Category Archives: Green Day General

CoS Band of Decade and RS Readers: Warning 17th Most Underrated Album

There’s been a billion lists lately regaling the musical best of the decade, the worst of it, and everything else in between. Rolling Stone readers of their “Rock and Roll Daily” recently placed Green Day’s 2000 album Warning on its list of the Top 20 Most Underrated Albums of the Decade, coming in at #17. I first listened to Warning this year and there is a great part of me that wishes I had heard its musical battle cry to arms at the dawning of the new century. The early part of the decade for me was full of anger and bitterness over our political system and I didn’t have any music in my life at the time to sustain me through the turmoil and the political transition of Presidents Clinton to Bush. I’ve written a bit about “Macy’s Day Parade” (a thoroughly depressing song for me, unlike for some people) and Warning here before, if you’d like to read it.

Mary P. posted a Youtube video link of a performance by Green Day of “Waiting,” a song that I would pull teeth to hear Green Day sing live… hey guys… next year on tour, pretty please… with cheeries on top?? This is from a performance at the California Music Awards, though I don’t know what year they played the awards:

“Waiting” – California Music Awards – Green Day – Year Unknown

CoS – Consequence of Sound, has named Green Day “Band of the Decade.” And of course, if you read the comments over there from the lame-assed whiners pouting that “Green Day sucks,” wwwaaahhhaah, I would just recommend that you, as a reader, laugh it off and know that your favorite band, Green Day, is the Band of the Decade. From the moment that the year 2000 hit (Warning), to the middle point of the decade (American Idiot), right until the very end of this most tumultuous and stomach-churning new century (21st Century Breakdown), Green Day has been there for YOU, the fan, the most important entity in the world to them (Ok, besides their family and friends, but still, you know what I mean). And I don’t even have to mention those other extracurricular bands that have fueled them in between this decade’s albums. If, of course, those bands were “really Green Day.” I still don’t believe it! LOL.

Even from my point of view in hindsight, they seem to “do what they want to do when others do what they are told.” Not what the music industry tells them, not MTV, but their dedication seems to be to the music that they want to play. Or as CoS says, “They are what they’ve always been: three guys with a sense of melody.” Yes, sure, it’s gotten bigger and bolder and the marketing has kicked into hyperdrive lately that I’ve noticed (how many songs can they stick into movies these days, really?), but on the whole, the boys keep it real, particularly in concert where they are throwing a giant party and inviting you to join in.

I’ve written before about how Green Day fans have to put up with all kinds of crap about being Green Day fans, and what I always come down to is this: “we don’t care what anyone says bad about Green Day.” So take their mealy-mouth whining with a grain of salt –  take it like a man – and read why Consequence of Sound says that Green Day is the Band of the Decade. And don’t forget to go and watch the videos that they have included in their commentary. And if you decide to add a comment, just remember, YOU know that CoS is right. (Thanks, Sharon, for the link!)

2000’s Warning may be the most underrated album of the decade. For one, everybody remembers it, but not until you remind them. It was swept under. The band opted for acoustics, the fan base opted out. But at its heart, it’s the band’s most decisive record in their discography, as it’s the first time they truly carved something differentWarning hardly screamed, but when it did, it wasn’t an angsty wail, it felt… mature. The mud-chucking Armstrong sounded more like John Lennon than Jesse Michaels (or Paul Westerberg) and both Dirnt and Cool spent the extra time to bring in some extra fills and key changes. Songs like “Warning”, “Waiting”, and the magnum opus “Minority” spoke different tongues, and while some fans “got it”, the album plummeted in sales, despite the broad critical support. This led to the release of a greatest hits compilation, which is just a sign that the label needs more money, the awkward Pop Disaster Tour, where the three opened for Blink-182, and even discussions about splitting up the band.

But here’s where things get interesting. Armstrong, Dirnt, and Cool pushed forward, recording the long delayed follow up, Cigarettes and Valentines. Call it fate, call it a draw of luck, or call it a brilliant restart, but the tapes were stolen, and the album was eventually canceled. Shoot to 2004, the music industry receives its most iconic concept album since Radiohead’s OK Computer. It’s called American Idiot, and while it doesn’t take off immediately, it goes on to be the band’s most successful album since 1994’s Dookie. The band’s back. Radio stations of every genre play “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” ad infinitum, the American Idiot tour sells out everywhere, and by 2005, the album snags a Grammy for Best Rock Album (not counting the four other nominations, which includes Best Album). The biggest surprise? Armstrong’s a house hold name, a modern rock hero to new generations.

—-

No, if the band’s taught us anything this year, it’s that they’re just a straight up, honest-to-god rock band with little to no pretensions. What else do they have to be? Not punk rockers. After all, they told the punk genre to fuck off back when “Basket Case” hit MTV in the summer of 1994, and by the time they squeezed out “Nice Guys Finish Last”, anyone still snubbing them were yesterday’s news. They are what they’ve always been: three guys with a sense of melody. It’s that same mentality that put The Beatles on the proverbial rock ‘n’ roll pedestal, it’s that sort of attitude that draws crowds of every age, demographic, and nationality. What’s more, they love their fans. Since the early ’00s, their shows attempt to incorporate older and younger audiences in any way or form possible; either through singing along, pulling tykes on-stage for support, or passing out guitars to prospective rock ‘n’ roll heroes to come. That’s why the idea of Harmonix working with the guys for an incarnation of Rock Band isn’t surprising in the slightest. In fact, it was probably just another way they wanted to reach out to kids — because really, it’s doubtful they’re in it for the money (if they ever were in the first place).

At the end of the day, they just know what it’s like to be a band. God, do we even remember what a band is anymore? One downside of this decade has been everyone’s incessant need to find some obscure act we have no idea about (and the internet’s made that easy for everyone to do, of course). Well, Green Day has always been the opposite. They want to be a band for everybody. This past July, we wrote about their time in Chicago, concluding, “Risky or not, Green Day continues to tear the house walls down, pillar by pillar and generation after generation.” This statement says it all. They’re a party that will never slow down, that will take each hurdle with the smartest consideration, and they will never tire. But don’t worry, you can always join in on the fun. They sort of pride themselves on having an open-door policy.

News via GDA, Mary P., Sharon M.


Green Day Rock Band Trailer

  • Spike TV hosted the Video Game Awards last night and Green Day made a big announcement regarding their new game coming out from Harmonix next year. My friend Luke sent this to me… again, it’s one of those, “hey, you are a Green Day fan and I thought of you when I saw it” moments. I am not a huge fan of Rock Band… I’ve only played it once in my life to hilarious affect, but I’m sure that there are a lot of happy people out there today over this announcement. Rock on!

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Green Day Rock Band Trailer“, posted with vodpod

Update: The GDA has a nice selection of articles and more information regarding Green Day and Rock Band.


Two Reasons to Love Serena Williams

In Los Angeles at the Green Day Fake New Year’s Eve (I am already writing 2010, by the way), Champion tennis player Serena Williams walked past us as we were waiting for the show to start. It made me really happy to see her there for a couple of reasons. First, I think she’s a great tennis player. Second, she is obviously a huge Green Day fan.

Greenday.com surprised her tonight when they posted the video below from her website of her rocking out to “2,000 Light Years Away,” and unlike a lot of people who go to GD shows these days, she knew the words to this classic Kerplunk! song.

Next time, Serena, you need to come down to the pit and hang at a stadium. You were WAY too far from the boys with that crowd around you!

[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bAs26jOu09A&feature=youtube_gdata]


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):
Maria
Murder City
I Want You to Want Me – Cheap Trick
St Jimmy
Coming Clean
Having a Blast
Burnout
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 Popmatters.com. 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.
[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d9rVWqFogv4&NR=1]
Green Day accepting award for Best Alternative Band and giving a shout out to punk:
[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nBZEq96rlsI&feature=youtube_gdata]

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!
[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VbFMDH5f8Bo]
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!