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 →


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 →


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 →


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 →


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.


Watch Dominic Angelella of Drgn King strip down The Dead Milkmen classic “Punk Rock Girl”

Dominic Angelella of Drgn King | Photo by Joe Del Tufo
Dominic Angelella of Drgn King | Photo by Joe Del Tufo

Dominic Angelella of Philly indie-pop quartet Drgn King revived an old local favorite when he played for Root Down in the Shadow‘s “Cover Club” series recently at Nomad Recording Studios. With his electric guitar in tow, Angelella took on The Dead Milkmen’s 1988 hit single “Punk Rock Girl,” and delivered it just as endearingly as the original. This Friday, Angelella joins his Drgn King bandmates, who released their debut album Paragraph Nights a little over a year ago, for a show at Johnny Brenda’s. Get tickets here and check out the “Punk Rock Girl” clips below.

Continue reading →


Tonight’s Concert Picks: The Avett Brothers at Mann Center, Chromatics at Making Time, Kate Faust at MilkBoy, The Last Bison / David Wax Museum at World Cafe Live, Kat Edmonson at Prince Music Theater

avettbros File under: Great Double Bill, Part 1: The Avett Brothers are bringing their incessant banjo harmonies and pick-me-up beats to the Mann Center tonight. Still feeding off of the energy from 2012 release The Carpenter, the raw roots outfit will be celebrating another full-length release of  Magpie and the Dandelion in October. Opening the show is the always energetic Trombone Shorty. Find more information and tickets for tonight’s performance here. Watch the lyric video of new single “Another Is Waiting” below.

FIle under: Great Double Bill, Part 2: Cutting deep with breathless vocals and futuristic downbeats, Chromatics are headlining the 14th installment of Making Time tonight at Voyeur in the Gayborhood. Joining the stage will be fellow Portland freestyle outfit Glass Candy. Check out more information and tickets for tonight’s show here.

File under: Great Double Bill, Part 3: The Last Bison will share the stage tonight with David Wax Museum at World Cafe Live. With their overtone Americana roots and crossbreed of aesthetics each band is on the quick rise with their captivating sound. Find tickets and details for tonight’s show here. Download The Last Bison’s cover of M83′s “Midnight City” below.

Recent Key Studio guest Kate Faust is at the MilkBoy Philly tonight. Stylistically reinventing herself several times over the years, Faust has seamlessly broken into her own signature project with the emotive and playful Crucial Companion EP. Check out and download her Key Studio Session tracks here. Find more information and tickets for tonight’s show here.

Charming singer/songwriter Kat Edmonson is taking the stage tonight at Prince Music Theater. Bound to continue her dazzling performance from this year’s XPonential Festival, this is one show that will soothe your woes after a long day of life. Find tickets and details for tonight’s show here.

Also Tonight:

The Dead Milkmen come to The Note - 8 p.m., all ages show, tickets and info here.

WXPN welcomes Poco to the Carlisle Theater – 7:30 p.m., all ages show, tickets and info here.

North Mississippi Allstars play at Union Transfer – 10:30 p.m., all ages, tickets and info here.



Six classic Philly videos from MTV’s “Golden Era”

mtv-moon-man MTV launched this day back in 1981 with the airing of The Buggles’ “Video Killed The Radio Star”. One of the original VJ’s was Mark Goodman, who was on WMMR in the Seventies, before he moved to New York to take a job at WPLJ, which led to his becoming a part of the original on-air team. A nice batch of Philly bands showed up in the playlist of MTV’s golden era; watch six of our most favorite selections from local artists below. Gosh, some of these videos were really cheesy in a good way.

They don’t call it “The Legendary Dobbs” for nothing; back in the day, the South Street haunt JC Dobbs was the place to see live music in town, and Robert Hazard and the Heroes filmed their 1983 video “Change Reaction” there. Note the framed 8×10 glossies all over the wood-panel walls, and the way they make the matchbook-sized club look massive.

Okay, technically it’s Chester County, but we’ll forgive The Hooters for going outside city limits. The “And We Danced” video is delightfully retro-50s, with convertible muscle cars pulling up to a party at the Exton Drive-In.

Continue reading →


The Week So Far: 12 must-read stories on The Key (incl. The Fleeting Ends, Dr. Dog, XPoNential Music Festival)

Photo by Nicky Devine
Photo by Nicky Devine

Philly favorites Dr. Dog announce next LP B-Room, release lyric video for “The Truth” [link]

The Fleeting Ends stopped by for this week’s Key Studio Session [link]

Check out this week’s show reviews and photo recaps including The Swirlies and Fun. [link]

Get psyched for this weekend’s XPoNential Music Festival by listening to past fest performances by Dr. Dog, Dawes and more [link]

The Civil Wars‘ track “Dust to Dust” is XPN’s Gotta Hear Song of the Week [link]

Stornoway recorded a stripped down Folkadelphia Session, performing songs from their latest Tales From Terra Firma LP [link]

Wednesday’s My Morning Download featured San Francisco band The Family Crest and their song “Love Don’t Go” [link]

Brighton Sound Sessions went down a new path with their latest recording of jazz/funk trio ill Delta’s “Dark Chocolate” [link]

A slew of Philly dates were announced this week for bands including Animal Collective, Zola Jesus, Built to Spill and more [link]

The Dead Milkmen will headline a free show at Liberty Lands Park in support of music education on August 24th [link]

Instrumental Philly outfit North End will release their Cognoscere EP next month – get a preview with single “Gabardine [link]

Download Hezekiah Jones‘ cover of Damien Jurado’s “Shannon Rhodes” [link]



The Dead Milkmen headlining free show to rally for Rock to the Future (in Liberty Lands Park on 8/24)


Philly satirical punk legends The Dead Milkmen – who, as Philebrity observes, played their first show 30 years ago today – have been going strong since their reunion in 2008. After a steady string of limited-run 7″ singles, the band recently announced that they will headline the Rally for Rock, a free show on August 24th to raise awareness about music education cuts in Philly schools (and will gather donations for Rock to the Future, which is looking to fill the void left in the wake).  Also on the bill is Andrew Lipke, You Do You, the student band Rock to the Future and more.  In addition to music, there will be plenty of food and activities  – and even some Dr. Dog gear up for auction.  For more information about the show, click here and check out a classic Milkmen below.