Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine bring the Dead Kennedys full circle. I had the benefit of seeing the Dead Kennedys play a huge show at Rutgers Camden with Articles of Faith, COC, FOD and Decontrol as well as a way oversold hall show at West Catty Playground Building with Rest In Pieces, Life Sentence and the Clap.
I had the privilege of being at this Jello Biafra and G.S. of M. show with two gentlemen who were involved in setting up and working the door at the mighty Dead Kennedys show at the West Catty playground building back in 1985. This is a picture of the two Johns.
So, needless to say, I had no interest in seeing the Dead Kennedys again. Ready to move forward (but I still would like to hear a couple of DK songs to reminisce). I have yet to see the Dead Kennedys with any of their later singers.
The G.S. of M. is very early Dead Kennedysish. The trademark spooky surf guitar sound cements the Dead Kennedys influence, with a hardcore tenacity and speed enveloping the sound and throwing it into a chaotic, energetic frenzy. The exceptional musicianship of the G.S. of M. paints an aural landscape behind Jello’s vocals that can be tense and provide for a perfect release.
I enjoyed the fact that Jello did some research on Reading PA and the depressed economy and the culture around Reading PA and worked it into one of the G.S. of M. songs.
There was a rather upset young lady screaming at Jello during his introduction to the encore song “Shock You Py”. From Alternative Tentacles website, Biafra explains: "Better late than never, here's our tribute inspired by the Occupy movement. Not just 'occupy' - SHOCK-YOU-PY! - since my favorite kind of resistance can have theater, pranks and other creative sabotage - non-violent, of course!"
Which reminds me, I also was glad to hear Jello give a shout out to Pussy Riot, the Russian band that has been jailed for that “theater, pranks and other creative sabotage” Jello speaks of.
But I digress, back to the young lady who was shouting some obvious critical words towards Jello during his orchestrated speech before “Shock You Py”. I half expected Jello to stop the band from jamming their intro and interrupt his discussion to have a debate with this woman, but he kept on going and I could not hear what she was saying… so I tracked her down after the show and had a very nice conversation with her about the whole occupy thing and her views on Jello and how I conduct myself in punk rock.