Jello Biafra & the Guantanamo School of Medicine Continental Club November 9, 2014
As Jello Biafra abundantly proves, pioneering political punks need not go quietly into the fetid night, especially when every new government regime like "Barackstar O Bummer" and corporate hoodlums prove ripe for his combative wit.
Gesticulating with spaghetti arms asunder, Sunday night he became a combined demented court jester, B-movie mad scientist, fiery populist soapbox orator, and tweaking meth addict. In fact, he held forth at tiny Continental as if reenacting episodes from 1978 at the Mabuhay in San Francisco, though updated for the emoticon generation.
Donning a "Fuck the Tea Party" shirt tucked in behind a lone star belt and shedding his John Lennon sunglasses after a few rabid songs, Biafra fluidly became both a contortionist and polemicist, a ranter against new feudalism's brutal have and have-not realities. "Nations are now corporate colonies," he sang like a shotgun blast.
Plus, as a bona fide artcore veteran, he proved willing and capable of reigniting strident Dead Kennedys tunes to a crowd's tumbling, frenzy-footed delight.
Local heroes dotted the crowd, from classic Ozone City provocateurs like Really Red members, to emboldened new hopes including vitriolic HRA and buzz-honed Talk Sick Brats, establishing a ductile anchor between the salad days of underground music and today's challengers to the throne.
Meanwhile, Biafra kept the pace brisk and lean, offering choleric tunes like "Road Rage," seemingly lifted right out of the DK's Plastic Surgery Disasters era, all while lassoing his monologues in under the five-minute mark. In all, he proved that GSM is a fierce, well-lubed unit, exercising intense musical elasticity even as the breakneck speed and distorted firestorm raged.
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