, where guests could pick out a black or blue design for a white tee which was free. Also, there was a gif photobooth that allowed people to take a few second gif.

DJ Diamond Kuts was spinning out catchy beats and getting the crowd hyped for the three performers, Raury, Ty Dolla $ign, and Jhene Aiko. Most people sang along when the talented DJ played popular hits.

Raury was the first performer to hit the stage, wearing his famous hat. The young artist had no problem revving up the crowd. He sang with a full band some hits from his new mixtape, Indigo Child. He even covered some Rock classics from Nirvana and Queen. The entire crowd went wild singing along when he passionately sang the Queen classic “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

Ty Dolla $ign was next to perform. He came came on stage wearing a ski mask, some could say Kanye-esque. He took it off after the third song. Ty sang a mixture of his hit singles from his newly released mixtape, $ign Language.

The moment finally came that the crowd waited for all night — probably all week. The super-talented, Jhene Aiko, owned the stage to say the least. She performed strong ballads including her new single “The Worst” and “The Pressure.” Her new album “Souled Out” [Read Album Review] was released on September 9th this year.

Photos Daniel Wooden // Words Christina Dogas // Editor Aran Hart


Heineken Green Room: Surprise Party Ft. Smif-N-Wessun & Moruf

Become a Heineken Green Room Insider!

Hey Philly! It’s that special time again for your chance to gain access to the hottest upcoming events and promotions. Brooklyn will most definitely be in the house with the hip-hop duo Smif-N-Wessun live on stage courtesy of Heineken Green Room, so make sure you don’t miss out.

illvibe Collective’s Mr. Sonny James will be on the 1’s and 2’s, plus an exclusive live performance from the acclaimed lyrical rhyme-sayer Moruf.

Remember, this event is open ONLY to Heineken Green Room members. Enter here and obtain access for you plus a friend. You must be 21 or over to enter.

Stay tuned for more Heineken Green Room events coming your way!




Movers & Makers Spotlight: U-Bee-Well Lip Balms

Highlighting movers and makers … Philly and beyond
— By
Aran Hart and contributor Christina Dogas.

Bees are an integral part of our lives that we may not consider often enough. Research from the NRDC (National Resources Defense Council) suggests nearly one-third of the daily food we consume — especially fruits and vegetables — relies on cross-pollination primarily by honeybees. A large number of bees are essential to our survival because they help make healthy food become available for consumption.The world is experiencing a bee colony collapse disorder. In other words, a dangerously high amount of adult worker bees are disappearing. magazine sat with local U-Bee-Well founder and creator, Barbara Gettes, at a Center City coffee shop, where we talked about how her contributions and products are helping the world — by helping the bee population.


Although Barbara always felt like the token hippie, she stuck to her guns. This was challenging at times, but now, even her family asks her about organic foods and she doesn’t hesitate to say “Yes, get them!”

“I feel like I’m doing what I dreamt about for as long as I can remember,” Gettes says about her work. She also said she never saw herself becoming a business owner, “it just happened to me, more than me seeking it out.”

Barbara says her heart “really became IN it” when her lip balms joined up with the cause to help save bees from colony collapse disorder. Now she’s partnered with the Philadelphia Bee Guild and Philadelphia Bee Company, so every purchase will help the bees.


Her increasingly popular lip balms (you can buy here in Philly at local stores) have also made it into the hotel rooms of Emmy nominees and presenters this year, and have been distributed nationally at Anthropologie stores.

U-Bee-Well is made in Barbara’s Philadelphia home (often while she’s holding her baby girl) with only with five ingredients: beeswax, olive oil, lavender, tea tree oil, and honey. Barbara has secured relationships with independent farms in the US and in Australia where her ingredients will be sourced, supporting those farms, farmers, and communities. Every account provides a 10% donation to beekeepers for queen bee rearing initiatives.

Barbara mentioned her product doesn’t only help with chapped lips. “I can’t say that my lip balms have ‘healing properties’, but I’ve found they work well for other skin ailments. Actress Minnie Driver has my product and I keep wanting to tell her to rub it on her baby’s butt!” Barbara says laughing.


What exactly made Barbara so passionate and motivated? She also plays in a local folky music band called The Spinning Leaves. While on tour, she and her partner spent an entire month on a New Hampshire farm, which she said changed her perspective on the environment. This experience helped her gain a new understanding of the important connection between humans, the planet, and food from the ground. Thinking back, Barbara says, “I didn’t know then how that experience would so strongly impact my life and forever change the way I live…” … and now how she makes a living.

This self-proclaimed social entrepreneur — who claims she didn’t even know what a social entrepreneur was until last year — lived in California for a bit until she realized the East Coast really needed her. “In the past four years the East Coast has changed. When Michelle Obama reinstalled the White House garden, it changed everything by creating awareness about what my friends and I have been doing for years and years — like the gardens we have been growing and the products we have been crafting. Now, I’m not just ‘the hippie,’ and seem to have solid ground to stand on!”

As Barbara’s business continues to grow she says she wants to work with beekeepers from all over the world and be able to give them profits while trying to increase the public’s awareness on the issues relating to bees.  “While I am part of a consumer society, I want quality products in my life and I want to understand where they are coming from. I want to contribute to individuals and communities while supporting appropriate educational efforts and movements, encouraging more conscious consumerism.”

For more information about U-Bee-Well visit

And follow online (Facebook // @UBeeWellBalms)

Photos courtesy of Jasmine Tara Photography


Film Review: This Is Where I Leave You

Dir. Shawn Levy
Score: 3.8

God lament the Hollywood family ensemble. Of late, these films seem to take one of two divergent paths: Extreme melodrama, bordering on pathological (August: Osage County); or weak-minded, simpering comedies, which strive to be equal parts mirthful and heart-felt. Shawn Levy’s limp dramedy is clearly in the latter category, pulling together a bunch of wacky siblings along with their outspoken mother, to sit Shiva for their dearly departed father for the requisite seven days. Such is the nature of this film that only two of the sibs even seem remotely like they could be related, and all their accumulated emotional baggage gets washed away in a giant wave of well-meaning platitudes. Wade through this muck at your own peril.

As typical of the genre, the filmmakers have at least cobbled together an impressive cast. There’s Jason Bateman as Judd, in the kind of role he has perfected over the years: a peace-keeping middle brother who tries desperately to keep his more wild sibs in check as they rail and fight and crash against each other. He also may still be harboring longings towards a beautiful childhood friend, Penny (Rose Byrne), who’s living in the area. There’s Tina Fey, playing Wendy, the lone sister in a squadron of boys, a mother of two young children, a wife to a flatly unemotional type-A workaholic (Aaron Lazar), who has exactly one scene where his phone isn’t pressed to his ear.

There’s also Paul (Corey Stoll), the fiery oldest brother, whose wife (Kathryn Hahn) and he can’t conceive a child, despite their ever more desperate attempts. This leaves Phillip (Adam Driver) as the young wildcard brother, who shows up for his father’s funeral late, careening down the cemetery road in a black Porsche, blaring out dance music, with his much older former therapist (Connie Nielson) in tow as his new near-fiancé. And holding the whole nutty clan together, Hillary (Jane Fonda), the author of a popular tell-all memoir about the raising of her family, and who has a propensity to speak openly about her late husband’s sexual prowess in unconventional settings because her character needed something to do.

Naturally, everyone has a problem at the beginning of the film: Judd has just found out his wife has been sleeping with his boss, the tiresome radio blowhard Wade (Dax Shepard); Wendy has a contemptible husband and a still-yearning love for Horry (Timothy Olyphant), their across-the-street neighbor, permanently brain damaged after a car accident back when they were madly in love as teenagers; Paul has infertility issues; Phillip sleeps with everything that moves, and so on. Just as naturally, each and every one of these matters is addressed and brought to a close, ad nauseum, by the end of film in a series of ever-more unendurable scenes of denouement. Director Levy working from a script by Jonathan Tropper, based upon his own novel, is determined to leave no stone unturned, and no ham-handed symbol not fully realized by the closing credits.

It’s the kind of film that inexplicably keeps the candles on a birthday cake perfectly alight despite being whisked all across a large apartment until such time as the man holding the cake — in this case Judd, who has walked in on his wife and boss physically bonding in his marriage bed — sees fit to dutifully blow them as a last paean to his eviscerated marriage. And that’s not even the worst the film manages to conjure up: In the course of things, we’re treated to an impressive array of totally hackneyed symbols and totems. Judd, ever risk-averse, laments that he’s never swerved off the interstate to head up north to Maine, even though he’s often wanted to try it (and when this moment does indeed come to pass — and God knows, it’s coming — the interstate signs have been changed to read “New York” and “Maine” as your directional options, just to hammer the incredibly obvious point home with one last suplex); the house has a faulty fuse box that serves as a kind of magic conduit between Judd and his dead father, who insisted on doing all the electrical wiring himself.

Even if strong casting is the one thing the film firmly establishes for itself, you have to question some of the production’s tactics. The siblings bear no resemblance to one another, in their physical nature as well as their emotional dealings. Tina Fey, while a phenomenally gifted comic writer and limited performer, still isn’t, technically, an actress, so giving her a deeply emotional roll that forces her to emote through several tearful scenes is absolutely not playing to her strength. Nor is giving Olyphant, a handsome, charismatic man given to quick deadpans and jolting energy, the thankless roll of emotional mascot, the one who suffers irrevocable loss and still can’t remember what to do with the wrench he just got out of the toolbox.

In fact, as derided as the aforementioned August film might have been, I would personally take its take-no-prisoners venom and family vitriol over this kind of simple-minded “Modern Family” style pabulum in a trice. Neither one is particularly much good, but at least one isn’t insulting your intelligence with the most blandly uplifting possible outcome in every scenario, all while “challenging” its main protagonist to change up his game and avoid the too obvious and safe approach to life. Of the two, I’ll gladly take the film that (at least up to its dreadful, tacked-on ending) stuck to its formidable guns and at least attempted to practice what it preached.