September 16, 2008

Acoustic "Punk Rock Girl" in Studio '99

I've been working as the Podcaster for the Chattanooga Times Free Press for several years now. Every week, we do what's called a MUSICcast for our website at This usually includes an artist interview of sorts and live music, if possible, recorded in our tiny studio. A previous reporter dubbed it "Studio '99" because the technology stopped improving in about 1999. We have a single, $30 condenser mic and Sound Studio. Luckily, we can do pretty much whatever we want up here within reason as far as music is concerned though. I hope to share some of our more obscure live tracks on this blog, including stuff that didn’t make it into a podcast for whatever reason. We're still at it too, so we'll be getting more and more live music. I’ll post as it happens. Chattanooga ain’t so bad after all.

Former Dead Milkmen, Joe Jack Talcum, has podcasted (sic) with us twice here in Chattanooga at Studio '99. Both times, he's been in town to perform at a local punkish/mexican joint called Sonny's Place. He travels with a ukulele-based punk band from Philadelphia called UKEBOX.

His solo performances are quite different than most punk shows I've been to. The entire crowd goes quiet as Joe Jack performs Milkmen tunes and songs from some of his side projects since the band. I've seen him twice and the amount of devotion these fans have for his music is inspiring. He’s not the most amicable guy, but he trudged through our interview. He eased up when we showed him we actually knew who the Dead Milkmen were and appreciated the music; we weren’t just mindless, corporate media zombies. We tried to get him to do "Bitchin' Corvette" but he wasn't into it. We DID get an acoustic version of "punk rock girl" out of him though. However, I think the song "Sha Na Na" is the highlight for me in this set.

Here are a few songs recorded live in Studio '99 with Joe Jack. Download and unzip.

Joe Jack Talcum (of the Dead Milkmen) in Studio '99:

1. Punk Rock Girl
2. Methodist Coloring Book
3. Sha Na Na