Rivers Cuomo Solo in Boston

With the impending release of the third volume in Rivers Cuomo’s Alone series, I’ve been listening to a lot of his solo stuff lately.

Rivers has written hundreds of songs, many of which have been released on Weezer’s nine-plus albums. Others have been released on solo CDs, or given directly to fans through the magic of filesharing. But there’s also a handful of songs that we don’t have official versions of, having been bootlegged from a small number of solo shows during late 1997 and early 1998.

In the fall of 1997, Rivers lived in Boston, intending to resume his studies at Harvard. However, he didn’t go back to school and returned to Los Angeles in early 1998, to focus on Weezer. While in Boston, he played five shows with a group of local musicians under the name of Homie. The setlists were made up of potential Weezer songs (Rosemary, Baby, The Prettiest Girl in the Whole Wide World, Little Sister, 1,000 Years, American Girls) and older material he would label as “goofy” and “country.”

Of the second group, the material ranged from songs written right after the release of the Blue Album (I’ll Think About You) to songs written in the midst of Pinkerton (Sheila Can Do It). The songs were received well, both by the audience during the shows (despite the one drunken woman crowing “I wanna hear the sweater song”) and by fans who heard the songs via tapes (remember those?) and later MP3s.

I actually heard these early on, as the fan who bootlegged them sent me a copy in January ’98 after the final Boston show. Even though the recording quality wasn’t great, I listened to the tape enough to wear it down. Other Weezer fans also hold these songs in high regard. Two members of the allthingsweezer fan community recorded a killer cover version of ten of the songs (despite not having access to the official lyrics or music), if you want to check it out, they (still) have a MySpace page.

Anyway, as I mentioned in the intro, I was listening to some of these songs today, and realized the MP3 tag said the show was held on November 21, 1997. Fourteen years later, and we still don’t have official versions of most of these songs. But at least we have the bootlegged versions. If you want to give it a listen, download the show on Mediafire at http://www.mediafire.com/?tnb6o35652vx365.

Here’s the show info, according to Weezerpedia:

Homie show #2, 11/21/97 at TT & the Bear’s, Boston, MA

The following is the second “Homie Tryout” show, which took place on November 211997. In addition to Rivers, Kevin Stevenson of the Shods plays guitar. A bootleg tape exists.

  1. Autumn Jane
  2. Hey M’Darlin’
  3. Sheila Can Do (It)
  4. Think About (AKA’ sesame street’)
  5. The Good Life
  6. Stay There
  7. Wanda
  8. Sunshine O
  9. Fun Time
  10. American Girls
  11. Hot Tub — Encore
  12. No One Else

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