Billie Joe + Norah


Someone I used to swap burned CDs with once accused me of liking “pretty music.” I can’t remember exactly how he said it, and, more vexingly, I can’t remember if it was in reference to an album/artist he thought I wouldn’t like or an album/artist I liked that he didn’t. Not being able to recall that last bit kills me, because it makes all the difference. In his estimation, either his musical palate was limited or mine was.

In truth, it’s a moot point. I know my palate skews toward the consonant. I love vocal harmonies, I’m in awe of singers with perfect intonation, I listen to “Clair de lune” all the time, and I have a hard time with genres that… how shall I put this… place undue value on dynamic extremes. In my defense, I’m pretty sure it’s biological, not learned. My mom likes to tell this crazy story about taking me to see fireworks when I was little and panic-running in the opposite direction of the explosions with me in her arms because I was freaking out so violently that she thought I was having a seizure. I still cover my ears when siren-blaring firetrucks drive by. It’s not the most “adult” thing to do, I know.

Some have expressed surprise at Billie Joe Armstrong’s participation in the Foreverly project — “A punk rocker covering Every Brothers tunes?!? No wai!” — but we shouldn’t be too shocked. There’s plenty of evidence that Green Day’s lead singer likes pretty music too.

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