I have problems letting go. Need an example? Despite hating it since, say, its second season, I still watched all of Entourage. I’m not proud of this. I feel like I should be admitting it at some sort of anonymous meeting. But perhaps it’s slightly defensible, though: everyone else was hate-watching it too, after all.
Weezer may be a better example, and not just because they’re the focus of this post. 1994’s Weezer and 1997’s Pinkerton were important and transformative albums for me. I love them to this day. Unlike many, though, I haven’t been able to walk away from the band as they released bad album after bad album. I didn’t disagree with the general consensus (even if some reviews were ridiculously harsh) but I always found something to grasp onto: a song, a demo, a performance. I didn’t love Weezer, but I loved the idea that if someone could lose it as quickly as Rivers Cuomo did, perhaps one could get it back just as quickly some day.
Obviously, that hasn’t quite happened. Sure, there have been some bright spots — the Home Recordings series is worth your time, front to back, embarrassments (“This Is The Way”) included — but everything is fragmented. Pinkertoncame out more than 15 years ago (ugh), and there’s not that much to show for it.
And yet, I’ve heard it all. I’ve heard everything the band has released officially. I’ve heard every demo that Rivers Cuomo has leaked to the web. Hell, I once had the chance to hear a rare song and leak it. If there’s a sad way to sum up my life, it’s this: I’m a Weezer scholar.
I thought I might put this “expertise” to some good use by building a fake album for your enjoyment. You can find it below, courtesy of my favorite streaming service Rdio. Like Weezer’s best albums, it’s ten tracks. I limited myself to original songs from 2001’s Weezer onward. I also picked songs that were released for purchase on an album, including “deluxe” editions. I did this for two reasons: Weezer is terrible at sequencing albums (four of these tracks come from deluxe editions, and one other comes from Death to False Metal, an album composed of album cast-offs) and I doubt anyone’s too interested in hearing scratchy and hastily arranged demos based on a nugget of a good idea. Finally, I omitted singles, because you’ve likely heard them, and likely hate them (“Photograph”would have been the only contender.)
I hope you enjoy it. I listen to Weezer so you don’t have to … minus today.