April 21, 2010

Did you know they made a Broadway show out of the Green Day album "American Idiot"?

And it got a great review in the NYT? Excerpt:
Who’s the American idiot being referred to? Well, as that curtain slowly rose, we heard the familiar voice of George W. Bush break through a haze of television chatter: “Either you are with us, or with the terrorists.” That kind of talk could bring out the heedless rebel in any kid, particularly one who is already feeling itchy at the lack of prospects in his dreary suburban burg.

But while “American Idiot” is nominally a portrait of youthful malaise of a particular era — the album dates from 2004, the midpoint of the Bush years, and the show is set in “the recent past” — its depiction of the crisis of post-adolescence is essentially timeless. 
Malaise... <giggle>... see previous post.

It's an odd business to be obsessing about George Bush when he's keeping such a low profile these days. He's hoping to fade into history, perhaps, but some people really miss him — miss him in the sense that they want him there in center stage to hate on, like back in the good bad old days. And now here he is, center stage, on Broadway, where they do punk rock. If there is a "malaise of [each] particular era," then I guess that says something about the one we're in.

ADDED: Sonicfrog blogs:
Ah, yes. The ggod ol’ days. Back when it was OK to hate the President. Of course, bashing Bush was not exactly edgy or breaking new ground by the time “American Idiot” came out – Dixie Chicks, Keith Olberman, and Rosie “fire has never melted steel” O’Donnell had already blazed that trail. What make the Green Day album notable was not the music – I doubt many could name a single song from the album, or hum one of the tunes – but the fact that the anti-Bush sentiment was marketed so prominently as a feature of the album.


Brian said...

I like Weird Al's Canadian Idiot.

John said...

I always thought Billie Joe Armstrong, who is about as dumb a Hollywood leftist as you can find, singing "don't want to be an American idiot" is one of the most deliciously ironic moments in music history.

David said...

Rx for liberals:

Say "Bush bad. Very bad." (Repeat 3x/ day until you feel better.)

John said...

And Greenday definitely qualifies on any "worst band of the 90s" list. They are the "we wanted to be the Ramones but we just were not talented or cool enough" band.

chickelit said...

Did you know they made a Broadway show out of the Green Day album "American Idiot"?

Did you know that Tom Morello of Rage Against The Machine (whose guitar work I admire) has a lot in common with our President?

-Born in the same era
-White, left-wing activist mother
-Deadbeat Kenyan father who later abandoned him
-Harvard educated
-Extreme left wing agenda/sympathies


John said...

Speaking of stupid leftists, Rage sets the standard in that catagory.

Phil 314 said...

Well I could decry as the typical liberal NY crap but then this story is enough to convince me that NYC is another world altogether

paul a'barge said...

No malaise here.

Earnestly looking forward to the elections in 2010 and 2012 and the great flush of Democrats by Americans.

Anonymous said...

I'm kind of nostalgic for Bush myself.

He was pretty classy compared to Obama.

Despite the left's screaming, nobody was punished, prosecuted, jailed or any in way intimidated for dissent during the Bush administration.

Bush seemed to take dissent in stride. I don't recall him ever really striking back in anger.

Now we've got the thin-skinned Obama. All dissent is racism. All dissenters are potential terrorists.

Who's stupid?

Fen said...

True. As dumb as the Libtards claim he is, Bush is still smarter than Obama.

Dustin said...

If they had balls, they would call Obama an American Idiot or use harsh terms like that. If they are really that mad about the GWOT, then of course, Obama's only taken it to the next level. More drone strikes, with no chance of capture or trial, in a single year than the entire Bush era. In a nation we aren't at war with.

We are outright admitting to killing valuable intel prospects to avoid the legal ramifications.

But these boys are cowards and pick on the easy target. In their circles, everyone hates Bush. It's old, stale, uncreative, and cowardly. And of course, since Bush is about as popular as Obama, just kinda strange.

ricpic said...

Aren't teenagers always in a malaise?

A.W. said...

Rock and roll on broadway is just about the lowest form of entertainment. If the music is anything i care about, i rarely want to see the broadway version.

I always liked the contrast between Green Day and The Offspring, which debuted at roughly the same time. As someone said, Green Day is the band where they do their best to sound like (British) punks, but in fact they aren't punk at all. By contrast, the Offspring sounds like a bunch of surfers/jocks, but in fact really are punks.

i know lots of people i respect swear up and down that Green Day is a great band, but i don't know. they have always left me a little cold. i listened to their first album for free and felt i overpaid. I'm like David Spade on this. First I was like "meh." Then someone told me that they were actually americans pretending to be british, which perked me up for a minute or two. then that wore off and i said "meh" again.

Oh and bashing bush for a whole evening just seems even worse.

John said...


The Offspring are funny and ironic. Greenday are a bunch of humorless douches. There is no comparison. The Offspring, whatever their flaws, will at least make you laugh.

ricpic said...

Greenday. The Offspring. Who are these idiots? It's been all downhill since Frankie.

roesch-voltaire said...

Ah yes dissent durning the Bush years often confined to the "Free Speech Zones," or when the Medford school teachers were thrown out of a Bush rally for wearing "Protect our Civil Liberties," and you could show up in DC packing heat outside the White House-- not.

Sofa King said...

"It's been all downhill since Frankie."


TheThinMan said...

I saw Green Day at Madison Square Garden in NYC this past winter. Billy Joe still had BDS pretty bad; he didn't even change his diatribe to the past tense. And what a mastery of vocabulary exhibited! It was "fuckin' fascist motherfucker" this, "fuckin' moron is destroying the whole motherfuckin' country" that. Obama wasn't mentioned. No wonder the New York TImes loved this fake rock concert/fake musical shit that they usually pan.

halojones-fan said...

Green Day: It's actually kind of funny to read the interview with them, where they talk about how they did 'American Idiot' at a concert in England, and the crowd was laughing and cheering and singing along, and the band were suddenly like "waitaminute, we're Americans..."

Anyway, as for the Bush obsession: It's just the True Believer all over again. They need that hate to give them a sense of purpose. Even the Great Obama Hope didn't inspire people to come to the polls (remember Obama Girl? Remember how she didn't actually vote?)

You see it with this continued obsession over Sarah Palin, too. You'd think that Bush and Palin were still relevant to politics! Meanwhile, John McCain, who ran for President and is still a Senator, barely even gets a nod--and it's almost invariably tied to whatever Palin's doing.

PunditJoe said...

It seems as though Bush has become the Emmanuel Goldstein for many. Not satisfied with a Two Minute Hate, they felt the need to make a Broadway show.

Revenant said...

And Greenday definitely qualifies on any "worst band of the 90s" list.

They would, if not for the fact that Chumbawamba occupies every spot on the list.

holdfast said...

Well, I actually like their sound, if not their politics. I've been listening to adds for this BWay show on the radio for a while now, and I cannot see how they can spin an entire show out of this song/album.

ricpic said...

"It's been all downhill since Frankie."


Ol' Blue Eyes gonna put out a hit on you, Sofa.

John said...

"They would, if not for the fact that Chumbawamba occupies every spot on the list."


Patm said...

The Democrats and the left had their perfect Emmanuel Goldstein in Bush, and they have not been able to really solidify another since he left. They have tried to demonize Limbaugh, Palin, the Tea Party movement, but people are wising up and unwilling to just fall in line and start throwing books and shoes during the two minutes hate as they were during the Bush administration.

Bush's policies are still mostly in place. His wars are still going on. His patriot act is still there. You'd think the people who supposedly hated him for them would now hate Obama, who has quadrupled Bush's deficits.

But of course, without the media telling them to do so, that won't happen.

B.S. philosopher said...

Umm, Billy Joe Armstrong ain't a teenage punk. He's a pushing 40 year old singer in a band that takes money FROM angsty malaise filled teenagers.

I'm Full of Soup said...

From the review:

“Either you are with us, or with the terrorists.” That kind of talk could bring out the heedless rebel in any kid, particularly one who is already feeling itchy at the lack of prospects in his dreary suburban burg."

Sheesh- "dreary suburban burg" sounds like the NYT hates suburbanites.

Anonymous said...

The malaise comes from watching lefties in power endlessly chop at the branches of our problems while they simultaneously feed the roots.

Methadras said...

Well, it's not like leftards have anything else to do. George Bush was their albatross and they aren't letting go of him for a long, long time.

Anonymous said...

Bush's institute just had a conference on cyber dissidents. I miss him.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

Old guys acting like punkers. They are the 2000s version of Sha Na Na.

wv: mookie

William said...

With the exception of Truman, I can't think of a single Democratic President whose reputation has grown after leaving office. With the exception of Hoover and Nixon, Republican Presidents have had a tendency to grow in stature after leaving office. Bush Dubya is already starting his climb, and this should be looked on as the NYT's opening salvo in its effort to quash the draft Jeb movement.

Trooper York said...

c3 there are a lot of different New Yorks. There are the people in the fancy apartments. And there are the working class people in the outer boroughs of all races and ethnicities that have to work for a living just like everyone else out in the rest of the country. Don't tar everybody with the same brush.

Trooper York said...

I worked as a doorman back in college. The night shift. It was a shit job back then and it is even worse now a days. Those guys should soak those rich cunts for every cent they can get out of them.

Wince said...

If there is a "malaise of [each] particular era," then I guess that says something about the one we're in.

Green Day's breakthrough Dookie was their third studio album, released in February 1994, in the middle of Clinton's first term, before the Republican takeover of congress and the go-go 1990s.

Talk about malaise...


I sit around and watch the tube
But nothing's on
I change the channels for an hour or two
Twiddle my thumbs just for a bit
I'm sick of all the same old shit
In a house with unlocked doors
And I'm fuckin' lazy

Bite my lip and close my eyes
Take me away to paradise
I'm so damn bored, I'm goin' blind
And I smell like shit

Peel me off this velcro seat
And get me movin'
I sure as hell can't do it by myself
I'm feelin' like a dog in heat
Barred indoors from a summer street
I locked the door to my own cell
And I lost the key

Bite my lip and close my eyes
Take me away to paradise
I'm so damn bored, I'm goin' blind
And I smell like shit

I got no motivation
Where is my motivation?
No time for the motivation
Smokin' my inspiration

I sit around and watch the phone
But no one's callin'
Call me pathetic, call me what you will
My mother says to get a job
But she don't like the one she's got
When masturbation's lost its fun
You're fuckin' breaking

Bite my lip and close my eyes
Take me away to paradise
I'm so damn bored, I'm goin' blind
And loneliness has to suffice
Bite my lip and close my eyes
I'm trippin' away to paradise
Some say quit, or I'll go blind
But it's just a myth

Lance said...

And Greenday definitely qualifies on any "worst band of the 90s" list. They are the "we wanted to be the Ramones but we just were not talented or cool enough" band.

Only Spinal Tap has less talent than the Ramones.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

Green Day makes me want to vomit.

KCFleming said...

Fabulously rich rockers that are hitting 40 and still wearing makeup and complaining about the world they inherited like they were still 15, crying 'Help! I'm being oppressed!'.

Their entire career is a schtick, a narrative arc that has been redone ad nauseum by lesser and greater bands.

What a colossal bore. It's as if they created their own brand of socks. Does anyone give a shit? If so, why? And a Broadway show? How can you tell it's not a South Park parody?

LouisAntoine said...

If GWB was the left's albatross and you all recognize that, isn't that a reason to AVOID making Obama the right's albatross, instead of doing EVERYTHING possible to do just that?

So instead of learning from history, repeat it, out of spite?

Real smart.

save_the_rustbelt said...

Rock-and-roll died a long time ago, Green Day is just noise.

KCFleming said...

How is GWB the albatross of the left?

That suggests GWB was actually right all along, and the left's attacks were sinful, bringing woe upon them.

He's more of a Goldstein, straw man, scapegoat, or tar baby.

chickelit said...

So instead of learning from history, repeat it, out of spite?

Real smart.

Not spite MM. Rather, it's suspicion and lack of trust.

Suspicious Minds is a song about being trapped in a mistrusting and dysfunctional relationship, much like the marriage of right and left in this country.

We can't go on together
With suspicious minds
And we can't build our dreams
On suspicious minds

Chip Ahoy said...

This reminds me, there's a lot of stuff in my iTunes that must be purged.

Andrea said...

Green Day is like a Nutrasweet version of punk. Their name sounds like a brand of recycled toilet paper. They're for people who think real punk is "too harsh, man." The idea of these guys in the same room with, say, The Exploited, is laughable.

Yeah, I've never been a fan, long before their attempt at fame via the well-worn route of Bush-hatred.

Phil 314 said...

While we're on the subject of music, every time I hear this song I think of the Tea Party Movement

another promise, another scene...
red tape to keep the truth confined

They will not force us
They will stop degrading us
They will not control us
We will be victorious

(PS Yes I'm a big Muse fan....so shoot me)

KCFleming said...


Now, there's a band worth a few listens.

Andrea said...

Oh yeah -- and like the dinosaurs they are, the NYT is still living in the past, with its predictable slams against the "dreary" suburbs. WTF? This isn't the Seventies, when you were well and truly stuck with nothing to do on a Thursday afternoon in Peoria except sit around at home smoking your brother's pot and watching the Afterschool Special on tv. Now we have the internet and a thousand satellite tv channels, and we can live anywhere as long as we get reception; we don't depend on the big cities and the likes of the New York Times to bring interest into our lives.

That's what they fear, of course. Poor Old Media darlings, their power to influence the culture is slipping away. This is just another frantic grab at retaining it, but it will fail. I mean, who cares what's on Broadway anymore? When was the last time anything on a New York stage had any important effect? Even the dire influence of Cats on music video costuming has gone by the wayside.

mesquito said...

I love you, Andrea. That was beautiful.

Anonymous said...

Green Day : punk rock ::

Timothy Dalton : James Bond

LordSomber said...

Green Day is the Sha Na Na of Punk.

LordSomber said...

Also: Green Day is the AOL of Punk.

The Crack Emcee said...

They never mention it's an awful album.

The NYT is funny that way.

Anonymous said...

Actually, Green Day's first album was great and it was one of the first albums to jump straight from college radio to the mainstream (unlike, say, R.E.M., which took several albums to get there).

The problem with Green Day is that they've done nothing new in 15. The edge they had in 1994 is long gone.

Calling Green Day in any way relevant now is like calling the Rolling Stones circa Steel Wheels fabulous, or late Lou Reed really important, or the current hideous tripe that U2 puts out somehow good.

Critics and media bigwigs do all of those things. I don't know why. I think it's because they are all old and they want the music and the scene that mattered when they were young to continue to matter. It's long gone. It's over forever.

Similarly, the drumbeat of hatred for George W. Bush is going to be impossible to recreate. Blaming Dubya in 2010 would be such a foolish mistake that I can't believe intelligent Democrats would pursue it. Some of the trolls here, sure. But not people who are trying to win elections.

Francis Barragan said...

Of all the bands, I can see why they'd want to take one that has a fairly wide reach... that being said, couldn't find a band with a better portfolio?

Anonymous said...

Could you possibly sell out more as a punk band than doing a Broadway show?

PIL wouldn't do this.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

Elite wealthy lefty rock stars lecturing us on how to hate. Now that's tired. A Broadway Play?

Well, Madonna, who is a left-winger, compared John McCain to Hitler - so there you go; The height of political sophistication and debate from bubble-dwelling American Idiot rock stars.

Meanwhile, our nation is really swirling down the toilet.
Do the lefty rock stars have a clue? No. They are safely preserved in their cocoon.


CatherineM said...

When I saw they were going to Broadway - not the band, but Bway dancers and singers performing this album - I got douche chills. They were over when this album came out and they were 35 in heavy eyeliner trying desperately trying to be relevant at the Gammys. At a certain point, you just look silly. There is nothing rebellious about it when all your friends/peers say the same thing.

Fen said...

I really cant add anything to the thread after April's two posts. Nicely done.

CatherineM said...

C3, I had to laugh. I live here, but in an outer borough. Even when I lived in the Upper East Side I didn't have a doorman. I currently work with a girl (she's 35, but a silly sex and they city wannabe) who moved into a studio from a 3 family house in Bay Ridge last year, and was "stressing out."

Eye roll. Thank goodness they reached an agreement.

Anonymous said...

Can't be long now before American Idiot on Ice opens. In Branson, Missouri.

CatherineM said...

The NYT, Hollywood and most art critics don't realize what a cliche their hate for the suburbs is. Hate GWB - check; despise the suburbs - check....

virgil xenophon said...

I've always been a big Offspring fan--"the more you suffer the more it shows you really care....RIGHT!"--it just doesn't get any better than that lyric-wise, but I DO like ONE Green-Day song--"I walk alone." Otherwise I pretty much loath the punks.

I'm with friend mesquito on Andrea and her comments. I've followed her off and on thru her travails and many moves since "Twisted Spinster" days in 2004/5. Lost track for some time during and after Katrina, but now visit her latest incarnation.

Look, gang, the left is out of ideas and airspeed--the only thing left is hate, naked power and an overweening sense of moral superiority that blinds them to their own hypocrisy and leads them to believe ANY means justifies the ends. Sliming the opposition ("Black-topping" in academic poly-sci speak) is all they have left in the quiver..

Known Unknown said...

Dear New York Times -

Fuck You.


The Dreary Suburbs.

VW: combr - a combover on Tumblr.

Clyde said...

I always thought that when President Bush left office, there would be a rise in mental illness among the far Lefties because they would no longer have their own personal Goldstein for their daily Two-Minutes Hate (and those people are defined by their hatred; c.f., Keith Olbermann).

What do people do when that wall they've been pushing angrily against for eight years vanishes? Answer: Fall forward on their faces. Fortunately for them, Sarah Palin has emerged as the new Goldstein. She's doing a public service for everyone except for psychotherapists.

Fen said...

Is there a Jewish word for Jews who associated with Der Stürmer?

AllenS said...

Obsessing about George Bush is an attempt to make one forget about the Two Fool Combo that is living in the White House presently.

master cylinder said...

seven machos-have you heard american idiot?
"boulevard of broken dreams" and "when sept. ends"
are much better songs, more evolved, than anything
on "dookie", april: not sure you could call them elites-
dont think they made it to college, and arent from the east coast-what constitutes elite to you?

Anonymous said...

more evolved

So what? Sting circa 1995 was plenty evolved. Yet his music sucked ass whereas virtually everything The Police did was brilliant.

There are millions of examples of this. There's this thing you have when you are young, and it's part of the exuberant greatness of any kind of art.

el polacko said...

green day aren't faking anything.. they are from the san fran bay area..oakland to be exact. nearly everybody here is exactly like them..the most conformist 'non-comformists' you are likely to find anywhere.