By Andrew Beam
Remember the early 90’s? When grunge was grabbing the world by the throat and bringing out a new sense of teen angst. The crunching guitars, the wild screams, the chugging bass, and Eddie Vedder and Kurt Cobain. In the middle of all of this, there was one geeky kid named Rivers Cuomo, with a bowl cut and large framed glasses fronting a band full of well-dressed gentlemen, as opposed to the bombardment of flannel and torn jeans. This band was Weezer, and they were the band that made being a nerd and a little different than everyone else, well, cooler than it was before.
There were songs like “Buddy Holly” from 1994’s The Blue Album, the pleading “Undone-The Sweater Song” from the same album. Pinkerton came in 1996 where songs like “Pink Triangle” about a man who wants to marry a woman yet unfortunately discovers she is a lesbian, or the introverted “El Scorcho.” Even The Green Album had a few good songs with “Hash Pipe”, the song Weezer should have done during the 90’s, or the fun-loving pop hit “Island in the Sun.” These were all great memories of a band that made it incredibly hard not to like. Until now, after three despicable releases, awful promotional ideas, bizarre covers, and even more peculiar guest artists on their albums, Weezer has found away to strip the life away from themselves. They now can be pronounced, dead.
It would be difficult to discuss all the past grievances, though most recently some of the more abnormal actions have been taken by Cuomo and the band. The Tripwire, an online webzine that covers a majority of the happenings in the independent, and sometimes major, music industry, has heavily scrutinized Weezer for their actions. It started when Weezer performed at KROQ Weenie Roast in Los Angeles and they covered the song “Kids” by MGMT and “Pokerface” by Lady GaGa. If there was any indication of distaste, the headline read “Oh Jesus God, Weezer Have Done It Again.” The article went on to describe Weezer’s fight to be hip as they say, “Another sign of the apocalypse, and yet another of the many signs of Weezer’s complete slide into absolute irrelevance. Confidential to Rivers Cuomo: rapping ‘I am bluffin’ with my muffin’’ may cause your audience’s ears to bleed. Just a heads up.”
The band has now moved onto releasing their seventh studio album entitled Raditude. Bryan Menegus, staff writer for Hofstra University’s school newspaper, titled his review of the album announcing, “Weezer Proclaimed Dead; Corpse Poops Out ‘Raditude.’” What he might be referring to are the suspicious collaborations Weezer has decided on with artist’s like Lil’ Wayne on the track “Can’t Stop Partying”, a song about exactly what the title entails, was also co-written with producer Jermaine Dupri. Live, the band has pushed the strange thresh-hold even more by performing with acts like Kayty Perry, Kenny G, and Gossip Girls actress Leighton Meester. This has left online publications like Pitchfork, a popular music news website, confused as author Ryan Dombol present videos of Weezer performin with Kenny G, Chamillionare, and Sarah Bareilles, with just a quick blurb stating defeatedly, “Sometimes you just have to let the videos play.”
The final nail in the coffin has come in the form of promotion for their new CD. For $30, fans were able to purchase a package where when buying the CD, they will also get a Weezer branded Snuggie, the blanket with sleeves, that has been now referred to as a wuggie. Before getting into reporting the news, The Trip Wire wrote a disclaimer stating, “We occasionally feel bad for our inability to approach anything Weezer does these days without an ounce of seriousness. But then things like these come along and remind us they aren’t taking themselves seriously, so why should we?”
It was a sign of giving up. Now the Weezer’s heart monitor has lost its beeping rhythm, and has come to a monotone flat line. Sure, Raditude won’t be the last that the world will see of Weezer, but the least they can do is bring back a little bit of the old band we knew so we can live through the nostalgia.