Talk Talk

When you take a listen to today’s music you probably think to yourself “hm, seems like most of the great ones aren’t around anymore”, and you’d be right. There’s a lot of great music out there produced by bands who disapperated long before their time (while those fuckers in Third Eye Blind soldier on). On the one hand, it is sad to have missed the opportunity to see them in the flesh. You blew it! For a lot of 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s acts (depending on how old you are) you could have seen them if you’d have just known about them when. But take heart–this is a great time to look more closely at any pop act of the period as whatever audio and video they produced is easy to find and watch.

I’ve been on a real Talk Talk binge lately. I liked them ever since Allie got me Natural History in the early 90’s, when I was just becoming musically aware. It’s a great compilation, and you don’t have to take my word for it because you can stream it for free on YouTube.

The band had commercially ceased to exist by that point and I didn’t get any more of their stuff for a long time, but over the last few years I’ve gotten most of their albums, and seeing the band develop over time is something else. They started out pretty synth-y and drum machine-y, and if you squint they look a little like fringe members of the New Romantic set. But by the mid-80’s they’d become something else entirely. Songs got longer, more musically varied, more organic. For me, the peak was probably 1986’s The Colour of Spring and, wouldn’t you know it, it is also free to stream on YouTube.

After this the band got more adventuresome and less conventional. There’s beautiful stuff there but it is generally less accessible to me, and it drove the record companies crazy because they couldn’t figure out how to get a single out of it. I like them best right in the middle, at the peak of their career, like a slugging corner outfielder with a standard aging curve. I got Asides Besides, the B-sides and rare tracks double CD (what’s a CD?) set, a few weeks ago, and it has some more music from that period that I’d never previously heard. I think Disc 2 of the set would be my second favorite Talk Talk album if it were an actual album. The piano version of Call In the Night Boy is a lot better than the original, and if you look in the YouTube comments apparently the guy who played the piano on this track has showed up and made a few comments.

For What It’s Worth is like a really good Roxy Music Avalon-period song. You can’t have too much really good Roxy Music if you ask me. Singer Mark Hollis has a distinctive voice that might be expected to produce strong reactions; I really like it, and like Thom Yorke’s, the fact that I generally can’t tell what the lyrics of most Talk Talk songs are is probably a positive.

The whole back half of the set is really stunning. And you can stream that too.

I give all of these albums five Pochaccos and you can’t go wrong with any of them.

Neiman Marcus Official Gourmet Cookie Recipe Policy

Sometime before February 1997, Andres and I wrote up this stupid webpage and put it on my server. One day my server was taken offline. I called my ISP, and they passed along this fun fax from a lawyer.

Nobody sent me a check. 🙁

cookpageJust like the poodle in the microwave story, certain urban legends have real staying power. This is not one of them. Our policy remains unchanged: anyone who has ever had in their possession an unlicensed copy of our Gourmet Cookie Recipe is responsible to us for the sum of $250.00 per copy.

Our recipe is not shareware or freeware. There is no 21 day trial period. However, while we wish to protect our intellectual property, we are not unreasonable. We understand that some people may have received multiple unsolicited copies of the recipe, and for this reason we have made site licenses available at a substantial discount off of retail price.

If your personal or shared e-mail account has received more than four (4) copies of the Neiman Marcus Gourmet Cookie recipe, you may gain legal right to them by paying the sum of $175.00 per recipe. Hopefully, this will provide some financial relief to those recipe piraters who were not aware that redistributing our intellectual property without our consent is a Federal crime.

logo2You may be eligible for additional savings if this is a corporate matter. Please inquire about bulk rate discounts if you feel you have an appropriate situation.

Thinking about stiffing the bill? If so, please be aware that Internic, the Internet Policing Service, keeps track of all e-mail transmitted over the Internet. We obtain copies of their frequently updated list bi-weekly, and will take legal action against people possessing or distributing illegal and unlicensed copies of our recipe.

Holding an unlicensed copy of the recipe is a Federal crime with a maximum sentence of six months in prison and/or $50,000 in fines. Distributing the recipe without the protection of a site license is defined as Mail Fraud by the U.S. Government, an even more serious charge. Please think about the possible repercussions before you decide not to pay.

You may pay for a license by stopping off at any of our convenient nationwide locations and referencing item number CR1000250, or by mailing a check to:

Andres Phippard and Dave Pease
Vice Presidents of Debt Recovery, Neiman Marcus Inc.
(For the convenience of
our accounting department,
please do not reference
Neiman Marcus on the check)

6415 Cleeve Way
San Diego, CA 92117

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Comments/questions to Dave. Do not send attachments to this address.

Very truly yours

I got this fax from my ISP when they took my server offline in early 1997. Neiman Marcus was unhappy about the Neiman Marcus Official Gourmet Cookie Recipe Policy page that Andres and I created. And in case you weren’t on the net 20 years ago, we made that page because the $250 Neiman Marcus cookie recipe urban legend was taking AOL email boxes by storm around that time. …and also partially because we’d probably been drinking and had too much time on our hands.

“Mr. Pease is fraudulently representing that he is an employee of Neiman Marcus and demanding money from innocent members of the public in the Company’s name, all to the great detriment of the Company and in clear violation of federal and state criminal laws.”