Tag Archives: Aaron Ruxbin

Twurkaholics: West Coast Flavor at Soundgarden Hall

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On Friday, April 5th, Spring was in the air and warmer weather was on its way to Philadelphia. Perhaps the Summer-like temperatures caught a ride from the West Coast with L.A. based duo gLAdiator who was headlining the most recent addition of Actual Records’ “Twurkaholics” party at Soundgarden Hall.

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Along with gLAdiator, another Trap Music duo, Loudpvck also rounded out the out-of-town performers for the evening.

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The night kicked off as all Twurkaholics parties do, with a heavy dose of local DJs doing their thing. One thing that was different on this night was the low turnout early in the evening. However, as the night progressed the venue filled up to the capacity that we are used to seeing from these parties.

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As always, there was the usual bells and whistles including confetti blasts, amazing lights, dancers, and costumed characters.

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While the crowd size wasn’t huge for the first four acts of the night, Oddzilla, Schmohawk, Ditchdigger, and Ethan Dubb, all four rocked out some sweet tunes and with the added room on the dance floor, people were getting down.

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By the time LoveCityDJs took over shortly after 11pm, there was definitely an increase in the Twurkaholics population and LCDs skills showed everyone why he is a staple at these events.

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After a quick mic rocking by MC Buddy Leezle, it was time for Loudpvck to pick it  up. That’s exactly what they did for the next hour. At several points they were joined behind the decks by gLAdiator who officially took over around 1am.

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The next 90 minutes were a blur of of trap and bass tunes with gLAdiator getting down on stage almost as hard as those in the crowd.

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When the party ended around 230am, there was a small exclusive 100 person after party held for those 21+ by Actual Records in Fishtown.

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**Update for our Soundgarden Hall fans: Starting on Friday, April 12th, all shows at SGH will be strictly 18+ (photo ID required)**

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[Photo credit: D. Jacob Miller Photography]

You can view an expanded photo gallery of Twerkaholics and the after-party below (click thumbnails to enlarge):

It’s Official, Twurkaholics Are Sell-Outs

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Two months ago (in December, 2012) we brought you the story of Actual Records, the successful rise of their label, and their “Twurkaholics” party at Soundgarden Hall.

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To give you a quick recap, the first ever Twurkaholics was held at Medusa Lounge, a venue that holds somewhere between 100-200 people.

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The first Twurkaholics party at Soundgarden Hall two months ago, packed over 1100 fans into the 2000 person capacity venue. The January edition, on the night of a snow storm in Philly, still brought in 1000 people.

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Last night (Saturday, February 16th), the third installment of Twurkaholics set a venue record for pre-sale tickets (800+) and by midnight the party had completely sold out the venue, forcing staff to turn away anyone without an advanced ticket. Sometimes, selling out is a good thing.

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The night before, Soundgarden Hall hosted a sold-out, 21 and over show with the legendary trance group Above & Beyond, making it two consecutive sold-out events.

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While the Above & Beyond event sold-out the venue based on the strength of name recognition and rabid fan base of the performers, it was quite a different story for Twurkaholics. The performers, while all very talented in their own right, would not have anywhere near the drawing power of an internationally acclaimed tour in other venues or cities. So how were they able to do it in Philadelphia? Good old fashioned hard work.

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We’ll be the first to admit that we’re fond of the dudes from Actual Records. They are all hard working, down to earth, talented, performers and self promoters. However, we don’t need to blow smoke (machines) up their ass. We don’t cover Twurkaholics because they are good guys; we cover their events because they have quickly become some of the largest, craziest, all-out-parties in the region.

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Their formula is simple, much as it was in the movie “Field of Dreams”: If you build it, they will come. Of course Actual Records isn’t in the business of building baseball fields, instead, they have built trust among Philadelphia EDM fans. That trust has been built in warehouses, small venues, and large venues. It is trust in the notion that their events are all about the music and the fans.

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They might not get the biggest names, okay, let’s be honest, they don’t get the biggest names, but they get top notch TALENT on the decks that throw down from the first set of the night until the last. It’s the trust that regardless who who is performing, that Twurkaholics will provide a full night of stellar music, that compels fans to faithfully pack into these events.

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Add in the low ticket cost ($10 in advance, $15 at the door), a ton of giveaways, dancers, performers, and costumed characters (courtesy of Funtown Productions), and it’s easy to see why Twurkaholics continues to raise the bar that they have set themselves.

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Last night’s Valentine’s Day edition featured DJs from the Actual Records crew and several others from the Trouble & Bass crew. There were women, men, and even a couple that performed a B2B (tag-team) set. The evening was headlined by AC Slater.

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Now that they’ve sold out one of the largest venues in the city that caters to EDM, what is next for Twurkaholics? Will they take the show on the road? Will they draw in fans from greater distances? Will the production value of the show increase? One thing is for certain… when the party returns next month, on March 8th with a Moombah edition called “Moombaholics”, be sure to get your tickets in advance or you could, quite literally, be left out in the cold.

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You can view more than 100 additional photos below (click thumbnails to enlarge):

Diplo at Soundgarden Hall: Things Get Expletive Expressive

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On Sunday, January 20th, 2013, superstar DJ and producer, Diplo, took his one of a kind show to the air. Not the airwaves, we’re talking about the skies… in a helicopter.

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Playing four shows in a single day, the trek (branded “Trap Hawk Down”) took Diplo from Baltimore, to Philly, to Atlantic City, to New York City.

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We caught the second leg of his tour in Philly at Soundgarden Hall. The event sold out weeks in advance with fans anticipating a night of mayhem and self expression.

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The doors of Soundgarden Hall opened at 7pm. Those of arrived early were rewarded with spots close to the stage as well as fast entry into the club. As the night pressed on, the lines outside of the venue grew to lengths we have not previously witnessed there, all on one of the coldest nights of the year.

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After opening sets from Aaron Ruxbin, Schmohawk, and LoveCityDJ’s (all of who did a great job of warming up the crowd), Diplo hit the decks at 9:30pm to play a 90 minute set.

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The next hour and a half was just what we had expected, dirty beats, debauchery, and everything else that has become common place at a Diplo show.

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He began his set wearing a hoodie, transitioned to a T-shirt, removed his shirt altogether (encouraging everyone in the crowd to do the same), and eventually dawned the T-shirt again.

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He climbed on top of the DJ table, he invited females on stage to “express themselves, and he dropped a slew of fan favorites and new tunes that had the place going bananas.

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When he was finished, the ceilings were literally dripping with condensation from the heat generated by the packed house. It was crazy.

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LoveCityDJs took over again around 11pm before handing the reigns over to Ethan Dubb followed by BHB (who closed out the night).

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We can sum up the night like this: Diplo, Fly High, Get Down.

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You can view our huge photo album below (click thumbnails for full-sized slide show):

Twurkaholics: From the Warehouse to the Soundgarden

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Electronic Dance Music has moved more and more into the mainstream in the past few years, making its way from underground clubs and warehouses to big name concert venues.

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One of the last holdovers from the old school warehouse parties in Philadelphia was a series of events thrown by the crew at Actual Records.

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One of their more popular recent events, called “Twurkaholics”, drew masses of fans into warehouses and secret venues across the city. The events were dark, smokey, and packed to the gills. They featured DJs who weren’t big names, but were big talents. They cost $10 or less, and included a ton of free giveaways.

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Over the last few months, Actual Records has been expanding. They’ve been working hand in hand with Soundgarden Hall (one of the most exciting new venues in the city) influencing the line-ups for major touring shows and providing opening DJs for some of the biggest names in the EDM game today.

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On Friday, December 14th, the two sides of Actual Records inevitably came together as Twurkaholics moved out of the underground and into Soundgarden Hall for an event that we can only describe as magically bizarre (in the best possible way).

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The event, which still cost just $10 for over 6 hours of music, featured a slew of DJs that have played at past Actual Records events, from locals to the headliner “Proper Villains”.

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These DJs might not be house-hold names, but they are every bit as talented (and more so than many nationally touring “DJs”).

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In addition to the 10+ acts that rocked the decks, there were multiple dance crews, numerous giveaways, and a surprise visit from none other than Kool-Aid Man (who came crashing through a video screen part way through the night to the delight of fans). Ohhhhh Yeahhhhhhh!

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The party was simply bonkers. Everyone, from the fans at the front to those in the 21+ area in the back were raging and having an amazing time from the moment the doors opened until they closed shortly after 2am (at which point many people headed off to the after party that took place in a warehouse).

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The energy inside Soundgarden Hall was as high as we’ve seen it for any event there since the place opened. This energy wasn’t built up by some big name DJ, with a stunning stage show, and a pre-recorded set. It was built through a love of the music and the scene in Philadelphia.

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It was built from the ground up, with sweat and hard work. It was built by understanding what truly makes an event unique and not changing that model, even when moving from the underground venue to the mainstream one. It was built by those that change the game, instead of allowing the game to change them.

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Sappy? A little. But we’re from the old school, from a time where people danced in all corners of the room instead of facing a stage…a time when there was an actual love of the music and not just the scene (and the good and bad that go along with it). Sometimes it’s nice to be reminded that those things haven’t vanished altogether. The next Twurkaholics party at Soundgarden Hall will be January 25th, 2013.

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**Twurkaholics was the official kick-off of our new “PIN IT TO WIN IT” contest! If you get your hands on an Independent Philly pin at an event we cover, make sure to wear it and pose for a photo (and wear it to all future events for more chances to be photographed)! If you find a photo of yourself on Independent Philly, make it your Facebook profile photo and tag Independent Philly’s logo in the picture (be sure to “like” our page first). If you do, you’ll be automatically entered to win your choice of tickets (for you and a guest) to upcoming sporting events, concerts, and EDM shows! As a bonus, those photos that also receive over 20 “likes” on Facebook will also get a second entry so make sure you get your friends to “like” the photo and Independent Philly!**

You can view an expanded photo gallery from Twurkaholics below (click thumbnails for full-sized slide show):