Thursday, May 29, 2008

=w=, sung to the tune of my life.

with the advent of the new Weezer album upon us (next week!), i've been getting nostalgic about one of my all time favorite bands, and where i've been in my life when each album came out. let's take a walk down memory lane. i was going to even embed some rock videos so we can have some theme music, but Universal sucks + has disabled embed codes on YouTube.

"the Blue album" - it was the spring of 1994, i was channel surfing between Darkwing Duck and MTV, and came across this really weird video of people mumbling between rock choruses (something about a sweater?). my friend Laura would hum this same tune in German class every day. in my second set of CDs from Columbia House (or was it BMG?), i decided to give the band a try, it was catchy but not mellow enough for my needs. i wound up selling it to a used CD store. it wouldn't be until several months later (1995) that my first highschool roommate (Dustin, of all people), forced me to listen to the album while doing my calculus homework. by the end of my senior year, i was addicted, and got my soon-to-be college roommate (Will) to give me his copy of "Blue" in exchange for using my room to get his drink on the night before graduation. i'd soon play it every day. the first song, "My Name is Jonas" is one of the best opening songs on an album, "the World has Turned and Left Me Here" became the ultimate mix-tape addition to make the ladies swoon, "Only in Dreams" still gives me chills as it rocks out in a ballad like end solo, and "Surf Wax America" still feels like the anthem of my life (sub out "board" for "bike").
in my opinion, this is one of the best rock albums EVER made.

Pinkerton - fall of 1996...senior year (of highschol). i still remember Joey Isbell (the cool guy across the hall) getting all excited about it coming out. i hung out in his room + listened to a few times, and thought it was OK. but i was still getting into "Blue". the funny thing was, i was all depressed and emo over a girl, and this would have been the perfect album, had i only given it a chance. it wasn't until freshman year, when Joey was living across the street, that i made a copy on a tape, played it in my car far too many times, and would up asking for it for Christmas. oddly, it was the more rocking songs on the album that caught my ear first, before i came into full appreciation of the total album (years later [2003], while in Tokyo, as i still obsessed over this album in my 2nd bout of female-driven pessimism, i'd find and buy a copy of the Japanese print from which the cover of this album was based. that print still hangs in my dining room). "Tired of Sex" (one of the end choruses, "why can't i be making love come true") sang true to the emotional/romantic frustrations of my late teens, "the Good Life" made me want to get up and take over the world (which made even more sense when i realized it was about lead singer Rivers Cuomo making the decision to drop out of Harvard - where he sent himself on the financial success of "Blue" - and get back to the rock & roll life), and, "El Scorcho" was so weird, but so funny. many herald it as the first emo album (before emo was emo). a commercial failure (that drove Rivers into a bout of depression), but far and away Weezer's best album, period. an odd statement to make, when you recognize the earlier superlative statement about "Blue."

and then Weezer disappeared. for awhile. both "the Blue album" + Pinkerton were ~30 mins each, so they easily fit on one CD, which got played over, and over, and over again. over the years, i'd make copies of this duel album and hand off to many friends throughout my undergrad years of college (1997-2001). as the internet became a place to pirate music, i sought out as many b-sides, bootlegs, and demo-tracks as possible.

"the Green album" - fall of 2001. life was good. no, life was great. junior year of college, i was done with my co-op, saw the light at the end of my engineering tunnel (though i still had no idea what i wanted to do with my life), was dating a great girl, and had a bunch of great friends to hang out with, go to shows, etc. AND Weezer had just release a new album. and that spring they were kicking of a new tour, that i had tickets too! Weezer was headlining the Yahoo! Outloud tour, with special guests the Get Up Kids and super-secret very special guests (Ozma). we got to Athens, GA, too late to see Ozma, but i got over it. it was a fun album. didn't rock as hard, and definitely was not as introspective as Pinkerton, but who cared? i didn't get what the relevance of "Hash Pipe," was but as my buddy Ryan put it, "it sure sounded cool." "Photograph" expressed was everything that was good in life + love, "Island in the Sun" made you bob your head, and even "Oh Girlfriend" was a short but fun ballad. though it only clocked in at ~30 minutes (after 5 years we deserved more!), "Green" was fun, it rocked, and Weezer was making music again. all was good in the world.

Maladroit - spring 2002. all the difference a year or so makes. contrasting junior year of college, the latter half of my first year of grad school SUCKED. college girlfriend + i had broken up. i was stuck in a town and apartment that reminded me of her. i was slipping into a confusing relapse with the first girl i had fallen for, but didn't know which way was up. Maladroit, was rough, and dark. i didn't understand where they were going with some of the tracks, but was grateful to not be forced to endure through another pop-driven album. i got to make another 2 shows - one in Nashville, the other in Tokyo (Summersonic opening for G&R, of all bands). weird how you find yourself humming the themes of your life in the weirder parts of your life. i didn't get "Dope Nose," nor did i want to, "Slob" was where i felt stuck at the bottom of a barrell i would never get out of, but "Keep Fishin" (& the hilarious muppets video) gave me hope that somehow, somewhere, i'd make it out alive.

Make Believe - Spring 2005. further proof that like rock albums, live works in cycles. working my sweet corporate gig (out of Alabama!) for 2 years now, travel for work and fun was in full swing, and to make it all even better had just gotten involved relationship-wise with one of my closest friends in town (after the trials and tribulations of many personal challenges ...a close friend passing away, a tumultuous dysfunctional relationship, and losing a family member to cancer). and this beauty came out. there is always a rebound (in a good way). the album's songs rocked, but rang true the opening single, "Beverly Hills" would not have you believe that, but everything else on this album just...worked. got to see them at headline Lollapalooza in Chicago, which was a great time with close friends. between 3 of my favorite songs on the album (2 of which made the all time =w= favorites list) - there was almost a Cure like insight: "Perfect Situation," "This Is Such A Pity," and "The Damage In Your Heart." and if none of that is good enough for you, "We are All on Drugs" is hilarious, yet true, in one way or another

"the Red Album" - summer 2008. life is in a weird place. having moved back to the US, i find myself uncomfortably comfortable. i can stay where i am, but that's not going to be good enough. i love what i do, and have some exciting stuff on my plate professionally, but find myself unmotivated. there's an external way to get pulled out, and internally there's enough to keep me interested until i can make it happen. so let's just enjoy the new Weezer album + see where it goes. i've got time. but i've also got plans. let's go.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous7:29 AM

    Interesting. I like watching your life transform set to the soundtrack of Weezer. Cool cool cool.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...