June 5, 2008 |
IN 1978, the Cramps, the sublimely spooky punk act, treated the patients of Napa State Mental Hospital to a free afternoon show. Joe Rees, the founder of Target Video, recorded it with only available light on a reel-to-reel. Bootleg copies circulated for years; it was released on DVD in 2004. "It was incredible," Rees says from his Reno home, where he releases DVDs from the archives. "The Cramps were at the height of their powers. You couldn't tell the patients from the band. . . . Many of the patients danced right next to the band, mimicking their movements perfectly."
April 15, 2004 |
Biafra pulls no punches on war Part verbal pugilist, part punk-rock radical, Jello Biafra twisted a few heads around Thursday at the UC Santa Barbara Events Center. As part of Punkvoter.com's "Rock Against Bush" festival, the former Dead Kennedys frontman unleashed a diatribe against the war in Iraq. The police presence was so thick you could smell the doughnuts, and the sold-out audience was riveted to his every condemning word.
September 28, 2001 |
Seeing the Dead Kennedys perform Wednesday at the Key Club without original singer and principal lyricist Jello Biafra was about as satisfying as watching Van Halen without David Lee Roth. But the Bay Area punk act's casual, 45-minute performance with guest vocalist Brandon Cruz (from the hard-core band Dr. Know) did underscore the formative influence and enduring appeal of the 23-year-old group's politically charged music. Last year, guitarist East Bay Ray, bassist Klaus Flouride and drummer D.
April 19, 2000 |
An escalating legal feud over musical rights between Jello Biafra and his former punk band, the Dead Kennedys, is scheduled to go to trial this week. Biafra, the group's singer-songwriter, claims his former bandmates took his record label, Alternative Tentacles, after he refused to sell the Dead Kennedys song "Holiday in Cambodia" to Levi's for a TV ad.
April 8, 1999 |
"I'm not a guru," says Jello Biafra, rejecting a tag that's frequently applied to him as former leader of the pioneering punk band the Dead Kennedys and a persistent provocateur since the group disbanded. The disdain in his voice makes it clear that although he criticizes the status quo, there's no magical cure for what ails American culture. Still, the self-described "big mouth" has a lot of ideas about what went wrong.
May 8, 1991 |
Around the turn of the century, there emerged a type of traveling public forum that seems quaintly innocent in this age of "sound bites" and political "spin doctors." Called "Chautauquas" after the New York town in which the mobile forum originated, these road shows combined lecture, drama, music, dance and demonstration, either to convey a specific message or to educate the public about general concerns or new developments.