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DVD Feature/ Skinny Puppy: "The Greater Wrong of the Right – Live”

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For nearly twenty years, Skinny Puppy has been the Blue Man Group from hell.  Formed in the mid-80s by three Vancouver art students, this elite band helped pave the way for the entire industrial sound, with heavy grooves and lyrics that condemn animal experimentation, political corruption and basically anything else that’s stupidly cruel.

The Bush-neocon administration was the target of their vitriol in their 2004 “The Greater Wrong of the Right” album, and their live show, as captured here, is a direct slap in the face of those who still believe America is on the right track.

Shot during two concerts in Montreal and Toronto, this brand new live DVD features an opening salvo of songs from “Greater Wrong…” with singer Ogre coming onstage in a bizarre dog’s-head mask to snarl the lyrics of “Downsizer”: “hate-filled culture/born, raised and infected with violent thought.”

For this tour, Ogre doesn’t walk around the stage on stilts (can’t blame him for that, since Marilyn Manson stole that bit from them, along with half their musical style), but he still does the shtick where he pours fake blood all over himself. The giant screen behind the band switches quickly between pictures of Bush and Hitler, putting everyone on notice.

Eventually, Ogre covers himself with mud, then flour, making himself up as a World Trade survivor. After wrapping yellow crime-scene tape around the entire stage (including the players), he stands mute while the band moves into the very appropriate “Smothered Hope.” With a gathering roar, the crowd begins relating to the implicit message: we are all victims of 9/11 and its equally horrible, ongoing aftermath of lies, benefits for the super-rich, and endless, mindless death.

Plenty of older material is featured here, including songs from breakout albums Too Dark Park and Vivisect VI (“VX Gas Attack,” with its frightening fairy tale of radical Muslims using nerve gas on Bethlehem civilians, is even more timely now than when it was originally released in 1988).

The bonus DVD includes “Fahrenheit 911” style interviews with Ramsey Clark and other former officials discussing the illegal US military’s use of depleted uranium, which is basically the next Agent Orange (except that it stays in the environment 3 billion years longer) as well as some early live footage of the Too Dark Park and Last Rights tours.  

By Eric W Sager

Indie label releases, spaghetti sauce recipes and silly questions are always welcome.  Email ericsaeger@mindspring.com.

Homepage: Skinny Puppy
Label: SPV

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