"Dead Kennedys" coming to Paradise in October: sharpen your punk ethics arguments, stat!

So you are perusing the concert listing, and whoa hey, legendary punk insurrectionists Dead Kennedys are coming to the Paradise in October!? But, didn't they take each other to court a few years ago in a nasty bout of litigation that left both sides looking like-- well, not quite the anti-capitalist martyrs that you bought all of those jacket patches from in middle school? Oh right right, you almost forgot that the DK's have been carrying on, occasionally, with a scab Jello Biafra. The Biafra-less DK's last came to the Boston/Cambridge area in 2002-- so long ago that they played the long-since-defunct Pond in Fresh Pond.

That show features vocals by Brandon Cruz, a middle-aged punker (in)famous for having played Eddie on the 60's TV comedy "The Courtship of Eddie's Father". Attending this show was, at least to the aging punk world, the equivalent of crossing a picket line. How could one actually support such an illegitimate franchise, especially one that wrenched the DK's catalog from the mitts of Biafra and his Alternative Tentacles label? It is a certain kind of dilemma for the ethical punk rocker: on the one hand, you have a scab singer replacing the irreplaceable Jello. On the other hand, you had the uber-talented trio of East Bay Ray (perhaps the most under-rated guitarist in rock history), bassist Klaus Flouride, and drummer D.H. Peligro. What to do?

Well, having been to said 2002 show, I can tell you that the fake DK's slayed, and that E.B. Ray still had it. But then again, a few years later a DK-less Jello Biafra came through town with some band called the Melvins backing him, and they were, you know, not bad for some metal band slumming it. So win/win for us fans, right-- since there is no way in hell Biafra and the DK's will ever be in the same building together, right?

Cruz only lasted with the Kennedys until 2003, when he was replaced by the then-25-year-old punk filmmaker Jeff Penalty. Penalty toured off and on with his childhood idols until a mysterious 2008 unamicable split, at which point East Bay and Co. replaced him with someone named Skip Greer. Skip did some 2008 shows with the band, but their history seems to end there.

Which leaves us with the nagging question: who will be singing for the band this October? There's nothing on the band's official site, or their MySpace page, or their *ulp* Facebook page. The only mention I could find about the "tour" was on East Bay Ray's MySpace page, but even then there are no deets on who is in the band or anything. The band's fans are legion, but the vast majority will probably have no interest in a Jello-less Dead Kennedys; however, I'll play devil's advocate here and point out that if East Bay is on board, the band should at least be awesome musically, since the man is a peerless rock guitarist whose inimitable combination of punk, psych, country and surf styles put its stamp on the music of the Dead Kennedys at least as much as the radical rants of Mr. Biafra.
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