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April 2016 / No. 68

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Birthday Bash Shows and Bar XIII

Celebrate Rodney and Dean's Birthday at Bar XIII

By some strange twist of fate, May 21st is the birthday of both Rodney Anonymous and Dean Clean (Rodney is one year younger). We're holding a pair of birthday bash shows in Wilmington DE at Bar XIII with our friends Decontrol and Hot Breakfast! opening up.

The Saturday show is almost sold out so we decided to get the party started a day early and added a Friday night show. Get your tickets NOW because this is a small venue and they will sell out.

Bar XIII - Friday, May 20th - TICKETS
Bar XIII - Saturday, May 21th - TICKETS

You can also get a shuttle from Philly to the show - just purchase a shuttle ticket on either of the above ticket links.

RODNEY GETS BUSY!

NO! I don't have photos you filthy minded perverts...

BUTT...In the shameless self-promotion department, Rodney released a song with MC Lars and The Gothsicles. Listen and download on The Gothsicles Bandcamp site.

He also remixed Caustic's "Bomb The Clubs" into the DM's "You'll dance To Anything". Check it out on Caustic's Bandcamp site.

And he'll be DJing at the Lizard Lounge in Lancaster on Sat., May 7th. The Lizard Lounge is below the Chameleon Club.

Also of note - the ONLY solo track he'll ever release will be appearing on Electronic Saviors 4, the profits from which go to charity.

Finally, don't forget that on the first Friday of each month Rodney Anonymous takes you on a 2 hour trip into his world of industrial, goth, and dark wave music only at YNotRadio.net

SOLO JOE SHOWS

Joe has a couple of solo shows in the next few months:

June 2 - PhilaMOCA, opening for Vacation - All Ages - INFO
July 7 - Bourbon & Branch, with Nemes & Elison Jackson - 21+ - INFO

Jack Talcum's CORNER

Dancing

I've been thinking about dancing a lot recently, and I've been doing a lot of it too, literally. I've been practicing my moves. This might come as a surprise, but those little quirky motions I make on stage, which might come off as impromptu gestures, or even mini seizures, are actually rehearsed. You see them the opposite of what I have in mind, but that's because I practice in front of a mirror and I tend to forget that the image of myself is a complete reverse of what it really is.

When did people first start moving to the beat? Was it something that just came natural to our ancestral forefathers? The ancients Egyptians must have danced because there is all that art that shows them in mid step, plus of course there's the famous song "Dance Like an Egyptian." So I'm guessing that dance is just "in our D.N.A." somewhere. And some people have better genes for it than others.

I admit I'm no Michael Jackson when it comes to dance, but I do feel the rhythm in my soul. Whenever I put on my Haircut 100 album I cannot help but to boogie. I don't see how anyone else can resist either. And why should they? Dancing is a great cure for depression. Forget Zoloft, forget Prozac. Get out on the dance floor and twist those blues away. That's my personal prescription. Heck, even if you want to keep poppin' the pills, dancing is still something fun to do. And how can you be down if you're having fun?

They say it takes two to tango, and I don't doubt it. The tango is a dance with specific moves that you really can't do by yourself. But it only takes one to shimmy and that is more my style. When I'm out on the floor I admire the couples who can dance in tandem. They really got their act together. I wonder how long they had to work at that to be so smooth. I wonder how long before they break up? I wonder if the break up will involve child support and divorce lawyers. But mostly I wonder how anyone can not find this beat so damned infectious. I just want to vibe and show off my motions, come whatever may.

Deliberating Dandrew

A Tale of Two First Days of School

I recently (as in about two weeks ago) started teaching an after-school music class at two Norristown-area middle schools. I was hired for this job in October of 2015, but the knuckleheads in Harrisburg only solved the budget issues within the last month (took a little over eleven months), so there hadn't been any money in the program's budget to pay anyone. Well, there is now, so that's why this is here. I've decided to write about whatever experiences I have with these children, in hopes of getting an understanding of how my teaching skills develop, and realize that I am actually horribly un-prepared for this job at the moment.

Day One at East Norriton Middle School, Tuesday:

Without even a moment's silence in the room, even up to the very end of the class, I still somehow managed to introduce myself and get each of their names and what instrument they play. I started out by guessing each of their names, with varying degrees of success. I was having an awful time figuring out which child was named Courtney when one of the quieter children finally nudged me and pointed to the boy seated across from him.

Seven girls and six boys.

All of them but one currently plays an instrument: four play the violin (Gustavo, Zurisadi, Adan, and Karen); two play the piano (Bradley & Isabella); two play flute (Alex & Marlene); Miranda plays the trombone; Courtney plays the cello; Ja-nay plays the viola; Sean plays the drums; and Shania used to play French horn.

We met in the library, which I thought was at odd at first, but not unpleasant, and I found this to be even more odd when I saw that the school had a pretty nice music room the following week. But the library was fine for what we were doing, which was mostly just introductions. I told them that if I lift my right hand up, holding the peace sign up with my two fingers, they were to do the same and start to get quiet. I also told them that we had to have mutual respect for each other - I have it for them, they have it for me, and they are to have it for each other. I mean, we can't really get any thing done or learned if everyone's talking all at once, I told them. Don't get me wrong, there were periods where most of them were not talking - a few didn't even say a word other than their name and what instrument they play. It just seemed as if there were always at least two children talking throughout the whole hour we were there. Which is fine, because I basically just wanted to introduce myself, get to know their names, and try to get a feel for how they want this class to go. I actually have no idea what I am doing. I will see these children every Tuesday until I don't even know when yet.

I feel really excited about what this can be like, and I'm open to anyone's suggestions on how to to run a middle school music class. That is, if people actually read these things.

By the way, I also go to another middle school in that same school district, Stewart ("you know what...?) Middle School. Which also makes me think of Stuart Little School. So far I have done two classes there, and each of them had different students in it. This kind of frustrated me when I found out about it (two minutes before the first class started), but I think I can make it work. This first Thursday I had the 6th/7th grade class first, and then the 5th grade class the following week, and this pattern continues until I don't know when. I don't know when because there might be a Summer program as well, but they'll get back to me about it. A lot of this rides on the state's budget, because this is an after-school art program through a community art centre.

Day One at Stewart Middle School, Thursday:

Seven girls and five boys.

Kobe & Ayana play the trumpet; Kim & Angel play the violin; Alfredo plays drums and Sir Jadan plays percussion (which he performed with pencils on the desk in front of him for the duration of the introductions); Ijiah plays French horn; Bryan plays clarinet; and Lisa plays cello. I forgot to mention that Kim also plays harp, which I told her totally rules.

We met in a classroom (which I didn't do the following week because A] I discovered the piano in the auditorium, and figured it would be a more appropriate room for a music class and B] there was a CPR training class going on in the classroom) and there was a white board with markers, which Mrs. Hollingsworth told me I could totally use a square of it, but not to erase anything that was on the board already. I didn't end up using it. After introductions and such Sir Jadan, and that is truly his given name (which I told him rules) taught us the "Zuma Zuma" game. Everyone slaps their thighs with both hands twice, then snaps their fingers twice while saying their name twice and then the name of someone else in the room twice. That person then has to say their name twice and then the name of someone else in the room twice, all while still slapping one's thighs and then snapping their fingers in time. It's actually way more difficult than it sounds, especially because you speed up each time someone screws up and gets kicked out of the game. This class got off to a good start. Toward the end of the hour I told Ijiah that if she kept talking (which was literally through the whole class), and I had to ask her to please stop three more times, she would have to come to the front of the class and do the "I'm a Little Teapot" routine; singing, motions and all. I said, actually, that that goes for anyone in the room, if they weren't respectful and listening. Anyway, three times later and Ijiah came to the front of the room, got bashful and kept laughing, and started to do the routine just as the announcement came over the loudspeaker that the class was over. And they all took off for the door.

Rodney Anonymous

Meeting The Damned: A Rather Lengthy Essay

"Summerfest is short for 'summer festering'." - Crow T. Robot

If you see me onstage with the Milkmen at a music festival, you can rest assured that it was a 3-to-1 vote which landed me there. I don't want to seem ungrateful, as the staff and the crowds at these festivals have been absolutely wonderful. It's just that the music at these festivals tends not to be the kind of stuff I listen to; which is to say that I'd be infinitely happier in the audience at Terminus than I'd ever be under the spotlights at Coachella. In fact, if Satan (in the guise of Ted Cruz) were to make me a deal in which, for the rest of my music career, the Milkmen could only perform before crowds of less than a dozen people, but our band's name would never have to appear on a bill with Weezer, The National, or Sublime, I would happily take that deal.

Shit, Luther! I'd even toss in my soul if Ol' Scratch would add LCD Soundsystem to that list but, sadly, I no longer have a soul. I lost it when our band played Beards & Birkenstocks Fest in Atlanta last year.

Now, if you're an Iszoloscope kind of guy trapped in a Sheep Dogs kind of place, you'll need a coping strategy. Here's mine:

  1. Walk around and meet people. 99.99% of the people I meet at these festival leave me with a huge smile on my face (I hope my wife doesn't misconstrue that). Just look at the positive attitude these fine young people display... Then again, sometimes this happens...
  2. Festival Folks

    Me: Have you heard Chant's "Brave New Apocalypse" yet?
    Dude One: I haven't listened to any music since Fugazi broke up.
    Dude Two: WHAT??? Fugazi broke up? No waaaay, dude!

  3. Convince Dan that getting drunk and climbing aboard carnival rides is a perfectly rational thing to do. I might not be a fan of the festivals that we've played, but I wouldn't trade our inebriated escapades on the Himalia for anything.
  4. Meet my heroes.

Last year my plan was twofold. The first part was to play keys with The Prodigy. This didn't happen. I tell people that it didn't pan out due to scheduling conflicts, but the truth is that, even if we have had been playing on the same night, I'm not sure that The Prodigy would have gone for my pitch of "hello, you don't know me, but my band is 35th on the bill - that's our name, there. In the small print. - I was wondering if you could use an extra set of hands on 'Ibiza'. No? OK. There's really no need to call security..."

My other goal was technically more accessible, but much more important. I was going to meet The Damned.

"I can't stop myself, I'm an a-hole." - Captain Sensible

Now, I've seen The Damned maybe a half dozen times in my life (my friend Rob, who fronts Live Not On Evil says that he's never seen The Damed turn in a bad set, and I believe him), but I've never had the guts to make an attempt to actually walk up to any members of the band and tell them how much The Damned mean to me. And The Damned mean the world to me. If you're currently starting a band, and you need a template to base your band on, you could do a whole lot worse than The Damned. In fact, you couldn't do any better. If you can name one other Punk/Psychedelic/Goth band, I'd like to know about them. And even if another band like that did exist, I doubt they'd be as interesting as The Damned, who essentially have an escaped mental patient on guitar and Dracula on lead vocals.

About a week before we were slated to play a festival in Denver with The Damned, Vienna & I were lucky enough to catch a showing of "THE DAMNED: Don't You Wish That We Were Dead" an amazing documentary the main premise of which is that The Damned received neither the fame nor respect owed to them as one of the most original bands to ever walk (and vomit on) the Earth.

If you haven't seen the film yet, I can't recommend it strongly enough (If you have to sell your children in order to arrange a viewing, do it!). This documentary will remind you why you love The Damned: because they just did whatever the Hell they wanted to and let the chips fall where they may - most likely onto their sheets. While Johnny Rotten was running around in an "I Hate Pink Floyd" t-shirt, The Damned went out and hired the Floyd's drummer, Nick Mason, to produce their second album. Lemmy - yes, THAT Lemmy - used to play bass for them. And I'm sure he will again once he's finished clawing his way through the four tons of concrete that were poured over his grave in a foolish attempt to stop his inevitable resurrection.

The only downsides to the documentary are that there's no mention of Patricia Morrison (The current Mrs. Dave Vanian and ex-member of The Gun Club, The Sisters of Mercy, and Wham*, who played bass with The Dammed for six years) and you're gonna wanna punch the turd who says he hated both "Phantasmagoria" and "The Black Album". Speaking of turds...well, we'll get to that later.

*Citation needed.

Fast forward to Denver and the first of two festivals The Milkmen are scheduled to play with The Damned. I've seen way too many caper movies, and if there's one thing I've learned it's the value of recognizance. So as soon as we got to the dressing room area, I began scouting for The Damned's digs.

Holy Relic

Most of the time, I'm the guy who makes it to the subway platform just as the train is pulling away, so I've come to expect disappointment. But every now and again, the stars align themselves to favor the quests of mere mortals and - you are not going to believe this, but The Damned's dressing room was catty-corner to ours. And, since the dressing rooms were constructed from curtains, I could, with only the smallest amount of effort, peer directly into their dressing room.

Dressing Room

Everything was falling into place. All I needed to do was make it through the Milkmen's set, race across the festival grounds, catch The Damned's set, then make it back to the dressing room area in time to meet my heroes. How difficult could that be?

There are two ways to die on stage. The first is to bomb, the second is to literally cast off this mortal coil (coincidently, one of only two Goth bands that Patricia Morrison wasn't a member of), and that's exactly what I thought I was gonna do in Denver. The combination of the afternoon heat (it was about 116 F on stage) and the altitude beat me like a red-headed stepchild. The guys in The Damned are a decade older than me - if I was getting my ass kicked, how would they hold up? The answer turned out to me that I'm apparently a bit of a wimp.

Damned in Denver

In Denver, the mile-high oven, The Damned played a perfect set under conditions that would've sent most 20-year-olds running home to their mommas ("Sweet Jesus, I promise to stop listening to Black Metal if you'll just lower the temperature by two fucking degrees"). And, as if to rub his super-human status into everyone's face, Dave Vanian came onstage wearing a leather coat and matching leather cap.

Yes, they played everything the crowd wanted them to: Smash It Up? Check. Wait For The Blackout? Check. Neat Neat Neat? Anti-Pope? Plan 9 Channel 7? Check, Check, and motherfuckin' Check!

In the dressing room area, just minutes after The Damned had finished their set, I staked out my territory and waited for the band.

We once had bus driver who had driven a certain Swedish Speed Metal guitarist around the Midwest. One night, a teenager approached Mr. FretboardFingers and asked him to sign the kid's guitar. The Scandinavian Sewer-Stain took up the young man's axe and, declaring it to be a piece of shit, dashed it to the ground, breaking it, before stepping back into the bus. The bus driver came out to console the kid who was kneeling over what was once his most prized passion and crying. "But...but...he was my hero", the kid kept repeating. There are two takeaways from this. The first is that there are people who, although they can play the Hell outta an instrument aren't musicians. The second is that we take a big risk when we meet our heroes.

Then, around the corner came Dave Vanian.

"Um...Mr. Vani...Sir? My wife and I...and the other members of my band...and my friend Rob...and Rob's dog...are your biggest fans. Could I please just get a picture of with you...please...sir?"

Rodney and Dave

Dave politely informed me that he needed to remove some sweat from his body, but that he'd be hanging around later. I walked back to our dressing room, having met one of my heroes, but also thinking that I'd been politely blown off.

Then this happened...

Dave Vanian walks, shirtless, into our dressing and is absolutely wonderful. He poses for pics, tells a few jokes and couple of stories before heading back to his band's side of the curtain. I couldn't have asked for more.

Festival Folks

Later, I also manage to snag a pic with The Damned's keyboardist Monty Oxymoron.

All of this would've been enough to make my month, but the icing on the cake happened during dinner when Captain Sensible kindly stopped by our table to graciously re-tell a story he tells in the documentary about his stint as a janitor dealing with a particularly troublesome turd. Life imitating Art imitating Life has never been so sweet.

Epilogue

I'm hanging out backstage at the Chicago festival. I didn't get to see The Damned's set because we were scheduled to play at the same time (unfortunately, on different stages), but I do get to hang out with the band in the dressing room area which consists of a sort of village made of small, portable houses: like a Hobbiton for bad influences. I'm wearing a Caustic "Unpopular Music for Unpopular People" t-shirt which Dave Vanian points at and declares "Great shirt, mate!"

I'm standing next to Pinch, The Damned's drummer, and I say "I'm probably The Damned's biggest fan."

"Really?" says Pinch, "Which are your favorite albums?"

"Phantasmagoria and The Black Album!"

"You Goth fuck."

We both burst into laughter and all is right with the world.

Watch Full Documentary of Pretty Music Track Recording!

Last year's release of Pretty Music For Pretty People saw the release of a video for the title song off the album. The song video gave you a glimpse into the recording process to create the track. Now, one year later, we're releasing the long-form, in-the-studio video that director Brian Siano put together that documents the complete tracking and final mixing of the song.




Pretty Music For Pretty People

"Pretty Music For Pretty People"

October 7, 2014 marked the official release of the current Dead Milkmen album "Pretty Music For Pretty People". Reception from the public and press has been great! You can order the album online from our own website shop or from other outlets such as Amazon, or iTunes. The SPECIAL vinyl version is now SOLD OUT.


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Contact

Press inquiries please contact the band at: milkmen@deadmilkmen.com

For press materials please see our PRESS PACK page.

If you wish to communicate with the band you may do so via the following modern electronic email methods:

To book the Dead Milkmen for a show: booking@deadmilkmen.com

General Inquiries: milkmen@deadmilkmen.com

The Band Members:
rodney@deadmilkmen.com
joe@deadmilkmen.com
dean@deadmilkmen.com
dandrew@deadmilkmen.com

For historical reference you may peruse the back issues of this fine publication here: Back Issues Archive

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