Joe Jack Talcum
Joe Jack Talcum is a pseudonym of Joe Genaro, a songwriter and musician from the Philadelphia area. Joe has been recording goofy, offbeat and sometimes serious songs on analog cassette for the past 40 years. He co-founded the band The Dead Milkmen in the early 80s and continues to perform and record with them as their guitarist and sometimes vocalist. He also plays keyboards in the instrumental rock band, I Think Like Midnight. Joe has self-released several home-recorded cassette albums over the years under the monikers Jack Talcum, Jasper Thread, Butterfly Joe Fairweather, among others. Joe also plays occasional solo acoustic shows as Joe Jack Talcum which he started doing in 2004.
I remember the first time I learned that Joe Jack Talcum and the singer from The Dead Milkmen was the same person. When I was in my teens, and was totally in love with Happy Happy Birthday To Me Records, I listened to JJT’s Home Recordings sort of a lot. Growing up around Philly, I’ve known of The Dead Milkmen for a long time, and have listened to a lot of their music over the years. It wasn’t until I met my partner K that she was like, yeah, he’s the guy from The Dead Milkmen. Punk Rock Girl? I was like OOOOOHHHHHHH.
I mean, how can you be in Philadelphia and not love Joe Jack Talcum? I didn’t grow up in the city, but I grew up close enough. He’s a great person and he makes warm and funny music, and when I invited him to share a tape with my moon-themed country folk comedy duo Gravey Train, he used the invitation as an excuse to make some fun, lo-fi jams, meeting my spirit of recording on an old tape player by using his own old 4 track, complete with that good ol’ tapey hiss. I’m proud to support his music, and excited to share what he’s been up to with the world.