Tag Archives: Green Day

I Do Declare, It’s “Oh Love.”

First impressions:

Did not expect a slow song, even though I’ve heard it before at Webster Hall Studio. I don’t really remember the songs I heard that night. Thank you very much.

At least one lyric is straight out of the Who.

It will sound pretty awesome in an amphitheater of people singing along.

I’ve heard there’s a lion costume in the video… should be interesting how a lion in costume fits with a slow, slow, song.

So far, the sentiment toward it runs the gamut of “I love it” to “I hate it.” I’m in middle, leaning towards like. I’ve only heard it once, though.

What do you think?

 

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Is This Blog On??

Tap, tap, tap… Testing, testing, one, two, three… is this blog on?

Hello, Green Day Mind readers!

It’s been a “long time no see” situation here on the little old blog called Green Day Mind. You may or may not be following me on my very active Twitter account (and thanks if you are!) but frankly, the blog has gone stone cold silent since December. I can hear the sound of tumbleweeds across these here pixels, for sure. I mean, what was there to talk about? Has anything happened in Green Day land in the last few months? Hmmm… oh yea… this epic trilogy thing called “Uno!” “Dos!!” “Tre!!!” coming out from Green Day beginning this September 2012 and continuing to January 2013. I guess there is something solid to start talking about! I mean, I’ll leave all of the important stuff to the Green Day Authority and GreenDay.com. This little blog here is a specialty site, mostly posting about Green Day, but also branching out to other bands as well.

Green Day “Uno” Banner from GreenDay.com

Now that there’s solid albums coming out (dates are set, the tracklist for the first album released, and some summer/fall tour dates happening in Europe and at least one here in the United States), we have the date of July 16th to look forward to when the first song from “Uno!” entitled “Oh Love” will be released upon the public! Oh yes! Can’t wait!

I’ve read that a theme runs through the three albums, primarily the before, during, and after of a big party or celebration, and the emotional highs and lows that come from celebrating just a bit too much. You can read the most recent Rolling Stone interview on the trilogy at Green Day Authority here.

DOS! banner from GreenDay.com. Click on the link for the teaser!

Green Day has put out multiple 30-second videos while they’ve been in the studio, including the little gem for “Tre!” below. This clip is my favorite for two reasons: I’m very much looking forward to some drumming action from Tre Cool first of all. I have no idea how the writing credits “drum out” in the trilogy, but I suspect that this album will let us really get a taste for Tre’s wide range of drumming skills. I read awhile ago that he had been in Cuba taking lessons and sitting in on drumming sessions with Cuban masters and I’m looking forward to hearing what he’s learned. Plus, I just miss his wacky face.

TRE! Banner from GreenDay.com

The second reason is a little more personal… There’s a super quick segment in the video from Green Day’s Halloween show at Webster Hall Studio that me and one of my favorite super people, David Burgos, are in that includes another super guy, Michael Esper from “American Idiot on Broadway.” In the segment, Esper crowd surfs over both of us, and there’s an awesome shot of David surfing like the pro he’s becoming, too.

Green Day teaser for “TRE!!!”

I know, though, that’s not why you’ll enjoy this clip so much!

Stay tuned for more on Green Day as well as a few other things in the works. I will be at the first CBGBs Festival beginning this week (July 5-8) and will post on the Music and Film Conferences there and some music that I’ll see. In addition, I will finish my post on the KERPUNK Festival from January 2012 (yea, it’s a little late), and will also introduce you to a band I met along the way called Mad Anthony from Cincinnati, talk about my love for The Dopamines, and tell you all about Larry Livermore‘s “The Thing That Ate Larry Livermore” shows at the Knitting Room in Brooklyn last week.

Until then, thanks for sticking around!


Green Day and Friends – New Banner! Thanks Violeta!

GreenDay.com Banner Awesome as Fuck

Green Day’s new live album “Awesome as Fuck” is out next week. Seventeen of the songs are streaming at NME. It’s available only in the US and UK, but someone from Canada was able to listen to it, too. The official release date is 4/22/11 but there are two special pre-orders right now, an album version from Adeline Records in pink vinyl with a nice T-shirt (releasing 4/26) or the CD/DVD combination from Interpunk records with a nice poster (releasing 4/22)! Interpunk suggests that you buy a poster tube to keep your poster safe in transit. The record released in some South American and European countries already, and a live screening of the DVD portion of the video happened in select European theaters this week.

It’s great to have Green Day back as a band with the new live album, but I’ve also been thinking about the various people that make up the Green Day band of friends… Foxboro Hot Tubs, Pinhead Gunpowder, the Frustrators, even the Network… who do it for the love of music! Yea, I know, they really aren’t “those other bands” but, y’know… whatever. Billie Joe tweeted the other day that he, Mike, Tre, and Jason White were piddling around in the studio the other day. I can’t wait to hear what they’ve been working on! These guys never stop playing music.

If we’re lucky here in New York, maybe we’ll get some awesome small shows when Billie Joe ends his run as St. Jimmy in American Idiot as it sadly closes next month. He’ll be coming back to the show for the final weeks, from April 5-April 24. (The one-year anniversary of the Broadway show run is April 20th.) It would be awesome if Pinhead Gunpowder played in New York City. Come on guys! You can do it! I’d take some Foxboro Hot Tubs, some Frustrators, and heck, even a surprised appearance by the Network, too. Where ever they may be!

In honor of this band of friends who make great music together, Violeta Kalfova created a banner to honor all of the bands.

Thanks Violeta!

Green Day and Friends - Banner by Violeta Kalfova

Photos (Thanks!):

  • Foxboro Hot Tubs – (Billie Joe Armstrong, Tre Cool, Mike Dirnt, Jason White, Kevin Preston, [Jason Freese]) – xGeneralxS (Don Hill’s, New York, NY 4/18/10)
  • The Network (Wilhelm Fink, Van Gough, The Snoo, Captain Underpants, Balducci, Z, Doctor Svengali) – Arohex (Somewhere deep in Los Angeles, CA)

DJ Rossstar Interviews Mike Dirnt at Dr. Strange Records

DJ Rossstar of the Punk Rock Show was at Mike Dirnt‘s band, The Frustrators, meet and greet at Dr. Strange Records yesterday, 2/26/11. He interviewed Dirnt and asked him some questions that Mike normally does not get asked! Great interview!

Mike Dirnt of Green Day and the Frustrators answers original questions! Interview by DJ Rossstar of the Punk Rock Show – Dr. Strange Records Frustrators In-Store, 2/26/11

Jnine F. went to the meet and greet and posted a few pictures.

Jnine with Jason Chandler and Mike Dirnt, Frustrators, Dr. Strange Records In-Store, 2/26/11

Mike Dirnt with Jnine - Frustrators Dr. Strange Records In-Store, 2/26/11

In other Frustrators news, Jnine posted an article about snow and hail hitting Los Angeles yesterday… just about the same time that the Frustrators are touring, two events that no one thought would ever happen. Hell may have just frozen over in both regards. Indeed, I’m sure there is a correlation!

Tonight the Frustrators play their final California tour gig at the Troubadour in Los Angeles. Bands include the Phenomenauts, Billybones and Bobby Joe Ebola and the Children MacNuggits. It’s going to be an amazing show!

Terry was interviewed recently by Amp Magazine and he was asked if the band had other plans for 2011. He said: “We’ve already started working on our next full length and will do east coast dates to support that record.” All I can say is: YES! EAST COAST!

I’m writing up my blog post about the Bay shows, so stay tuned. I just got back into town on Thursday, and hopefully will write about it by the middle of next week! If you’re going to the Troubadour tonight, have an excellent time!


Idiot Club Member 2011 T-shirt – Awesome as F**k…

Green Day’s Fansite Forum, the Idiot Club, is offering a new Idiot Club Member-Only t-shirt if you renew your membership or become a new member between 12/10/10 and 12/10/11. I won’t say much about the Idiot Club itself, but the admins over there do a good job of keeping things as lively as possible… but the shirt is… how you say… awesome as… well, y’know.

Idiot Club 2011 Membership Shirt - Image Idiot Club Greenday.com


COMETBUS #54: In China With Green Day or… Fans, Superfans, and Stalkers

COMETBUS #54 In China with Green Day by Aaron Cometbus

Living in New York City as I do, we here are lucky to get shows, books, movies, whatever, on a regular basis before others do. When Larry Livermore a few weeks ago tweeted that COMETBUS #54 was available in “select bookstores” in New York, I knew the ones he meant, those stores in the city that carry ‘zines such as Book Thug Nation in Brooklyn and Bluestockings and Forbidden Planet in Manhattan. A few days later, on January 29th, I went over to Book Thug (it wasn’t at Bluestocking yet) and picked up a copy for myself and Abbey Fox, a long-time reader of Aaron Cometbus’s work. I brought it home, cracked it open, read it until 3:00 in the morning, fell asleep and finished it the next day. While reading, I tweeted from my personal Twitter:

OMG COMETBUS #54 “In China with Green Day” is awesomer than fuck. And I mean that — his writing about gd & their friendship as well as the far east and himself is kinda magical. Can’t put it down — I’m being a little over the top, but seriously, it’s a glimpse of the band we rarely get. And its written with love — of course I haven’t gotten to the end yet, so who knows what road it’ll take! — Aw he doesn’t like the opening band or the bunny, lol. That’s going to interesting, lol. Hahaha. — Aw, he’s reassessed his opinion of the opening band cause they are also fans. Sweet. :) — I’m sorry, last one: NEVER ATTEMPT TO EAT A LIVE OCTOPUS. Can’t. Stop. Laughing. — Aw, he talks about Eddie, Mehdi, and George! — Chapter 18 will make you cry. — Nearing the end… and i feel the same way as he does when the tour begins to end… — be prepared…he has nothing nice to say about Green Day fans…especially middle-aged women…point taken…guilty as charged? i dunno. — well…except for the malaysians.. — luckily, he’s as hard on himself as he is on fans. kudos, dude. — “Everyone has their own perspective, and each thought that theirs was the clearest one.” pg. 94. bingo. — finis…a love story…honest, straightforward, no mincing of words…his stinky socks remind me that I need to take a fucking shower now.”

In a nutshell, it was brilliant. The best thing I’ve ever read about Green Day, and I read a lot of stuff. It made me laugh, it made me cry, it made me feel like I had an inside glimpse into how the band relaxed or got ready for shows, how it was to travel to places such as Thailand, Hong Kong, and Japan, and most special of all, how the friendship between Cometbus and his friends, Billie Joe, Mike, and Tre (and to some extent Jason White, second touring guitarist, and Bill Schneider, their personal manager and bassist for Pinhead Gunpowder) had evolved over the many years that he’s known them. Kudos, overall to COMETBUS #54. Two thumbs up… except…

There were a few things I was bothered about. If I had reviewed this earlier, I would have mentioned these things as bothersome, but in passing, and not harp on them… like I’m about to do. I took these few things with a grain of salt from a salty writer, but that didn’t mean that I wasn’t floored… or saddened… or bothered… or couldn’t talk about with others… two specific things in the work dealing with fans… one of which was written about by Livermore on his blog. I was specifically called out on something that I said on Twitter. You can read all of that on Larry’s blog (and don’t miss the comments while you’re at it). Now, I feel like I’m obligated to respond to a Twitter conversation instead of actually just reviewing COMETBUS #54. Something that Larry didn’t have to blog about but felt obligated, I suppose, to do so. I suppose I didn’t have to talk about it on Twitter in the first place, either.

Cometbus and Green Day Fans – Superfans Are Us… and YOU

Cometbus starts off the volume with this mantra, aimed at himself: “Don’t be judgmental, don’t be difficult, don’t be self-righteous. Just go with the flow and enjoy the ride. Don’t be judgmental, don’t be difficult…” and then later, he judges the videographers when they got on his bad side by taking photos of beggars without giving alms (that would bug me, too) and that their ideas of photo ops were basically stupid (which also according to his description, seems true, Green Day photographed in a Thailand tuk tuk vehicle does sound a little silly). How the crew was snobbish because they felt that they were “doing real men’s work,” and never really warmed up to him as a former roadie, except for the pyrotechnics guy, who went out of his way to be kind. How their security (three guys all of you who have been to a Green Day show lately have seen) were goons… but intellectual and articulate ones.

He relents a teeny bit on the photographers and crew and a lot on security as #54 moves forward, and says, “I’d been unfair, and let my imagination and assumptions carry me away. It was the same way with the photographers and the crew; the temptation to paint them with a wide brush was hard to resist but, inaccurate.” In other words, he had given them a chance and seen them through a different light as opportunities presented themselves over his two weeks with Green Day in the Far East to actually talk with the photographers, the crew and security. In fact, he writes about a really nice conversation between him and one security man in particular is very touching.

In short, I surmised from his words that talking to people one-on-one is different from judging people from afar… Something that he does not afford to a specific group of fans that rub him, as highlighted below, the wrong way.

Let me say here that the first time I read Cometbus was over the last two years. I’m not a long-term, star-struck fan from back in the day, and from what I understand (and have read) there’s a lot of things in Aaron Cometbus’s works that make you go… woah. He’s a great writer and brutally honest about himself and others. In #54, he talks about how his relationships with both Al Sobrante and Billie Joe went sour at certain points in their friendships, and about his own foibles, too. So all in all, when I finished the 97-page love story to his friends, I was pretty thrilled and touched when I got to the end, as well as upset by a few things, too. Larry’s blog post calls out those fans who felt or may have felt that they were targets in the first of two passages below, when in fact, Cometbus takes it one step further to admonish all fans of a certain stripe as terrifying Green Day groupies, as quoted in the second passage below:

The first passage in question reads:

As excitable as the Japanese fans were, they were still preferable to the comparatively sedate Green Day stalkers back in the States. Those were an eerie bunch, mostly lost-looking middle-aged women and glassy-eyed teens, plus the occasional Green Day groupie family that contained both. Where the dads were, I don’t know—though that may have been the point.

Armed with seemingly inexhaustible expense accounts and trust funds, they crisscrossed the country attending every single Green Day-related event. That kind of frivolousness I could understand in a once-in-a-lifetime or one-last-wish scenario, but not every single week! The decadence of it made me sick. I was grateful, and a bit shocked, that none of them had followed us halfway around the world. The Japanese fans were starstruck, but not crazy enough—or rich enough—to devote their whole lives to the band.

– In China with Green Day?!! by Aaron Cometbus, pg. 88-89

The second passage on page 34 contains a sentence that reads: “Only the most terrifying Green Day groupie would recognize any of the Big Three after they’d stepped offstage.” “The Big Three” are  Jason White, Jason Freese (keyboardist and saxophonist), and Jeff Matika (back up vocals and guitar). The nickname, “the Big Three,” is a term of endearment that these three musicians dubbed themselves as the band’s touring musicians from the recently-ended 21st Century Breakdown tour. In two paragraphs, Cometbus basically speaks of the gift of anonymity that befalls the Jasons and Jeff, unlike the near non-existent anonymity of Green Day themselves. That the “Big Three” can walk the streets and not be harassed, as opposed to Billie Joe, Mike and Tre, who are easily recognizable. He goes on to say that not being part of the band, just employees, must be hard on them, too. That I can understand, but then he throws the “terrifying Green Day groupie” line in as he mentions disappointed fans staring at the entourage, trying to find someone actually in the band.

In essence, for those of you out there who are smugly (and you know who are) thinking that the first passage doesn’t apply to you, there are many of you who the second passage, those “terrifying Green Day fans [who] would recognize” the Big Three does apply to. So get your knickers out of a bunch in any gripes about “Superfans” and take the time to actually digest what Aaron Cometbus has written about you. Of course, there are tons of people out there who haven’t read COMETBUS #54, so that is, admittedly, kinda hard to do at this point, I know.

Call Me a Superfan Again and I’ll…

Larry Livermore, who follows both Abbey Fox and me on Twitter, posted a question on Facebook presumably after reading the conversation we were having with other Green Day fans about the first passage. He asked, “Why are they so sure they’re the ones being talked about?” So, I guess I should answer that. Here goes:

First of all, I’m nobody. I don’t hang with Green Day like Aaron Cometbus or Larry Livermore do and shoot the shit. I’m just a blogger who started a project in June 2009 to write about Green Day’s tour and just kept going after it ended. I have gotten over 70,000 “hits” here since then, and a small return readership. When I started the blog, I had never seen Green Day play live before May 2009. I didn’t have any Green Day albums (or many albums for that matter) except for American Idiot. Since then, through crazy happenstance, I have met Green Day, and they and I don’t know each other from a hill of beans. I have spoken with Aaron Cometbus two times, and both conversations, while brief, have been pleasant and he was gracious. I have seen him as the drummer and lead songwriter of Pinhead Gunpowder when they played their amazing show for their friend Anandi last year at Gilman, and while the show was awesome, his actions toward female fans turned me off to no end. I got called a bitch-woman-child on this blog by a commenter for going to see Pinhead Gunpowder because in his words, “I was only there for Billie Joe Armstrong.” Larry Livermore is an acquaintance, and I have seen his band, the Potatomen, play when they reunited for a show last year. I am friends with people who know Green Day, and I love those people with all of my heart. I have gone to multiple Green Day shows and events (not every week, as Cometbus writes but over the period of the tour), have seen American Idiot the musical in Berkeley twice and way too many times (with and without Billie Joe Armstrong as St. Jimmy) on Broadway. I hang around the stagedoor talking with other fans and my friend the stagedoor guy and occasionally, the crew and a band member. I have a friend who plays with the AI band sometimes. I have seen John Gallagher, Jr. play at Rockwood as well as ensemble member Declan Bennett at Ars Nova. I have stood on the St. James Theater. I have exactly three personal fan photographs (one with Billie Joe, taken by a friend who I didn’t ask to take it, as well as a group photo with him when Dawn, an Iraq and Afghan War veteran I interviewed on this blog, met him in NYC), and one with Mike Dirnt, who jokingly took the photograph himself when another friend and I couldn’t take a self-portrait to save our lives. I have exactly one autograph of Billie Joe Armstrong. I have seen the Foxboro Hot Tubs play. Twice. I have traveled to England to see them, to Montreal, to California, and to numerous shows on the East Coast. I will be going to see Mike Dirnt’s band, The Frustrators, in the East Bay next week. I have written about mostly all of these events on this blog (though I keep some things to myself)… my personal memories of great times and I have shared these happenstance good memories with you. I have met fans — the most wonderful (and yes, not so wonderful) women, men, teenagers, and families along the way… a community… a Green Day Community.

I am middle-aged and a woman and I fit the description that Cometbus writes in regards to crisscrossing the world to attend Green Day events. Except, I ain’t lost-looking, am not eerie, and ain’t got no trust fund or expense account, that’s for damned sure. Does that answer your question, Larry? Or better yet, why did you frame the question that way in the first place?

Do I consider myself a Superfan? I hate that word with so much passion you don’t even know. A superfan connotes to me an evil bitch who goes around unkindly ripping everything that they can from a band or any entertainer or a jealous person when they themselves are unable or unwilling to do the thing that they want the most to do… follow their dream and have an adventure. Am I suppose to have some sort of cape with my superfan costume? I was raised in a bar, with music, and one of my dreams in this life (after all the other ones were dashed, but it’s not like I didn’t try to attain them) was to follow a band, listen to music, have a good time, and collect the memories of it, like some people collect books or records, and write about them. Catalog them, if you will. Heck, I am an archivist, and that is what we do.

But maybe, I am a superfan, though I have never, to my knowledge, as some accuse “superfans,” rubbed the things I’ve done in anyone’s face, and if I have, I apologize for that. For a long while, I didn’t even tell anyone I wrote this blog, because, y’know, it’s kinda crazy, and what would my friends think! I have tried to be as humble as possible and while I have failed here and there at that, I am always amazed at anything that comes my way. I have written this blog with respect to Green Day as people, from what I hope, is a grown-up perspective.  There have been times in my brain when I’ve felt entitled (as some accuse these superfans) and have mentally kicked myself for even thinking it. I have gotten pissed at times that a certain website (which I happen to like a great deal) has never once mentioned my blog though I mention them all the time. So, while I wouldn’t call myself a superfan, because it’s a stupid, hateful, word, you might call me that. I call myself a fan, and a lucky and grateful one at that.

What I am not is a stalker or a terrifying groupie. (Well, except for that one time when I fangirled all over Billie Joe at an American Idiot talkback — something that I’m completely ashamed of.) Hence, I did not think that Cometbus was talking about me, but I do have the capability of asking myself, as a cursed Pisces will do, am I that person? And neither are the majority of Green Day fans who have occasionally fangirled and fanboyed with me or have or have not crisscrossed the planet and happen to be able to recognize the Big Three offstage.

Of course, your definition of me may be different owing to the description above. I don’t know, and frankly, the more I think about it, the more I don’t care.

“Don’t be judgmental, don’t be difficult, don’t be self-righteous. Just go with the flow and enjoy the ride. Don’t be judgmental, don’t be difficult…”

What was my motivation when I started this blog? Was I trying to get close to Green Day? Was it fame? Glory? A writing project? Boredom? Loneliness? Accomplishing something? Doing something crazy before I die?

Maybe a little bit of all those reasons but… No… my motivation was to get away from writing about genocide… literally. And now with all of this damned stupidity about Superfans and what not, of reading comments from people slagging each other off because of old grudges or trout dances or punk rivalries or jealousy or writers who are friends of the band and have a special place in their hearts who don’t give one good goddamn about his friend’s bands fans… I kinda feel like I did when I almost went to the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. the day that a white supremacist walked into it and killed the security guard back in 2009. I was ten minutes away from that damn incident and decided at the last minute not to go. I just want to get away from everything Green Day for awhile.

What is a Stalker?

Enough about me, let’s get back to what Cometbus wrote, specifically on the definition… or at least, a description of, a stalker, since none is clearly provided for in COMETBUS #54. Let me tell you what a stalker, as Aaron Cometbus judges a group of people that he, unlike the photographers, the crew, or security, at Green Day’s latest tour that he is able to speak with and warm up to, lumps a bunch of people into, really is. This is what I wrote in the comments on Larry’s blog:

You want to know what a real stalker is… ask my movie actress friend who was stalked by a woman for six months [sending her messages through Facebook, her blog, leaving things at her house] until that said stalker called the police saying that my friend was being beaten up… the police came to her house and everything was fine… and then the stalker showed up at my friend’s home with a sex toy. Needless to say, that stalker… the true definition of a stalker… spent two months in jail because she refused to post bail for trespassing and harassment until her court date. Court ordered psychiatric care and a restraining order are now permanently in that woman’s life… now THAT is a stalker.

Fans, Superfans, Stalkers

So, with all of that long-windedness said, what’s my take on all of this?

What Aaron Cometbus writes is his opinion, combined with his views of the hyperactivity of fans that he’s seen over the years, mixed in with his own punk perceptions and views. There’s nothing wrong with that. From what I gather, he lives a relatively simple life filled with books and writing who just happens, through happenstance, to know some famous people. He is, as well as you, entitled to opinions. In COMETBUS #54, he tells a wonderful story of friendship filled with obvious love and he doesn’t slam all fans. In fact, there are a few descriptions that are both funny and touching, including a great story about a haywire cultural incident that happened in Singapore between a fan and Billie Joe onstage, some moments of truly obsessed and stalkerish behavior in Japan (but at least they are funny), and, a particularly powerful incident where he dances with a group of Malaysian fans at one of the shows. And he writes that it’s decadent and frivolous for a group of people to follow a band for many shows and events during a tour. And you know what? He’s right. If he had left it at that, it would have been fine. But he goes on to judge those fans whose decadence and frivolousness he deems so completely wrong as “armed with seemingly inexhaustible expense accounts and trust funds” that that is where the problem of his own prejudices and misreading of people, lay. It’s not about me and whether I take it upon myself to follow a band (or whether I’m a superfan, a fan or a stalker), or as Larry Livermore asked on Facebook, “Why are they so sure they’re the ones being talked about?” It’s about Aaron Cometbus and how he misjudges people who love the same band that he does but who do not have the friendship to travel in first class with them for two solid weeks.

And who does he misjudge? Women in their middle-life, who may have finally come to a point in their lives to do something wild and crazy after a lifetime of work and saving, or maybe after divorce, or maybe after being widowed, or hell, even still married, to travel! To hear music! To see their friends who happen to be fans too and have met for the first time after years of Internet talking! And yes, to see Billie Joe shake his ass as well. Or teens… kids just starting out in life and on a grand adventure with their favorite band and their friends! And families that may or may not be broken, but are taking an adventure on their own, without (or with) dad in tow, and bonding with their children over something crazy… music. Some of them may even have trust funds and expense accounts, but it’s their money. In this respect, though, I think back to his view on the photographers that didn’t pay the beggars for taking their photograph. It would bother me, too… if I didn’t know that many of these people that I have met along the way and have talked with, don’t have trust funds or expense accounts.

When Cometbus writes that fans… folks who haven’t had the opportunity to travel like I or many others have, are “terrifying Green Day groupies” just because they recognize the Big Three… what the fuck is that all about? Not only does he slag off a specific group of superfans (god I hate that word), but he also slags off the “ordinary fan,” who just may happen to know what those three dudes look like. I don’t know. I can’t even fathom the meaning behind those particular words.

I know that there are crazy fans. There are those fans who do nothing short of stupid things and I don’t need to tell you what those things are, you can pretty much conjure them up in your mind. Their actions sometimes terrifies me and makes me feel badly for Green Day, or any band, movie star, or public figure, for that matter. These fans invade privacy, put into danger, stalk their children, impersonate them, scream at them, and hound them to no end for just a little piece of them. This behavior is wrong, short and simple. But not every fan or superfan (urgh) does it. Not everyone can be painted with a broad brush. Not everyone has an expense account or trust fund. Not everyone is a stalker.

I guess the bottom line with me is that it’s hard enough being a Green Day fan when punk and music circles constantly slam them. You can’t mention Green Day in many music forums without some commenter writing about how good they used to be. I don’t mind a rational discussion of the issues of fandom and its subsequent problems. But I don’t need one of their friends to slam me as a fan, too. Particularly when the band has named their new live album pretty much in honor of their fans and particularly when that friend does not write informed distinctions about those very same fans.

A great friend of mine who talked with me about this said that fans should just boycott the work. To that, I say no. The problem with that is that overall, COMETBUS #54 is brilliant, and every fan (whether they can recognize the Big Three offstage or not), will quite enjoy it. I stick by those words I tweeted back on January 29th when I started reading the issue: “OMG COMETBUS #54 “In China with Green Day” is awesomer than fuck. And I mean that” I also will keep in mind Aaron Cometbus’s mantra: “Don’t be judgmental, don’t be difficult, don’t be self-righteous. Just go with the flow and enjoy the ride. Don’t be judgmental, don’t be difficult…” In that respect, maybe I have misjudged Aaron Cometbus. But I have only his words to go by on that.

“Everyone has their own perspective, and each thought that theirs was the clearest one.”

COMETBUS #54, In China with Green Day, pg. 94.


Melissa Etheridge Steps In as St. Jimmy in American Idiot

Melissa Etheridge Playbill

Tony Vincent, Billie Joe Armstrong, Joshua Kobak, Andrew Call. I’ve been fortunate to see these four men perform St. Jimmy in American Idiot. My heart belongs with the St. Jimmy of Billie Joe Armstrong, while my head belongs to Tony Vincent. Armstrong brings himself to the role, as he is St. Jimmy, and he’s got the gritty balls to grab the audience by the throat and throttle them with his electricity. Plus, he just knows how to sing the songs that he’s spent so much blood and sweat writing and singing. Vincent, who left the show at the of end of 2010 after originating the role in Berkeley and Broadway, brought a magnificent voice and a slick and evil characterization to St. Jimmy. He was my favorite in the show even when I saw it back in Berkeley so long ago in September 2009. Kobak and Call stepped in as Vincent’s understudies for two shows that I saw, and while I thought their performances were solid (Kobak brought a bit of Vincent with him, while Call was hulking and sinister), they were not Vincent and Armstrong.

Now, there’s a fifth St. Jimmy, and her name is Melissa Etheridge.

Tonight’s performance was her first in an actual role on Broadway. She performed with the Broadway show Million Dollar Quartet, for a one-night jam performance back in June, so tonight was her actual debut as an actor. I’ve been a great proponent of the casting of Etheridge in the role. I love the non-traditional casting that American Idiot seems to be striving for, as they head into the days where Billie Joe Armstrong (who rejoins the cast from February 10th to February 27th) will permanently leave the role. I’ve heard rumors that they are contemplating various performers to take over the role after Armstrong leaves, and those of us who hang around the stagedoor talking to each other other joke about Keith Richards or Johnny Depp appearing. When Etheridge was announced, I was thrilled, not only because she was a woman, but she also has a great voice and excellent stage presence as a musician.

She started off with a burst of vibrant energy at the lyrics that introduce St. Jimmy to the audience… “Coming at you on the count of 1,2,1,2,3,4!”… as the audience, many of whom where regular suspects in attendance, shouted out the count along with Johnny (played by Van Hughes tonight since John Gallagher, Jr., is on vacation). It was a brilliant entrance and then… boom… for the first lines that she sang (“My name is Jimmy and you better not wear it out… Suicide commando that your momma talked about… King of the forty thieves… And I’m here to represent… The needle in the vein of the establishment), Etheridge completely lost the fast-paced rhythm. It was a bit shocking, but she ended the song on a strong note.

From that point on, I was worried that she would lose the pace again. After all, the music to American Idiot is fast pop-punk, and it’s faster than anything that Etheridge has ever put out and a completely different style and tempo. She never lost the pace again, but one thing that was noticeably different for serial attendees like me, was that the music had been slightly re-scored to fit her voice and rhythm. In essence, that’s ok, but I’m so used to hearing Armstrong or Vincent keeping up the pace that it bothered me a little bit. Her musical styling is so much different from the world of pop-punk, that there were moments were she wanted to bring her own voice and style into play, but the music of American Idiot doesn’t really allow for that.

Melissa Etheridge as St. Jimmy -- Photo by Paul Kolnik

Her best songs were “Know Your Enemy” and the Homecoming movement, “The Death of St. Jimmy,” both of which she knocked out of the house, particularly the latter. She brought a subtle nuance to the movement and less of the crazed and funny stylings of Armstrong or the evil intent of Vincent. For those who know the show, Johnny and St. Jimmy take their shirts off and draw hearts with lipstick on their chests. It’s easy for a guy to take their shirt off onstage (I’ve played a role naked once and let me tell you, it’s not the easiest thing in the world to do as a woman), so instead of going shirtless, she took off an overshirt and revealed a t-shirt underneath that had a pre-drawn, bleached outline of the heart on it which she then traced. While the t-shirt was cool (I want one), the action itself unfortunately didn’t work for me as a staged moment.

I’m happy that American Idiot took the chance with Etheridge, a woman just a little older than me who has an amazing voice and exceptional stage presence. For her first night performing in such a role, I think that she did a good, if not exceptional job and the novelty of the gender-switch certainly works. She has huge shoes to fill and it’s probably a bit unfair to compare her with other St. Jimmys, but unfortunately, it’s a natural thing to do. Her chemistry and connection with Hughes was a little non-existent, but that also might be because it’s their first times together in front of an audience and Hughes hasn’t played the role of Johnny for very many performances himself. I do like the way he performs some of Johnny’s monologues, particularly before “Whatsername,” but I found myself wondering how Gallagher and Etheridge would have performed the show together.

On the whole, a female St. Jimmy works, though Etheridge (to me) lacks a bit of the power and fire that other St. Jimmys have brought to the role. I also didn’t see her as the character of St Jimmy, but as Melissa Etheridge performing the songs of St. Jimmy. Hopefully after one show under her belt, she’ll be able to quickly develop more characterization and less of a sketch of St. Jimmy. For hardcore Etheridge fans, she’s a must-see, by far.

ThatGirlAllison wrote a review here of the show and took a video of Etheridge’s Good Riddance encore, below:


Mike Dirnt Sings Good Riddance with Billie Joe at American Idiot – Team Spider Video

Special thanks to Team Spider for sending in the video below!

Team Spider is a local punk bike activist group here in New York City. They are hardcore proponents of the right to free assembly, and are participants in the Critical Mass bike rides that take place here in the city and around the world. I believe that they are also part of Time’s Up, a local environmental direct action group here in New York, and participate in the heart of New York’s punk scene, C-Squat on Avenue C. I’ve been to C-Squat a few times lately, and have seen some excellent shows. While I stick out like a sore thumb, being that the venue is crusty punk, and I’m totally a middle-aged woman trying to hold onto youth, lol, everyone has always been super nice and friendly. I admire their stance, and frankly, courage, in regards to life. I couldn’t live the life, but I have to say thanks to such groups who keep it real, taking action against what they see as injustices in the world in regards to social issues.

Anyway, they got Front Row AA tickets to American Idiot recently. While they did not enjoy the show as much as a fan of it would like them to, they did take a great video of Mike Dirnt playing with Billie Joe Armstrong on 1/22/11 at the St. James Theater.

Special thanks to Team Spider for sending in the video!

 

In reading their review, looking at it as they do from the stance of street activism and the life of punks, they take exception to a lot in the show. In fact, they hate it! And it’s ok. Not everyone will love American Idiot, and surely, some folks won’t even like it. I remember the first time that I saw it in Berkeley, I had such conflicts with the production that I had to get drunk that first night in September 2009. Since then I’ve fallen in love with the production, but it’s taken me a long time to reconcile my not-so-in-love-with-Broadway feelings to my so-in-love-with-the-music feelings. Most of all, I go for the music, which has always been the star of the show to me, even beyond Billie Joe making his appearances as St. Jimmy. I’ve also been able to see how the performers have developed their characters, and to appreciate the hybrid opera/concert/musical experience.

Of course, I wish Team Spider had liked it, but looking at the show from a real-life view from the street, any production on Broadway is so far away from C-Squat on Avenue C, that I’m just glad that they went! I would take exception to one thing, though: I don’t think that Green Day did American Idiot on Broadway for the money, which is just another way to accuse them of selling out. I do think they did it for the love of creating. Of course, money doesn’t hurt, but for a production that has barely made its initial costs back (and I’m assuming that it has by now) hasn’t made its initial costs back at this point, implying that they possibly did it for money is pretty far from the truth. Though of course, royalties are always cool.

Enjoy the video!


Green Day Across the World – May 28, 2011

2nd Place "Green Day Across the World" Logo Contest by GD Jonny

On this Martin Luther King, Jr. Day when I’m writing this announcement, I’d like to take a moment to say a word of thanks. Who would I like to thank, besides Dr. King? Well, I’d like to thank all of you who have stopped by Green Day Mind to read and say hello. I appreciate your visits and comments and I hope we all have a great 2011!

I’d like to also take a second to thank those people throughout time immemorial (like Dr. King) who have contributed some positive hand to the rights of man, beast, and land. The world is a crazy place and we each have our own beliefs, but it’s nice when people can come together on at least one or two basic issues. Your issues will differ from mine, and that’s OK. My beliefs tend to center around the ideal that people deserve life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, free from genocide and war with the ability to take care of their families and community, have safe water, healthy natural resources, and sustainable energy. While that sounds all high-minded, let’s not forget the most basic right, the inalienable right to party (or celebrate, you take your pick)!

At the East River Resting at the Opening of the Newtown Creek -- Kayaking in New York City

While everyone won’t agree on everything, I hope we can concur on one thing: that a clean, robust and healthy planet is probably better than a filthy, dirty and rotten one. I think about the environment at lot, particularly about the waterways of the world and especially about the ones here in New York City.

New York is a City of Water, filled with massive and powerful rivers, tiny inlets, and an ocean just a subway ride away. If there’s one thing that is true, humans and animals alike cannot survive without clean water. While that’s true, we also need to use waterways for transport and industry. How we balance the two needs, human consumption and industry (as well as sanitation issues), makes all the difference between dead and healthy seas.

New York City’s waterways were a mess from industry and pollution, but they have come a long way toward health and less pollution over the last ten years. Once absent dolphins and seals have been spotted here and there in the East River in small numbers, a sure sign of potential health. Clean rivers prompts crazy people like me, as part of the Long Island City Community Boathouse, to take little boats out for kayaking good times. The kayaking is free at the LICCB and we encourage the community to jump back into the water. In recent years, I’ve kayaked around the island of Manhattan at night for ten straight hours, resting at small beaches and other free public kayaking clubs around the borough. I’ve seen beautiful shoreline in Staten Island, Queens, Brooklyn, Manhattan, and the Bronx, as well as the harsh remnants of the Five Borough’s broken industrial docks and rotting timbers.

On the whole, it’s a beautiful sight. Except for a few nasty places here and there, like the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn or the Newton Creek. The latter small creek, located between the boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens, was and still is, an industrial wasteland. Back in the day, a massive oil spill combined with oil leakage from the companies that used to thrive along the riverline, has rested at the bottom of this creek for a long, long, time. After years of petitioning and review, the Newtown Creek is now a Superfund site and as such, the restoration of its health is a National priority. Here’s a story at Gothamist about the Creek, and includes a photo that I took while kayaking down the inlet a while ago. Here’s a full set of Newtown Creek photos that I took from 2007 on Smugmug.

Green Day Across the World Official T-Shirt by Ms_Gd_Lover Logo Contest Winner

We are lucky here in New York, but a lot of places aren’t so lucky. Pollution, poverty, lack of sanitation, et al, takes a toll on the water and the land, wherever you are. If you like a clean environment and are looking for a good cause, there’s a fan-based initiative that started at the Green Day Community over the last four months called “Green Day Across the World.” I am not quite sure who the idea started with, but it ended up being a collective effort ultimately organized through sheer tenacity and true grit into the “Green Day Across the World” environmental event. It’s a day to honor both Green Day and a green world. The event will take place on May 28, 2011 in a city and town near you.

Please note that this is a fan-based initiative and it’s going to take fans to pull it off, which means you! If you’d like to learn more about both the event and what you can do to host an event in your city, town or area, please visit the Green Day Across the World website or click the logo above. You can come up with your own environmental themes and issues. To get involved, you can send a message directly to dawnwilcox1@gmail.com and can also find them on Facebook and Twitter @GreenDayATWrld.

From what I understand, Billie Joe and Adrienne have both heard of this event and while I do not know if they have officially endorsed it, they are said to be enthusiastic about it. Find out more information from the website on prizes, t-shirts, action groups, and events. I believe that all money except for operating costs will go to the National Resource Defense Council. I’ll write more in the coming months about the event as details unfold!

I did not help to organize this event, so all questions should go the email above for more information.

Thanks to Dawn and everyone at the Green Day Community who worked so damed hard on this. You guys all rock. If you’re a member of the Green Day Community, here’s the thread at the GDC.

Green Day Across the World


Mike Chickenman… Mike CM… Gets PEOPed by Fly

The infamous Mike Chickenman, now known as Mike Cm, was recently PEOPed by the graphic artist, Fly. You may remember Mike from Green Day’s show at Madison Square Garden back in July, he of the hardhat, the death metal rendition of “Longview” and a stagedive into oblivion. It was strangely awesome and a bit whack at the same time.

I’ve gotten to know Mike since that night at Madison Square Garden. I was very wary at first, but somehow this crazy, sweet kid won me over. He’s a legend around the punk and crusty scene in New York, known as an avid lover of music, a little loopy, and an up-and-coming music promoter.  When I met Mike late in 2009, he was in a bad place in regards to drugs and alcohol. Since January 2010 thereabouts, he’s been kicking his habit. It hasn’t been easy for him, but it’s never easy to kick a habit and stay true to yourself in a world where everyone wants you to conform… though every once in a while, you might have to confrom just a little, but hopefully not too much.

Mike was really excited (more than usual, which is saying a lot for Mike), about the possibility of having the graphic artist, zine writer and musician, Fly, do one of her PEOP sketches of him. Fly, (whose website can be found here) first published PEOPs: Portraits and Stories of People back in 2003. Her PEOP sketches combine drawings of her subject with conversational dialogue from her sketching session with them. The sketch and part of that conversation are then combined into a drawing. Kristy Eldredge summed up PEOPs in her review from 2004:

The people Fly features are artists, musicians, activists and seekers. A few are well known – Lydia Lunch, Art Spiegelman, John Zorn – but most are anonymous members of what used to be known as the underground. (In these days when the maw of media shines a spotlight on everything in its path, nothing seems underground.) In general they’re creative people who don’t want mainstream careers, draw inspiration from music and find meaning in collective action.

PEOPs #5, which includes portraits of Aaron Cometbus and Jello Biafra, can be purchased at Microcosm Publishing. Mike’s PEOP may be included in the next edition, here’s hoping! UPDATE: As Abbey noted in the comments, a PEOP is also featured monthly in Maximum RocknRoll, so here’s hoping it appears in one or the other.

Mike Cm - PEOP by Fly


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