Tracking The Flood, Part 9

20133 I Really Wanna Take You Home
202slow Shuffle Chord Riff
203Sunday Afternoon
204Socialite
20519 I’m on Fire, You’re a Liar
20605 I’m Watchin You-acoustic
207All I Need To Know – 2004-02-20
208This is the Way
209You Don’t Love Me
210Hole in Time – 208
211Hole in Time 208
212VI iv VII  v  i  aku pluck
213Turn Me Round (punk)
214My Best Friends Are Gone
215I Did a Bad Thing (2)
216Let’s Get Married – v3
217The Tower Of Babel – v6
218dictadroid1_2015_1_8_15_38_48
21909 Let Me Wash at Your Sink
220Empty Inside – v7
221Ask Anything 059
222dictadroid1_2015_4_1_10_17_32
223Turn Your Love Away 027
224Pacific Sunset  6 show me
225Girl We Got A Good Thing – v16

Tracking the Flood, Part 4

76Greyhound – 2
77Hippies – v6
78Higgs Boson – v5
79Ask Anything 059
80Wagamama – v5
81dictadroid2_2015_4_1_15_46_21
82The Rules Of Life – v25
83Charlie Brown
84Rosemary (With Farfisa)
8523 wan and wistful silvertone riff
8611 I Can’t Sing Mama Slow-Fast
87I’ll Be With Someone Else – v2 2
88145 INST
89Where to Start – 2004-07-05
90Getchoo – Don Slacks
91Let’s Go To The 33rd Dimension – v7
9216 open your eyes
93Aku – G minor over A 2012-6-6
9417 Spider Bitch
95Shut Your Mouth (revised 2007)
96Ideas 10-15-2013 16h33m26s
97Do You Want To Get High – v4
98Stand Up (Minor Outstanding) – 2004-06-04
99Hey Nonbeliever     3
100If You Only Knew 8 @128

Tracking the Flood

Shortly after my last post, I started a new project on Twitter – #RiversDemoFlood. Each day I’ll post at least one ‘review’ of a random song from one of Rivers’ bundles, to give some context to the song and explain why I rated it the way I did.

I started this project on the fly and have some rules:

  1. I have the rated songs in an Excel file. I use a random number generator to determine which song gets tweeted about.
  2. If a song is a sketch and I have the time, I’ll do a second entry sometime that day.
  3. I’m going to try and do all the files. So there will eventually be more than 40 takes on Rules of Life. I hope I have interesting things to say after 20 or so.
  4. If possible, I’ll include images or videos relating to the song. While there are some of these demos on YouTube, Rivers asked that we not do that when he started bundling them (although he didn’t make that request when he sold the first batch individually), so I’ll link to other, sometimes full-band takes of final songs.
  5. Sentimentality, nostalgia and potential have no place in the ratings. I’m evaluating each of these files as if they’re their own songs. How would they sound on a mixtape? Or on the radio? How these sound as songs is one thing. What types of songs they could be, that’s another story.
  6. Above all, I’m trying to have fun with this. Which I am.

The songs so far:

1I Want You 001
2The Rules Of Life – v28 – vTo Par
3Beverly Hills – 2004-07-20
4Rock And Roll Cockroach – Rough 3
5I Want To Know
616 Two to Tango
7Pretty Great Piano Melody 2-7-2013 8
8You Stupid Piece of Shit – 168
9Since You Came Around – v15
1088 piano and melody
1117 Beautiful Demons
12No One Else – Monterey Jack
13He’s My Sweetheart – Monterey Jack
1410 Crazy Rock n Rollers
15Ballsy
1617 clean jam
17Keep Your Pants On      3
18Take Back The Love
19The Ivory Telephone – v10
20Going Bald – 2012-7-13 acoustic sketch 1
2132 Downtown
22Until You’Re Blue – v2
23Lullaby For Wayne
24American Girls – Spanky McNally
2585 I’m Sick, I’m Tired
List of songs I’ve Tweeted about so far.

Too Many Songs in My Playlist

Eighteen years ago, I met Weezer lead singer Rivers Cuomo during a post-show meet and greet. I was on a message board with Rivers and he invited some of us from the board to hang out with him and the band after shows on the 2002 Enlightenment Tour.

Near the end of the meet and greet, a small group of us talked with Rivers for a while. One thing I remember to this day was him saying that he wanted to share all the songs he ever wrote and recorded with all of us. Rivers had already shared a few demos with the board and other fans. And in the years after that, Rivers released three Alone CDs featuring his home demos. Rivers liked interacting with fans (on his terms) and writing/sharing music with them. And while I was a huge fan of all three Alone CDs, I didn’t expect much more.

Last year, Rivers launched (or re-launched) his personal website, RiversCuomo.com. Rivers took a coding class (because that’s what rock stars do) and started the site with a chatroom, adding other functions over the summer.

Rivers Cuomo home page

And then in October, he started putting together the building blocks of his final project- an online store to sell a bunch of old demos. After going back and forth on what to sell and how, Rivers settled on bundles, based on time periods in his life. Buy a bundle and you get access to a dropbox folder. And inside those bundles was a lot of music, but not everything. Music with co-writers or co-performers was out. Rivers set songs and ideas intended for future projects. And some songs/files he just couldn’t find.

First row of bundles from RiversCuomo.com.

Since launching the store right before Thanksgiving, Rivers added three additional bundles, two with co-writers and a greatest hits sampler. And he’s also added a number of files that he’s found. Currently, the bundles include more than 100 hours of files.

I’ll be the first to say that the files are a mixed bag. There are some files that are Rivers with a guitar and handheld recorder. Or Rivers humming/beatboxing ideas for tunes. Or 30-second long sketches for songs. Or songs where you can tell something is there, but the quality is questionable. Or songs with upwards of 40 versions. But there are a bunch of good, quality, full band (or one-man band) songs. And some of these songs are right up there with Weezer’s greatest songs.

There are enough songs to make alternate albums. Or earlier ideas for Weezer albums. Or Weezer albums that we never got. I’ve been listening to these song and I’m not even close to being all the way through.

Having these songs has gotten me back into music. A specific kind of music, granted, but still. And it’s given me ideas of things to write. It might be fun to write something about the evolution of Make Believe. And I would love to update one of my most favorite articles I’ve ever written. But I’m not doing either just yet because there are still more songs out there that might be added.

And there’s something else that’s happened with all of this. Rivers hangs out in the chatroom regularly and has asked for fan help for a few different things, like cataloging these files. Considering how daunting the concept of 100 hours of files is, some of us suggested putting together a Greatest Hits style bundle. Another site visitor (or neighbor) had been working on compiling the best songs from each bundle (at least when they were first released) and I had been working on that with him. But as we were talking about this with Rivers, he was receptive to the idea. I don’t remember exactly what spurred it, but he asked if I wanted to rate the songs on the spreadsheet. Of course I said yes.

You see that King Tom Column right there?

A week or two later, Rivers started selling the Greatest Hits bundle, a combination of the other neighbor’s compilation and the songs that I rated at five stars. Gotta admit that was pretty cool.

So I’ve been keeping busy listening to a lot of these songs. On top of everything else I’m up to these days. I had an idea for something Twitter-related I may try, which will get the writing juices flowing.

After all these years, it’s great to have new (old) songs to get into all over again. And that’s not counting the Weezer album out (maybe) later this month. Or the other one coming out later this year. Or any of the other projects Rivers has planned.