In which I’m writing about Weezer for some reason

I know, I’m as surprised as you are.

I’m not a fan of Weezer. I’m not not a fan, if that makes any sense; there are probably a dozen Weezer songs that I have at least partially memorized and might sing along with given the opportunity, but if you asked me right now to name even one Weezer song I wouldn’t be able to do it. If a song was playing and you asked me “Is this a Weezer song?” I could probably tell you yes or no, but I wouldn’t bet a lot of money on any one song. They’ve been around a long time and I don’t dislike them, they’re just not my people musically, for whatever that’s worth.

You may have heard about the Teal album. The Teal album is utterly unique in that I can review it merely by listing the tracks on it:

  1. Africa
  2. Everybody Wants to Rule the World
  3. Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)
  4. Take on Me
  5. Happy Together
  6. Paranoid
  7. Mr. Blue Sky
  8. No Scrubs
  9. Billie Jean
  10. Stand by Me

And right away, boom, you know if you’re going to like the Teal album. (Weezer apparently has named most of their albums Weezer, and then distinguishes them by the color of the cover? Also a thing I didn’t know, so I don’t know if I should be italicizing Teal when it shows up or not. Weird-ass band.) And, more importantly, based on whether you’re wondering why the hell they bothered or you’re right now opening iTunes so you can download this, I know within about five or six years how old you are, because it’s a good damn bet you’re in the decade around being born in 1976 somewhere.

There is not a single song on here that I have ever decided to deliberately listen to, except maybe for No Scrubs, and in that case it’s been a very long time. And yet I literally purchased and downloaded this album within ten seconds of knowing it existed. Ask my wife; she was standing right next to me when it happened. And I’m listening to it right now, and I’m enjoying the hell out of it, and I don’t understand what has happened that those things are true. I mean, don’t get me wrong, these are all good songs, but … why? Why? This album is simultaneously the whitest thing that has ever happened and utterly delightful, and those should not both be true, and I’m very very confused right now.

It is a crime that Never Gonna Give You Up is not on here, by the way.

And here’s what is probably the weirdest part: I feel like it’s weird that the Teal album is my only Weezer album in my music collection, which is over 1100 albums strong (and, for the record, very close to 100% legitimately purchased) and now I feel like I need to spend some more money and buy at least one Weezer album where they’re playing their own music. Am I going to listen to it? I dunno, maybe not. I mean, the next thing I did after buying the Teal album yesterday was buy TLC’s Fanmail, because I didn’t like the idea that Weezer’s version was the only version of No Scrubs I had. So it’s not like this isn’t without precedent, y’know? What album would I buy? Am I just picking my favorite color or looking for a Greatest Hits or their debut (my usual move with a band I don’t own any music from) or …

Yeah. When I complain about not having enough money, remind me of shit like this, will you?

EDIT: Upon checking iTunes again, I note that Weezer has released a collection, called Blue/Green/Red, that is in fact just those three albums, for $13.99. So now I own four Weezer albums. (Also: Oh! These are the Buddy Holly guys! Of course they are.) They also apparently have released an album called Hurley, the cover art of which is a headshot of the guy who played Hurley in Lost. I don’t know what to do with that information, but I felt like those of you who didn’t know it need to.

EDIT EDIT: Island in the Sun and Blister in the Sun are not the same song, and I’d like to tender my sincere apologies to the Violent Femmes for my momentary loss of sense.

In which I make things so complicated

imagesI keep almost writing a music post and then not doing it; I’d like to pretend that I don’t know why, but the simple fact is that I don’t have the vaguest idea how to write music reviews.  Despite that, I still write music reviews from time to time; they’re just bad music reviews.  When I read them, I never have any idea what the hell the writer is talking about and half the time I feel like I’m reading word salad.  I also can’t begin a music review without that disclaimer– I can review movies and books and food and other things coherently, but I always feel like I ought to begin any piece about music with an apology.

I’ve downloaded four new albums in the last couple of months.  I even bought one of the four on CD as a backup copy– yeah, the physical version is the backup now.  They are: Pearl Jam’s Lightning Bolt, Eminem’s The Marshall Mathers LP 2, Latyrx’s The Second Album, and… uh… speaking of things I always apologize for, avrillavigne’snewCDwhichsheselftitledsoit’scalledAvrilLavigneSHUTUPDON’TJUDGEME.


Yeah.  I have all seven of her albums (and I live in a world where Avril Lavigne has seven albums, Jesus, what the hell?) and I have felt dirty while buying each and every one of them.  I don’t care, fuck you; I’m gonna keep buying them until she’s old.  Ha!

The really scary part is that her new album may be my favorite of hers, or at least it’s the perfect antidote to spending several days trying to listen to Eminem’s new… thing.  It’s thoroughly poppy and fun, even the bits where she brings in in Marilyn Manson and tries to be all… I don’t know, not cute, which Christ you can’t have a Marilyn Manson cameo on an album with a song called Hello Kitty where you spend most of it yapping in Japanese.  Or something, hell, that might not be Japanese, I really have no idea.  But fuck it, it’s fun, that’s the point.  There’s a song on it called “Bitchin’ Summer” and the damn album was released in November.  Gimme a break.

Eminem’s new album is not any fun, and in fact is probably the most relentlessly angry thing he’s ever released.  There are still bits where he blows away any other rapper working today with his lyrical skills, but… God, the thing is so damn long and so damn pissed off that I just can’t deal with it.  I’m sticking with my initial assessment, which is that it’s exactly like some horrifying hybrid of mid-197os The Who and Pink Floyd released something and decided to call it a concept rap opera, which kind of feels like I’m making shit up and sticking words together but I swear that it makes sense in my head.  Also:  that’s not a recommendation, in case you’re not sure.  The thing is interesting in the sense that it’s so consistently unlistenable, and it’s not unlistenable because it’s bad, it’s unlistenable because Eminem made a conscious decision as an artist to make an album that no one anywhere could ever be happy while listening to, but without releasing an awesome piss-off-fuck-the-world album like, say, Rage Against the Machine or Ice Cube or the fucking Ramones used to be so good at.  Which is an achievement of sorts.  But I don’t want to listen to the damn thing ever again.

The new Latyrx is… well, Latyrx, which is always a recommendation.  It’s deeply weird and experimental too, but in a much better way.  I don’t have a whole lot to say about it right now because honestly I haven’t digested this album yet; the time I’ve spent trying to wrap my head around Eminem’s bullshit has taken away from The Second Albumrichly deserved braincycles.

And you should already own the new Pearl Jam album because it’s a fucking Pearl Jam album and Pearl Jam is the greatest band on Earth.  This one’s kind of weird too, though; it’s their first album with a title track, which I kinda think ought to be significant even though I can’t quite elucidate how, and there are a bunch of tracks that don’t really sound like Pearl Jam (Let the Records Play and Getaway and maybe a couple of others); the band’s clearly still pushing themselves.  It’s not my favorite album by them (Vitalogy) but it’s got some great tracks on it– Sirens, Yellow Moon, Future Days, and Mind Your Manners, even though MYM took a while to grow on me.  I need to memorize more of it so I can sing along; I can’t ever finalize my opinion of a Pearl Jam album until I can sing along with at least half of it.

There’s a reason I’m not talking about work much today, by the way.  Maybe tomorrow.