Ben and I caught one of the two (or three?) screenings of Heart Like a Hand Grenade, the documentary about the creative process behind Green Day’s American Idiot, last night on the Upper East Side. Our theatre was half-empty but it was nevertheless a good time. 

Heart Like a Hand Grenade was like sitting in your living room and reuniting with old friends for the first time in a while and picking up like no time had passed at all. It was like listening to your favorite high school album for the first time in a decade (even though we all know that we have for sure listened to this album at least a couple times a year for the last 11 years).

The lights went down and onscreen was a notice, “PLAY THIS MOVIE REALLY FUCKING LOUD.” To be honest, they could’ve played it louder, but I’ve been hard-of-hearing from Green Day before so it’s probably best that it wasn’t. Billie Joe and Mike haven’t aged a day in 11 years. They took us through every track on the album, the recording process, the mixing process, and mixed it with cuts from a concert in California, presumably the first time they played through the album (oh, to have been there..). I laughed when Billie Joe was complaining about people on message boards trashing Warning and I wanted to jump up and be like, “Fuck those guys! Warning is the best!” You know, after American Idiot and Dookie

HLAHG was funny, serious, sad, and hilarious. The guys even thanked the fans in the credits: “Thank you to the fans who waited 11 years for this documentary.” You’re welcome, dude. As big fans: we left the theatre happy and sated. If you are in the music business or a Green Day fan, this is definitely worth a watch. 


Dos!, the second installment in Green Day’s trilogy, was released on Tuesday and it’s been a good week ever since. Before listening to it, I read in AMNY that it was the low point of the three albums. Awesome, I thought, this one will definitely be my favorite! (Since the album Warning is one of my favorites and it’s often cited as the near-death of Green Day…)

Anyways… I’ve listened through Dos! probably ten times since Tuesday and I absolutely love it. Here’s the rundown: 

See You Tonight: A quick, acoustic one that’s kind of sweet. It’s far from one of my favorites, but I definitely don’t dislike it.

Fuck Time: I don’t think I really need to go into much description about this. The guys wrote this song in 2010 after it became a pre-show ritual at American Idiot. They wrote it and performed it as a Foxboro Hottubs song, but I’m quite O.K. with them recording it as Green Day. It sounds a tad different from when I’ve heard them play it live, but it’s still an awesome, rockin’ time. (I love the shout-out to Amanda Jones at the beginning of the second verse too. God, that woman certainly left a mark on Billie Joe’s soul.)

Stop When the Red Lights Flash: I’d heard this for the first time at Webster Hall in 2011. It’s a solid song, and one that I definitely enjoy. I need to look over the lyrics to this and Oh, Love and see if there’s any relation (because in that one they say “don’t stop when the red lights flash,” so why is he now telling us to stop?). Definitely love the opening guitar riff too.

Lazy Bones: Took me a couple of listens to warm up to, but I like it now.  Again, I love the intro riff. This song makes you realize why Billie Joe might’ve put himself in rehab after they finished up these albums. 

Wild One: This is one I skipped over at least two times. It seemed to go on for forever. But after listening to it for a few times, I grew to appreciate it. It’s sweet, really.

Makeout Party: I remember loving this one at the Webster Hall concert and I still love it.   Awesome opening riff, uptempo, and I love the lyrics. 

Stray Heart: It’s definitely more pop than rock or punk. Almost sounds like something that could’ve been played at a 1950’s Sockhop? I love the chorus.

Ashley: Who is the girl that Billie Joe wrote this for?? She’s sounds vile, but I’d like to meet her. He certainly did a number on him and pissed him off. But I think we can all relate to being strung along by someone. In short: I love this song. One of my favorites on the album.

Baby Eyes: I hate the title, but I love the opening riff. This is probably one of the songs I like less on the album. Probably because I don’t understand the lyrics yet.

Lady Cobra: This was written for the lead singer of Mystic Knights of the Cobra, a band that’s pretty popular among some my friends (though I’m not very familiar with them). Another awesome opening riff that pulls you in right away. It’s a solid, awesome song.

Nightlife: Featuring the aforementioned Lady Cobra, when I first listened to this song, the first thought I had was, “WTF is this?” It is probably the furthest thing from typical Green Day fare since 2000’s Misery. Billie Joe’s voice is distorted, it’s featuring a female singer, and the lyrics are out there (even for him!). I really like this one though – or rather: I’ve grown to appreciate it over the past couple of days.

Wow That’s Loud!: They played this at Webster Hall and I loved it then, and I still love it. I love the opening and recurring guitar riff – as has been the case with so many of the songs on Dos!. I haven’t listened closely enough to the lyrics yet to figure out what the song is about exactly, but I adore it regardless. And that’s saying something.

Amy: This one leaked around Halloween last year and I think it’s a great way to end in the album. It’s one that was written for Amy Winehouse and it’s a really pretty, simple, melodic song. And when you find out it was written for Amy Winehouse, it’s also pretty sad.

Those are my thoughts on Dos!. I think it’s pretty unique, and I also think it’s a pretty good album, so sue me.  Nightlife has to be heard by everyone, so you can listen to it above. Leave your opinions below on it if you have one. 

Unpopular opinion: I love Green Day’s 2000 album, Warning.  I love it a lot.  I’ve had multiple discussions with one of my friends about Warning.  Long story short: I’m a fan of almost all the songs and he thinks it’s easily one of Green Day’s worst albums.   He said it was so bad and received so poorly that it almost broke up the band.  I didn’t follow the band that closely back then so I can’t confirm or deny this, but I’ll take my friend’s word for it.  

Regardless I love this album.  I blast it regularly in my apartment and it’s usually what I listen to when I get ready, or while I’m cleaning, on the weekends (my neighbors must love the album too because I’ve never received any complaints).  I love [the song] Minority (even though it really makes no sense); Warning is hilarious (who else would write a song containing a bunch of warning labels?); Blood, Sex, and Booze is one of my favorite songs to play; Church on Sunday is an adorable song that captures Billie Joe’s and his wife’s relationship early on and the compromises they both made; and Misery is probably one of the most mind-boggling and beautiful songs that Green Day has ever written – not to mention that it sounds unlike anything that they’ve written before or since (click here to watch the only video I’ve ever found of the performing [a tiny part of] Misery at a soundcheck).  

Warning probably ranks number three of my favorite Green Day albums (Dookie and American Idiot are my first two favorites and swap places depending on the weather).  Have you been convinced to buy the album yet?  Buy it here on Amazon or download it on iTunes.  

So… that’s my confession of an unpopular opinion for today.  Am I really the only person who likes this album?  I can’t be, but let me know if you like it too, okay?

(photo via)

Blood, Sex, and BoozeGreen DayWarning

I finally put the full version of this song on my iPod after receiving Warning for Christmas and I’m absolutely obsessed with it.  S&M isn’t my thing but I love this song regardless (especially the bridge and the playout!).

Green Day Song of the Week: I took a break from this last week.  I wasn’t feeling inspired.  From Green Day’s 2000 album, Warning comes the song this week, Macy’s Day Parade.  Now, I’m not sure whether or not it’s referring to the Thanksgiving Day parade, but I can’t think of any other parade it might be referring to, so as a late Happy Thanksgiving, here you go!

Green Day Song of the Week: The song this week is Warning, the title track off of Green Day’s 2000 album of the same name.  I love the concept of the song which was to write a song entirely with warning labels from any product anywhere.  I interpret it as satire about our nation’s obsessive behavior when it comes to placing “warnings” on ridiculous shit.  (i.e. “WARNING: This coffee is HOT!”  Oh, REALLY?!)