Kenny Alden of Magic Milk admits, “I suck at everything else so i have to take as much work as a performer that i can get.” And if you’ve been to a Magic Milk show, you know there may be some truth to that statement. After leaving the Beat Kitchen after their set opening for An Horse a few months back, I had trouble picturing Kenny behind a counter or in an office. He seemed much more at home taking off his pants on stage, thanking the sound guy with the wink of an eye and the rub of a nipple, ordering the crowd to clap along and finishing the night by destroying a bass drum. On record, Magic Milk is good garage revival music; but Magic Milk live is a whole other story. Aside from the above antics, Kenny howls and yips through his harmonica microphone like he’s the bastard son of Dexter Romweber and Elvis as the band behind him turns out golden 70s punk nuggetts. Check them out at Pancho’s this Sunday (11/27) if you want to see perhaps one of the best live shows Chicago has to offer.
Read on to hear about the new city ordinance involving Magic Milk and to see what makes Magic Milk’s perfect mixtape.
1. What are your top 3 influences?
girls, friends, movies
2. What 5 songs make the perfect mixed tape?
1.”dmsr” by Prince
2. “moondog ’65” by Davie Allan and the Arrows
3. “tampico twist” by Los Beatniks
4. “cold lips” by The Beets
5. “remember you” by The Zombies
3. I saw you guys at Beat Kitchen a few months ago when you played with An Horse. I have my own way to describe Magic Milk live. How would describe a Magic Milk show?
A writer once described Magic Milk as “knife fight party music” , I like that description. We also throw confettie when we can afford it.
4. (Less of an interview question and more curiosity) Were you guys able to fix the bass drum after that set or was it destroyed?
no, but that hasn’t stopped us from using it.
5. It sems like you guys are on almost every great bill in Chicago. Does it get exhausting playing so much?
The city of chicago will actually be enacting and ordinance next year that will require Magic Milk to be on EVERY great bill thereafter, so it’s going to be even worse. It does get exausting, but it seems like if the world gives you reason to believe that you are good at something, then you should put your whole ass into it. I suck at everything else so i have to take as much work as a performer that i can get.
6. Any plans for a new ep or full length in the near future?
we are finishing a full length studio album and will begin shopping it around within the next month or so. hopefully that will be in stores on your turntable by late winter/springtime. i’m also working on my cell phone album, who knows when that will be done.
7. What’s your recording process?
Get stoned, record shit on my cell phone, take it to Brian, go to Brian’s studio, Brian sets up the microphones and stuff, we get stoned, I track all the parts, we go home.
8. What’s your song writing process?
i play guitar and sing into my phone, then i write lyrics on scraps of paper floating around my room, then i forget about it. i have around 800 songs/ song musings saved on my phone.
9. Kenny-I’ve heard taking your pants off is inevitable at some point during a Magic Milk show. Is this true?
I try my best to be a professional.