Jake vs. the Kids

In the response string to Jake’s Weezer piece, Scott C. makes a point about the other kids at Weezer, the ones not named Jake Brown. Even though Jake was left feeling bewildered and let down by the rock show last Friday night, those young kids out there in the GA section, the ones getting crushed to the stage by their brethren behind them, they might have been feeling that tingling sensation of Real Rock for the very first time.

For many of them, I’m sure that Get Up Kids, Promise Ring, Ultimate Fakebook, and every other polite, emo/Superchunk-influenced pop band are the total shit right now. They can’t get enough of those plaintive harmonies wrapped up in crunching power chords and jarring time changes. Maybe some of those kids even bought Weezer tickets mostly to see Get Up Kids, with only a vague, early 90s recollection of the headliners.

Because let’s face it. Weezer hasn’t exactly been cranking out the albums Three Dog Night style. Albeit, there’s some record company ass-fucking occurring behind the scenes. But nonetheless, any Weezer fans under the age of 22 probably got into them secondhand.

So, why did they dig them on Friday?

Because Weezer really is at the forefront of the emo movement, whether anyone likes it or not. Just because you don’t record for Merge, or espouse self-righteous vegan propaganda from the stage doesn’t mean that you can’t be a solid musical influence. Keep in mind that the Pixies recorded for a major, too. Weezer’s endearing mixture of chugging riffs and Frankie Lymon-esque harmonies deserve just as much credit for the current crop of Emo-Pop Young Turks as does Mac Macaughan and his fellow Superchunk-ers. Shit, he and Rivers Cuomo even sort of look alike.

So imagine that you’re a 19yo indie-rocking undergrad, at the Aragon to see Get Up Kids, one of your favorite bands. You love what they do with their dueling guitars, fast chord changes, and Matt Pryor’s earnest vocals. So you’re shitting your pants when they take the stage and rock the joint. Everyone’s pushing you from behind, but you don’t care because you want to be as close as you can to the band. Other peoples’ sweat is all over your shirt and neck. Some guy behind you keeps poking your ear with his omnipresent goat’s head finger salute. And you haven’t seen your buddies since “Ten Minutes.” But you don’t care, because it’s a Real Rock moment, and you love it.

Now imagine that Weezer takes the stage next, and that moment happens again.

Weezer’s record company is tangling with the band over their new album’s material. “No clear single,” the A&R wonks say. Well, if a sold-out tour and a bunch of young kids (with disposable income) in the crowd don’t suggest a strong following, I’m not sure what does. Here’s hoping that Weezer climbs back into its rightful place on the Real Rock Mantle when the record finally comes out.


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