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Play Like a Man: My Life in Poster Children by Rose Marshack

Pub date: February 28, 2023

As a member of Poster Children, Rose Marshack took part in entwined revolutions. Marshack and other women seized a much-elevated profile in music during the indie rock breakthrough while the advent of new digital technologies transformed the recording and marketing of music. Touring in a van, meeting your idols, juggling a programming job with music, keeping control and credibility, the perils of an independent record label (and the greater perils of a major)—Marshack chronicles the band’s day-to-day life and punctuates her account with excerpts from her tour reports mined from the blog she's kept since 1995 and hard-learned lessons on how to rock, program, and teach. She also details the ways Poster Children applied punk’s DIY ethos to digital tech as a way to connect with fans via then-new media like pkids listservs, internet radio, and enhanced CDs. 

Photograph by Christopher Schneberger

Photograph by Christopher Schneberger

An inside look at a scene and a career, Play Like a Man is the evocative and humorous tale of one woman’s life in the trenches and online.

Rose Marshack is a teacher, performer, and computer programmer and is currently a professor of creative technologies in the School of Music at Illinois State University. Her band Poster Children has performed over 800 shows in the United States and Europe.

Advance Praise:

“I have seen Rose Marshack play with her band the Poster Children many times, and her presence onstage is precisely like her writing, energetic, warm, and completely involved. This memoir is beautiful and frank, and does a fantastic job of bringing the reader into the private thoughts of a woman coming of age in a vibrant music community, immediately finding things to cling to and battles that need fighting. Her story will resonate not just with everyone who lived through this era, but anyone who's ever found their passion and community in music. I admire Rose tremendously and I'm glad she decided to tell us her story.”--Steve Albini

“The Poster Children were a smart, stubborn, self-reliant independent band that suddenly found itself surrounded by the ambitious puffery of hopeful tourist musicians. They navigated the problematic ocean of ‘Alternative Music’ that rose up in the 1990s and lived to tell the tale. Rose was central to that mission and should be considered a trustworthy and experienced reporter!”--Ian MacKaye, Fugazi and Minor Threat

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