Friday, November 30, 2007

My First Love: Rivers Cuomo

The vast majority of my tastes in music fall into either 90s rock or classic rock. And I'm okay with that. I like a good guitar part and I like strong lyrics. But I have to be honest regardless of how much I may be made fun of. My musical tastes can be summed up in the following bands:

1. Weezer
2. The Beatles
3. Oasis
4. Simon and Garfunkel
5. Dashboard Confessional

Each of these bands holds significance to me. Oasis: 7th grade, brought me into the world of mid-90s rock and the radio station The Edge (the best radio station ever-don't argue because you're wrong). I also love their mellow, yet heavy, sound and I don't think there is a bad song on (What's the Story) Morning Glory. Dashboard Confessional introduced me to the accoustic emo that I fell in love with on his So Impossible EP while jumping snow banks on residential streets in St. Paul with my friend's old Buick (don't tell my mom). I have nothing but respect for the simplicity and true poetry in every Simon and Garfunkel song. My favorites are namely "Bookends," "Bridge over Troubled Water" and "Kathy's Song." And while I'm not normally a fan of greatest hits albums, I will say that my two-disc set is pretty good. The Beatles just go without saying. But, unlike most Beatles fans, I happen to like their early albums as much as their later work. I think I'm also more intrigued by the history (the photos, stories and memorabilia) of The Beatles than the music itself - hint, hint; I'm looking at you, mom, with the unopened vinyl of Sgt. Peppers. But ultimately, my love will always go to Weezer and Rivers Cuomo.

I remember listening to "Buddy Holly" when I was younger on the radio and watching the Happy Days music video, but I didn't get into Weezer until I was late in high school, out with a couple of friends when I bought their blue album and began my downward spiral into emo, when it was still good. I became the obsessed Weezer fan with thick plastic rimmed glasses, wearing argyle and my "I heart nerds" shirt that had a picture of Milhouse in the heart. And, up until recently, I was still that girl, and I still am to some degree, hence the title. Weezer has given me so many indirect memories, from screaming "The Good Life" or "El Scorcho" with friends after a hard night of drinking, to some guy referencing "Tired of Sex" as a pick-up line (I couldn't have made that one up if I tried).

But there is something in the sound of the music, specifically on the blue album, that I am drawn to and brings me back to my early college days (not that they were all that great) to when I saw them a couple times in concert. I first saw them at the Xcel Center, which was surprisingly awesome. I didn't think Weezer would be able to pull off an arena concert so well, considering they had minimal special effects and Rivers is so anti-social. I saw them a second time at First Ave. and it was hands down the BEST concert I've ever been to. And it better have been since I paid almost $100 to see it. The most interesting part of that concert was that they were playing songs off of their then not yet released Make Believe album but everybody in the audience already knew the words because they had most likely downloaded it off of some illegal website, just like I had. I feel elite saying that I saw Weezer at a venue that fits less than 500 people and got to be 20 feet from Rivers. He could have spit on me! It was also great being surrounded by the ultimate in obssessed when it came to Weezer; their crowd is very much a combination of trendy, yet pathetic uncoolness that I revel in because, really, that is what I am. I was always an obsessed Weezer fan, I just hadn't known it until college.

The one song that I absolutely love is "Undone (The Sweater Song)" by Weezer, off of the blue album. It is best to listen to it at decibles that border on deafening to get the full effect of the clashing instruments at the end, and plus, it makes you sing it louder. It's funny how so many people have told me, "I love the 'Sweater Song.' It's a song about nothing." When, in reality, it is a disturbing look at wanting to fit in and allowing yourself to be taken advantage of for the sake of fitting in, although you never really do become part of the crowd you so desire to belong to. I think they do this in a very lyrically metaphoric, as well as, musically symbolic way: the obvious metaphor being the destroyed sweater that leaves the person naked, and music being the clashing of sounds symbolizing the compromising of who someone is, wanting to fit in, never really fitting in and being taken advantage of and the complex tension this may create internally in someone. Below, I posted the music video for "The Sweater Song," which is also fun to watch. I still haven't quite figured out what makes them so appealing to watch when there really isn't all that much to them.

My one true love, Rivers, is in red.


  1. Wow. I love the stories that go behind your musical loves. You know so much more about this stuff than I do! I also think that your tastes allign well with mine, although mine are pretty ill-defined. You should teach me.

  2. Gee, I wonder where you got the idea for this post. Tee Hee. Anyway, as you know, I, too, love the Weezer and have seen them many a-time in concert. The best part of the "Undone" video is when Pat runs around the drums hitting his cymbols.

  3. Oh yeah, and I was at that show, too.