SOME STUFFS: Best Coast prepare to board the Green Day tour

Best Coast photo BestCoast_old_zps926e7ee1.jpg
With a Pushead Metallica T-shirt to guide them, Best Coast will be gearing up towards a Green Day “rescheduled” tour to start this spring. This is where the groups will unite in rock:

March 28… Rosemont, IL (Allstate Arena)
March 29… Moline, IL (Wireless Center)
March 31… Pittsburgh, PA (Consol Energy Center)
April 1… Rochester, NY (Blue Cross Arena)
April 3… Philadelphia, PA (Liacouras Center)
April 4… Fairfax, VA (Patriot Center)
April 6… Uncasville, CT (Morgan Sun Arena)
April 7… Brooklyn, NY (Barclays Center)
April 9… Providence, RI (Dunkin’ Donuts Center)
April 11… Toronto, ON (Air Canada Centre)
April 12… Quebec City, QB (Collsee Pepsi)

BOOK REVIEW: “Treasures Of Green Day” by Gillian G. Gaar

Green Day For anyone who is involved with or has paid attention to punk rock, underground, and alterna- music in the last 20 years, who would ever have dreamed that Green Day would become The Ramones of their generation, but musically better and arguably cuter? I’m sure the few diehards who have remained with them throughout will say that’s why they’re still there, but with Gillian G. Gaar’s Treasures Of Green Day (Sterling), one is able to read and see their rise to become a band of more than just hipster importance.

Gaar, whose work has been of interest to me since she was a contribute to the Seattle magazine The Rocket (for whom I too was a contributor to for close to two years), gets in-depth about their roots and goes from what made them get into music, what moved them, and what lead to Billie Joe Armstrong, Mike Dirnt, and Sir Tré Cool uniting to share their love of music and telling/sharing stories in their own way. One is able to see their rise from simply looking at the photos, when they had no problem wearing shirts for Very Small Records (one of my favorite labels), slapping on a Muffs sticker on their guitar (as seen in the “Longview” video, meant to be a bit of Warner Bros./Reprise solidarity but The Muffs never gained Green Day status, but should have), to looking like high school punk kids always sporting a sarcastic smirk. You see concert flyers of the band playing at the more well known Bay Area venues, with bands who are still celebrated. Eventually the look gets more sophisticated, as in “I’m out of high school, I’m going to college, but I’m still going to use Jell-O mix to dye my hair”, and Gaar gets into how small local tours turn into West Coast tours, leading to North America tours, and eventually exploring the world outside of North America. From dingy huts with no running toilets to sports stadiums, one can’t help but either celebrate that success, or go “how in the fuck did they get that lucky?” By the time it gets to the American Idiot musical, which not only marked the point where they were one of the few artists to condemn the actions (or lack of it) of then President George W. Bush, but to celebrate that in something as silly as a musical, it shows how they were determined to see how far they could take it. They’re still here. While Armstrong’s alleged “breakdown” a few months ago seemed to be a mere cause of concern for their mainstream following and publicists looking for a hot story, Green Day seem to want to remain writing, recording, and performing for many years to come.

Gaar does a very good job at formatting their story, not super in-depth by any means, but this is more than just a casual Entertainment Weekly read too. What I also love about this book is that once it’s taken out of its protective box, the inside also features replications of memorabilia throughout the years. It’s not just a photo in the book, you get to pull-out old backstage passes, posters, flyers, and more. One flyer features shows at The Outhouse in Lawrence, Kansas, showing that bands like Helmet, Jawbox, 7Seconds, Sick Of It All, Napalm Death, Melvins, and the almighty Christ On A Crutch were on their way to the midwest. I would love to see more books like this, and would also love to be able to write and create one in this manner. Treasures Of Green Day will definitely please any and all fans of the band, it is definitely a keeper.

RECORD CRACK: New titles from Warner being prepared for Record Store Day

Warner Bros. Records is very active in making sure each Record Store Day is as festive as previous years, not only in attendance but in getting new items out in stores. As always, many of these items are made exclusively for and meant to be sold on that day only. Here are some the titles the Warner family have ready to go:

  • Bad Brains-God Of Love + bonus 7” (vinyl LP + two song 7” single)
  • The Belle Brigade-The Belle Brigade (vinyl LP)
  • Built To Spill-Ripple (7” picture disc) (this one is a 1-sided picture disc and will feature a previously unreleased live cover of the Grateful Dead song, which BTS recorded in Charlotte, North Carolina on October 11, 2010.)
  • Eric Clapton-Unplugged (Two-disc set on 180-gram vinyl; mastered by Bernie Grundman)
  • Deftones-Covers (vinyl LP)
  • The Flaming Lips-Heady Nuggs: The First 5 Warner Bros. Records 1992-2002 (this one is a 5 LP box set, indivudually numbered, of the first five albums the band did for Warner Bros. each of which has been remastered by Bernie Grundman. They include:
    Hit To Death In The Future Head (Single Disc)
    Transmissions From The Satellite Heart (Single Disc)
    Clouds Taste Metallic (Single Disc)
    The Soft Bulletin (Two Disc)
    Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots (Single Disc)

  • Fleetwood Mac-Rumours (Standard and Deluxe Editions, both mastered by Bernie Grundman)
    Even if you have this album (and really, with sales of over 10,000,000, you know someone who does), you may want to pick up these editions. One will be a standard pressing at 33 1/3 rpm, while the other is for the audiophiles: a 2 LP 45rpm edition pressed at Pallas in Germany. Yes, the thick stuff.

  • Mastodon-Live At The Aragon (Deluxe 2-disc set on 180-gram vinyl + DVD; Bernie Grundman Mastering)
  • My Chemical Romance-Na Na Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na) (7” picture disc)
  • Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers-self-titled debut (two limited edition pressings, one on white vinyl, one on blue, both mastered by Bernie Grundman)
  • R.E.M.-Three (3 – 7” single 45 RPM discs, first three singles from their new album, Collapse Into Now, each with non-LP B-sides, each record in individual art gatefold sleeves. Bernie Grundman on this one as well.:
    Disc 1. Mine Smell Like Honey/ Supernatural Superserious (live in Raleigh , NC )
    Disc 2. Oh My Heart/ Harborcoat (live in Riga , Latvia )
    Disc 3. ÜBerlin/ What’s the Frequency, Kenneth? (live in Oslo , Norway) )

  • Regina Spektor-Four From Far (Limited Edition 7” 33 1/3 RPM EP on powder-blue vinyl)

    Want even more limited edition craziness that will no doubt bring up the old Poison Idea title Record Collectors Are Pretentious Assholes? Warner Bros. are also introducing a series of records called Side By Side, limited edition 45’s where a Warner-related artist of today covers a classic Warner-related song of the past. In the works:

  • Red Hot Chili Peppers covering The Ramones‘ “Havana Affair”
  • Green Day covering Hüsker Dü‘s incredible “Don’t Want To Know If You Are Lonely”
  • Mastodon covering ZZ Top‘s “Just Got Paid” (probably no chance of Mastodon including a brief passage of Johnny Kemp‘s “Just Got Paid”, but you never know)
  • Jenny & Johnny getting Americana on us with their cover of Gram Parsons‘ “Love Hurts”

    Obviously, many of these releases are in-house, if not down right incestuous, but with luck this will spark the noggins in other artists and labels to do the same not only for this Record Store Day, but for releases throughout the year, across the board.

    If you have any soda or wine bottles lying around, or know of parks with many empties, I suggest geting some bags and making the rounds, as this will definitely cause a dent in your pocket.

  • VIDEO: M.I.A.’s “Born Free”

    M.I.A, Born Free from ROMAIN-GAVRAS on Vimeo.

    In a matter of a few days, this video has been banned by YouTube, which in 2010 makes a much bigger impact than being “banned by MTV”. Really, MTV has Snooki, their quality control was lost years ago.

    Nonetheless, M.I.A. has created a music video for “Born Free” that has a heavy message with some arguably harsh imagery which may not be pleasing to some. Then again, the imagery is a punch in the face like the music itself, very punk rock and honest. Even Green Day were never this harsh.

    The M.I.A. video was directed by Romain Gavras, the banning will no doubt shed a bit of light on him and his previous works. As for anyone who doubted M.I.A. for her recent comments about Lady Gaga, they’re now like Bonnie Raitt since they’re now being given something else to talk about, and it’s not love. I love the video and the metaphors it touches on.

    SOME STUFFS: Green Day’s forthcoming album to be released as a pricey vinyl deluxe edition

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    Green Day fans are anxiously awaiting the brand new album, 21st Century Breakdown, due out on May 15th. For vinyl junkies, it will be released a month later as a 3-record set, each one being a 10″ record and featuring each “act” of the album. The record are stored in a booklet featuring a 60-page book, the content of which is exclusive to this vinyl pressing. Only 3000 copies of this limited edition set will be made, and you can pre-order your copy right now by heading to The cost of one of these limited edition sets? $89.99 before shipping and handling. Those who do order it will be able to download the album on the day of the album’s release, to hold them down until their records come in.

    Some are wondering if three records that make up one single album, encased in a nice booklet, is really worth $90. One of my favorite bands, Melvins, created a special 4LP deluxe box set for their album, (a) Senile Animal and released it in 2008.
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    This was made in a limited edition of 1000, with each of the four-records (@ 45rpm) being one-sided, with the other side having an etching, along with a lot of extras. Cost of this box was a few cents under $50. Green Day probably have more money than Melvins, but if you’re a diehard fan of either band, you are most likely going to pay for it regardless.

    A few things come to mind. Does Green Day’s box really need to be that high? A normal copy of an album by Little Brother or Foreign Exchange can go for under $20 at, while a new 2LP set from Clara Hill may be priced at $25 at Dusty Groove. A 90 dollar box set is going to scare off potential vinyl junkies and be bought up by those who can afford it, and that’s not right for a fan who simply wants a good album on the format of their choice. So far there is no word on if 21st Century Breakdown will be released as a standard 12 inch 2LP set.

    Also, as vinyl surpasses the sales of compact discs, will more artists opt to release vinyl in limited edition form? While I support vinyl in all of its sizes, shapes, and forms, I just want to be able to have good music on vinyl, without the extra surprises. I am a collector and not that I don’t like the deluxe treatments, but new records should not have to be $30 each. If you put care into the format, fans will want it and keep coming back.

    Nonetheless, if Green Day is your favorite band, best save up and buy a copy before they go up in value once they become out of print.