I also feel I should clarify that the twelve shots were individual, not all shoved in one pint glass. Happy IMCRD!
I also feel I should clarify that the twelve shots were individual, not all shoved in one pint glass. Happy IMCRD!
So here we are.
Seven years and a handful of months after my first accidental hearing of Welcome to the Black Parade on a now-defunct local radio show, Zane Lowe’s programme played the last ever new MCR song.
It’s one of their best.
It might actually be their best (unless sentimentality’s talking, which it definitely is).
Out now on the Internet. Part of May Death Never Stop You, out 25th March and available to pre-order on the Internet.
Still the best band in the world.
I’ve not got the energy to devote another news post to The Media Versus Sherlock, but you guys really need to read this. 1) Everyone satirises politicians 2) Everyone satirises – or dramatises – the Murdoch empire (see Reichenbach for more tabloid fun!) 3) Journalists need to quit using popular culture as an excuse to spew their political ideas. It’s okay to just say things… 4) Sorry but Sherlock can’t even identify the Queen let alone a ballot box 5) “Take his drug of choice: cocaine. Hedonistic, vacuous, self-important and delusional. And still as beloved by the well-connected of today as it was by them back then.” Is it just me or do all those adjectives describe the press?
I was revising the Transmissions page earlier and noticed that I’ve not mentioned MCR’s endeavours for a while. Ah, television. But, their greatest hits are available to pre-order next week! Let’s play guess the tracklist! I’d like:
I realised over the course of this evening that today is fifty years since JFK’s assassination, fifty years since the first Doctor Who episode and three years since Danger Days was released.
I was first going to do a post about JFK and how he’s become an icon, then about JFK and Doctor Who and how they’ve both become – very different – icons, and then I remembered Danger Days and how that’s already legendary, but probably is so because I was there when it happened.
I mean, the Kennedys are like America’s royal family, and everyone knows the old “what happened in Dallas on 22nd November 1963? Don’t know, wasn’t watching it then” joke/quiz show answer. People know where they were when it happened and everyone has a theory about Lee Harvey Oswald, etc. etc. Stephen King’s written a book about stopping it, G Way wrote a comic about ensuring it – President Kennedy seems to have become an idea more than a person in many ways.
Doctor Who has kind of defined science fiction, British television and eccentric dress sense over the past five decades, and since the Internet has attracted as many, ah, enthusiasts as JFK. Everyone has an opinion on the writing, the acting, the regenerations, the best Doctor (David Tennant, for the record), the scariest ever villain (gas mask children or weeping angels, for the record). It’s always been there and hopefully will keep being there, because it’s excellent. I have no idea what’s going on about seventy per cent of each episode, but it’s fun, and funny, and one of the few things I’m proud is British. Plus the TARDIS is up there with Hermione’s beaded bag on my list of fictional things I’d like to play with. It’s a thing, you know, as opposed to a TV show.
Danger Days might be my favourite MCR record. It’s bright and loud and dirty and colourful, and the concept is so, so clever. Danger Days is a world which started with Art is the Weapon and has continued through the videos and shows into the comics. Well it technically started with a comic and evolved into a record and went from there… my point is, it’s tangible. It’s believable too, because we aren’t all that far from nuclear war or semi-permanent medication (I got a badge at the Freud Museum in the summer that says “In the future, art will be taken as pills”). The storylines in the comics are relevant today – I don’t want to give away spoilers, but Red and Blue’s situation is real, and so is that really irritating Party Poison-imitating dude whose name escapes me. The corporate clean-up’s in our faces.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that my gushing about Danger Days is similar to what people are gushing about Doctor Who and JFK on other sites, today and over the past fifty years. For some people, JFK in terms of history and legacy and political meaning is what they’re passionate about. For some it’s Doctor Who. For me it’s MCR shit. Everyone has a thing, you know, and sometimes it’s hard to explain it to other people. But I think it’s important that we have them, and reflect upon them when the time is right.
It is the end, my friends. Well, the end of My Chem’s ten-year anniversary celebrations on Indifferent Ignorance, anyway. The year’s not quite over, I may yet pull something MCR-related out of my woolly hat later this year – but today is the final installment of ’10 Years, 10 Days’.
Lizbeth told me to ‘make this one special’, since I’ve already discussed every aspect of My Chem. The band, what the band likes to talk about, the music, the visual, the live shows, the origins, how I started listening, the fans, the fans’ creativity, what people really mean when they say “MCR saved my life.” The world’s reaction to the above. I’m honestly not sure what to add, apart from a massive thank-you to everyone who’s contributed, commented, Retweeted, Liked and kept me going when I’ve texted them going “I CAN’T DO THIS IT WAS A STUPID IDEA NEVER LET ME WRITE TEN BLOGS IN TEN DAYS EVER AGAIN.” In the last fortnight I’ve learnt a lot about blogging, writing and the realms of the Interwebz; I also like to think I’ve improved as a writer – and I owe that to this audience (incidentally, this is my 150th post. Thank you to everyone who’s stuck with this shit).
I read back everything I’ve posted just now, and I’m actually quite proud of what I’ve achieved. Any blogger (and I mean actual blogger, not Tumblr person) knows how hard it can be to write one post, let alone a handful, on an off-day. There are typos I’ve had to fix, I’ve had problems with WP loading pictures and videos and I’ve been running on caffeine and chocolate for most of the last few weeks… Not entirely unusual, but I was expecting to start the new school term with good habits. Instead, I’ve been typing until half ten, doing homework in the mornings and spending considerable amounts of the school day trying to work out how much coursework I can put off until this whole thing is over. There have been moments, when it’s almost midnight and I’ve still not completed the day’s post, that I’ve cursed myself for having the idea in the first place. Many a time I’ve decided that I never want to hear another My Chem song in my life – or at least for a few weeks – once I’ve wrapped it up.
And yet, virtually every time I’ve sat down to write I’ve been able to come up with something. That’s not down to my unlikely ability to string words together either, it’s down to you lot. The casual readers whom I’ve wanted to convince should listen to MCR for some reason. The Killjoys, whose art, humour and determination are the reasons I’ve been able to write ten substantial posts. You are the most crazy, inspiring, intelligent people out there. Thank you for letting me wave this in your faces for a fortnight. I promise, the next blog will have no relevance to the My Chemical Romance whatsoever – we can go back to discussing The Midnight Beast and Wierd Al. Thank you also to the band, whose work is the reason I’ve been able to do this in the first place. There’s a reason so many people draw hope and creativity from you, please never lose sight of that.
My aim, when I was working out the format of these blogs, was to capture the essence of My Chem in separate posts. To make people understand a little better why the fan base is so huge and dedicated, to remind fans of why they listen to the band in the first place; something that’s becoming more and more eclipsed by Internet bitchfits and cat fights between kids. I could discuss whether or not those kids are real fans all day (I actually did once) but ’10 Years’ hasn’t been about the negatives of the MCRmy. It’s been about the positives of MCR and why they’re going to be around for another ten years after this:
Great bands found loyal fan bases. Fan bases create communities which allow the bands and audiences to interact and grow. Communities don’t give up on one another or lose sight of their purpose, they will support one another through everything that gets thrown their way. The fans give the bands reason to continue, and so the cycle continues…. And My Chemical Romance aren’t a great band, they’re an exceptional one.
Oh Baby Here Comes the Sound
One of the most frequent comments on YouTube (apart from ‘OH MY GEE HE IS SO FIT <3’) is ‘What happened to MCR?’ ‘Where did old MCR go?’ ‘I miss old MCR. They should go back to their van days, they were so much better!’ Answers:
3. You want them to go back to their van days? You mean when Frank and Gerard make out onstage covered in makeup and shit and God-knows what else? Or when they were depressed and drug addicts and homeless, never seeing their loved ones? Or do you mean the insanity of the live shows, the determination of the music to blow a hole in your brain? If you mean the first two, you’re an idiot and you should be ashamed of yourself. Band = married. Happily. Band also = has a family. Who they want to see grow up and live and stuff (mundane, I know). For any of you thinking the live shows aren’t mental, you haven’t seen one. I wasn’t on Warped ’05 or anything, so I’m not an expert, but I’m pretty sure My Chem’s as ferocious onstage now as they were nine years ago. They’re just more likely to remember it the next day.
All the fans that bitch and moan aren’t fans, when you think of it like that… My Chem make music. If you don’t like it, don’t call yourself a fan. If you love the guys as much as you claim to, be happy for them. Summertime wouldn’t have been possible a decade ago. Nor would Teenagers, possibly, or Cancer or SING or Planetary, in a ‘songs that are the result of life’ way. I could go on.
“Well lucky for you we’re still pretty.”
When I first saw Helena I didn’t believe it was the same lineup as on Parade, simply because at first glance the entire band’s had one of those Extreme Makeover deals. But, again, did you have the same haircut or wardrobe you had a decade ago? Nope. My Chem are probably as famous – or infamous – to the casual listener for their ever-changing visual as they are their music. When Gerard started press for The Album That Never Was, I was secretly a bit bummed, because he looked exactly the same as he had two years previously. Then I saw Art is the Weapon (the sound didn’t work on my nan’s computer so I took special notice of the ‘look’). My first thought was ‘they’re back’. In a lot of ways, I wasn’t surprised Mikey was blonde or Gerard looked like someone had dipped him in ketchup. I wasn’t surprised at the sunlight or roller skates… Because it was utterly different to anything else they’d ever done. Which was reassuring – they were here to stay for a couple of years – and exciting – ooh look, a Mexican standoff.
Whatever My Chem does is different from what they did before. Everything new makes everything old redundant. That’s not to say you can’t listen to, appreciate or rock out to it… It just means you can appreciate it a little bit more, knowing each album, each era, was a snapshot of the band at the time – and yourself at the time. Enjoy the current ‘thing’ while it lasts, be excited for the next one. It’ll be even better than what’s happening now. The band’s unpredictability is one of their best traits. We’re never bored, are we?!
MCR are up for ‘Best Live Stage’ and ‘Best Alternative’ artist at this year’s MTV Europe Music Awards. Vote here, because – if nothing else – their transformations deserve it.
I mentioned the Killjoys’ creative talent the other day, but it’s time to devote an entire post to it. Sadly, as with band interviews, there are far too many pieces of work on the Interwebz to name. So browse the band or SINGIfForJapan on DeviantART to your heart’s content for artwork. For fanfictions, I recommend hitting up Twitter’s @MCRmyUK, who does ‘Fanfic Friday’. Alternatively, go back to searching DeviantART or LiveJournal – but don’t say I didn’t warn you that you might need eye bleach afterwards (incidentally, Indifferent Ignorance takes no responsibility for any trauma resulting from clicking links I post. You chose to click and read, my friends).
Some crazy fan stuff:
The entire MCRmy discussion page on MCRmy.com The kids on there are totally insane and absolute geniuses. Videos, discussions, scenarios.
AskPoison.tumblr.com What it says on the tin; someone draws Party Poison’s replies to fan questions on Tumblr. Mental and hilarious… Links are on there to the rest of the Killjoys’, including Show Pony’s.
InappropriateThingsToSayToMCR.tumblr.com Probably should go on the MCRmy post…
FrankIeroRidingOnThings.tumblr.com … So should this. You guys decide!
Some of Frank’s (slightly) altered Wikipedia page – click to enlarge:
If there are any other projects or videos that I’ve forgotten about/didn’t know about, tell me and stick the link in the comments section!
Like most other MCR-related writing endeavours, when I was having trouble formulating words for this post I turned to Elizabeth, because she doesn’t talk shit. I asked her how she feels when people say ‘MCR saved my life’. Her reply: Truth be told whenever anyone goes on about how MCR ‘saved their life’ the first thing that comes into my head is ‘you whiny little emo-shitter, how weak a person must you be to stop wanting to commit suicide when you listen to a piece of music?’ Valid point… I have to admit, I’ve always been sceptical when I’ve read accounts of life-saving moments. Not because I don’t believe in them – I’ve had more epiphanies listening to My Chem than I have doing anything else – but because most fourteen-year-olds don’t know the meaning of the words ‘depressed’ or ‘suicidal’. Chances are, they’ve heard the backstory and thought “Finally, some people who are weird too.” Or they’re attention seeking. But not every kid who puts on headphones is going to think “Life is worth living” as soon as they hear two songs. I’ve touched this before in (I Want to) (Fuck) My Chemical Romance; an Essay on the MCRmy, by the way, if any of this feels familiar.
I’m not saying that MCR don’t endlessly inspire a lot of people. They always have, and always will, serve as a concrete reminder of what you can do with your life if you don’t give up. But the real ‘saving’ that the band does mostly isn’t in the huge, “Holy shit I was about to end my life when I heard Famous Last Words on the radio” moments. It’s in the small things. The fact that, through the MCRmy, so many of us have found friendship groups that have changed us. People are always saying “MCR fans are the best people. I always get along with them.” When Bob left the band, I was angry, because I was upset and – although at the time I didn’t realise it – scared. What was I going to do if my favourite band split up? I hadn’t even seen them live yet. Was three albums their limit? They could do so much more. Slowly, without me even realising, My Chem changed my life. I’ve become more confident. I’ve met Lizbeth. I’ve started writing stuff that I care about.
So maybe I did get saved. It’s nearly midnight where I am right now and I’m past rational thought…. This’ll probably be updated into English when I’ve slept. If this band’s music has meant something to you, has altered your life in any way, perhaps you have been saved. Or maybe you should stop using the word ‘saved’ and start using the word ‘changed’ because the saving, like Frank’s always said, is down to you.