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In a world where The Germs perform with an actor imitating Darby Crash and a Danzig-less Misfits croon Paul Anka covers, The Dead Kennedys sans their rabble-rousing lead singer Jello Biafra isn’t such a crazy concept. In the almost 25 years since the seminal punk band sputtered out, the mud-slinging between Biafra and his former bandmates has been mean-spirited and well-documented, with each side accusing the other of tarnishing the band’s legacy. Around 10 years ago, the group reformed without Biafra, occasionally performing under the clunky DK Kennedys moniker. These days, the band has stopped tiptoeing and is ready to embrace its destiny as the tradition-bucking upstart of the nostalgia circuit. Is its upcoming performance at the Rock & Roll Hotel just another cash-grab über alles from a once-groundbreaking band, or is the (potential) opportunity to hear “Holiday in Cambodia” alongside guys who actually remember the indignities of the Reagan administration too enticing to pass up? At this point, does it matter?
DEAD KENNEDYS PERFORM WITH DIRTY TACTICS, VPR, AND NERVOUS IMPULSE AT 9 P.M. ON SATURDAY, OCT. 16, AT ROCK & ROLL HOTEL, 1353 H ST. NE. $20. (202) 388-ROCK.