Apparently the Dead Milkmen encourage musical nonconformity.
Recently resurrected and gigging somewhat regularly after extended hiatus, the Dead Milkmen plan to soon release the first set of new material in over 15 years. Miner Street Studio producer/engineer Brian McTear—who recorded half the band’s upcoming album in a whirlwind two-day session—confessed that “even though these guys are all pushing their late 40s, their music is every bit as energetic, brilliant and, at times, yes, juvenile as it ever was. They haven’t missed a beat. This is incredibly special!”
I hope the band plans to press a vinyl edition so I can relive my teenage years. I still have the old tape deck ... anybody play the clarinet?
Birds of Love
By Dan Possum, guitarist, Deep Possum; Lurker; Warshack
Birds of Maya will melt your face.
I try not to miss a show. Mike’s guitar is some kind of machine gun that is exploding all the time, shooting shrapnel down from the stratosphere while Jason and Ben blast out monster hard-rock grooves and dinosaur heavy rhythm underneath it. They pound the monolith [mono-riff] with no intention of taming the beast. Instead, they grab hold of it and ride it out of town at 100-miles-an-hour until it explodes, and they’re left by the side of the road hitchhiking back to Kensington.
Jason kills it on vocals too—hits that road-warrior, Mark Farner/Jim Dandy note that for some reason almost nobody can pull off anymore. This is pure rock ‘n’ roll combustion: the train that doesn’t stop.
Their riffs are greasy, righteous and atavistic—as if they’ve been playing in the riff-center of your brain for years, drifting in and out: in high school gym class; through hours of working shitty jobs; bombing hills on your skateboard. These are the riffs that play when anyone, anywhere gives someone a high-five, the riffs cavemen banged their heads to while kicking back a few beers after a hunt. These three deep-psych archaeologists tap into that wellspring and shred it with no mercy.
We’re lucky to have these dudes in Philly. People all over the world are dying every day due to a lack of this kind of full-body mind shred.
By Res, R&B soulstress extraordinaire
It's a pleasure to shed some light on this newly emerging band named Lady! Their sound is their own and its hard to find another band to compare them to in Philly. When you first listen to their music, you are engaged to really tune in. They mix jazzy but strong, honest, sassy vocals with big drums, the perfect guitar chords and great violin parts. Some songs are very sexy and inviting, others have hints at orchestral rock, surf rock and R&B.
Comprised of the sultry siren Kate Foust, violinist Liz Zook, Jim Scanlan on bass, guitarist Zach Poyatt, and drummer Ben Smith, they’re not easily put into any one category. In fact, each song of theirs brings a little something different to the table, illustrating the wide variety of musical influences and genres that make up their sound. We both share the inability to be cornered into one particular musical category.
One of my favorite tracks from their debut EP is “To the Heights.” This rock ‘n’ roll torch song contains a sort of urgency that cannot be ignored. The arrangement is exciting and unexpected, slightly psychedelic with intense violin parts. It’s in this particular song where the variety of influences is almost palpable and the journey on which it carries you is thrilling. Lady is in the studio finishing their upcoming full-length album. Check them out at yesitslady.bandcamp.com and get a copy of their debut EP and even a free mp3 track of their cover of the Outkast tune “Prototype.”
PW's Music Issue 2014