Radio Zero
Poster Children


   POSTER CHILDREN was formed in 1987 in Champaign, Illinois by Rick and Rose. They wrote some songs and played some shows and in 1989 released their first record Flower Plower. After two more years of writing songs and playing shows, they released Daisy Chain Reaction (1991). This was around the time that Jim joined the band. They started touring A LOT, wrote even more songs and put them on a record called Tool of the Man (1993).

Some time after that Howie joined to fill the revolving drummer's position. An EP of songs, Just Like You, came out in 1994 and was immediately followed by the full length Junior Citizen (1995). 1995 marked the first appearance of the band's website ( which features the usual information plus Rose's detailed tour diaries, an online talkshow, RadioZero, and a reading list compiled by fans. After the award-winning success of a multimedia disk they created for Junior Citizen, the band made their next release and Enhanced CD. RTFM (1997) contained not only music but a 3-D environment filled with videos, games, and other fun stuff.

New World Record (1999) was the first Poster Children album to be completely recorded and produced by the band themselves in their studio, Studio Tedium. New World Record was another Enhanced CD filled with even more fun stuff and was also one of the earliest albums available for purchase online in MP3 format. Feeling two years between records was too long to wait, Poster Children went right back to work in Studio Tedium (after touring, of course) and created DDD (2000), their seventh or eighth record depending on how you count it.

In answer to the frequently asked question: "When are you going to make a live album?" Poster Children began work on the Zero Stars DVD in the fall of 2000. Friends and fans were recruited as camera operators for two shows in Champaign and Chicago. Local Champaign luminaries became actors for a day in scenes based on Rose's tour diaries. Thanks to the advent of affordable digital video technology, the band was able to produce and edit the DVD themselves. The Apocalypse Now-like production of Zero Stars unfortunately took its toll on the band and Howie left the drum stool empty once again in the summer of 2001. Vowing to soldier on, Poster Children drafted Matt (drummer #7) and are currently writing songs for record #8 (or 9).

Band member Rick Valentin writes: "We've had a few Pynchon references in our history. The artwork on our first cassette Toreador Squat (1988) had a thank you to The Paranoids, a muted post horn, and the line "More W.A.S.T.E. Music from Trash Can" (the label was called Trash Can Records). Our second touring van (1990) boasted the vanity plate: LOT 49 (there's no extra charge for vanity plates in Illinois if you have a number following letters!). Our song Junior Citizen (1996) contains the line: "Tune to station KCUF." And in regards to your question, throughout our DVD, Zero Stars (2001), Howie is reading Gravity's Rainbow. In one scene our guitarist Jim asks Howie what he is reading, Howie responds "Gravity's Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon, perhaps the greatest book ever written in the English language." Jim proceeds to hassle Howie about his inability to finish the book and questions whether he's even reading it or just pretending to so as to look cool.

On a tangential note, SpinArt, the label which released our two most recent CDs, originally put out the Lotion record with the Pynchon liner notes. Jeff, the head of the label, told us he had Pynchon's signature on a cancelled check (I don't remember how much he was paid for his services)."

Main Web Site


ZeroStars Nov 20th, 2001 (DVD) released on Champaign International Pictures

DDD Feb 23rd, 2000 (CD) released on spinART Records

New World Record 1999 (Enhanced CD) released on spinART Records.

RTFM ECD/CS, April 22nd, 1997 (Reprise Records), Enhanced CD, produced by Poster Children and Bryce Goggin. CD programmed by Poster Children.

Junior Citizen CD/CS/LP, February 14th, 1995 (Sire Records), produced by Poster Children and Brian Anderson

Just Like You EP, 1994 (Sire Records), produced by Poster Children and Brian Anderson.

Tool Of The Man CD/CS/LP, 1993 (Sire Records), produced by Mike McMackin.

Daisy Chain Reaction CD/CS/LP, 1991 (TwinTone/Sire Records), recorded by Steve Albini.

Flower Plower CD/LP/CS, 1990 (Limited Potential/Frontier Records; rereleased on 12Inch Records), recorded by Steve Albini and Iain Burgess.

click here for Salaryman webpage (Poster Children's electronic alter-ego)

Other Stuff:

Thinner, Strong, b/w Pointed Stick, Subpop Single's Club Oct 90, engineered by Steve Albini

It's True, Teriyaki Asthma sample single, engineered by Steve

"Down In The Desert" b/w Eye on Clawfist Records. Split single with Thin White Rope. This only came out in EnglandWe cover a Thin White Rope song and they cover our song "Eye." Very hard to find.

Bob Dylan Compilation we covered "Isis." This came out only in England as well, and has members of Sonic Youth on it. (our claim to fame.) Engineered (very well, might I add) by Mr. Steve Albini.

20 Explosive Dynamic Super Smash Hit Explosions - Pravda Records, we covered "I Feel Love" by Donna Summer, sung by Rick. The really, really high backup vocals are Bob, drummer #4.

Just Say Roe- "Roe v. Wade" original, written for Roe V Wade Compilation, Reprise Records.

Contact Information

booking- Ellen Stewart at Go Ahead Booking:


Anderson, Laurie.
Famous New York performance artist Laurie Anderson dedicated a song to Pynchon on her Mister Heartbreak album.

Benatar, Pat.
Believe it or not, she named a final album Gravity's Rainbow.

Benny Profane.
English hard rockers from Liverpool, they took their name from a character in V.

Blowtorch, Eric
Reggae influenced artist putting Pynchon's lyrics to music.

An avant garde German group used Gravity's Rainbow to tell a different tale.

Corey, Prof. Irwin.
The man who was the infamous stand-in for Thomas Ruggles Pynchon.

They recorded Maxwell's Demon Box on their album, Days Between Stations.

Einhorn, Richard.
Another rendition of music devoted to the Demon, and much more.

Fariña, Richard.
An long-time friend of Pynchon, this folkie named an instrumental work after a Pynchon novel.

Favorite Color, The.
A New Jersey band sets a selection from V. to music on their album Color Out of Space (1996).

Fool, The.
Surely not Slothrop's band, this was a short lived group which did, in fact, have a harmonica player.

Forked Yew.
Independent, highly experimental rockers and Pynchon fans from the American South.

Frith & Kaiser.
An instrumental pair with a piece called The Kirghiz Light.

Hall, Ed.
An early 90's band influenced by Pynchon, they named a song Roger Mexico.

Insect Trust.
This jazzy, psychedelic group mined V. for lyrics to The Eyes of a New York Woman.

Jazz Butcher.
AKA Pat Fish, who named a track Looking for Lot 49 on his Fishcoteque album.

Jones, Spike.
Pynchon himself wrote the liner notes for Spiked!

Knopfler, Mark.
The Sultan of Swing sails to Philadelphia!

Koron, Barry.
Weilding the Sjambok never felt so good!

Lot 49 (Ontario).
This now retired hardcore outfit hailed from the hometown of Spermatikos Logos' own Laurence Daw.

Lot 49 (NYC).
Indie NYC rockers named after Pynchon's second novel.

A New York group whose liner notes were penned by the Man himself.


A visit to San Narciso.

Was the famous tune Smells Like Teen Spirit acutally inspired by a song from Gravity's Rainbow?

Nova Mob.
A "Rock Opera" filled with references to Gravity's Rainbow.

Ocker, David.
Musical meditations on Eight Facts About
Thomas Pynchon

Okasek, Ric.
Ride The Rocket with the former frontman of The Cars.


Pere Ubu.
David Thomas' legendary, seminal band shows some Pynchon influences.

These literate Indies hail from Flordia, and have a song about Wanda Tinasky which is highly recomm-ended!

Poster Children.
This group from Champaign, Illinois, covers a lot of Pynchon ground!

English art-rockers who incorporate many Pynchon motifs into their work.

An offshoot of Zoviet France, Robin Storey's group named Rapoon released an album called The Kirghiz Light.

Sauter & Dietrich, Moore.
More liner notes written by Pynchon !!


Six Finger Satellite.
Indie electro-rock futurists Six Finger Satellite make a reference to Gravity's Rainbow.

Soft Machine.
Seminal "proggies," they recorded a full-scale work called Esther's Nose Job in 1969.

Spock's Beard.
In memory of "the evil Spock," they do homage to V.

Time in Malta.
A California metal group with a name taken from V.

Ware, Tim.
Pynchon scholar, Web master, and MIDI Musician.

Whole Sick Crew, The.
Purveyors of pirate folk-punk, truly a gang like their Pynchon namesakes.

XXX Atomic Toejam.
F. Thorendal, from praised thrash-heroes Meshuggah, gets one in for the Vikings.

Yo La Tengo.
Making music indebted to The Crying of Lot 49.

Related to New York's Lot 49, ths Florida group also takes their name from Pynchon's work.

Zevon, Warren.
He recently released an album containing work inspired by Pynchon.


--Dr Larry Daw,
Rick Valentin,
& Judson Picco
3 October, 2002