Archive for the ‘Punk’ Category

Television
11/05/2013
The Independent, San Francisco, CA

I didn’t even know they were still around let alone playing shows and I couldn’t believe when I saw them on the Independent’s list of upcoming shows. I’d never had the chance to see them so I snapped up a ticket as soon as they went on sale which was lucky because they sold out quite quickly as this was one of only two shows in the US.

Television at the SF Independent

Television at the SF Independent. Click for more photos.

For the most part, it’s the original band with the only change being Jimmy Rip now playing guitar. Tom Verlaine’s voice has held up well though he’s lost some of his distinctive nasally tone.

The highlight for me, by far, was a scorching jam in 1880. Jimmy Rip started out with a beautifully textured solo. When Verlaine turned his guitar backed up Rip began to weave the melody in and out of Tom’s rhythm lines which morphed into a breakdown with them the passing the “lead” back-and-forth.  I’d love to hear that again but I didn’t see anyone taping and no bootlegs have surfaced yet.

There are some videos of the show on YouTube.

Set list:
Venus
Elevation
1880 or So
Little Johnny Jewel
Glory
Prove It
Torn Curtain
Persia
Guiding Light
Marquee Moon

E:
No idea because I left ‘cuz I had an early morning meeting.

Line-up:
Tom Verlaine – vocals, guitar
Fred Smith – bass
Billy Ficca – drums
Jimmy Rip – guitar

Opening act:
Dennis Driscoll

Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine
4/14/2013
Great American Music Hall, San Francisco, CA

I arrived just as the second opening act, Victim’s Family took the stage. I had heard of them before but never seen them so I was curious. They are a fairly jazzy trio, well, jazzy for a hardcore band. Their sound was very well mixed and you could clearly hear each player and the vocals.  Enjoyable.

Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine at the Great American Music Hall

Jello Biafra at the Great American Music Hall. Click for more photos.

Jello came out around 10:30 and the hall was barely 1/3, if that. They even had tables for the dinner seating setup on the sides. When is the last time you saw a punk show with people sitting down eating dinner? For comparison, the (faux) Dead Kennedys nearly filled the Regency Ballroom, which is four times bigger, back in October (my write up here). Granted, that was a Friday night and Jello played a Monday but still.

Most of the material was from his latest GSM album which has a swirling/psychedelic punk sound similar to the DKs rather than the dark, metalesque material he did with the Melvins. Like the Victim’s Family set, they did great job of mixing the sound. Oddly California Uber Alles still featured Schwarzenegger as the protagonist rather than reverting back to once again Gov. Jerry Brown. This was the first time I’d seen Nazi Punk F— Off return to his set list probably since the DKs days.

Set list:
The Brown Lipstick Parade
John Dillinger
New Feudalism
Road Rage
Panic Land
Barackstar O’Bummer
California Uber Alles
Werewolves of Wallstreet
Nazi Punks Fuck Off
Hollywood Goof Disease
White People and the Damage Done
Chemical Warfare
Pets Eat Their Master

E:
Dot Com Monte Carlo
Shock-U-Py!

Line-up:
Jello Biafra – Vocals (and commentary)
Ralph Spight – Guitar
Kimo Ball – Guitar
Andrew Weiss  – Bass
Billy Gould – Drums

Opening Bands:
Harold Ray Live in Concert
Victim’s Family

Dead Kennedys
10/6/2012
Regency Ballroom, San Francisco, CA

I have never seen Skip Greer, the Jello stand-in, before but he was enjoyable. He covers the material well and provides a reasonable stage presence. He definitely has the sneer down though his inter-song ramblings, though while somewhat Jello-esque where more formulaic whining than anything insightful. That, or maybe I have a higher bar for ironic, angst-filled babble than I did when I was a teenager. The rest of the band sounded quite good and seemed to be having a great time.

Dead Kennedys at The Regency Ballroom. Click for more photos.

One odd part the show was a group of six or so 50ish guys wearing their studded leather jackets that looked like they hadn’t been out of the closet for 20 years. Every time Skip Greer came out to the front of the stage they would yell, in drunken unison, “You’re a fraud.” Ummm, guys, who did you expect to see tonight? Did you miss the press release 25 years ago? Overall the audience was much younger than the crowd that goes to see Jello. Maybe they were there to see the opening bands?

I started off the day Golden Gate Park at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass and the (faux) DKs provided a nice, albeit jarring, contrast. However, a 9:00 show with three opening acts make for a long day.

The first band, 13 Scars, was unremarkable.

Guantanamo Dogpile, the second bad was interesting primary for their stage act. It was a big band; about a dozen people on stage. The guys all wore a mixture of ski masks, suicide vests, and gas masks and the women sported burkas. They brought out a hooded prisoner and, after chaining him to the drum kit, proceed to “beat” him and throw gooey pumpkin innards out into the audience. Later in the show they augmented this with Silly String and confetti. Towards the end of the show the “burka chicks” brought out leaf blowers to clean the stage. Quite a spectacle indeed.

I didn’t know that Fang, final opener, was even skill around. They are a straight-up hardcore band. I remember hearing of them but I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen them.

Line-up:

Opening Bands: