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Ep. #109: Jello Biafra

Jello Biafra was the lead singer of the influential punk band Dead Kennedys and has since gone on to do significant work as an actor, spoken word artist, and vocalist, as well as being the head honcho at the still busy and prolific record label, Alternative Tentacles. His first band since he left Dead Kennedys is called Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine and their new album is called White People and the Damage Done, which they’re touring behind now, including stops at Call the Office in London, Ontario on June 16 and the Opera House in Toronto on June 17. Here Biafra and I discuss things like why Nardwuar the Human Serviette and I can’t pronounce Biafra, why Jello’s name came up in discussions about the Web Fast-Lane Vote spearheaded by the FCC, Guantanamo Bay and Chelsea Manning, the concept of the new album and how it delves into kleptocracy and retroactive feudalism, greed addicts, maximum wage, why “Shock-U-Py!” shows up at the end of the new album, how Jello engages with Canadian politics and our celebrity crackhead goofs, why people should stop talking about Hillary Clinton two years ahead of the election, thinking locally, why we should stop distracting ourselves, communication, reactivating our bullshit detectors, Jello has never felt alone in his thoughts and pursuits, what first turned him onto music as a kid, Pete Seeger, Joan Baez, and Azuma Kabuki music, garage bands, the Music Machine, the Animals and Eric Burdon, Jello used to be able to sing like Robert Plant, East Bay Ray has the Dead Kennedys master tapes, Jello has nothing to do with Dead Kennedys reissues and they seem to be muting his involvement in the band, Jello is proud of Dead Kennedys and doesn’t think the rest of the band cares about the music, Jello’s theatre background in middle school, Jello can play a mean Scrooge, acting in The Hipster Games and being typecast on Portlandia, how Dead Kennedys came together in San Francisco and the emergence of hardcore, how method acting influenced Jello’s vivid lyricism, his roles in Highway 61 and Terminal City Ricochet, Jello’s very first songs were written for Dead Kennedys, why he never played in some early cover band or something, the early D.O.A. cover band Stone Crazy, how and why the GSM is his first proper band since DKs, the Melvins wanted to avenge Jello, why he quoted the DKs song “Soup is Good Food” in the GSM song “Burgers of Wrath,” where he’s at now with the other Dead Kennedys and what it would take for him to agree to play with them again, playing DKs songs with the GSM, Jello’s getting back into spoken word performance, honouring Ralph Nader, the crippling losses he’s suffered lately, how much the Stooges meant to him, the plight of independent musicians and labels like Alternative Tentacles in the age of file-sharing, AT is doing cool stuff with reissues of records by the Dicks, Voivod, and new releases by young bands like Death Hymn Number 9 and Itchy-O, making stuff is important, why the GSM is not playing Amnesia Rockfest in Quebec this month, scams, the song “Burgers of Wrath,” and then it’s bedtime for bonzo.

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Watch: “Invisibility Cloak” by Motëm


Motëm released a new video early this morning for a song called “Invisibility Cloak.” It’s from Motëm’s Einzelgänger Mixtape, which will be out later this year via Gebbz Steelo Boutique.

The release of the mixtape will be followed by a European Tour with special guest(s). According to the man himself, “The video for ‘Invisibility Cloak’ was dropped late last night to ensure the vibe translates well.”

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Mac DeMarco on Tyler the Creator collab, coke mirrors

Mac DeMarco Cigarette Heaven

During an interview for an upcoming episode of Kreative Kontrol, Mac DeMarco discussed plans to make more records beyond his upcoming LP Salad Days (out April 1 via Captured Tracks), release a specialty line of mirrors, and what his recent photo with Odd Future’s Tyler, the Creator was all about.

“This last year was crazy and I really wanted to get another album out sooner than this after 2,” DeMarco said, when asked about any special releases he might have up his sleeve for Record Store Day. “I think I’m going to do more EPs, do more recordings, hopefully make the tour schedule [less] crazy. As far as treats for Record Store Day, I’m not sure if we have anything in direct correlation for it but we do have all kinds of strange crap coming out with this album, so it should be kind of fun.”

When pressed to elaborate about this “strange crap,” DeMarco giddily revealed a possible idea.

“I’ll give you one treat. I’m not sure if this is going to happen—we’re trying pretty hard, me and the label—but you know those 70s style printed mirrors with the fancy frames? Like for the Grateful Dead—we’re trying to hook something like that up. Mac DeMarco coke mirrors; God bless it.”


DeMarco also explained what was up between him and Tyler, the Creator after a photo of the pair in front of a green screen circulated with minimal explanation.

“It was a very brief collaboration, not really anything that will show up on any kind of album or anything,” he said. “A little bit of movie shooting—the guy does have a TV show after all. It’s just going to be a short thing but probably extremely offensive so we’ll see how that turns out.”

Apparently DeMarco connected with the Odd Future figurehead when a mutual friend who goes by “Chas” and lives in Toronto asked Tyler to check out DeMarco’s music.

“He’s like my number one fan or whatever,” DeMarco explained. “Chas actually has a Mac tattoo now; I gave him a tattoo of my name. Any way, he showed Tyler my stuff at some point and then Tyler started tweeting at me. The people who do my press also do Odd Future’s press and when I was in L.A., they were like, ‘Tyler wants to meet up,’ and I was like, ‘Ok, sure.’ I’d already sent him pictures of my naked penis and stuff so I figured that meeting in the flesh was right around the corner.”

UPDATE: Here’s a photo of that “Mac” tattoo courtesy of Chas


Pre-order Salad Days.
Mac DeMarco 
Salad Days 
April 1, 2014 
1.  Salad Days
2.  Blue Boy 
3.  Brother
4.  Let Her Go
5.  Goodbye Weekend
6.  Let My Baby Stay
7.  Passing Out Pieces
8.  Treat Her Better
9.  Chamber Of Reflection
10.  Go Easy 
11.  Jonny’s Odyssey
Tour Dates
03-14 Santiago, Chile – Ex OZ
03-15 Buenos Aires Argentina  – Vorterix
03-19 São Paulo, Brazil – TBA
03-20 São Paulo, Brazil – TBA
03-21 Porto Alegre, Brazil –  Beco 203
03-23 Santa Ana, CA- Burgerama at The Observatory
03-31 Cleveland, OH- Beachland Ballroom *
04-01 Oberlin, OH- Dionysus Club (the ‘Sco) at Oberlin #
04-02 Chicago, IL – Empty Bottle + (early show)
04-02 Chicago, IL- Empty Bottle # (late show)
04-03 Detroit, MI- Magic Stick *
04-04 Wakefield, QC-Blacksheep *
04-05 Sherbrooke, QC- Boquébierè *
04-06 Montreal, QC- Societe des Arts Technologiques *
04-07 Cambridge, MA- Middle East Downstairs *
04-09 New York, NY- Webster Hall !
04-10 Durham, NC- Duke University Coffeehouse +
04-11 Atlanta, GA- Goat Farm Arts Center +
04-12 Baton Rouge, LA- Mud and Water +
04-13 Austin, TX- Mohawk Outside +
04-14 Fort Worth, TX – Lola’s Saloon +
04-15 Oxford, MS- Proud Larry’s +^
04-16 Nashville, TN- Exit / In +
04-17 Asheville, NC- Grey Eagle Tavern +
04-18 Philadelphia, PA- Underground Arts +
04-25 New Orleans, LA- Tulane University
04-26 Bronxville, NY- Sarah Lawrence College (Solo Set)
05-15 Amsterdam, AN- Melkweg
05-16 Paris, FR- Trabendo
05-17 Nantes, FR- Stereolux
05-18 Brussels, BE- Nuits Botanique at Botanical Cultural Center
05-19 Brighton, UK- The Old Market
05-20 Glasgow, SCT- Mono
05-21 Manchester, UK- Sound Control
05-22 London, UK- Koko
05-23 Cologne, DK- Electronic Beats @ E Werks
05-24 Berlin, DK- Bi Nuu
06-20 Toronto, ON- NXNE Festival
06-21 Toronto, ON- NXNE Festival
* Amen Dunes & Juan Wauters
! Amen Dunes, tonstartssbandht
# Amen Dunes
+ Juan Waters
^ Dent May