Green Day put out a live album and DVD called Awesome As Fuck today. The album includes songs from every one of the band's albums, played faster and louder than any of the studio versions, with screaming fans shouting every word at them. I opted not to post a track from it because, aside from the videos they posted, it seemed like overkill. Also, I've already made my case for them.
Thursday, March 24, 2011
Pinhead Gunpowder - Kathleen
Instead, here's a track from Pinhead Gunpowder, a band made up of Aaron Cometbus, Bill Schneider, Jason White and, obviously, Billie Joe Armstrong. They formed a few years after Green Day, in 1990, though they've obviously taken a back seat to Armstrong's day job.
Pretty straightforward, melodic pop punk, PG is probably a nice break for Armstrong because he's not the center of attention. Then again, Schneider and White both work with him in Green Day (Schneider is their tour manager and White is the "other guitarist" that tours with them), so it's not totally different from what he's usually doing.
Though they have put out albums sporadically in their 20 years of existence, Pinhead Gunpowder got a little mass attention in 2008 with the release of the Kick Over The Traces collection while the world waited for Green Day's follow-up to American Idiot, 21st Century Breakdown.
From the first time I heard it on its original release on the Shoot The Moon EP, "Kathleen" caught my ear because of a well-used harmonica - which to me gives it a bit of Springsteen. Where the Boss comparison drops is that the song is supposedly about Kathleen Hannah, the original riot grrrl and frontwoman of Bikini Kill and Le Tigre, wife of Ad-Rock (yes, that Ad-Rock) and the person who inadvertently named Nirvana's biggest song when she wrote "Kurt smells like teen spirit" on Kurt Cobain's wall. She's a big fucking deal, and yes, I love her too.
The song is about a lesbian who saves the singer's life and how he'd like to love her but can't because he's a dude. It's weirdly romantic in an empty-headed teen punk way, and the harmonica kills. It's some next level shit as far as I'm concerned. And it's almost as good as "Christie Road."
Buy Pinhead Gunpowder's Shoot The Moon EP or their other albums from Amazon.
Buy Green Day's Awesome As Fuck from Shockhound.