Why I Love…MCR

22 Aug


“Teenagers” by My Chemical Romance
Every once in a while I’d like to write some big sloppy word-kisses to my favorite things in pop culture. I sort-of did it with John Lennon and Elvis lately, but this is my first big official one. I hope maybe y’all can get something out of it — maybe you’ll decide to take a look at what I like and see if you like it too. Or maybe you love it already and want to talk about it. Or maybe you hate it and want to talk about it. I’m cool with either one. 🙂

I can’t say My Chemical Romance is my favorite band, but I really like them. A lot. A whole lot. No, really – a whole lot.

It started when I saw the video for “I’m Not Okay (I Promise)” on TV. I thought the video was kind of juvenile (it features the band members as misfits in high school), but really magnetic. Then I saw “Helena,” which is one of the most perfect videos ever (dancing? at a funeral? dead people dancing? I’m SO there).

I bought “Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge,” and then the band’s indie debut, “I Bought You My Bullets, You Bought Me Your Love.” And, then, of course, MCR’s latest release, “The Black Parade.”
I’ve seen the band twice — once in Birmingham on the “Sweet Revenge” tour and then earlier this year in Pensacola for the “Black Parade” tour.

So let me tell you why I love this band.

First of all, it’s because each of the band members are fans. They’re fans of other bands, comic books, movies, etc., and they’re not afraid to tell you so. Therefore, they’ll tell you exactly how they got an idea, and you, then, as an MCR fan, you can discover what they’ve discovered, and it adds more to the music.
But more importantly, as fans, they realize how their fans should be treated. At both of the shows I’ve seen, they’ve started right on time and they’ve offered reasonably-priced merch. For “The Black Parade” tour, the band went all out to create a truly rock ‘n’ roll show. There was pyro, a spinning drumset, huge guitar solos. These guys know what they’re doing.
The band hasn’t said so much at recent shows, but they used to make a point of making some kind of statement at a show. Sometimes it was a simple as, hey, just because you’re bigger/smarter than me doesn’t mean I’m nothing, or don’t ever let anyone take you alive. They’ve also made statements against homophobia (hence the band’s tendencies to share a kiss on stage either with each other or other musicians) or against sexism.
Because MCR themselves are fans, it’s more fun to get behind them. You have the feeling the guys are having a blast. They’re the ones who made it, who got out of their crummy neighborhoods and are now on the international stage.

Secondly – OK, have you ever listened to MCR’s music? It’s magnetic, catchy. The band has grown exponentially since “Bullets,” but that album is perfect in all of its imperfections. It’s totally raw and sounds like a punk record. Everything has that DIY attitude about it. “Three Cheers” is a little more planned-out, but not by much. On the total other side of the spectrum is “The Black Parade,” on which every single sound is planned.
The band manages to call up images of Queen, T.Rex, David Bowie and Pink Floyd while managing to still sound original.
Also, each of the albums have had some sort of concept. It was very loose for “Bullets” and more defined for “Three Cheers,” and then the band went pretty high-concept for “Black Parade.” Few bands go through the extra effort to create concept records, but that’s all apart of MCR’s artistic vision.

Finally, my respect for the band comes from the fact that they’re not just entertainers, musicians, a band. They’re artists. Everything that MCR does is related, connected. They don’t just pick some random photo for album artwork; lead singer Gerard Way (who used to work for Cartoon Network) actually draws it or designs it in some way. MCR doesn’t create cookie-cutter videos — they’re all a perfect complement for each song and therefore the album. When Way dyed his hair blond, most folks thought it was a fashion choice, but actually he did it to resemble the Patient, the main character in the story of “The Black Parade.”

So, in a nutshell. This is a band that rose from a local punk scene to the international scene and has kept its integrity while increasing its artistic horizon. MCR is just starting out, and it’s exciting to think where they’ll go in the future.

And, funny how these things happen, but you can catch a live concert featuring MCR, Taking Back Sunday, HIM, Linkin Park and more today on MySpace starting at 3:30 p.m. (central).

Songs by MCR I suggest you hear: “Kill All Your Friends” (a personal favorite), “Helena,” “Teenagers,” “Mama,” “Our Lady of Sorrows,” “I’m Not Okay (I Promise),” “I Never Told You What I Do for a Living,” “I Don’t Love You,” “Vampires Will Never Hurt You,” “Welcome to the Black Parade,” “Headfirst for Halos,” “Cancer,” “Hang ’em High,” “Famous Last Words,” “Honey, This Mirror Isn’t Big Enough for the Two of Us,” “Give ’em Hell, Kid,” “You Know What They Do to Guys Like Us in Prison,” “Dead!”  (that’s a lot, I know – I’m a huge fan:))

So, do you like MCR? Tell me about it.
Do you hate MCR? Tell me about it.
Let’s talk!

3 Responses to “Why I Love…MCR”

  1. lesley August 22, 2007 at 12:15 pm #

    i agree with every thing you said there!

  2. sheenabarnett August 22, 2007 at 1:03 pm #

    awesome! thanks! 🙂

  3. 45678 February 28, 2008 at 6:09 pm #

    i love MCR
    all of there songs are amazing!
    there music kind of helped me too

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