How to Join Member's Area Private Library Search Today's Topics p Login
Main Forums Discussion Tech Talk Mature Content Archives
   Nav Win
 Discussion
 pipTalk Lounge
 The "American Idiot" Discussion Thread
 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
Follow us on Facebook

 Moderated by: Ron   (Admins )

 
User Options
Format for Better Printing EMail to a Friend Not Available
Admin Print Send ECard
Passions in Poetry

The "American Idiot" Discussion Thread

 Post A Reply Post New Topic   Go to the Next Oldest/Previous Topic Return to Topic Page Go to the Next Newest Topic 
Mistletoe Angel
Deputy Moderator 10 ToursDeputy Moderator 10 ToursDeputy Moderator 5 Tours
Member Empyrean
since 12-17-2000
Posts 34089
City of Roses


0 posted 02-21-2005 02:47 PM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel

Just recently I bought the new universally-acclaimed Green Day release "American Idiot".

Before now, I was never a Green Day fan and even considered them overrated, with the occasional single I liked of theirs.

But I just have to say, I believe "American Idiot" is a messy, accidental work of genius from this Bay-area trio.

Some who have given the album a onceover listen or heard of the release have called it another "Bush-bashing" record or political concept album.

But having listened to it a few times now, I have come to understand this album is far more than just a political album. Actually, only two of the tracks are really political ("American Idiot" and "Holiday"). In fact, it is an epic social tale, developing through each track, and each track actually segues together wonderfully.

Let me share with you my interpretation of the album:

**************************************

1) "American Idiot": Meet the protagonist, Jesus of Suburbia. A confused, disoriented, angry kid who has no clue where to go in life, wanting his voice to be heard which is, "Don't want to be an American Idiot" or he doesn't want to be forced into the "redneck agenda" He has his political opinions and he hints them out as kind of a prologue to this epic story, as well as to set the stage for what's to come.


2) "Jesus of Suburbia": Now we get to know more about this young man in this nine-minute long, five-part track. He explains that he's been raised basically in rage-infused love, with neglegent parents (He never mentions his Mom's name, though he mentions the name Brad, which may mean he's his stepdad and his real life father is gone) In Part II of the song, he basically expresses how he hates this place ("City of the Damned"). Part III ("I Don't Care") expresses his apathy, like he's basically damned and there's nothing he can do about it so he just doesn't care about anything anymore. Part IV ("Dearly Beloved") is a moment of introspection or inquiry, asking "Hey, is this feeling natural, hey, maybe there is a way I can escape all this?". The final part ("Tales Of Another Broken Home") is after he thinks it over, and decides, "Enough is enough! I can't take this anymore, I'm leaving and starting a new life!")

3) "Holiday" (Jesus of Suburbia now is living life on the streets. He believes right now running away was the right thing to do. He is still all alone, but confident at this time as he expresses his political and anti-war sentiments to the world:

"Can I get another Amen? (Amen!)
There's a flag wrapped around the score of men,
A gag, A plastic bag on a monument


The title pretty much explains itself. He wants to take a holiday for the rest of his life from "Idiot America" and its hollow lies.

But this bold move proves to be consequential.)


4) "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" (As time moves on, Jesus of Suburbia realizes he is all alone. His happiness wears off here, and finds only his shadow is walking beside him.)

5) "Are We The Waiting" (Jesus of Suburbia continues to walk the lonely road, only feeling more numb than ever. He even wonders if he doesn't know who he is anymore. He wonders if he is even the Jesus of Suburbia.)

6) "St. Jimmy" (Finally, Jesus of Suburbia reaches a dramatic turning point when he meets St. Jimmy on the streets, the "patron saint of the denial", who is basically the epitome punkkid. He's the toughest, most street-smart guy around, who knows the city like the palm of his hand, and has lived his life on the streets himself. Befriending him will change Jesus of Suburbia, who is obviously more shy in comparison.)

7) "Give Me Novocaine" (Jesus of Suburbia and St. Jimmy hang out and do drugs. Jesus of Suburbia begins to depend on them in being the "novocaine" to ease the aches in his life.)

8) "She's A Rebel" (Jesus of Suburbia meets a girl named Whatsername with a rebellious spirit to her. It's love at first sight, and Jesus of Suburbia falls head over heels to her. The song introduces her. The mood also changes to one of the most upbeat on the record obviously.)

9) "Extraordinary Girl" (Jesus of Suburbia falls deeply and madly in love with her, and this is like the lovesick expression song. His feelings for her is like a fever to him.)

10) "Letterbomb" (However, this love ends up proving too good to be true for him. As Whatsername comes to know him better, she realizes that Jesus of Suburbia has become everything he's hated, considering St. Jimmy a bad influence on him, etc.

"You're not the Jesus of Suburbia.
The St. Jimmy is a figment of,
your father's rage and your mother's love,
that's made the Idiot America"


She says she can't love someone like that so explains the "letterbomb", a letter she sends to Jesus of Suburbia that hits him hard. She also leaves him with words that will haunt Jesus of Suburbia on and on from here:

"Nobody likes you, everyone left you..." )


11) "Wake Me Up When September Ends" (Now Jesus of Suburbia is back where he started; depressed, forsaken, alone. Only the pain is deeper than ever, because now he feels he isn't innocent anymore as well. "September" could very well be an allusion to September 11th.)

12) "Homecoming" (The other epic track, over nine-minutes long and in five parts. Jesus of Suburbia decides it can't get any worse than this, so he decides to leave the streets, accept conformity and return home, as much as he hates it. He explains it to St. Jimmy, and feeling defeated, St. Jimmy commits suicide, revealing that this cruel world can even taunt the toughest man. In Part II, "East 12th Street", he gets a new job he doesn't like at all and surrenders to "Idiot America". He feels trapped and devastated. In Part III, "Nobody Likes You", he still is crying that he lost his love interest Whatsername, with her words still plaguing him like a ghost:

"Nobody likes you, everyone left you..."

In Part IV, "Rock 'N Roll Girlfriend", one of his friends from the street, Tunny, sends him a postcard, telling Jesus of Suburbia Whatsername is doing just fine, living her rock and roll fantasy life, as is he. And in the final part, "We're Coming Home Again", he returns home, where he remains numb and defeated, but just comes to accept everything.


13) "Whatsername" (The final track on "American Idiot" reveals that though he accepts all that has happened, and grateful for the knowledge he's earned from his experiences elsewhere, he still cries that he's lost and can't have Whatsername. He never even knew her name, and is only left with memories of her, wondering what could have been:

"If my memory serves me right,
I'll never turn back time,
forgetting you,
but not the time."
)




"American Idiot", I truly believe, is going to become soldified as one of the greatest records of this era. And I believe it deserves to be.

Already it has gone double-platinum here in the U.S, which is a remarkable achievement for any rock record in this time where the music industry is struggling overall, and still being in the Top Five on Billboard, something tells me this album is far from being finished being promoted.

I am optimistic so many young people out there will be influenced by this record and Green Day may, just may, be the ones to inspire another rock and roll revolution.

What are your thoughts on this record?

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton




"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"

Mother Teresa
Kaoru
Deputy Moderator 1 TourDeputy Moderator 1 TourDeputy Moderator 1 Tour
Member Elite
since 06-07-2003
Posts 3888
where the wild flowers grow


1 posted 02-23-2005 12:33 PM       View Profile for Kaoru   Email Kaoru   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Kaoru

My thoughts are completely opposite to yours, I hate the album and Green Day.

Personally, I think that there's countless amounts of artists that deserve my praises more than they do.
littlewing
Member Rara Avis
since 03-02-2003
Posts 9998
New York


2 posted 02-23-2005 12:36 PM       View Profile for littlewing   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for littlewing

I have to agree, sorry Noah, Green Day is just not me.
Aenimal
Member Rara Avis
since 11-18-2002
Posts 7451
the ass-end of space


3 posted 02-23-2005 01:26 PM       View Profile for Aenimal   Email Aenimal   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Aenimal

i don't want to get into the politics of the album, but i agree with ya noah, it's a great album. i liked them enough, but was never a big fan or that they would amount to much. i think alot of people would be surprised at just how much green day has evolved since dookie. this album is a classic, while i wish the lyrics need work, this album points the trio into the right direction. they have the capability of being one of the greatest rockbands ever. if anyone remembers, the beatles first 4 albums were nothing special and look what they did.
Mistletoe Angel
Deputy Moderator 10 ToursDeputy Moderator 10 ToursDeputy Moderator 5 Tours
Member Empyrean
since 12-17-2000
Posts 34089
City of Roses


4 posted 02-23-2005 01:31 PM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel

Awwwww, that's OK.

Typically I buy only releases from underground artists and only stream records from artists on commerical or major labels. "American Idiot" was actually the only major label record I purchased lately.

Of course Green Day's effort isn't all-original (then again, little really is nowadays, with all the musical ideas already taken and molded together). It was obviously inspired by the epics of The Who and likes of The Clash among others.

And it's not to say so many other worthy efforts are out there that also are strong. Steve Earle's "The Revolution Starts Now" was a strong effort, even though the album just sounded intended to be a bigger hit than it really was and to drive Bush out of the White House. Ani DiFranco continuously drives home long political rambles on each of her albums, like on "Evolve" with the title track and "Serpentine" and in "Revelling/Reckoning". And Antiflag writes strong material too.

But I really value Green Day's effort here because it's not just something that'll be mummified since the person its antagonized toward got re-elected.

It would be so easy to just assume by the title itself that "American Idiot" is referring strictly to Bush as characterizing him as it, etc.

Actually, if you listen to that title-track, you find that the song is actually about the call for individuality, as "one nation controlled by the media", etc. proves. The song is like declaring to beg to differ from the "Either you're with us or against us" rhetoric and encourage everyone to just stand up for themselves and just be. But the album also intends to show how to be careful in being, or you may find yourself on the boulevard of broken dreams doing novocaine.

Green Day may not be the most professional or ground-breaking artist by any means, but what makes the album exemplary to me is that they are speaking in a language so many young people can relate to. The musical landscape is just far more different (and obviously far more homogenized and dull).

With your concerns at heart, I have to ask, if not this, which post-911 release do you consider not only the best, but the most likely to influence this counter-culture sentiment?

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton

"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"

Mother Teresa

Mistletoe Angel
Deputy Moderator 10 ToursDeputy Moderator 10 ToursDeputy Moderator 5 Tours
Member Empyrean
since 12-17-2000
Posts 34089
City of Roses


5 posted 02-23-2005 01:39 PM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel



Yeah, Aenimal, I also agree that Green Day certainly are no legendary wordsmiths or anything.

But the lyrics on this record are unquestionably the strongest of their career thus far. The point here is this album's lyrics are not totally romantic or from another dimension or anything, it's that these lyrics resonate, it's lyrics this cultural youth, much of which is swimming in apathy, can relate to.

"Jesus of Seburbia", in particular, is truly a quality track, the best single track they've ever recorded. I don't want to lay out all the lyrics here since it's a nine-minute track, but it's not so much that they're any Joan Baez, Bruce Cockburn or Neil Young in terms of lyrical mastery that makes their messages appealing, but it's how they're able to deliver. Deliverance is what makes Green Day very effective here. These characters Green Day have developed are believable. We see troubled teenagers like Jesus of Seburbia often. It's very difficult often to explain where they're coming from, but I believe Green Day does a great job attempting to round it all up.

Tracks like "Jesus of Seburbia" are exactly what popular music needs right now. Boy, I'd just LOVE to see Green Day make a brave move like Queen did with "Bohemian Rhapsody", and, as naive as it can be, release the whole nine-minute track as a single.

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton


"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"

Mother Teresa
Aenimal
Member Rara Avis
since 11-18-2002
Posts 7451
the ass-end of space


6 posted 02-23-2005 01:41 PM       View Profile for Aenimal   Email Aenimal   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Aenimal

with better lyrics, this would have been the one.it's a little too vague. that aside, i'm not sure anything can spark that counter-culture at the moment, it's a scary thing how complacent or afraid we've become.the last band to really do it right, to really mean something was rage against the machine. maybe if zach de la rocha finally releases that solo album it may spark something.he's got that important cross-over value. rock and rap, white and black.in the meantime, i just keep listening to my clash cds.
Aenimal
Member Rara Avis
since 11-18-2002
Posts 7451
the ass-end of space


7 posted 02-23-2005 01:43 PM       View Profile for Aenimal   Email Aenimal   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Aenimal

i wish they would release that too, but do we have the attention span for it? i dunno. and i think that's what happened with the whole album, it sparked a feeling in alot of people at first, but it quickly and sadly died down. i think the mistake was releasing boulevard of broken dreams..it was the safe choice, where they should have biult on the momentum and power of american idiot
JoshG
Member
since 11-16-2004
Posts 127
TX, USA


8 posted 02-23-2005 01:45 PM       View Profile for JoshG   Email JoshG   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JoshG

I think the reason this album totally rubs me off is primarily its anti-Americanism.  Yet, I would be a liar if I didn't say it gets me with the ignorance of extremist visions.  Leaning towards one view that if was reality would totally be argued against by the same group towards the other.  The lack of constitution in their words and message is sicking.  Yet, lets cut down the capitilism we are so hoping this record materilizes for us.

Put simply, the extreme views pushed by this album are not realistic.  If these were our reality we'd find ourselves in one huge cluster and with out a gun to protect ourselves.

I like one song and its for its musicianship, anyone know where I can find an instrumental version of the album?
Aenimal
Member Rara Avis
since 11-18-2002
Posts 7451
the ass-end of space


9 posted 02-23-2005 01:57 PM       View Profile for Aenimal   Email Aenimal   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Aenimal

criticism is not anti-americanism. it's equally patriotic to speak out about/try to fix what you believe has gone wrong.you may not agree with their view, but labeling it anti-americanism is simplistic.anti-establishment/administration fine.
Mistletoe Angel
Deputy Moderator 10 ToursDeputy Moderator 10 ToursDeputy Moderator 5 Tours
Member Empyrean
since 12-17-2000
Posts 34089
City of Roses


10 posted 02-23-2005 06:42 PM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel

Josh, I must ask, what do you see "anti-American" or "extreme" about this album?

I see nothing about this album that characterizes under either term personally.

There's much more to America besides that "agenda". Is it "anti-American" to desire taking a "holiday" from all you hear in the news and being sold in metonymy to a government's vision at large, or can rest and breathe easy with knowing the government isn't going to thin out liberties or rights that can affect your very lifestyle?

Hey, when you compare "American Idiot" to "The Battle for Los Angeles" or many of the anti-war Vietnam era anthems, it even seems tame by comparison.

I am interested in hearing your side of the story however. Please elaborate.

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton

"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"

Mother Teresa

Mistletoe Angel
Deputy Moderator 10 ToursDeputy Moderator 10 ToursDeputy Moderator 5 Tours
Member Empyrean
since 12-17-2000
Posts 34089
City of Roses


11 posted 02-23-2005 06:51 PM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel

Aenimal, the thing about "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" is that it is that kind of track that strikes anyone who hasn't heard the album in its entirety as simplistic or whiney.

I actually think it is the weakest track on the record because it's a track that takes part in a transitory stage of the story. And the transitory moments are the slowest moments. It's just that it was designed as a radio-friendly pop song, and I think its release served the purpose in promoting "American Idiot" to a massive audience.

Obviously its success is monumental. "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" just made history by topping six formats at one time in a week (Pop, Hot Adult Contemporary, Rock, Active Rock, Alternative, Adult Alternative). That's why "BOBD" was the right move. Anything politically controversial usually gets passed up, usually because people shy away from such messages like that nowadays. "BOBD" was basically just a promoting or marketing tool, but I can forgive Green Day there because it looks like all the rest of the singles they'll release will be the quality tracks. "Holiday" is the third single and I consider that the second strongest track, behind "Jesus of Seburbia".

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton

"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"

Mother Teresa

littlewing
Member Rara Avis
since 03-02-2003
Posts 9998
New York


12 posted 02-23-2005 09:38 PM       View Profile for littlewing   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for littlewing

Noah,

I agree with the message and everything you outlined above, that was great because I truly was not that aware of that album, its contents, thank you for that.  I just meant that I really don't listen much to Green Day.

I agree with Rage being the last speakers for our generation, whatever that is, there will never be anything like them, or Zach, again.

I think that expression through music, art, poetry, whatever, is freedom of speech, not anti-american or anything, just speaking the truth actually.  

Which is what art is all about.
Mistletoe Angel
Deputy Moderator 10 ToursDeputy Moderator 10 ToursDeputy Moderator 5 Tours
Member Empyrean
since 12-17-2000
Posts 34089
City of Roses


13 posted 02-24-2005 02:02 PM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel

Rage Against The Machine was a one and only original. I wish Audioslave could break up and they could re-band with Zach.
(Audioslave are proportionally far less interesting than Rage.)

System Of A Down is one act that isn't up to par with Rage, but they're a strong act nevertheless. They're coming out with two records this year, and I believe we can count on them being quite political like their material is usually (Though that new leaked track "Cigaro" is awful, ugghhh.) Two of the band members even have Iraqi heritage.

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton


"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"

Mother Teresa
Aenimal
Member Rara Avis
since 11-18-2002
Posts 7451
the ass-end of space


14 posted 02-24-2005 03:49 PM       View Profile for Aenimal   Email Aenimal   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Aenimal

yeah, i really hate audioslave. if youre interested, look for march of death by zach de la rocha and DJ shadow, it's not rage, but its close
littlewing
Member Rara Avis
since 03-02-2003
Posts 9998
New York


15 posted 02-25-2005 11:20 AM       View Profile for littlewing   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for littlewing

I usedd ta love herrrrr . . .

oops sorry, meant to say:

I used to love System, the old system is amazing and will look for that up there.

Cornell was Soundgarden, that's it.

Say Helloooooooooooooo to Heavennnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn . .  ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh Heavennnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnaghhhhhhhhhh

like that . . .

(ok that was Temple of the Dog, same timeframe)
Cloud 9
Senior Member
since 11-05-2004
Posts 988
Ca


16 posted 02-25-2005 07:11 PM       View Profile for Cloud 9   Email Cloud 9   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Cloud 9

Green Day isn't my kind of music but the drummer is from a town near my hometown.
 
 Post A Reply Post New Topic   Go to the Next Oldest/Previous Topic Return to Topic Page Go to the Next Newest Topic 
All times are ET (US) Top
  User Options
>> Discussion >> pipTalk Lounge >> The "American Idiot" Discussion Thread Format for Better Printing EMail to a Friend Not Available
Print Send ECard

 

pipTalk Home Page | Main Poetry Forums

How to Join | Member's Area / Help | Private Library | Search | Contact Us | Today's Topics | Login
Discussion | Tech Talk | Archives | Sanctuary



© Passions in Poetry and netpoets.com 1998-2013
All Poetry and Prose is copyrighted by the individual authors