9. Weezer – Weezer (The Blue Album)
Weezer! I like Weezer. Glad I got out of the way early. Okay, my first taste of Weezer was prolly the same as most people… it was that Happy Days video for Buddy Holly. I remember thinking “what the hell? Is Fonzie dancing like one of those crazy Russians? Whatver…” The song was catchy, though. It (and Undone [The Sweater Song], and Say It Ain’t So) got a fair amount of radio play in that short period of time we listened to a non-country radio station at the Greenhouse. Yeah.. check this one. It used to be that at the Greenhouse we’d listen to B-93 (Country) in the morning, then KLQ or GRD (Alterna-rock) in the afternoon, or visa-versa (with the occasional LAV for classic rock). Well, one day, our boss (I won’t say much about him, except that I didn’t believe him to be a born leader… and his last name was the same as the name of the Greenhouses….) decided that we couldn’t listen to the Alterna-rock stations anymore, because he heard a reference to drug use in one of the songs. From that point on, we were a “country only” workplace. Consequently, I know a lot of country (“Come on, Patty, Get it together”).
Okay, so I know Weezer’s radio hits, and think they’re pretty nifty, but nothing out of the ordinary…. I don’t own any of their albums, but I borrow the blue album, and put it on tape (on the back side of my John Lennon’s Shaved Fish album.).. I proceed to never listen to it. Years roll by.
Summer after my Sophomore year of College. Job market = ‘teh suck’ (Teh suck –> “Suck” in noun form. See also “Carrot top“) So after my brother, Jefe’s marriage, I move out to Indiana with Sven to work at the mobile home park. While there, I meet “The Illiana Guys“: including Mike, Jeff, Keith, Paul, and Josh. This group (sans Josh, plus Sven) was the group ‘o guys I went to Florida with during Christmas ’99/New Years 2000. This group (w/ Josh, and Sven) were a ton of fun to hang out with… they taught me how to drink.. they made me learn to like beer, they peed on our sofa (we got rid of that sofa… or it’s still at 711… heh.. it’s prolly still at 711), and I got to be in a band with Mike and Jeff (with plenty of background vocals by the rest of the group.) Anyway, the group, and I recall Jeff especially, really liked Weezer. So I got a chance to listen to them again.. and behold, they were very good. I had never heard Pinkerton before, and some of the songs (especially Butterfly) just blew me away. I was taken with how great the lyrics were. At first glance they seemed simplistic… but the more I listened, the more complex, and clever/deep/good/etc they seemed. When returned home I acquired both albums.
Flash forward [that show ruled!]. It’s Senior year, and I’m working in Holland at Everything/Blockstackers. It’s about a 40 minute drive, if traffic is okay, and I don’t get stuck behind a parked train across 8th street in downtown Holland because Holland is frickin retarded and trains just up and park across the whole frickin street and people get stuck waiting for 20 frickin minutes when all they want to do is go home and go to sleep. Um.. as I was saying, it’s about a 40 minute drive usually, and I had one tape that I listened to. On one side was Weezer’s Blue album, and the other, Pinkerton. I listened to that tape every single trip to and fro, save for one week, when I listened to “Starship Titanic” by Douglas Adams on Audio book. Anyway, that’s a lot of listening, and I absolutely loved it, never tiring of it… It possessed “singability“, which is a requirement for being a good “in the car” album. It was more or less in my zone, which, quite frankly, is limited, unless I’ve been drinking, or have had such a bad/good day that I don’t care. In all fairness, this slot really ought to be both the Blue Album and Pinkerton, but since I felt guilty enough including double discs, I didn’t want to rock the boat any more with including two albums in one slot. Of the two, I prefer this one slightly more.. mainly because it contains the song “The World Has Turned and Left Me Here“, which is by far my favorite Weezer song ever. It also has “Only in Dreams“, which I occasionally believe to be the work of pure genius, and other times believe to simply be a gift given by some benevolent diety… perhaps it is both. This was also the album that introduced me to Weezer, and it gets extra points for that. The thing that hit me about Weezer that I really liked is that they made it sound so easy… like “hey.. I could do that.. just write lyrics about what’s going on.. and what you’re thinking, and put some catchy riffs behind it… piece of cake… then you try it, and found out how hard it really is. It’s not some elaborate production.. It sounds like a bunch of guys you could’ve been friends with in college.. and then bam!, they’re playing songs, and they don’t suck.