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Friday, July 20, 2012

Shout Along to "SHOCK-YOU-PY," Jello Biafra's New Occupy Anthem

Posted By on Fri, Jul 20, 2012 at 3:40 PM

click to enlarge Jello Biafra, antagonist of the 1 percent.
  • Jello Biafra, antagonist of the 1 percent.

It's never too late for another Occupy anthem -- right? -- especially when it's from the S.F. master of sardonic protest, Jello Biafra. Instead of waiting to release the song on their upcoming album (the hilariously titled White People and the Damage Done, due in either November or January), Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine threw up "Shock-You-Py" on Bandcamp today for the price of whatever you want to pay. As Biafra explains, the song is meant to be both a loud-ass guitar assault and an anthem for actual Occupy demonstrations. That's why there are two versions online:

SHOCK-YOU-PY! is meant to be a sing-a-long song that can be played acoustically at protests, at least most of it can. I was torn between making it completely a sing-a-long song or the usual skull-crushing Guantanamo School Of Medicine type-song, so we mixed it and re-mixed it a lot. The forthcoming EP has the sing-a-long version on it. There is also the rock-a-long version where the electrified guitars are considerably louder which is exclusively available on bandcamp. I had trouble making up my mind between the two. I liked the warmth and the spirit of the sing-a-long version, but the rock-a-long version -- with the guitars really loud -- sounded best in my car.

The song itself is just the kind of acerbic, hyper-informed loogie shot in the faces of the 1 percent that you'd expect from the former Dead Kennedys frontman. It begins with Biafra recounting a brief history of the New Deal, emphasizing how FDR got unions to apply political pressure for better working conditions through marches and protests.

There's a huge, chant-inviting chorus about occupying, of course, and then another verse where Biafra, in a wimpy, nasal voice, pretends to be U.S. politicians begging their "corporate masters" for a little money for health care, jobs, and better living conditions. The politics here are exactly what you'd expect, but delivered with the theatrical flair and sarcastic wit of Biafra. We'll say this: it's more memorable and a lot funnier than most of the Occupy anthems we've heard.

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Ian S. Port

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