Must have been awkward buying the condoms.
Sadly, no “Eddie Van Helsing” this year. There was also a more fantastical idea I had involving the main cast I decided to put on the back-burner. Fact is, I feel I’ve put myself in a corner doing fantastical stories like I have the last year or so. So I’m gonna do something more simple and straight-forward for the time being. Hope you guys like it.
2009 through 2010 wasn’t a good time for me, least of all musically. My early attempts at music criticism for “Oh Goodie!” quickly led to burn out, as I was either heavily disappointed or infuriated by what I was listening to. Attempting to listen Nickelback will do that to you.
I’d had a fair amount of patience for what Weezer had done post-“Pinkerton”, but that patience was starting to run out around the time of the “Red Album”. The witty irony of Rivers Cuomo’s songs had been replaced with what I felt were cloying attempts at mainstream acceptance. No one should ever have to hear Rivers Cuomo sing the word “biyotch”.
Granted I didn’t have the brightest outlook on life at the time anyway, but this and a few other incidents made me feel that everything only exists to eventually disappoint you. Life is just a slow trudge through meaninglessness and misery, and then we die. There’s no point in being passionate about anything.
…Shows what a pretentious, mopey prick I was, because Weezer eventually proved me wrong.
While “Back to the Shack” is probably, overall, the weakest track on “Everything Will Be Alright In The End”, it’s a statement of purpose I don’t think I’ve ever heard from an artist before. Usually, you’ll see artists be self-deprecating and admit their failures only in interviews. The only artist I think I’ve seen talk about this in their songs before was Eminem apologizing for “Encore” and “Relapse”. That said, it’s an oddly genius move to show fans what this new record is about. Rivers is basically going: “Those pop/dance tracks we did that you hated? This ain’t that.” I fully admit it’s the track that made me sit up, take interest, and check out the record.
A popular trend in reviewing new Weezer records is comparing it to “Pinkerton”, which I always found pointless. I’m neutral on “Pinkerton” myself, but if you love that record, don’t set yourself up for disappointment by hoping Weezer will make a direct sequel to it. What “Everything Will Be Alright In The End” has done instead is take the emotional resonance of that record, then blended it with the crisp production and universal themes of their poppier material.
It’s clear that the current status of the rock world is on Rivers’ mind, and Weezer’s place in it today. “Eulogy For A Rock Band” puts these feelings right on the forefront, feeling they’ve had “a good run” by “time moves on”. Rather than mimic the self-loathing portions of “Pinkerton”, it’s introspective while remaining lively. It’s not a dirge, it’s a celebration.
It should be noted that, like the previous Weezer records, there are collaborations with outside songwriters. This time though, the collaborators are mostly fitting, as in they’re actually from other rock bands. Justin Hawkins co-writes “I’ve Had It Up To Here” (with Rivers even gamely mimicking his falsetto), Patrick Stickles of Titus Andronicus co-writes “Foolish Father”, and members of Ozma co-wrote “Eulogy”.
Easily the best collaboration though, and possibly the best track on the album, comes from Bethany Cosentino of Best Coast with “Go Away”. Presented as a back-and-forth duet between a couple breaking up, she and Rivers have remarkable vocal chemistry. The premise and lyrics are a tad simplistic, but not in a bad way and the emotions of the singing and music are what carry it, particularly during the bridge.
The album even ends with a multi-section piece known as “The Futurescape Trilogy”, beginning with the menacing fuzz-laced instrumental “The Wasteland”, continuing with the piano-led group sing-a-along of “Anonymous”, ending with the bombastic “Return to Ithika”. Unlike the disastrous “Greatest Man Who Ever Lived” on the “Red Album”, this one rarely gets bogged down and is just plain fun. A great way to end the record.
So why go on about all this? Why write a week’s worth of comic strips on the matter?
Because I feel in today’s day in age, it’s easy to cry out “worst thing ever”, write certain artists off because we were disappointed, and never give them the time of day again. We have to remember they’re people too, and we need to remember to still being open to being surprised and delighted by what they do, especially if we don’t expect it. A moment’s disappointment is no reason to cut yourself off completely.
Weezer has made some bad music. I don’t discount the idea that they can still make bad music in the future. But I recommend “Everything Will Be Alright In The End” because it actually made me feel something and think differently for a change.
To sell certain entertainment short is to sell your own experiences short.
As some of you may recall, I had taken to posting exclusive “Oh Goodie!” comics to my Tumblr pages last year. My logic was since the majority of updates I do are story-based, the non-story based ones should go somewhere special. In hindsight, that was a dumb idea and I’m not doing that anymore. I’m embracing a new policy of “updating for the sake of it”, with whatever I happen to come up with that day. Everything will find its way in time.
Bearing that in mind, the previous “Quick Ones” have now been added to the archive and any future ones will be properly posted here on the site. Check them out by clicking on the comic below!
My printer actually got me my books ahead of time, and properly printed to boot.
…Guys, I’m stumped. I’m not used to my printer doing things RIGHT.
See you at Rose City!
Posted In: News
So I freely admit this: “Ten Thousand Lightyears” is my favorite “Oh Goodie!” story I did last year. I wanted to show something off for Rose City Comic Con next month, and “Oh Goodie! Vol. 4” won’t be ready until next Spring, so I thought “New stapled book!”. This’ll be an exclusive for the show, so hope you guys like it!
I’ve been a huge fan of Adam Cooper’s website GuitarGeek for over a decade. His illustrations of famous guitar rigs (formerly featured in Guitar World‘s “Vulgar Display of Power” section) have set a standard, and are part of what I credit getting me into guitar gear as much as I am. He’s an innovator and an inspiration.
And right now, he needs help.
His youngest daughter, Jane, is dealing with life-threatening heart, lung, and intestinal issues. Adam and his wife have been caring for her while raising their other children and maintaining their home life. Right now, she’s in intensive care and on the list for heart/lung transplants.
Right now, Jane needs help.
The image below links to YouCaring.com. If you have anything to spare, please donate to help Jane. And if you like, click on the GuitarGeek banner and click on some of the ads. It’ll still help Adam and his family.