Monthly Archives: March 2010

West Coast Meets East Coast: Party! Party! Party! with the Mystic Knights of the Cobra and Honah Lee, 4/21-4/24, 2010

Party! Party! Party! with the Mystic Knights of the Cobra and Honah Lee


I went out to the East Bay back in February and saw two great bands and two wild shows: Pinhead Gunpowder playing at 924 Gilman in Berkeley (see Youtube video of that show here) and the Mystic Knights of the Cobra playing at the Uptown in Oakland. (See Michelle Lawlor’s great photos from the Uptown show here.) It was my first time seeing either band live and though it may be my last time seeing the elusive Pinhead Gunpowder, I’m happy to report that there are not ONE, but FOUR opportunities coming up in April to see the Mystic Knights of the Cobra on their first NYC/NJ/East Coast tour. If you want a show with it all, magic acts, vaudeville and funked-out punk from the visceral gut, don’t miss the Cobra shows coming up in either NYC (Arlene’s Grocery, 4/21; Don Hill’s 4/23) or New Jersey (Asbury Lanes, 4/22 and Trenton, Mill Hill Basement, 4/24). Trenton-based band Honah Lee (“Frolicking in the autumn mist of a land called Honah Lee“) along with a few other bands (and special guests?) will be performing as well.


It’s difficult to describe the Mystic Knights of the Cobra (aka, MKOTC or the Cobras). Are they funk punk? Party punk? Punk punk? Just punks? Their Facebook and MySpace pages list the following genres: Rock, Punk, Showtunes (!) and goes on to say: “Mixing punk, hard rock and old school with the occasional rap/break-beat or booty bass line, the Cobras are hard to put in any musical box.” Well, you got that right, don’t even try to put Baby Cobra in a box, she’ll kick your ass. The Cobras follow few musical rules except maybe those referenced in the song “Tranny Sex” from their 2009 album, There Is No End and spoken by the extreme punk, GG Allin from an appearance on the Geraldo Rivera Show:

“My body is a temple of rock ‘n’ roll, and my flesh and blood and body fluid are a communion to the people. I’m not out to please anybody … I’m trying to bring danger back to rock ‘n’ roll and there are no limits or laws, and I’ll break down every barrier from this time until the day I die…”

They don’t go as far as GG did (and that’s a good thing), but they do live in the same rock ‘n’ roll neighborhood, only, they have toilets in their part of town.

Hailing from Crockett, CA, MKOTC’s tribal members all share the same last name, Cobra (Baby Cobra, Lady Cobra, Crystal, Gyptron, Chinatown Meatloaf, Hotel Trell, Call Me Donny (RIP), Night Moves, Big Chief, Ghostown, College Prep, Call Me Donna, Lockdown, Cakes, Hot Lips, El Leche, Sexual, Alcatraz, Hey Puto, Cup Cake, Lu-Lu, Ki-Ki, Soda Pop, Hebrew National and Dirty Nasty the Filthy Gentleman) and while not all of them will be making their way to NYC, many of them will be coming East for the first time. The core band consists of singers Baby Cobra (Rachael) and Lady Cobra (Monica), guitarists Chinatown (Michael) and Ghosttown (Aaron), keyboardist Trell (just call him Trell), bassist Night Moves (Sean), trombonist Crystal and Gryptron (Joshua) on the drums.

I expect all of you jaded New Yorkers and New Jersians to get off of your asses, come party with MKOTC West Coast-style, and welcome them with a giant East Coast presence. It’s going to be a PARTY! PARTY! PARTY! that you will not want to miss.

Oh, and buy the band some drinks, too. They will love you long time if you do.

Go Cobras Go! - Mystic Knights of the Cobra at the Uptown, 2/13/10 - Photo by Michelle Lawlor

Pinhead Gunpowder 2/12/10 – [Almost] FULL Video Now on Youtube

You know you wanted to be there…. and now you can see it… via 924Gilman and

UPDATE: I just really had the chance to watch this and realized that the last two songs are missing. The recording does not include: “Losers of the Year” and “Mahogany.” But that’s ok, it’s fabulous nonetheless.

Idiots Take Broadway in 24 Hours (with Cast Album Track List)

American Idiot Cast Album Track List - Courtesy of deshabillage

A little over five years after Green Day’s American Idiot hit the music world gobsmacked in the face with a new sound from the band and a fierce story of suburbia, despair, longing, and American teenage angst, the Broadway version of the show is about to take the Great Green Way by storm in 24 hours with its first preview on March 24, 2010.

Yes, you heard me correctly, American Idiot, an album made by those “snotty punks” from the 1990s is going Broadway, baby, and if word on the street is correct, it’ll be a movie as well, as rumors (leaked yesterday and timed quite well, I might add…) are swirling around stating that Tom Hanks’ Playtone production company is in talks with the boys to take it to the big screen. And that’s the place where Billie Joe, Mike and Tre wanted it to be in the first place. I have a feeling it’s going to happen.

Theo Stockman posted this 1993 interview with the boys on his Facebook page the other day. If you want to see some eerie foreshadowing, take a look at this hilarious interview where Tre mentions that “Green Day rock opera available on very small records!” and Mike talks about calling it “Jimmy.” Say what you will, but these boys knew their destiny a long time ago. But man, are they so young looking in this clip and yes… dare I say it… stoned! LOL.

“Green Day rock opera available on very small records!” – Interview with Green Day on the Bookmobile, 1993

Today, Tuesday, March 23rd, is the final dress rehearsal, which happens tonight. That means that invited guests will be attending the show as if it’s going up from start to finish, unless some technical snafu gets in the way and they have to work it out during the production. Final dress, however, is usually conducted from start to finish and then the cast may sit down for a slew of notes from the director.

Prior to that however, the boys and the production will be holding a press conference for 500 or so lucky fans (LIKE ME!!!) today at the St. James. We’ll be heading into the theater at around noon today and from what I understand, Billie Joe will introduce director Michael Mayer who will then introduce the cast. Afterward, the cast will sing a few songs from the show and the press will go off and post their commentary in time for the papers tomorrow and the entertainment news shows tonight.

I was very lucky this past weekend to be featured in the New York Daily News with two other fans that I know, the crazy but sweet Mike Chickenman (you may remember him as the hardhat guy from MSG1 back in July) and Nicole Gary. We did a photo shoot at the theater a few weeks ago and then were interviewed by Gina Salamone of the Daily News. Unfortunately, the NYDN hasn’t put it on their website (they are never known for being a smart publication as they would have gotten a crap load of hits if they had), but luckily it was scanned very professionally by Nicole’s husband, and you can read it below.

In the meantime, I can’t imagine what is going through Billie Joe’s mind right now. All I have to say, is breathe, man. You are going to take Broadway by storm.

"The Great Green Way," by Gina Salamone, New York Daily News, 3/21/10

"The Great Green Way," by Gina Salamone, New York Daily News, 3/21/10

Green Day is a Gateway Drug to the History of Punk

Future 8-Year Old Punk (in gray hood) Listening to 21 Guns by Green Day on a NYC Bus

I was talking with a fellow Green Day fan the other day about the countless nonsensical arguments people have over whether Green Day is “punk,” is “punk enough,” is “power punk,” is “pop punk,” or just “punk sellouts.” It boggles my mind, these conversations spread over the Internet and in person, the constant arguments people have over what defines punk and who is eligible to be called punk or even listen to it or attend shows, apparently. I continued by saying that I just don’t understand why people diss Green Day so much in regards to their “punkdom.” While I intellectually understand the arguments, I said, “these guys are punk to their soul, and because of them and their stardom, many fans of Green Day, if they so choose, are exposed to the world of punk. They are like a gateway drug to the history of punk, and even if people don’t enjoy their music, punks especially should be proud that they keep punk alive for new generations to be exposed to.” She liked the phrase, “gateway drug to the history of punk.”

Proof in point that GD is a gateway drug is Billie Joe Armstrong’s induction speech of Iggy Pop and the Stooges at last week’s Hall of Fame induction. He never gives “good” speeches because it’s not really his thing and he gets really shy and nervous for the most part when he has to pull out a piece of paper and read it (see as an example the speech he gave in 2006 when Green Day received the “Spirit of Liberty” Award from People for the American Way), but one of the great highlights of the speech is that you could tell how much he loved and how damned happy and excited he was to be inducting Iggy and the Stooges into the Hall of Fame. He then rattled off a list of about 70 bands that considered Iggy and the Stooges their inspiration. Eldon from the Green Day Community was kind enough to compile a list of the bands that he mentioned.

View PostEldoon, on 16 March 2010 – 05:57 AM, said:

List of bands Billie namechecked in his speech! (in order):

The Adverts
The Ex (I’m iffyest on whether he said this, but I’m pretty damn sure)
The Avengers
Bad Brains
Bad Religion
Generation X
The Boys
The Briefs
The Buzzcocks
Circle Jerks
The Clash
D Generaton
The Damned
The Dead Boys
Dead Kennedys
Die Toten Hosen
The Exploding Hearts
Gang of Four
The Germs
The Gun Club
Guns N Roses
The Hives
Joan Jett
The Runaways
New York Dolls
The Libertines
The Lookouts
Pearl Jam
Red Hot Chili Peppers
Operation Ivy
The Replacements
The Strokes
The Dwarves
The Ramones
The Pretenders
The Real Kids
Siouxsie & The Banshees
The Slits
Social Distortion
Husker Du
The Dictators
The Cramps
Stiff Little Fingers
Suicidal Tendencies
Black Flag
Thee Headcoats
The Undertones
The Sex Pistols
Gogol Bordello
Sonic Youth
Bikini Kill
The Weirdos
7 Seconds
The Saints
Queens of the Stone Age
The White Stripes

And then the censor at the end makes it hard for me to tell if he said another band, but who knows, that’s at least 99% of it hahah!
ENJOY! If you don’t know ’em…CHECK ‘EM OUT

I’m pretty sure that the last band he mentioned that the censors bleeped was “and my own fucking band, Green Day, too!” Eldoon is right, check out this list of bands if you don’t know them because whether you call yourself a punk or not, the bands that he mentioned are great and powerful and each band will cause you to learn more about this music that exploded out of rebellion and rage and in its way, took over a little part of the world.

I recently wrote about the Pinhead Gunpowder show that I traveled to see out in Berkeley in February. I had the time of my life, was happy to support a woman suffering from cancer, see my friends, head to 924 Gilman for the first time, and see PHGP because I love the music, and yes, I happen to really like members of the band, particularly some guy named Billie Joe Armstrong. Some punk out in the East Bay decided to write a comment on the blog, calling the group of people I was with, “a bunch of losers.” Why were we losers? In his mind, we were only there to see Billie Joe and we wouldn’t like this band for any other reason than that. Fair enough, I suppose, even though he assumed a lot about me from one post without reading anything else I’ve written about Green Day or my life on this blog.

I was having dinner with friends when I read his comment, and I could easily have not approved it, but in this case, I was interested in his reasons (like I didn’t know what he was going to say in the first place) and wrote back then and there. I should have waited until I got home to reply, but I have tried my best to balance my fangirldom with real life commentary and was pissed and interested in knowing why he wrote that we were “losers.” He replied and implied that we were a bunch of losers because we were women traveling to see PHGP because of Billie Joe, and apparently, that is a not a good enough reason to see a band. Really, if that were the case, no one would see any band because of any member of it. He then went on to call me a bitch and a “women child,” telling me to “grow up” while complaining about my writing and misspelling “merrit” at the same time. Oh, and apparently punks don’t call themselves punks anymore.

There goes at least one idea of Gilman’s wall of ‘dont’s’ posted at the front door, “No Sexism.”

924 Gilman Rules of the Road

To be fair, maybe he was pissed that I mentioned that Aaron wasn’t very nice that night and seemed to have issues with the women in the audience, too. I know I had my issues when a fan screamed as Billie Joe walked into Gilman myself. What I wrote was meant to express how happy and determined I was to be a part of a special night at a special place with my friends that I had only recently heard about that made me feel part of a community and history that felt like home. I am a Green Day fan for sure, but this guy assumed (and I assume it was a guy myself) so many things based on the title of this blog and lines within the piece, that it made my head spin.

Billie Joe was recently featured in the gay-themed magazine, “Out.” It’s a great article and features a blog-only addition that can be found here. In the blog-only article, Billie Joe talks about what it means to be “punk rock.” He mostly focuses on the fact that the music brings together a community of somewhat like-minded people. Personally, I don’t care if you argue about the meanings of punk until you turn blue and drop dead. All I know is that I don’t know but one thing: it’s the music, stupid, that forms the community. It’s high time that punks stop arguing over every little thing and remember the sense of community, whether you are a punk, whether you don’t call yourself a punk anymore or whether you’re a bitch woman child. And for those young and old fans of Green Day that weren’t exposed to punk properly back in the day (or half-exposed to it like me), enjoy the gateway drug and the history and future as well.

That’s like a 10 part answer. I think of it as something that you need to have of your own. For me it’s about community. I think it’s kind of spiritual in its own way, because people fight over it so much and the meaning of it. It’s a sense of self-discovery. But also a new set of ideas and a new poetry, a new music that you discover that you notice that no one else is really into, or goes against what other people are normally into. It’s like you’re free to be an individual and taking on new ideas and challenging old ideas. I think it has a lot to do with burning down the establishment to create something new. But at the same time, you find relationships within that too. It’s something that’s supposed to empower you. It’s about starting something new. Part of the problem with a lot of punk rock is that people believe that it’s supposed to be one thing. Everything for me starts off with punk rock when I’m writing songs — it’s almost like I’m stripped down to the bare bones of music again. It’s kind of in my DNA in this point.
-Billie Joe Armstrong, OUT Magazine, Popnography Blog

New Pinhead Gunpowder Live @ Gilman Megaupload with Cover Art

Brian from the Green Day Authority comments posted an updated link to last February’s Pinhead Gunpowder show live from 924 Gilman. It’s got a bit cleaner sound, unlike the raw files posted by Gilman’s blog, as well as nice cover art. The songs are also split. The best of the three versions I’ve heard.

Iggy and Billie Joe – Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction

Iggy and Billie - Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction, Waldorf Astoria, 3/15/10

UPDATE: A great blog entry from Detroit’s Metro Times on Iggy Pop’s speech can be found here.

It was rock ‘n’ roll (as opposed to the more formal rock and roll) in action. And the fact that it took this band – who are the very definition of the term, with a lead singer who is the very embodiment of rock ‘n’ roll – eight years to get into this institution makes one question the validity of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame all over again…especially when Billie Joe mentioned a multitude of bands and solo artists who would’ve never existed without this crew’s influence. As Iggy joked to me more than a decade ago when discussing the subject of the Hall of Fame and his chances of joining the elite crew: “Well, maybe if I titled one of my albums Fucking Heroic Young Record Executive or something like that…”

– Bill Holdship, Metro Times Music Blagh

Billie Joe Armstrong inducted legendary band, The Stooges, into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last night at the Waldorf. He was really excited and rattled off a long list of incredible bands that have been influenced by The Stooges. Afterward, the master himself, Mr. Pop, sang “I Want to Be Your Dog,” and invited the rockers and the suits and the rich in the audience to sing with him onstage. Tre and Mike rushed up, Mike with bottle in hand. It was a classic and strange Iggy moment. If there is some sanctioned video out there of Iggy’s performance (I love me some Mr. Pop), I’ll add it to this post when I find it. Meanwhile, the GDA put up a gallery of photographs that can be found here.

Courtesy of the Green Day Authority (for however long the clip will stay up):

UPDATE: Stooges Press Conference:

UPDATE: Stooges performance of “I Want To Be Your Dog”

And VIA the political websites Balloon Juice and Wonkette, comes this lovely screen shot of Iggy scaring the former United States Rep. Harold Ford who is sitting in the front row of the Hall of Fame festivities, because, well, y’know, Harold’s… uh… well… uh… rock and roll.

Harold Ford and Iggy Pop, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction

Pinhead Gunpowder (Aaron) 2/12/10

Aaron pounding away at the drums and being fierce. Pinhead Gunpowder, 924 Gilman, 2/12/10. Photo by Ingrid Johansen from Albany, CA

Pinhead Gunpowder, Full Band Onstage, 924 Gilman, 2/12/10

Pinhead Gunpowder 2/12/10

Originally uploaded by ingridjohansen

Pinhead Gunpowder, Full Band, 924 Gilman. By Ingrid Johansen from Albany, CA

Pinhead Gunpowder – Show of a Lifetime – 924 Gilman, 2/12/10

I started writing this right after the Pinhead Gunpowder show happened on February 12, but a few things got in the way, including the death of my Uncle while I was still in California. So, I know it’s been a while, but enjoy nonetheless.

Pinhead Gunpowder. Photo by Michelle Lawlor, The Rock and Roll Picture Show -

Update: 924Gilman posted the raw file of this show on 3/13/10. While the board levels are all over the place, nonetheless, the file reflects the rawness and intensity of the show. A great night. They also posted a great set of photographs from the stage. The link to those may be found here. The Green Day Community editorial regarding the show, written by J’net, can be found here. Michelle Lawlor’s blog post and pictures can be found here. Photographs from Lawlor may be purchased and all proceeds go to help Anandi Wonder with her cancer treatment. A gallery of photographs by me, mostly of attendees, can be found here.

A Show? There’s Going to Be a Show?

I had heard that there was going to be a super-secret benefit show by Pinhead Gunpowder at Gilman and I became obsessed (or as I like to say, focused) on the possibility of seeing a Green Day-related side project band in a small and intimate, show. My friend who introduced me to Billie Joe at Fake New Year’s in Los Angeles back in November keeps telling me that I heard it directly from Billie Joe himself that night because Billie Joe told him about it and I was standing there when he said it, but hell if I remember that happening. That night, all in all, is a bit of a blur.

After going to London in October to see Green Day at the O2 and then missing the Foxboro Hot Tubs by a bloody week, I became determined to head to my now favorite place on Earth, the East Bay, to see the band. PHGP is a band that I was only slightly aware of (shoot me) seven months ago and I wanted to see my friends in the Bay. As an extra bonus, the Mystic Knights of the Cobra (MKOTC) were playing at the Uptown at some point during the weekend, too. (I’ll be writing about that show in the next week.)

The rumor machine had PHGP playing on Saturday, February 13, 2010 at first, and MKOTC were rumored to open for them. However, it became evident that MKOTC weren’t going to open as they had been… Uh… banned from Gilman from the last time they played there. Then MKOTC booked a show at the Uptown for Saturday and were certainly not playing with PHGP and everyone’s attention somehow obsessed (focused) on the rumor that the benefit for Anandi Wonder, a friend of PHGP’s who was suffering from breast cancer, would happen on Friday, February 12, 2010, instead.

There had been some hard and fast talk saying that if news of the show came out too early and too furious, that the show would be canceled. I’m paranoid and pretty good at keeping a secret, but after a bit of sidestepping around the subject, a group of, shall we say… well-researched folks… from the Green Day Community somehow found themselves planning a weekend in the Bay.

I asked a friend to help me out (again) with a cheap buddy ticket on Continental, asked my friends in the Bay if I could stay with them, rented a car and prayed that nothing like a blizzard or anything would stop me from going. I had no cash, really, for any of this, and the cheap Continental ticket was a godsend that eventually turned into a nightmare.

Pinhead Gunpowder Crowd

And while everyone was busy keeping their mouths shut, Billie Joe himself, who is not known for keeping some things quiet, spilled the beans the night before the show on Twitter…

Having band practice with PHGP today! Can’t wait for friday night show! -Billie

… and was geeky enough to actually twit about his Tweet. It always cracks me up when they do this.

Snowpacalypse 2010

There was one giant glitch in my crazy plans: Northeast winters and their ability to make things go a bit haywire. The week before the February 12th show, a storm caused major disruptions in transportation and life in the Maryland and DC areas and I literally thanked my lucky stars that it hadn’t reached NYC. Of course, I still had a week to leave the city so anything could happen, and yes, it did.

On Wednesday, February 10th, two days before the show, with people heading to the Bay from the East Coast on Thursday and Friday, a proclaimed “Snowpacalyse” poised itself to hit the East Coast again and this time, NYC was destined to be in the eye of a twenty-four hour storm. Just. Fucking. Peachy.

A few folks including me were slated to fly standby. Standby works only if the airline does not sell out seats and they end up distributing tickets to friends and workers for a nominal fee at the gate. And I mean, nominal. If a storm disrupted service for a few hours, we still had good chances of getting the cheap seats. Any longer than that, and we were screwed. Wednesday’s 24-hour storm busted the best of good intentions for people WITH tickets, let along dweebs like me catching a good deal.

Larry Livermore posted on his Facebook a declaration that the storm had better be a doozy, because he had just given up his spot on his flight after being told that he couldn’t get booked on any other flights. Read more on his story, which sums up a lot of my own feelings about the Snowpocalypse here.

Anyway, long story short, by the time my flight was suppose to leave the East Coast on Thursday, we had such a blanket of storm that my satellite teevee went out on Wednesday, which hardly ever happens. I had already changed my original Thursday flight to Friday in anticipation of the airline industry shutting down on Wednesday (announced on Tuesday), and I went into work on my vacation-day Thursday, hoping in vain that I would actually get on a Friday standby flight. I was, to say the least, freaking out.

Another person who lives down in Virginia was slated to leave on Thursday, but her flight out of Dulles was canceled, and another friend helped her rebook her ticket by way of multiple destinations. I could feel the entire weekend that I had looked forward to for so long becoming something that would not happen if I didn’t take action. So I did.

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BJA “Blue” Guitar Ornament on eBay – One only!

Over the Christmas holidays, I blogged about a lovely ornament replica of Billie Joe’s “Blue” Guitar. Several of you inquired as to how to purchase this lovely replica made by Dorie. Well, now you can head on over to eBay and try your hand at owning a beautiful, handcrafted replica of the guitar that has brought you many hours of musical enjoyment. Bidding starts at $12.99 and the auction ends on March 17… appropriately, a Lushotologist’s favorite day… St. Patrick’s Day.

BJ's Blue Christmas Ornament