Lost & Found: The Dead Milkmen Stay Between the Lines
Philadelphia punks the Dead Milkmen never quite got the amount of attention they deserved. The band's twangy guitars and accent-laden vocals may have been too eccentric to catch on within the mainstream, but fans love how catchy and witty the group's songs were. Please accept as evidence the song 'Methodist Coloring Book.'
It's a cool little tune about following the rules handed down to you from your local minister or religious leader. Guitarist Joe Jack Talcum has an innocent snarl in his voice as he sings about the merits of coloring within the lines, both in a coloring book and in life. He was, of course, being sarcastic.
The Dead Milkmen, while often overlooked when combing through the history of music in the late '80s and early '90s, contributed a great deal to the tone and attitudes of the time. That sarcasm and irony that became such an ingrained element of the '90s? You can thank the Dead Milkmen for that, via such songs as 'Bitchin' Camaro' and 'Punk Rock Girl.' But they entertained while they poked fun at people. 'Methodist Coloring Book' wouldn't be worth mentioning if it wasn't so damn catchy.
Joe Jack Talcum (born Joe Genaro) was the only Milkman to consistently keep playing music after the band broke up in 1994. He's released a number of solo albums and collaborations since then. The Milkmen reunited last year to record and release their first album in 16 years, 'The King in Yellow.' Check out Joe Jack in the video below, playing a duet with Austin musician Dan Butler.