Jello Biafra For President!

READ Jello Biafra’s Politics Perspective BELOW:

Alternative Tentacles

Jello Stalking

I think that people know that [a Dead Kennedys reformation] is out of the question. There was one local fly-by-nigher who offered $100,000 for ten days but I didn’t dignify that call with a reply. The most ridiculous offer of all was from Gene Simmons of KISS calling me up wanting movie rights to Frankenchrist trial (where Biafra defended an H.R. Giger poster included with the record deemed “harmful matter,” on the grounds of free speech, as detailed on his spoken-word album High Priest of Harmful Matter). Meeting Frank Zappa was one of the few silver linings to come out of the trial. He got a hold of me and the helpers of the No More Censorship Defense Fund rather than us having to find him. He gave me some very valuable advice very early on; something that anybody subjected to that kind of harassment should remember: You are the victim. You have to constantly frame yourself that way in the mass media so you don’t get branded some kind of outlaw simply because of your beliefs and the way you express your art. The outlaws are the police. I got to visit Frank two or three more times at his house in Los Angeles and those were very special times. He showed me a hilarious Christian aerobics video. The women were in their skintight leotards doing jumping jacks. “One-two, two-two, three-two, praise the Lord!” And of course the bustiest one was in a striped spandex suit dead front center of the screen!

DK - Jello On Stage

DK Stage Dive

I’m drying out from recording and mixing a track, of all things, a Willie Nelson “tribute album”. For anybody who knows the song,” Still is Still Moving to Me,” it’s the closest thing to a, oh, a Dead Kennedys “Holiday in Cambodia” sounding song that he ever came up with, and the lyrics are cool too.

Working with Al Jourgensen was never a dull moment. He’s the Jerry Lee Lewis of the 90’s……. what can we do? He was even supposed to produce Jerry Lee but I guess Jerry Lee backed out at the last minute.

Ice-T is one of the most brilliant people I’ve ever met. I don’t agree with all of his views-especially in the area of women! – but overall he’s a fascinating person to be around. The intelligence and energy just kind of rubs off and sparkles. “Cop Killer” is the “Born to Be Wild” of the 90’s. Everything that people find shocking now will routine in ten years. It always works out that way. Remember when Elvis Presley’s legs were banned from television? I envision that someday an ad will come on television,” Remember the good old 90’s? Well relive the nostalgia with Cop-Killers-Hating Whitey in the 90’s, starring Body Count, Ice Cube, Ice-T, NWA, Snoop Doggy Dog…” you name it.

Jello Bounce

Jello Crawl

We played shows together with Black Flag, we networked together, tipped each other to promoters in different cities when one of us would run across somebody new. There was much more of a cohesive bond between the bands that were then called punk and hardcore because there were so few of us and it was against everything we hated about the 70’s and the music establishment. We had to crack open places for us and other people to play in’ town. The very idea of an all-ages show horrified New York. But once we got in and were able to do that, it exploded and all these bands came out. That happened in a lot of places, and leaders in cracking open those towns were Black Flag, the Dead Kennedys, and D.O.A..

I’m one of the few people in this town who has articulate danger towards the outbreak of punk fundamentalism, especially when the dictator of the biggest local so-called punk magazine (Maximum Rock ‘N’ Roll) is now advocating violence against people he doesn’t like. What I’ve had to do is to point out that not everybody who has a long and deep involvement with punk wants to turn it into something bitter, fundamentalist, isolationist church, and go around playing “cop” on other people. If that was the attitude I’d found when I first got into punk, I would have gotten right back out again. I think that circling the wagons and putting up fences right at a time when millions of new people could potentially turn onto the politics and spirit of punk is sad and irresponsible.

Jello Live 2

Jello Mabuhay Gardens

I don’t think either the Offspring or Green Day started their bands with the intention of becoming so enormously popular; that sort of fell in their laps-especially the Offspring. My attitude is if somebody blunders into the level of popularity, at least remember the human factor. These guys are still human beings and hopefully still have hearts and if you keep in touch with them rather than vilify them you may be able to encourage them to go in the right direction. What I’m hoping will eventually happen is that they will grasp the amount of power and financial clout that is now at their fingertips and use those as tools to help real people with real things the way punk politics was always designed to do before, but nobody had any money.

Dk - Jello Biafra Stage

Jello Crowd Pleaser

The Grateful Dead, of all people, had been doing this for years with a grant foundation. They would donate about a million dollars a year from concert receipts or benefit concerts, and that money would then be doled out to people that applied for the grant for everything from soup kitchens, battered women’s shelters, rural school districts who don’t have any money for instruments for a music program or an aspiring composer. It was a way of putting the politics behind the music into something other than your own pocket.

Jello Thrasher Shirt

Jello Getty 050711

I still think, quality of the bands aside, the only reason this later batch of bands(grunge, Green Day, the Offspring) got signed and pushed was to help steer white suburban kids away from political black rap music. Reggae they could buy-at least there the revolution was aimed at Jamaica – but some of these people were talking about revolution in the United States. “We can’t have these future middle-class model citizens finding out what America is really like!! No, no, no! Come on kids! Shoe gaze, shoe gaze! Remember, you’re slackers! You’re Generation X! You’re not supposed to care!” The whole slacker myth was imposed from above after these very alleged slackers helped throw George Bush out of the White House.

Dead Kennedys

There isn’t one magical solution. I do think that more people listen to artists-especially rappers-and musicians than they do to politicians, and if they’re going to look at us for leadership and brain food, we ought to provide some ideas for improvement over the current collapse of the Roman Empire that we’re witnessing in this country. I have tossed out some ideas on Beyond the Valley of the Gift Police [Biafra’s fourth spoken word album], some of them sarcastic but some of them also very practical. There’s a lot of allegations about the [government and AIDS] that have even made the London Times, and I haven’t really made up my mind. It wouldn’t surprise me a bit, though, the way we play around with germ bombs in the country. There was one group of military scientists who immediately went into the heart of Zaire when they first heard about the Ebola virus, and there reaction instead of wanting to exterminate it, was “Wow! Wouldn’t this make a great toy? Let’s take some back to Fort Detrick, Maryland.” And they did. And sure enough, some of the monkeys escaped., but they were recaptured. But it makes me wonder how many other things like that have happened where the germs did get out. There’s lots of evidence that that outbreak of hantavirus in New Mexico the Summer before last that killed large numbers of Native Americans had actually been leaked out of germ warfare lab right next to an Indian reservation in the Southwest.

This is my home. Home is where the disease is. As long as I stay in America, I’ll never run out of subjects for songs.

Jello Biafra
Alternative Tentacles

Jello Live Recent

 

 

Dead Kennedys Have Always Been A Favorite!

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Jello Biafra Always Stole The Show. Dead Kenndys All Time Favorite Punk Rock Band!

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Maty’s Corner #31 I Wanna Be Unusual, I Wanna Be Punk Rock: Guttermouth

Maty’s Corner #31

I Wanna Be Unusual, I Wanna Be Punk Rock:

Guttermouth

Starting in 1988 from Huntington Beach, CA is a band with no middle ground on fan base, Guttermouth. One of the more influential skate punk bands, their lyrics definitely tapped into the attitude and these guys were exactly that. Led by the extremely sensitive Mark Adkins this band knows how to make ya feel special and loved. Actually, they don’t give a crap. Whether you think they’re awesome or they fucking piss you off, if you’ve heard them, you’ve strongly reacted. If you’re able to hang, enjoy the ride, if not, get off the ramp now!

1991 saw their first album titled Full Length. The cd version includes the Puke and Balls EPs. All of this was released on Dr. Strange Records. It would be reissued by Nitro in 1996. These first releases established the band’s presence as a hard driving fuck you of a skate punk band. Songs like 1,2,3, Slam and Bruce Lee Vs. The Kiss Army let us know that things aren’t that serious, so have a good time.

1994 dropped in with Friendly People. This really turned up the offense. Songs like P.C. set the tone for a band that that the “ethical” crowd wasn’t gonna dig on. 10 years after this album they would manage to get pushed out of a warped tour for upsetting a number of bands by not following the established punk rule of falling in line with the democrats. So much for punk being about having your own ideas and opinions.

1996 came out with Teri Yakimoto. They had started getting better musically. The tongue in cheek kept right on going. They had even been working with some harmonies. The Guttermouth sound was still true, just improved.

1997 saw what this band’s best album, Musical Monkey is probably. With songs like Lucky the Donkey, Lipstick, and Do the Hustle nothing was safe or sacred here. The entire album is hilarious and just rages through 28 minutes of punk fucking rock. It’s definitely my favorite. Do the Hustle is also known as Skater’s Anthem. If you don’t know why, find and listen to that song now, then come back to reading.

1999 brought Gorgeous. This would be their last release on Nitro. This had a more aggressive sound than their previous releases. It continues to be as good as their other albums. A highlight track on this is Viva America, reminding us that things could be worse elsewhere in their unique way.

2001 saw their first release on Epitaph. This saw Guttermouth move back to the sound of previous albums. There are several great songs on this, such as Can I Borrow Some Ambition and Secure Horizons. The latter track sounds halfway like financial advice from Mr. Adkins. Also an intimate look at relationships with She’s Got the Look.

2002 gave us Gusto! They got a bit more experimental with the sound here. It’s still good. The opening song is a stand out. The usual insult of the whinier contingent of the punk scene. Scholarship in punk and Contribution are also great tracks. Critics and fans bitched about the album being so different. Well, fuck the critics, and if you love a band, you’ll learn to adjust.

2004 saw Guttermouth sign to Volcom Entertainment and release Eat Your Face. The cover looks like a joke on the over angry crust punk bands who feel a need to put some fucked up looking starving child on every bands’ fucking album. Note: calm the fuck down Profane Existence, your making punk a dousche instead of a threat. Moving along, this is a great album seeing this crew go back to the sound we know and love so those who can’t adapt could stop freaking out. Great track here is Surf’s Up Asshole.

2006 saw what is their most recent release, Shave the Planet. Best track on this is My Chemical Imbalance. This is as good as their whole catalogue. They are currently active on Hopless records touring. Hopefully they’ll put an album out sooner or later. No go put on some Guttermouth and fucking shred!

 

-Maty Almost

Remembering The Dead Kennedys Live

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Maty’s Corner #16 Pulley: The Esteem Driven Engine Still Matters

Maty’s Corner #16

Pulley: The Esteem Driven Engine Still Matters

Pulley started up in 1994, right in the beginning thick of the Southern California skate punk revolution of music that shaped my life. This 5 piece hard hitting melodic punk unit is led by Scott Radinsky who was no stranger the punk scene by 94 having been in Scared Straight during its 10 year existence (83-93) being heavy hitters in the Nardcore Mystic Records scene. They then went on to become skate punk greats Ten Foot Pole. Radinsky was in charge of that unit for their first 2 releases then forced to leave due to his pro baseball that he was already 3 years deep into. Being that baseball conflicts with the tour schedule of most punk rock I see it is making sense. That didn’t preclude Radinsky from being the voice of TFP’s seminal single My Wall.

Right outta the gate Pulley was a bit of a super group consisting of Radinsky from his aforementioned bands; Jim Cherry (may his soul be rested) of Strung Out; Matt Riddle of Face To Face and No Use For a Name; and Tony Palermo from Ten Foot Pole and Unwritten Law.

Pulley’s first drop in was 1995’s Esteem Driven Engine. A strong door kicker of a debut from these punk veterans. It slams open with Cashed In which would be a candidate on a best of record. Right away this first album sets a tone for more introspective lyrics which tends to happen to us punks as we get older. Take for instance Bad Religion’s material from the mid 90’s and forward.

Right after this was 97’s 60 Cycle hum. Again a really strong track starts the whole album off on the right foot, or left if ya skate goofy. The most interesting track on this was Noddin’ Off. It kicks like Ten Foot Pole or Scared Straight. I think kinda letting us all know that they remember who they are. Another overall solid effort from this board breaking unit.

1999 brought us @#!*, referred to as self titled. Honestly my favorite album by these guys. I believe it’s also their most popular. The lyrics start getting real introspective and the music on a couple tracks is even a bit dark. It’s still Pulley. The differences show growth in the band and they sound tighter than their first 2 albums. The stand out for me has always been Over It. Somewhat of a scathing indictment of the rat race that even the punk scene can degenerate into. Less of a middle finger and more a wake up call. The more incendiary and equally great track is Nothing To Lose. It’s been the background to a fuck you in my life numerous times. Just a great one to sing with and let something out.

2001 marked Pulley’s first album as a 4 piece, Together Again For The First Time. Jim Cherry had left the band to pursue Zero Down and dropped one solid album with them before he departed us. Despite the missing guitarist, this is as solid and tough an album as Pulley had put out. The first real stand out on this is “Hooray”hooray,matters,olympus,friends, for me. Another honest critique of the scene from the perspective of growing up but not giving in. The other one that hits me of this effort is “Same Sick Feeling.” Always sounds like one off of the 99 album and that’s not at all a bad thing.

2004 marked Pulley’s longest gap between albums. Matters shows the band hasn’t lost a bit of edge over their first 10 years. The band just sounds tighter with each offering they put out. It was also dedicated to their guitarist and friend Jim. This for me is like 99’s “self titled”. Most stand out on Matters is Insects Destroy. Has a bit of Bad Religion and Pennywise feel. Makes sense being that they were all label mates for so long. This marks Pulley’s final album on punk rock Olympus of Epitaph records and their last full length to date.

2009 after about 5 years Pulley gave us their first ep on a new label, Time Insensitive Material. Ghost Inside My Skin is the stand out of this short offering. It’s a blend of classic Pulley with some new ideas. The first glimpse of something new to come. 20011 gave us The Long And The Short Of It ep. Coming in at only 3 tracks, it leaves me hoping for a full length in the near future. There’s been rumors swirling around a new full length since 2012. I was fortunate to see them play recently. After 20 years of Pulley and 31 years of Scott Radinsky, neither part shows any sign of letting up for a long time to come.
Check out Pulley if you don’t know ‘em, re listen or catch ‘em live if ya do.

Article published in the popular Mega Zine STAMINA #3.
www.diy-publishing.com

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-Maty Almost

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