California Rocker

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REVIEW: Dead Kennedys Bring Life to Classic Punk Performance at The Dive Bar in Las Vegas

By ALENA LIM

When it comes to Dead Kennedys, I know everybody in the punk rock industry is familiar with them. Their single, “Holiday In Cambodia,” which was released during the early 1980s from the album Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables, was the first song from this band that caught my attention.

Why did this song had so much meaning to me? It was because my family were former refugees of that horrible holocaust. It meant a lot to me that Dead Kennedys revealed the horrors and reality of the event that took place during the late 1970s through their strong and powerful lyrics .

East Bay Ray – Photo by Alena Lim

‘California Uber Allies’

Another one of my favorites would be their first single that they released in 1979 from the same album called “California Uber Allies” which refers to the California state Governor name Jerry Brown. This song was kind of dedicated to him, expressing his views on his vision of America. Although there had been alternative versions of this song that has been recorded more than once, the original version shall always stand out the most.

The Dive Bar was packed with fans up to the point where I was unable to move at all. Tickets were sold out as everybody was excited to see these legends perform. The lead singer, Ron ‘Skip’ Greer delivered a promising performance through a series of unpredictable body movements, series of psychotic facial expressions while spreading his raw energy of punk, this is what it was all about! It didn’t matter that we were sweating our asses off while struggling to stand upright through the crazy hard-knocking mosh pit.

Ron’s Energy

Ron had so much energy, I was literally having to wipe my face of his saliva multiple times. That’s how much energy he had. Ron empowers the fans next to the stage by maintaining constant physical interaction with the audience as well as literally being ‘in your face.’ While I watched the people go crazy, cheering for every member of Dead Kennedys on that stage, I was very happy to see this moment. Ron ended the show by walking off the stage and going through the audience during his last song, “Chemical Warfare.”

The majority of Dead Kennedy’s albums were released throughout the 1980s such as Plastic Surgery Disasters w/ In God We Trust Inc. released in 1982, Frankenchrist in 1985, Bedtime for Democracy in 1986, and Give Me Convenience or Give Me Death in 1987. Later, Dead Kennedy’s released an album Mutiny On the Bay in 2001 and Live at the Deaf Club in 2004.

Klause – Photo by Alena Lim

‘Too Old for Punk Rock?’

During the show, Ron spoke to us about how he almost couldn’t make it because he was tired. He was touring for the past 20 days and says he’s getting too old for Punk Rock, then tells us we’re too old for it as well, jokingly of course. He was happy that he was able to make it.

There was talk of wanting a reunion with the original singer, Jello Biafra. Due to the legal battles and problems Jello has had with the former members in the past, Ron said he feels it will never happen. I spoke to a fan who says that it’s not the same without Jello. Of course, ANY band is never the same without their original members. The reputation and history of Dead Kennedys has always been kept alive all these years while they were still touring. They are still very much ALIVE and always will be!

D.H. Peligro – Photo by Alena Lim

Dead Kennedys Tour

Dead Kennedys will be touring throughout parts of United Kingdom between June 19 through 26. They will be at the Echoplex in LA on July 20, Brick by Brick in San Diego on July 21, House of Blues in Anaheim on July  22, and Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks on July 23.

You can find their tour date information on their Facebook page or their official website deadkennedys.com.

1. Band Members: Ron “Skip” Greer [Vocals]; Klause Flouride [Bassist/Vocals]; East Bay Ray [Lead Guitarist]; D.H. Peligro [Drums/Vocals]

2. Band originally formed: San Francisco, CA in 1978

3. Genre: Punk Rock

4. Location of performance: The Dive Bar – Las Vegas, NV

5. Amount of crowd: Full House

6. Set list of songs: Forward To Death, Winnebago Warrior, Police Truck, Buzzbomb, Landlord, Jock-O-Rama, Kill the Poor, MP3 Get Off the Web, TDTF, Moon Over Marin, Nazi Punks, Calif Uber Allies, Bleed for Me, Viva Las Vegas, Holiday In Cambodia, Chemical Warfare.

 

James Williamson’s ‘Re-Licked’ Show: ‘Alternative Music’s A-List’ Brings Raw Power to New Project

Lisa Kekaula with James Williamson at Re-Licked show Photo © 2015 Heather Harris

Lisa Kekaula with James Williamson at Re-Licked show Photo © 2015 Heather Harris

Alison Mosshart, Jello Biafra, Cheetah Chrome Bring It to Bootleg Show

STORY By DONNA BALANCIA, PHOTOS By HEATHER HARRIS

SILVER LAKE — There was a kitchen drawer at our house that had all sorts of cool things: From screwdrivers to Scotch tape, gumballs to love beads. My dad called it “contained craziness.”

It was like that the other night for James Williamson’s Re-Licked concert at the Bootleg.  Set against a ambient backdrop, the show was a powerful reminder of punk rock’s past, and an exciting sign of the future of the genre.

Accompanied by what could only be called The A-List of Alternative Artists, Williamson amassed a show that was one of the most action-packed we’ve ever seen.  Williamson may have been known as producer and guitarist before, but now he can certainly claim the title of talent scout and promoter.

Calling on his relationships with people like Dead Weather’s Alison Mosshart, Jello Biafra, Joe Cardamone, Lisa Kekaula of the Bell Rays, Cheetah Chrome, and Frank Meyer and the Street Walkin’ Cheetahs, Williamson took a one-off show and turned it into a screaming social event of great success.

SEE HEATHER HARRIS’ PHOTO ESSAY BELOW

James Williamson with Jello Biafra - Photo © 2015 Heather Harris

James Williamson with Jello Biafra – Photo © 2015 Heather Harris

Band Street Walkin’ Cheetahs and ex-Dead Boys guitarist Chrome lent support as opening acts and joined in the action during the main show, as did “new guys” The Richmond Sluts, who were the young standouts.

The Richmond Sluts’ music and appearance were reminicent of a true 1970s rock n roll band. The charisma, stage presence and white go-go boots of frontman Shea Roberts is really something to appreciate.  Roberts is clearly the new sex symbol of Rock N Roll.

Williamson said he selected Carolyn Wonderland to sing “Open Up And Bleed,” because he was looking for a Janis Joplin-type style for the song.  She breathes new life into a great classic with a feminine touch and vulnerable but commanding stage persona.

Meyer of the popular Streetwalkin’ Cheetahs has a fabulous personality, cool performance style and he did an excellent job running the show, introducing performers and keeping people laughing with his jokes. He gave super energetic renditions of “She Creatures of the Hollywood Hills” and “I’m Sick of You.”

Mosshart’s performance is always something to see — unique and relaxed — her body twisting with each word and wild hair seemingly with a life of its own. She knows how to keep the audience hanging on every motion.

Her crooning “Till The End of the Night” captured the audience as she is both flirtatious and powerful in her delivery. With Malin on “Wild Love,” she shows a gregarious and giving nature in her performance. She clearly enjoys collaborating with established as well as up-and-coming musicians.

Ron Young with James Williamson - Photo © 2015 Heather Harris

Ron Young with James Williamson – Photo © 2015 Heather Harris

Ron Young of Little Caesar was a breath of fresh air with his hard rock style.  He delivered a solid performance of “Rubber Leg.”  Young’s the kind of guy you want to be in the trenches with, as he is a real team player with a great attitude and cool swagger.

Joe Cardamone of The Icarus Line taunted the audience with “Scene of The Crime” and “Pinpoint Eyes.”  This Los Angeles artist has been working with The Icarus Line and previously fronted Kanker Sores. Kekaula’s wild energy turned “I Got A Right” into a hopping punk revival, soul style.

The opening song was a predictor for the superband performance: Biafra’s “Head On The Curve” was a wild shout out to both Iggy Pop and his Dead Kennedys days — he is still a wild man and compelling to the point where you can’t keep your eyes off him.

For show-enders “Search and Destroy” and “Louie Louie” it was like controlled chaos erupted on stage, and it was calamity on whom to focus the lens.

There was so much action at once it was like a three-ring circus with people running all over the place — Malin whipping his microphone cord around, Cheetah Chrome’s bald pate gleaming, Biafra waving his arms around, and Kekaula relieving her fellow musicians by fanning them wildly.  Yes, with a fan.

Meanwhile, Williamson, who assembled the crazy crew of alternative’s wildly talented, kept his cool, calmly playing his well-recognized guitar in the corner of the stage.

When we asked him, “How did you keep a straight face?” he responded with a cool chuckle and the whole reason for the show: “It was a lot of fun, wasn’t it?”

Yes It Was.   See The Entire Show HERE

 

 

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