Longform

Itchy-O Plots World Domination With Jello Biafra

It is impossible to ignore Itchy-O. At full capacity, the band comprises 32 members, all dressed in matching costumes, all masked, delivering truly alien vocals and playing marching-band instruments along with guitars, basses, taiko drums and electronics attached to portable amplifiers. There is also a Chinese lion named Larry.

"I was pretty overwhelmed and blown away," recalls Jello Biafra of his first time seeing Itchy-O, at warehouse venue Glob in January 2013. "They entered from several different parts of the building. It was almost pitch dark, so all you could see was whatever lighting they had attached to their bodies. I hadn't been in the middle of anything like that since Crash Worship, and they have some of that same tribal hypnosis going on, but [with] more melody. It's a wider palette of music they're using here."

See also: Jello Biafra on the Time He Dressed up in His Dad's Clothes and Visited Focus on the Family

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Tom Murphy is a writer, visual artist and musician from Aurora, Colorado. He was a prolific music writer for Westword and a documenter of the Denver music scene.