I wasn’t even a high school freshman when the Dead Milkmen broke up, but that didn’t stop me from loving them. And by the looks of the very intimate crowd at High Water Mark on a recent autumn night, we were dealing with super fans only. The Joe Jack Talcum show (starring Joe Genaro of the Dead Milkmen) opened with two talented Portland bands: Lamebrain, who basically came out of retirement because they wanted to open for Joe Jack so bad, and Nick Normal, who you’re not going to stop hearing about anytime soon, because they/he is amazing. As I type this, I’m grinning from ear to ear with memories of this show, and I’ve got friends who are bummed they missed it.
Sure, the Milkmen had a song on heavy rotation on MTV, but they’re one of those bands that punks still love. When Joe Jack played his second song—an acoustic version of Dead Milkmen’s “Dean’s Dream”—I knew I was in for a treat. To all who didn’t make it: This is his second trip to Portland in two years, so don’t lose hope for another chance to see this amazing performer solo. And hopefully, I’ll be standing next to you when you do! xo, PP