Yep, I’m making a post about the Dead Kennedys on my heavy metal blog. I went to see them on Saturday the 16th of October 2010 at the Rock And Roll Hotel in Washington DC, and no I’m not going to do a full review of the show here. Instead I wanted to post somewhere that I think I’ve got the first footage, posted online at least, of the Dead Kennedys playing their two new songs, Area 51 and You’re Such A Fake. Wouldn’t be such a big deal but they haven’t written a new song since they reformed in 2001 without their notorious vocalist Jello Biafra. Well, not that I know of.
I’m not a huge punk rock fan, if you haven’t been able to guess yet I’m a big metal head. Growing up in this area it’s pretty hard not to be exposed to some of the punk scene though. When I was in high school a lot of my friends were into those classic punk bands like the Ramones, the Misfits, Black Flag, and the Dead Kennedys as well as local acts like Minor Threat and the Suspects. Back in the day I’d be getting them to listen to Cannibal Corpse and Morbid Angel while they were playing me Fugazi and the like. My point in all this is, I’m not some die hard fan of punk, I don’t care that it’s not the same to see the Dead Kennedys without Jello Biafra singing or it’s some un-punk cash grab or whatever. To lose all my punk credibility I still go to see the Misfits sometimes too. I enjoy these bands mostly for the nostalgia of it all, if you have a problem with that take it somewhere else, I really don’t care. These shows are fun to me and I’m tired of people in the underground scene coming up with reasons not to see bands all the damn time. Plus I saw the Dead Kennedys play Jaxx back in May 2002 with Brandon Cruz on vocals and I really had a great time. Klaus Flouride was still in the band then too. Anyways, seeing East Bay Ray and D.H. Peligro play all those songs with a bunch of my old high school friends was pretty damn fun.
Now, that all said, since I do run a metal blog and often shoot video at concerts to post, I generally do that at any show I see these days, regardless of genre. I was planning on posting the videos to YouTube but I wasn’t planning on making a blog post about it. I happened to get a shot of the setlist after the show ended, but that wasn’t strange. What I didn’t notice until I was uploading the files and trying to sort out the song names was that I didn’t recognize two of them. Now I know the Dead Kennedys haven’t put out any new material since they reformed without Jello Biafra in 2001, mainly because everyone talks about how he doesn’t like that the band reformed without him but still uses the name to play all the old songs. And since I’m not extremely well versed in punk rock, maybe these songs are covers of other bands, but I don’t think they are. I think they are two new songs from the Dead Kennedys with their new singer Ron “Skip” Greer on vocals. Even Google and YouTube searches haven’t turned up anything by them with these song titles, so I think I’m the first to post these songs online. Correct me if I’m wrong here though.
This first video is actually three songs recorded in a row. The first is Kill The Poor and there’s nothing particularly interesting about this version of it. The second song, starting at about 2:50 is MP3 Get Off The Web which is really just MTV Get Off The Air with lyrics changed to be about people downloading mp3s and how much they suck for doing it. And although I don’t believe that telling your fans at a concert that they are the problem with the music industry is a smart idea, the part that I really don’t like is that the new guy is changing Jello’s lyrics. This was the only song they did this on, I think, but if you wanna do that then just fucking write a new song, don’t butcher the classics if you’re not the guy who wrote it. It would piss me off to no end if Dio had changed lyrics to Ozzy era Black Sabbath songs live and this was much the same to me. Anyways, the third song in the video below is Area 51 and it starts at about 7:38. Check it out,
new DK tune. UPDATE: As mentioned in the comments below, the song Area 51 is actually a song by East Bay Ray’s other band the Killer Smiles. However the other song, You’re Such A Fake, is not by the Killer Smiles and so I think it is a completely new composition by the Dead Kennedys. Not only their first new song without Jello, but their first in 24 years.
The next video here is of the final two songs the band played (it was their second encore of the night). The first is the other new tune You’re Such A Fake. After that, at about 2:45, is the classic song Chemical Warfare which isn’t too odd other than they play a bit of the Lynyrd Skynyrd song Sweet Home Alabama in there at about 5:55. I really wasn’t expecting that.
Well, those are the new songs, love them or hate them it looks like the Dead Kennedys might be getting ready to put out some new material, the first since what, Bedtime For Democracy in 1986? And yes, you heard it first on a heavy metal blog. With that, I’ll leave you all with the rest of the videos I shot at the concert below, classics like Holiday In Cambodia and Too Drunk To Fuck. Enjoy!