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Jello Biafra

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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 4, 1987
The importance of the case against Dead Kennedys singer Jello Biafra should not be overshadowed by one's musical taste. The decision to drop the charges (Metro, Aug. 28) of pornography against Biafra and his record label confirms the First Amendment rights of the entire artistic community. Had the poster in question been a sophomoric rendering instead of a recognized work of art, or had there been no label on the album cover cautioning against explicit and potentially offensive material, then perhaps the group could be considered guilty of a lack of sensitivity to the needs of the community.
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ENTERTAINMENT
May 10, 2013 | By Randall Roberts, Los Angeles Times Pop Music Critic
For its recent album of cover songs, “Everybody Loves Sausages,” Los Angeles rock band the Melvins mined rock history to reveal some unlikely inspirations. The record hasn't gotten nearly the attention it deserves, especially for those who love surprising versions of familiar songs, scary-sounding men and rock.  Known for its crawling, versatile melding of punk and metal on thick and brutal '90s and '00s albums such as  “Stag,” “Honky,” “Nude With Boots” and the trilogy of “The Maggot,” “The Bootlicker” and “The Crybaby,” the Melvins over nearly three decades have conquered genres like Everest climbers, and illustrate their breadth on “Sausages.” The band covers Queen ("Best Friend")
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ENTERTAINMENT
August 9, 2012 | By August Brown
The ugly subculture of neo-Nazi punk rock is back in the news after the shooting at a Sikh temple near Milwaukee. But within the punk community itself, many voices have loudly opposed this strain over the decades and worked to combat it with music. Jello Biafra , the founder of the pioneering Bay Area punk band Dead Kennedys, label owner and one of the most outspoken leftist activists in music, wrote perhaps the defining anti-Nazi punk anthem in 1981. We can't print its title, but we spoke with Biafra -- who now fronts Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine -- about the history of Nazi punk and his own legacy in opposing it. A condensed and lightly edited transcript of his remarks follows: I wrote that song in 1981, and at the time, it was aimed at people who were really violent on the dance floor; they didn't call it mosh pits yet. It began to attract people showing up just to see if they could get in fights in the pit or jump off stage and punch people in the back of the head and run away.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 9, 2012 | By August Brown
The ugly subculture of neo-Nazi punk rock is back in the news after the shooting at a Sikh temple near Milwaukee. But within the punk community itself, many voices have loudly opposed this strain over the decades and worked to combat it with music. Jello Biafra , the founder of the pioneering Bay Area punk band Dead Kennedys, label owner and one of the most outspoken leftist activists in music, wrote perhaps the defining anti-Nazi punk anthem in 1981. We can't print its title, but we spoke with Biafra -- who now fronts Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine -- about the history of Nazi punk and his own legacy in opposing it. A condensed and lightly edited transcript of his remarks follows: I wrote that song in 1981, and at the time, it was aimed at people who were really violent on the dance floor; they didn't call it mosh pits yet. It began to attract people showing up just to see if they could get in fights in the pit or jump off stage and punch people in the back of the head and run away.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 28, 2003 | Natalie Nichols, Special to The Times
"Questions are the No. 1 impediment to progress," boomed Jello Biafra during the sardonic opening piece of his Wednesday spoken-word show at the Henry Fonda Music Box Theatre. Then the erstwhile leader of hard-core punk band the Dead Kennedys spent hours urging fans to fight the status quo by asking such questions as, "How is this war going to make our country safer?"
ENTERTAINMENT
May 3, 1986 | DUNCAN STRAUSS
With the state's political machinery gearing up, it's fitting that Jello Biafra is starting to surface. Although the timing may be coincidental, there's always been some connection between the 27-year-old Biafra--who appears tonight at the Lhasa Club in Hollywood--and politics. For starters, the San Francisco band he formed and fronts bears a politically raw name: the Dead Kennedys.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 11, 1987 | BOB SIPCHEN
A soft-spoken mental health professional from Boulder, Colo., Stan Boucher still smiles slightly when he refers to the young man he named Eric Boucher 29 years ago as "Jello Biafra."
ENTERTAINMENT
July 14, 2004 | From Associated Press
Former Dead Kennedys lead singer Jello Biafra has dropped his remaining lawsuit against members of his band. In May 2000, a jury convicted Biafra and his record label of breach of contract and fraud. In June 2003, a state appeals court upheld that decision and ordered Biafra to pay $220,000 in back royalties and other damages.
NEWS
December 26, 1988 | PAUL FELDMAN, Times Staff Writer
Fifteen months after a Los Angeles judge dismissed pornography charges against Jello Biafra, the San Francisco-based punk rock artist is re-enacting his 2-week trial in a cross-country tour of college campuses and concert halls. Earlier this month, the former Dead Kennedys lead singer touched down in a packed Long Beach music club, where his spoken-word performance was taped for a record album he plans to release next year. It will be titled "High Priest of Harmful Matter--Tales From the Trial."
ENTERTAINMENT
March 31, 1988 | STEVE HOCHMAN
Erstwhile punk-rocker Jello Biafra's last appearance in Los Angeles was last August outside a downtown courtroom. Obscenity charges against him had just been dropped and he spoke passionately about the importance of freedom of speech: Jello Biafra--poster boy for the anti-censorship movement.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 14, 2004 | From Associated Press
Former Dead Kennedys lead singer Jello Biafra has dropped his remaining lawsuit against members of his band. In May 2000, a jury convicted Biafra and his record label of breach of contract and fraud. In June 2003, a state appeals court upheld that decision and ordered Biafra to pay $220,000 in back royalties and other damages.
NEWS
April 15, 2004 | Heidi Siegmund Cuda
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.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 21, 2003 | From Associated Press
Former Dead Kennedys lead singer Jello Biafra must pay $220,000 in back royalties and other damages to the other members of his band, an appeals court judge has ruled. A three-judge panel of a state appeals court in San Francisco this week upheld an earlier ruling against Biafra for breach of contract and fraud. The panel also decided that the band's creative output, including songs "Holiday in Cambodia" and "Kill the Poor," belongs to a partnership formed among the four band members.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 28, 2003 | Natalie Nichols, Special to The Times
"Questions are the No. 1 impediment to progress," boomed Jello Biafra during the sardonic opening piece of his Wednesday spoken-word show at the Henry Fonda Music Box Theatre. Then the erstwhile leader of hard-core punk band the Dead Kennedys spent hours urging fans to fight the status quo by asking such questions as, "How is this war going to make our country safer?"
ENTERTAINMENT
April 8, 1999 | NATALIE NICHOLS, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
"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.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 12, 1990
How fortunate for Campbell that Counterpunch is available to him. With the help of The Times, he was able to promote his album and concerts and brag without challenge. How unfortunate for Jello Biafra that no such opportunity was available to him in 1987 when he was on trial for "obscene" artwork in the Dead Kennedys' "Frankenchrist" album. MARK HARBISON San Diego The obscenity case involving Biafra ended with a hung jury.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 8, 1999 | NATALIE NICHOLS, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
"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.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 12, 1990
How fortunate for Campbell that Counterpunch is available to him. With the help of The Times, he was able to promote his album and concerts and brag without challenge. How unfortunate for Jello Biafra that no such opportunity was available to him in 1987 when he was on trial for "obscene" artwork in the Dead Kennedys' "Frankenchrist" album. MARK HARBISON San Diego The obscenity case involving Biafra ended with a hung jury.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 8, 1989 | STEVE HOCHMAN
There was electricity in the air backstage at the Kennel Club here Friday night when Jello Biafra embraced Milan (Mejla) Hlavsa. Biafra, whose successful fight in 1988 against obscenity charges made him a prominent dissident rocker in the United States, was at the club to see West Coast debut of Czechoslovakia's leading dissident rocker and his band Pulnoc. "It was deeply emotional hearing what the band went through," Biafra said of Hlavsa's 20-year struggle--first with the seminal Czech underground band the Plastic People of the Universe--against artistic oppression at home.
NEWS
December 26, 1988 | PAUL FELDMAN, Times Staff Writer
Fifteen months after a Los Angeles judge dismissed pornography charges against Jello Biafra, the San Francisco-based punk rock artist is re-enacting his 2-week trial in a cross-country tour of college campuses and concert halls. Earlier this month, the former Dead Kennedys lead singer touched down in a packed Long Beach music club, where his spoken-word performance was taped for a record album he plans to release next year. It will be titled "High Priest of Harmful Matter--Tales From the Trial."
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