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Timbuk 3

Read Timbuk 3's biography

Timbuk 3 - Greetings From Timbuk 3 [I.R.S. Records IRS-5739] (1986)

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Timbuk 3


Greetings From Timbuk 3

Released: 1986
Label: I.R.S. Records
Catalog: IRS-5739
Country: USA
Pressing: MCA Pressing Plant, Gloversville
Genre: Rock, New Wave, Indie Rock

T R A C K L I S T:
01 The Future's So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades
02 Life Is Hard
03 Hairstyles And Attitudes
04 Facts About Cats
05 I Need You
06 Just Another Movie
07 Friction
08 Cheap Black And White
09 Shame On You
10 I Love You In The Strangest Way
Submit a review.

Album Review

Mark Deming []

The curse of having a hit single is that it tends to define public perception of your music in a very specific way, and after Timbuk 3 hit the Top 40 with ''The Future's So Bright I Gotta Wear Shades,'' they were quickly tagged as a novelty act by people who didn't absorb the song's satiric irony. Actually, skipping past ''The Future's So Bright...,'' the opening cut on the group's debut Greetings From Timbuk 3, to the second tune, ''Life Is Hard,'' would have told folks a lot more about the duo's lyrical perspective -- no less satiric but a lot more grim, the song sandwiches the tale of a rich kid in between two stories of losers crumbling along life's margins, and not finding much to snigger about in their collective misery. Songwriter Pat MacDonald goes for laughs more often than not on Greetings From Timbuk 3, but the effect is usually that of whistling past the graveyard -- the couple living vicariously through their television on ''Cheap Black and White,'' the street-smart metaphors of ''Facts About Cats,'' and the sociological speculation of ''Hairstyles and Attitudes.'' And anyone who doesn't catch the bitterness of ''Just Another Movie'' couldn't have been listening. Timbuk 3's beatbox-fueled folk-rock would get a lot more sophisticated over their next few albums; on Greetings From Timbuk 3, the production and arrangements are serviceable though not terribly special, though both Pat MacDonald and Barbara K show off impressive guitar chops and fine harmonies. But as a songwriter, Pat MacDonald had already arrived at a pretty interesting destination, and while ''The Future's So Bright'' hardly suggested the full range of his gifts, the whole of Greetings From Timbuk 3 showed he had lots to say about life in these United States.

Timbuk 3's Biography

Rovi Staff []

An intelligent alternative pop duo with folk and country leanings (although they often relied on synthesizers and drum machines, even while playing live dates), Timbuk 3's Pat and Barbara K. MacDonald wrote many better songs than their surprise 1986 hit ''The Future's So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades.''

The pair met while Barbara attended the University of Wisconsin, and began writing and performing their songs. After a brief sojourn in New York, where they played on the street for tips, the couple settled in Austin, Texas. While in Austin they became regulars at clubs such as the Hole in the Wall and the Austin Outhouse. They recorded a demo and made an appearance on MTV's The Cutting Edge, which led to a recording contract with I.R.S. Records. Using a boom box for their rhythm section, the MacDonalds began making appearances on other television programs (playing acoustic and electric guitars) and recorded their debut, Greetings from Timbuk 3, in 1986. It reached number 50 on the album charts, largely on the strength of the sparkling first single, ''The Future's So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades,'' a danceable novelty song that climbed to number 19 on the singles chart. The album was a mixture of similarly light fare and darker, more serious themes, as was the 1988 follow-up Eden Alley. The MacDonalds were joined by Wally Ingram on drums following the release of Edge of Allegiance, and by Big Shot in the Dark they had evolved into a full band with the addition of bass player Courtney Audain. Timbuk 3 eventually split up in the mid-'90s following the dissolution of the MacDonalds' marriage. Pat formed the record label Ark 21 in 1997 and embarked on a solo career.
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