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Dead Kennedys – Give Me Convenience Or Give Me Death

I can’t even remember when I bought this mish-mash of a record, and I must’ve looked at my music shelf every day for months now, but I don’t recall ever seeing this one in there. Hey, maybe my music collection is having babies on its own! Maybe I never even bought this CD, but a couple of my other punk CDs got together for a drunken one-night stand and this DK record is the result. Neat! Well, so long as I can’t hear or see them doing whatever it is they need to do for this to happen, they’re welcome to have at it.  

So. This is not a greatest hits collection, although you might be forgiven for thinking so if you were to recognize enough of the titles found here. No, this is a bunch of single-versions of some of their better known songs, mixed in with some live stuff and some b-sides that sound exactly like what they are. It’s a mess, but there’s beauty even in that.

In all, this is a fun romp through the wild, political and indignant mind of Jello Biafra, and although the man never could sing to save his life, we all know that that was never the point. It was what he was saying that mattered. The music is tight in places, shambling or tentative in others, but it’s always loud and that’s fun too.

The Dead Kennedys never wanted perfection. They knew they would never be a hit, except with like-minded punks in the then-small punk scene on the west coast. They seemed content to rail away in relative obscurity, laughing loudly from the fringes at the people making money by playing what the DK’s saw as phony music, and raising middle fingers at the straights in the establishment. Were they pioneers? Well, yes and no, but that’s all academic by now. They were important to the scene around them, and they inspired a zillion other bands (for better or for worse). This record captures the band from a few interesting angles, and it holds up well enough after all these years.

Will I play this again soon? Probably not. Oh, I might pull a song for a mix now and then (after all, what mix is complete without Too Drunk To Fuck?), but that’d be about it. I much prefer their proper albums.

Track Listing:
01 Police Truck
02 Too Drunk To Fuck
03 Cailfornia Über Alles
04 Man With The Dogs
05 In-Sight
06 Life Sentence
07 Child And His Lawn Mower
08 Holiday In Cambodia
09 I Fought The Law
10 Saturday Night Holocaust
11 Pull My Strings
12 Short Songs
13 Straight A’s
14 Kinky Sex (Makes The World Go Around)
15 Prey
16 Night Of The Living Rednecks
17 Buzzbomb From Pasadena

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