Last Friday night I awoke from an extended fever-induced nap to discover My Chemical Romance had dissolved. My reactions were, in order: what. WHAT. Hold on, let’s check their blog . . . Well, shit. I guess this is really happening. Then I sat here for a while, toggling between various feeds on my screen and emotions in my heart: sadness, because I love(d) them best; relief, because the waiting for the other shoe to drop is over; gratitude, for the tunes, for the dear friends I’ve met in their pit, for the fact that I went to as many shows as I could, and for the fact that they went out with grace, dignity and finality, rather than in a hail of public meltdowns, regrettable shows and/or terrible tours. It’s a death, of a kind, but it is a clean one. (You’ll notice there’s no “shock” in there; that is because I really wasn’t surprised. I was excited when they released Conventional Weapons, the compilation of the songs they recorded after The Black Parade and then scrapped in favor of Danger Days: The True Lives of Fabulous Killjoys, but it was the kind of “tying up loose ends” … Continue reading
Yes, the classic one, written by Phil Spector, Jeff Barry, and Ellie Greenwich and made famous by the Ronettes. But I promise you’ve never heard it quite like this, i.e. as if the person singing it – Frank Iero, of My Chemical Romance and LeATHERM0UTH – might be having both heart and throat destroyed. It is creepy and beautiful and I love it.
The lost album is lost no more. Conventional Weapons is composed of the 10 songs My Chemical Romance made – and shelved – in the space between The Black Parade and Danger Days. I titled this post “Conventional Weapons (to date)” because they’re eschewing a traditional album release and instead putting the songs two at a time over the course of several months, and so far only four have been released. Two more will emerge in mid-December, and the last four will surface in early January and February. Not going to lie, this is maddening. I want the whole thing, all of the songs, and I want it right now, so I can lie down on my kitchen floor with my iPod and crank it up and plunge in. But I cannot have it, so I must be patient, and absorb them as they arrive. So far my reaction is: This is very interesting. The songs contains their evolution, as a band, and are an aural fork in the road, the point where The Black Parade finally shambled to a halt, and when it came time to choose their adventure, they walked briefly down a simpler (and so far, angrier) … Continue reading
Technically my second anniversary of starting to write here is a couple of months from now, but I’m chiming in to say: Happy Birthday, little blog! And also congratulations, Jessica H.! I hope you didn’t get too squashed in that Panic! pit – I totally read your story and nodded in rueful recognition, because, well, yes, that’s a Panic! show in a nutshell. (Well, maybe not the fistfights.) And the thing is: that’s kind of why I love them. Because that pit is a hot sweaty shrieking mess, but they are shrieking with joy. And there’s nothing else like the moment when the house lights go down, the stage lights come up, they step into their places, the first notes ring out, and the pit goes off like a rocket. The screaming makes me wince, too, but it also makes me grin, and probably scream along with them. But the best part is really afterwards, when I find all of my girls and we wobble, laughing, into the night, to find food and rehydrate and recap for each other the experience we just shared and text people who weren’t there so they can also be brought up to speed. In … Continue reading
This is My Chemical Romance, broadcasting from a post-apocalyptic California, in 2019. There’s lots of geeky details, fancy driving and things blowing up in a very satisfying manner. Every time this one comes up on shuffle I almost wish I had a car just so I could plug my iPod into the speakers and crank this one up while driving very fast. It’s also the first video in a series, and served as a visual introduction to the concept and the world of their latest record, Danger Days: The True Life of the Fabulous Killjoys.
Yeah, you read that right. I’ll just say this is completely Jennifer’s thing and leave it at that. The first time I saw My Chemical Romance was at Madison Square Garden, for the last show of their last tour. It was the first time I had ever been on the floor for a stadium show, and I remember at one point I turned to my sister and said Oh my god, we are really here and this is really happening. On Friday night I had that same brief stunned moment of holy crap, this is not a dream about halfway through the evening, when Dr. Death Defying (aka Steve Righ?, or Steven Montano, of Mindless Self Indulgence) walked out onto the stage at Roseland and started doing the intro to Na Na Na. I was three rows back from the barrier, jammed up in the epicenter of the soon to be screaming, pogoing children, and I could feel the energy building in the crowd as they joined in, a little breathless but growing stronger with each word. Then Gerard Way walked out into the lights and the whole place went berserk. It was an amazing show, y’all. They did a … Continue reading
This is Jonathan Coulton performing at the High Line this past April. He is the uncrowned king of the nerdy novelty song. My iTunes informs me that his genre is “Unclassifiable” which I think is an unusual misspelling of “Awesome.” My personal favorites are Code Monkey, a love song for J. Alfred Programmer; Skullcrusher Mountain, in which a lovelorn mad scientist asks isn’t it enough that I ruined a pony, making a gift for you?; and Shop Vac, a tale of suburban disaffection and despair with a catchy sing-along chorus. I’m also really very fond of his cover of Sir Mix-a-Lot’s Baby Got Back. Those last two might not be all that nerdy but they are a whole lot of fun. The next song on my list of favorites, MMO RPG by Alex Greenwald (Mark Ronson and the Business Intl., Phantom Planet) – truly a piece of digital ephemera, as it is, for now, only available on YouTube – explores some of the philosophical complexities of on-line gaming: [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hv8HJ_mB2Nw?fs=1] I will confess I’m not actually all that into computer games – the graphics tend to give me vertigo, and I prefer the low-tech joys of running around in the woods … Continue reading