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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.
2016 has been an interesting year for music, often making headlines for the wrong reasons instead of the right ones.
Some great bands made awful albums and other surprising bands put out great work.
Putting this list together was pretty hard work and near misses on the top ten go to CRX, Banks and Steelz, Suede and We Cut Corners who all produced decent records. Next year is already shaping up to be a cracking year with releases planned for Queens of the Stone Age, Soundgarden, Beck and Father John Misty, but for now, here are my top records of 2016:
Continue reading: Ben Walton's Top Ten Albums Of 2016
Weezer may not have become as gigantic as other American 90's bands such as Nirvana or Pearl Jam, but they're every bit as important setting a new standard for poppy rock music. Their earliest records 'Blue Album' and 'Pinkerton' married strong emotions, intimate and personal lyrics and raw power with huge, catchy melodies. Thus making for a sound that simultaneously felt like Weezer where singing just for you and for millions. Across the several albums they've released this century, they've never lost their knack for writing memorable songs and tonight in Manchester they play their first show on U.K soil in five years, but was it worth the wait?
Before we can find out though, we have Dinosaur Pile-Up who are an example of Weezer's huge influence on guitar music as they too merge relatable lyrics with feisty, fuzzy guitars. They're solid with dirty riffs and forceful hooks, but there's a feeling people just want to get onto the main event, given who's following.
When Weezer do hit the stage, opening with newie 'California Kids' they get off to a decent start. Even though this song has been out for a few months now it doesn't exactly have the crowd going wild, but it's a cool song with a riff that's both warm and galloping. What does ignite joy amongst people is the following 'My Name Is Jonas' which sees almost everyone amongst these few thousand people singing along to every single word of this classic escapist anthem. The moment the iconic opening jovial guitar noodling is played you can feel a ton of smiles suddenly growing in the room. This tends to be how it goes for the majority of this gig. People singing their hearts out to Weezer's instantly infectious songs as the band have many in their arsenal.
Continue reading: Weezer - Manchester Academy-April 3rd 2016 Live Review
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
Ex-Weezer bassist Matt Sharp and his collaborative band The Rentals re-group with The Black Keys' Patrick Carney and unveil new album 'Lost In Alphaville'.
Newly signed to Polyvinyl Records, Matt Sharp's pop supergroup The Rentals are back after fifteen years with a new line-up featuring The Black Keys' Patrick Carney and their brand new album 'Lost In Alphaville'.
The Rentals are back with 'Lost In Alphaville'
The Rentals are the latest addition to the Polyvinyl roster, along the likes of Xiu Xiu, Generationals and Japandroids, with a line-up that has been shaken up and now includes Matt Sharp from Weezer, The Black Keys drummer Patrick Carney, Lucius vocalists Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig, Ozma frontman Ryen Slegr and The Section Quartet viola player Lauren Chipman. Like a revolving door, artists are constantly leaving and joining the band with Sharp making an effort to surround himself with a variety of new musicians with each release. With Patrick Carney and the Lucius girls becoming some of the latest members, the new set-up seems especially exciting.
Continue reading: The Rentals Are Back With Members Of The Black Keys And Lucius [Listen]
Weezer - Budweiser presents Made In America Festival 2014, the event was founded by American rapper Jay-Z the even is held in Philadelphia and L.A. - Los Angeles, California, United States - Sunday 31st August 2014
We hit the Minnesota music scene in the run-up to Jay-Z's new summer festival.
Budweiser Made In America Press Conference at Los Angeles City Hall on April 16, 2014 in Los Angeles, California - Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images for Budweiser
Budweiser Made in America festival is on its way and, to celebrate, the beer brand unveil a series of music documentaries in different States: this week we explore Minnesota!
Being such a huge part of the world, America has always borne a massively diverse music ethos. In almost every part of the country you can come across a different musical culture and it's with this idea in mind that world famous rap star Jay-Z decided to create Budweiser Made in America festival. It's sole purpose is to bring together a choice selection of both up-and-coming and well-established artists spanning all genres including rock, hip hop, R&B, electronic, punk... the list goes on.
Metallica are choosing to replicate Jay Z in performing a version of Wonderwall at their Glastonbury headline slot, but what are the best Oasis covers?
In a similar fashion to the announcement of Jay Z in 2008, metal titans Metallica’s headline slot at the iconic Glastonbury Festival has been met with a wave of criticism and derision from commentators who have deemed the Metallica’s headline position as both a lazy, predictable booking and one that is incompatible with Glastonbury’s demographic. However, whereas criticism towards Jay Z in the vein of what was unleashed by the Gallagher brothers was a scathing attack on hip hop as a genre, laced with a degree of barely concealed racism, Metallica’s backlash largely stems from elsewhere.
Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher performing at the Universal Ampitheatre in 2000. [Photo: Getty Images, Credit: Dan Callister]
Firstly, this is a band that hasn’t produced an album of any merit for well over a decade and what’s more, considering they were announced long after tickets had sold out, how many of Glastonbury’s middle class bohemians will actually want to watch the band? Metallica have themselves responded to the criticism by announcing they may open their set with a cover of “Wonderwall”, copying Jay Z’s act of protest back in 2008. However, it does appear that Jay Z’s version carried a greater amount of symbolism, given that it was the Gallagher brothers who were the most vocal opponents of his appearance.
Upon release, Weezer's second album Pinkerton was met with much less favourable reviews than its predecessor, the classic Blue album. Over the years since its 1996 release however, Pinkerton has become something of a cult classic, often referred to as the definitive Weezer album. Certainly its inclusion in Universal Music's Deluxe Edition series (which includes such masterpieces as Nine Inch Nails' Downward Spiral, Beck's Odelay and indeed, Weezer's Blue album) speaks volumes for the turnaround in popular opinion on this album.
Continue reading: Weezer, Pinkerton Deluxe Edition Album Review
Since forming in 1992 the American quintet has released seven albums, with their eighth 'Hurley' due in September. A handful of American shows are on the horizon, with a quick stop in England also planned when the band perform at the Reading and Leeds Festivals.
Continue reading: Weezer, Memories Single Review
RT @Bumbershoot: Live that fantasy. Passes on sale this Friday, April 28 at 10am at https://t.co/Hocx9qUcj7 https://t.co/ULRYwroI6k
Heading to Seattle this September for @Bumbershoot! https://t.co/Q11uwFV5kS https://t.co/QsK8D2rZOS
Monday dragging you down? Just press play and feel those instant summer vibes 😎 https://t.co/sF0II2EWBS https://t.co/TFGQux4AII
Rolling through @RedRocksCO in Denver 10/7 to play @JEEP on the Rocks with @XAmbassadors! Get tickets Friday @ 10am… https://t.co/NlYFk7IH7x
Brian stays cool under pressure at the @showboxpresents in Seattle on 4/9/17 #karlscorner edgey44 https://t.co/QdvGRugtbh
Pat beats on the brat with a baseball bat (metaphorically speaking) at the @showboxpresents in… https://t.co/4g8QKRxwn5
The storm that annihilated the calm at the @showboxpresents in Seattle on 4/9/17 #karlscorner https://t.co/zVI4Ewg45E
A calm in the storm at the @showboxpresents in Seattle on 4/9/17. #karlscorner https://t.co/L4mxxwx6MF
Pentiction, BC, 4/8/17. rivers_cuomo going toward the light. Don't go into the light, Rivers.… https://t.co/Bh3UBJmmIY
Pentiction, BC, 4/8/17. You don't often see Pat on the synths, but he knows his way around the… https://t.co/ytK9Mk0RIo
Pentiction, BC, 4/8/17. Sometimes you gotta throw a shape in the name of rock. #karlscorner https://t.co/D4QvQ6pVwK
Pentiction, BC, 4/8/17. @sgs711 wielding forces and pushing air. #karlscorner https://t.co/lwmf2N7tmu
People, our guitarchitecht Brian's other band @relationshipus is playing at the Bootleg Theater… https://t.co/mALDLZMv6b
Put together a playlist of the ultimate summer jams, hope you enjoy https://t.co/eDbvPTNq4Q https://t.co/Ci3RGDLTdJ
A high speed excerpt from today's stage assembly up in Pentiction, BC. #karlscorner https://t.co/3qX28MgkcA
Under the watchful gaze of @RiversCuomo in Dawson Creek, BC 4/6/17 #karlscorner https://t.co/Wk9rA7cWWp
The blue moods of Patrick Wilson. Dawson Creek, BC 4/6/17 #karlscorner https://t.co/9Lk8bSp1Xr
Dawson Creek is not large. But the crowd was large and in charge! 4/6/17 #karlscorner https://t.co/Z96wQf8iGK
Mad for it in Calgary! 4/6/17 #karlscorner #edgey https://t.co/8Rx6K46asq