Stream New Liars, “Scissor,” Which, For the First Two Minutes, Sounds Like Tom Waits Singing a Waltzed Cover of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, and then Proceeds to Become a Speed Metal Track, Which is as Confusing, and Not Nearly as Great as It Should Be; Sisterworld Released March 9 [Gorilla vs. Bear]
Jeff Mangum, Indie Folk’s Howard Hughes, Emerges From Seclusion to Record Cover of Tall Dwarfs’ “Sign the Dotted Line” For a Chris Knox Charity Album (Stream 30-Second Sample); Mangum Most Likely Heavily Bearded, Pasty [Pitchfork]
Weezer Frontman Rivers Cuomo, Who Was in a Serious Bus Accident on Sunday, is Recovering Well; Elsewhere, Thousands of Bloggers Breathe Sigh of Relief After Making Slightly Morbid “Say it Ain’t So” Reference Toward the Accident Yesterday; I Instead Choose to Wonder Whether Any Muppets Will Visit Rivers in Hospital [Spin]
British Post-Punk Outfit The Horrors’ Primary Colours is Awarded NME’s Album of the Year, with The xx Taking Second Place; NME Stands Firm in Stance That Britain > U.S.A., Even Though U.S.A. > Britain in Revolutionary War [NME]
Apple Purchases Popular Streaming Media Site/Pitchfork’s Number One Main Squeeze Lala For $17 Million – All Who Purchased Music On Lala May Lose their Songs (But Not to Worry, It’s Mostly Just Copies of Owl City’s “Fireflies”) [Prefix]
Stream “The Old Graveyard” a Track From Gigi, a Canadian Duo Consisting of One of the Guys From No Kids, and Destroyer’s Producer – They Claim It’s Supposed to Sound Like Phil Spector’s Wall of Sound Stuff…I Think It Sounds Like an Olivia Tremor Control Cover Band, Which is a Good Thing; Debut LP Maintenant Released Early 2010 [Gorilla vs. Bear]
Wisconsin’s Eau Claire Memorial High School Jazz Band Announces Debut Album, A Decade With Duke; Released Today (And Cindy and Britney are So Excited that Justin Vernon is On the Album – He’s Like SUCH an Indie Heartthrob <333) [Pitchfork]
compiled by Max Sebela
Download ATL RMX, a New Compilation From Cartoon Purveyors/Obvious Psychedelic Drug Users Adult Swim Featuring Atlanta Hip-Hop Remixed by HEALTH, SALEM, and Other All Capitalized Hipster Electronica Projects [Gorilla vs. Bear]
Stream New Smashing Pumpkins, “A Song for a Son,” the first of 44 Songs that Will Make Up the Predestined Tragedy that is Teargarden by Kaleidyscope; Elsewhere, What the Hell Happened to the Smashing Pumpkins’ Website? It Looks Like it Was Taken Over By Grateful Dead Groupies, Circa 1978 [Spinner]
Rivers Cuomo Injured in Tour Bus Accident (Don’t Worry, He’s Okay); Weezer Cancels Remainder of their U.S Tour; Rivers Heard to Shout “God Damn You Half Visible Black Ice…You Do It to Me Every Time” [Spin]
Sigur Ros Frontman Jonsi Birgisson Has Fronted a Band, a Duo, and Now a Solo Project – Announces Solo Debut Go; Stream the First Available Track “Boy Lilikoi,” Which is Maybe the Most Orchestral Thing Jonsi Has Ever Done…Which is Confusing, Considering Sigur Ros is a Orchestral Rock Band…; Released March 21 [Pitchfork]
Chan Marshall, Better Known as Cat Power, Announces Her Next Album, Her First Collection of Original Songs Since 2006’s The Greatest. She’ll Be Recording It Without Her Backing Band, And Claims the Songs are “Sad,” and That Makes Her “Nervous,” So Let’s Hope its “Good” So She Has Nothing to Worry “About” [NME]
Postal Service Attempting to Drain Shellac’s Steve Albini, and the Children of Chicago of Any/All Christmas Spirit, Demanding the Letters to Santa Program Send All Their Charitable Gifts Through the Mail…No, Not that Postal Service. THAT Postal Service [Pitchfork]
Stream New Vampire Weekend, “California English Pt. 2,” and Hear as Vampire Weekend Continues to Convince Me That They are Emotively and Musically Not Only Important, But Necessary…Watch My Brain Meltdown as I Become Paradoxical to Everything I Initially Believed About Myself, Doubt Existence as It Currently Stands [Prefix]
Frightened Rabbit, the Second Nervous-Animals to Be Featured in Today’s Daily News Picks (See Above), Announce Their Next Album, The Winter of Mixed Drinks, to be Released on March 1, Following an Allegedly Drunken, Jager-Bomb Fuelled Winter [NME]
compiled by Max Sebela
November 28, 2009
Welcome to another edition of Brook Pridemore’s The Nineties-ist. This edition discusses 1994, Courtney Love’s response to the death of Kurt Cobain (and how Rivers Cuomo plays into all this) and Pearl Jam, Korn, and the steep descent of metal. For earlier installments, go here.
One of the funniest conspiracy theories I’ve heard about in the last few years is that Kurt Cobain and Rivers Cuomo are the same person. Right: Kurt Cobain was so affected by the spotlight that he faked his own death, only to return a few months later with a new, poppier sound and a slightly altered look. Even his wife, Courtney Love, believes his death was real. Yeah.
When you think about it, the number of flimsy similarities between the two men are astounding. Nirvana and Weezer were both signed to the David Geffen Company (their recording careers only overlap by the slimmest margin). Both men were the sole songwriters in their respective bands, though Cuomo has deferred to the other guys in recent years, and Dave Grohl got to write one of the B-Sides for In Utero. Cuomo and Cobain are both often seen wearing sweaters in photographs; Cuomo’s dapper and preppy, Cobain’s most likely intended to cover up track marks. Both debuted with music most people did not hear (Weezer’s earliest recordings are still-unreleased pop metal tracks), followed by a slicker-than-owl-shit major label debut, then followed by an intensely personal, self-produced sophomore effort. In Utero is infinitely better than Nevermind, and Pinkerton is infinitely better than The Blue Album. Weezer, after Pinkerton, have slowly pissed away everything that was great about them, while Cobain didn’t last long enough to watch his career go to shit.
Of course, Cobain was a left-handed guitarist, while Cuomo is right-handed, but have you ever noticed that Cuomo became something of a fret-shredder between the first two albums?
More on #11: 1994
October 17, 2009
IN THE NEWS
The music industry has always been a double-edged knife to Weezer. Sure, nowadays The Blue Album and Pinkerton are put on towering pedestals – with almost any critic, musician or guy off the street having their own teary eyed soliloquy on the first time they heard “The Sweater Song” – but when the band first came out they were met with critical scorn. Upon the arrival of Blue, Weezer was bafflingly labeled as posers by many critics (probably with the brilliant logic that they weren’t “grunge” enough). When people finally started to give Blue a chance, it only led to the widespread misconception that the insanely good Pinkerton was a just sophomore dud. For reference, Rolling Stone gave that record three stars when it came out, with readers voting it the second worse album of the year. Pretty harsh, especially when thinking of all the terrible shit that Rolling Stone gave three stars in 1996, such as Hootie and Blowfish’s Fairweather Johnson or the Fugees’ The Score …wait, that album’s a classic…fucking Rolling Stone.
By the time critics were swearing by Weezer’s first two albums, many had mercilessly turned on the band, bashing Maladroit, Make Believe (quite understandably), and even The Green Album. It never seemed fair to Rivers Cuomo: he was labeled an alt-rock legend, but was always a step behind the hip spotlight he so deserved. Now, after years of abuse, it looks like he is taking his revenge against the music industry, and he’s using one hell of a cruel knife: Katy Perry.
Watch New Girls Video For Girls Highlight “Laura,” Which Is Like a Really Hip, Joyous Version of the Opening to The Brady Bunch…Only With More Tattoos (Maybe; They Rarely Took of Their Shirts on That Show) [NME]
Dancey Portland Band Starfucker (Who, You May Remember, Was Unhappy With Their NSFW Band Name) Changes Name to PYRAMID; Elsewhere (Specifically in North Carolina), There Is Already a Band Called Pyramid [Brooklyn Vegan]
Brooding UK Indie Band Editors Launch Their Own Version of Google Street View, With Specific Locations Playing Songs From Their New Album, In This Light and On This Evening — This Is Probably A Lot Cooler For Someone Even Remotely Familiar With London’s Geography [NME]
Weezer Frontman Rivers Cuomo To Sit Down and Write Songs With Katy Perry Next Week; Possible Results: “I Kissed a God Damn Half-Japanese Girl,” “Only In Ur Dreams,” “Waking Up In The Garage (If You Want To Destroy My Career)” [Pitchfork]
Courtney Love Owes Over $300,000 In Back Taxes, Shuts Down Her Twitter Account – Two Stories Unrelated, As Twitter Is Free Service [Prefix]
New Zealand Innocuously Good Indie Poppers The Ruby Suns Announce New Album; Fight Softly Released March, 2010 [You Ain’t No Picasso]
Deerhunter’s Bradford Cox To Release Bonus EP With Atlas Sound LP Logos When Ordered From Rough Trade; I Haven’t Looked Into Yet, But Knowing Cox’s Security Practices, EP Probably Leaked Before It Was Even Recorded [Pitchfork]
Guard Arrested For Assaulting a Fan Taking Pictures at House of Blues Chicago; Weirdly, Assault Took Place at Hanson Concert – And What Else Is There To Do When Seeing Hanson, Except Twittering Pictures of Hanson, Still In Disbelief They Have Songs Other Than “Mmmbop” [Idolator]
Baritone California Mope-Folker Mark Everett, AKA Eels, AKA Mr. E, AKA E, To Release Basement Tapes Album; End Times Released January 18 [NME]
compiled by Max Sebela
Rivers Cuomo Explains Crappy Name For New Weezer Album, Ratitude: His Friend Came Up With It! Swear! [SPIN]
Hitch A Ride To Rock Rock Rockaway Beach Tomorrow For A Whole Lotta Music and Art [The Tripwire]
Dead Man’s Bones (Ryan Gosling and Zach Shields) Announce First Tour. Better Start Rehearsing: Each Opening Act Will Be A Talent Show! [Pitchfork]
Ooh Ooh! This Just In, New Yorkers: Insound’s Tenth Anniversary Party Tonight At Brooklyn Bowl Featuring The Drums, These Are Powers, Cymbals Eat Guitars, And Real Estate. Hot Damn, The Week Is Lookin’ Up [FREEWilliamsburg]
Jimi Hendrix Biopic In The Works [Prefix]
Willie Nelson Stayin’ Busy With Myspace Show and New Album of Jazz Standards, American Classic, Out On Aug. 25, Available To Stream Via Myspace Tomorrow [The Tripwire]
Harlem, Yeasayer, Kid Sister Added to Fun Fun Fun Fest Lineup [Gorilla vs. Bear]
Bon Iver Just Got Way Cooler In My Eyes. Why? Oh, Just A Little Show He’s Gonna Play At Sunrise. In A CEMETERY! [The Tripwire]
compiled by Erin Sheehy
July 31, 2008
The Red Album
2008 | Geffen
Despite, or perhaps because of, their quirks, Weezer have always confounded their listeners. Their 1994 self-titled debut was an undeniable success. Quirkier and poppier than the sad, tenth generation grunge knockoffs of the day, the Ric Ocasek-produced “Blue” album yielded three top-ten singles and catapulted the band into household name status. Next, Weezer turned the knife inward, yielding the self-produced masterpiece Pinkerton, an introspective, warm, heartbreaking set of songs. The guitars squall, drums sit very forward in the mix, it’s a headbanger’s record for nerds. But the band got sued for copyright infringement by Pinkerton Securities, and couldn’t properly promote the record, so it flopped. Bad.
Weezer spent the next five years languishing in obscurity and legend. Rumor had it at one point that frontman Rivers Cuomo had turned Brian Wilson, spending days on end in the studio, bouncing a rubber ball and muttering to himself. Re-emerging into the public eye in 2001 with new bassist Mikey Welsh and the self-titled “Green” album, Weezer tried to give the people “what they wanted,” in the form of ten short, vapid, Ric Ocasek produced songs that sold very, very well, but lacked the gravitas of their first two albums. Since then, every few years the band releases another bland retread that makes the catchy parts of their earlier efforts seem like gimmicks they’re trying to exploit. The albums always sell very well, and yield a hit single or two, complete with a goofy, gimmicky video.
More on Record Review: The Red Album