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Twenty Years of Milkboy Magic.

August 28, 2014

MilkboyOnline05Text by Tyler Horst. Images by Charles Shan Cerrone.

Most of the time, Tommy Joyner is everywhere at once – on his phone, at his computer, in the studio, getting ready to run home or to his music venue or somewhere else.

Right now, though, Joyner is busy in Studio A, the biggest of the three rooms at MilkBoy the Studio, tracking vocals with Australian singer-songwriter Matt Santry.

Middle-aged but youthful, Joyner is at home at the massive console sprawled out in front of him. He pushes up the volume slider on the drum track so Santry, by the couches in the back of the room, can strum his guitar and sing the lines he’ll be performing for the microphone in a few minutes.

“I’ve recorded a bunch with Matt,” Joyner says. “He’s putting together a record but we’re doing it one at a time.”

The two men pause for a bit to plan out their next move. It’s important business. Every minute in the studio counts but Joyner and Santry both seem very relaxed, as if they are old friends.

“That’s what it’s like when you’re recording,” Joyner says when Santry heads to the vocal booth. “You get to know people very quickly. It’s like going into the foxholes with somebody.”

Joyner and his MilkBoy engineers have been working intimately and tirelessly with artists like Matt Santry since 1994, when Joyner started MilkBoy Recording with a 4-track mixer and a microphone above Zapf’s Music Store in North Philadelphia.

This month, Joyner and his MilkBoy team celebrated 20 years in the business. He’s come a long way since recording underground hip-hop and punk bands to now owning the premiere recording facility in the city, hosting the likes of Florence + The Machine, Lil’ Wayne, Meek Mill and more on any given day.  Read more…

WIN FREE TICKETS: Hard Working Americans @ The TLA on 9/19!

August 27, 2014

And now for something a little different … Hard Working Americans. The band includes Todd Snider and Dave Schools from Widespread Panic and a cast of other veteran musicians. Todd Schaeffer of Railroad Earth will open the show.

To enter to win a pair, email us at (give us your name and put “HWA” in the subject line).

You can get tickets here if you don’t want to take the chance.



Premiere: Minka’s New Video for “Lets F*ck.”

August 27, 2014

Text by Brianna Spause.

Ari Rubin got a new toy. And what else is there to do with a 1984 Pontiac Grand Prix than to slap together a tastefully-cheesy music video?

The boys of the indie-funk band Minka star as “The Goons” in the video for “Lets Fuck,” a track off their new EP, The Republican. They’re clad in suits that could have crawled out of the basement of some long-forgotten thrift shop. There’s just the right mix of Halloween store blood and CGI shotgun rounds to leave you wanting more.

“I feel as though this video encapsulates the vibe of what we go for as a band in the terms of our stage show and the music itself,” lead singer Rubin said. “We all have a laid back disposition and we definitely like to get a little bit weird from time to time. A lot of our music is tounge-in-cheek, especially lyrically. We’ll take the time to make sure the music has a deep groove.”

Minka is currently down one man but still groovin’. The band will play for the first time as a four-piece when they headline an EP release party at Boot and Saddle on Sept. 4.



Sad Actor: The Grungy Band of Brothers.

August 26, 2014

SadActorOnline01Text by Beth Ann Downey. Images by Chris Fascenelli.

Bandmates Kyle Costill and Tony Rossi exemplify a strong big bro-little bro dynamic.

It’s evident tonight at Ortlieb’s, the bar/venue that Costill manages. He darts up and down the bar’s long, skinny interior, moving in between the basement, where a leak has sprung due to an April rain shower, and the credit card machine, which is no longer working due to the leak.

As Costill paces around with a worried look, Rossi sips mixed drinks at a nearby table, looking as though he hasn’t a care in the world. Wearing a sweatshirt with a huge cannabis plant on it, he hit Ortlieb’s with friends early for drinks and tacos, and will play a DJ set later in the night.

Costill and Rossi are around each other a lot. Not only do they both carry out various acts of employment at Ortlieb’s but the venue doubles as their practice space for Sad Actor, the grungy rock band the two formed last summer. They met while Rossi was playing drums for local shoegaze heroes, Nothing, and Costill was helping to manage the band.

“One day, Kyle was like, ‘Yo, you’re not doing anything. Your band that you were in all dipped to go to Oakland. Let’s hang out and write some tunes,’” Rossi remembers.

Read more…

WIN FREE TICKETS: Local Grooves @ The TLA on 9/17!

August 25, 2014

The TLA will host a celebration of local beers and local music on September 17 and we’re giving away tickets to the show. Local acts Tim Williams, Alright Junior and Underwater Country Club will perform. Beers from the Philadelphia Brewing Company, Troegs, Flying Fish and others will be served.

To enter to win a pair, email us at (give us your name and put “Local Grooves” in the subject line).

You can get tickets here if you don’t want to take the chance.



The Bad Doctors, Psychic Teens and Hot Guts @ The Pharmacy.

August 25, 2014

BadDoctors3Text and images by Brendan Menapace.

DIY shows are rarely a tight ship but to say that this show at The Pharmacy ran smoothly would be giving the show too much credit. Random difficulties, misplaced equipment and involvement by the police would be the theme of the evening in South Philadelphia.

Read more…

Jay Shells Brings His Rap Quotes To Philly.

August 25, 2014

rapquotes04Text by Jay Balfour. Images by Jessica Flynn.

Last week, Jason Shelowitz parked across the street from Jimmy Jess at 60th and Market streets in a red rental car. The artist and graphic designer who goes by Jay Shells drove in from New York the night before with Aymann Ismail, a staff photographer at the website AnimalNewYork.

After posting up nearly 80 site-referencing hip-hop lyric signs between both New York and Los Angeles up to this point, the 34-year old Long Island native added 22 more of his Rap Quotes installations around Philly that day. When I met him at the El in the late morning he’d already installed more than a dozen, avoiding foot-traffic and prying eyes at sites around Center City and on South St. with an early start. Here in West Philly he has a Black Thought lyric designated for the elevated Market-Frankford Line stop.

In camo shorts and a grey Raekwon T-shirt, he grabs a plastic step-ladder and one of the signs from a bag in the car, decides on a signpost with a keep-off-the-curb sign in the middle of the street, and fastens his own below it through two of the predrilled holes in the post. Ayman photographs and Shells takes his own cell-phone picture before walking away. The process takes about a minute.

Read more…


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