News and Views with the King

Hey gang. A few things:

-I can’t shop at Kroger anymore. They have this woman, Connie Cayhill-something or other come over the PA every few minutes talking about ice cream. Her voice is not what I want to hear when I’m trying to figure out what to cook this week.

-In the past few days, four different people e-mailed me about Rivers making the news. Interesting story, but it’s nothing new. Someone as headstrong as him would decide to extend his two-year vow of poverty. If he was simple to figure out, then life wouldn’t be as fun. The best thing about the whole story is from the Blender interview that kicked off all the ruckus. The last question is whether he’s a breast man or an ass man. His answer: “I forgot.” Rivers is awesome.

-I might need to rescind that last comment momentarily while looking at Rivers’ picks for the top songs of aught-five. His choices are b-a-n-a-n-a-s. Interesting thing about that article- Rivers beat out the other contributors, including Harvard’s president for top billing. I’ll never got the ivy league.

-Finally, I don’t know what to think about this: Kamala the Ugandan Giant Sings. It’s right up there with “Hulkster in Heaven” and Randy Savage’s rap album. Just make sure you have your speakers up loud. Bonus points if you check it while at work.

She wore Lemon

So I went with the Civee last night to see U2 up in Cleveland.

They put on a great show- I’m not the world’s biggest U2 fan, but I knew most of the songs on the set list.

The stage set was pretty impressive. There was this oval walkway circling half of the floor, and these big screens of light-beads which would come down during certain songs.

Institute, the band led by former Bush frontman Gavin Rossdale, opened for U2. Honestly, I wasn’t impressed by them. They really didn’t sound all that different from Bush, and Gavin did this weird skipping-around to get around the oval walkway. The one good part of their set was Machinehead. They played one other Bush song, but I wasn’t that familiar with it.

U2’s set was solid, for the most part. Bono is an energetic frontman- and he made his way around the oval many times, avoiding the skipping motions that made Gavin look ridiculous. Like I said earlier, I knew most of the songs on the set list- and they only played two songs from their most recent album.

They played three covers-all Lennon compositions- Norwegian Wood, Help and Instant Karma. My only problem with these was they only played half of Norwegian Wood- ignoring the part where he burns her apartment down.

My disappointment with the show- they didn’t play Lemon. There was at least one voice in the audience shouting for the song. Why they left this gem off the setlist is beyond me.

Man in video

The drummer in the glass cage of emotion

So Weezer’s performance on AOL sessions is finally online.

I think it’s a really good performance- they did Buddy Holly, Beverly Hills, Perfect Situation, Island in the Sun and Don’t Let Go. And the attached interviews are interesting too.

The best track of the sessions is easily Don’t Let Go. I was a fan of the Green version, but they’ve been playing it differently- changing the key of the song and adding a synth line. It was already an energy-packed song, but they’re just great on the Sessions version. It’s also nice to have an “officially recorded” new version of the song.

Something else: Last week, I saw Pride and Prejudice. Wrote about it for the Morning Toast.

Best Album Ever…well, if it happened

From a Ben Folds interview in NME about Bill Shatner’s Has Been:

Q: Is it true you were close to working with Bill Clinton?

A: Oh yeah! Shatner called him on the phone and he called right back and then Shatner calls me and he said ‘Benny, I just talked to the president!’ He was so excited! Clinton said he was interested in doing it but said, ‘Just don’t make me sound like shit!’ But we took longer to get into production by about six months and then the election season was coming up, so we couldn’t make it happen. I wanted Weezer to come in and play the track and then I wanted Clinton in a booth with Shatner and have it go down all at once.

As it is, Has Been is a solid album that I can get behind. But if the Weez (not to mention the other guest mentioned) had been on board, well that would have just been super cres.

Also, I just finished an article (more like a rant, but oh well) for B. Vaughn’s the Morning Toast. Check it out here.

24: The show that breeds weezer video guest stars

First Clöhe, now this:

(from mtv):

[about weezer’s upcoming video for Perfect Situation] according to Weezer’s label, Geffen Records, the role will be played by none other than “24” star Elisha Cuthbert, who might not have the musical chops for the role, but, well, is plenty hot.

Who’s next? George Mason as the backup voice in the This is Such a Pity video? Jack Bauer as the titular role in You’re My Best Friend? Dennis Hopper as the person who holds Rivers in Hold Me?

Number Eight

Last night, my associate Gianluigi and I drove up to Cleveland to catch the Weezer-Foo Fighters show at Cleveland State University.

The Foo Fighters and openers Kaiser Chiefs rocked, but who am I kidding? I was only there to see one band, and the weez was worth it.

Last night was the eighth time (in five years) that I’ve seen Weezer live. I can honestly say (and GL concurred with me on this one) that last night, they were musically at their best. In a way, it was almost like seeing an entirely different band. They’ve always been musically tight, never playing too sloppy. Last night though, they were all that and more. They rocked and had fun doing so.

Lead singer/guitarist Rivers Cuomo was like a human dynamo. He was way more chatty than ever before, even taking a few minutes to talk about tour buses and drummer Pat Wilson’s sick baby. Rivers also didn’t mind letting others take the spotlight, letting every member of the band front at least one song. During El Scorcho, Rivers gave up lead guitar duties and actually walked/danced/staggered around the stage while singing. Like I said, totally different.

Don’t Let Go was different (in a good way), with a lot of synth added in the opening and solo. Sounded like a new song.

Last time I saw the band, I was disappointed they didn’t play This is Such a Pity, but they remedied that last night- and if I had to decide on one song, I’d say that was the song of the night.

Some other highlights:
-Brian sang lead on Why Bother, giving it a different feel- he also kicked some ass with the solo.
-Scott singing lead on Dope Nose. I didn’t see that one coming- and he did a great job.
-First cover of the night: Big Me
-Pat and Rivers switching drum and guitar duties for Photograph. After seeing Pat’s hideous pants (And non-matching shirt), I can see why he sits behind the drum kit the other 99% of the time. Although, that was forgivable as he looked like he was really having fun with Photograph. At the end of the song, the whole band just busted into Song 2, in another WTF moment. GL said they missed the first verse, but it was still rocking.

After a brief break, Rivers, from the back of the arena, played a solo acoustic version of Island in the Sun, then joined the band and a lucky fan onstage for Undone and Buddy Holly.

Like I said, the Kaiser Chiefs and Foo Fighters were great too, but this was definitely the best weezer has ever been musically. There weren’t any shenanigans like at the last weezer show (unless you count GL getting molested), but it was definitely a great time.

Let’s go Yankees!

-Kaiser Chiefs had a song where the lead singer banged away on a cowbell. I believe they stole this gimmick from TV’s Mike Raymond.

-On the drive there, didn’t listen to either the Foo or the Weez.

-I think it’s a rule at these things where if you’re older than 45 and have either a ponytail or facial hair, you HAVE to wear a leather jacket.

Finally…weezer tix

After trying multiple times since Friday night, I’ve finally gotten through Ticketmaster’s crappy online ordering system and have tickets for the weezer show in Cleveland on October 8.

It’s part of the Foo-Weez tour, and word on the street is that they’re trading off headlining for each show. Let’s hope the Cleveland show is one that weezer headlines.

Doesn’t look like the band will be playing Columbus this go-around, so unfortunately, Weez-a-palooza ’05 may not happen.

You kids don’t know Grand Funk?!

So this weekend, I worked at the Ohio State Fair, manning a booth for my place of employment.

Believe it or not, working at the fair is actually fun. You get to meet the most interesting people. In the past, I’ve gotten people who want to know where the lottery booth is (right next to us, see the big “Ohio Lottery” sign), people who think my boss is going to be president, people who didn’t know my boss is black and one very special woman who’s dying husband’s last wish was go to to the free Grand Funk Railroad concert that night.

Unfortunately, I really didn’t get that many interesting people this weekend. No people attacking my place of employment for things that it doesn’t have anything to do with. No people trying to sell me alumining siding despite the fact that I’m trying to work. No people asking if they can use our computer to check their e-mail.

But still, it was fun. One letdown though: every time I go, on my way in, I have this plan to sample a wide variety of fair food. But Saturday was too damn hot to do anything outside. I got a corn dog and a lemonade, but other than that, it was approaching 100 and the last thing I wanted to do was walk around in the search for fried food.

And I still haven’t found the elusive Pancake-in-a-Tube.