Thirty-three-year-old Warren Langford now lives in Seattle, but he was once an important part of Santa Fe's music scene. His band, Nectar, was an awesome example of gothy synth-punk in the vein of the Faint, and he helped shape the sadly defunct punk rock scene alongside so many in the late '90s and early 2000s. These days, Warren has a problem, and he needs Santa Fe's help to locate a young man responsible for one of his favorite pieces of local music history. But first, let's go back a bit.
"I'm pretty sure it was summer, 2001-ish, and my friend Liz Prince and I were on our way to Santa Fe Baking Co. and saw a yard sale sign off of St. Francis," Langford recalls. "We spotted a Talkboy in a box labeled '50 cents,' and both of us thought it was a pretty good deal for the device made famous in Home Alone 2: Lost in New York."
Indeed, the must-have Christmas item of 1993, Tiger Electronics' Talkboy was desperately wanted by anyone who had seen Home Alone 2. In the film, Macaulay Culkin reprises his role as young Kevin McCallister, this time forgotten and abandoned in New York City and once again outwitting the bumbling burglars played by Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern. In a genius-caliber marketing scheme present throughout the movie, Kevin uses the Talkboy's ability to slow down or speed up playback in order to fool adults and rack up a gigantic room service bill while making Tim Curry look like a fool. It was awesome, and anyone who is in their mid to late 30s will probably recall the device in question lovingly. Langford's Talkboy, as it turned out, contained a surprise in the form of a tape inside the machine.
"We were amazed to discover that a young boy who identifies himself as Marcos recorded an almost-30-minute-long radio show in which he was the DJ," Langford says. "He announced each track by name; [it's] adorable, and if he recorded this when the Talkboy was released, I'd imagine he's about 30 now."
The show sounds like brief forays into Muzak, according to Langford, and has titles like "Clouds," "Reggae" and "Office." There is a brief interlude when two other young kids tape over the show with repeated mutterings of, "Dakota is a Frito," but our intrepid hero carries on immediately afterward.
Since that day in 2001, Langford has been trying to find Marcos, to meet and reunite him with his musical time capsule, to no avail. Now he's hoping for your help, dear readers.
"I've eliminated all the Marcoses I know, and I've been asking every Santa Fean I know if they know a Marcos around 30 years old," he tells SFR. "There are two other names mentioned on the tape—the aforementioned Dakota and someone named Leo—and I would guess that they're siblings or cousins. I've exhausted my Googling capabilities, and apps like Shazam and SoundHound yield false or zero results; as generic as they are, I really have come to love the pieces, [and] they get stuck in my head all the time."
Langford has been interviewed on Seattle's Hollow Earth Radio, and his band Pure Moods even covers one of the songs, but Marcos himself remains a mystery.
"I'm a big fan of found footage, both audio and video, and both mysteries of 'Who is Marcos?' and 'Where does this music come from?' are enticing to me, to the point that it's been a big part of my life," he laments. "Mostly I just want to meet the guy to thank him, ask him about all the circumstances surrounding the tape's creation and see what he's up to now."
So help us out, Santa Fe. You can hear the show in its entirety below. See if it sounds familiar, or ask any Marcos you've ever met if they once recorded a radio show on a Talkboy. We want to find this guy and speak with him ASAP. Any information can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
"I wonder how he'd react to discovering some dude has been obsessed with this radio show he made on a toy tape recorder 20-plus years ago," Langford concludes.
Let's find out.