Results for Weezer

interviews

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.

Go to episode 221
specials

Ask the Critics

To kick off the first show of the new year, Jim and Greg answer some of your questions.

Mark from Chicago and John from Lexington, SC want to know how Jim and Greg choose reviews and how they listen to those albums? Jim explains that we first narrow down a list of albums that are either interesting or making news. Then it comes down to what would make a good mix for the show. So if the feature segment is all about soul, we might like to get a little punk at the end. Greg answers part two, and explains that he tries to listen to an album as many times as possible and, most importantly, in as many different scenarios as possible. He hears music very differently whether he is driving down Lake Shore Drive in Chicago or doing dishes at home.

This leads to question #2. Nathan in Chicago is looking for suggestions on how to heighten the digital music experience. Can we do better than just headphones in an iPod? Jim and Greg admit they are not always seeking the most hi-fi experience, so they turn to Bob Gendron, copy editor for Music Direct and contributor to the Chicago Tribune. Bob recommends Nathan get a pair of Grado SR-60i headphones. Priced at $79, they give nice bang for the buck. But if Nathan is a high roller who wants his mind blown, Bob refers him to the Audeze LCD-3.

Chris from Corvallis, OR emailed interact@soundopinions.org for recommendations on songs to learn to play on ukulele. All the uke players around Sound Opinions H.Q. say that Paul McCartney is a great place to start; the simple pop melodies are perfect for the four-stringed instrument. Greg adds a vote for Weezer. YouTube is filled with ukulele love. Check out the footnotes below for some more of our favorites:

Got a question for the critics? Call 888.859.1800 or email interact@soundopinions.org.

Go to episode 371
reviews
Weezer (Red Album)Make Believe available on iTunes

Weezer Make Believe

Weezer is back with yet another self-titled album, and on this release they return to their roots. 2005's Make Believe showed the band's foray into arena rock, but now Rivers Cuomo, with a little help from his bandmates, is going back to its more complicated, heartfelt compositions. In fact, Greg thinks Cuomo is regressing emotionally as well as musically. He wishes the singer's angsty lyrics reflected his adult life and can only give Weezer a Try It. For Jim the whole album is about the track "Heart Songs," which portrays what it's like to fall in love with music. If the whole album was as good as that song it'd be an instant classic. But Jim still gives the new Weezer a Buy It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 133
Raditude (Deluxe Version)Raditude available on iTunes

Weezer Raditude

15 years after its debut album, Weezer is back with a new record, Raditude. The band has always been defined by Rivers Cuomo's personal songwritng, mirrored with heavy guitar riffs. But, last year's self-titled release was a controversial one for Jim and Greg. Jim loved the naïve, heart-on-sleeve recording, but Greg felt the lyrics were adolescent and patronizing. Now they can agree. Both Jim and Greg find Weezer to be making smart, heart-felt pop music. And the highlight is an amped up version of "Can't Stop Partying," co-written by Jermaine Dupri and featuring a cameo by Lil Wayne. Greg even compares this loss of innocence record to Pet Sounds. Raditude gets a double Buy It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 207
Everything Will Be Alright In the EndEverything Will Be Alright in the End available on iTunes

Weezer Everything Will Be Alright in the End

Alternative heroes Weezer are back with a new album, but Greg says you'd be forgiven if you thought it was 1994 all over again. Back in 2010, Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo sat down with Jim and Greg to defend his material against claims of pandering to fans. Greg respects Cuomo, but that doesn‘t change the fact that he thinks the singer is doing it all over again on Weezer’s latest, Everything Will Be Alright in the End. Greg encourages Cuomo not be bothered so much by what he thinks his fans want more of: emotional guitar riffs and faintly wise musings on life and love. Instead, he should just stick with what he does best: crafting pleasurable pop melodies and hooks that feel good and aren't out to change the world. Everything Will Be Alright in the End is a Try It for Greg. Jim isn‘t as bothered by Weezer’s obvious pining for the past. Yes, you should probably ignore the record's reaching thematic bent (an exploration of Cuomo's relationship with fans, females and his father), but don‘t discount the song’s genius hooks and offbeat subject matter. Everything Will Be Alright in the End is just plain fun, and the best Weezer album since 2000's The Green Album. Jim says Buy It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 463
Odd BloodOdd Blood available on iTunes

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.

JimGreg
Go to episode 221
HurleyHurley available on iTunes

Weezer Hurley

If you've seen the mug of Hurley from Lost lately, chances are you've been looking at the cover of the new album by Weezer. The band, fronted by Rivers Cuomo, has been recording at a prolific rate in the past few years. And many original fans continue to hold out hope that they'll meet or top their releases from the 1990's. But, as Greg explains, Cuomo, now a married father, is probably as happy as he's ever been and won‘t be returning to his old style of angsty songwriting. The upbeat pop songs he’s making now are good, but the emotional heft isn't there. Greg gives Hurley a Burn It rating. Jim admits there's a lot of silliness on this record, but the songs are very well-crafted. That's enough for him, so he gives it a Burn It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 250
Alone, Vol. 2 - The Home Recordings of Rivers CuomoAlone Vol. 2 - The Home Recordings of Rivers Cuomo available on iTunes

Rivers Cuomo Alone Vol. 2 - The Home Recordings of Rivers Cuomo

The Weezer album might have gotten a Turkey vote from one of our listeners, but how does frontman Rivers Cuomo fare on his own? The singer just released Alone Vol. 2 - The Home Recordings of Rivers Cuomo, and according to Jim and Greg it's full of the heartfelt, intimate songs that fans of the Blue Album expect from Cuomo. Greg sees Weezer's recent songs as being written for the masses, while these are written from the heart. Whatever your take on Weezer is, both Jim and Greg give a Buy It to The Home Recordings of Rivers Cuomo.

JimGreg
Go to episode 157
dijs

Jim

“Leather Idol”Tuscadero

While reviewing Weezer, Jim was reminded of another alternative era band, Tuscadero. Like Weezer, they debuted in 1994 with a similarly named record called The Pink Album. And like Weezer they wrote songs about adolescence, nostalgia and pop culture. But unlike Weezer, their move to a major label didn't bring them great success and longevity. Jim considers Tuscadero one of the many lost heros and heroines from alternative '90s, and he wants to add their track "Leather Idol" to the Desert Island Jukebox.

Go to episode 207
lists

Turkey Shoot 2008

On Thanksgiving most Americans give thanks for things like their loved ones and their health. But at Sound Opinions we like to take this opportunity to give thanks of a different variety. During this Turkey Shoot segment Jim, Greg and some listeners give thanks that they‘ll never have to hear the year’s most disappointing albums again. These are records that had great potential, but fell flat. Say farewell to the following Turkeys:

  • R.E.M., Accelerate
  • My Morning Jacket, Evil Urges
  • Brian Wilson, That Lucky Old Sun
  • The Raconteurs, Consolers of the Lonely

Our listeners“shoot”the following:

  • Weezer, S/T (The Red Album)
  • John Legend, Evolver
  • Beck, Modern Guilt

For more Turkeys, check out the Sound Opinions Message Board.

Go to episode 157

The Best of 2008… So Far

Hard to believe it's almost the midpoint of 2008, but lucky for Sound Opinions listeners, that means it's time for a list! Here are Jim and Greg's lists for 2008's mid-year best.

Go to episode 135

Ultimate Summer Mixtape

Summer officially begins June 21, and in honor of these lazy, hazy days and hot, sweaty nights, Jim and Greg have decided to run down their favorite songs that represent the season. These songs would make up their ultimate summer mixtape:

  1. Rivieras, "California Sun"
  2. The Beach Boys, "All Summer Long"
  3. Patti Smith, "Dancing Barefoot"
  4. Wire, "Sand in My Joints"
  5. Wreckx-N-Effect, "Rump Shaker"
  6. Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, "Mr. Heatmiser"
  7. Sly & the Family Stone, "Hot Fun in the Summertime"
  8. Bananarama, "Cruel Summer"

On Sound Opinions, everyone is a critic. So, Jim and Greg turned to the phones for some other Summer Song suggestions. Here are what the callers recommend:

  1. The Replacements, "I Will Dare"
  2. Weezer, "El Scorcho"
  3. The Pastels, "Windy Hill (Cornelius remix)"
  4. Del tha Funkee Homosapien, "Dr. Bombay"
Go to episode 29

Best Albums of 2016…So Far

Greg and Jim just couldn't wait until December to talk about some of their new favorite albums. They discuss some of the best records of 2016 so far. Here are their complete lists:

Go to episode 553

Ultimate Summer Mixtape

Summer officially begins in a couple of weeks, and in honor of these lazy, hazy days and hot, sweaty nights, Jim and Greg have decided to re-run one of their favorite shows which celebrates the best songs of the season. These are the tracks that would make up their ultimate summer mix-tape:

  • The Rivieras, "California Sun"
  • The Beach Boys, "All Summer Long"
  • Patti Smith, "Dancing Barefoot"
  • Wire, "Sand in My Joints"
  • Wreckx-N-Effect, "Rump Shaker"
  • Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, "Mr. Heatmiser"
  • Sly and the Family Stone, "Hot Fun in the Summertime"
  • Bananarama, "Cruel Summer"

On Sound Opinions, everyone is a critic. So, Jim and Greg turned to the phones for some other Summer Song suggestions. Here are what the callers recommend:

  • The Replacements, "I Will Dare"
  • Weezer, "El Scorcho"
  • The Pastels, "Windy Hill" (Cornelius remix)
  • Del tha Funkee Homosapien, "Dr. Bombay"
Go to episode 132

The Best Songs of 2008 - Mixtapes

At the end of the year, many music fans take on the challenging task of making a mixtape. And, Jim and Greg are no exception. They've both made compilations of their favorite songs of 2008.

Go to episode 162
rock doctors

Brendan

Even the healthiest music listener depends on recommendations from family and friends. But for more severe cases, Sound Opinions recommends people make an appointment with the Rock Doctors. When Brendan from Los Angeles contacted Sound Opinions H.Q. and described his symptoms, we immediately took him in to see the doctors and get a diagnosis. Brendan suffers from an ailment common among people of his generation: 90s-itis. Brendan loves music but hasn't moved forward since 1995. That was the high point of his music listening, and you can still find Weezer's Blue Album and Nirvana's Nevermind in his CD player. He loves the balance of noisy rock and melody in those albums. And, since he can no longer turn on an alt-rock radio station to hear a similar sound, he asks the Rock Doctors, "What sounds like '90s alternative in 2008?"

Greg's answer to this question is The Secret Machines. The group harkens back to that hard, but melodic sound. The group uses elements from that era like strong guitars and drums, and adds space rock. A fan of Nirvana, The Smashing Pumpkins, and even The Beatles and Led Zeppelin, should love "Ten Silver Drops" by The Secret Machines.

Jim's prescription for 90s-itis is Wolf Parade. The Canadian indie rockers have a lot of energy and aggression that Brendan should appreciate. There's a nod to classic rock, but the band is not living in the past. He gives Brendan a dose of "At Mount Zoomer" by Wolf Parade and invites him back for a follow-up appointment in a week.

When Brendan returns he reports that he is slowly recovering. He enjoyed both prescriptions, but thinks he needs to give them more time. Brendan found both records slightly more mellow than he expected, but liked that they weren‘t“screaming.”Brendan now has two albums in his collection that were recorded in the 21st century, and that’s all the Doctors could ask for.

Go to episode 152
news

Music News

Europe is really setting the stage for how the U.S. will approach digital music in the next couple of years, so Jim and Greg take a look at news coming out of that region. In France, the government plans to subsidize legal music downloading to encourage young consumers not to illegally get songs. This is going to cost the French government some $35 million. But, this might sound like a better option than the“three strikes”law to one French ISP. Free has declined to send out warning letters to its users. Over in Ireland the three strikes approach got struck down entirely. The big four labels were unable to convince an Irish court that laws to identify and cut off internet users should be enforceable in that country like others in the EU. And finally, one U.K. music executive offers another solution entirely: £1 records for all!

If you‘ll only spend a dollar to support a band, how much would you pay to stop them? $10 million? That’s how much a former Seattle fan of Weezer intended to raise as part of a campaign to get the Rivers Cuomo-fronted band to stop playing. Jim and Greg like this idea, but think Weezer might be the wrong target. Who would you pay to (not) play?

Email Us at interact@soundopinions.org Contact Us on Facebook Send us a Tweet on Twitter

Go to episode 256

Music News

We might say“if it ain‘t broke, don’t fix it.”But we don't work for Apple. Sources within the company say iTunes, the world's biggest music store, is scheduled for an overhaul by the end of the year. Among the proposed changes are streamlining the process for syncing content across Apple devices and making it easier to share tracks with friends. Chalk it up to Apple's“never stop improving”spirit, or the need to compete with Spotify.

Nothing says“Olympic spirit”like overwrought strings, a male chorus, and lyrics like“Life's a race / and I'm gonna win.”At least Muse lead singer Matthew Bellamy seems to think so. The band's new single "Survival" was recently selected as the official track for the London Olympic games, a decision Greg calls outrageous given the breadth of talent that city has to offer. Almost any song, he says, would have been an improvement.

To the list of things you associate with Weezer and Dinosaur Jr.(teen angst, alienation, etc.) add Caribbean beaches and drinks in coconuts. The bands recently headlined the Weezer Cruise on the Carnival Destiny, and they aren't the only rockers taking to the seas this season. Rock cruises, Billboard editor Joe Levy points out in a New York Times article, have become a profitable and growing corner of the cruise and music industries. Once the domain of legacy acts like Frankie Avalon (his“Malt Shop Memories”cruise is still going strong) rock cruises are now welcoming aboard hipper acts like F'ed Up, The Antlers, and Yuck. Joe talks to Jim and Greg about his experience aboard the Weezer cruise (awkward, yet awesome) and explains what's in it for fans and artists.

Go to episode 345

Music News

First up Jim and Greg talk about Matchbox Twenty. That's right, Matchbox Twenty. But it isn't the adult contemporary gods‘ music our hosts are interested in; it’s their new album release strategy. Rob Thomas and company are releasing 11 versions of their new album Exile on Mainstream including a USB bracelet, iTunes bundle, VH1 stream, and a good old-fashioned CD. It is certainly out-of-the-box thinking for the band's label, but it remains to be seen how fans will respond.

Another novel approach to music marketing is the fusion of rock and…video games. Guitar Hero III recently hit the stores, and in just seven days it made over $100 million. The game is selling for much more than a standard CD, but as Jim and Greg explain, those numbers are higher than most bands can boast. In 2006, the video game industry made 12.5 billion dollars, while the music industry was down to 12 billion and sinking. This fact hasn't gone unnoticed by labels, and now many bands are using games like Guitar Hero to promote themselves. This version contains tracks by the Beastie Boys, Weezer and Smashing Pumpkins, and The Sex Pistols even re-recorded their anti-capitalist punk anthem "Anarchy in the U.K." just for the game. Call them out-of-touch, but Jim and Greg wonder why rock fans aren't just picking up a real guitar?

The Eagles also had a successful week. Their new album, the first in studio effort in 28 years, hit the #1 spot on the Billboard Chart. This was due to a change in chart policies. Previously Nielsen SoundScan didn't include sales figures from individual retailers. But, now that artists are striking exclusive deals with outlets like Target, Starbucks, and in this case, Wal-Mart, the band was able to beat out Britney and score the year's second-best selling album.

Go to episode 102

Music News

The news starts with Front Line Management's lawsuit against Axl Rose. Front Line's founder and chief executive is Irving Azoff, who is also executive chairman of Live Nation Entertainment, which merged with Ticketmaster last month. Jim and Greg discuss the impact of such a lawsuit on an artist. Considering the mega-corporation controls ticketing, venues and many other aspects of the industry, they may not be one to tangle with. Also, they note that the lawsuit is over a breach of "oral contract." Who agrees to an oral contract these days? Especially with Axl Rose!

Jim and Greg discuss the yet again delayed emergence of Spotify in the U.S. The Internet music service, introduced in 2008 by Daniel Ek, has become one of the most popular of its kind in Europe with 7 million users. But despite rumors that it would come to the States this summer, Ek is still having trouble navigating our thick legal system. He wants Spotify to be legitimate, and that means a lot of licensing fees. But once it does hit our soil, Greg predicts big success.

It hit about 80 degrees this week in Chicago, and while it may snow again next week, we've got our eye on the summer. Jim and Greg run down some of the biggest music festivals of the season. First up is Coachella this month, which will feature Jay-Z, LCD Soundsystem and Faith No More among others. The following month, music fans can travel to Washington for the Sasquatch Festival to see My Morning Jacket, Kid Cudi and Ween. In June Bonnaroo will host the Dave Matthews Band, Stevie Wonder and Weezer. Two of the biggest festivals are right here in our hometown: Pitchfork Music Festival, which will boast a Pavement reunion, and Lollapalooza, which Greg can nearly confirm will have headliners Lady Gaga, Green Day, and a reunited Soundgarden. But, Jim points out that not all of the best multi-act concerts are destination festivals. Lilith Fair is back this year as a traveling women-fueled act with Mary J. Blige, Cat Power and Kelly Clarkson.

Go to episode 227