Friday, March 10, 2006

Define "Dumb Punks." Define "Anything."

Okay, Jello Biafra.

I can understand you being pissed off over your band being taken away from you. I can understand you being pissed over their gleeful tone with every rebuffing of your actions. I can even understand your being pissed over the tour.

But let's face it: when you had the catalog all you did was let the same old five CDs all the time, it gets a bit tiresome. Maybe if you'd put out a live LP (Like Live At The Deaf Club), maybe you wouldn't have been in a position to LOSE the distribution rights to the music. Not only that, but maybe if you weren't as snide as usual. It's fun to hear you rip into every right-wing sacred cow, but it's a bit of a pain in the ass when you don't know when you're going too far.

I mean, here's these songs your average punker has only heard on CD (or cassette, or even vinyl) for years, finally being performed by most of the band. Okay, so the lead singer is different, but it's three quarters of the band and it's songs they've loved for many years. You expect them to say "Sorry, but Jello Biafra doesn't want me to see you guys, so I'll skip over the band's appearance?" Not the easiest thing to do. I'm old enough to know better (and don't get me started at that), but what about your average punker who got to know the DKs in 1995, or better yet, 2003?

Of course, it's not like you DON'T have a leg to stand on. While it's true that the other three guys have tried to do stuff, their reunion indeed smells of a selling out and cashing in on what was. While "Live At the Deaf Club" was a wonderful breath of fresh air (showcasing the early DKs live), THAT OTHER LIVE ALBUM WHICH I WON'T DIGNIFY BY NAMING was a crass collection of lame songs from the latter days. Lots of repackagings, lots of retrospectives, and nothing new has given the latest pseudo-incarnation of the band a stench that makes "Bedtime for Quality/DKs/Democracy" smell sweet, flowery and musky (that LP was rushed, but at least there was some good stuff on it. Now if it had been an EP, it would have been a great exit CD). In short, the other three seem content to be lame, generic cartoons of their younger selves.

But at the very least, make an effort to understand what's going on. And you have to admit: The DKs with Kenneth Lay would be VERY interesting, if nothing else for the sheer surrealism factor (on both sides: the "3/4 of the DKs" side is easy to understand, but what would Kenneth Lay be doing in a dive near a hundred violently moshing maniac, singing songs skewering himself and his friends/allies/family members?). I'd go see it for the surrealism alone.

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