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Publisher’s Note: It’s Happening In Philly.

March 19, 2012

The reality is that you can live just about anywhere today.

We live in a mobile age, when we connect with friends via Facebook more than we do over beers. You can buy stuff from around the world instantly, and have it sent your house – overnight if needed. You can telecommute, and never have to set foot in a cubicle hell.

Globalization and technology have changed everything, including the music industry. It’s frightening and exciting, all at once. The traditional ways we’ve done stuff are no longer the tried and true paths to success. For instance, if you want to make it in the music business, you don’t have to go to New York anymore. To be the next great indie band, you don’t have to live in Brooklyn. Or Portland. Or wherever.

You can live here. And you should.

There is amazing stuff brewing in Philadelphia. There are new venues, labels, studios and organizations popping up all over the place. New bands are formed constantly. There is energy.

And yet, it still feels like the beginning of something absolutely incredible. It’s not quite there. We’re still on the cusp.

“It’s tough to feel the buzz when you’re sitting in it,” says Milkboy Recording’s Tommy Joyner. “What’s going on in Philly is really exciting.”

He lists off a few bands doing Philly right: Dr. Dog, Nicos Gun, OCD: Moosh & Twist (below). These folks play shows across the country, jamming venues, all the while repping Philly. And then they come home to Philly.

As we talk, Marsha Ambrosius is recording in the studio adjacent to where we sit. Every time the studio door opens, the most wonderful sounds waft out. Ambrosius hails from the United Kingdom. But she lives here now.

“Outside of our world, people look at Philly as a big deal,” Joyner continues.

Tommy Joyner (above) moved to New York from his hometown of Columbia, South Carolina for music. He played in a band there for a few years and he ran a small studio in Brooklyn. Then, a friend suggested he move to Philadelphia. So he did. In 1994, Joyner launched Milkboy Recording, operating out of the old Zapf’s Music shop in Olney.

He eventually needed more space and moved his operation to Ardmore. Then, he and business partner Jamie Lokoff opened a coffee shop/ music venue. Last fall, they opened a Philly outlet for their growing empire – a bar/ coffee shop/ music venue at 11th and Chestnut. And in January, the Milkboy crew took over Larry’s Gold’s legendary recording studio on N. 7th Street.

We have world-class facilities here, including Milkboy’s new studio, which has been drawing talent for a long time now (see our story about Khari Mateen, pictured at right). We have wonderful incubators, like our friends at the School of Rock – who helped educate members of our back page cover band, Cheers Elephant. We have young, creative minds who experiment and push boundaries.

You don’t need to go anywhere else.

It’s happening in Philly.

*** Find all the stories from the spring 2012 issue here.

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