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Archive for the ‘Weezer’ Category

[ATTENDED: August 20, 2021] Green Day: Hella Mega Tour: Green Day / Fall Out Boy / Weezer / The Interrupters [rescheduled from August 29, 2020]

I loved Green Day’s Dookie when it came out.  I also really liked American Idiot (and a bunch of stuff in between).  But it was pretty wild when my teenage son became a big fan of Green Day (especially American Idiot).  I’ve never seen Green Day live before–which I’m guessing I now regret since they were fantastic live.

The most interesting thing to S. and myself was that they opened their part of the set by playing Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” over the speakers at full concert volume.  Not Green Day playing it, but the actual original version.  And the crowd went utterly bananas.  Singing along at full volume.  The lights even went bright and dim accordingly.  It was a pretty amazing moment to hear an entire arena singing along to a song.  And it really got everyone pumped.  It was a pretty genius idea and I’m surprised more bands don’t do it.

They followed this with Ramones’ “Blitzkreig Bop” which went over although not quite as well, but it segued into a kind of mashup of “Also Sprach Zarathustra”, “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll”, “Blitzkrieg Bop”, and “We Will Rock You” played behind a series of clips from Green Days shows old and new.  It was clear they were preparing for A SHOW.

They came out on stage to lights and video and started out with two songs from American Idiot.  And the crowd was berserk.  “American Idiot” and “Holiday” was like a one-two punch of wonderfulness for my son.  And there were fireworks and explosions and big lights and it was a great start.

I never knew that Billie Joe Armstrong was such a great and engaging front man.  I was especially delighted that he acknowledged that many of the fans there were from New Jersey.  I mean, sure we were in Philadelphia, but there were lots of NJ folks there and he really won us over by dividing the crowd into the Philly and NJ sides to see who could be louder.  This was especially cool for my kids, I think. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: August 20, 2021] Fall Out Boy: Hella Mega Tour: Green Day / Fall Out Boy / Weezer / The Interrupters [rescheduled from August 29, 2020]

Both of my kids are pretty big Fall Out Boy fans (naturally, my son likes the older songs and my daughter likes the newer songs).  I really only know them from my kids playing them.  This means, however, that I know most of their popular songs.  So while I wasn’t looking forward to this set as much as the other two, I was looking forward to a couple of songs (I suspected that the “Light ’em Up” song would have excellent pyrotechnics, and I was right).

So after Weezer, we ran off to Chickie and Pete’s to get some fries and made it back to our seats in plenty of time (we somehow just beat the crowd).  A dark cloud floated over the stadium as we were enjoying out fries.  So I looked at the weather app which assured us that there was no chance of precipitation, and moments later the skies opened up and dropped bucket loads of water on us.  We were soaked!

The main concern was that the posters would get wet (they got a little wet but nothing too bad).  As we tried to stay dry, Fall Out Boy came out and we quickly forgot about the rain.

They had a very cool set–it looked like a hole dug into the earth or something (it was a little hard to focs with all the rain) and a video screen in the hole which showed a series of videos that seemed to be telling a story.  In fact, when the set started a narrator told us something (I couldn’t follow it at all) that I assumed had to do with the narrative. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: August 20, 2021] Weezer: Hella Mega Tour: Green Day / Fall Out Boy / Weezer / The Interrupters [rescheduled from August 29, 2020]

After The Interrupters, we decided to get some snacks.  Who would have guessed that snacks could take so long?  Well, any reasonable person could have.  But we waited for French fries (not realizing that Chickie and Pete’s was just down the way with tons of fries for the taking).  We gave up when it was a few minutes before Weezer was supposed to go on and then, as we were heading down the stairs, the unmistakable sound of Van Halen’s “Jump” playing over the speakers.

This was the key for the Weezer to come out on stage with six bass drums (spelling out Weezer), giant teal lightning bolts, a light up W logo and a video screen.

When I saw Weezer headline two years ago, the set was amazing–set changes, fire, lasers!  This one was a little less amazing, but, heck if you’re the first of three bands and you only have an hour, you don’t have time for fooling around.

The band released Van Weezer a few months before the show and it was clearly designed to let Weezer Rock out a bit more–or at least to give Rivers Cuomo an opportunity to sport a mullet and mustache.  He was also wearing a big black leather jacket and playing a flying V guitar.

And so the early part of the show was pretty heavy with the new.  “Hero” and “All the Good Ones” sandwiched one of my favorite songs from the early 2000s, “Hash Pipe.”  “Beverly Hills” also rocks and Brian Bell plays a fun talkbox solo, which everyone likes.

Then Rivers introduced “The End of the Game” by talking about the wicked riff that starts it (classic heavy metal hammering riff).  From there, the band dove deep and the fans went crazy.  The jacket came off around here and he was wearing a white ringer T (the video screens showed off his painted nails).

“My Name is Jonas” was one of five songs from their debut.  It was followed by a rocking “Pork and Beans” with a nice promo for Weezer’s own brand of pork and beans on the video screen.

For a set that was heavy on the first and last albums, they did manage to throw in one song from a bunch of other ones too.  The noisy “Feels Like Summer” from Pacific Daydream was followed by the new hit single “All My Favorite Songs” (off of OK Human).  I wondered if the band felt weird about playing the song that was essentially a Rivers solo song.  But it was fun and we all sang along.

Then it was back to the debut again for “Undone” and the rather surprising “Surf Wax America” (of all the debut album songs, I wouldn’t have expected this one).  And, this is the first time I’ve seen them play it in three shows.

I was pretty delighted when they started “El Scorcho” (because I’m a Pinkerton junkie) but had totally forgotten about the line “I asked her to go to the Green Day concert.”  How cool is that?  Obviously the crowd went nuts for that.

The Green album seems to be quite a popular release too, so “Island in the Sun” went over like gangbusters.  Then came the moment everyone was waiting for.  The hit single that was 100% ironic and is now 100% unironic as everyone sang along full bore to Toto’s “Africa.”  Rivers even got to hit the giant floor tom (which I thought was decorative) for a mini drum solo with Patrick Wilson (whose drumming skills are really top notch).

Interestingly, it started raining about 30 minutes after they were singing about the rains down in Africa–almost perfectly timed.

After one more dip into a different album (the black album) for “California Snow,” they ended with two more from the debut.  The crowd went nuts for “Say It Ain’t So” and even more nuts for “Buddy Holly.”

Rivers seemed to have a lot of fun with us–even if he didn’t smile very much (how can you tell behind that mustache?).  I assumed that this would be a kind of nostalgic set of all classic tracks, but they played six songs that I hadn’t seen them play before.  There were plenty of big hits mixed in as well, and it pushed everyone’s happy buttons.

Although both of my kids said it was their least favorite set.

Hella Mega, August 20, 2020
Jump [Van Halen taped intro]
Hero √
Hash Pipe
All the Good Ones √
Beverly Hills
The End of the Game √
My Name Is Jonas
Pork and Beans
Feels Like Summer Φ
All My Favorite Songs ⊕
Undone – The Sweater Song
Surf Wax America Bϖ
El Scorcho ρ
Island in the Sun
Africa (Toto cover)
California Snow Blϖ
Say It Ain’t So
Buddy Holly

 

PNC Bank Center, July 20, 2018 Sands Bethlehem, December 3, 2016
Buddy Holly California Kids [white]
Beverly Hills  Hash Pipe
Pork and Beans My Name is Jonas
Undone – The Sweater Song (If You’re Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To [rad]
(If You’re Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To [rad] Pork and Beans
Perfect Situation Wind In Our Sail (Live Debut) [white]
My Name is Jonas Jacked Up [white]
El Scorcho ρ Perfect Situation
In the Garage Bϖ Thank God for Girls [white]
Why Bother? ρ Beverly Hills
Happy Together with a snippet of Green Day’s Longview Summer Elaine and Drunk Dori (Live debut) [white]
Keep Fishin’ (Brian Bell sings lead) ≅ Undone – The Sweater Song
Island in the Sun (Rivers solo) Island in the Sun (with Rivers’ acoustic solo version of Kiss’ “Beth”)
Take on Me (Rivers solo) King of the World [white] / Only in Dreams Bϖ [white]
Burndt Jamb ≅ Say It Ain’t So
Hash Pipe encore
Feels Like Summer [pd] Φ El Scorcho (Rivers solo on piano for first verse) ρ
Africa Buddy Holly
encore
The Good Life ρ
Say It Ain’t So
Paranoid (Black Sabbath, partial)

Songs from:

Weezer 1994
Pinkerton 1996
Weezer 2001
Maladroit 2002
Make Believe 2005
Weezer 2008
[rad]= Raditude 2009
[white] = Weezer 2016
[pd] = Pacific Daydream 2017

Bϖ = Weezer (blue album) (1994)
ρ = Pinkerton (1995)
Gϖ = Weezer (green album) (2001)
≅ = Maladroit (2002)
⊗ = Make Believe (2005)
Rϖ = Weezer (red album) (2008)
[rad]= Raditude 2009
[white] = Weezer 2016
Φ = Pacific Daydream (2017)
Tϖ = Weezer (teal album) (2019)
Blϖ = Weezer (black album) (2019)
⊕ = OK Human (2021)
√=Van Weezer (2021)

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[ATTENDED: August 20, 2021] The Interrupters: Hella Mega Tour: Green Day / Fall Out Boy / Weezer / The Interrupters [rescheduled from August 29, 2020]

I bought tickets for this show in September of 2019.  I knew it would be a ton of fun for the whole family.  And I was right!

All four of us loved the show (even if we got poured on mid set).

We arrived plenty early, but didn’t realize the super long line was the merch line.  So we were a little late to get on line.  But since there were four of us, we could take turns and the hour (!) wait didn’t seem all that bad.  Especially since we snagged some Federal Donuts (yum) mid-wait.

The only downside to the wait (I mean, it kept us out of the sun), was that we missed the first two songs by The Interrupters.  Well, actually we could hear them just fine, we just couldn’t see them.

We headed down to our seats during the fourth song and really only paid attention to them when they started the song after that.  Which happened to be their cover of Billie Eilish’s “Bad Guy” which was a ton of fun. (more…)

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SOUNDTRACK: WEEZER-Weezer (The Black Album) (2019).

When the Black Album was announced, the Weezer camp said it would be a reversion back to the blue album or Pinkerton (what people who lovehate Weezer have been wanting since they released the third album).  Well, despite that promise, this album proved to be a genre bending album full of disco beats, remarkably dumb lyrics (what’s up with that PhD Rivers) and of course, super catchy choruses.

No matter what Weezer does, it always sounds like Weezer–perhaps that’s just Rivers Cuomo’s voice or maybe his songwriting sounds the same in any genre.  So this album is almost forty minutes of Weezer in various forms (but nothing too outrageous for them).

“Can’t Knock the Hustle” brings in the disco with a funky 70s synth, backing oohs, and an unexpected mariachi flair when the “hasta luego/adios” line comes in.  Was there ever a less threatening thing than Rivers saying Don’t step to me, bitch.  “Zombie Bastards” is a really dumb lite reggae song but the chorus, with the presumably sampled Yea! is some dumb fun.

“High as a Kite” is a gentle song with some fun bouncy bass and one of the catchiest choruses around.  When you give up hating on Weezer, you can just accept that songs like this are really great to sing along to.  The middle section spreads some more 70s good cheer (with those nice bass notes again).  “Living in L.A.” is a little more aggressive sounding but really poppy with another knockout chorus.  I genuinely love singing along to these two songs.  Everyone thinks of Randy Newman as the “I Love L.A.” guy but by now, Rivers has written more songs about L.A. than anyone, I think.

“Piece of Cake” is a mellow synthy ballad.  It’s not as catchy, but the chorus has a nice hook.

“I’m Just Being Honest” actually sounds like it could be a Weird Al song.  Not musically but lyrically, since it’s basically a lot of truthful insults.  This hearkens back to Pinkerton days, but would do so more if there were some more rocking guitars.  “Too Many Thoughts in My Head” is the most disco of the bunch, with the wah wah guitar and slinky bass.  Even River’s voice sounds different in the verses–whispered and a little sinister.  The chorus rocks in that same slinky electronic style.

“The Prince Who Wanted Everything” is like a 70s monster riff song (although it’s not all that monster sounding) with a sweet chorus. It’s very organic sounding with lots of “do do dos.”  On the opposite end of things is “Byzantine” with its Casio drum beat and processed “ooh ooh oohs.”  It also has the strange pseudo-dis:

I want Neil Young on your phone speaker in the morning
and fuck him if he just can’t see
This is how his songs are supposed to be heard
no more lectures on fidelity.

This song suggests that Rivers was unfamiliar with Sparks before meeting this person, and I find that very hard to believe.

“California Snow” ends this disc with swirling keys and a big synth riff that sounds not unlike “Mr. Crowley”  There’s a sort of hip-hop vibe in the vocal delivery (which doesn’t really work, but whatever).  A catchy chorus is followed by a wholly different sound in the next verse–softer and more “Weezer.”

I don’t know if any new Weezer album is necessary, but I can still enjoy a half hour of Rivers and the guys.

[READ: October 10, 2020] “Le Nozze”

This issue of Harper’s has an essay about Shirley Hazzard on the release of her Collected Stories (from which this story comes).  The article raves about her writing particularly how hard she worked to find the perfect word.  Her most famous work is 1980’s Transit of Venus and she says she that had twenty or thirty drafts per page of the book.  She has written two short story collections, four novels, and a handful of nonfiction (some of which was very critical of the United Nations (!)).  I really enjoyed the essay which made me really want to read her novel.  But I can start with this short story.

In this story, a man and a woman are measuring his room to fit her chest of drawers.  They discuss how there is measuring in Figaro and she begins to sing some of it.  She says that she sang in school and he thinks about what that might have been like.

He is making room for her to move in. (more…)

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[POSTPONED: August 27, 2020] Hella Mega Tour: Green Day / Fall Out Boy / Weezer / The Interrupters [moved to August 20, 2021]

indexWhen this tour was announced I knew that I’d have to get tickets for the whole family to go to.  We haven;t all been to a big spectacle show and I thought this sounded like a great one.

My son likes Green Day.  My daughter likes Fall Out Boy.  We all like Weezer.  No brainer.

Neither of them have been to a big stadium show before.  I don’t love a stadium show really, but getting decent tickets would make it more fun to be sure.

The tickets were pricey, yes, but I managed to get pretty good seats (on the ground but near the back of those seats) and I thought it would be a great way to end the summer (even if I have no idea what Citizens Bank Park is like it was better than trying to get to CitiField in New York).

I was bummed that this tour was postponed since it was at the end of the summer and seemed so far away.  But they need to postpone a tour like this early and it was decided on May 19, so there was no waiting until the last minute.

There’s not much to say about any of these bands.  They’re all huge.  Musical purists don’t like any of them, but they write catchy songs and all of the songs are fun.

I have only seen Weezer, and if they put on the kind of show that they have been playing, that alone would be a great night.  But I’m pretty sure all three bands were going to pull out all the stops.  I think we were in for an exhausting night ( I assume with traffic we wouldn’t be home until like 2AM).

The Interrupters are a ska band with whose lead singer Aimee Interrupter sounds a bit like Brody Dalle from The Distillers. The rest of the band is three brothers: Jesse Bivona on drums, Justin Bivona on bass, and Kevin Bivona on guitar.  I’m still a fan of ska so I’m glad to see its (apparent) resurgence.  I hope it’s still of interest next year since i;d love to hear a new ska band.

I’m glad the show is being rescheduled.  The kids will all be one year older, which makes it even more fun for us all.

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SOUNDTRACK: WEEZER-Christmas EP (2000).

I heard a Weezer Christmas song this weekend when WRFF in Philadelphia was playing a Christmas takeover weekend–rock bands playing Christmas songs.

 I discovered the Christmas with Weezer EP, but the song they played was on this 2000 release.

That song is called “The Christmas Song” which is not any other Christmas song; it is a Weezer original.

With a heavy riff, Rivers sings a song of woe as the woman who told him she’d be there with him has stood him up and he is “waiting beside the tree all by myself.”

I like how the bridge features a note that sounds a bit like the “faaaaalll on your knees” part of “O Holy Night.”  Although it is actually, “Aaaaaaaah. Could you ever know how much I care?”  It’s got a very Weezer sound.

The other song on this release is called “Christmas Celebration.”  It’s a faster punkier song and despite the title, it is not much of a celebration .After a run-through of things that happens on Christmas

Carolers are singing
Registers ka-chinging
And the presents are in place
But I’d rather eat some mace
Cos that egg nog always makes me sick

we get to the crux.  Despite the “hoo hoo” at the end of each line, the vibe is negative.  The final repeated refrain is “The pageantry is such a bore.”

Not the most sentimental Christmas songs, although they are both quite catchy.

[READ: December 22, 2019] “Government Slots”

This year, S. ordered me The Short Story Advent Calendar.  This is my fourth time reading the Calendar.  I didn’t know about the first one until it was long out of print (sigh), but each year since has been very enjoyable.  Here’s what they say this year

The Short Story Advent Calendar is back! And to celebrate its fifth anniversary, we’ve decided to make the festivities even more festive, with five different coloured editions to help you ring in the holiday season.

No matter which colour you choose, the insides are the same: it’s another collection of expertly curated, individually bound short stories from some of the best writers in North America and beyond.

(This is a collection of literary, non-religious short stories for adults. For more information, visit our Frequently Asked Questions page.)

As always, each story is a surprise, so you won’t know what you’re getting until you crack the seal every morning starting December 1. Once you’ve read that day’s story, check back here to read an exclusive interview with the author.

Want a copy?  Order one here.

I’m pairing music this year with some Christmas songs that I have come across this year.

This was another of my favorite stories in the Advent Calendar.  It was so unexpected and thought-provoking.

I love how it starts on seemingly familiar ground with a list of three items: “three brown dahlias, pressed and dried; a photograph of a meadow in spring; a compass.”

It is Christmas Day and this federal office is open–the only federal office open. They are open every day because you never know.

An old woman comes past security and hands over her papers.  After an approval, she hands over her item–a sandwich bag full of cloud white fur.  But it is denied–nothing perishable or alive.

Another list of items: an endorsement letter signed by a cardinal; a miniature compendium of prayers for the dead; a pack of condoms. (more…)

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SOUNDTRACK: WEEZER-Christmas with Weezer (2008).

I heard a Weezer Christmas song this weekend when WRFF in Philadelphia was playing a Christmas takeover weekend–rock bands playing Christmas songs.

When I looked up the song, I found out that Weezer released this EP in 2008.  It had originally been released for a video game called Christmas with Weezer (?!).  Evidently the game was Tap Tap which featured 18 band-specific versions!

This EP has six songs in under 13 minutes.  Each one of the tracks is pretty straight-ahead Weezer guitar rock.  They are bouncy and short, with nothing weird or crazy in them.

“We Wish You A Merry Christmas” starts out with a quiet guitar and then just rocks out when the lyrics come in.  The song is quick and to the point–no messing around.  There’s figgy pudding, there’s a short guitar solo, there’s a key change and its all done in a minute and a half.

“O Come All You Faithful” moves along at a nice clip.  This song is often done rather slowly and this is a fun change of pace.  The back half has a part where the guitars fade out and its a quiet verse before they all come back in to rock the finish.

“O Holy Night” is two times longer than anything else on the EP.  It’s a 4 minute, quiet version with a simple, picked electric guitar melody.  That is until the Weezer guitars kick in after about 40 seconds.  The song is still respectful and very catchy

“The First Noel” starts with an unexpected four note heavy guitar riff before the song resumes it faithful lyrics.

“Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” has a rocking intro before a bass slide kicks the song into high gear.  This song romps through in 90 seconds.

“Silent Night” is a slower song with no drums, just tambourine.

This is a pretty ideal alternative collection of Christmas songs–nothing too crazy, but a nice change from the familiar.   Although it did not actually contain the song I was looking for.

[READ: December 21, 2019] “The Carnation Milk Palace”

This year, S. ordered me The Short Story Advent Calendar.  This is my fourth time reading the Calendar.  I didn’t know about the first one until it was long out of print (sigh), but each year since has been very enjoyable.  Here’s what they say this year

The Short Story Advent Calendar is back! And to celebrate its fifth anniversary, we’ve decided to make the festivities even more festive, with five different coloured editions to help you ring in the holiday season.

No matter which colour you choose, the insides are the same: it’s another collection of expertly curated, individually bound short stories from some of the best writers in North America and beyond.

(This is a collection of literary, non-religious short stories for adults. For more information, visit our Frequently Asked Questions page.)

As always, each story is a surprise, so you won’t know what you’re getting until you crack the seal every morning starting December 1. Once you’ve read that day’s story, check back here to read an exclusive interview with the author.

Want a copy?  Order one here.

I’m pairing music this year with some Christmas songs that I have come across this year.

This story is set in 1964 and concerns fourteen-year-old Charlotte.  She and her family were invited to the Halden’s house for a New Year’s Eve party.

The Haldens were the richest people her parents knew.  They lived in a mansion that her father liked to call The Carnation Milk Palace.  Charlotte’s family couldn’t even afford new things. It was quite a disparity.  Her mother painted things to try to make them current (which meant avocado green). (more…)

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[ATTENDED: October 24, 2019] A Brilliant Lie

I had taken C. to a couple of live shows before and he had been to see Ice Nine Kills with his friends.  But this was my first time taking him to see a club concert.

This was going to be a long night too.  Four bands!  With the opening band going on at 7 and Starset ending around 11 (and it was a school night!).

Despite leaving pretty early, between traffic, getting pizza on the way there and parking (dad was trying to be cheap and find street parking, but eventually had to give in and pay), we walked in about 2 songs into A Brilliant Lie’s set.

It was certainly a surprise to walk in and hear a band playing “Africa.”  It was even more of a surprise to hear them later say “Weezer can go away now, because, surely they were only playing this because Weezer re-popularized it, right?”  However, A Brilliant Lie’s version was pretty great–heavier and less exactly like the original.  They even did a “everybody get down” middle section and encouraged everyone to sing along (for better or worse). (more…)

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[ATTENDED: August 27, 2019] Mac Sabbath

When I saw that Okilly Dokilly was opening for Mac Sabbath I had to check out who this band was.  They’ve been around for a few years and this was their “American Cheese Tour” (that’s a good one).

And so basically, they are a Black Sabbath cover band, but all of their lyrics are about McDonald’s and the fast food industry in general.  So that’s pretty funny.  But that’s not all.  They have taken this concept to an absurd length.   Each band member is costumed or wears makeup.  And the costumes are phenomenal–not cheap little handmade things, but remarkably detailed and well constructed heads and bodies.  The attention to detail is really impressive.

The band members are also completely anonymous, which is also pretty funny.   And that is why they have such great band names:

The lead singer is Ronald Osbourne.
The guitarist is Slayer MacCheeze
The bassist is Grimalice (the least impressive name, it’s Grimace with an Alice in Wonderland hat on, but his other name is brilliant: “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butler.”)
On drums is Catburglar or Criss Cut Fries (he is dressed like the Hamburglar with Peter Criss Makeup).

I didn’t really think too much about the music before the show, I just wanted to see the stage show. (more…)

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