February 19th, 2005

planet

American Idiot

I got on iTunes last night and bought that new-ish Green Day album, because its radio releases have been catchy and because I'm dangerously addicted to buying stuff on iTunes. I wanted to listen to it at work today so I burned it to a CD and scrawled "GREEN DAY" on it with a black sharpie, which got me thinking... when's the last time I scrawed "GREEN DAY" on a CD with a black sharpie? Never, probably... I think we had tapes back then.

Ever know an online friend or someone in your clique for years and years before you suddenly look at them and say, "Whoh... we have a history together. We're close, for some weird reason, even though we've never really felt like it." That's me a Green Day this weekend. I've never been that into them but we'd put Dookie on repeat at the pool when I was 14. My sister bought like three of their albums (she was oddly attracted to music with questionable themes) and they were cool and cute and funny. We'd get new people to listen to the "all by myself" song.

Then Green Day was more popular, and they were every punk kid's justification for why punk was dead. "SEE... I heard of that band before they were even called green day, and now they're on the top 40 station for all you poser sellouts... that's bullshit there, you being 'alternative'. it's not alternative if it's on the radio, morons! I'm the only real punk here, don't fucking listen to GREEN DAY!!!" and so on. It was funny as hell.

I graduated right when "Time of Your Life" was popular. It was our graduation song. (For what it's worth, it was worth all the while.)

So the band goes in and out of the radio and does stuff and doesn't do stuff, and I go to college, and then I get out and get pissed and get political and here's this album that just has me. It's fucking incredible. I don't think I've heard anything this amazing in years, and I'm not kidding at all. Here's my new list of Greatest Albums Produced During My Lifetime (in no real order):

The Unauthorized Biography Of Reinhold Messner (Ben Folds Five)
Exile in Guyville (Liz Phair)
Vitology (Pearl Jam)
Melancholy and the Infinite Sadness (Smashing Pumpkins)
American Idiot (Green Day)

I love albums that are albums... as ani difranco says, "As in a record, of an event." Not just collections of trite radio songs, but entities within themselves that tell a story and keep a thread going. Bonus points if the thread goes at just the right time in my life. American Idiot just did it for me. I'm sucked in and owned by it, it's perfectly political, perfectly angry, and what's weirder, by a band who I really grew up with.

so yeah, back to listening. loudly.