Though he sang some of The Dead Milkmen‘s biggest hits – “Punk Rock Girl,” “Methodist Coloring Book” – Joe Jack Talcum was always kind of the quiet shy guitarist guy hanging in the corner, as compared to Rodney Anonymous’ dynamic and bellowing preacher at the subversive pop pulpit. It’s cool, then, to hear this Joe Jack song that the Milkmen unearthed for #ThrowbackThursday this week. Continue reading →
Some mosh pits are sloppy, some mosh pits are scary, but some mosh pits are just pure joy – and the one that broke out at the Dead Milkmen’s Halloween-eve set at the Troc was absolutely the latter.
Rodney Anonymous fitfully weaved his way around the stage with all the energy of his high school self, shouting along with the cheering painted faces below him – equal parts millennial vampires and greying punk zombies. Continue reading →
John Lomax Sr. and his son Alan traveled throughout the 1930s recording blues and ballads on farms, in prisons, and rural communities. New Yorkers Alex Steyermark and Lavinia Wright were fascinated by the Lomax family’s work in field recording, and teamed up in 2010 to create The 78 Project, where they traveled the country field-recording and discovering America’s contemporary musicians. They used a 1930s Presto direct-to-record recorder, which is the same technology Lomax family used in their travels: one microphone, one 78 rpm disc, and one three-minute take. Continue reading →
Philly punk favorites Dead Milkmen have been unearthing some Christmas gems from the archives this holiday season. The biting (and sadly still relevant) “All I Want for Christmas is a Job,” which features singer-guitarist Joe Jack Talcum doing a playfully stripped-down performance with the late Dave Blood on bass, surfaced as an mp3 last week. You can download it below; it’s got a nice Daniel Johnston-ish swing to it. Continue reading →
You probably know them as a fun punk rock band, but that doesn’t mean Philly’s Dead Milkmen don’t have a dark side. Last Friday, the local favorites headlined a benefit at Laurel Hill Cemetery in East Falls. The band performed between the pillars of a mausoleum off of Hunting Park Avenue, while the crowd – reportedly over 1,000 in attendance – gathered along the walkway and among the headstones up the hill. As dusk turned to dark and clove cigarette smoke filled the brisk pre-autumn air, the four guys on crypt stage launched into a squalor of rumbling beats and instrumental feedback as frontman Rodney Anonymous murmured “White on white translucent black capes.” Holy shit. They were covering “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” by Bauhaus. So perfect. Continue reading →
The City of Brotherly Love’s satirical punk-rock band Dead Milkmen headline a fundraiser at Laurel Hill Cemetery tonight; the band joked on its Facebook that the last time it played in a cemetery, the result was the “Big Time Operator” video. Formed in 1983 at Temple University, the Milkmen found success on college radio with their debut album, Big Lizard in My Backyard. Their songs ranged from tunes with nonsensical spoken intros like “Bitchin’ Camaro,” to “Takin Retards to the Zoo”, a less-than-50-second punk-joke song. Goofy lyrics dripping with a Philly accent spread their success internationally with “Punk Rock Girl,” the hit off of their sophomore album Beelzebubba, which landed with a sturdy spot on MTV’s video rotation. After reuniting in 2008 under the pseudonym Les Enfants Du Prague, the band decided to become an active group once again and set to record album The King in Yellow, which dropped March 2011. They have since released four singles including “Welcome to Undertown”, and “Big Words Make the Baby Jesus Cry”. Tickets and information on the show can be found at here. Below, watch the music video to “Punk Rock Girl.” Continue reading →