Longtime Sunshine: Weezer Fans are Satisfied in the Simple Things

I’ve written before about how Weezer has been busting out some old b-sides as part of their Memories tour (here and here).

Well, last night, they did something even more awesome than play an old b-side.  At a show in Austin, they played an unreleased (well, on the original album version) Pinkerton song, Longtime Sunshine.

The song was originally intended as the closer of Weezer’s abandoned rock opera, Songs from the Black Hole.  For a short time, Longtime Sunshine was going to be the final track on Pinkerton, but it got shelved in favor of Butterfly. In 2002,  Rivers Cuomo distributed an MP3 of his original demo to fans, and the track was later included on Cuomo’s first Alone album.  A different, experimental full band arrangement was featured on the Deluxe reissue of Pinkerton, and while the track has been a fan favorite since the days of the MP3, no one expected to ever hear a live version of the song.

Now, I have a feeling if the band doesn’t play this at a show, fans will riot.  And I wouldn’t blame them.  The performance is much different from the stripped-down acoustic versions we’ve heard.  Watch for yourself.

That dueling guitar solo just kills. And the fans singing along toward the end is great to hear.

I’ve been to a few Weezer shows (well, actually 11), and the setlist for last night’s show could be one of the best I’ve ever seen (the exclusion of Undone or Buddy Holly makes it a tough call):

Memories
The Greatest Man that Ever Lived
Perfect Situation
Dope Nose
Hash Pipe
You Gave Your Love to Me Softly
Susanne
Longtime Sunshine
Jamie
Only in Dreams

All of Pinkerton

No Beverly Hills or Island in the Sun, but Longtime Sunshine, Jamie, Susanne and Only in Dreams?  I need to invent a time machine and travel back in time to see this show.

Tragic Girl Adds a New Twist To Old Weezer

The official release date for Weezer’s Pinkerton Deluxe and Death to False Metal is a little more than two weeks away. But some of the new material for both albums is already out there. Seattle’s 107.7 The End is streaming Autopilot and The Odd Couple off Death To False Metal (both from the sessions for 2008’s The Red Album), along with a live version of El Scorcho and the newly-discovered Pinkerton-era track Tragic Girl from Pinkerton Deluxe.

I’m still in the process of listening (haven’t heard Tragic Girl yet) but I like what I hear so far.  Have a listen for yourself at blogs.1077theend.com/aharms/2010/10/14/new-music-weezer-from-death-to-false-metal-pinkerton-re-issue-here-stream/

Edit: I’ve listened to the three new songs a few (to be honest, more than a few) times and I’m happy.  Odd Couple is a sweet little number and Autopilot is a riff-driven new wave tune with a great bridge and interesting lyrics.

But the gem here is Tragic Girl.  I’m not 100 percent sure of the details, but the song was recorded in the summer of either 1996 (while recording some of the Pinkerton B-Sides, after the album proper was complete) or the following summer (for the Pink Triangle remix sessions).  Original bassist Matt Sharp did not play, as he was off galavanting with the Rentals.  Thematically, Tragic Girl fits in with the end of Pinkerton and would have fit in as either the second-to-last or last track.  The solo echoes that of Pink Triangle and the lyrics reference Butterfly. The song is a bit rough, and probably would have been edited had it been officially released.  But as it is, with its raw energy and emotion, it fits in perfectly with Pinkerton and is an amazing listen, even though we’ve had to wait 14 years for it.

Possible Pinkerton Deluxe Tracklist From Japan

Update 9/27: The official tracklist has been confirmed and is somewhat different from the below list. View the official tracklist here.

Yesterday I posted that a poster on a Weezer message board found a possible tracklist for Death to False Metal (hitting stores November 2), a compilation of unreleased Weezer material on a Japanese Web site.

Well today, I have some similar news; a poster on a Weezer message board found a possible tracklist for Pinkerton Deluxe (hitting stores November 2), a reissue of Weezer’s seminal 1996 album, along with a large number of unreleased and unheard songs. According to www.vanda.co.jp/300/MCO/P_UICY-1495/, the tracklist will be (all titles and comments translated through Google):

(1) Tired Of Sex (album version)
(2) Getchu (album version)
(3) No Other One (Album Version)
(4) Why Bother? (Album version)
(5) Across The Sea (album version)
(6) The Good Life (Album Version)
(7) El Sukorucho (album version)
(8) Pink Triangle (album version)
(9) Falling For You (album version)
(10) Butterfly (Album Version)
(11) Devotion
(12) Your Love To Me Softly You Geivu
(13) Waiting On You
(14) I Just Threw Out The Love of My Dreams
(15) The Good Life (acoustic version)
(16) Pink Triangle (acoustic version)
(17) You Will not Get With Me Tonight
(18) Tragic Girl
(19) I Swear It’s True
(20) The Good Life
(21) El Sukorucho
(22) Pink Triangle
(23) Why Bother?
(24) El Sukorucho
(25) Pink Triangle
(26) The Good Life
(27) The Good Life (Remix Radio)
(28) Pink Triangle (Radio Remix)
(29) Getting Up and Leaving (Alternate Take)
(30) Longtime Sunshine (Alternate Take)
(31) vs Blue Pinkerton Interview
(32) El Sukorucho (Acoustic Live 1996)
(33) Tired Of Sex (Rough Take)
(34) Getchu (Rough Take)
(35) Across The Sea Piano Noodles
(36) butterfly (Alternate Take)
(37) I’m So Lonely (demo Pinkerton Rivers)
(38) Getchu (Pinkerton Demo Rivers)
(39) Lisa (Pinkerton Demo Rivers)
(40) Negativland (Pinkerton Demo Rivers)
(41) Your Love To Me Softly Geivu You (Reverse Pinkerton Demo)
(42) When You’re Alone (Demo Pinkerton Rivers)
(43) Suzanne (Pinkerton Demo Rivers)
(44) There Is No Other One (Pinkerton Demo Rivers)
(45) Let Me Wash at Your Sink (Pinkerton Demo Rivers)
(46) Waiting On You (Reverse Pinkerton Demo)
(47) Oh No, This Is Not For Me (Demo Pinkerton Rivers)
(48) Tired of Sex (Pinkerton Demo Rivers)
(49) She’s Had a Girl (Demo Pinkerton Rivers)
(50) What Is This I Find? (Pinkerton Demo Rivers)
(51) Now I Finally See (Pinkerton Demo Rivers)
(52) Longtime Sunshine (Reverse Pinkerton Demo)
(53) Im A Lonely On A Saturday Night (Demo Pinkerton Rivers)
(54) Oh God I’m hungry (Pinkerton Demo Rivers)
(55) Im On A Fire, You’re a Liar (Demo Pinkerton Rivers)
(56) The End of My String (Pinkerton Demo Rivers)
(57) I Can Break Your Heart Slow (Demo Pinkerton Rivers)
(58) Money Makes Me Happy (Demo Pinkerton Rivers)
(59) My Minds On You (Reverse Pinkerton Demo)
(60) Defeat On The Hill (Demo Pinkerton Rivers)
(61) Clarinet Waltz (Pinkerton Demo Rivers)
(62) A glorious moment (Pinkerton Demo Rivers)

Last month, Weezer.com reported that accompanying Pinkerton Deluxe (though probably not released on 11/2) would be the third installment of Rivers’ Alone series, titled the Pinkerton Years. If that’s true, I’m guessing tracks 37-62 are Alone 3.

This is a very impressive collection of songs here. While it doesn’t look like there will be a full-band Superfriend or Blast Off!, this is probably all the mixed-down, final material available from the Pinkerton sessions, including the long-awaited, but never heard, Getting Up and Leaving.

As for the material on Alone 3, combined with the first two editions, we’ll finally have everything Rivers recorded for Songs from the Black Hole, his unfinished Space Rock Opera concept, plus what looks to be a number of other gems.

I know we just got a new Weezer album yesterday, but between Death to False Metal and Pinkerton Deluxe, I’m really looking forward to November 2.

Weezer Makes Some Interesting Choices For Their Next Album

More than a year ago, Weezer announced they would release a CD of material from past recording sessions that were never officially released.  The compilation, to be released November 2, is titled Death to False Metal (originally titled Odds and Ends), and is even being considered by Rivers Cuomo to be the band’s ninth album.

Keep in mind, Weezer’s eighth album, Hurley, was released today.

(Also hitting stores November 2 is a deluxe edition of Pinkerton, with loads of extra unheard material, but that’s neither here nor there).

As much as I’ve enjoyed the new Weezer material we’ve gotten in the past few years, I’m really looking forward to Death to False Metal.  Rivers is known for his prodigious songwriting and over the years, he and the band have recorded multitudes of songs that haven’t been heard by anyone outside Weezer.  Even though the material may be old (seemingly going back to 1998), it’s still being considered a new album, partially because Rivers has put some extra work in on the songs, as he told the AV Club while discussing ’98 era song Trampoline:

I just got stuck and had a verse and a chorus where I couldn’t figure out where to go. And just recently I was able to put in a new section, and some new chords and a guitar solo and a breakdown, and I just love it now.

The album itself will have ten tracks, although the band will release a number of other songs as bonus tracks in various regions.  In earlier interviews, Rivers confirmed that along with Trampoline, other tracks on the album include Autopilot, Everyone, Turn it Up and a cover of Unbreak My Heart. As for the rest of the album, nothing’s official, yet someone on the official Weezer message board says he’s found a Japanese site with a tracklist (in a manner similar to how I found the tracklist for the original Alone back in aught seven).  According to the site, the tentative tracklist (I’m guessing that songs 11 & 12 are the region-specific bonus songs) is:
01. Turn it Up
02. I Don’t Want Your Loving
03. Blowin’ My Stack
04. Losing My Mind
05. Everyone
06. I’m a Robot
07. Trampoline
08. Odd Couple
09. Autopilot
10. Unbreak My Heart
11. Outta Here
12. Yellow Camaro
If true, this should be a good listen, but one that will disappoint some people.  As I mentioned before, Weezer has a large amount of unreleased material from throughout their career.  You’re not going to make everyone happy in just ten tracks.  Having not heard any of these, it’s a bit hard to predict how the album will sound, but Rivers says some are poppy songs (Trampoline, Autopilot) and other are very heavy (Everyone, Blowin’ My Stack).

The surprising thing here to someone who has studied the Weezer recording history (not currently available on the revamped official site) is how many of these songs originate from the Make Believe Era. I Don’t Want Your Loving and Blowin’ My Stack are from 2003.  Losing My Mind, I’m a Robot, Unbreak My Heart and Outta Here are from the 2004 Make Believe Sessions.  Even Yellow Camaro, a Brian Bell composition already released as part of his side band, the Space Twins, was recorded during the early Album Five sessions in 2002.

As for the rest of the songs, the mystery sessions of 1998 are represented with Everyone and Trampoline.  Autopilot and Odd Couple are from the early Red Album Sessions.  And the albums first track, Turn it Up, is the latest version of 80s Radio, the song developed as part of Rivers’ Let’s Write a Sawng Project.

Obviously, I’m looking forward to Death to False Metal and any associated bonus tracks.  The scary thing is Weezer probably has enough material to make this a series and thus rule my life for the next few years.

Weezer Rocks and Surprises with Hurley

Today, Weezer releases their eighth album, Hurley. Past Weezer albums were always associated with a long period of anticipation- news would filter out (usually through the band’s Web site) that the band was recording a new album (along with pictures and song titles, if we were lucky). The band would go back-and-forth with song selection, maybe even take a break during recording. Then, a release date would be announced. Weeks later, the title would be revealed and a few weeks before the album release, the track list would leak out.

Compared to this historical schedule, Weezer’s Hurley is a big surprise.

New Weezer material is always anticipated around the Kingdom, but Hurley just seemed to sneak up on the world. The band first announced the album back in July- not the recording of an album, but the release date. The title and tracklist quickly followed, and now, in what seems like a blink of an eye since the initial announcement, Hurley is here.

And we at the Kingdom are glad.

Hurley is a good album. Actually, it’s better than that. Weezer has released some good albums, and even great ones (Green, Make Believe) in the past decade, but something about Hurley just feels like it fits right in with their two classic 90s-era albums. Hurley is full of surprises.

As I mentioned in my review of Raditude, I’m typically not a fan of musical collaborations. Once again, Rivers Cuomo used a number of co-writers for the album. But thankfully, there are no featured rappers or guest sitarists. The guest musicians are Ryan Adams on Run Away, Michael Cera on Hang On and a few others, musicians who actually fit on a Weezer record.

As for the songs, there are some genuine good, rocking songs on Hurley. The songwriting is good, featuring Rivers at his most poetic.  The band sounds good here.  Pat is rocking the drums and Rivers’ voice is outstanding, the best it’s been for a long time.  As for the songs, standouts include Ruling Me, Unspoken, Hang On and Smart Girls, which was one of the nicest surprises on Hurley. Prior to the album’s release, the Weezer community panned two songs based on their descriptions alone: Smart Girls and Where’s My Sex.

Smart Girls was described as an homage to the Beach Boys (as seen through the lens of The Beatles’ Back in the U.S.S.R.). As for Where’s My Sex, Rivers said in an interview he was inspired to write the song after his three-year old daughter was looking for some missing socks.

Based on those descriptions, it’s easy to see why these songs could potentially be considered clunkers. But the surprising nature of Hurley shows itself once again: these are good songs. Smart Girls is a fun, poppy rocker (but then again, I like Back in the U.S.S.R.) complete with what feels like the only guitar solo on the album. And for all its goofiness, Where’s My Sex is a fun song that’s a decent listen. There are some other decent songs on here too- lead single Memories, Run Away and Brave New World, which is saved by an incredible bridge.

There are two songs, however, that I can’t get behind. Trainwrecks sounds like it lives up to its name-it goes nowhere. And album closer Time Flies is a low-fi pile of meh.

Something else I can’t get behind is the deluxe version of Hurley, which is something of a departure for me. For The Red Album and Raditude, the deluxe editions contain some of those album’s best songs. For Hurley, I have to wonder if deluxe is even worth it. There are four tracks: All My Friends are Insects, Viva La Vida, I Want to Be Something and Represent. All My Friends are Insects and Represent are available elsewhere (and in the case of Represent, the other version is superior). Viva La Vida, aside from being a cover of the most pretentious song ever, is from a live show which has been available for more than a year. The one new tune is I Want to Be Something, a Rivers acoustic demo that should have been on an Alone instead.  (UPDATE 9/14: Went to Borders, the same place I’ve gotten each of the last four Weezer albums on their release day to pick up Hurley.  Standard was $10.  Deluxe was $20.  No way was I going to pay an extra $10 for those four songs).

My minor quibbles with the deluxe edition aside, Hurley is still a solid Weezer album that feels like it’s a Weezer album. Even though it’s been a bit of a surprise, I’d like to take my time and enjoy it, but I don’t think that’s likely.

In seven short weeks (November 2),Weezer’s former label will release not one, but two compilations featuring old and new material. I’ve already said plenty about the first, Pinkerton Deluxe. The second, Death to False Metal (original title: Odds and Ends) features ten unreleased tracks from 1993-2008 including a cover of Unbreak My Heart (originally recorded for Make Believe) and unheard Weezer tunes Auto Pilot (from the Red Album sessions) and Trampoline and Everyone (recorded during the summer of ’98- a time period I’m obsessed with).

With all this material on the way, it’s a great time to be a Weezer fan.

Surprises like Hurley just make it better.

Weezer Pays Homage To The New Dude In Charge

It’s looking like it will be a good fall for Weezer fans. Even with the Pinkerton Deluxe (no tracklist yet) retrospective, unreleased tunes compilation Odds and Ends (same here) and possibly another installment in the Alone Series (your guess is as good as mine) coming this fall, Weezer is releasing their eighth studio album on September 14.

Rolling Stone had some details about the upcoming album, entitled Hurley, hinting that its title may be inspired by one our favorite characters here at the Kingdom:

After parting ways with their longtime label Geffen/Interscope, Weezer will release Hurley — which may be named after the portly Lost character — through California-based punk label Epitaph.

Seems that like Raditude, this album will feature a few collaborations, but unlike Raditude, these collaborations will be with more rock-influenced artists, like Mac Davis, who wrote In The Ghetto for Elvis Presley (the other King).

As revealed on the Alone II album, much of Rivers’ early material was influenced by the pop sounds of the Beach Boys.  In a way, Hurley could represent a return to Rivers’ roots.  From RS:

Instead, Hurley will focus on the melodies and major chords of traditional ’60s pop. In addition to the planned first single “Memories,” other new tracks include “Ruling Me” and “Hang On,” another pop-rock track that “sounds like Frankie Valli but mixed with Metallica guitars.” There’s also “Smart Girls,” Cuomo’s ode to all the girls that proposition on him on Twitter. … “Smart Girls,” which Cuomo compares to the Beatles’ “Back in the U.S.S.R.” in the sense that it sounds like someone else writing a “cheesy Beach Boys type of song.”

In case you have to ask, yes, I’m looking forward to this.  Speaking of things I’m looking forward to, the Lost DVD set coming out later this month will have a look at what Island life is like under the Hugo Reyes regime.

Waiting and Waiting (for Pinkerton Deluxe)

UPDATE September, 2010: A Japanese Web site posted a possible tracklist, view it here.

Last fall, Weezer announced a special Deluxe Edition of their second album, 1996’s Pinkerton would appear in stores in February or March 2010.  Not only would this deluxe album feature the 10 tracks of Pinkerton, it would also contain demos, alternate versions and possibly other unreleased gems like a full-band version of Superfriend (from Songs from the Black Hole), Getting Up and Leaving or even the (now) mythical track Tragic Girl.

Last November, I wrote a post speculating what would comprise Pinkerton Deluxe, and I’ve gotten some traffic to the Kingdom thanks to it.  Well, I feel it necessary to post an update: It’s February (almost March) and we’re going to have to wait a little longer for the album.

Weezer Homie Karl Koch posted on allthingsweezer this week that while the tracklist is done, we will have to wait a little longer for Pinkerton Deluxe.  No word on how much longer.

However, before we get Pinkerton Deluxe, we can expect Odds and Ends, a CD featuring a number of unreleased Weezer songs that were recorded for album releases, but never saw the light of day.  If you want to speculate on what songs will be on Odds and Ends, you better have some time on your hands.  All I can say is check out the Weezer Recording History, and anywhere you see a song mentioned as being recorded during an official album session, you have a potential O+E track.

Weird Al Don't Care About That

Back in ’96 there was some confusion amongst fans of “Weird Al” Yankovic and Weezer (overlapping fan groups for me) as to why Weird Al would thank Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo in the liner notes of his newest album Bad Hair Day when there wasn’t anything resembling a Weezer song on the album.

Turns out Al had wanted to include a sample of Buddy Holly in BHD’s Alternative Polka, but due to a misunderstanding, didn’t get word that he didn’t have permission to do so until after the notes had been printed.

In the recent years, things seemed to have been smoothed out between Weird Al and Weezer, as Weezer let Al use a sample of Buddy Holly for Poodle Hat’s Angry White Boy Polka and one of Al’s latest singles, Skipper Dan, sounds similar to Weezer’s Pork and Beans.

Well, last night, after 13 years of being buried in the vaults, Weird Al released through his Twitter the 20-or-so second clip of Buddy Holly removed from Alternative Polka, which you can listen to here.

True, it’s only 20 seconds and sounds exactly how you think it would sound, but it’s nice to know things are good between Weird Al and The Weezers.

Who Will Have The Titular Line On Weezer's Raditude?

Back in aught-five, when I heard the title of Weezer’s fifth album was to be “Make Believe,” I wasn’t quite sure what to think. Sure, it grew on me, but there was some initial uncertainty.

Today, after learning the title of Weezer’s seventh album (coming October 27) will be “Raditude,” I feel a similar uncertainty.

At first, I read the title as “Ratitude,” which would have been even worse, considering the last decent album about rats was Michael Jackson’s “Ben.”

But then I fully woke up and read the title correctly. Still, I suppose it could have been worse (“Brownerton,” “Maladroit II: Maladroit Harder”). And knowing me, it will grow on me.

The title could make sense given Rivers Cuomo’s ongoing transformation into Good Ol’ Fun Time Rivers. Either way, I’m looking forward to hearing who has the titular line.

UPDATE: According to Rivers’ Twitter (twitter.com/RiversCuomo), we have Rainn Wilson to thank for the title. I’m not going to any of this summer’s Blink/weez shows, but if Weezer ends up playing the Schrute Farms Beetfest, I am so there.

Weird Al: Skipper Dan and Beans

I’ve previously shared my opinion that “Weird Al” Yankovic is one of the greatest musical genuises of our time.  Al is known mostly for his song parodies, but he also has a large number of original songs, most of which are style parodies/homages.  Some of these, like Twister, Frank’s 2,000″ TV and Dare to Be Stupid (not to mention One More Minute, which isn’t an homage to any one artist) stand right up there with some of Al’s best parodies.

Well, Al has released his newest song, Skipper Dan, and if you ask me, it’s a style parody of a song that was huge last summer (and of which you could say I was a fan).  I think he’s got this one down- even to leaving out the guitar solo.

Skipper Dan

He didn’t even throw in a drum solo!