Monday, February 21, 2011

Summer Series: 4. When Things Don't Go Your Way

I know Weezer has a mixed reputation as a little naive and child-like, and perhaps he has a little disappointed fans. But here I talk about them as I think they want to be -- flippantly. And I comment about the fact that not everything is as you want it to be: Sometimes it's disappointing. But sometimes it's worth celebrating -- laugh it off as an adventure. And I feel like Weezer has that attitude toward life too: when things don't go their way, they just sing about it and smile. Never take life too seriously.

Things rarely go the way you’d like.
And today’s blog entry is no different.
I’d planned to be all bubbly and grin-tastic, talking about the joys of Weezer’s new music (or rather, my new experiences of their relentlessly fun music) as well as the excitement of watching the U.S. Team’s World Cup victories (to the beat of Weezer’s newest tune—and this one’s actually really “new”—the song’s entitled “Represent”).
I’d planned to do that, and in a way, I still will, just minus the giddiness. Which is probably for the best. I’m giddy enough as it is. An extra inhale of helium would probably be too much for anyone to handle. But to keep going on that analogy, a balloon is still a balloon even when deflated. And I’m still myself, even when I’m down. Which nobody can deny.
Sadly/Unfortunately/Malheureusement-ly, it’s also true nobody can deny the U.S. lost to Ghana Saturday 2-1 in extra time, despite Donovan’s continued goal-scoring brilliance. It’s a crying, crying, crying shame.          But three toots of the vuvuzela for Ghana’s sound performance – I wish them well. As Rivers Cuomo (of Weezer fame) used to sing, “It matters what your people think, You represent your family, Well, that’s just one more reason to see that it matt-tuh-ers-tuh-ers, whether you win or lose.”
And speaking of Rivers, I’ve heard some people (or, if it was through message boards and comment posts, should one say “I’ve read some people”?) -- they say his music’s immature and, they say, it reminds them of high school, and “He’s nothing like he used to be when he made the Blue Album and Pinkerton,” and in sum, they’re disappointed with the solemn silliness they find on Weezer’s most recent album Raditude (which came out last fall).
But then I read others saying, they love his unceasing ability to laugh at himself – a sign of real maturity. And I’m mostly bound to agree with them, despite only becoming a serious fan of their music a month or so ago.
I like Weezer’s wit and their self-effacing charm. I harmonize with their oft-expressed lackadaisical lack of care for what others think of their nerdy-awkward-rocking music personality combination. They just love making music, and I love listening.
But that puts me in another (unresolved) dilemma: How to talk about the music you love? How to explain to others what you like and why you like it? How to introduce somebody else to your new-found guilty pleasure?
Telling people I know, “Guess what? I like Weezer now,” evokes the same polarized reactions I’ve found on different message boards (though in the former case, positive reactions were distinctly more frequent, probably because my friends tend to be more like me: really nerdy.) And when I tried playing one of my favorite songs – “Beverly Hills” – for my fairly intelligent yet (like me) somewhat awkward Chinese friend, he seemed unimpressed.
I thought, “What’s with that?” Have I become enamored with Weezer only because, when introduced, I was taking a free ferry to Staten Island to meet some old friends, go to the beach, skip school – Was it that the sunny breeze hit my face just right, and the light-heartedness of “In the Garage” perfectly coincided with my mood? Is that all there was to it? Is it simply impossible to be objective when it comes to musical tastes? Or is it that I’m afraid to turn my cold, analytic eye onto these pop-y, punk-y nerds, lest the gaze shrivel up our fun?
The truth is, I don’t know.
I’d prefer it if I knew why I like what I like, and knew how to talk about it. But instead, against expectation, I just have this line looping ‘round my brain: “It’s time I got back, It’s time I got back, and I don’t even know how I got off the track, I wanna go back, yeah!  boobuh-doop-uhdoopuh-doo  Woo!”
Now isn’t that profound?

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