Part 1 – Weezer and I: It’s Complicated
Weezer can probably be credited as the first band that gave me a personal interest in finding and discovering music for myself. This may be odd, as the band has always had radio hits. Perhaps they are the first band who I heard on the radio with their hit of the time – Island In The Sun? Hash Pipe? – and thought to myself, “I wonder what else this band has to offer.”
What did I find? The Blue Album and slightly later, Pinkerton. Two albums that defined the trajectory of my musical interest for years to come. I became a regular reader of Weezer’s web forum first to read about Weezer in the ATW (All Things Weezer) section, but eventually ended up hearing about lots of other bands in the All Bands Not Weezer (ABNW) section. I got into Bright Eyes, Neutral Milk Hotel and tons of other great bands through this forum.
I also gained a moderate obsession with the band. I downloaded countless rarities, old concert bootlegs, covers and pretty much anything Weezer related I could get my hands on. My strong interest continued despite the release of Maladroit in 2002, which is surely a horrible record. Fortunately, by the time Make Believe came around in 2005, I had moved on to unhealthy interests in other bands.
From Maladroit to present, Weezer has showered us with 5 albums ranging from slightly above average to horrible. Each album has challenged fans of their first two albums to reevaluate what was so great about the band, and what changed. Has the band changed? Has the age and interests of their old fan base changed? How can a fan base survive 5 disappoints in a row and still be comfortable expressing an appreciation for a band who’s last truly great record was released nearly 15 years ago?