Q: What is spoken word?
A: Don't you kids know how to use Wikipedia? Wow, Wiki... way to put GG Allin and William S. Burroughs in the same category.
Q. Who came up with this spoken word bullshit, anyway?
A: The term "spoken word" was coined by that guy who seems to live in your local coffee shop who you always see drinking a latte, with a copy of Kierkegaard's Fear and Trembling in front of him. He's never reading the book, though. He's always holding forth on postmodern philosophy and outsider art to some skinny girl in glasses and sweater and never lets her get a word in edgewise. One day, he realized that in order to keep ranting and raving without being labelled "annoying," "long-winded" or, God forbid, "pretentious," he was going to have to give what he was doing a really awesome name and transform it into an art. Thusly, spoken word was born.
Q. What could Jello Biafra, founder of seminal punk band Dead Kennedys, once the PMRC's public enemy #1, possibly want with such a boring and nebulous art form?
A: While many "spoken word artists," as people like Allen Ginsberg and Lydia Lunch (you're killing me, Wikipedia) like to be called, try to pass off their incoherent ramblings as poetic, Biafra does no such thing. His performances are more like well-scripted stand-up comedy, focusing on political and cultural issues. Think The Daily Show meets '80s punk rock.
Q: Why doesn't he just call it stand-up?
A: I have no fucking clue.
Q: If he called it stand-up, I would totally buy tickets.
A: I know, right? Anyway, that wasn't a question. Watch y'self, Q... if that is your real name.
Q: So is this crap really worth my 10 bucks, or whatever it costs?
A: Actually, it kind of is. Biafra spouts off on everything you're pissed off about, except he's smarter than you are, and well-spoken to boot. Plus, the guy goes on for like four hours and doesn't even get boring. If you don't believe me, listen to his new album, In the Grip of Official Treason (Alternative Tentacles). He probably doesn't even mind if you download it illegally. He's that cool of a guy.
Q: What's the difference between Jello Biafra and Jell-O Pudding?
A: One is artificially sweetened; the other is genuinely acerbic.
Q: What's your biggest Jello Biafra-related regret?
A: That I didn't hug him when I had the chance. He's like a teddy bear! And now his tour isn't even coming to New York.
Q: If the Dead Kennedys, in their current incarnation, tour without Jello Biafra, do they make a sound?
A: No; absolutely not.
Thus, spoken word Jello Biafra:
10.23.06 - Seattle, WA - El Corazon
10.24.06 - Eugene, OR - WOW Hall
10.25.06 - Portland, OR - Disjecta
10.27.06 - Olympia, WA - Capitol Theater
11.02.06 - Salt Lake City, UT - Opilis Union Hall
11.04.06 - Denver, CO - Gothic Theater
11.05.06 - Omaha, NE - Sokol Auditorium
11.09.06 - Antwerp, Belgium - De Nachten festival
11.12.06 - Albuquerque, NM - Sunshine Theater
11.13.06 - Flagstaff, AZ - Orpheum Theater
11.14.06 - Phoenix, AZ - Marquee Theater
11.15.06 - Tucson, AZ - Solar Cultural Theater