Tag Archives: Waiting

Highlights of The Breakdown – Green Day at Wembley Stadium

Punks Play for Autism

I missed Green Day’s show at Wembley Stadium. I had a ticket, but could not afford the airfare across the pond (told you Lushie luck runs out occasionally). My ticket had a fabulous time with Jax May, the folks at Nova-Caine, and the Raxorbax gig that happened the night before Wembley, at the Luminaire Club. The Punks Play for Autism gig raised over a £1000 for the organization. Major success! Hopefully some video will be coming from the show in the future, possibly a soundboard mix. The boys known as Green Day donated a vinyl copy of 21st Century Breakdown, the only one of its kind that is signed by the full touring band including Billie Joe Armstrong, Mike Dirnt, Tre Cool, Jason White, Jason Freese, and Jeff Matika. How awesome is all of that?

Greet, a Lushie Nun Mother from Belgium who attended the Razorbax show was the successful bidder winner. And here’s the baby here:

21st Century Breakdown Vinyl signed by Full Green Day Touring Band for the Punks Play for Autism Benefit, London - Green Day 21st Century Breakdown Tour 2009-2010. Photo by Greet Druyts

Green Day at Wembley Stadium

I tried writing about this show, but frankly, I was a little sad that I couldn’t go, so it was a little hard writing about the show since A) I wasn’t there, and B), well, sadly, I wasn’t there. Sigh. I’ve been a bit whiney about it, too, but hey, it happens, lol. I hear from folks who went that it was great, and really, I believe it.

What I really missed out on was hearing for the first time on Green Day’s 21st Century Breakdown tour, the band singing “Waiting.” Sigh.

“Waiting” – Green Day Wembley Stadium – June 19, 2010

I did watch several clips of this show and read every page of the Wembley thread at the Green Day Community, so I feel in a way that I was there, but it’s all in bits and pieces of lore. Some good stories, too, of long lines at Wembley, what Billie Joe said about leaving Green Day in a coffin, of how Tre sang during the “Shout” part of the night, and hey, Mike grabbed the mic at one point too and kicked his legs higher than Tre!

Green Day Blow Themselves Up at Wembley! What a Show! Photo by Unknown Photographer found by Greet Druyts

I also saw a clip of the pyro that went off during the “Minority” encore, but I saw it only on Facebook and can’t seem to locate it on the Youtubes at the moment. Suffice it to say, at the part where the blowers go off and confetti goes flying through the air, there were fireworks that seem to almost blow the band up! Luckily, they survived and appeared a few days later in Glasgow, and will be playing tomorrow night, 6/23/2010, in Dublin.

Ah, good times.

Here’s a Facebook link to Greet Druyts’ photos from London from both the Razorbax and Green Day shows. Take a look, they are fantastic!

With that, I’m off tomorrow to the San Francisco Bay Area! The Mystic Knights of the Cobra and Prima Donna are on a four-night mini-tour, and I’m going to go and dance a bit for two of them! And do some other stuff, too. Later!

Song of the Century: Louder Than Bombs and Eternity

Green Day – Song of the Century – 21st Century Breakdown *

Sing us a song of the century… That’s louder than bombs … And eternity

Do we realize that it’s the 21st Century? Sometimes I wonder. The 21st fucking century, and yet humans are still arguing and fighting over the same issues spawned at the start of the 20th: land, privilege, sex, God and money.

Honestly, I can’t remember a time in my life when there’s never been tension in the air. I’ve been tense since the second I was born. (If you’ve not been tense for the past 45 years, don’t worry, I’ve been tense for you.) This last election in the States wiped me out so much that I’ve decided to take a break from politics, the universe, and almost everything… except work and Green Day. I am forgoing television for a few months and haven’t watched for about a week now, which is saying something for me. I’m listening to music and trying to think. I’ve been listening to rather loud music, but still, the music frees my eyes from concentrating on tiny moving pictures. I’ll keep up with the world as much as I can, but really, the world can go to hell in a handbasket for all I care right now. I’m sitting here in the ghetto that I love, in my new Brooklyn home with the amazing view of Manhattan. Big sky. I am as happy as a clam. Ahh. The coming of the second decade of the century is so far soaring above bombs and eternity for me. Aren’t I lucky?

As the Buddha says, all every one wants is to be happy. I would add to that: and to party.

Sing Us a Song of the Century… that’s louder than bombs and eternity.
What a beautiful way to start a lullaby. The song of the century should be so spectacular that it drowns out all ways and means of destruction. When I first listened to 21st Century Breakdown, I was surprised that the album began with such a sweet song as if sung in a newborn’s ear and captured on a Victrola. The lyric begins with an earnest hope quickly deafened by metaphoric bombs and projecting the future. Eternity is a hell of a long way away; everything comes down to the present.

I suppose I should not be surprised that the 21st Century reminds me of all the centuries that have gone before it. Although I studied history in college, I’m not much of an academic but from lessons learned and books read, the past and the present just spin around again and nothing really changes. Sounds finally captured through technology and heard at the start of the 20th Century — hand-cranked — are the same tales of progress, earnestness, hope against despair, madness, war, and peace that are present in our current world of bytes and bits.

The era of static and contraband… That’s leading us to the promised land
A major theme of 21st Century Breakdown echoes around static, presumably the white noise of television and electronics and the heat of popularity, fame and status. Stolen images and stolen time, seconds ticking, adding up to hours and years, and then poof, you’re gone. Gone off into that magical hereafter. Ah yes, magical, indeed. Today is ignored while tomorrow is constantly dreamed about, heaven. It’s always about heaven, either on Earth or the great beyond. It’s always about reaching for something that you cannot see, and may not want when you finally adjust your eyes.

Tell us a story that’s by candlelight… Waging a war and losing the fight
Have you ever listened to a story while a candle flickers across the bedroom wall? Real, living light, not the artificial brightness surging through our electrical grid. Sure, it’s bad for the eyes, but imagine, huddled under your covers, with your father close to you. He’s spinning tales of Br’er Rabbit or a frightening Grimms Fairy Tale. The flickers across your wall create moving pictures — there’s the Witch tricking the children! — there’s the children being baked! — lesson learned, don’t go off into the forest by yourself! — childhood stories of fear and triumph, war and death, peace and love; the same themes from the 20th to the 21st. The means of communication may change, but the human heart rarely does. Nothing changes and children still grow up learning war is right, even if you have to fight the same types of wars over and over again for land, privilege, sex, God and money.

They’re playing the song of the century… Of panic and promise and prosperity
There goes that song again… dawning of a new era… calling…don’t let it catch you falling… ready or not at all… the 21st Century is ‘hear’ and the Victrola cranks out its old themes of stock market crashes, something for nothing, you too can have it all!

Tell me a story into that goodnight… Sing us a song for me
So tell me a story long into the dark hours, were I can dream of a world that doesn’t chase me with its fears and desires. A world where the Bill of Rights has a clause to “Let the People Party,” and we all earnestly grab the time to take care of each other, just like Billie Joe Armstrong takes the time to care for a drunken fan who’s about to get booted by bringing him onstage, telling him to calm the fuck down, we’re all here to party… why fight?*

This past Saturday, I was in my old place packing up during a hellacious street party on my block, complete with wall of sound speakers. After the sixth hour of salsa across the street mixed with heart-shattering beats up the street, both played at volume 11, I thought my brain would bleed. The Victrola has been replaced with massive woofers, where the sounds of panic and promise and prosperity come at you in mega-death decibels. At the end of the night, police helicopters started churning overhead. When that happens in New York (or anywhere for that matter), you know that something has gone wrong. Two people, aged 19 and 17, died half a block away from me due to gunshot wounds to the head. Their young song of the century is over now. I wonder what bedtime stories they learned?

Yes, if only the Bill of Rights possessed a “Let the People Party” clause to it. Who the hell am I kidding? We’d find some way to fuck that up, too.

*All lyrics by Green Day

*hattip: nothingwrongwithme.com

Macy’s Day Parade: Can it get anymore real and depressing?

I did something yesterday morning that I more than likely should not have done: I listened to Green Day’s “Macy’s Day Parade,” from their 2000 album, Warning.

Why was it a bad idea to listen? Mostly because it’s one of the most depressing songs ever written, that’s why. Oh sure, the video of the song has the lead singer driving off in his old school Suburban, possibly running away to a new life, but really, you know he’s a loser… but at least he’s good at it.*

It’s a depressing song about being stuck in a rut life, losing your dreams, walking through the ruins of your detritus, looking for hope when all is lost and then taking off with no resolution in sight. Or at least, that’s what the video projects. Which I don’t have to show you because the only one I could find on Youtube didn’t have the sound synced, which is really stupid.

So here’s the band performing the song at Ashbury Park, NJ.

I picked up the keys to my new apartment yesterday. Woot! I packed a bit the night before (an always heinous task), threw back a beer, listened to music and checked the GD fansites to see what was happening at the concert in Detroit. I never realized before how much fun it could be watching a world music tour by Internet. I grew up on the delay of magazines and Saturday/Sunday music programs (Soul Train, American Bandstand, anyone?). With the rise of the dreaded Internet, you can now experience anything through social networking. (I’m sure that the end of the world will be blogged.) Quite fun. Very strange. Early reports from the front were that GD had changed up the setlist. Someone had a sign requesting “Macy’s Day Parade,” and the band obliged, right before “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life).” So this morning I decided to listen to it on the old iPhone while walking to my new place. I hadn’t heard it in a while.

The last GD album I bought was Warning, and I don’t listen to it much because it is kinda morose. But then again, so were the times leading up to the album’s release in 2000. From 1995 to 2000, I remember clearly being in the doldrums. I ultimately broke after President Clinton lied about his infidelity. Sure, it was none of my business, but really, after years of defending him while staring at the teevee perplexed by the shit thrown at him, here he was, uncontrolled penis in hand. Add to this mix, the Oklahoma city bombing, repeated threats of war from Osama bin Laden, the heightened rise of terrorism, the Moral Majority and the Religious Right, and heads were about to explode all around. Egads. As to the album, you can tell that the band was tense as well. They were in the middle of the shit and seemingly unhappy. Yeah, sure, they were unhappy before, but at least they were smiling while doing it. Sorta. Hell, one of the songs is actually named “Misery” and another, “Minority,” goes for the jugular of certain GOP-tinged religious bigots who were neither “moral’ nor the majority.  Come on, it was a bad time all around.

I realized that listening to “Macy’s Day Parade” was not the right thing to do shortly after the song started, but I kept listening because there is a tiny bit of a teeny strain of hope in the song; you just have to step through the turmoil of it to get to that little green spot. It’s painful traveling to that point, if you make it all. It’s what all great songs are made of. Turmoil, angst, sorrow, hope and lust. Now may I hang myself, please?

Lately, I’ve felt on the edge of either a catharsis or a last resort. I haven’t sorted out which one it’s going to be yet. I guess when you reach this point in life (read: age), you look back and reflect on the dreams that held fast in youth. I went after my dream and I held on as long as I could, which is a lot further than afforded most folks. I chased my dream until I chose to stop. It’s my-life regrettable. Now I have a ‘career,’ but with a student loan that is sucking the life out of me. Ultimately, I am not unhappy with the career path I’ve taken, but if I could, I would certainly change the specific field that I’m in. I would work as an archivist in the arts. And as soon as I figure out how to do that and make money to live, I’ll let you know. Yeah, I’m a sell-out to my dreams, but at least I keep hope alive and pay the rent. Mostly.

Macy’s Day Parade” — how ironic a title for a song where the only parade is despair; the “Minority” video actually got a Main Street parade of rebellious hellions in all of their defiance — knocked me for a loop. I was happily skipping toward my new place when “boom,” right into the wall I went. All the old fears of failure, lost dreams, and thoughts of life just ticking away one mindless day after another went off all at once. It took most of the day to right myself again. In the end, what hit me is summed up in the song’s refrain:

Because I’m thinking about
a brand new hope
the one I’ve never known
cause now I know
it’s all that I wanted

I’ve moved a million times in my life. Literally. I have a nice new home now, and I’ll be there for some long, indefinite period of time. It’s very grown up, but having my own home also feels as if I’m tied down as well, even though it’s but a base of operations. Nonetheless, I’m always thinking of a brand new hope right around the corner, one that I’ve never known and probably will never know before I croak out of this world. And the thought of living so briefly and wanting that elusive and ill-defined it and not obtaining it… whatever it is… is overwhelming. That’s why I shouldn’t have listened to the song yesterday. I was doing a pretty good job of coping with wanting more out of an already full life, but the impact of the late 1990s seeped into my mind by way of a music gateway and it was not pretty.  I have to keep reminding myself that it’s not time to kick it. I can make anything happen, yes?

Luckily, the angst of  “Macy’s Day Parade” and the album in general is broken up by another single, “Waiting.” This refrain offers just a bit more hope and I have listened to it repeatedly today and I feel much better.

Dawning of a new era

Calling…don’t let it catch you falling

Ready or not at all

So close enough to taste it

Almost…I can embrace this

Feeling….on the tip of my tongue

Catharsis or last resort… I’m going to go with catharsis, yeah, that’s the ticket.

*quoth Billie Joe…