So, it’s been a bit cooler here in LA lately, though nothing even remotely close to the subzero temps currently inflicting emotional harm on my home state in the Midwest. So, in honor of the frigid nights ahead, we’ll spin Weezer’s 2nd album, Pinkerton. By far their best offering, Pinkerton was once shunned by lead singer Rivers Cuomo (to the point of public apology, if my memory serves me right), but the album has, in the 20 years since its release, been embraced by critics and Cuomo alike. Anyway, wherever you are, stay warm, and spin your records.
Drifting away, drink by drink, whilst classic, early 2000 personal chart-toppers blare… disturbing my neighbors with little to no remorse. For those keeping score, we’re well acquainted with the slide-like effects of our homemade Manhattans, and with a riddled knock at the front door, things just went from great, to amazing. Behold! The Original Master Recording release of Weezer’s debut album. Apparently there’s a black vinyl version (sorry buddy), but we’re not gonna touch on that here. LOOK HOW DAMN BEAUTIFUL THIS RECORD IS! Anyway, there was a bit of record goo (read: vinyl debris) fixed to track one upon the initial submerging, but that’s been tested and we’re all good to go. I decided to hold off on the initial christening until tomorrow (now today… see how that works), so that I could mentally appreciate this album’s greatness. Rambling is now over… thank you for your patience.
Weezer’s first self-titled album recently went on pre order at srcvinyl.com. A Mobile Fidelity release on 180 gram blue vinyl, this rather pricey version is apparently “limited” and “numbered,” so we’ll see how well-flavored this release spins when she finally arrives in late October. I couldn’t help but order one, and I encourage you to do the same.
If ever there was the perfect collection of songs ripe for a transparent blue vinyl release, it’s Weezer’s debut album, 1994’s Weezer. So, one would think that said album would have several, slight variations of blue vinyl releases… 10th anniversary, 15th anniversary, the original Croatian release, but instead, there are exactly zero blue vinyl releases of this astounding, and necessary album. This is something that needs rectifying, people. Please file.
With a crown of shame, I humbly admit that despite owning this album for over four years, I doubt I’ve ever listened to it… which doesn’t make sense considering my strict, “needs a spin before cataloging” rule. Either that, or I was completely distracted and / or under some kind of influence upon its first and only spin. Either way, I’m listening to Hurley, today, for (what seems like) the first time.
It’s difficult not to like a pop album that pays homage to the awesome Jorge Garcia and his unforgettable depiction of Hugo “Hurley” Reyes from the adventstery (adventure / mystery) TV series, Lost. And leave it to Weezer to hammer out yet another rock solid album! I can’t recommend it just yet, having not finished my (second) first listen, but as far as I’m concerned, there is no bad Weezer album.
The Ric Ocasek produced Weezer (the band’s third album, which is not to be confused with their first… or their sixth) was released in May of 2001, and sported three, summer singles (AKA the soundtrack to the 2001 summer) with Hash Pipe, Island in the Sun, and Photograph. I was living in Milwaukee at the time, and not that one tried, but one could not escape the constant one-two punch of Hash Pipe and Island in the Sun, the latter being featured in the Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen film, Holiday in the Sun. I feel I must add here, that this Holiday in the Sun knowledge is present only because I was working at a Hollywood Video at the time, and not a frequenter of anything Mary-Kate or Ashley Olsen.
The Green Album, as it is often referred, was a return to form (not only in name) of the blueprinted pop classic, 1994’s Weezer. Pinkerton, the band’s second album, still remains a personal fav, but for the summer of 2001, everyone was seeing green.
Just in the Knack of time, 1979’s debut by LA’s (Los Angeles) The Knack dropped their international hit-tastic album just 16 days before I was born (and some mere 32 miles away from the hospital in question). This is the time, which I like to refer to as “my Mother’s physical hell.” Sure, My Sharona is present and accounted for, but what’s disturbingly overlooked is the vast greatness of the remainder of this prolific album.
The Knack, 1979’s Weezer, is, by all means, the sound of “now.” Get the Knack! Got it? Good!
Weezer > Tenacious D in just about every conceivable equation, except for live performances. Pinkerton, the Blue Album, and to some extent the Green Album, are examples of some of the best pop-rock to hit the 90s and early 2000s. The D’s debut is flawless, but 2006’s The Pick of Destiny is virtually unlistenable. I was primped and properly anticipating one of the best nights of music entertainment I’d ever witnessed, that dreary day back in late 2001, but I left feeling unfulfilled by the mighty kings of Weez. Not knowing what to expect, and marginally perplexed by the unconventional pairings of these two seemingly unlinkable bands, I walked away, past a sea of parked, vacant cars, wishing the D had been the headliner. Subdued, shoe-gazing, stand-still rock certainly has its place, but the 22-year-old version of yours truly wanted no part of it.
Long and tumultuous is the road to a completed collection. Be it the full 792 cards in the 1990 Topps baseball set, all four collectible Garfield and Odie mugs released by McDonald’s back in 1978, or in this case, my half completed collection of Grand Royal Magazines.
With issue #1 released in 1993 (and one of the three I don’t have), and the final issue, #6, released in 1997, it’s safe to say the Grand Royal team was taking their sweet-ass time publishing these now sought-after mid-90s gems. That initial judgment of a painfully obvious (and very Los Angeles) lackadaisical workflow couldn’t be further from the truth as this current issue, issue #3, is JAM-MUTHA-TRUCKIN’-PACKED! Packed with what, you ask? How about interviews with Dr. Octagon aka Kool Keith, San Pedro’s own Mike Watt, and the Dalai Lama (conducted by Adam Yauch, RIP MCA), a guide to sneaking into hotel pools in the Hollywood area courtesy of Spike Jonze, an in-depth look at the paintings of Evel Knievel, horse racing tips from Pavement’s Bob Nastanovich, and countless, as well as fearlessly stunning, vintage album ads spanning from Weezer’s Pinkerton to Sukia’s Contacto Espacial Con El Tercer Sexo… and all of this by page 37 (of 140)!!
It’s taken me close to 20 years to acquire three of only six Grand Royal Magazines, and it’ll probably take me another 20 to secure the remaining three. The upside, however, is that it’s taken me nearly two decades to ingest the onslaught found within issues 2, 3 and 5, so when my ship finally comes in, I’ll have another 20 years of dynamite reading material at my grubby little fingertips. (Often Wrong, Never in Doubt is the title to Grand Royal Magazine issue #3, btw. A straight lift on my part.)
This may be a no-brainer for the majority of you fine lovers of high fidelity, but unfortunately, I had to learn this bitter reality the hard way. Let this be a lesson to those of you to whom this has yet to happen.
A few years ago, wow! It’s been five years now. Crazy. Moving on… a few years ago, I was visiting my parents in Las Vegas. You see, my father is the President of a Steel Workers Union in Wisconsin, and every once-and-a-while he needs to travel to Vegas for meetings. My mom joined him, and since Vegas is only a 4-½ hour car ride from Los Angeles, I met up with them for the weekend. Plus, at the time, one of my closest High School friends lived in Vegas, so it was a gathering of the happies if you will. Or, if you won’t. This happened 5 years ago, so there really isn’t anything you can do about it now.
Long story short, my buddy took me to Zia Records where I picked up the (then) new self-titled Weezer album (their 3rd self-titled album). For those of you who are unaware of how violently hot Vegas gets in the summer, allow me to paint you a wet, sticky picture. Being mindful that records warp when exposed to extreme heat, I opted to place my recent find in the trunk of my car instead of in the front or backseat where the Sun had been playing all day. So, this guy here thought the hot, oven-baked trunk would be the logical solution to a potential $22.99 problem.
As you can see, my decision was a poor one, and this copy of Weezer’s 3rd self-titled album is clearly unplayable. I’ve since repurchased this album (with grave hesitation), and I keep this guy around to remind me of how stupid I was on a hot summer day in Las Vegas.
Learn from the idiots, kids. Take your records indoors instead of locking them in the car where they die a painful, never-played death while warping in the 112 degree Vegas heat. Weezer would hope you’ll learn from the errors of The Prudent Groove, and take better care of your records. A thought just occurred to me. Maybe Weezer was working closely with the Sun so they could sell more records. Well played, giant middle-sized star & Weezer. Well played indeed.
In the wake of my esteemed excitement for tonight’s The Night Marchers show, I’ve decided to showcase one of the grooviest looking records in my collection, Rocket from the Crypt’s 1998 UK single, When In Rome (Do The Jerk!).
Speedo (John Reis), who helped form Rocket from the Crypt and acted as lead vocalist and guitarist, recently formed The Night Marchers (and was previously a principle member of Pitchfork, Drive Like Jehu and Hot Snakes). So for those of you know didn’t know, now see the connection.
This picture disc shaped like the (Rocket from the Crypt) RFTC logo (as you can plainly see) consists of three tracks: When In Rome (Do The Jerk!), Tarzan and Tiger Feet Tonite and was the first single released from their 1998 album, RFTC.
RFTC, and its first single, When In Rome (Do The Jerk!) saw the band at odds with themselves as well as with their (then) label Interscope Records. Record sales were less than expected, which led to the band’s departure from Interscope in 1999. Longtime mainstay RFTC drummer, Atom left the band shortly thereafter to become a tour roadie (drum tech) for Weezer, before joining The Offspring, Angels & Airwaves and touring with Social Distortion and Alkaline Trio. Atom had been with Rocket from the Crypt on their previous five albums (all but their 1991 debut, Paint As A Fragrance).
When In Rome (Do The Jerk!) acts as a sort of tombstone-like visual representation of the high-water era of this incredible band; an era that many would argue to be their most prolific period.
This is an absolute must for any RFTC fan simply for its eye-catching shape and instantly recognizable RFTC appeal. It goes for a reasonable sum on discogs and comes HIGHLY recommended by The Prudent Groove.