Since I’m still a Twitter hold-out I was a little behind on this, but have you heard of @discographies?? He reduces entire musical careers to 140 characters or less, and he’s kind of amazing at it. Here’s some favorites:
The Decemberists: 1-3 “Wand’ring wide, we sailed our tales…” 4-5 “…o’er the topographic ocean.” 6 “Safely home, we commenced to jangle.”
Kanye West: 1-3 “I was a good student.” 4 “But after graduation, I got depressed.” 5 “All I did was surf the web and listen to Meat Loaf.”
Weezer: 1 “Remember that nerdy guy from high school?” 2 “The one who couldn’t talk to girls?” 3-7 “Why are you still hanging out with him?”
Green Day: 1-2 “Retro-punk 4ever, dude! We’ll never sell out or slow down or write rock operas!” 3 Sell out. 4-6 Slowdown. 7-8 Rock operas.
LCD Soundsystem: 1 “Music about other music…”; 2 “…acquires unexpected resonance…”; 3 “…if you explain the trick and then vanish.”
UPDATE: I just read an interview with the anonymous writer of @discographies, wherein he says this, the most true thing I’ve ever read about modern music consumption:
“Since we’re now at a point where it costs virtually nothing to acquire and store someone’s life work the one truly valuable commodity that still surrounds music consumption is the expenditure of time necessary to hear all the stuff you’ve downloaded. If [a] hypothetical 15 year old has just BitTorrented Neil Young’s entire corpus of work onto her computer, she’ll probably be a lot happier if the first album she plays isn’t Old Ways, but who’s going to tell her that? That’s where I see @Discographies as having real utility above and beyond whatever entertainment value it may possess. If I can steer just one person away from This Note’s For You and towards Tonight’s The Night, it will all have been worthwhile.”
The details about Weezer’s deluxe re-issue of Pinkerton showed up in my inbox two days ago, but I didn’t notice it until this morning. As you know, I’m kind of excited about it. Pinkerton [Deluxe Edition] is out 11/2, and in addition to the remastered original album and all the accompanying b-sides, it also includes 16 unreleased tracks plusÂ “a booklet with numerous photos and an essay by band compatriot Karl Koch, who reveals how the glorious ‘Tragic Girl’ was recorded at the last minute but left undocumented, causing many to forget its existence”. I’m a little disappointed that only one cut (“You Won’t Get With Me Tonight”) made it from the aborted Songs From the Black Hole concept album, but otherwise it looks pretty awesome. Tracklist after the jump…
A couple years ago The Rentals reformed and started making music again. In case you may not know, The Rentals are fronted by Matt Sharp, who was the bassist for Weezer when they were making records like The Blue Album and Pinkerton. They released their Moog-drenched first album, The Return of the Rentals, in 1995 between Blue and Pinkerton, and didnâ€™t release a follow-up until 1999â€™s Seven More Minutes. From then until 2007 all was pretty much silent on the Rentals front.
Then in 2007 Matt rounded up a gang of musicians (including this girl) and reformed the band, releasing the Last Little Life EP â€“ which I heard but honestly wasnâ€™t that taken with. After that, however, they embarked on an ambitious project spanning 2009 entitled Songs About Time â€“ essentially a mixed-media presentation that included releasing an original photograph every day (Photographs About Days), an independent film every week (Films About Weeks), and a 4-song EP every four months (Songs About Time). Since they wrapped it all up theyâ€™ve added on to the EPs to blow them up to 8-songs apiece plus adding a fourth album containing all the music they wrote for Films About Weeks. In short they released a ton of music last year, and I sure didnâ€™t stay up with itâ€“ but since my recent Weezer-kick I did some digging and listening and you know what? This stuff is REALLY GOOD. The songs are layered and more subtle than anything Sharp & co. have done before, and the results are pretty fantastic. Listen to “It’s Time to Come Home” and “A Rose is a Rose” below to see what I mean.
In addition, I just found this note from Matt Sharp in my inbox last week:
“I would also like to announce to everyone that starting next week The Rentals will be returning to the studio to focus our energy on making a new edition of Songs About Time. Our plan is to go through the 42 original tracks included in the four full-length albums and pick our favorite ten songs. Once we do that, we plan to re-approach, re-imagine, and re-mix those ten songs into one cohesive new album. Our hope is to have a full-scale commercial release so we can make this final edition of Songs About Time more widely available to everyone. Once the commercial album is released, we will be able to focus our energies on performing live.”
So thatâ€™s exciting! If you listen to the Songs About Time EPâ€™s in chronological order I think youâ€™ll sense a clear progression in their sound, a gradual re-finding-theyâ€™re-groove kind of thing â€“ which makes me pretty excited to hear whatÂ these re-worked songs are going to sound like. I also think it would be kind of awesome to see them live â€“ so Iâ€™m crossing my fingers for that.
In August my buddy Joe emailed me a link to Weezer’s newly revealed cover art for their eighth studio album, Hurley, and asked if I was going to do a “what the eff is Weezer up to?” post. I never did, mostly because the first song to drop from the record was the abysmal “Memories” – and I don’t like writing about what I don’t like. However, since then I’ve listened to all of Hurley and it turns out that it contains some of the best Weezer songs in about ten years (seriously. See “Unspoken”, “Run Away”, and “Time Flies” for example – but DO NOT SEE “Where is my Sex?” – ugh, seriously Rivers?) – so that’s pretty good right?
More importantly though, Joe’s email sent me into a nostalgic Weezer trip that’s lasted several weeks now, and it’s been fantastic. Awhile ago I briefly described my relationship with Weezer, and let’s just say that they were one of the most important formative bands during some of my most formative years (from about 5th to 12th grade). Well recently I’ve re-gorged myself on those old albums: both Blue and Pinkerton, as well as all the classic b-sides from the era. I’ve even dusted off The Green Album, which is bittersweet for me at best – but it’s been fun to listen to again with less judgmental ears. My Weezer binge has even run over to more than just the big =w= though, and I’ve been listening to a bunch of other bands from around that time in my life (some directly tied to Weezer, like The Rentals and that dog., others are so obscure I don’t think anyone even knows who they are anymore – like Teen Heroes, Bank of Brian, and My Superhero). It’s been a genuine blast, and I actually have a few posts I need to throw up about it. So look for those.
All of that is just introductory though. The real news is this:Pinkerton is finally getting the Deluxe Version-treatment that The Blue Album got way back in 2004 – one disc with the original album remastered, and a second disc of b-sides and rarities from the era. I’m going to come right out and say it; Pinkerton may actually be my favorite album of all time. Not only does it carry that powerful nostalgic factor for me, but I honestly believe that it’s a pretty stunning achievement as a whole – both as a brilliant concept album, and as an incredible collection of heart-breakingly personal songs. So yeah, I’m pretty excited about this.
It’s out November 2nd, and according to Karl Koch (the unofficial 5th-member of Weezer, if you didn’t know) the mythical ‘Odds and Ends’ compilation will finally surface that day as well – it’s been dubbed Death to False Metal and should be pretty fun, if only for the fact that it includes Weezer material from 1998 – a year that supposedly produced a slew of the best Weezer songs no-one-has-ever-heard. On top of all this, there’s rumors of Weezer doing a tour of only Blue and Pinkerton material? Yes please.
UPDATE: So according to Epitaph (Weezer’s new label, btw) it looks like the “Blinkerton” tour is on! Woot!!
I try not to post anything about bands I don’t like, or even material I don’t like from bands I do like – because there’s just too much good music being made out there to dwell on the bad stuff.
That’s probably why I don’t write much about Weezer. They authored two albums that helped musically define my adolescence and then vanished. Earnestly hoping for them to make music again was like the holy grail of my high-school years, and I cherished every shred of information I could get. I made do with The Rentals releases, collected B-sides and EPs, jammed to that one Homie song; I discovered the internet and used it to watch the “Buddy Holly” video over and over. All the while I was listening to “Only In Dreams” on late-night drives and learning to play guitar by playing “My Name Is Jonas” and “The Good Life”.
Then the summer before my senior year, Weezer made a last-minute appearance at The Warped Tour in Ventura. For a 17-year-old who’d been waiting his whole high-school career to see them, that was life-changing. Later that year I snuck into their record release show at a Virgin Records in Hollywood and stood about 3 feet away from Rivers as my buddy and I finally rocked out to NEW WEEZER SONGS.
That day The Green Album was released. It wasn’t bad. But after all the years of emotional investment I’d placed in it, it was definitely a let down. I mean, how could it not have been. It had all my adolescent hopes and dreams riding on it. Now that I’m a bit older and wiser I can see that clearly. But I think I can also say (and fairly) that The Green Album is more than just a little bland, and all their records since then have been varying degrees of vapid. Fun. But essentially fluff. I don’t hate them – I mean, how could I? Rivers is so excited about what he’s doing – whether it’s a sing-a-long hootenanny or a Lil’ Wayne collaboration – and the songs are all hooky and a good time. I just can’t get behind any of it. Because it just doesn’t move me the way I always hope it will. I mean, can you believe the same guy who penned “Say It Ain’t So”Â is writing songs like “Can’t Stop Partying” and “The Girl Got Hot”? Not that there’s anything actually wrong with that, it’s just not what I need from this relationship. You know?
BUT BESIDES ALL THAT, I think we can all agree that this video is pretty much the best thing on the internet (starting at 1:50):
Seriously. Can you even stop smiling? Because I can’t. It almost makes up for everything I wrote about up top. Almost. (You can check out the rest of Weezer’s AOL session HERE.)