Posted in Music on June 12th, 2012 by byronkho

Grouplove last night with Diana Z. We were supposed to see Reptar too, but they cancelled in order to do something or other in Berlin, before playing NY. Pfft. The nerve. Blowing Philly off, but never NYC… Whatever. It was a great show, despite the thousands of rabid teenage fans.

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Walnut & Locust Station, Philadelphia.

Posted in Uncategorized on June 12th, 2012 by byronkho

Just under Broad St., and oh so abandoned. Except by the crazies.

Madi Diaz.

Posted in Music on June 10th, 2012 by byronkho

Find of the day: local Philly girl Madi Diaz (technically, Lancaster) who went to the School of Rock here in the city, before going to Berklee College of Music and then hooking up with The Civil Wars (who collaborated with Taylor Swift on a heartbreaking song for The Hunger Games) and Landon Pigg. Finally ending up in California – like they always do – and then touring the country, hitting up SXSW (like all good breakout artists should). And even before that, playing locally at Kensington local The Fire at age 16, and again for a bravura repeat performance yesterday at age 26. Magnificent voice and a penchant for delivering achingly sad songs at full emotional capacity. And half-Peruvian. Muy bueno.

Down We Go.

Had to add one more: a ridiculously chill 80s funk remix of Down We Go. Genius.

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Rachel Platten, Sarah Miles. Also Cher Lloyd and Wisin & Yandel.

Posted in Music on June 10th, 2012 by byronkho

Headliner Rachel Platten at the Fire. Worth an immediate bearhug when she heard I was one of the few who attended her show at Burlap and Bean with Nick Howard and Bess Rogers. This time, she had her percussionist with her – he added immeasurably to the sound. Really. Her songs seemed more powerful not only because of the drums filling in the beat, but because her keyboard additions allowed her to add a bass and middle to the levels, instead of hollow keyboards and a constant high treble. She’s really picking up on how to get an audience going, and her Gin + Juice cover slash encore really hit the spot. Compare that to the show out in Newtown Square a long while ago where she had a couple obvious piano messups and a lot more insecurity (though still charmingly so).

Formerly Sarah Jane Wilson, this youngster is in the middle of recording her first CD as Sarah Miles. Wilson “is too common,” she felt, so thus the stage name. I told her I didn’t know any other Sarah Jane Wilson’s travelling around the country playing music, though her immediate reaction was that there could be. In any case, she does have a great voice, though her songwriting has yet to catch up with her singing. It was displayed to best effect during a co-written song (with local boy Matt Duke) where, ironically enough, she was singing the line written by and meant for the tenor rather than the soprano. She’s from Princeton, but I won’t hold it aginst her – and has toured with Nashville (hmm, how many big bands started from there?) “adult contemporary” hometown heroes Ingram Hill. Apparently they share managers.

And finally two more, in a completely different style:

Brit import Cher Lloyd!

A Puerto Rican reggaeton duo doing some powerhouse work with JLo. She’s always coming back, and finding awesome acts to hook up with in order to do so. Though, I’m sorry, she’s never going to be Jenny from the Block any more.

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Chinese Man.

Posted in Music on June 8th, 2012 by byronkho

A strangely satisfying mix of traditional Chinese singing with reggae and hiphop. Mixed by a trio who are definitely French but possibly not Chinese, despite the moniker Chinese Man. “Miss Chang” is also clearly not Chinese. Faux Asian but good lounge music, I guess.

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Call Me Maybe.

Posted in Music on June 6th, 2012 by byronkho

Happy summer!

The Miami Dolphins cheerleaders lip-synching Carly Rae’s “Call Me Maybe.”

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The Trip, Part 2.

Posted in Personal on June 5th, 2012 by byronkho

There are TONS of pictures. Anyhow, let’s keep going.

We got to town on the one day it was sunny in Cannes. Also the middle of the Cannes Film Festival, on the day that Nicole Kidman, Robert Pattinson and 3 of the biggest Bollywood stars (not that I knew who those were, but some Indian couple was VERY excited) were in town to open their films.

The Museo Nacional d’Art de Catalunya, on the top of the hill in Montjuic Parc. Next door was the pretty Poble Espanyol, as well as several other gardens and art exhibits, and some of the stadiums from the Barcelona Olympics.

Random street graffiti on an alley by the Barcelona Cathedral. Right after an amazing tapas dinner at Bilbao Berria – 1.65 euro a dish, and tons of stuff you could get. Honor system too for payment…

View of the city from the Hotel Miramar, on the western end of Montjuic.

Clams from La Paradeta! That seafood place was da bomb.

Some massive prawns from La Paradeta. Drool.

All us ballers posing with some naked chick.

Last night – at the W Barcelona. Amazing beach, amazing fancy people and a good night chillin at Eclipse and whatnot.

Oh yeah, biker chicks.

Some more graffiti.

La Sagrada Familia, built by Gaudi, a really famous Barcelona architect.

Stained glass from La Sagrada Familia.

Another view.

Casa Battlo – another building from Gaudi.

Pigeons hangin at the Leaning Tower.

Just starting that dinner at Bilbao Berria.

At the icebar on NCL Epic.

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The Trip, Part 1.

Posted in Personal on June 4th, 2012 by byronkho

Beautiful Naples countryside.

The ruins at Pompeii.

Where we at?

This is very important.

It’s happened before.

The San Carlo opera house in Naples.

The square outside the San Carlo opera house.

Some big mansion looking building.

Jumping in the air like we just don’t care.

A really ugly Colosseum stray.

The view from one of the Capitoline Hill ruins above the Colosseum.

Vatican art.

Seeing Rome via metro-car.

All peaceful like.

I make shirts, yo.

The Spanish Steps.

A dome at Pisa Cathedral.


The front of that big ol’ church.

It looks just like the Schuylkill.

Impressive building, that Duomo.

Looks good looking up.

Looks good looking down. OMG.

Firenze looks great from here.

I skipped the long tourist lines, met Emilia the Swede and climbed half of the 414 steps to see people in here looking like ants. POWER.

Ehh, I could do better.

Rollin the streets of Cannes in a Maybach.

A shot of the water, mid-day. Cannes was superb.

Cannes is super-nice at dusk.

Visiting French churches at 8 AM.

Another one. Pretty.

Before the area got flooded with 20,000 tourists.

That morning, the dog dragged his owner to meet so many other French dogs and their interested owners. Real great wingman, if I may say so.

A lot of that going around this trip.

From the church on the hill.

That has a nice steeple.

That has some nice WWII bomb scars.

That has some nice painting.

And some blocks of stone sitting around.

Our little creperie had some motivating design work on their menus.

Jenny from the block, between winning blackjack bouts. $350 up in one night – fairly good for someone that never bets much beyond a $100 bankroll any given time.

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