Punk photographs by Ruby Ray and
Montages by Winston Smith
Check out the Brazilian promo for “Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables” on PM Press…
US Release available at PM Press
Dead Kennedys: Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables, The Early Years
Alex Ogg • Illustrations by Winston Smith • Photographs by Ruby Ray
Dead Kennedys routinely top both critic and fan polls as the greatest punk band of their generation. Their debut full-length, Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables, in particular, is regularly voted among the top albums in the genre. Fresh Fruit offered a perfect hybrid of humor and polemic strapped to a musical chassis that was as tetchy and inventive as Jello Biafra’s withering broadsides. Those lyrics, cruel in their precision, were revelatory. But it wouldn’t have worked if the underlying sonics were not such an uproarious rush, the paraffin to Biafra’s naked flame.
Dead Kennedys’ continuing influence is an extraordinary achievement for a band that had practically zero radio play and only released records on independent labels. They not only existed outside of the mainstream but were, as V. Vale of Search and Destroy noted, the first band of their stature to turn on and attack the music industry itself. The DKs set so much in motion. They were integral to the formulation of an alternative network that allowed bands on the first rung of the ladder to tour outside of their own backyard. They were instrumental in supporting the concept of all-ages shows and spurned the advances of corporate rock promoters and industry lapdogs. They legitimized the notion of an American punk band touring internationally while disseminating the true horror of their native country’s foreign policies, effectively serving as anti-ambassadors on their travels.
The book uses dozens of first-hand interviews, photos, and original artwork to offer a new perspective on a group who would become mired in controversy almost from the get-go. It applauds the band’s key role in transforming punk rhetoric, both polemical and musical, into something genuinely threatening—and enormously funny. The author offers context in terms of both the global and local trajectory of punk and, while not flinching from the wildly differing takes individual band members have on the evolution of the band, attempts to be celebratory—if not uncritical.
“We have a sense of humor and we’re not afraid to use it in a vicious way if we have to. In some ways, we’re cultural terrorists, using music instead of guns.“
—Jello Biafra of the Dead Kennedys
“It was obvious that the DKs weren’t just another band that was gonna come and go. They were something special. Biafra was an absolute talent. And he had a band behind him that were tight and good.“
—Howie Klein, concert promoter, disc jockey, and record label executive
“One day, this kid from my social studies class brought in a cassette tape of The Dead Kennedys’ Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables and I listened to it and my life was changed completely.“
—Adam Gierasch, film director
“One of my favorite rock ’n’ roll memories is of an after-party during the DKs’ first visit to Seattle. Recognize that bands like this for me—these actual guys being at a party in the same house that I was in—was like being in the presence of Led Zeppelin or Kiss.“
—Duff McKagan of Guns ’n’ Roses
“My education was punk rock—what the Dead Kennedys said … It was attacking America, but it was American at the same time.“
—Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day
The Art and Allure of the Record Album with
Boing Boing and Noise Pop
Friday, July 18, 2014, 7–8:30 pm
Oakland Museum of California
Posted on Boing Boing by David Pescovitz on July 22nd, 2014
On Friday, Boing Boing and Noise Pop were thrilled to celebrate The Art and Allure of the Record Album at the Oakland Museum of California! Nearly 200 people packed the museum’s gallery to hear Death Cab for Cutie bassist Nick Harmer, Wilco designer Lawrence Azerrad, and Dead Kennedys / Alternative Tentacles artist Winston Smith talk about their love for vinyl during a panel moderated by Boing Boing’s David Pescovitz. This program was part of the ongoing exhibition Vinyl: The Sound and Culture of Records, about the social and cultural phenomenon of listening to, collection, and sharing records.
We were treated to delicious adult beverages provided by our beverage sponsor Distillery No. 209 and listened to fascinating stories from these icons of music, art and design. Here are few of Jason Weisberger’s snapshots from the event. Keep your eyes (and ears) open for future Boing Boing and Noise Pop events at the intersection of music, art, culture, and technology!
Deep gratitude to Audeze, makers of handcrafted headphones that provide an ultimate listening experience, communication music’s emotional impact directly into your soul.
SHEPARD FAIREY WILL CURATE A MASSIVE ART SHOW DURING LOLLAPALOOZA
As reported by Complex.com:
The roster has been announced and you are already planning your outfits and transportation to Lollapalooza this summer, but you may want to rework your schedule after reading this news. Shepard Fairey has announced that he will be curating an art show to coincide with the events of the music festival, and according to the Chicago Tribune, it’s going to be a big one.
Entitled “Art Alliance: The Provocateurs,” the show will feature the work of street artists as well as illustrators and poster artists and will be held inside a 25,000-square-foot building. Futura 2000, Eric Haze, Invader, Mark Mothersbaugh, Gary Panter, Ryan McGinness, Dzine, Winston Smith, Camille Rose Garcia, FAILE and RETNA have all been confirmed for the show with others to be announced in the near future. “A lot of the creatives we bring in and a lot of the audience who comes in, they’re thirsty for more cultural stuff,” says Charlie Walker, co-founder of the C3 company that promotes Lollapalooza and a marketing partner in the Art Alliance show. “They want other things to do while they’re in town, and we’d like to diversify
— it’s just a natural fit.”