"GET OFF YOUR FAT, UGLY ASSES!" That's what Green Day's Billy Joe had to say to the balcony-seat sitters at the Paramount's packed-to-the-gills crowd on Wednesday night, along with "HOW'S IT GOIN' SEATTLE?!" and other boisterous, arena-worthy rally cries directed at the ecstatic audience. No complaints about the concert have been heard from anyone who attended.

I, on the other hand, have a huge complaint for Jonathan Richman, who went on at goddamn 10:00 p.m. at the Crocodile, causing me to miss openers Pernice Brothers, who probably went on while I was still at work or something. Richman nixed the Crocodile's recently enhanced sound system, insisting that he use his own lo-fi equipment, and even demanded that the club's ventilation system be shut off so that folks could hear the show. Though the audience strained at times to hear it, Richman played a wonderful, hilarious set--but it was hotter than blazes in there! Later that night, at Linda's, a booth containing Green Day's Mike Dirnt, Bad Religion's Bobby Schayer, a member of the Living End, a member of Visqueen, and a sweet fellow who turned out to be Bob Pernice discussed whether Bruce Springsteen wrote even a single great song (undecided), while agreeing wholeheartedly that everything about New Jersey sucks, and that last call comes way too fucking early in this town. Dirnt apparently bought drinks for everyone in the house, the generous guy.

A few nights earlier, Lookout! Records founder (and Punk Planet contributor) Larry Livermore quietly hung out with friends at the Cha Cha, going almost unrecognized until an exuberant bartender congratulated him for "saving rock and roll." Though Livermore eventually became disillusioned and sold the label in 1997, it's likely that Green Day would never have had the opportunity to play the Paramount had it not been for this man's vision.

Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic reportedly laid down tracks in an L.A. studio recently with Donita Sparks, Josh Homme, Taylor Hawkins, and Jim Keltner.


Musically and stylistically speaking, there's been a lot of "sad" going around, especially these past 12 months or so. But as some overblown, overpaid, quirky singer who shall remain nameless once said of this type of music, "Sad does wear some beautifully tattered little dresses." She was correct there, and maybe that's why sad songs can't just be mopey in order for them to have an effect on me. They have to take my breath away with their underlying, what-once-was beauty. They must be rumpled and nearly threadbare, but with the shining threads, the "good bones," still instantly apparent. Hell, the lyrics may even be semi-effusive, as in the Shins, but the crushing beauty has to lie in the song's ability to make your mind tumble in the landscape of what's really going on behind it all.

This past week, however, I heard two projects that struck me unexpectedly and instantly with their sad beauty. Sanford Arms may go down in history as the local band who took the longest damn time to put out a recorded debut (the band began playing shows well over three years ago), but on September 18 the release will finally arrive on Pattern 25 Records, and it's called Too Loud for the Snowman. Next, I was handed a demo titled Six Months Spent in the Light Hearted Part of the Dark Side of Town by a band called the Terror Sheets. Again, songs that were simultaneously built and torn down with forlornness emanated from my speakers. I hit the replay button over and over again, and I can't wait to hear what this band can do with more time and resources.