Rivers Cuomo, The Ugliest American

There's only one album on earth like Weezer's Pinkerton, and thank God for that

Cuomo seems committed to his own work's impermanence. But the sad paradox here is that records are, by nature, not impermanent. Weezer has become so formulaic that the words "return to form" are a warning sign. The band's albums tend to resemble Home Shopping Network products now, fascinatingly lifeless and unlimited. Fabulous in every season. Imagine yourself in power-pop mastery. Are you a Weezer girl? Luxuriate in Weezer feel. Cuomo is not so much writing songs anymore as he is inventing new sauces for his classic sandwich. He's building a mall at the edge of your town. It's a lot like the old mall.

In addition to releasing the Pinkerton reissue and the dregs-drinking rarities compilation Death to False Metal (which spans 1993–2010), the band is going out on what they're calling "The Memories Tour," wherein they will play the Blue Album and Pinkerton in their entireties on consecutive nights. Unlike Pavement, Weezer didn't stop at championing a strain of suburban geekiness—they integrated it so successfully into the mainstream that their spirit, that spark that made them successful to begin with, disappeared. Hurley's first single, "Memories," debuted on Jersey Shore and is on the Jackass 3-D soundtrack. Weezer, like so many elements of what was once "indie culture," now live happily amid all the most glorious and transient junk of their time.

There is a song on Weezer's self-titled 2008 record (a/k/a the Red Album) called "The Greatest Man That Ever Lived." It's composed of a series of imitations, 11 in all, of other bands. "I am the greatest man that ever lived," Cuomo sings. "I was born to give and give and give." Maybe that's all reissuing Pinkerton is. At least Cuomo knows himself: the egomaniac who obsesses over liberating himself from his own ego for the sake of his fans. He just wants you to be able to sing along. "The Greatest Man That Ever Lived" is a very sad and very beautiful song. According to Cuomo, the last band they imitate on it is Weezer.

Weezer in simpler times, or maybe not
Universal Music
Weezer in simpler times, or maybe not

Weezer play the Roseland December 17 and 18

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