q and also a :: Poster Children

Poster Children sent us these answers to our questions in this new installment of q and also a.
q: What is the first album you remember purchasing for yourself?

Rick: I bought Styx Grand Illusion and Foreigner Double Vision with my paper route money at Beautiful Day Records in La Grange, Illinois ca. 1978.


Rose: I bought the Story of Star Wars picture disc probably around 1977, and probably the soundtracks to the movies Rocky and All That Jazz. I also remember holding the record for the number of times a Tchaikovsky album was checked out at my grade school in Deerfield, IL, that would have been around 1975.


q: Is there an album you wished you knew about when you were younger?

Rick: Liquid Liquid – Optimo. I remember looking at it in the record store when it came out and liking the swirly cover but I had no idea what it sounded like. I wish I had taken a chance on it then. I had to wait 15 more years to discover how great it was!

Rose: I wish I knew about The Who when I was younger. When I first met Rick (in college) and we would listen to the radio together or other music would come on, perhaps in a club, I’d always ask, “what is THIS band?” and a lot of times it would be a The Who song. I probably would have liked them as I was growing up.

q: What is your favorite memory of a live music experience?

Rick: I was a huge Talking Heads fan in high school and woke up early to get in line for concert tickets when Speaking in Tongues came out. There was only one other person waiting for the “Ticketron” counter to open at the mall (a guy listening to Adrian Belew’s Lone Rhino on his car stereo). I got my tickets and by the time the concert happened, Burning Down the House was a huge hit. Much to my surprise, it turned out my seats were in the front row! I got to see the “Stop Making Sense” stage production up close. To see a band I love at the peak of their powers was overwhelming. I’ve seen plenty of amazing shows since then but never in a large venue.


Rose: I loved seeing The Pixies play in 1988 at Mabel’s in Champaign, because there were not a lot of people there, it was a 300-capacity rock club, and it was summer, so there weren’t many students around and it was still early in their career. They seemed genuinely thrilled at how many people had shown up. It is really nice to see a happy band on a stage!

q: What is the last album that you purchased?

Rick: Gosh, I’m guilty of streaming and can’t remember the last album I bought directly. I’ve made a promise to start buying music again to support artists I like. Streaming isn’t enough to keep our community alive.
Rose: I bought the new Body Futures album, and am looking forward to listening to it. I myself have also not been buying albums lately and I agree with Rick, we’re starting a monthly Art Fund for ourselves where we make sure we use the money to support local artists and businesses.

q: What is the best and worst thing about being in a band in Normal, IL?

Rick: Being part of a small, supportive local scene is a powerful thing. Competition between bands isn’t really an issue like I feel it might be in a big city. And the fact that it’s cheaper to live in a college town really helps. I’m not really sure what the worst thing would be. I guess you’re kind of isolated and don’t get the kind of attention big city bands get?
Rose: Yeah, actually Normal IL is where Champaign was, back in the 1990s, a town that is just getting ready to become really cool and fun to live in. We just got our new co-op, there’s a great bike path, there is a new venue called “nightshop” – a wonderful uptown, at least 3 record stores within a mile of each other, etc. Lots of potential here.
q: What is the best and worst thing about the music industry today?

Rick: I think the best thing is that a musician can directly communicate and share their music with their audience, the whole indie DIY scene of the 80s turned out to be the template for the 21st Century music industry. The downside is there’s no filter! I’m overwhelmed by music! I can listen to anything and everything and I default to what’s familiar and what I’ve heard before. Back in the old days (said with old man voice) there were limits. You could only find and buy so many records, albums went out of print, bands disappeared. The new bands weren’t competing with all the music from the past century. It’s the Tragedy of the Commons!
q: Any update on the Sourdough?

Rose: I’m the Keeper of the Sourdough Starter this year, and it’s been going pretty well. I started feeding it with bread flour because I ran out of regular flour for a while and it seems a bit stickier now, so I think I’m going to go back to regular flour. I’m feeding it twice a week, and it’s looking pretty good!

Ed. Note: Listen to Radio Zero where Rick and Rose talk about many things, not just sourdough.
q: What should we know about your new song, Grand Bargain!?

Rose: I think a lot of it is in Rick’s (brilliant, if I may say) lyrics – we’re going to be making a music video this weekend which will explain it even better.
In the meantime, listen to the title track off of Poster Children’s first new release in 14 years. Grand Bargain!

UPDATE! Here is the music video.

The Grand Bargain! LP was engineered by Steve Albini at Electrical Audio and can be preordered via Pledgemusic. The preorder packages feature various physical media, t-shirts, lego mini-figs, patches, etc.
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