Sunday, March 20, 2005

how to kill time on a Sunday/Weezer rocks.

Sunday nights never really bring anything too much in the way of excitement. Generally just waiting around for Monday. So, I was bored and watching vidclips on my computer when I came to Weezer on David Letterman many years back, playing "Say It Ain't So." In that four minute performance are all the reasons why I love Weezer, and why I'm looking forward to May 10.

Let's forget the fact that music is something more than good. The thing about Weezer is that it goes beyond the music, it's about the band too, the people. Fans hold Rivers Cuomo up as an idol, they monitor his every word and action, when he lets them (he is quite the private cat). It's a kind of bitchy, scary thing; the fans project themselves onto Rivers, and the rest of the band, in a huge way- even debates about whether or not he should shave. The band is a group of nerds, for the most part. That's the nice label that the Stone and Spin and all the other music magazines can put on them- nerd rock. There's even a song about it on their first album. That right there puts them on par with a hell of a lot of people who are looking for music they can relate to. They're goofy and funny and they did a video with the Muppets. An amiable bunch. The lyrics are full of self doubt and sadness and angst and the kind of emotions a teenager feels on a Sunday night. Not even a teenager, just anyone who doesn't have a good grasp on where they're at and where they're going. Even now, I feel like I can describe the group fairly well because I feel so close to them. Rivers has a gift with his words, that anyone can look at them and see themselves.

I remember reading an article in Spin when Maladroit came out. I don't remember the context, but I think it was in an airport. I generally don't like heavy fair when I'm on a plane, so Spin makes sense, really. And it pigeonholed Brian Bell as the fashion conscious member or something like that. And based on how they carry themselves, it's really easy to assign personalities to the members. Pat is goofy and amiable. Brian is the cool one. Scott is the one who can kick the shit out of you. Rivers is god.

So you see these guys on Letterman. This was when the Blue Album had come out, their debut. At this point it had sold two million copies, and Letterman introduces them by saying just that and then telling the audience that he's not scared of them. He was probably impressed though. Weezer had been together, now, I've probably got all the times and what not wrong and it seems really easy to look them up, but I'll wing it, for something like two years at that point. Within two years of playing together, they had not only gotten signed to a major record label, David Geffen Company, had something like two hit songs, and millions of sales. That's impressive, right.

So you see these guys on Letterman. And they play. And the singer doesn't move much, but he kinda sways back and forth. If you notice such things, there's a bulging underneath one of his pant legs; a leg brace. As it's been said, he was in a lot of pain that night and the other members were told to be more animated or something like that. So Matt is pure fucking energy, jumping around wearing Rivers's glasses. Pat makes drummer faces at the camera, a slightly spotchy green dye job on his head. Brian is quite easy to pigeonhole as the cool one even in this clip, as he's there and he's playing, and he's into it but he yeah, he's dressed in a more tradional rock-man garb (a great moment with Brian is on the Weezer DVD when they play "Pink Triangle" and he's stomping his feet and yelling. really, it defeats all this pigeonholing that's done. and has anybody actually thought of the pigeons?).

It's a good performance. It's a great performance. The music is spot on. Everyone is really into it. And there's this moment when the singer, this guy you relate with, you hear his albums and it's like hearing yourself, the singer who's in pain and in a leg brace and not really moving around, he's singing with his eyes closed.

Dear Daddy,
I write you in spite of years of silence.
You've cleaned up, found Jesus,
things are good or so I hear.
This bottle of Steven's
awakens ancient feelings.
Like father, stepfather, the son is drowning in the flood.


And in that moment this singer holds the note and opens his eyes wide and they gape back. He's not looking at the camera, his head is tilted up. Just like you can read into the lyrics and into the band's personalities, there is so much that could be taken from that simple movement. His eyes open and it's open to interpretation and you feel like you've just conquered something yourself. And because you have such a strong connection with this man Rivers Cuomo, but more like this rock star Rivers Cuomo, the man Rivers Cuomo calls his fanbase "annoying bitches." And our reaction? All the Weezer fans I know smiled at that because it's true.



May 10 is when Weezer's new album, Make Believe, comes out. Pick it up. I know I will.


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