On Wednesday, Oct. 9, Jello Biafra brings his sarcastic wit and nasally voice to The First Unitarian Church at 2125 Chestnut St.
As the former singer for seminal politically charged West Coast punks, the Dead Kennedys, Biafra’s voice graced a slew of albums, like 80s Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables and singles such as Nazi Punks F— Off!
While speaking out against censorship and defending First Amendment rights for charges brought out against the Kennedys’ 1985 Frankenchrist, Biafra took to the stage of spoken word.
He has since released half a dozen full-length spoken word albums, a handful of singles, and several rock records with Lard, Nomeansno, D.O.A., and The NO-WTO Combo with grungers Krist Noveselic and Kim Thayil of Nirvana and Soundgarden fame, respectively.
While the underground hero of individual liberty probably will not perform Dead Kennedys’ “Religious Vomit” in the hallowed Center City house of God, he most likely will have something to say about Osama Bin Laden, the wars on terrorism and Iraq, and President Bush.
Chances are, his modulated manner of speaking and comic insight will make for a more fun night than all your Noam Chomskys, Howard Zinns and Ward Churchills put together.
Taking a nod from Emma Goldman, Biafra has always injected humor, the verbal equivalent of dancing, to his brand of activism.
On his newest of spoken word album The Big Ka-Boom: Pt. 1, recorded in November of 2001, Biafra opens up by saying, “I don’t like Osama Bin Laden or Islamic fundamentalism particularly how women are treated either.
And I want to be safe from terrorism and violence, too. But I get equally frightened, even terrorized, when President Bush says things like ‘you are either with us, or with the terrorists.'”
He explains now is the time to “show some spine” and think independently, saying “we are not with Bush or the terrorists.”
He then spends the next half-hour speaking about the relationship between power and terrorism in recent history, dissecting the president’s cabinet, comparing Bush to Beavis, and forecasting what the world will be like if the United States mismanages interventions abroad.
So show up if you want to hear a dizzying account of “the fire that we are playing with” across the world and have a few laughs at the same time. But don’t ask him to sing “Holiday in Cambodia.”
That would annoy him pretty bad.
Richard Charles can be reached at BonSkOt@aol.com