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Poster Children Still Touring, Now Mentoring

Nathan Keay

That the punk-rock quartet Poster Children didn't break through to wider acclaim in the 1990's speaks to the vagaries of pop stardom.  Why did Spin Doctors chart in the Top-20 twice while mentioning Poster Children still elicits blank stares from most, even by fans of 1990's music?  As many critics have said, "it's a crime."  In the 1990's the then Champaign-Urbana based Poster Children did make noise in the music world with a major label record deal and by cultivating still adoring fans while touring nationally.  The group is currently on a reunion tour to celebrate the 25th anniversary of its second album "Daisy Chain Reaction," recorded with legendary producer and engineer Steve Albini.  Their next stop is Schubas Tavern in Chicago  November 23.

Founding members Rick Valentin and Rose Marshack are husband and wife who met in the 1980's as students at the University of Illinois.  They are now professors in the Arts Technology program at Illinois State University.  Valentin and Marshack agreed to be interviewed in the GLT Studio's by their former student Alexandra (Alex) Fisher.  Fisher is the founder of the Bloomington based alt-rock outfit Alex & the XO's, who will open for Poster Children at Schubas.

Among other items, Fisher queried the couple she considers mentors about Poster Children's relentless D.I.Y. ethic, and how they learned to navigate the shark infested waters of the music business (Hint: Albini figures prominently.)  She also shared some of her favorite Poster Children songs.

But Marshack and Valentin also had plenty of questions for Fisher, including how she envisioned Alex & the XO's evolving musically.  They also shared a mentor's advisement that she NOT alter the XO's sound when they open for Poster Children at Schubas.  They also had a good laugh when they recalled an original song and video Fisher created as a make-up for a missed assignments in Marshack's Music Business class.

Credit Jon Norton / WGLT
(L-R) Rick Valentin, Alex Fisher, Rose Marshack

Click the "Listen" button below to hear Fisher's entire interview with Valentin and Marshack, which includes song samples from both Poster Children and Alex & the XO's.

Poster Children play two shows November 23 at Schubas in Chicago.  Show times are 6:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.  Alex & the XO's will open the 6:30 show.

Jon Norton is the program director at WGLT and WCBU. He also is host of All Things Considered every weekday.