A Weekend with Weezer

Alright, get over it, I know it’s Monday but I felt as if this modern day fab four deserved to have one last post. I understand the weekend is gone, but in our hearts Weezer shall forever live on. In 2004, commemorating the ten year anniversary of their first studio album, Weezer rereleased The Blue Album as a deluxe version (iTunes). This version contained a second disc packed with rare tracks, previously unheard material, some live songs, and a few fan favorites that had only ever been played in concert. Although much of this material was old news to many in the Weezer fan base it was still nice to have the tracks compiled and in good condition. Cheers to you Weezer and best of luck on your next studio album.

mp3 : Weezer – Jamie (Live Acoustic B Side)
mp3 : Weezer – Lullaby For Wayne (Previously Unreleased Pre-Production Recording)
mp3 : Weezer – Mykel and Carli (B Side)
mp3 : Weezer – No One Else (Live Acoustic B Side)

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{Don’t worry, I’ll now return to my regularly scheduled blogcast of music. I hope you enjoyed this weekend.}

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A Weekend with Weezer

With this post we come to the end of the weekend as well as the end of the studio albums made by Weezer to date.  First after The Green Album came a little ditty called Maladroit (iTunes) which was only the second of their five discs not to feature the band on the cover artwork.  This, though, created a pattern so far which has the band appearing on every other album cover.  Following this trend would lead me to believe that the new studio album due early next year will feature some form of art on the front cover and not a picture of the boys.

Although this album received favorable reviews from many critics the inclusion of a slightly metal or grunge sound for the guitar riffs threw off much of their loyal fanbase and was a leading cause in crashing the album sales.  As a quirky sidenote most of this album was recorded in sessions where the uncut and rough tracks were available on a daily basis to avid fans via internet forums.  In this way Weezer had a lot of fan input and discussion in the making of their fourth album.

mp3 : Weezer – Keep Fishin’
mp3 : Weezer – Love Explosion

Their latest studio effort dropped on shelves eleven years to the day from the original release of The Blue Album.  Although it received mixed reviews from fans and critics alike the album sold well and eventually went platinum.  Some people loved it, some people hated it.  I don’t really think it’s as cut and dry as the reviews make it out to be as there are some sparkling moments on the disc.  Admittedly it is a departure from all previous efforts the band has made as Make Believe (iTunes) clocks in at a sprawling 45 minutes and has only one song that clocks in under three minutes.  {Note that an album length of 45 minutes is sprawling for Weezer as only this and their first studio album come in at over 35 minutes long}

To be honest I really liked this disc and saw it more of a maturation of their trademark Green/Blue album sound.  It shows a valuable progression in tempo and style of song structures while still acknowledging that they are in fact, and always will be, those guys who sang Buddy Holly and Undone.  These three tracks below showcase what Weezer sounds like now that they’re a little more grown up.

mp3 : Weezer – Perfect Situation
mp3 : Weezer – Hold Me
mp3 : Weezer – The Other Way

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A Weekend with Weezer

In case you were not aware Rivers Cuomo has an album entitled “Alone: The Home Recordings of Rivers Cuomo” which drops exactly one month from today on December 18.  Expect some greatness from this upcoming album as Rivers appears to be one of the most prolific writers of this modern music era.  There are allegations that Rivers writes well over one hundred songs for each Weezer album and then only chooses what he thinks are the best ten to fourteen tracks for the final pressings.

In other news Weezer will have their sixth studio album out in the Spring of 2008.  So if you’re not really into the unedited yearnings of a Harvard grad then you can always wait until his three buddies join him on what is sure to be a romp through romance, failures, the trials of life, and the slow maturation of little boys into men.

These tracks included below hail from Weezer’s third studio album which was self titled but is mainly referred to as The Green Album (iTunes).  Hearkening back to their roots with The Blue Album these tracks found the band splashing away merrily with a sound and a vibrancy that most fans and critics adored from the start.  It’s a short album but all the trademarks are still apparent.  Falsetto harmonies, a massive wall of guitar sound, and some well written guitar licks apply to almost the entire album from start to finish.  For those people who had never heard of Weezer 2004 was a good year to start liking the band.

mp3 : Weezer – Don’t Let Go
mp3 : Weezer – Island In The Sun

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A Weekend with Weezer

Weezer’s second full length album, Pinkerton (iTunes), was a departure from their original guitar driven surfer/loner/nerd anthem style of rock.  As such, when it was first released in 1996, it was panned by critics and many fans alike who were eagerly anticipating a second edition of The Blue Album.  To be frank here folks it seems like bands cannot seem to please anyone with a sophomore effort.  In the case of Weezer they went in a new direction for their second album and fans and critics hated it.  But look at The Strokes, who essentially released a second album, which could have been called This Is It to answer their first albums title Is This It?, that was so similar in sound and style to their first disc that audiences, critics, and even fans blasted the band for not changing.

Pinkerton, fortunately, has stood the test of time and now can be heard in a much more favorable setting.   Attempting to give fans more of a slice of what their live shows were like Weezer dropped their producer, played the songs together in studios, and layed down the three separate vocal tracks at the same time.  If their first album dealt with the peccadilloes of life in a broad sense then Pinkerton focused more on the minutiae of angst and longing.  One could credit or lambaste Rivers Cuomo for  this style of writing as it gave rise to latter day followers, Dashboard Confessional, who have successfully aped this type of story telling so well they have made it their own.

Here below are three powerful tracks from Pinkerton.  The first two are of the standard Weezer variety of guitar driven power pop while the third track, the album closing Butterfly, is a slow motion acoustic song detailing the end of a relationship.  Pay attention to the lyrics of Butterfly where Cuomo sings lines like “if I’m a dog then you’re a bitch” or “every time I pin down what I think I want it slips away.”  If ever there was a critic who claimed Weezer was too one dimensional Pinkerton stands in bold defiance of such a claim.

mp3 : Weezer – Pink Triangle
mp3 : Weezer – The Good Life
mp3 : Weezer – Butterfly

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A Weekend with Weezer

Did you know that virtually no one posts in music blogs over the weekends? It’s strange but true and I’m here to try to reverse that trend. A trend which probably started due to the fact that almost all bloggers blog from work, instead of working, and when they’re at home they stop doing all of those avoid-work-at-all-costs activities. Or, if you’re a realist, it might be due to the fact that people have lives, no one cares to read weekend blog posts, or any other of a plethora of legitimate excuses, none of which my current life qualifies me for.

Taking all of this in stride I thought I would begin a little tradition here at The World Forgot to help me push through the mundane world of weekend blogging. Hence the first ever “A Weekend with” themes has begun. This weekend I’ve chosen Weezer and I’ll attempt to post at least once about them Friday, Saturday, and Sunday thereby turning this four or five day a week hobby into a full time all out obsession. Hopefully I’ll be able to keep up the “A Weekend with” theme at least twice a month from here until eternity. Enjoy the music.

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Weezer’s original debut album, most commonly referred to as The Blue Album (iTunes), was the very first CD I ever owned. I remember that crisp autumn day as I walked gallantly into Best Buy to purchase, for myself, one of the best guitar driven garage/surf rock albums of all time. To this day I can still sing every song word for word and I would bet many of my readers can as well. It was an album born of the garage band heyday, but came slightly after the depression that was grunge and other forms of dirty rock emanating from the Pacific Northwest. Obviously influenced by Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys, as well as The Cars, the quartet that was Weezer put together a wonderfully idiosyncratic album about broken relationships, going surfing, and the pathos of life. In 1994 it seemed as if every single song on this album could get anyone in any shower, car, or public pool singing along as if they meant it.

Making every “best of” list from Rolling Stone to Pitchfork to Blender to Popmatters shows the depth of sound and the legacy that The Blue Album has left in behind. At first blush it was the ultimate guitar driven answer to a generation that was looking more and more for something alternative to the depression of grunge and metal that was so prevalent in the early 90’s. And now, fourteen years later, it has stood the test of time as one of the most influential pieces of the last twenty years. Honestly, after listening to the next two songs who couldn’t help leaping around practicing their air guitar?

mp3 : Weezer – My Name Is Jonas
mp3 : Weezer – The World Has Turned and Left Me Here

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Nominated

It was recently brought to my attention that this little slice of the blogosphere [heaven] has been nominated for the award “Best Music Blog” given out by Hey! Nielsen and Billboard.com. While I think it’s totally ridiculous to have made the list of 103 finalists, alongside many of my friends and lovers, I would like to say thanks to whomever nominated this blog or whatever process of this screwed up universe allowed me to be entered into the competition.

Oh, and if you so desire you can vote for The World Forgot here.


 

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Britney Spears

Where have you gone sweet Britney of old.  What happened between Whoops I Did It Again and this present day state of shaved heads, drug accusations, and all the other shenanigans?  Honestly, what happened?  And fans, please note, I’m not attacking Britney here, I’m just asking some questions that we would all like an honest answer to.  So before you go Crystal O Jones on me take a moment and really think about how America took a mousketeer and turned her into an unfit mother.

And before I forget, let me explain the reference I made above to Crystal O Jones.  Awhile back I had a post about Britney Spears and I received this comment from a devout Britney supporter.  Crystal wrote “I think Britney would get better if all the A-holes would leave her be aspecially the paparazzi they suck! Put yourself in her place, if someone was following you around with a camera in your face watching your every move just to see you mess up wouldn’t that make you angry? I’d hate it, I’d get sick of it, and I’d probabely flip out too! Plus people today need to seperate fact from fiction. Just because someone prints it doesn’t make it true. So leave brit’ alone and let the singer/songwriter come back to us the way we know and love her. Brit’ I’m your biggest fan and I wish all the happiness in the world and may God Bless You!!!

Now honestly I do think that there’s a bit too much hype and paparazzi around Ms. Spears as of late.  There is a line that needs to be drawn between the public and private lives of celebrities, but it was Ms. Spears herself, who posed naked for pictures while pregnant, who significantly blurred those lines to begin with.  I’m just saying that maybe Britney needs to work on bringing sexy back.  Or at least work on getting her life back to a normal center.  Honestly, even China Daily is reporting on how off kilter she’s been as of late.

All of that hullabaloo aside here’s a track that I stumbled upon earlier this week here on the interwebs.  It’s a rather clever remixing of Britney’s track Me Against the Music which originally appeared on her fourth studio album In The Zone (iTunes) and featured Madonna.  Oh how the mighty have fallen.  This rendition is a remix by the laptop gurus Justice and it’s deserving of a couple of minutes of your time.

mp3 : Britney Spears – Me Against the Music (Justice Remix)

No, really, where did the sweet Britney of yesterday disappear to?  I really would like to know.

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