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Dead Kennedys take over New Wave Theatre
In this clip from New Wave Theatre, watch hardcore act Dead Kennedys perform “Holiday In Cambodia” amongst the throes of a frantic and completely captive audience. The performance fit’s perfectly into NWT’s seizure inducing film editing, with lead singer Jello Biafra exorcising his worst demons while dreaming of the US military-industrial complex. “We’re not out to get rich or be entertainment of anything, but it’d be nice to get around as much as possible and reap people’s brains and open their minds a little bit.”
To reflect on the legacy of this band some 30 years later is astonishing. The perceived juvenile sociopolitical views expressed in Biafra’s lyrics opened up into a genuine bid for San Francisco Mayor and later a second place finish to Ralph Nader for the Green Party nomination in the 2000 election. The band’s leftist views seem more and more at play in the national conversation post the 2008 financial crash a la the Occupy Movement.
You could always count on New Wave Theatre to pull in the most exciting bands on earth at the time. Bands that went on to have massive careers, no matter the genre. This iconic performance of “Holiday in Cambodia” proves it.