Rivers Cuomo might stab you in the eye.
There was a time in my life that I wanted to be Rivers Cuomo. As I discovered rock music in middle school, The Green Album was on heavy rotation (along with Green Day and 3 Doors Down). At the time he seemed like a perfect icon for the nerd life I was experiencing (“He has glasses!”). I wasn’t the only one. A good friend spent multiple years thinking Weezer’s “In the Garage” went “in the garage/I feel safe/no one cares about my weight” because it made sense. It made perfect sense for all the angry little geeks in the Midwest. It doesn’t matter we didn’t know what a hash pipe was; we loved it.
It’s with Weezer’s recent actions that I reexamine what initially drew me to Mr. Cuomo: he might be insane and he doesn’t give a damn.It should be noted that Mikey Welsh left the band in 2001 for mental conditions in a way that is not funny for me to write about, but this little bit of rock trivia means either Rivers is a solid pillar of mental stability, able to withstand the harsh life of criticism and success; or Cuomo went so far over the deep end years ago that he eluded psychiatric help.
Jorge Garcia is the album cover to their upcoming album, Hurley. This is huge for Lost fans as the lovable and rotund Hurley now steps to the front of the pack after Ben Linus and John Locke as the most likely pop culture icon when future VH1 nostalgia shows looks back on this decade. (Sample Michael Ian Black for when that occurs: The Hurley album? It sure was an appropriate cover; I sure got lost in that album. [grins])
The band’s recent announcement that they’d like to tour this summer exclusively playing tracks from The Blue Album and Pinkerton shows they’re in touch with their fan base. What explanation is there then for the recent Raditude and Red Album? It was a simpler time when I believed Cuomo and Company simply didn’t have their minds in the same artistic track anymore. This happens sometimes; No Doubt embraced dancehall, Pink embraced pop (she used to be marketed urban), and Incubus embraced doing drugs instead of recording.
The “Blinkerton” Tour suggests that Weezer is perfectly aware of what their fans want, they just don’t give a shit what you want to listen to. Chuck Klosterman has wrote on Rivers being one of the recent artists to truly write about what matters to him. If that’s true, then Japanese girls and teenage angst has given away to celebrating Hollywood and thinking Lil’ Wayne is the best possible collaboration. The old 90s rockers are rolling in their flannel, Rivers. And you’re smirking all the way.
There is two main paths Rivers can go from here; either he snaps and ends up running the tour bus into a ravine or he maintains the band for another decade and ushers Weezer into some sort of weird rock legend that has a heavy concentration of pop songs in their catalog.