Category Archives: Live Reviews


The Clean / Knitting Factory / June 5, 2002

Despite originally breaking up within 18 months of existence, preeminent first wave New Zealand punks, The Clean, became local legends when their infectious carnival-esque ’81 single, “Tally Ho!,” hit number one and a string of now vintage follow-up singles informed an entire generation of lo-fi pop bands from Down Under.

But while vibrantly loopy offspring such as the Bats, Tall Dwarves, and noisy Sonic Youth-styled drones Bailter Space gained attention, the durable Dunedin combo kept intermittently coming back, belatedly releasing their full-length debut, Vehicle, in ’90. The ensuing folk-skewed Modern Rock came four years hence. Then, ‘96s adventurous Unknown Country dropped.

After wallowing away the ‘80s in Kiwi underground folklore, the great-lost band has once more recaptured cerebral rock listeners. Righteously,’01s illuminating Getaway not only reached its aging post-punk American cult, but also cool collegiate coeds half their age, as proven by the large assemblage of admirers this rainy night at Manhattan’s Knitting Factory.

Guitarist-singer David Kilgour (whose solo albums are worth seeking out), his drumming brother, Hamish (concurrently involved with the fabulous Mad Scene), singer-bassist-high school buddy Robert Scott (ex-Bats frontman), and percussionist Danny Tunick (ex-Guvner) dug deep into their extensive catalogue recently compiled on Merge Records’ stunning Anthology.

Beginning with the instrumental Western guitar motif “Fish” (reprised mood-wise on the similar, busier “At The Bottom”), The Clean unloaded swampy pseudo-psychedelia, resilient neo-symphonies, and hazy pastoral retreats nearly flawlessly. Kilgour’s spangled guitar poured out angular riffs while his of-times lost-in-the-mix shy voice took lead on a third of the performances. Scott sang in a more expressively assured baritone, exhibiting a casual temperance perfectly reflected by his winsomely melodic two-minute tunes. Some drifted into the background barely noticeable, lingering through a steady stream of casually terse trinkets, but building to a climactic crescendo on the Velvet Underground knockoff, “Safe In The Rain.”

As the generous set came to a dramatic conclusion with the translucent “What Are You Fighting For,” plus a similarly serene stripped-down stroller and the dusky hook-filled “Whatever Do Right,” the appreciable gathering hit the damp streets completely satisfied. As for The Clean, they’ll be getting ready to tour America and gain some new fans with Jersey friends, Yo La Tengo.


Cavestomp / Coney Island High / October 25, 1997


This rampaging two-night Cavestomp!, sponsored by On Any Third Sunday, admirably captured the ageless nostalgic essence of underground guitar rock. Attending Saturday’s show were a diverse crowd of ex-hippies, punk rockers (the Candy Snatchers were spotted getting high at the upstairs lounge), mods, post-mods, and minimalist junk-culture enthusiasts. Literally defining the phrase ‘keep it simple stupid,’ this ghoulish pre-Halloween gig kept three-chord rockers comin’ fast ‘n furious despite occasional technical glitches.

Hosted by Fleshtones singer, Peter Zaremba (aided by obscure vintage vinyl played between sets), Cavestomp also featured merch tables with primal garage and punk recordings plus memorabilia. BBC footage of the Rolling Stones, the Move, The Who, and dozens more was shown at intervals.

As I arrived, the Insomniacs were playing nightmarish psychedelic rockers with reckless abandon, giving skeletal, no-holds-barred songs a helluva swagger. Somebody please put the Insomniacs on a bill with the Dropouts for a maximum fun ‘90s version of ‘60s punk.

Stockholm’s maddeningly archaic Nomads kept their composure after a blown amp cut short a version of Teenage Head’s “Picture My Face.” Opening with a perfectly scuzzy instrumental, the Nomads dedicated the anthemic “16 Forever” to the Dictators’ Andy Shernoff before giving the crowd a viciously searing “Touch My Hand” encore.

The Henchmen’s bustling Blues-tinged set was not unlike a stripped-down version of New York’s ‘60s legends the Blues Project. They let grinding organ saturate blurry guitar-drenched songs. But both Detroit’s Henchmen and Rochester’s Chesterfield Kings were temporary victims of faulty equipment and a muddy sound mix, taking away some of the energy but none of the verve of their combustible sets. Rompin’ through cryptic raunch rock, the Chesterfield Kings’ shag-haired singer-harp player, Greg Prevost, prowled around the club with a wireless mike that cut out at times.

Boston’s Lyres brought down the house with basic muscular retro-rock sizzlers underscored by snazzy organ flourishes. Their steamy after-hours party music will never be faddishly fashionable, though it deserves massive exposure for its uncompromising simplicity and proud association with rock’s roots.

Kudos to promoter, Jon Weiss, for assembling such a terrific and much needed event (and for getting me some free brews). P.S. Sorry I missed ? & the Mysterians, but it was already 3 A.M.



Blonde Redhead / Black Heart Procession / Bowery Ballroom / November 15, 1999

Catering to more sophisticated and advanced underground tastes, the Bowery Ballroom featured the experimental brilliance of intuitive New York trio, Blonde Redhead, and the soft-focus delicacies of San Diego-based Black Heart Procession.

Blurring the line between post-modern noise rock and artsy prog-rock, Blonde Redhead’s enigmatic, guitar-imposed abstractions seem to initiate from Jazz related improvisations. Guitar masters Kazu Makino and Amadeo Pace offer slashing Sonic Youth-inspired chordal fury countered by single-note riffs that lingeringly bend and curl around tension-filled settings.

Besides providing diligent axe work, doll-faced Makino also manipulated taped sequences while relinquishing anguish and despair in an urgently pleading voice comparable to a vexed PJ Harvey or a dramatically exasperating shriek reminiscent of heartsick diva, Bjork. Drummer Simone Pace kept the rhythm red hot and feverish, banging skins with a mighty thrash.

Through the penetrating barbed wire affects, chaotic mantras formed. The spiraled warbler, “10,” featured Fugazi-linked Jerry Busher’s screeching trumpet blasts and a bustling slacker-styled All Scars punk dancer named Chuck. Siren exhortation, “Luv Machine,” sounded even more emotionally riveting done live.

Never shortening the distance between band and audience, Blonde Redhead slid in and out of clangorous fare with workmanlike precision. For an encore, they delivered the minimalist industrial machination, “In An Expression Of The Inexpressible, ” which locked into tape loop dementia for several minutes without changing course or increasing momentum. Stifling!

Black Heart Procession’s perpetually haunting, meditative death marches provided quiet peril beforehand. Wearing black sunglasses on a dark-lit stage, Pall Jenkins and Tobias Nathaniel tinkered with Wurlitzer piano, toy piano, Moogs, guitars, sheet metal, and saws, creating understated minor chord therapy out of ethereal imagery.

Although I missed half the set, fans seemed completely mesmerized by their withering soft-core and slow burn dynamics and brittle late night ambience.

All in all, a very rewarding evening for those who love being musically challenged. As I left the packed club, I thought I spotted no wave art-pop icon, Arto Lindsay, near the bar enjoying the proceedings.


Lilys / Swirlies / Knitting Factory / May 23, 2003

Lilys mainstay, Kurt Heasley, and Swirlies mastermind, Damon Tutunjian have a lot in common. Both originally took inspiration from cynical trailblazing UK noise-rock shoegazers Jesus & Mary Chain and My Bloody Valentine; gained significant underground prominence around ’92; survived some lean years; and returned to the studio for worthy ’03 albums promoted for curious Knitting Factory patrons this rainy Friday eve.

Splitting time living between New York and Boston, Tutunjian assembled a new Swirlies crew consisting of guitarist Rob Laasko, Mice Parade drummer Adam Pierce, and fill-in keyboardist-backup vocalist Doro Tachler (with Lilys bassist Mike Walker joining for several tunes). Losing none of the resilient ambitiousness and wide-eyed enthusiasm best expressed on ‘93 apex, Blonder Tongue Audio Baton, the Swirlies paraded through a revelatory 45-minute set mostly featuring choice cuts from the recent seven-song Cats Of The Wild Volume 2 (Bubblecore Records), their first release in nearly eight years.

Delivering blissfully distorted compositions with unlikely concision, Tutunjian’s latest lineup piled scree textural warmth to escapist ephemera, pausing at length between numbers for proper tuning. Pretty melodies underlined scruffy psychedelic-tinged indie pop mindbenders. Warped chord structures and swelling reverb hovered above the trebly bottom end, shaping dizzyingly serene blues-y schisms post-collegiate brainaics sucked up like free beer.

Afterwards, Philly-via-DC’s newfangled Lilys were unable to reinvigorate the lissome verve of their respectable fifth long-player, Precollection (Manifesto Records). Heasley’s dryly absurdist humor lost half the crowd and a few casual acoustic turnabouts seemed laborious. A drunken spectator at the back of the club started heckling him during one of his drawled spoken rants, requesting Elton John’s “Rocket Man” for no apparent purpose. Happily, Heasley came back with some hilarious putdowns and the Nazi-like Manhattan cigarette patrol caught the drunkard smoking butts (a definite no-no in these conservative times), silencing him for the remaining half-hour.

Despite the Lilys inconsistencies, Heasley’s picturesque lyrics illuminated Precollection’s sturdiest material, as well as hot nuggets from ‘99s appreciable The 3 Way. The absolutely radiant “Squares” was an undeniable highlight. But while Heasley’s sweeping caterwauls and unguarded optimism definitely kept long-time admirers attentive throughout, those sitting on the fence may’ve been unmoved or unimpressed.


Dash Rip Rock / Interpreters / Maxwells / December 9, 1998

Experienced boozy New Orleans swamp rockers, Dash Rip Rock, never fail to deliver adrenalized good-timey party tunes. And they kept their streak going with a two-hour set at Hoboken’s regenerated Maxwells, performing tracks from their eighth album, Paydirt, plus seasoned faves and a host of cheery covers.

Relying on hilarious wit, rockin’ good hooks, and nifty cocktail-soaked harmonies, the game trio opened with a rip-snortin’ take on Hank Williams’ enlightened “I Saw The Light” that was immediately countered by a downtempo hillbilly treatment of Guy Mitchell’s downhearted hootenanny “Singing The Blues.” Then, these shot-glass shootin’ mojo bohos offered the drunken love ode, “Locked Inside The Liquor Store With You,” righteously claiming at the song’s conclusion, ‘we have more drinking songs than other bands have songs.’

Part of the fun was seeing them rumble through cheesy oldies like Grand Funk’s “We’re An American Band,” Big Star’s “In The Street” (made popular by FOX’s vogue-ish That ‘70s Show), and Rush’s “Fly By Night” as well as ‘90s indie rock like the Muffs “Sad Tomorrow” and Vaselines “Molly’s Lips.” They even added a slow burning “Please Come Home For Christmas” for seasonal affect.

Able to rock and roll ‘til the cows come home, Dash Rip Rock showed off tricky flashes of brilliance and a fanatical pop knowledge, finally bowing out when the late hour forced all but thirty hardcore fans to retire.

An astonishingly propulsive live band, Philadelphia’s the Interpreters led off the evening with the thrilling “Glorious,” a garage thrasher neatly based on the emphatic opening riff of The Who’s pre-punk rouser, “My Generation.” Far more powerful onstage than on their no-less-wonderful Back In The USSA, the trio’s primitive attack and raw energy kept the somewhat reserved audience enthralled, especially during blazingly chanted anthems like “Shout!” and “I Should Have Known Better.”

Singer-bassist Mark Gaer’s goofy antics peaked on the punk-stimulated closer, Uptight,” where he cracked up fans by squirming on the floor to do the Worm while the band temporarily slipped into emblematic Philly hometown Rocky theme, “Eye Of The Tiger.”

This show offered some of the best damn electric music you’re likely to find anywhere. So all hedonistic pleasure-seekers should feel welcome to get liquored up and enjoy either band next time they come ‘round.


Jesus Lizard / Irving Plaza / January 25, 1997

FOREWORD: Noisy post-punk stunners, Jesus Lizard, were in town promoting their fifth album, Shot, the second to last studio offering these seminal Chi-town fixtures would make before breaking up. Though I regretfully missed openers, Brainiac, I had a good time drinking and goofing around with them post-set as I had previously at the Mercury Lounge with childhood pal, Scott Wagenhoffer. Tragically, Brainiac leader Tim Taylor was killed in a car accident later that year. A decade-plus, his bands’ solid rep still precedes them. Many bands have mentioned Tim’s virtues posthumously.

Jesus Lizard fans take their band very seriously – watching every lurking movement dramatic singer-screamer David Yow makes. With a commanding onstage presence, Yow sweats until he’s finally shirtless, urgently spitting out harrowing lyrics like a possessed demon in need of immediate exorcism. He occasionally stage dives into the flowing mass of bodies in front of Irving Plaza’s stage, working the audience into a frenzy.

Surrounding Yow at each end of the stage are guitarist Duane Dennison and bassist David Sims, the dynamic duo whose punctual, gut-crunching riffs manage to coalesce above Mac Mc Neilly’s persistently gritty drums.

But Chicago-based Jesus Lizard never allows the surging guitars and alarmingly distorted overtones to venture into mosh-induced hysteria. Instead, they create portentous semi-Industrial abrasions; relentlessly demolishing barbed tunes such as the terse, rubbery Mistletoe,” the demanding “Uncommonly Good,” and the rumbling “Pervertedly Slow.”

For over an hour, Yow maintained his lunatic fringe, intensifying each song with spirited performances. At times I thought Jesus Lizard should’ve at least temporarily changed the tone and tempo, but each time they came up with another captivating gem. And the generous encore gave the crowd time to unwind as the majority either pogoed or shook their heads up and down.

Fuck those close-minded commercial radio programmers for not forging ahead and discovering this truly audacious quartet, especially in the age of grunge.

Due to my own stupidity, I missed Brainiac’s set beforehand. But if they were as great as they were last February at Mercury Lounge I’d advise anyone with a taste for inventive post-rock noise-pop to indulge immediately. I will not rest until I see them play live again.


High Llamas / Low / Magnetic Fields / Tramps, April 9, 1998

Pleasantly charming lightweight art-pop rarely gets any more intimate and mesmerizing than this wonderfully adorned triple bill on a rainy Thursday evening at Tramps. The well-balanced lineup of sure-footed underground musicians made sure the audience went away both relaxed and pleased. Several fans left before the High Llamas finished, but that was mainly because they were ultimately satisfied and probably tired (the headliners played for more than 80 minutes) instead of disinterested.

High Llamas whimsically morphed psychedelia, exotica, and cheesy pop into thriftily dulcet morsels. It’s as if these Londoners make music for an enchanted island that doesn’t exist. Imaginatively borrowing dramatic spaghetti Western motifs reminiscent of “Wichita Lineman” or “Midnight Cowboy,” along with espionage themes suited for James Bond flicks, singer/ multi-instrumentalist Sean O’Hagan’s troupe handled stylistically diverse, well-crafted material (most from the newly waxed Cold And Bouncy) with casual aplomb. While it’s not unfair to compare some of O’Hagan’s early compositions to Pet Sounds/ Smile-era Beach Boys, precarious melodies subconsciously lifted from Electric Light Orchestra, Steely Dan, soft-Jazz creampuff Michael Franks, and less obvious sources also seemed to pop up for brief intervals. But there’s no denying the widespread appeal of the High Llamas eclectic blend. Marcus Holdaway’s keyboards, Dominic Murcott’s vibes and shakers, John Bennett’s guitar, Rob Allum’s percussion, and John Fell’s bass peppered the expansive arrangements quite succinctly.

Duluth slow-core purveyors, Low, began their somber, sometimes seductive, set unobtrusively (never even mentioning their perfectly suited moniker). They first delivered a subtly hypnotizing spiritual that prepared the still-gabbing-like-it‘s-intermission audience for its narcotic transience. Guest Ida Pearl draped heavily amped violin glissando across coiled guitar riffs on one song while droning, lingering organ gave another the buzzing restraint of lighter Yo La Tengo fare. The trio continued to anesthetize the packed crowd with a dirge-y instrumental that headed into the abyss. Much like the Cowboy Junkies, Low put the lull back in lullaby without getting laborious.

Manhattan-based Magnetic Fields’ vulnerable romanticist Stephin Merritt seamlessly weaves his velvety voice through electric and acoustic guitars and bowed upright bass, leisurely strolling through his plain and simple pop tunes with graceful splendor. The stimulating “Strange Powers closed the set with gorgeous subliminal imagery.

Unlike most shows, this evenly matched tripleheader could have just as easily been inverted and nobody would have blinked. Those with insomnia left Tramps to finally get a restful night’s sleep.


Reverend Horton Heat/ Irving Plaza / March 1, 2000

Dallas psychobilly wildman Reverend Horton Heat (a.k.a. Jim Heath) served up a full hour of hellraising, punk-inspired, high-octane raunch for a packed Irving Plaza crowd. Wearing a bright red suit, bow tie, and greased-back pompadour, the Rev delivered car ‘toons’ and booze-soaked parodies while stimulating juvenile fratboys’ peckers with lowest common denominator bait “Wiggle Stick” and Nurture My Rig” (dedicated to “hot New York City girls”).

Like his manic mentor, Mojo Nixon, the Rev borrows freely from ‘50s rockabilly, swamp rock, and swingin’ Country. After leading off with a blustery spaghetti Western instrumental hoe-down and a brisk West Texas breakdown, he put the pedal to the metal on a jagged gear jammer reminiscent of Commander Cody’s ‘72 French Connection hit “Hot Rod Lincoln.” The Rev then went freewheelin’ on a bass thumpin’ cowpoke ditty ‘bout cocaine before deriding domesticity on the jailhouse boogie strutter, “Spend A Night In The Box” (the title track from his Cool Hand Luke-inspired new album).

When the trio weren’t rocking full-on, the Rev spurt out cool asides, ripping a Texas newspaper for calling his ‘96 release, Space Heater, one of the worst Texas-made recordings ever and giving the finger to New Musical Express for charging that “he’d be flipping burgers” and washed up soon. He then gained audience ‘parcipitation’ for upright bass partner Jimbo’s quirky theme song.

Admittedly, the Rev gets painted into stylistic dead ends on record. But he’s far more assertive, funny, and schizoid live (despite the fact he drained the audience with two plain Country-pop songs and needless guitar indulgences near closing time). Although derivative, the beat-driven, “Lust For Life”-skewed “I Can’t Surf” and the Polecats/ Stray Cats-derived “It’s Martini Time” bristled with enthusiasm.

By selling his filthy soul to the devil long ago, this guitar-slingin’ Reverend has left the comparatively sane competition in the dust.


Robbie Fulks / Ray Mason Band / Mercury Lounge, July 9, 1998

Possibly the best solo artist of the so-called ‘neo-traditionalist country movement,’ Chicago-based Robbie Fulks proved to a passionate Mercury Lounge audience just how significant his roots-y original songs are. By emulating legends such as Hank Williams (whose microphone mannerisms Fulks has down pat), Lefty Frizzell, and George Jones, this lanky, sometimes hilarious, blonde-haired singer-guitarist offered an untainted slice of Americana.

A genuine purveyor of the Nashville sound, Fulks deserves widespread attention much more than the complacently hokey cosmopolitan cowpokes currently watering down C & W in that once vital six-string capital. Admittedly, Fulks has not broadened the scope of Country music, but his talent as a songwriter and performer is undeniable. And his ’97 LP, South Mouth, and its sterling follow-up, Let’s Kill Saturday Night, affirm his worth.

At the Merc, he impressively delivered weepy tear-stained ballads countered by humorous upbeat ditties like the ringing “I Told Her Lies.” With tongue firmly in cheek, he had the audacity to attempt a slow, deliberate version of Abba’s sugarcoated pop kernel, “Dancing Queen.” It’d be criminal and shameful if this wonderful artist didn’t receive the accolades he rightly deserves.

Longhaired aged-in-the-wool Massachusetts native, Ray Mason, delivered a clean, crisp set of down home pop and blues-y rock confections beforehand. So popular amongst the roots-rock community that a tributary collection of his originals, It’s Heartbreak That Sells, was recently released, Mason crafts stylistically eclectic tunes that come in all shapes ‘n sizes. Providing comforting details about rural New England, he sang about “Mailbox Blues,” his answering machine, and a girl going “Out Of Her Mind.”

Backed by an experienced combo, Mason scruffed up some neat guitar licks and sang in a baritone not far removed from John Hiatt or Counting Crows’ Adam Durwitz. Many highlights from this Friday night show could be found on his marvelous Castanets long-player. Nearly fifty, this avid record collector has more spirit, spunk, and charm than artists half his age.


Robert Forster & Grant McLennan / Mercury Lounge / June 9, 1999

FOREWORD: Since watching the Go-Betweens’ dual front men perform acoustically at this Mercury Lounge gig, they returned to the foray with ‘03s fine Bright Yellow Bright Orange and ‘05s better Oceans Apart. However, McLennan died in ‘06, making the Go-Betweens an amazing relic from the ‘80s and ‘90s.

Former co-leaders of Australia’s finest underground rockers, the Go-Betweens, singer-songwriter-guitarists Robert Forster and Grant McLennan put on a dazzling acoustic set for a sardine-packed Mercury Lounge crowd.

While both artists went their separate ways during the ‘90s (Forster released the melodic Danger In The Past while McLennan countered with the stylistic Watershed and its masterful follow-up, Horsebreaker Star), they’ve remained friends, penning a few intriguing gems featured this fortuitous New York night.

Perfectly suited for this small backroom club, Forster and McLennan had no problem getting across their intrinsic harmonies, mournful pop reflections, and warm Gaelic-tinged folk (mostly derived from ‘86s outstanding Liberty Belle And The Black Diamond Express and ‘87s Tallulah).

Avid fans were hanging on every word. In fact, during the joyous “Love Goes On,” from ‘88s major label breakthrough, 16 Lovers Lane, nearly everyone in attendance joined in at the sweet chorus.

After a perfect one-hour set, the dynamic duo from Down Under took a few minutes to recoup before surprising patrons with a poignant extended encore. Hardly anyone left as they presented nearly another full hour of somber reflections and soft pop fare, creating an even more intimate atmosphere than they had for the original set.

Though they insist the Go-Betweens remain a dead issue, the newest unrecorded compositions performed should offer a positive sign of future studio collaborations.


Craig Wedren/ Brownies/ Feb. 2, 1999

Wearing a black full-length skirt (no b.s.) and white sleeveless t-shirt, former Shudder To Think singer/ guitarist Craig Wedren had fun entertaining this sold out, sardine packed Avenue A venue this Friday eve. With an experienced, well-integrated band of po-mo vets in tow – guitarist Lee Mars (former Nine Inch Nails keyboardist), bassist Brad Vanderark (Verve Pipe), and drummer Kevin March (Dambuilders/ Shudder To Think) – Wedren dropped his stinging, muscular Neil Young-ish hard rock propensity for artsy Bowie-esque theatricality directly in line with his old bands’ two eccentric songs from the ‘98 glam-rock pic Velvet Goldmine.

A few technical glitches (sound system crackles, pops, and feedback) might have momentarily wrinkled some newfangled tunes, but their impact was increased by flawless instrumental delivery. Wedren seemed at ease between songs, offering hilarious quips, playful innuendoes, and a short dedication to a friend prior to the expressive “Lovely Girl.” Throughout, Wedren’s dramatic operatic swoops and surreal poetry were enhanced by burbly electro squiggles, flailing axework, and a strong rhythmic thrust throughout.

One of my faves this night was “Red Hot American Summer,” a hook-filled feel good number. But a shimmering electro-fuzzed version of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Hey Tonight” and the melodic, Ziggy Stardust-clipped Velvet Goldmine track “Ballad Of Maxwell Demon” also ranked high.

Though the quartet unquestionably succeeded in this small club setting, their stylish post-fab maneuvers and multi-dimensional arrangements cried out for glitzy, elaborate large scale production. Wedren’s final studio set with Shudder To Think, ‘97s 50,000 B.C., garnered critical raves and made a wider following possible, so faithful fans (and there were plenty at this gig) should look out for his next New York City appearance sometime in March or April. Hopefully a solo disc with these musical partners is in the works. Word is Wedren’s been laying down tracks in his living room. Stay tuned.


Michael Franti Heads Spitfire Tour/ Wetlands Preserve/ March 28, 1998

Hardcore spoken word activists railing against hypocritical politicians, multinational corporations, antiquated drug laws, and anti-human economic policies kept the environmentally concerned Wetlands club positively energized with reactionary sighs of “let freedom ring!” at the first annual Spitfire tour. Each of Spitfire’s messengers strove to take the power back, educate the masses, and as Spearhead’s Michael Franti said, “enrage, empower, and inspire.”

Franti delivered his revelations in rap style, getting several audience members to clap along to catchy lines such as the vindictive “fully marinated/ now I’m ready for the fire.” After an extended introduction concerning the tribal feuds Arizona’s indigenous Big Mountain Reservation have suffered through assimilating American culture, Franti gave corporations the finger and launched into a ‘boom-bap’ streetwise re-interpretation of “The Sound Of Music.”

Former MTV VJ/ Seattle radio host Kennedy, self-proclaimed “mouthpiece for the right,” went on an anti-Social Security rant which was too straightforward and in need of a wry twist of humor. Preaching to the converted seemed like overkill. Nevertheless, she relayed a tale about her hemp growing Romanian grandma and neatly linked this to the irresponsible 1930’s bill outlawing marijuana in the States.

A short film about medical marijuana patient Todd Mc Cormick’s battle with cancer and unjust imprisonment followed.

Fragile, lispy Newsradio host Andy Dick (fresh from a Howard Stern grilling and author of the rectal folly “Little Brown Ring”) then took to the mike, proclaiming himself a “poster child for drug abuse” who had the “long arm of the law crammed up (his) ass” for the “luxury of smoking pot.” Accompanied by acoustic guitarist Andrew Sherman (and currently on probation in a Drug Diversion Program), Dick told of his mother’s last days on earth when her fearful ‘chronic’ taboo faded and she cooked a few joints to improve her quality of life.

As heartfelt as it was absurd, his hilarious “Cock And Balls” left the male audience in hysterics. After philosophizing about the Seven Deadly Sins, he tore into a poignant toilet vignette and then played a love-obsessed stalker in a geeky Jonathan Richman manner.

Obscure Village Voice cartoonist Tom Tomorrow came on-stage following his parodic film strip “This Modern World,” deflecting mainstream media biases and complaining about “blind trust democracy” while regurgitating conventional anti-establishment wisdom.

Outspoken hyperintellectual anti-censorship advocate and Green Party presidential hopeful Jello Biafra has continuously railed against political sloth’s and misguided Washington Wives (led by bubble-headed PMRC dimwit Tipper Gore). A former San Francisco mayoral candidate and Dead Kennedys frontman, Biafra received an enormous applause before pitting feudalistic gun-toting parasites against grim proletariat serfs. Pronouncing “insurrection can be fun!,” Biafra warned of short-term radical fundamentalists being as dangerous as blow job king Bill Clinton (whom he accused of treason for his pro-World Trade Organization stance).

He condemned bovine growth hormone “Frankenfood,” proposed amnesty on student loans and decriminalization of drugs, supported pirate radio and t.v. and raised awareness of the “frontier sabotage” of the internet. But he went off the deep end with anti-capitalistic Socialist rhetoric – mandating a $200,000 maximum wage. On the current legal front, former Dead Kennedys members have decided to sue Biafra and his Alternative Tentacles label over royalties because he “refused to put “Holiday In Cambodia” on a Levi’s commercial.”

While Biafra didn’t condemn taxation collected for poor and suffering, he realized America’s corrupt politicians allow taxation without representation. Don’t forget, America told Britain to fuck off over a 2% tea tariff 200 years ago. Let the revolution begin!