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Posts Tagged ‘green day’

A little Star Wars talk at work yesterday, coupled with today’s review of Green Day’s American Idiot made me want to retell this story. Ok, also because I had nothing else in the oven for today. Oh, and thank you to everyone who left birthday greetings for Todd yesterday. He really appreciated the fact that so many of my invisible friends took the time to do so.

starwarstrilogySeptember, 2004:
I dropped my son off at baseball practice, giving me 90 minutes to kill before he had to be picked up. I knew what I wanted to do with at least part of those 90 minutes but my conscience was smacking me around.

I sat in my idling car in front of the baseball field for a good twenty minutes contemplating what I was about to do. Or not do.

Green Day was live on K-Rock. They were playing their own set of chosen songs. Surrender by Cheap Trick came on and I sang.

Surrender, surrender, but don’t give yourself away….

Every momentous occasion has a song that plays in the background, lyrics speaking only to you. But Cheap Trick was sending me contradicting messages. How could I both surrender to the demon sitting on my shoulder, egging me on, yet not give myself away? To actually do what I was contemplating would be giving away my very soul to the dark side.

To make matters worse, I had my daughter in the car with me. I would be dragging her into this as well and while she could never understand the meaning of all this – coming from an entirely different viewpoint on this – I nonetheless asked her opinion. If I was taking her along for the ride, she had a right to an opinion on the matter.

I slowly explained to her – using fact, figures, historical data and quotes – what the situation was. She nodded in all the right places, threw in a few well-placed mmhmms and, when I was done, said:

“Mom, you are out of your freaking mind. Who the hell spends this much time agonizing over buying a DVD?”

She had no clue. None at all. I wanted to explain to her what George Lucas had done, how he had raped my memories, how he was forcing us to spend more money to….oh, it was useless.

By this time I had wasted nearly half of the 90 minutes and Green Day was now playing The Who’s The Kids are Alright. Maybe that meant my daughter was right? Was I out of my mind? Probably.

It was too late to go all the way to Best Buy. Perhaps my decision was made for me. Then Natalie said that she needed some things for school. Reverse decision! Wal-Mart, here we come! I would have just enough time to drive to Wal-Mart, send Natalie down the school supply aisle and sprint to the DVD section. If I did this all in a rush, I wouldn’t have time to contemplate the ramifications of what I was doing.

I met up with Darth Vader at the front of aisle three. An omen, of course. He stared at me (as much as cardboard can stare) menacingly, just daring me to reach out and touch his display. Who can resist the force? Not I.

My hands trembled as they seemingly floated on their own will towards the silver-hued box. A device on the box blinked red. Buy. Me. Buy. Me. Buy. Me. My hands trembled in mid air. I could have sworn the cardboard Vader said “I find your lack of faith disturbing.” I grabbed the box before the angel on my shoulder could find the words to stop me.

I cradled the DVD in my arms and met up with Natalie near the checkout. She eyed me suspiciously when she saw I was holding the movie. What will people say? she whispered.

I put my things on the checkout conveyor. The belt whirred into action and carried the box towards the cashier. She was just about to pick it up to scan it when I grabbed it out of her hands. It all played out in slow motion and my cry of “NO!” reverberated throughout the store in a long, slow drawl. Nooooooooooooo! The cashier stared hard at me.

“I don’t want to buy this.” I said defiantly. I turned my head towards aisle three to stare down Vader, but I was afraid of being turned into a pillar of salt so I averted my eyes.

We left the store with just some loose leaf reinforcements and a bottle of White-Out. Oh, and with my dignity intact, of course. After we picked up DJ and recounted the whole story for him, Green Day – still spinning records on K-Rock – played Slayer’s Raining Blood. It felt right for some reason.

Epilogue:
Of course, I eventually bought the damn DVD, just like I paid money to see Phantom Menace, just like I forced myself through Clone Wars, just like that night I spent with the life sized Boba Fett display…well, not so much like that. My Star Wars obsession has since waned, for the most part. I sold a lot of my toy collection and I no longer think that Darth Vader is real. I still have a death wish for all ewoks, though, and I still think Empire Strikes Back is one of the greatest movies ever made.

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Plain text complete list to date here

93. Styx – Renegade
I always felt like Styx didn’t know what they wanted to be. They took the best aspects of “classical” rock (a la Emerson Lake & Palmer and Yes) but tried to do too much with it that the sound they wanted never really came together. They interspersed all that pretentious conceptual stuff and literary references with radio friendly hits and it all came off schizophrenic. Dennis DeYoung, in retrospect, had the ego and vision of Roger Waters, but not the balls he needed to pull it off. They so much potential to be something grander than they were, but in the end they just toppled off the mountain instead of scaling it.

Anyhow, the song. It’s so earnest in its willingness to be an epic song. But what it is, is a pretty good rock song. Nothing more, nothing less. Have you ever been in a car with about six other people, all singing the ending “Oh mama I’m in fear of my life….” while you’re drumming out the beat on the back of the driver’s head? No? You’re missing out, man.

94. David Bowie – “Heroes”
There are very few songs that I can say give me goosebumps when I hear them. This is one of them. Almost 30 years after the first time I ever heard it, it still gives me that feeling; like something soaring within me. It gives me a lump in my throat and sometimes tears to my eyes and it feels almost triumphant to sing it.

95. Rush – Subdivisions
Everyone I knew loved this song. Of course, being from the suburbs and having been bored suburban kids, we identified with it. It didn’t matter that I always found Rush’s music to be hard to follow (although I always appreciated Peart’s drumming), words likeBut the suburbs have no charms to soothe the restless dreams of youth” caught us where we lived, literally. Be cool or be cast out.. Subdivisions hit me in much the same way Over The Edge hit me back in 1979. Except Matt Dillon is way hotter than Geddy Lee.

96. Jimi Hendrix – Little Wing
Why is it that everyone loves the Stevie Ray Vaughn version better than Jimi’s? Personally, I think SVR is one of the most overrated artists of all time. I don’t feel anything when he plays this song. It has no soul. But to listen to Hendrix play it…the emotion is all there. He can move me with just a few notes. I love so many of his songs, but this is a sentimental pick.

97. Mr. T Experience – Our Love Will Last Forever and Ever
Dr. Frank has a way of putting the right spin on love songs. This particular CD alone (Revenge is Sweet And So Are You), is at once so sad and so happy that you don’t exactly know what you feel when you hear the songs, all you know is that you do laugh or grin and you realize afterwards that you were actually laughing or grinning at yourself and the angst and tremor with which you pursued love. I love this song for the lyrics that make me laugh and grin in just that way:

so if we’re not vaporized in world war three,
and if there’s nothing good tonight on tv
and if you don’t meet somebody with more money that me,
our love will last forever and ever

98. Green Day – Jesus of Suburbia
My favorite Green Day song was always She until this one came out. I’m kind of iffy on Green Day to begin with. Billy Joe always sounds like he has a sinus infection and so many of their songs sound just like the one before it. In fact, Todd calls them the Taco Bell of punk rock. You can probably figure that out.

When American Idiot came out, I listened to it once or twice and dismissed it as more of the same fluff. But something made me go back and listen to Jesus of Suburbia again and it ended up being one of my most played songs in the past three years. At a little over nine minutes long, Jesus could easily have ended up unwieldy, but the tempo changes and the songs-within-a-song make it play out more like a mini rock opera instead of a single song. And it’s another one of those disaffected youth of suburbia songs I love so much. I play this song every work day when there is ten minutes to go, because it makes those last ten minutes – which always seem like 40 – go so much faster.

99. NoMeansNo – The River
One of the most emotional songs I’ve ever heard. Rob Wright’s voice – think Danzig without the theatrics – layered over pounding, relentless drums and a driving rhythm packs enough emotion as is, but when you listen to the lyrics – really, really listen – every note seems stronger, every word amplified, every beat louder. This song reaches inside you and pulls out everything in your heart and soul. Love, anger, sadness, desperation, beauty, fear, it’s all there. Watching someone go under, someone desperate for your help, but you can’t do shit about it because you’ve already gone under yourself. Helplessness, despair, but something so….beautiful about it. Tragically beautiful. “When you’re born you start to drown..” That pretty much sums up the entire song.

100. LL Cool J – Mama Said Knock You Out
Don’t call it a comeback! I don’t care if this is the typical choice. This song kicks all ass. It’s raw, it’s angry it’s violent, it’s powerful, it make you feel like you can take on the world. And come on, how many times have you used the phrase “mama said knock you out?” Plus, the video reminds me of why the ladies love cool James. Smokin’.

Oh, this guy in the video?

We hung out with him last week (his wife cuts my hair).

Alright! I made 1/3 of the way through!!

The updated list below. There’s some new ones on there, culled from comments I had to go searching for, and a few emails, but I do need more.

Beastie boys
Devo
Gordon Lightfoot
Savatage
GBH
Fang
RKL
Bad Brains
Rocket from the Crypt
New Bomb Turks
Incubus
Green Day
The Dwarves
The English Beat
Guess Who
Elvis Presley
MDC
7 Seconds
Steve Miller
Ben Folds
System of a Down
Talking Heads
Snoop Dogg
The Doors
Grateful Dead
Angry Samoans
Neil Diamond
Journey
The Beach Boys
Eric B and Rakim
Madonna
AC/DC/
Judas Priest
Kiss
Twisted Sister
Fear Factory
Suicidal Tendencies
Genesis
Peter Gabriel

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