Monday, September 27, 2004

Crusty Old Punks - Part II - and a little something else.

Quick note in front of todays post - I'm testing something today that may or may not work. If it works, you'll have no idea.

I have too much Political Music. And the times, they call for it. That said, I don't want this blog to become purely politics. So I'm gonna toss it in the ghetto from now on, and try to keep the overtly political songs to Mondays only. How's that? So, Maddening Monday, Volume One.

Jello Biafra & The Melvins - McGruff the Crime Dog - Last week, I hilighted a new album from Social Distortion. Today, I go for another seminal west coast punk getting on in years, who hasn't changed a bit. Jello Biafra's back, and in collaboration with the Melvins, has a new album out on his own Alternative Tentacles Records The entire thing is classic Jello, full of his trademark lyrical political caricatures, over the Melvins typical noisy screechy work. Painting a portrait of America in the era of the Patriot Act, Jello shows that some things haven't changed since the Dead Kennedy's days. One of the foremost musicians associated with Rocking Against Reagan has returned as an elder statesman, just as the modern Punk Rock community has discovered it's second wind thanks to Rocking Against Bush.

[Buy Never Breathe What You Can't See from Alternative Tentacles Records!]

King Missile - Another Political Poem - Yes, That King Missile. The guy responsible for such landmarks of wit as "Detachable Penis", and "Gay/Not Gay". He's back with a new album, entitled Royal Lunch, which is packed to the gills with political tirades. This isn't the best, and it isn't the funniest. Hell, like most King Missile tracks, none of them have much shelf life. But there's something... honest about this one that makes me think it's the most worthwhile on there. Over a Casio bossa-nova instrumental, we get classic King Missile chatter, and then he gets to the point. The self effacing remarks, the shame over yet another political song, but in the end, he decides it matters, because he "hate[s] this president even more now than [he] did before 9/11 - a cancer on the world and in [his] soul..." And then, it begins in earnest. It's simple. To the point. Direct. And speaks for a great many out there. The rage, the sense of hopelessness, and in the end, the apathy of it. Is this all there is?

[Buy Royal Lunch from Important Records!]


And, here's a bonus for you... Jello Biafra - Live from the Battle in Seattle - This is Jello's remarks from the Seattle protests in 1999, 15 minutes of, what is, for my money, the best piece of political rhetoric from the past 5 years. Though the movement he's addressing has fallen into something of a "Grateful Dead" phase as Naomi Klein has referred to it, the issues are still relevant, and more importantly, Jellos remarks stretch well beyond the movement. The message here is a broader one, an impassioned defense of the importance of activism, and the need to keep on grinding away at things, even when the media fervor dies down. This election will be over in 38 days (barring a 2000 style recount debacle). But it won't be over. There will always be work to be done, and if we let the energy die because Bush is out of office - or because Bush is still in office and we've gotten all defeatist - then we'll never achieve anything.

Don't hate the Media. Become the Media

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