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TUESDAY

You have to hand it to Jello Biafra; the guy takes a licking and keeps on ticking. He’s been beaten to a pulp, censored, sued, and jacked around by his own band—the Dead Kennedys, who continue to tour and make money without him—and he’s watched America go from bad to worse. But does he quit? No, the guy who delivered such scathing blasts of hardcore scorn as “Holiday in Cambodia” back in the Bonzo Years continues to rant against such richly deserving targets as militarism, cops, and run-amok consumerism, whether it be on the lecture circuit or, most recently, with the simpatico Melvins, with whom he put out a full-length, Never Breathe What You Can’t See, in 2004. That Biafra refuses to write off America as a lost cause proves he’s a true San Francisco son of those very same peace-sign-flashing hippies whom punks used to find so ludicrous back in the day. And though such optimism may not strike a chord in such E.M. Cioran–strength despairers as yours truly, Biafra deserves kudos for continuing to fight the good fight when all too many of his punk contemporaries have settled into middle-aged complacency. So who cares if his 2002 spoken-word LP Machine Gun in the Clown’s Hand was about as entertaining as gargling tacks? Biafra’s heart is in the right place, and 25 years after “California Uber Alles,” his bile is still intact. In a world where there are most certainly more pricks than kicks, it’s heartening to encounter a soul who simply refuses to stop kicking. Jello Biafra and the Melvins play at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 25, on the Black Cat’s Mainstage, 1811 14th St. NW. $15. (202) 667-7960. (Michael Little)