Thursday, August 18, 2011

0 SOUNDFEST PREVIEW: Jello Biafra, The Avengers, Reagan Youth at Neumos

Recently, Jello Biafra ruffled the feathers of the San Francisco Weekly with his lyrics to "Dot Com Monte Carlo" from the recent Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine EP: Enhanced Methods of Questioning. Apparently, the trendy rag feels a bit disturbed because Biafra sings:
Where's the gangs in the Mission
When you need em?
How 'bout some yuppie drive-bys
For a change?
 Note to the SF Weekly, try not taking a dipshit literal approach to Biafra's work.  Jello's lyrics provide an insightful look at the issues of gentrification.  Could you imagine the alarm and outrage if an affluent yuppy type was gunned down by thugs?  Police presence would triple and political heads would mobilize to capture the support of a voting population.  But if the crime occurred in a part of the city that struggled, it's just another homicide.  The lyrics capture institutionalized racism in a hard nutshell. 

This type of smart ass, ironic social commentary has been Jello's staple for a long time. Look at the seminal Dead Kennedy's album: Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables.  It contains song titles like "Kill the Poor" and "I Kill Children."  Example, look at "Kill the Poor":
The sun beams down on a brand new day
No more welfare tax to pay
Unsightly slums gone up in flashing light
Jobless millions whisked away
At last we have more room to play
All systems go to kill the poor tonight
 Is the meaning much different from "Dot Com Monte Carlo"?  Not really and shows Jello has been creating important music for three decades now.  While wars rage, politicians steal, and unemployment increases, it's guaranteed Jello will be calling fools out.  Many bands play it safe, but never Jello and for that he deserves many thanks!!

Fortunately for the people in the Puget Sound, Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine will be playing their only United States show this Friday at Neumo's as part of the Seattle Soundfest.  Doors open at 6 pm and the line up appears to be a slam dunk with Koozebane, Dreadful Children, Retox, Reagan Youth, and The Avengers opening.  Reagan Youth and The Avengers should please any old school punk and Retox might be my favorite new band with their in your face music and song titles like "Unpleasant Food" and "Piss Elegant" - How can a punk go wrong?  Keep in mind, this is only a part of Soundfest.  With bands like Zero Boys, CRO MAGS, The Dickies, and Roxy Epoxy, it should be one hell of a weekend! 

For more information, go to the Soundfest website.   

Posted by Jerry Howard


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