When Bill Manspeaker makes the scene, he really makes the scene. While others are content to just hang out, Manspeaker and Green Jello are literally creating their own crazy, seemingly chaotic, scene. “We are the Hollywood underground,” shout heralds announcing their take-over of the deadly boring, virus-infested land. Audience members chant in unison, “Green Jello Suxx,” but everyone knows that sucking can be fun.
For the last year, Green Jello have been performing LIVE from their headquarters each and every Saturday night, complete with live audience stumbling in from the street, and multi-camera direction from their home-brewed ensemble, including Jella Lugosi and others at the controls. Free entertainment, beer, drugs, are on tap from their not-so-secret lair on Hollywood Blvd, near my old neighborhood. As the opening theme song plays, current members (of over 1,000 world-wide – check Guinness Book of World Records) parade out: Bill Manspeaker, the Punk Rock Pope and puppet master fronts; Linoleum Dynamite strolls out with guitar and funniest name; The Nihilist is there, and nowhere; here’s Hot Lips, powerful, multi-talented, sultry; and there’s Slim Jelly, frightening and yet strangely alluring, with a voice that can melt your heart or crush your skull.
I remember hearing Green Jello’s 3 Little Pigs on the radio when it first came out. KXLU took callers for two free tickets to see them; I phoned in and won! Seeing them live at that time in Newport Beach, or somewhere down south, was a tremendous blast. Over the following years and raising a family, I’d let the band slip from my attention, but when my son’s band, Rascal Stew, was contacted recently to open for Green Jello at the Whisky, we were blown away. And the icing on the cake was Rascal Stew being asked to appear on GreenJelloVision. The east coast has Saturday Night Live, but we have GreenJelloVision. Watching them all play together (from my couch, via Youtube) was surreal. I savored the moment and was thankful that they had re-entered my orbit. Buckets of inspiration, perspiration, resuscitation, etc., has been gleaned.
GreenJelloVisionMusicTV #45 https://youtu.be/KCQNPxwwbV0 <—- Crash the scene!
Green Jello was going to tour behind their NEW 2021-released record (on Cleopatra Records), Garbage Band Kids, but the damnable virus made the Whisky their only stop. If there were justice in this world, we all might get tuned into this bludgeoning new recording from the ultimate power punk novelty crushers. It’s an excellent record, among their best, and can be sampled on Youtube. The Silence of the Squarepants song crosses generational gaps and opens new worlds to our impressionable youth. Check out their GreenJelloVisionMusicTV! Don’t fall asleep on ‘em!
Speaking of Rascal Stew, help yourself to some of the weirdest band in the valley. Punk-flavored riffs and rhythms recall the minutemen, Anus the Menace, and more so Cal sounds. They’re finishing up a more polished EP, “Son of A…,” from the Rascal Stewdio and should be kept an eye/ear on. Borjon leads on vocals and guitar, Dylan and Ric trade off on drums and bass. Keyboard when available. Look for them to explode in the new year. Have a little bit of this Rascal Stew, or have a LOT!
Rascal Stew on Bandcamp <—- click to get some stew.
Lastly, maybe late to the party, but I’m really loving Kanopy, an app used in conjunction with your library card. Free movies via your Roku or other streaming device, up to ten a month, just by signing up with your library card. Like Netflix for eggheads, Kanopy is full of quality movies, documentaries, educational lessons, etc. Check out Kanopy! And may we all learn and discover something new in this new year.