JELLO BIAFRA AND THE GUANTANAMO SCHOOL OF MEDICINE
Inspired by Iggy Pop’s 60Th birthday gig at the Warfield in San Francisco, Biafra laid plans for his own 50Th birthday party and finally decided it was time to start a band of his own. Ten years before he had been attempting the same thing with the likes of guitarist Ralph Spight (Victims Family,Freak Accident,Hellworms) and drummer Jon Weiss (Sharkbait,Horsey). They had also previously worked with basist Billy Gould (Faith No More) who was tapped for the new group. After cramming rehearsal for a month the four piece band known as Jello Biafra and the Axis Of Merry Evildoers took the stage in a sold-out two night stand at San Francisco’s Great American Music Hall and subsequently spent the next 9 months in rehearsal for an album project. Before entering the studio, guitarist Kimo Ball (Freak Accident,Carneyball Johnson,Mol Triffid,Griddle) was recruited and the resulting twin guitar attack took the groups sound to new, noisier heights.
The quintet now known as Jello Biafra and The Guantanamo School of Medicine began recording tracks for the upcoming LP/CD entitled “The Audacity Of Hype”(Alternative Tentacles Records) slated for release in October 2009, produced by Biafra and engineered by Hip Hop legend and long time Jello co-conspirator Matt Kelley (Hieroglyphics,Tupac,Digital Underground,Victims Family) at Prairie Sun Recording in Cotati,CA and San Francisco’s Hyde Street Studios.
For the past five years, Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine have been ripping the faces off audiences throughout the Americas and Europe with a live show that gives a nod to the Dead Kennedy’s frontman’s past and updates his vision into the 21st century with a truckload of new material that leaves no question that this is not nostalgia.
Now, in 2013, Ralph Spight, Kimo Ball, Bass God Larry Boothroyd (Victims Family) and drummer Paul Della Pelle (Helios Creed, Nik Turner’s Space Ritual, and Philly HC legends Ruin) provide a hellacious backing track to Biafra’s more relevant than ever take on corruption, corporate McMedia making pop stars out of small-time crooks to shield the big ones, tabloid pop stars to lobotomize everyone else, our never-ending foreign-policy disasters, those lovely “End Times” believers, and much, much more.
Their fourth release and second full length, “White People and the Damage Done,” to be released in April 2013 on Alternative Tentacles, finally brings the road tested line-up to the studio with Biafra penning the ultimate treatise on the “Age of Austerity” and who’s really responsible for it.
In the twenty years that followed the demise of the Dead Kennedy’s, Biafra has devoted himself to activism,spoken word tours, collaborations with musicians as diverse as Mojo Nixon, No Means No, DOA, Reverend Horton Heat, Melvins, formed Lard with Ministry’s Al Jorgenson and many other musical projects, released more than 400 records (and counting!) on his Alternative Tentacles Records label, amassed the Library of Congress of Punk Rock and Exotica record collections, performed as a DJ, acted in several movies and ran for the Green Party nomination for President of the United States. Twice.
Truly an original, no matter your opinion of him and his work, no one can doubt his punk rock bona fides. If you’re at a punk show (or any kind of show for that matter) in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond, he is there. In the front row. He’s a huge fan and supporter of all things punk.
AGAINST THE GRAIN
Motor City Speed metal.
LAST FALSE HOPE
Last False Hope are some city slickers from the mid-western suburbs of Chicago. Their unique sound of underground bluegrass imbibed with their roots in punk and metal is a loose bull in a china shop. This clash of genres that they have dubbed “Brutal-Grass” has quickly earned them a name in the scene. The band was cooked up by Jahshie P. A long time veteran in the Chicago music scene, best known as the former frontman of Failed Resistance, My Vengeance and later, Neverland. In the past few years, Jahshie P. developed an intense interest in country western and blue grass music, along with his new found passion of the mandolin. Come the Summer of 2009, his new skills began to translate into songs. His first step was to bring his wife, Kristina Nutting, a new comer to the Chicago music scene, along for the ride. She would rapidly warm up to the banjo. Quick to the draw, they set forth to include a track to the Outlaw Radio Compilation, volume one. To fill in the blanks, they recruited Producer, Shawn Connors, best known as the drummer of death metal band, Bound And Gagged and later, Jashie P.’s band mate in Neverland, as well as a number of other fly-by-night acts. To fill in the line-up, Arcadia Kust on fiddle, Sean Moriarty on guitar and Dave Beneventi on bass from a local irish punk act, The Fisticuffs, as well as former My Vengeance members, Steve Stepien on drums and David Wiegers, who also played guitar in Neverland. This line-up would go on to record “Two Dollar Pints” for the comp. Over the course of roughly the next year, the seven of them would go on to write more songs and play several shows Come September 2010, they re-enlisted Shawn Connors to begin work on the debut EP, “The Shape Of Blue Grass To Come.” Four songs, “Giving Up God For Lent,” “Drag Me To Hell,” “You Drink, You Drive, She Wins” and “Dying and Diseaed” would make the final cut. The EP was released on March 1st through Pint Of Happiness Records. After the conclusion of the “The Shape of Blue Grass To Come” sessions, Sean, Arcadia and Dave B parted ways with the band. Shawn Connors has since joined to fill the open guitar position, along with Scott Farruggia, also from Bound And Gagged and Neverland on bass and friend of friend, Colleen Mary on fiddle. The new line-up was debuted on a track for the Southern Independent, volume one compilation, titled “Guilty Until Proven Innocent.” They new line-up is currently working on a versus split with Nellie Wilson & the Hellbound Honeys on Jahshie P.’s own, Solitary Records. Since their their inception, l/f/h has shared the stage with the likes of Star Fucking Hipster, Those Poor Bastards, .357 String Band, Hellbound Glory, The Goddamn Gallows, Rachel Brooks and Six Gun Britt. They were also, named the Best Country Bandin the Chicago Reader “Best of Chicago 2011″ reader’s poll. They will continue to play shows with the line-up in support of “The Shape Of Bluegrass To Come, while crafting new material for a debut full length, hopefully to be released in early 2012.