Saturday, September 10, 2016


Image result for fresh fruit for rotting vegetablesI was a long-haired punk rock fan back in the day, really pissed off all the stoners and jocks and yahoos in the little redneck town I grew up in.  Learned how to make cheap screen prints in art class, immediately made some shirts for THE CLASH, THE DAMNED, THE CRAMPS (not punk, I know, but you gotta get your kicks where you can), THE SEX PISTOLS and THE DEAD KENNEDYS.

Man, those DKs were awesome.  What integrity!  What rage!  What energy!  And the humor!  Holy shit, the humor!

Image result for plastic surgery disasters dead kennedysAnd now, of course, they're a bunch of tired middle-aged men who piss & whine and badmouth and sue each other......

Jello always seemed like the one most committed to the punk aesthetic.  From what I've read, maybe he still is.  I can see wanting to keep your integrity by refusing to let Levis Dockers use "Holiday in Cambodia" in their ads, but I can also see the desire of the other guys to make a little money off their work.  I got past the kneejerk punk reaction of yelling SELLOUT!!! about everything pretty early on.  The people in bands gotta eat, too, you know?

My biggest issue was why the fuck would a company want to use that song in the first place?  What market, exactly, are you aiming at???!?

Very depressing watching your teenage idols squabble and bicker like little old ladies, though.  Looks like capitalism beat them in the end.....

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I still listen to their music when I need to get my blood pumping.  FRESH FRUIT FOR ROTTING VEGETABLES was a pretty good start.  Had some generic hardcore, but also some excellent numbers.  PLASTIC SURGERY DISASTERS was their most consistently awesome album.  The hardcore raged, the other styles they tried sounded fresh and brilliant.  FRANKENCHRIST probably had some of their individual greatest songs, and I loved the "putting the pain back in psychedelia" slogan they used to describe the music.  A few of the songs weren't up to snuff, but on the whole that album was just about the equal of PSD.  After the lawsuits and financial drain of the FRANKENCHRIST trial, I was impressed that they still had the energy and drive to put out BEDTIME FOR DEMOCRACY.  Lyrically, it was vicious and insightful.  Musically, I thought too much of it was punk-by-numbers (like their IN GOD WE TRUST, INC. ep).  Enough songs broke free of the mold to make it a worthwhile record, and Chickenshit Conformist was a pretty kickass follow-up to The Stars and Stripes of Corruption from the previous album.  GIVE ME CONVENIENCE OF GIVE ME DEATH Image result for bedtime for democracy album coverwas good fun, too, collecting all the odds and ends, and I always loved Winston Smith's collages and inserts and booklets.

What a world, though, to be brought down by some asshole who didn't like her young kids looking at the poster you stuck in your album and whose immediate reaction was to sue you.  How fucking pathetically American.  And the band portrayed on the back cover of FRESH FRUIT....  And the Shriners on the front cover of FRANKENCHRIST.....  Puts that racist misogynist fuckhole Trump's campaign into a clearer context.  Lawsuits, bullying, small-minded intolerance and a seriously stunted intelligence.

We need more bands like the early 80s DKs out there right now. 

And the Crucifucks.  Remember WISCONSIN?  What an album....

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