Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
October 21, 2014

Dead Kennedys Singer All In on ‘House of Cards’

Skip Greer, current front man for pioneering punk rockers the Dead Kennedys, told HOH that before breezing into town last week for a show at the Rock N Roll Hotel, he simply felt too far removed from the machinations of the nation’s capital.

His solution: gorging on Netflix’s zeitgeisty congressional train wreck, “House of Cards.”

Dead Kennedys Singer All In on House of Cards

(Courtesy LaunchGram)

“To recap, during the vamp in ‘Bleed For Me,’ our song about state-sponsored torture, I remarked to the audience that while DK is perceived as a political band, I myself am not well-versed in the inner workings of Washington D.C.,” the professional political satirist remarked. “So, in deference to our host city, I determined to make myself better informed beforehand by doing what any other intelligent, truth-seeking person would do, and I watched all 13 episodes of ‘House of Cards’ in one marathon sitting. It taught me a lot.”

Greer then played his hand by goading the crowd with a wry comment — “And now I think I understand you and your city,” he teased — followed by a tongue-in-cheek indictment of this town’s supposed knowledge base.

“I explained that while members of the audience may be politically active, or read all the latest blogs and newspapers — including Roll Call’s Heard on the Hill, [for] that matter — or that they may be poli-sci majors, nothing beats the political insights of a semi-literate punk rock vocalist,” Greer opined, adding, “This usually gets the proper amount of cheers and jeers.”

His faux ignorance, however, did not diminish his appetite for the show.

“I have, in fact, watched all 13 episodes,” Greer admitted.

While he’s not necessarily a fan — “The writing itself feels like a second-year NYU student’s uninformed attempt at wonky political intrigue. It never got cynical or ugly enough for my tastes,” he groused — Greer digs Kevin Spacey’s portrayal of smarmy House Majority Whip Frank Underwood.

“He is compelling to watch, even when the story gets dull as dirt,” Greer shared. He would’ve preferred executive producer David Fincher bled off some of the extraneous exposition (“The peach water tower episode I could have done without completely,” Greer stated), and he would love to have seen some crossover from the seminal Fincher-Spacey collaboration.

“It would have been great if Underwood put [faux Rep.] Peter Russo’s head in a box,” Greer quipped, referencing the jarring end to total head-trip “SE7EN.”

“It show” buzz aside, Greer suggested that others have captured government dysfunction much more effectively.

Take the Watergate send-up, “Dick.”

“I enjoy how it depicts that the cover-up often being worse than the crime, which is the trope I mostly associate with Washington, D.C.,” he said of the spoof of President Richard Nixon’s buffoonish fall from grace.

And he’s, of course, a sucker for President Josiah Bartlet.

“I do have an armchair progressive’s soft spot for ‘The West Wing,’ which, for all its idealism, feels more authentic,” Greer asserted.

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