October 26, 2017
For almost 35 years, Philadelphia’s Dead Milkmen have acted as punk rock’s often comic conscience, with a satirical lyrical outlook poking holes in mainstream mores, political rhetoric and the nature of music itself.
Seriously, what is their biggest hit, “Punk Rock Girl,” if not a silly, anthemic love song and a skewering gripe dedicated to the Milkmen’s own genre?
“I never turn happy experiences into songs,” Milkman Rodney Anonymous said of his band’s catalog.
“If you look back, it’s mostly the bad that’s occurred in my life that gets turned into tunes.”
With that, Anonymous, Joe Jack Talcum and Co. are holding a record release for DM’s mad, bad new EP, “Welcome to the End of the World,” as part of a wild Halloween soiree at Arch Street’s Trocadero on Saturday.
Anonymous, in particular, is raring to go, as he just missed his recent synth-based solo debut due to a temporary illness.
“It’s like ‘Dr. Phibes’ in here,” the Dead Milkmen singer-writer said about his home studio-laboratory environment where he’s making his own music.
“I had all these themes about opening rifts in time planned. Luckily, I took all this garlic, so now I’m well and ready to go."
That's just in time, it seems, for the Milkmen’s record release party for its first new music in ages, and with a new label, The Giving Groove. This Philly-based record company believes in social causes and signing artists who’ll donate large portions of their sales to charitable and/or activist organizations.
“I like the idea of them, because they’re great people to work with since half of the money earned goes to a charity,” Anonymous said.
“Then again, I always feel bad saddling labels with us as we might decide to make the next album a pure sine wave with someone hitting a box in the background.”
Not as revolutionary, but surely as freak-a-deaky, is what the Dead Milkmen have planned for their Halloween bash at the Trocadero. Their scary Oct. 28 event just happens to be sandwiched between the Troc’s Dracula’s Ball (Oct. 27) and the appearance of GWAR (Oct. 29).
“They both sound like great events, maybe even better than ours,” Anonymous teased.
Rodney wouldn't say what surprises the Dead Milkmen have in store for their Halloween party.
“No way. I’ll get in trouble.”
What he would say, shockingly, is that he really doesn’t have an outfit or costume planned yet.
“That’s because I have closets filled with nothing but black clothes comparable to Johnny Cash’s wardrobe. I even have an all-Goth closet I can pick from. Plus, I am married to a Goth, and our entire house is decorated for Halloween on a year-round basis. Workmen show up at our house and say, ‘You must really like Halloween.’ I can show up in what I wear daily and that will be Halloween-y enough.”
The Dead Milkmen appear Saturday, Oct. 28, at The Trocadero, 1003 Arch St. Tickets are $22-$25. Showtime is 8 p.m.