Monthly Archives: November 2009

Green Day Backstage with Access Hollywood

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Unfortunately, I can’t remember who posted this video, but it’s a funny one with Green Day talking with Access Hollywood of all people, backstage at the American Music Awards that took place on November 22, 2009.

Billie Joe (A) Artist of the Century- Q Magazine

The GDA put up a scan of a short and funny interview with Billie Joe, who had been chosen as one of Q Magazine’s Artists of the Century. Click on the image below to get to the GDA scans.  (And special thanks to Kryssi, too.)

Billie Joe Please Don't Strangle Yourself. Everything Will Be Alright, Dude.

Interview - Q Magazine - Billie Joe Armstrong - (A) Artist of the Decade - Page 2

Happy New Year Comes Early and California Dreaming

Happy November New Year from Punks in Hats

November New Year’s Big Adventure

New Year’s is one of those holidays that I dread. I never know what I’m going to do and I rarely venture into the heart of the beast, Times Square, to celebrate a new year at all. I’ve done it a couple of times, once when I worked as a cater-waiter for a Millennium Party in 2000 and once when friends stayed at the Bryant Park Hotel and we walked over to view the festivities from a comfortable distance on a side street. I didn’t see the ball drop live in either case, and it was fine by me.

This year, when it was announced that Green Day was going to be the special guest of “New Year’s with Carson Daly ‘live from’ Times Square,” I immediately made mental plans to be there to watch the ball drop and hope to hear the song “21st Century Breakdown” ring in not only a new year, but a new decade as well.

And then the other ball dropped: Green Day was not actually playing live from the Square, but live from Los Angeles. Oh well, shit happens, back to Square One of doing nothing for the night.

At the same time, a live concert was announced from Los Angeles that took place this past Monday, November 23, live from Nokia Plaza in downtown LA. A small outdoor concert, presumably with footage from this show, was being used for the New Year’s special. I really wanted to head to California to attend, but I’ve been so blessed (’cause I’m not cursed) in traveling this year that it seemed impossible for me to do it.

A friend demanded that I come out some how, but I couldn’t see my way clear to do it. I knew the night would be special if I could make it, but alas, it just wasn’t working out that way.

Pee Wee Herman’s Big Adventure

But then I remembered one of my credos from this year: the Lushie Gods are good. I sent out mental waves of Lushdom and the Wednesday before the show, I decided to head to LA, which depended on a number of factors: flight, car, places to crash. I set the wheels in motion for all of the above and then went off to see a remastered version of “Pee Wee Herman’s Big Adventure,” introduced by Tim Burton, at the current retrospective of Burton’s films and artwork at MoMA. (Thanks, David and Melody!!)

I’ve never been a huge fan of “Pee Wee Herman’s Big Adventure,” but I remember it fondly as a film that brings a lot of happiness and joy into lives as well as a positive philosophy of keeping your inner child close to you. Pee Wee may have been super jealous of his bike, but he learned along the way that if you are yourself and seek to open your heart for something you care about, you’ll find your bike again and will meet some crazy and fantastic people as well as Large Marge, along the way.

When I walked out of the film with my friends, I was in a happy mood. I called my friend who could get me a special rate (practically free) on an airline to California and confirmed to meet him the next day for it. I called other friends to double check that I could stay with them, and by Saturday, I was on a flight to Los Angeles.

Riverside, California, 1977

As a Midwesterner and Eastcoaster, I’ve always made fun of California, especially since I suffered greatly in that State back when I was a kid. Riverside, 1977, when Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours and the song, “Go Your Own Way,” was the rage hit of the day, my mother and I traveled to the Golden State to visit my nephew, my ex-brother-in-law, and his new wife. We had driven from Phoenix through the desert and landed at my brother-in-law’s pretty ranch house with the swimming pool and the dog kennel in the backyard. He had been a dog trainer during the Vietnam War and continued this line of work when he got out. There were two beautiful Doberman Pinschers, a miniature blue Pinscher, and in the kennel itself, a pair of Alaskan Huskies with their brand-new litter of green and blue-eyed fluffy Husky puppies. I was a kid in California heaven, escaping the misery of my hometown, Detroit, and would not have despised California until I returned in 2003 if it were not for an incident that clouded my brain about Cali for a good many years to come.

We had gone to Disneyland for the day and it was pretty much a mindfuck of my mother not letting me ride on anything that “looked” dangerous, so we didn’t go on very many rides. A fire had also broken out in the Haunted House, so I didn’t get to go in there as well. It was a disappointing day at the park, and as we headed back to my relatives’ place, all I could think of was playing with the Husky puppies to ease my crappy Disney Big Adventure.

When we finally got back to the house, I ran to the kennel and got a most horrible shock: one of the puppies was dead with a massive hole in its head and a rock laying beside his motionless body. Needless to say, this 13-year-old girl freaked the hell out.

My ex-brother-in-law and his backyard neighbors apparently didn’t like each other. My brother-in-law was Black and his wife was White and while there may have been other issues going on between the neighbors as well (my ex-brother-in-law was a Vietnam vet, after all), it seemed to me that in 1970’s California, mixed-race marriage was an issue that caused asshole children to throw rocks at puppies in an attempt to kill them. Because, y’know, it’s all the puppy’s’ fault and shit. My California dreams were completely dashed by the entire day’s incidents and I had nightmares of dead puppies and being trapped in haunted houses for years afterward. To this day when anyone mentions Riverside, I recoil with disgust and horror.

Los Angeles, 2003

Flash forward to my next encounter with California, in 2003. I had gotten a project archivist job with the Newport Jazz Festival and I headed out to Los Angeles in order to survey hundreds of Festival videotapes that were stuck in a warehouse in the City of Industry and arranged to ship them to New York. I was also attending the Society of American Archivists conference in Century City and visiting some college actor friends who had moved out there years before. My visit was picture perfect and wonderful and I even managed to miss the gigantic blackout that happened that year on the East Coast. My visit occurred at the same time as the two-country and multi-state Black Out of 2003, which knocked out power to the entire Great Lakes and Northeast regions on both sides of the border. I watched it all from the comfort of my hotel room and then got in my car to visit friends. It was a most excellent trip.

Berkeley and Crockett, 2009

My next visits to California, to Berkeley and Los Angeles this year, were equally as enjoyable as 2003, but luckily no blackouts this time, either from power failures or alcohol. I came out to Berkeley to see Green Day’s American Idiot musical and visit some long-lost friends who had moved to the Bay area years ago. While I had mixed feelings about the show itself, I did quite enjoy American Idiot and loved seeing old friends and making a few new ones that I hope will be around for years to come. I even got to unexpectedly go to Toot’s in Crockett, CA, to try and catch the 12-piece band, the Mystic Knights of the Cobra, but we missed the show and ended up hanging out until the small hours of the night instead.

Mystic Knights of the Cobra on Creepy KOFY Movietime

(The El Camino riff in the above video was chanted by the FBHT in London earlier this year. Go COBRAS!)

Los Angeles, 2009

My recent visit to celebrate New Year’s in November was equally enjoyable. I flew in on Saturday, arrived at 6:30 PM, stayed on my friend’s couch for two days, visited another friend who I hadn’t seen since 2005, and just had an amazing time with people that I love.

Fun in California, In Johnny Goldstein's Convertible, Los Angeles, November 22, 2009

Rachel True and Tanya doing like the old days and hanging on the couch

After two days, I headed to downtown L.A. where I met up with East Bay friends. We hung at our hotel for a while and then marched to Nokia Plaza to see Green Day perform an hour-long show that consisted of so many old and wonderful songs of theirs that I thought my head would explode. I unfortunately didn’t end up being close to the stage at all, but I was hanging with some pretty cool people, including a friend who, like me, was one of the few people around us that actually knew the words to these wonderful and vibrant tunes from the 1990s that the Boys were drumming up on stage.

It was heaven.

There were three highlights of the show for me, not in any particular order. First, the people I hung out with all day are some of the funniest, liveliest, and craziest people I have ever met, and I’ve hung with many fun, live, and crazy people in my life. Thank you for a wonderful time! The second highlight is that I FINALLY GOT TO HEAR TRE SING “DOMINATED LOVE SLAVE” LIVE, as he and Billie switched up guitar and mic for drums, and I literally had a grin on my face that could not be wiped off for anything in the world. The third highlight of the night is that I actually got to meet Billie and Tre and had a short conversation with Billie and an even shorter one with Tre. I stuck out my hand to both of them with a simple, “Hi, I’m Tanya,” and they both responded with handshakes back, “Hi, I’m Billie,” and “Hi, my name is Tre.”

Me and some dude

Needless to say, even if my phone got shut off for a bit due to this trip, it was a mighty fine time, and a Happy New Year’s in November with California Dreams was had by all.

Thank you, California.

I know that visiting California and living there are actually two different things, but seriously, I’ve come to the conclusion that I would rather live with beautiful mountain ranges, fruit falling from trees, bushes that smell pretty and sunshine then the cold hard reality of New York. Mind you, I love New York and I have lived here for a number of years, but I’m tired of the climate, the scene, the lack of creativity that has engulfed my life here since 1985. I’m ready for a new big adventure in a broke State, sailing out my years on a porch, looking at burning mountains with the ever-present notion of shifting earth under my feet rather than my cold, hard, and beloved Brooklyn.

I never thought I’d say it, but in the next five years, I’m moving to California. It’s always good to dream.

I wish everyone their own Big Adventure and a Happy New Year!

Nokia Plaza Setlist – Show and Soundcheck, November 23, 2009

Nokia Plaza Concert (GDA):
1. Know Your Enemy
2. East Jesus Nowhere
3. Burnout
4. Coming Clean
5. 2000 Light Years Away
6. Welcome To Paradise
7. Who Wrote Holden Caulfield?
8. Dominated Love Slave
9. Holiday
10. Murder City
11. Christie Road
12. Going To Pasalacqua
13. Disappearing Boy
14. Are We The Waiting
15. St. Jimmy
16.21 Guns
17. American Eulogy
18. Minority
19. Last Night On Earth

Nokia Plaza Soundcheck (GDA):
Murder City
I Want You to Want Me – Cheap Trick
St Jimmy
Coming Clean
Having a Blast
Sassafrass Roots (First time ever played live or since it came out, according to my brief conversation with Billie Joe)
Nice Guys Finish Last
Pulling Teeth – Acoustic
Stairway to Heaven
Gilligan’s Island theme song
Favorite Son
American Eulogy
I Fought the Law

All About Dookie – “Having a Blast” – from PopMatters

Part II of AJ Ramirez’ exploration of Dookie is now up at Go on over and leave some comments to get the conversation about this album going! The post includes a slightly out-of-sync performance of “Having a Blast” from 1993 as well.

All About Dookie from Pop Matters

Pop Matters, an international magazine that focusses on popular culture and criticism, begins a 14-part series highlighting each song of Green Day’s quintessential masterpiece album, Dookie. Check out the first part on the song “Burnout” here. And yes, they will also talk about that “secret” song, too.

Green Day at the American Music Awards

Green Day changed gears last night and gave a subtle and subdued performance of the song, “21 Guns” for the American Music Awards this year from Los Angeles.
Green Day accepting award for Best Alternative Band and giving a shout out to punk:

Also, here’s a video where Billie Joe talks about when they are coming around again to the U.S. (posted at the GDC):

Below is a snippet of the press conference they gave behind the scenes. I hope to find a longer version of this when I have the chance. Thanks to greendaylove38 for the link!
Green Day Press conference – American Music Awards, 2009
(Holy moly, thanks to greendaylove38! 🙂 )

Hitchin’ a Ride to See Green Day Taping for the Carson Daly Show

I’ve had a saying lately, that the Lushie Gods are good. Or as the line from “Before the Lobotomy” goes, “I’m not cursed cause I’ve been blessed,” though really, I don’t know how it’s been happening. Usually my luck is non-existent, but lately, since I’ve been living by the “in the moment” credo of Green Day, things have gone surprisingly well. I decided on Wednesday to head to California to see the taping that Green Day is doing for the Carson Daly show, and by Thursday, things had fallen into place like clockwork. I fly off tomorrow and will be back on Tuesday.

On Sunday, don’t forget to watch Green Day on the American Music Awards on ABC-TV! Green Day is nominated and will be performing as well. You can watch the Red Carpet and Awards show here.

The Boys won a MTV college Woodie for Best Live Band last week and the People’s Choice Awards are still coming up, so don’t forget to vote for them for Favorite Rock Band. You can use the widget below to vote.

This is my choice for:

Favorite Rock Band
Green Day

Lastly, Green Day recorded “21 Guns” with the cast of American Idiot last week in Berkeley. A video is going to come out soon. That is going to be amazing.

Until I can post again, have a great weekend!

Green Day in Torino – Bellissimo by Giulio Lapone!

Green Days Pink Bunny in Turin by Giulio Lapone

Green Day's Pink Bunny Downs Some Brew in Torino (Turin), Italy - Photograph by Giulio Lapone

You know you are a Green Day fan when your friends send you stuff from their friends about Green Day. And I’m incredibly happy that it happens! Jon Pack, a great photographer (see Jon’s work here), knows I’m a fan because he sits two cubicles away from me at work and has to listen to me talk about Green Day all the time. So when his friend, another talented photographer from Italy sent him a link to Green Day photographs on Facebook, Jon then sent the link to me. Thank you, Jon!

Green Day in Torino by Giulio Lapone

Italian photographer Giulio Lapone, had the great fortune to see and shoot Green Day’s last European arena tour stop in Torino (Turin), Italy on November 12, 2009. Giulio took some nicely expressive shots of both Billie and Mike, as well as the Italian audience. You can view the entire set of photographs at Giulio’s Facebook page here. While his normal site isn’t quite working at the moment, you can still view his other work here. Thank you, Giulio, for giving me permission to post some of your images here.

And yes, Giulio, you ARE the best photographer in Italy!

What I love about these photos from Giulio is the quality of motion within the images. Just like an actual Green Day show, everything is moving, from the Pink Bunny to the sweat pouring from Billie’s face to Mike’s bass with the video fire behind him and the fan that is in complete emotional synergy while singing with Billie. They also show two-thirds of a band at the end of a brilliant and tiring European tour, where, though it’s obvious that they need a break from touring, it’s also obvious that they love to play.

Green Day has often said how they love Italy, and from Youtube videos of the last show on this European tour, Italy loves them, too!

Billie with Sweat in Torino (Turin) - Photograph by Giulio Lapone, November 12, 2009

Billie with Sweat in Torino (Turin), Italy - Photograph by Giulio Lapone, November 12, 2009

Mike in Turino (Turin) by Giulio Lapone

Mike with Star and Fire, Torino (Turin), Italy - Photograph by Giulio Lapone

Billie with Fan Turino (Turin) by Giulio Lapone

Billie with Fan in Torino (Turin), Italy - Photograph by Giulio Lapone

Who let those Jokers in here? Green Day in Torino (Turin) - Photograph by Giulio Lapone

See the Light: My Year of Green Day and Genocide

I really hope that when Green Day puts out their next album, whenever that may be, that they and we can go back to “happier” times and lyrics, singing at breakneck speed about burning out, growing old, obsessive love, masturbation and pot… but… we’ll see.

Why Green Day?

I’ve gotten the question of “Why Green Day?” so many times this year that I thought I should finally explain myself. My friends are a bit astounded at me for following Green Day intensely this year. They knew I was a fan but never knew how much of one I’d become. All I can really say is that it’s been one of those years and Green Day has gotten me through a rough season.

Green Day recently celebrated their 21st year together, but I’m a relatively new fan (read about that here, if you care) from the American Idiot era. It’s well-known among hardcore fans that their lyrics have spoken to fans for two decades now, but for me, this year has been the second time (during the latter Bush Administration being the first) in which Green Day helped me through a bad political and social time.


Do You Know This Man?

Raphael Lemkin, Father of the Genocide Convention

Five years ago, I worked as an archivist at the American Jewish Historical Society. At the Society, we have a collection of archival materials written by a man of the name, Raphael Lemkin. Never heard of him? Don’t worry, you are not the only one. He coined the word genocide (Greek word genos, meaning tribe, and the Latin word cide, meaning to kill) in 1943/44 and was the first person to systematically write about a human condition which pops up more than we would like: the intent to destroy specific groups of humans by other groups of humans. There had been no word for this crime prior to this time, but there had been plenty of genocidal incidents before World War II (primary case in point: Armenia, 1915-1917).

Lemkin single-handedly pushed a major treaty through the United Nations in 1948, a document that he felt would be the beginning of the end of this disease that occasionally afflicts humans now named genocide, the United Nations Convention for the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide. Boy, was he wrong, but at least he tried. (Ok, he wasn’t wrong about the concept, just wrong that humans would do something about it if there was a law, a treaty, a will, a way…)

I was assigned to archive his papers and afterward, I wrote a journal article on Lemkin’s collections which was published in a jaunty-sounding journal called the Journal of Genocide Research. The paper (LINK HERE IF YOU CARE) has since been used by genocide scholars around the world to access Lemkin’s papers for their own historical and future research into the worst of human traits: the ability for one group of people to lose their collective minds and kill other groups of people who aren’t like them.

This Year

This past June 7-10, I was asked to present a paper at another jaunty-sounding event, the International Association of Genocide Scholars, held in Washington, D.C. The conference itself consisted of scholars with one goal in mind: presenting papers on this most heinous problem of mankind from numerous countries and perspectives, but primarily the social, economic and human toil that genocide inflicts on humankind.

I didn’t want to do it. I’m not a scholar, just someone who has the ability to put one and one together and present facts with some conclusions. But my previous paper had made such a big impact on the community of scholars that I had no choice but to present. I had to drag myself kicking and screaming to do my research and write the paper. I was my own worst enemy when it came to putting my thoughts on paper, it was ridiculous. And Green Day came to my rescue with the song, “Know Your Enemy.”

Do you know the enemy?
Do you know your enemy?
Well gotta know the enemy right here
Well gotta know the enemy right here

Silence is an enemy against your insurgency so rally up the demons of your soul.

I listened to KYE probably 100 times to help get over myself and plow through the research and writing. My topic was on a group of African-Americans, who just happened to be Communists, that accused the United States government of genocide toward blacks in America. The group published a petition in 1951 by the name of “We Charge Genocide” at the start of the Cold War and against the backdrop of the intense ideological struggles of the time between the U.S. and the Soviet Union. The petition was also one of the many precursors of the Civil Rights movement and caused quite a stir in the FBI and State Department.

The group’s premise was that in America, blacks had been terrorized and murdered under the willing eye of law enforcement and as such, were being destroyed as a group. Their accusations didn’t quite fit under the covenants of the actual Convention, but when you are trying to make a point, you can fit your argument into almost anything.

By the time I hit D.C., I was physically and mentally drained. I stayed at a friend’s house in D.C. for a night, which was nice, and headed off the next day for 2.5 days of non-stop genocide talk. Oh joy. Oh bliss.

The conference itself was ok, and my paper was well-received, if a bit light and fluffy. I was on the same panel as a woman from Australia who had done some intense research regarding the genocide which occurred in Cambodia from 1975-1979, asking the question whether Cambodia constituted genocide, crimes against humanity or revolution. Yes, people argue constantly over what constitutes genocide, subtly trying to undermine the premise of it until the distinctions become useless and paralyzing. Her conclusion was that it was genocide, plain and simple.

The conference was supposed to end at noon on the 10th, but these things never end on time, and we were having our final session at the Capitol, a place I had never been before. The session dragged on until after the noon hour and I had promised another friend that I would meet him for lunch, so I left. A few minutes later I got a call from him saying he needed to blow through a deadline and we were unable to meet. I now had nothing to do until my Bolt Bus left at 5:30.

I could have gone back to the meeting, but I was mentally done with the conference, so I pondered a bit and decided to head to the Holocaust Museum since I had never been there. As I was approaching the METRO, I became apprehensive about going and by the I reached the Capitol stop, I said forget it, turned around, and went across the street to the Library of Congress since I had never been there before. I toured what I could of the building for about an hour and decided to take my leave back to the hotel and that’s when I started to hear people talk about some incident that had occurred in D.C. I didn’t hear the details of the incident until I got on the METRO and it was still innuendo and rumor. People knew something had happened but not quite what.

When I entered my hotel, the big screen television in the lobby was focused on the Holocaust Museum. I froze and just stared, realizing how close I had come to being there. I sat in the lobby, watching the screen and hearing the most devastating news possible, a shooting had occurred and one man was dead. I began crying, particularly since the death crazed aspects of me being in D.C. were overwhelming and I had just spent 2.5 days listening to talk of genocide and presenting a paper on the subject.

In a nutshell, a white supremacist had walked into a Holocaust Museum and killed a black security guard. From that moment, I went into what I call, Humanity Overload.

Crying uncontrollably and still looking at the T.V., I put my headphones on and listened to 21st Century Breakdown. I was having one, that’s for certain.

Billie Joe's Guitar of Conscious

Billie Joe's Guitar of Conscience - Screenshot by CarmenPunkGirl

I don’t really remember much of the album as I was listening. I just know that its effect on me was calming, despite the guitars and Billie’s screamed lyrics. I kept the album on as I went to catch my bus, and all I could think of was how much humanity sucked.

From then on, it was Green Day for the rest of the summer. I took a break from politics, I didn’t think of genocide, I no longer watched the news. I primarily found comfort in a crazy band of fun misfits who sang about everything I felt. I went to four of their concerts in the States (Albany, the two MSGs, and San Antonio), and two shows in England. I began this blog the day before the conference, on June 6, to personally document their tour and escape from the harsh realities of life. I still haven’t paid much attention to the news. I needed a break, a respite. Sometimes you just have to DO IT.

But genocide never really leaves you once you think about it in any serious way. My place of work is holding a conference on Lemkin’s collection of correspondence, papers, and life’s work coming up this weekend in New York (click on the picture below for more information), and I’ve had to help with the accompanying exhibit and will also be presenting a short paper on the recently digitized collection of correspondence we now have on the web.

Letters of Conscious - Raphael Lemkin and the Quest to End Genocide

Letters of Conscience - Raphael Lemkin and the Quest to End Genocide

However, I don’t feel as panicked and hopeless about it or humanity in general as I did earlier in the summer. In fact, I’m regaining my sense of fight and hope, of pluck and stamina, and I have Green Day to thank for helping me, kicking and screaming all the way, renew a sense of purpose. As Billie Joe says, you have to live here, in the moment, right now, so get up, stand up.

Mind you, I don’t want to equate Billie Joe Armstrong’s lyrics or actions to the words or actions of Raphael Lemkin as being equal. Lemkin was determined to stop a very real problem of humanity by using the law and political will to stop the mass killing of groups. Billie Joe wants to raise our conscience a couple of levels while raising a few beers and forgoing our guilt in having a good time. However, I think Lemkin and he both possess a special and rare human quality that few people possess. This far-reaching quality is the ability to encompass large groups of people, embrace them, and try, for just a moment or their lifetime, to ease their pain.

I told my fellow GD friend, Tony, that I had listened to “Know Your Enemy” to prepare for the conference earlier this year and that I had no desire to think positively about a myriad of things in regard to humanity or the upcoming conference. He succinctly said, “you just have to ‘See The Light’ instead.” I took his advice and began to listen to this song from Green Day. And slowly, but surely, it’s been helping to pull me up from the abyss.

I really hope that one day genocide will no longer be a problem and that no one has to think about such a horrible crime again.

So, that’s my story of 2009: Green Day and genocide. What a year its been.

Well I crossed the river
Fell into the sea
Where the non-believers
Go beyond belief

Then I scratched the surface
In the mouth of hell
Running out of service
In the blood I fell

Well I, I just want to see the light
And I, I don’t want to lose my sight
Well I, I just want to see the light
And I need to know what’s worth the fight

I’ve been wasted
Pills and alcohol
And I’ve been chasing
Down the pool halls

Then I drank the water
From a hurricane
And I set a fire
Just to see the flame

Well I, I just want to see the light
And I, I don’t want to lose my sight
Well I, I just want to see the light
And I need to know what’s worth the fight

Well I crossed the desert
Reaching higher ground
Then I pound the pavement
To take the liars down

But it’s gone forever
But never too late
Where the ever after
Is in the hands of fate

Well I, I just want to see the light
And I, I don’t want to lose my sight
Well I, I just want to see the light
And I need to know what’s worth the fight


Highlights from the Breakdown: Green Day’s Last Night on Earth

No words needed for how beautiful this latest live concert video from Green Day is; Last Night on Earth.