I attended one of the best and most energetic concerts of the year last night at Red 7 and the ring leader of it all was a 51-year-old. But age is simply a number when you are the high priest of political punk. Yes, Jello Biafra hasn't missed a step since his notorious days as lead singer for the punk band Dead Kennedys, which was formed some thirty years ago. He's still railing against the system. Still mad as hell. Still Jello. If Jello and his band - Guantanamo School of Medicine - come to your town, do yourself a favor and check them out.
And while we're on the subject of punk, here are five punk classic albums everyone(yes, you) should own:
Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables - Dead Kennedys(1980)
Singles Going Steady - Buzzcocks(1979)
Entertainment! - Gang Of Four(1979)
Walk Among Us - Misfits(1982)
Damaged - Black Flag(1981)
Saturday, October 17, 2009
A video I came across recently for the Vivian Girls' song "When I'm Gone" was my first introduction to the three piece from Brooklyn. It was enough for me to buy a ticket for their concert tonight at Red 7 and I wasn't disappointed. Imagine the Shangri-Las on speed - that's what the Vivian Girls live experience is like. If Joey Ramone were alive today, I assure you, Vivian Girls would be his favorite new band. Impressive!
Thursday, October 15, 2009
No one has the right until they've fought my fight
To understand just where I'm coming from
-"Ordinary Man" by Eels
I accidentally stumbled upon a memoir entitled Things The Grandchildren Should Know by Mark Oliver Everett and I absolutely had to have it as Everett is one of my favorite individuals in the world of music.
Everett is the lead singer of the band Eels which has been around since 1995. My first introduction to the Eels was through a video I saw on MTV for their song "Novocaine For The Soul" off their debut album Beautiful Freak. The Eels have released six albums since then including the recently released Hombre Lobo which is one of my favorite albums of this year. Having a career this long in the music business is tough enough, but having a long career and maintaining the artistic integrity that Everett does is especially rare.
If you're looking for a joyous read, Things The Grandchildren Should Know is not the book for you. Everett has lived through his share of tragedies and even though it's not a book of pity, it's still a sad tale. And yet Everett somehow manages to maintain a sense of humor throughout the bleakness of it all. I highly recommend it.
Friday, October 9, 2009
President Barack Obama has just today been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Really? For What? We're engulfed in a war in Afghanistan. We're maybe sort of out of Iraq. He really wants to close Guantanamo. He's told Israel to stop expanding illegal settlements. He wants a nuclear free world(good luck with that one). But what achievements does he have under his belt thus far? Nothing. Nobel committee chairman Thorbjoern Jagland stated that "only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world's attention and given its people hope for a better future." Whatever the merits of hope, it's still an unfulfilled promise without action. Nice job, Thorbjoern.