Wednesday, February 28, 2007

The Jello Biafra And Snow Vacation

In April 2004, shortly after starting this blog, I wrote a post called "Become The Sports Media." (Check it out here. Wow, was I ahead of my own time. Ha. Note: At that time, the blog looked nothing like it does now, was text-only, and comments didn't even exist, but with this new Blogger, they show it to you as it would look today. Like when they put an old player on a modern-style baseball card.) I based the title on a spoken-word album by Jello Biafra. After having listened to his talkie-talk albums for years, as well as his musical ones--Dead Kennedys, Lard, Revolting Cocks, etc.--I finally got to see him live. My girlfriend and I were up in the 413 for a long weekend, and part of the fun was Jello's performance in Northampton.
I've heard his clown-like voice so many times before, but I didn't know what exactly to expect as far as actually being there in the room with him. It was definitely worth it--people were really into it, laughing along and applauding. You don't get to chant "fuck George Bush" sitting at home. Oh, wait, I guess I could. Anyway, he goes back and forth between scripted pieces and just kind of ranting from his notes, all the while doing his wacky impressions of Bush and all the other sleazy politicians from both sides of the aisle.

Just when he was getting on a role, some stupid woman decides she's gonna walk out and yell "boring!" at him, effing up the show for the rest of us. Later, a dude and a girl also decided they were going to speak at someone else's show, saying something about troops just before leaving. Jello was nice enough to say to them, "I'm gonna get to that, actually," but the people just left. Then there was the guy who kept yelling out about the 9-11 conspiracy. At that point Jello went way off script to talk about how calling it a conspiracy would be giving the government way too much credit. I agree that certain aspects of 9-11 seem fishy, but, come on, bird-orbs? It's getting a little crazy. But I do keep my eyes open just in case.

He also did a lot of classic bits, like "become the media," and a whole diatribe on band-names.

I had heard that Jello can talk indefinitely (it really is amazing that he hasn't completely lost his voice by now), and Monday night proved it. He went three hours. Then he took a break. Then he came back for another hour to speak to those of us who stuck around.

The coolest part for me was when he called out to "Jeff from Disaster Strikes," who was there helping sell T-shirts for Jello's label, Alternative Tentacles. Disaster Strikes and my old band, The Pac-Men, used to trade shows a half-decade ago, them coming to the Newtown Teen Center, us going up to the Franklin, Mass. one. They've gone on to sign with Alternative Tentacles, which, in my opinion, is one of the coolest things a band can do.

I was psyched to see that Baseball Heavy went to the next night's Jello show in Rhode Island. I've also been meaning to give her a, uh, what's a way to say "shout out" without sounding like a tool? Anyway, I was gonna promote her by saying "go there for all your Paw Sox needs" or something. Turns out she actually said that herself today, citing the crapitude that is the Paw Sox website. But go there regardless, she'll crack you up without even trying.

Now some more random shots from our snowy trip (you can do your own captions):

One last thing about Jello: You know someone's quite influential when they have to give a pre-emptive message to fans who want to tell him "you changed my life."

Oh, and in baseball news, 'topes tie! Meaning the Red Sox tied their first spring training game. At this rate, come October, the Red Sox record will be 0-0, and the "win shares" theory will be shot to hell.

Wow, I just looked at the date and it reminded me this was the day I started this blog. So I looked at the time of the first post: 11:42. I looked at my clock: 11:41. So, as I write this, it's now 11:42, exactly 3 years to the minute that I started writing this blog in Danbury, Connecticut in a little white room with stars on the ceiling on an old clunky PC. A classic Jere coincidence.

"A classic Jere coincidence" turned into three years of bliss for us, his readers. Congrats!!!!
Bliss--you're too kind. By the way, for anyone who couldn't figure it out, Jello's "cop shirt" is ironic...
Thank you for everything except for that last picture, which is going to give me bad dreams.
You're welcome. He does kind of look like a hound of hell. Even though he's a cat. From Massachussetts.
I must concur that Baseball Heavy is a great blog. Been readin' it for a long time.
I just saw Jello in a movie. I hadn't thought about him in years, then M@, who posts on my blog, quoted the "be the media" thing, then Jello showed up in a bit role in a movie, then I read this. All in the span of 3 days.

Classic L coincidence. :)

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Location: Rhode Island, United States