90’s music was a black void for me.
When I should have been reveling in the grittiness of Nirvana, the angstiness of Alanis Morissette, the demureness of Beck, and the whateverness of Bjork, I was too busy going through my awkward Elton John phase where I’d only wear sequin vests and pant suits. I’ve been told that I’m an old soul, and considering that I always wanted to be a drunk flapper from the ’20’s, listening to current music was not a priority of mine.
However, as I got older, my normally nonstop-talky self noticed gaps appearing in the conversations with my peers about the music of our childhood. When the subject of 90’s music came up, I had nothing to add, no little anecdotes about the first Gavin Rossdale t-shirt I bought or the countless hours I listened to Live Through This on the basement floor.
Still to this day, I don’t feel like I missed out on 90’s music (and let the violence commence), and there have only been a few artists that I’ve been interested in discovering after the fact.
And one of those acts is Weezer.
The Blue Album and Pinkerton, of course.
Did they actually make any records after that?
I never thought about Weezer until I met Michael.
Michael was a former actor from Germany and charming as shit. He’d sweet talk the pants right off of ya. Maybe he actually did at one point. Who knows? Michael also was the manager of a band called The Rentals. I had no idea who the hell The Rentals were. Someone told me that the front man was Matt Sharp, formerly of Weezer and I was all like, “Woopity-do!”
Michael invited me to a number of The Rentals shows and I just didn’t get them AND I DIDN’T GET THE FUCKING WEEZER!
Who were they? Why did everyone love them so much? Why would someone name their kid Rivers and why do I get turned on every time I see him wearing those giant horn-rimmed glasses?
I wanted answers!
So I set out to learn more about the history of the Weezer and the Matt Sharp and tried to rediscover a band that I never gave a chance to.
What entailed after that was a long journey of self-exploration, love, heartbreak, acceptance, and enlightenment.
But, let’s pretend!!!
Please please please pleaseeee?
I first noticed in the beginning of my research that though girls dug early Weezer, that it was the boys that pitched a tent when describing their love for the band.
“Why do you boys cream your pants over early Weezer so much?” I asked Josh, Sims, Mike, Richard, Luther…any other lovably nerdy male friend between the ages of 25-35 that I could think of.
They all had the same answer.
1.) First, to be clear, that they loved Weezer. Not love. LOVED.
2.) That the band symbolized a very important time in their adolescence
3.) That they learned to play guitar from the The Blue Album and Pinkerton
4.) That their lyrics were relatable to their young male ears, their guitar parts resonating, and their melodies catchy
The Blue Album came out when I was 11 year-old and I recall dismissing it as typical radio ga–ga. “Buddy Holly” was the hit music video of the year and watching those dorks strumming their guitars militant style on the set of “Happy Days” did not warm my cold, tween heart of steel.
Sixteen years later, I sat down with the album and tried to envision being a prepubescent male suffering from wet dreams and lusting after my friend’s exchange student from Japan and low and behold…it worked!
The wave of nostalgia for a time I didn’t experience of a gender that I am not totally overwhelmed me.
By the end of record I was lamenting for my alcoholic father, wanting to be a lazy surf bum, putting up a front, dreaming about stepping on someones toes, seeing where I could buy a KISS poster, and checking my sweater for holes.
At this point, understanding who I was listening to, I moved on to Pinkerton…and I got that too! Except for the whole tired of sleeping with a bunch of chicks thing. That one was hard to relate to.
Then I moved on to The Green Album and….what the fuck happened?!
“I‘ve often compared Weezer to an ex-girlfriend you’re still in love with,” my friend Mike was telling me yesterday. “You keep expecting that at some point it will click again, but it just moves forward and never works out again.”
I’d like to think that Weezer took a dump after Matt Sharp left and Rivers went all commercial, but who knows? All we know is that the rawness and magic of the first two albums will never be captured again.
That’s not true.
Everyone knows why Weezer sucks now.
Where am I going with this post?
I have no fucking idea, but I’m just going to keep singing, “Say It Ain’t So” over and over until my co-workers tell me to shut up.
What’s your favorite Weezer song? Was Weezer an important part of your teenage music listening experience?
I. Freaking. Love. You. As I love early Weezer. Honestly, I still like them a lot, you know, but whatevs. I'm a little weird anyway. My favorite song is actually The Sweater Song. Again, I know, I'm weird.
Oh man, so much violence could commence with that 90s. If you ever decide you might have missed something, here's a hint: it's not about the big name acts, its about the bands who opened for them.
Really liked this post, blew through it fast. Reminded me so much of talking about the exact same thing in college with people. Save the involvement of a foreign gentleman to suave me out of my pants. That really doesn't happen to me. Often.
I missed Weezer too. I remember they came out with the "Beverly Hills" song but I think that wasn't even the 90's Weezer but like past 2000. They're music is really awesome because their lyrics are so true. I like the song "Say it ain't so" & "Hashpipe".
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I have a Weezer theory.
One of the things about Weezer is that, unlike a lot of bands in the 90s and today, Rivers Cuomo WAS his fan base. He was an incredibly shy and nerdy kid who lived the songs he wrote. One of the reasons why The Blue Album and Pinkerton are so awesome is because there is a huge amount of heart and soul in them. They were the only way Cuomo was comfortable expressing himself.
So, the Blue Album gets huge. All of a sudden the nerdy kid gets popular. Pinkerton comes out. Remember, at the time EVERYONE hated Pinkerton. It didn't get popular until YEARS after it was released. The backlash stung Cuomo so much, he took YEARS off without doing the music thing.
Well, what does he do? He starts writing music that basically rehashes the stuff that got him popular. Every album after Pinkerton was just a crappy pale shadow of the Blue Album.
And that's why later Weezer sucks.
My iTunes library is full of 90's music; I haven't seemed to updated things in a long time. It was fun being a teen in Portland around that time because of the music and the constant battle we had with Seattle about which city was cooler-but-we-don't-care-really-because-that's-just-stupid-but-someone-please-validate-me.
I was always a big fan of classical music and was the weird kid in high school that held season tickets to the Oregon Symphony and and would sneak into fancy hotel bars after the Chamber Music performances to chat with the musicians and conductors.
Oh, I think El Scorcho is one of the greatest loves songs out there.
It'd been a while since I thought about Weezer and I'm pretty glad to have been reminded of them.
I definitely got into them long after their heyday… but before Green. I also actually liked some songs on Green at the time that it came out. But that may have been more because I was craving new music to like at the time.
I'm going to add to that friend's ex-gf metaphor. I'd say Weezer are like the ex-gf who you stay in love with… and then she says she wants you back, and you're like "Sure!" and then years later you're like "Holy shit, missing you and being nostalgic for you is WAY better than dating you."
Or, come to think of it, their newer albums are like the new Star Wars movies. Yeah. That's it!
Weezer was defnitely important to me when I was in high-school, but only the first two albums and the B-sides and rarities. After Matt left, they started sucking hardcore. "Hashpipe" is an okay pop song, but the Green album and everything after is just garbage!
I saw them live in the 11th grade and was heartbroken when the only Pinkerton song they played was "Tired of Sex." It didn't stop me from crowd-surfing, though!
Only because it is you. I love you. And I better say I love the fancier spelled Lauranne as well… she made me cry, and you introduced me to her!
Before 'Buddy Holly' there was Buddy Holly. I have burned indelibly in my mind a 7 or 8 year old boy watching him and the Crickets in black and white on a black and white television perform 'Peggy Sue' for some show from their era.
As much as I liked 'The Sweater Song', as wrenching as 'Say It Ain't So' was, and asa nerdling taking flight which is how I heard 'In The Garage', 'Buddy Holly' was the song that I hoped that I was living.
'What's with these homies dissin' my girl, why do they always front? What did we ever do to these guys that made them so violent??'
Those lyrics matched my experience because I like fuller women and it always seem I had cats hating on me in a deep seated raging way that had physical confrontation bubbling underneath the surface… but didn't happen because I am SO not the one to step to… but I never forgot what happened to me before my service.
That is why it still 'fit', because I still had that burning image in my mind, the ghosts of my poorly managed assimilation in 'rock and roll high school'.
Where am I going… oh yeah, Weezer. Pinkerton was 'different' but me, I am loyal to bands (and to people) who strike a certain chord in me, to where no matter what anyone else say regarding them, as long as I FEEL what I need to feel about them, they are still aces in my book.
I don't keep up with the boys as much, not since the green album. May pick up the new release because after all, it's Weezer.
"jamie" was my favorite song.
you think it's about this girl at school, or this waitress at a cafe, or a high school girlfriend.
then the last line of the song just throws you off…
"you are the best lawyer in town…"
I love weezer. The sweater song is probably my favorite! A girl that I know started a weezer all girl cover band called shezzer!
I was a LITTLE bit too young to relate to Weezer when their early stuff came out (I was 9 when The Blue Album hit), but went through that phase when I was about 16 and made my summer "boyfriend" play The Sweater Song and Say It Aint So repeatedly on his guitar.
Chuck Klosterman writes about the Weezer phenomenon and the irony of how when they became popular they had to stop being popular, because they were cool for being uncool. He explains it better but I don't have the book (Eating The Dinosaur) on me and can't find the quote online. Worth reading though. Hilarious.
I remember the first time I heard Weezer. I too missed them in the 90's because back then, my parents were filling my head with Country Music and the emerging artists of contemporary Christian music (Stephen Curtis Chapman, Michael W. Smith).
Needless to say, as much as I still have a soft spot for those artists, my horizons were not very broad.
I first heard Weezer when I was 14. My brother used to share his music discoveries with me once his tastes were broadened, and we would spend hours in his room just checking out the new stuff he had discovered.
One of those nights, he played me Weezer. I fell in love instantly. The Blue Album was listened to over and over again, and I never grew tired of it.
Today they still hold a special spot in my heart and on my iPod.
In my teenage years me and my friends used to sit around drinking cheap cider, getting high and listening to Weezer in this park close to my house. Those were the days…
"The World Has Turned And Left Me Here" is my fave.
My college boyfriend and his friends produced a cover of Pinkerton in its entirety & it is AMAZING. I still have the CD & sometimes a song comes on my itunes & I'm like, is that Paul or is that Rivers…?
Weezer was never an important part of my life’s soundtrack as a teenager. The fact that I was way beyond my teen years by the time they came out music may have had something to do with that (I’m really pretty damn old). I don’t begrudge them their success, but they never did anything that really got my attention – not raucous enough or odd enough or fast enough or soaked-in-beer enough I guess. So, I don’t have a favorite Weezer song.
But ya know, as I think about, I do remember a time or two that I sang along with the chorus of the Sweater Song while it played on the radio . . .
id dont know if i ever loved weezer. but they where pretty tight for what they did. making the whole geeky thing kewl. sweater song was the shit tho mos def!!
their early days were pretty savage but nah not so much anymore hahah.
back in the day i was hella into the presidents of USA. that and the beatsteaks some german outfit from berlin. legit!
I LOVE 90s music.
I walked down the aisle to the
orchestrated beginning of
Bittersweet Symphony by The Verve.
When the minister said "kiss her"
Prince's 7 rocked the sanctuary.
I LOVED the 90s since it was my teenage years. I was 13 and in love with all things Seattle. I also enjoyed Weezer quite a bit. Best Song Ever – the World Has Turned and Left Me Here.
As for the rest of that fab decade – I rocked out to Radiohead, Sebadoh, Superchunk, Throwing Muses et and later in the electronic era – Massive Attack, Tricky, Portishead and the like.
I am sad I was a little too young for the 80s stuff, I have been able to relive it though mostly through the Donnie Darko soundtrack which is fabulous.
As for the 2000s…I know most people will probably say I'm wrong – I am sorely disappointed with most stuff out there but am welcome to being proved wrong – (I think it's just cause I'm old now though) 🙂
Weezer has always sucked.