So for this weeks one hour blogging I chose to listen to Green Day’s “American Idiot”. First of all, I do really like this album. I mean I own it and everything. Green Day’s “Dookie” was one of the first CDs I ever purchased as a child. (Along with Ace Of Base “I Saw the Sign”… sometimes I’m very unsure about how I got on the path to becoming a music major…)
Anyway, I realized almost immediately that this was a bad choice for a theory listening assignment because, to be honest, the band only knows three chords… maybe four if we give them a lot of credit. Every single song on that CD, along with the other CDs (because I just had to make sure the pattern applied completely) uses the exact same chord progression. I – IV – V – I, throwing a first inversion ii in there every once and a while to avoid being redundant. The instrumentation, tempo, and a few other things change for every song which is why each song is different (kind of) to the listener, but the progression is very easily heard by anyone who knows what to listen for. I think I always knew that this was very simple music, but it kind of frustrates me that they can sell so many records on four chords. It reminded me about an analogy you made last semester to musicians being like magicians; you have to learn the tools of the trade if you want to be able to do it, even if it is slightly disenchanting. I know I’ll never listen to this CD the same way, but I’m sure I still will because sometimes you just need a break.