October 7, 2014 marked the official release of the new Dead Milkmen album "Pretty Music For Pretty People". Released in three formats to satisfy the public demand, the album is now available in an MP3 download format, a Compact Disc format, and a special limited edition 12-inch vinyl version entitled "Pretty Music For Pretty SPECIAL People".
There was a slight delay with the vinyl due to manufacturing plant issues, but the LP is now shipping to rabid fans across the nation. Only 1000 of the vinyl version were pressed so if you see one for sale - BUY IT! They are nearly sold out already.
Reception from the public and press for "Pretty Music For Pretty People" has been favorable with reviews, interviews, and mentions such as these:
Cover Story of the November "Innocent Words" Magazine
Alternative Press Review
Punk News Review
Stereogum Premiere of Pretty Music Video
Brooklyn Vegan Premiere "Make It Witchy" Song
Interview With Rodney Anonymous
Interview With Joe Jack Talcum
Rodney Reviews The Competition
Innocent Words Magazine
Rodney on the A Bunch of B.S. with Brian Steward podcast
Dean Clean Interview
Even Mainline Today Mentioned us!
The band's 1985 album "Big Lizard In My Backyard will be reissued on special edition green vinyl (with 100 yellow vinyl randomly mixed in) on November 28th as part of the special Record Store Day Black Friday event.
The album will be available exclusively from independent record stores across the US. There will be a total of 3000 copies, with 100 on yellow vinyl, and 2900 on green. Asbestos Records licensed the LP from Warner Bros. and tell us that a black vinyl version would most likely be available from their website early next year.
The Dead Milkmen played Baltimore MD and Lancaster PA in October. Here's how the tour went...according to Joe!
10/25 4:20 PM - We are all in the van being driven by Dan Mapp on our way to Baltimore, Maryland for the first show of tour, except for Dandrew who is driving himself in his own car. The van has all the gear, albums and t-shirts, and our luggage, and Marshall who will be selling "merch" for us. But it does not have Dandrew's bass amp or luggage. Those things are in Dandrew's car. Traffic is light.
10/25 6:50 PM - We arrived early at the venue, The Metro Gallery. Dandrew was already there waiting. After loading our gear, Rodney coaxed me into singing "Methodist Coloring Book" for a couple of people who were brokenhearted (or so they said) to learn the show was sold out before they had a chance to buy tickets. Rodney accompanied me on a honky tonk piano that was conveniently located next to the front-door bouncer. The couple thanked us and went on their way. They didn't tip.
10/25 8:00 PM - After soundcheck, we retired to the cozy dressing room (a/k/a the "green room") where Rachel from Feed the Scene had hot home-cooked meals for us all. They were delicious. This reminds me why I like touring so much. The food is usually much better than anything I'd cook for myself.
10/25 11:55 PM - It is almost midnight. We are taking the stage just as the final opening act is moving their equipment away. I don't have time to write. Have to plug my pedals in and do a line check. (Best not to use the present tense.)
10/26 1:25 AM - Our last "encore" song has ended. Several people are asking me to autograph their records and t-shirts and take "selfie" pictures with them, but I have to break down my gear. Once I have my pedals safely stowed, I sign some things for the more patient of the youngsters and pose for some camera-phone photos.
10/26 2:30 AM - We arrive at the Lord Baltimore Hotel, which looks ancient. Turns out it is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, so the looks do not deceive. Although the doors to some of our rooms will not close properly, I am focused on the beds. Mine is perfect. They must know my sleep number. This is my very favorite aspect of touring - a good hotel bed.
10/26 12:10 PM - We are all gathered in the Hotel lobby waiting for the valet to return with our van. Dandrew is again traveling on his own, and he gets his car. We see him off and then Mr. Mapp navigates us to the highway. Lancaster, Pennsylvania, here we come!
10/26 1:10 PM - We're still not there. I think we're in some place known as York. Being that I skipped breakfast so I could sleep longer, I am getting light-headed. This tour is lasting forever! I wish it was over by now. Not sure how much more of this I can take.
10/26 1:45 PM - We just crossed into the City of Lancaster. Needing gas, we stop at a Sheetz, the one that Rodney has claimed as his favorite. He says it is better after "you've had a few in you". It reminds me of a Wawa, but with a larger variety of stuff you would not want to consume.
10/26 2:00 PM - We backtrack about a half a mile to the Linden Diner, where we have brunch. It's not bad. Dandrew is not with us.
10/26 3:30 PM - We are at the Chameleon Club, loading in our gear. I am disappointed to learn that the show was not canceled due to lack of sales. The show must go on. We set up for the soundcheck.
10/26 8:05 PM - There is already a healthy crowd (no coughing or sneezing) in the venue as the opening band, Sherwin, take the stage. Their set starts with Adam playing acoustic guitar. This is my first time seeing them with their new guitar player, Jason. They sound great. I decide to watch from the second balcony (there are two balconies here) where Brenda, our L.D., is handling the lights.
10/26 - 9:05 PM - We take the stage five minutes ahead of schedule. (We know our audience has important things to do and places to be.) Will write more later.
10/26 - 10:35 PM - I'm breaking down my gear. The show was not quite as good as the soundcheck (which I forgot to mention) but that was one of the best soundchecks ever, so what I'm saying is the show was pretty good. The audience does not linger. They're out the door lickety split.
10/26 11:55 PM - We are still in Lancaster, having loaded the gear into the van, just waiting for Mr. Mapp to T.C.B. and drive us back to where we belong (except for Dandrew who is sleeping in a nearby hotel room). So glad this tour is finally over!
I have a vinyl fetish. I'm not talking about something sexual. I'm talking about 7 inches, 10 inches, and (my favorite) 12 inches. Yep, I'm talking about records. One curious thing about them is that they are measured dimensionally in inches (the British imperial system) but weighed in grams (the universal metric system). Another curious thing about them is their recent surge in popularity after declining sales in the 90s and early 2000s, especially with young people born in the digital age.
Vinyl records were first successfully mass-produced just after World War 2 in 1945 by RCA Victor who marketed vinyl 7-inch records that played at 45 RPM, followed soon after, in 1948, by Columbia Records' introduction of a 12-inch vinyl record that spun at 33 1/3 RPM, commonly called the "LP". ("7 inch" and "12 inch" are slight exaggerations, by the way. But who's really measuring?) Before vinyl, most records were made of shellac and slate and spun at 78 RPM. (A shellac shortage during the war may have actually hastened the adoption of vinyl, a nickname for "polyvinyl chloride plastic", as a material for records.) The flappers and sheiks of the Roaring '20s, who might be considered a precursor to today's hipsters, bought tons of 10-inch shellac 78's (and I really do mean "tons" - those discs were heavy) helping to fuel the Jazz Age.
One of the things that I really dig about records is that, although they're mass-produced, no two copies of a vinyl record will be identical - they're as unique as snowflakes, with tiny signature deformities - whereas each digital copy of an album is exactly the same - boringly reliable. Not only that, each time you play a vinyl record it will be slightly different than the previous time. The very act of playing a record wears the grooves just a bit, and blunts the needle of the record player, which in turn will wear the grooves down a bit more on the next spin. One of the fun things about loving vinyl is caring for the record player: replacing the needles regularly, replacing belts, aligning the cartridge which holds the stylus, and adjusting the bias and azimuth to get the best possible sound with the least record wear. Show me an mp3 player that can let you geek out like that!
When I'm entertaining special guests I sometimes like to whip out my pink 10-inch Pink Slip Daddy e.p. which has a b-side that plays from the outside in, or my "3-sided" Monty Python album that has a side with concentric grooves so that you hear one of two separate programs depending on where you drop the needle. Gimmicks like these can sure bring the party to life! The compact disc is prosaic by comparison. Sure, Prince released a CD that had all of the songs on a single "track", and They Might Be Giants released a song that was divided into several individual tracks lasting only a few seconds each, but these novelties seem more like annoyances now. (And don't get me started about the CDs that install software when you put them in computer to rip them.)
So, it's no wonder so many young people prefer the vinyl format to the stuffy CD. I'm quite thankful for the record stores, independent record companies and artists who refused to let the format die. The more people I can share my fetish with, the better.
The master tapes of Paul McCartney's new album are stolen (or confiscated by the CDC, whatever) and everybody spends the next 107 minutes looking for them instead of declaring a National Day of Thanks.
Unbelievability rating: 426
After this movie came out, literally hundreds of well-meaning but highly misinformed parents entered their physically-challenged offspring in pinball competitions with predictably disastrous results.
Unbelievability rating: 306
The Ramones attend High School. 'Nuff said.
Unbelievability rating: 104
Based on a series of children's books by break-dance pioneer Shabba Doo, The Wall tells the gritty story of the bunny that shot Bambi's mother...or something like that. No one has ever actually managed to make it past the first ten minutes.
Unbelievability rating: ?
Despite being one of the most historically accurate Rock 'n' Roll movies ever made, Velvet Goldmine was originally criticized for portraying David Bowie as extraterrestrial. In 2006, when certain documents were made public, the critics were forced to reverse themselves, and Velvet Goldmine was given a special Oscar for "Best Picture That Christian Bale Leaves Off His Resume".
Unbelievability rating: 0
For more than three decades, the members of KISS (Knights In Sharon Stone) traveled from amusement part to amusement park, ridding America of evil robots. This is their story.
Unbelievability rating: -4
Sometimes when I'm riding the subway I like to look around at all of the passengers and wonder what each one of them would do if a catastrophe suddenly hit us, and we were all trapped in there together for days.
Sometimes when I'm walking through the train station I wonder how each person standing and staring down at their phone screen would react if I suddenly slapped their phone right out of their hands and kept on walking.
Sometimes when I am walking in a crowded public place I think about walking up to a random person in a wheelchair and just pushing them along for a little while, before leaving them somewhere else.
Sometimes when I am sitting on a bench in a crowded place I like to watch all of the people walking by and I assign them each a wonderful personality trait.
Sometimes I just stare at nothing and try not think about anything at all.
Other times I open a door for someone and way more than the intended person gets in the door before I can.
Other times I call the name of someone I don't know at someone far away, and then I turn my head like I am looking for that voice too.
Other times I lean out the car window and loudly shout "Hey! Nice smile!" to people on the sidewalk. Sometimes I blow the horn and wave at the strangers instead.
Most times I can't stop thinking about anything.
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For historical reference you may peruse the back issues of this fine publication here: Back Issues Archive