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Alt Rock

The Deli Philly's Featured Artist(s) Poll Winner: Kelsey Cork & the Swigs

We love band geeks! Kelsey Corcoran, a.k.a. Kelsey Cork, is a self-proclaimed one, and her passion for music is self-evident, going as far as getting her bachelor’s degree in music education from West Chester University. And though she has the technical know-how, Cork prefers the “raw, real, free of pretense” feel of rock and roll, and it shows in the debut single, “Center City Blues,” with her backing band The Swigs. We had a chance to catch up with our most recent Featured Artist(s) Poll Winner, and you can check out the interview below. Also, keep a look out for “a surprise” from Kelsey Cork & the Swigs in the New Year – cheers! (Photo by Alyssa Resh)

The Deli: How did you start making music? 

Kelsey Cork: I was lucky enough to start taking piano lessons when I was 6 years old. I started playing alto saxophone in the school band when I was 9, and I learned how to play guitar at girl scout camp when I was 12. I was a band geek throughout high school, and went on to get a bachelor's degree in music education from West Chester University, where I studied classical saxophone. I started my first rock band, Roxy Nova, when I was 15 with my best friend Courtney (which we continued through college). I started writing my own songs with Roxy Nova. .

TD: Is Kelsey Cork your real name? If not, what is it, and where did the moniker and "The Swigs" come from? 

KC: Cork is a simplified version (and a family nickname) of my real last name, which is Corcoran. The Swigs comes from taking a swig of whiskey (which the band often enjoys before a gig). I made the band name a conglomerate for convenience. I play a lot of solo acoustic shows, and I wanted to make sure people would find the band if they searched for my name.

TD: What are your biggest musical influences?

KC: I used to mostly be into late sixties/early seventies psychedelic and blues rock like The Doors, Jimi Hendrix, and Syd Barrett. I've been influenced more heavily by punk/proto-punk in the more recent years, like Iggy Pop, Lou Reed, Bikini Kill, Bad Brains and The Misfits. I've also always had a huge affinity for the Yeah Yeah Yeah's and The White Stripes. I'm basically into anything that feels raw, real, and free of pretense. I truly appreciate the art of powerful simplicity... feeling over technicality any day for me. I want to feel the music in my bones! I'm a big rock and roll nerd, and there's so much that I listen to that seeps into my music. It was very difficult for me to just name a few.

TD: What artists (local, national and/or international) are you currently listening to?

KC: I'm honestly obsessed with all of the artists on our label, Good How Are You Records, but some of my favorite Philly bands are Trash Boy, Secret Nudist Friends, Blushed, Slomo Sapiens, McRad, Dirty Soap Blues Band, and Ill Fated Natives (even though I could keep going on FOREVER). Nationally, I love Pop Empire from Cincinnati and Thelma and the Sleaze from Nashville. Internationally, I'm very into Le Butcherettes from Mexico and Idles from the UK.

TD: What's the first concert that you ever attended and first album that you ever bought?

KC: The first rock concert I ever attended was to see a Pink Floyd cover band, and the first album that I ever bought was probably the Spice Girls.

TD: What do you love about Philly?

KC: I love how real Philly is – all of our grit and grime included. I love the attitude of the city and the people that inhabit it. I'm constantly learning so much from my fellow Philadelphians. For example, at one of my jobs, I'm one of the few non-bilingual people that work there, and I think that's a beautiful thing. I have the opportunity to mingle with people from all over the world and all walks of life every day. I'm very grateful to be a part of our vibrant and supportive DIY music community. Also, I can't forget to mention, the citywide special and our patron saint, Gritty. 

TD: What do you hate about Philly?

KC: Getting stuck behind the trolley on Lancaster Ave.

TD: What are your plans for 2019?

KC: It's a surprise.

TD: What was your most memorable live show?

KC: Last Halloween we played with our friends Trash Boy, and Slomo Sapiens at Kung Fu Necktie. We had our first proper mosh pit, people were crowd surfing, and just getting real weird. It was, a rowdy, fun, rock and roll show and that's what we're all about. 

TD: What's your favorite thing to get at the deli?

KC: Italian hoagie – lettuce, tomato, light mayo, NO ONIONS PLZ and a bag of Rap Snacks.

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Alexis V.

Milk People play the Cobra on 01.10 with MA's Daisybone

The close of a year seems like a good time to look through the many artists we've covered over the years, pick one out of a hat, and think out loud: "Say, what's Milk People been up to lately?" Then you ring them up on the old Facebook and see that they're playing a show at The Cobra on January 10th, along with solo act Ever and Cali-tinged 90s-throwback group Sandra Bullets, whose EP Lightweight got a bit of buzz this past year. Visiting Music City from the cold, cold city of Boston is headliner Daisybones, who've just released their record Gold. This is a night of music you'll want to catch, especially since Milk People are taking the stage, and you never know what kind of lightning will strike when they do that. Take a listen to "I'm Not Changing My Mind", the single from their latest album Hullabaloo, below. - Will Sisskind


New Null EP Available for Streaming & Purchase

Philly's own Null recently shared a new EP, oddly titled . - - . . . - . - . . . - . . (pull). Peppered with a glitchy array of noise, Josh Lesser creates a candid, warped, pop sound. Hovering between the threshold of heady & at home, one swims in the strangely familiar waters. While floating in tranquility, volatile transitions appear ready to loom around every corner.

Weekend Warrior, December 21 - 23

Composed, personal narratives with crisp instrumentation filling in the details, the songs of Truth In Comedy (Lame-O Records) from Steady Hands travel down the road in a revealing confidently cathartic manner. Blending emotive honesty with an enthusiastic and, at times, humorous, anthem-generating quality, it balances waves of good-natured punk that everyone at the bar can join in on. Yet, those themes/stories will resonate as you make your way home. This Saturday evening, Steady Hands will be headlining a Home Outgrown showcase at Everybody Hits. They’ll also be joined by the vulnerable, raw rock of Earth Telephone, the sincere songwriting of Major Pursuit, and the powerful, affecting folk of Julia Rainer to complete the billing. (Photo by Chelsea Christer) – Michael Colavita

Other places where you can let loose this holiday season…

Everybody Hits (529 W. Girard Ave.) FRI Caracara, SAT Steady Hands, Earth Telephone, Major Pursuit, Julia Rainer

Johnny Brenda’s (1201 N. Frankford Ave.) SAT The Work Drugs 8th Annual Holiday Spectacle, The Yetis, Pilkington, SUN Good Old War

Kung Fu Necktie (1250 N. Front St.) FRI DJ Deejay, SAT Attic Tapes, SUN Miles Chancellor, Ish Williams, Sudan, DJ Shad , DJ Tati Mia, BRNDN Forever

Underground Arts (1200 Callowhill St.) SAT Mars Parker, Lucas Wolf, Cain Kerner, baby.com, Moses Mosima, Nogoodstepson, Mike Burns, Ash Shakur, KaneGang, Cousin Carl , Liv Means, DJ Muddy Taylor

TLA (334 South St.) FRI OT The Real, SAT HipHopSince1987 10 year Anniversary Holiday Festival

The Fillmore Philadelphia (1100 Canal St.) FRI DJ Dirty South Joe, Magglezzz, SUN State Property

World Café Live (3025 Walnut St.) FRI (Upstairs) The Brothers J.A., SAT (Upstairs) Ali Awan/(Downstairs) Peek-A-Boo Revue

The Fire (412 W. Girard Ave.) FRI TreyDay, CpTime, Roi Lush , Axe Limbert, Jesse Bertuco, Nazeer Art’aud, Timmy Jones, SAT Disoriental, World Breaker, Mr. Unloved

MilkBoy Philly (1100 Chestnut St.) FRI Aaron Parnell Brown

Ortlieb’s Lounge (847 N. 3rd St.) FRI Party Muscles, SAT Ten Ton Hammer, Bandit, Drowse, World Below, Raw Force, SUN Korine, Haunted Homes, Sad Actor

Silk City (435 Spring Garden St.) FRI Bo Bliz, SAT DJ Deejay

Bourbon & Branch (705 N. 2nd St.) FRI Stella Ruze, Black Horse Motel, Rob Tait, SUN Alec Stewart (Record Release), Alison Hoban, Lovers League 

Fergie’s (1214 Sansom St.) SAT Triage, SUN Rusty Cadillac 

Connie’s Ric Rac (1132 S. 9th St.) FRI The Paul Green Rock and Roll Holiday Extravaganza, SAT The Paul Green Rock and Roll Holiday Extravaganza/Reverend TJ McGlinchey

Voltage Lounge (421 N. 7th St.) FRI Year of the Knife, Kaonashi

Frankie Bradley’s (1320 Chancellor St.) FRI Ben Aire, SAT DJ Brian Toll

The Tusk (Please contact one of the acts or venue for more info.) SAT Hawk Tubley's Holiday Hullaballoo

Century (1350 S 29th St.) SAT King Ani Mal, E.Grizzly, The Magnificent Shithawks of the Greater Northern Americas, The Hands Resist, The PLIBmen

The Tower Theater (S. 69th St. & Ludlow St.) FRI The War on Drugs

The Grape Room (105 Grape St.) FRI Bitchfork, Vitamin F, Peace & The City Grease, Jason McGovern, SAT Apple Juice Jones

The Locks at Sona (4417 Main St.) SAT Mutlu

Ardmore Music Hall (23 E. Lancaster Ave.) FRI Beru Revue, No Good Sister, SAT Let's Danza, Double D, SUN Stolen Rhodes

New Track: "Going to Bed Now" (Modern Baseball Cover) - The Trust Fund Kids

The Platypus Zine recently released a compilation of Modern Baseball covers, a tribute to the beloved Philly outfit. Proceeds from Cover Therapy will go to L.E.A.D. DIY, an organization working to increase epilepsy awareness in music. For their part, The Trust Fund Kids took on “Going to Bed Now,” off the group's 2014 album You're Going to Miss It All. There’s a fuzzy, distorted yet up-close vibe to this version. It feels stripped and slowed down, allowing a grainy earnestness to result.


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