Weezer (formed 1992)
Weezer is an American alternative pop-rock band. The original line-up of the band was: Rivers Cuomo on guitar and vocals, Matt Sharp on bass and backing vocals, Patrick Wilson on drums and backing vocals Jason Cropper on guitar and backing vocals. Matt Sharp was later replaced by Mikey Welsh, who himself was replaced by Scott Shriner.
Weezer: The Early Years
After forming in 1992, Weezer played their first gig as the opening band for Keanu Reeves' Dogstar. Their debut album was produced by Ric Ocasek at the legendary Electric Lady Studios in New York.
Weezer was released in May 1994, with 'Undone - The Sweater Song' being the first single. Spike Jonze directed the video for the single, which became hugely popular on MTV.
The second single from Weezer was 'Buddy Holly.' Jonze directed this video as well, which spliced footage from Happy Days, the 1970s sitcom, with footage of the band playing in the setting of the diner from the series. The third single was 'Say It Ain't So.'
The second Weezer album was titled Pinkerton and was released in September 1996. In comparison to the success of the first album, Pinkerton performed badly.
Following the release of Pinkerton, the band disbanded temporarily and its members followed up their various side projects; Matt Sharp returned to The Rentals, Patrick Wilson worked on The Special Goodness and Brian Bell worked with his group Space Twins. Rivers Cuomo returned to Boston and put together The Rivers Cuomo Band, which played a number of gigs, with Mikey Welsh being a constant member of the ever-changing lineup.
In April 2000, Weezer were offered a lucrative deal to play the Fuji Festival. This spurred on a renewed creativity for the band. For a while, they only played under the name Goat Punishment but returned to using Weezer when they joined the Vans Warped Tour.
In 2001, the band released another album entitled Weezer. The debut would soon become known as 'The Blue Album' and the latter as 'The Green Album', due to their distinctive colouring. The singles 'Hash Pipe' and 'Island In the Sun' proved to be hits for the band.
Scott Shriner filled in for Mikey Welsh in 2001 when Welsh went AWOL and later checked into a psychiatric hospital.
Maladroit, the band's fourth studio album, was released in 2002 and was met with positive reviews, if not as many sales as its predecessor. The band released the singles 'Dope Nose' and 'Keep Fishin'', the video to which featured The Muppets.
In May 2005, Weezer released Make Believe. The album received a mixed response from the music press and online music communities. Due to MTV refusing to play the song, Weezer changed the title and lyrics of 'We Are All On Drugs' to 'We Are All In Love.'
In 2007, Rivers Cuomo released a number of home recordings, including the songs that never made it onto Weezer's second album. The release was called Alone: the Home Recordings of Rivers Cuomo.
Weezer released a third album entitled Weezer in 2008. This one is known alternatively as the Red Album. The album features Rick Rubin on production and songwriting credits to band members other than Cuomo.
Weezer: Online Ventures
In September 2008, Weezer fans launched a site called Weezerpedia, a take on the popular encyclopedic site Wikipedia. Weezerpedia is an online community site based on facts about the band. In-depth articles about the band are included, as well as song lyrics and details of side projects.
As the summer ended and Fall arrived, some great new releases dropped
In a month that saw 18 year old qualifier Emma Raducanu win the coveted U.S Women's Open Tennis Championship without even dropping a set, Cristiano Ronaldo returned to Manchester United and got off to a flying start as he netted five precious goals. Boris Johnson and his cabinet dropped the ball altogether over Afghanistan, failed to predict fuel shortages at forecourts and did little to allay fears that everything would be fine by Christmas as he desperately reshuffled his cabinet. As he continued his long running spat with Kanye West, Drake released his sixth studio album, Certified Lover Boy and Lana Del Rey quite all social media platforms citing other "jobs", "privacy and transparency". Global Citizen put on a spectacular 24 hour show - 'A Recovery Plan for the World', with the aim of ending CoVID19, curbing the hunger crisis, resumption of learning for everyone, advancing equity for all and protecting the planet. Amongst those who performed on the five world stages was Sir Elton, who, as it happens, appears in two of the five releases we have selected for September.
Lil Nas X - Montero.
From Duran Duran to Weezer, it's an iconic day for music.
As it turns out, May 10th has been a pretty lucky day for the world of music. There's been nothing of note this year, but in the last 50 years, there have been a string of iconic albums all landing on today's date. Thus, we've put together a special Album of the Week feature this week, including seven of our favourite albums released on this day...
New York Dolls - Too Much Too Soon (1974)
The band's second release (coming a year after their iconic self-titled debut album), Too Much Too Soon is very much a cult record often labelled as one of the earliest punk rock albums. New York Dolls enlisted producer Shadow Morton on the album, and while much of it was re-recordings of demos and cover songs such as The Cadets' Stranded in the Jungle, it is still considered an important record in the proto-punk movement.
The latest music news, including Paul McCartney's children's book, new Chemical Brothers music and a Super Furry Animals box set.
NEW GUNS N’ ROSES ALBUM ON THE WAY?
Guns N’ Roses’ guitarist Slash has dropped the strongest hint yet that a new album from the legendary rock group might be on the way.
“We want to do something. We’ve been on the road this entire time, we have another leg coming up in November in Asia, then we’re going to start looking at what the next step is going to be,” he told Revolver magazine about the band’s plans once the Not In This Lifetime tour finally ends.
Weezer did 'Africa', so Toto have jumped on board the cover train too.
Two months after Weezer dropped their surprise cover of Toto's 'Africa', Toto have responded by announcing that they have recorded their own Weezer cover and will release it to the world soon. They've chosen a rather unexpected song from the rockers' back catalogue.
Toto performing live in 2015
In the months leading up to Weezer's release of 'Africa', there had been a social media campaign led primarily by a Twitter account called @WeezerAfrica to get them to cover the song. A week before they honoured the fan request, they trolled them with a cover of Toto's 'Rosanna'.
Continue reading: We Can't Wait To Hear Toto's Weezer Cover
Listening to your fans always pays off.
There's something to be said about giving the fans what they want. Weezer have managed to land a spot in the Top 100 following their highly publicised rendition of Toto's 'Africa', which originally came about at the behest of a young music fan who set up a social media page dedicated to the cause.
Weezer perform live at Wembley
Weezer can thank their devoted fans - or at least one in particular - for the fact that they've landed their first spot in the Billboard Hot 100 chart in almost a decade as 'Africa' reaches number 89. It's also their lowest chart position ever in the US; the last time they managed to enter the charts was in 2009 with the single '(If You're Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To' taken from their seventh studio album 'Raditude'.
Continue reading: Weezer Hit Top 100 For First Time In Ten Years With 'Africa'
They have finally decided to record the hit Toto song.
After much demand, Weezer have finally caved and given fans - or at least one very persistant fan - what they have desperately been hoping for: a cover of Toto's 'Africa'. This comes after mercilessly teasing them with another cover from the same band, which was admittedly amazing but a very cheeky move.
Weezer performing at Wembley
A Twitter account with the handle @WeezerAfrica has been bugging Weezer to cover the 1982 hit since late last year. Tweeting frontman Rivers Cuomo, they said: 'It's about time you bless the rains down in africa'.
Continue reading: Weezer Honour Fan Request With 'Africa' Cover
Weezer and Pixies will be touring together next summer!
The two bands will link up in late June for a seven-week stint, taking in 29 dates, until mid-August next year. The joint tour begins on June 23rd at Tampa’s MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre, winding up at the AK-Chin Pavilion in Phoenix on August 12th.
English indie-pop act The Wombats will additionally join the tour, opening on the dates through until July 15th. Tickets are on sale next Friday, November 10th – but fans can sign up for Weezer's fanclub to get pre-sale access on Monday 6th.
Continue reading: Weezer And Pixies Announce Joint Summer Tour In 2018
Sometimes song-writing is all about the preparation.
When it comes to writing music, influences don't always come from other musicians; sometimes it's a movie, a book, a piece of art... or a decorated surgeon. For Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo, it was the latter as he found inspiration in the work of Dr. Atul Gawande.
Rivers Cuomo is an unlikely fan of Dr. Atul Gawande
New York professor and writer Atul Gawande is a self-confessed music-lover who most certainly would have gone on to write music had he not graduated from Harvard Medical School. He's been a ground-breaking figure in the medical industry with his unique outlook on surgery affecting many of his peers; one of his most famous movements was the introduction of the checklist, i.e. the art of proper pre-planning, about which he released New York Times bestseller 'The Checklist Manifesto' in 2009.
Continue reading: Weezer's Rivers Cuomo Finds Inspiration In Unlikely Places
The amusing mash-up emerged on Bandcamp on Tuesday, and quickly went viral.
As everybody knows, mash-up albums are so 2005, right? Well, they might enjoy a little revival with the online release of Yeezer, the work of a university student who has spent three years cross-breeding a selection of Kanye West’s hits with tracks by pop-punk veterans Weezer.
19 year old Alex Hodowance from Ohio spent three years, on and off, working on the 34 minute collection of mash-ups, ranging from the bizarre to the highly entertaining. It was uploaded to Bandcamp on Tuesday (October 6th), and quickly gained attention on Reddit before going viral.
Nobody knows if Kanye's heard 'Yeezer' yet, or what he thinks of it
Continue reading: Mash-Up Album Of Kanye West And Weezer Emerges Online - Called 'Yeezer'
Many years ago, I was working in a recording studio with a guy who'd engineered Weezer's classic 1996 album 'Pinkerton'. On learning of his involvement with the record - a longtime favourite of mine - I probed the guy to spill the anecdotal beans on what it was like to work with the band and to be involved in such a project. He said that it was a thoroughly pleasant experience but that one thing he always remembered about it was that when he and Rivers Cuomo were playing around with guitar tones and effects, Rivers would be cranking out old Slayer riffs and doing some serious skiddly-widdle shred. I was very surprised to hear this, mainly due to the relatively straight-forward style of the band's music, and I wondered why Rivers had never let this 'metal-axe-god' element really come through in Weezer's music, particularly since he apparently is highly proficient in this area. I guess he just likes to keep his cards close to his chest.
Fast forward to Weezer's new record entitled 'Everything Will Be Alright in the End' - their 9th! - and Rivers still seems to leave everyone second-guessing about where the band is going to venture next, at least sonically speaking. For years, a large portion of the band's fanbase have hoped that Weezer would one day return to the crushing overblown despair and triumph of 'Pinkerton' but instead the band have stayed in fairly safe territory over the last few albums, generally sticking to the saccharine pop formula perhaps better associated with the two self-titled albums. Perhaps sensing that they had been treading increasingly shallow water with the last two - 2009's 'Raditude' and the following year's 'Hurley' - 'Everything Will Be Alright in the End' marks quite a departure into unexpected theatrical 'rock musical' territory.
Irregular Weezer collaborator Ric Ocasek has returned to the producer's chair behind the desk on this one, perhaps to inject the record with some of the spark and vivaciousness they'd lost in recent years. Opener 'Ain't Got Nobody' is pleasant enough - pretty typical Weezer fare - and the production is killer. Really powerful and, in contrast with most major-label rock records made in Los Angeles in 2014, they actually just sound like a band playing in a room. The second jam and lead single 'Back to the Shack' is an early low-point on the album, revisiting the kind of mid-paced 'Weezer arena-arm-waving' vibe a la 'Beverly Hills'. They pull it all back together with 'Eulogy for a Rock Band', however, which hints at the odder, positively Eurovision-istic moments to feature later in the record. There follows, a double whammy of two unprepossessing pop tunes which you wouldn't be surprised to hear in some Jason Segal movie or such.
Continue reading: Weezer - Everything Will Be Alright In The End Album Review