Rivers Cuomo & Opinions on Yeasayer

Jim and Greg welcome Weezer front man Rivers Cuomo for a conversation and one-of-a-kind, live punk performance. Plus they review the latest album from Brooklyn indie-rockers Yeasayer.

Rivers Cuomo
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Music News

Proving the adage that everyone is a critic, the Vatican has released its first official Top Ten List of albums. The official Vatican paper, L’Osservatore Romano, has endorsed records by Oasis, The Beatles, Michael Jackson and Fleetwood Mac. And perhaps for the title alone, they also included Carlos Santana’s Supernatural. It made a point of not including Bob Dylan, however, on the grounds that generations of less-talented Dylan acolytes have harshly tested the ears and patience of listeners with their inferior imitations, thinking that their tortured meanderings might interest somebody.

In other music news, rock producer Ian Burgess passed away last week. As Jim explains, Burgess was one of the architects of the hyper-aggressive, yet melodic, indie rock sounds of the 1980’s. He worked with a number of Midwest bands such as Naked Raygun, Pegboy and Big Black. He also served as a mentor to Big Black founder-turned producer Steve Albini. To honor Burgess, Jim and Greg play I Don’t Know off Naked Raygun’s 1985 album Throb Throb.

Rivers Cuomo

Rivers Cuomo

During our feature segment Jim and Greg are joined by Weezer lead singer Rivers Cuomo. However, it’s not Weezer that accompanies him. It’s the Chicago rock band The Cathy Santonies. Before visiting the studio, Rivers asked Jim and Greg to choose his songs and choose his backing band. Then after a brief sound check, they launched in completely unrehearsed. It’s a return to Rivers’ garage rock roots that preceded Weezer’s massive 1994 self-titled debut. He and the band have gone on to record a number of successful albums since then. But, as he explains to Jim and Greg, life as a musician has not been without conflict. In fact, Rivers Cuomo might be one of the most angst-ridden front men out there. Whether it’s being accused of being too soft ( Pinkerton) or too much of a sellout ( The Red Album), Rivers has always had his critics. Despite that, he seems to be having fun, especially when rocking out.

The Cathy Santonies are guitarist-vocalist Mojo Santoni, bassist- vocalist Radio Santoni, guitarist Jane Danger and drummer Kaylee Preston. They are named after an often talked about but never seen character on Full House.

Odd Blood Yeasayer

Odd Blood

The record review this week is of Odd Blood by Yeasayer. The Brooklyn-based band released their highly-acclaimed debut in 2007. And like Weezer, they faced the dreaded sophomore album pressure. But, Jim and Greg agree that they deliver. Jim has already nominated Madder Red for hook of the year. Yeasayer has upped the songwriting on Odd Blood, but Greg wishes they had maintained the mystery and allure of the last record. He hears some obvious references and hopes they don’t go too far in the pop direction on their next release. That said, Odd Blood gets a double Buy It.

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