Monday, July 08, 2013

I don't understand why some fans of American punk rock/HC don't like the Dead Kennedys, and certainly not the band in their early years. They were an amazing psychedelic surf-punk freakshow with a beautifully sick sense of humour and a dynamite stage show. Jesus H. Christ on a popsicle stick, why the hell should anyone have to justify this kinda thing? You got shit in yer ears and eyeballs or somethin'? I just discovered these clips on Youtube - hell, I'm probably the last guy on earth to do so - and they're an excellent glimpse into the band during their formative years. These songs are taken from a show in Portland, Oregon - along w/ Black Flag, they were the first Californian band of the day to really take the show on the road - in November, 1979, and it's a great slice of Big City Punk bringing the medicine show to the boonies. Well, in fairness to the good people of Portland, they, too, had their own scene, and it was a good one, too. Still, on this particular night, they got a nice glimpse of San Fran freak culture at its best. Pretty sure Carducci was there, too.

There's a couple of interesting things to note here: the presence of "Dreadlocks In The Suburbs", a reggae-damaged mock-rocker which never made it to vinyl (so far as I know), as well as visual footage (that's usually the way it goes) of "Night Of The Living Rednecks", an improvised song/rant/story which made it onto the odds 'n' sods collection from 1987, Give Me Convenience, Or Give Me Death.

And there's something else to eyeball: Jello playing drums for opening band, The 4 Skins. When I first read that in the description, it struck me as a very odd factoid, myself thinking it was the UK Oi! band (and it would've been mighty odd for them to be playing in Portland in 1979), but was then politely informed by the Youtube uploader that the band in question was a local Portland punker outfit w/ links to the Wipers (and even San Fran's Condemned To Death!). The whole show is up, song by song, on the Youtubes: these are mere highlights.


Dave said...

I sort of fall into the category of Americans who don't like the DKs somewhat. I like the first record and some of the 2nd, but overall they were more "medium is the message" to me than musical champs of the genre. I can't remember needing to hear a DKs song the way Black Flag, CJ's, Avengers, Bad Brains, DOA, etc grabbed me and changed the game. I think they were important in what they did, but their musical output was never too strong or really memorable. Like your blog by the way.

Pig State Recon said...

It's that darned voice, Dave, Marmite-like in it's uncanny ability to turn punkers off in a nanosecond.

Paul said...

Love the DK's part of me today is a result of listening to this!!