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Give Me Convenience or Give Me Death
     

Give Me Convenience or Give Me Death

4.0 3
by Dead Kennedys
 

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Hounded by political enemies and reaching their personal breaking point, the Kennedys bowed with a retrospective of some of their fiercest, finest moments. If one needs a starting point for the band's fierce, funny assault on any level of complacency imaginable, Give Me Convenience is indeed as convenient as it gets. Focusing for the most part on non-album cuts

Overview

Hounded by political enemies and reaching their personal breaking point, the Kennedys bowed with a retrospective of some of their fiercest, finest moments. If one needs a starting point for the band's fierce, funny assault on any level of complacency imaginable, Give Me Convenience is indeed as convenient as it gets. Focusing for the most part on non-album cuts or various rarities, it appeals to hardcore Dead Kennedys fans as well as neophytes. The collection includes some of the band's earliest greats, like the legendary rant "Too Drunk to Fuck," as withering a depiction of getting trashed and stupid as any. While the definitive "California Über Alles" and "Holiday in Cambodia" make the cut from the first album, there are also plenty of more obscure and unknown goodies. The second half features live tracks like the hilarious "Pull My Strings," which vivisects typical rock star pomposity (knowingly quoting the Knack's "My Sharona") before shifting into an even nuttier chorus. Another screamingly funny number is the improv "Night of the Living Rednecks," done "while Ray was changing strings" at an Oregon date in 1979. After threatening to play the theme from the Dinah Shore show, the remaining three members light into something resembling a beat/'50s hep groove, only with Biafra recalling a tale of idiots encountered during a previous visit to Portland. Meanwhile, there's a version of "I Fought the Law," which easily trumps the Clash's version, helped by a lyric change or two along the way. Messy, nutty, and fun, Convenience is a treat and a half.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/11/2001
Label:
Manifesto Records
UPC:
0767004290423
catalogNumber:
42904
Rank:
3586

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Give Me Convenience or Give Me Death 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
?Their politics may be suspect, their economics shoddy, their language straight out of the high school bathroom, and their philosophy, well...who¿s to say? But, the same could be said of the powers that be, the Establishment, and the other forces that the Dead Kennedys lampoon, satirize and insult and while we laugh at the former three, we get to laugh with the Dead Kennedys on ¿Give Me Convenience OR Give Me Death¿¿although the sentiments expressed in the lyrics are more often angry than humorous. For those weary of the pop-punk sound found in such bands as Green Day or the fat-flabby sound of innumerable rock mainstays likely to become eligible to collect Social Security payments before retiring from the monolithic rock music industry they built in their youth, the Dead Kennedys offer a refreshing dose of classic California punk¿simple, fast and abrasive. The lyrics, as with any DK offering, are the best part of the album. Jello Biafra, et al are never without something to say; provocative, politically charged, highly offensive, explicit, youthful, propagandistic¿the lyrics will wake you up to how little Corporate Rock has to say as surely as the explosive sound of the music snaps one to attention like smelling salts at the crack of dawn. Unlike many punk offerings, the lyrics are readily audible and intelligible, but the liner notes include the complete lyrics for those who care enough what the band has to say to go beyond the usual uneducated, apathetic guess. The lyrics are intelligent and inspired. If you don¿t mind the use of expletives and colloquialisms without hesitation, you¿ll be surprised how literate they can be. The music is most often fast and furious, although there is a surprising amount of variety in musical devices employed on ¿Convenience¿, including a mock-reggae interlude during ¿Pull My Strings¿ and an impromptu blues-jazz backing to the spontaneous narrative of ¿Night of the Living Rednecks¿, a priceless improvisation of Biafra¿s run-in with the local Nazi-esque pick-up truck touting rich kids that fills in while East Bay Ray fixes a broken guitar (string, one presumes). There is even a song/non-song, ¿Kinky Sex Makes The World Go Round¿, which features Biafra doing a voice-over backed by ¿incidental music¿ that sounds like it¿s straight out of Hell. Lest one mistake the nature of the song, it is a fictitious phone call from The U.S. Secretary of War to the Prime Minister of England trying to stimulate the economy, as well as eliminate other ¿problems¿, by stirring up their particular brand of business. Only with ¿Too Drunk...¿ does one stoop to the uninteresting lyrical level the title of ¿Kinky...¿ suggests. The album features the classics ¿California Uber Alles¿ and ¿Holiday In Cambodia¿, but leaves ¿Rawhide¿ out disappointingly¿although ¿Rawhide¿ does receive honorable mention at the beginning of ¿Night...¿ as being amongst the many songs they won¿t play as long as Ray¿s guitar is broke. This is a bit of a shame as it is the band¿s best known song¿perhaps they didn¿t want to run the danger of having a ¿hit¿ and going commercial. There are a few out take songs that ANY version of ¿Rawhide¿ could have replaced to great effect in this gathering of not-found- elsewhere scraps, but there is plenty that satisfies in the 17 tracks included here, so one should not complain too loudly. Songs like ¿Insight¿, ¿Life Sentence¿ and ¿Straight A¿s¿ echo-with-a-vengeance John Lennon¿s sentiment in ¿Working Class Hero¿ when he speaks with bewilderment of being expected to pick a career after having been tortured and beaten down by the school system for so many years. Most can relate to the feeling of alienation one gets when one discovers that one¿s education is designed to make them a ¿productive citizen¿, a cog in the wheels of the machine, though this is usually termed a midlife crisis¿a time when one wishes one could go back to one¿s youth and decide differen
Guest More than 1 year ago
This CD is awesome. I love "Holiday in Cambodia", "California Uber Alles", "I Fought the Law", "Insight", and "Life Sentence". The lyrics are very well thought out, and definitely have a message. Check this out! By the way, "I Fought the Law" is way better than the Clash's version. DK changed the lyrics and made it faster and a lot more energized.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Dead Kennedys have put rare tracks, B-sides, bootlegs, and hits onto one album. This was the first DK album I got, and it is a great one if you are a fan or even if you have never heard The Dead Kennedys before. They are one of the best punk/new wave/political bands out there, and this album is a must!