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On Air Next: Jello Biafra on Fashion, Electronic Music, and “Terminal City Ricochet.”

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On Air Next: Jello Biafra on Fashion, Electronic Music, and “Terminal City Ricochet.”

Hannah Morrison

By Jolie Klefeker

I had the chance to chat with Boulder native, ex-Dead Kennedys singer, Alternative Tentacles founder, and all-around freak, Jello Biafra. He’s showing the film “Terminal City Ricochet” at the Boulder Public Library this Friday at 6pm and it’s FREE! We talked about a ton and I can only fit so much into 600 words. For a chance to meet the guy yourself, or at least hear what he has to say, check it out! 

Your outfits in all your music videos are pretty dang cool. Can you offer any fashion advice?

Salvation army..and some of the goodwill and the arc stores around here are pretty good too, you know I still find some interesting vinyl in the stores too. Some people claim it’s all gone but all you have to do is stay curious and you’ll find something that might blow your mind or warp other people’s brains if you suggest it to them. The Sal Army in Boulder was just sitting there with an immaculate copy of one of my favorite movie soundtracks of the Fifties: it’s like Dan Fogelberg, Dan Fogelberg, Dan Fogelberg and then “Man with the Golden Arm!” What?! And it’s playable? Cool!

As a punk musician I’m curious to know what your thoughts are on electronic music? 

Well electronic music is a pretty wide term... and I don’t really pay much attention to what they now call “EDM” but sometimes I hear something I really like...One of the best and most important electronic bands in the world, if you even want to call them that, is Colorado’s own itchy-O. You can’t just say "aw, it’s not as good as the live show."  What about people who have never seen the live show and even if you have it’s a completely different experience. A very, very powerful experience. Not everything is electronic, they have guitar, bass and anywhere from fifteen to twenty drummers, but I have noticed a lot of people at their shows, dancing as if they’re kind of hypnotized. The same way people do at EDM shows. That kind of danceable quality is very much there. You can’t get that from just a rock band, or somebody who is just pushing buttons onstage. itchy-O is a marching band so they surround you, it’s like nothing else in the world. 

You’ve got an event tomorrow at the Boulder Public Library..you’re showing the film “Terminal City Ricochet”  which you acted in…Tell us a little bit about the event, and what folks can expect?

“Terminal City Ricochet” was a movie made way back in the late eighties, and it was supposed to be a worst-case scenario of the coming future... And I kind of describe it as a “Brazil” crossed with a low-budget “Blade Runner” and some rock n’ roll to go with it. Instead of the Futurama stuff going on, things got more and more crumbled and polluted and wrecked and the mayor/dictator of Eternal City, gets “elected” because he was the most popular talk show host and owned the hockey team. And had a pile of money, starting to sound familiar? Like Russia or the United States, they have to stage an election every few years to maintain the illusion of democracy... So basically, the mayor and his right-hand hatchet man played by yours truly, frame a rock musician as a terrorist, in order to get the fearful voters to keep the mayor in power for another term. As surreal as the movie is, as confusing as it may be at times, I still stand it as making an important statement; the scary part being that every presidential election since has felt more and more like “Terminal City Ricochet.” 

Here's a link to the event: 

Header photo by Elizabeth Sloan.