Dead Milkmen

From Academic Kids

The Dead Milkmen was a satirical punk rock/pop band that formed in 1983 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The band consisted of Joe Jack Talcum (Joe Genaro; guitar, vocals), Dave Blood (Dave Schulthise; bass), Dean Clean (Dean Sabatino; drums), and Rodney Anonymous (Rodney Linderman; vocals, synth).

There are several stories about how they got their name. "The Dead Milkmen" apparently existed as Joe's concept before the band became a reality. The band has claimed the name comes from a character in Toni Morrison's book Song of Solomon ("Milkman Dead"), or from one of Joe's high school projects. In the United Kingdom and other British Commonwealth nations, there was a persistent rumour that the band's name was derived from the first episode of the sitcom "Filthy, Rich and Catflap", in which Rik Mayall's character "accidentally" kills several milkmen - but since that was not made until after the band had been in existence for several years, it's almost certainly untrue. The most appropriate explanation is that the name, like the band's songs, is satire: a reference to the punk band Dead Kennedys. This joke is manifest because the Milkmen adopted absurd stage names much like the Kennedys' Jello Biafra, Klaus Flouride, etc..

The Dead Milkmen's songs found moderate success on alternative on college radio stations. Videos, notably "Punk Rock Girl", even found their way onto MTV in the late 1980s. Topics for their music include satire on the 1980s music scene, toxic waste, jellyfish afterlifes, UFOs, conspiracy theories, and cover bands.

Irreverent absurdity fueled their initial popularity, particularly among college DJs. However, this genre was somewhat abandoned with the 1992 release of Soul Rotation, a much more subtle album.

After the Dead Milkmen went on indefinite hiatus in 1994, Joe and Dean formed a new band, Butterfly Joe. Dean was also in the punk rock bands Narthex, Big Mess Orchestra, and Hunger Artists. Rodney was in a band called Burn Witch Burn. Dave left music in the early 1990s and committed suicide in 2004.

The Dead Milkmen took the stage again for two consecutive nights in November 2004 to play a show in memory of Dave Blood. Proceeds were donated to a variety of mental health organizations and to a Serbian monastery that Blood supported.

Discography

  • Various self-released cassettes before 1985
  • Big Lizard in my Backyard — 1985, their first published album
  • Eat Your Paisley — 1986
  • The Thing that Only Eats Hippies — 1987, Australian single
  • Bucky Fellini — 1987
  • Instant Club Hit — 1987
  • Beelzebubba — 1988
  • Punk Rock Girl (single) — 1988, 1989
  • Smokin' Banana Peels EP — 1988, 1989
  • Metaphysical Graffiti — 1990
  • Soul Rotation — 1992
  • If I Had a Gun EP — 1992
  • Now We Are 10 — 1993, retrospective
  • Not Richard, But Dick — 1993
  • Chaos Rules - Live at the Trocadero — 1994
  • Stoney's Extra Stout (Pig) — 1995
  • Death Rides a Pale Cow — 1997, compilation
  • Cream of the Crop — 1998, compilation
  • Now We Are 20 — 2003, compilation

External link

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