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Merry Christmas from Philly! Listen to holiday songs by Amos Lee, The Districts, Good Old War, Hemming and more

The Districts | Photo by Jeremy Zimmerman | Jeremy-Zim.com
The Districts | Photo by Jeremy Zimmerman | Jeremy-Zim.com

Over the years many of our favorite Philly local musicians have covered holiday classics or have written their own seasonal songs. We’ve compiled some of our favorites from the last few years that we’ve posted on The Key, including some highlights from WXPN’s Home For the Holidays, the annual broadcast hosted by WXPN’s Helen Leicht, featuring songs by Amos Lee, The Districts, Good Old War, Ginger Coyle, Hemming, and more. Continue reading →

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Philly Boy, Part 2: Listen to Jon Wurster guest DJ on the Indie Rock Hit Parade

Jon Wurster | Photo by Eric Schuman
Jon Wurster | Photo by Eric Schuman

It’s always a good time when drummer Jon Wurster (Superchunk, the Mountain Goats) stops by the Indie Rock Hit Parade. This time around, Jon brought with him a batch of classic and rare Philly-centric indie and hardcore, along with some new and (perhaps rightfully) forgotten tracks. Jon also chats with host Eric Schuman in an extended conversation about his comedy partnership with Tom Scharpling, and how the duo are bringing The Best Show on the road for a live tour. Speaking of, you can see Scharpling and Wurster at Union Transfer on Sunday, December 13th.

Continue reading →

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Philly’s Dead Milkmen threw the ultimate Halloweekend party at The Troc

The Dead Milkmen | Photo by Morgan Smith | phobymo.com
The Dead Milkmen | Photo by Morgan Smith | phobymo.com

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 →

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Watch the new Shaking Through episode starring The Dead Milkmen

The Dead Milkmen | via Facebook.com//pages/The-Dead-Milkmen
The Dead Milkmen | via Facebook.com//pages/The-Dead-Milkmen

Weathervane Music’s Shaking Through released their first session of the season, featuring Philly punk legends The Dead Milkmen.

According to Shaking Through, The Dead Milkmen’s track (entitled “Prisoner’s Cinema”) is:

“a celebration of the every-day people who had to clean up after rock-stars and their debaucherous episodes of the past.”

In the video for the track, below, members discuss the difference between live shows and recording, the late Dave Schulthise (Dave Blood), record label pressures, and the all-encompassing theme of the working-class in comparison to rockstars. Continue reading →

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Watch Joe Jack Talcum of The Dead Milkmen recorded live to vinyl for The 78 Project

Joe Jack Talcum at International House | Photo by John Vettese
Joe Jack Talcum at International House | Photo by John Vettese

There was an ominous silence at the International House earlier this month as Joe Jack Talcum of Dead Milkmen prepared to play “Railroad Bill.”

On Jan. 15, the International House in Philly screened the documentary The 78 Project, a film in which New York-based folk music and field recording enthusiasts Alex Steyermark and Lavinia Wright traveled the states capturing performances by various musicians in gardens, bedrooms, and other non-traditional locations.

After the screening, the 78 project team did a live recording and pressing of Philly-based Joe Jack Talcum playing the Bob Dylan cover on acoustic guitar and harmonica. Continue reading →

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Scariest set in the city? A look at Eastern State Penitentiary’s most famous videos

The Dead Milkmen's "Punk Rock Girl" video features Joe Jack Talcum singing in the Rotunda as Rodney Anonymous walking around the cellblocks of ESP reading a newspaper
The Dead Milkmen’s “Punk Rock Girl” video features Joe Jack Talcum singing in the Rotunda as Rodney Anonymous walking around the cellblocks of ESP reading a newspaper

Most Philadelphians are familiar with Fairmount’s massive landmark Eastern State Penitentiary. The looming structure, which closed in 1971 after 142 years as a prison, reopened in 1994 for guided tours, and has since become a destination for thrill-seekers during Bastille Day and Halloween season. However, beyond the zombie-fied chaos, the space itself offers an amazing backdrop for, well, anything.  We decided to look back at a few ways musicians and other visual artists have used ESP over the last few decades. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Seoul Delhi at The Fire, Josh Olmstead at Bourbon and Branch, The Dead Milkmen at the Chameleon Club, and more!

Seoul DelhiPhilly-area rock group Seoul Delhi will be playing The Fire tonight at 6:00 p.m. Known for a balanced blend of alternative and classic rock complimented by original and organic songwriting, the local five-piece band will be supported by Tasty Face, Minor Setbacks, and Hanna Paige. Tickets for the show are $7 ($5 with a student ID), and it’s open to all ages. More information can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Watch Dead Milkmen record the carnivalesque “Pretty Music For Pretty People”

The Dead Milkmen at Laurel Hill Cemetery | Photo by John Vettese
The Dead Milkmen at Laurel Hill Cemetery | Photo by John Vettese

Following a knockout show at Laurel Hill Cemetery last Friday (check out photos here), Philadelphia’s Dead Milkmen debuted a music video this week for the title track to their forthcoming album Pretty Music For Pretty People. The song is set to the twinkling sounds of circus music and tells the tale of an award show acceptance speech while reminding the winner “don’t forget to wave to the people you screwed / to get that perfect 10 out of 10 review.” Funny. However, do not expect a play by play depiction of the VMAs. The Brian Siano-directed video opens as a women curiously recites “Eeenie meanie jelly beanie” into a microphone before the music begins. From there, the video essentially catches the band recording the track in Miner Street Studios, and we’re pretty psyched that we get to watch a little piece of Dead Milkmen history. Check it out below. Continue reading →

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Dean Sabatino of the Dead Milkmen teams up with teen drummer Brandon Coklay for That’s So Phily

Photo by Patrick Snook.

That’s So Philly, a local organization and website that showcases musical talent of local teens, has been getting some help recently from established local musicians to collaborate with teens. The first “Sing With A Philly Teen” initiative featured singer-songwriter Ben Arnold who collaborated with Arin Edelstein on an original song that you can listen to here. Recently Dean Sabatino, drummer for the Dead Milkmen collaborated on an improvised drum duet with 18-year-old Brandon Coklay.

Coklay grew up playing the drums at home and in church. He goes to Upper Darby High School where he is a member the marching band and indoor drumline, playing snare. Listen to the duet, recorded at Kawari Sound, below.