breathnaigh:

Listening to Hari Kondabolu talk about Weezer’s Blue Album on WNYC’s Soundcheck woke up the absurdly awkward 13-year-old in me. In the summer of 1994 I was interested in only music and girls, with a far healthier relationship with the former. Weekends were spent at my grandmother’s grandmotherly home in a relatively sleepy New Jersey beach town. Saturdays I rode my BMX to the Sound Wave record store, handed over the entirety of my income ($3-$5 per hour, cash, from answering phones and stuffing bulletins at St. Monica’s, meaning an entire day’s work might get me one new CD), and pedaled back, teenage anticipation hanging from my handlebars in a plastic bag and jewel case. My grandmother didn’t have a stereo, so when I invested in the Blue Album on the basis of the Spike Jonze video for the Sweater Song, I had to listen to it in my parents’ minivan—shout out to the battery life in the Grand Caravan. I’d sit in the driver’s seat, crank the volume, and wish the liner notes were more thorough, since band thank-you lists were where I learned about other cool bands.

The Blue Album is so brilliantly engineered for an audience of teenage boys that subsequent albums (even Pinkerton) seem ham fisted by comparison, for which many fans (including Kondabolu) have never really forgiven Weezer or Rivers Cuomo. Pinkerton may be a great narrative album about being a genuinely weird dude coming to terms with rock-scale celebrity, and the rest of the Weezer catalog acceptable guitar-centered rock for an era where guitar-centered rock matters nearly not at all, but the Blue Album was about us. Cuomo yelped about girls, knitwear, and the sanctuary of fantasy and garages over quiet/loud shifts, barbershop backing vocals, and what I still consider unmatched and perfect guitar crunch. (Thanks to producer Ric Ocasek, Cars frontman and all-time champ in punching above your weight. You’re an inspiration, Ric.) Not all the imagery meshed for me—I didn’t care about KISS and only dabbled in D+D, and I’m still not sure if the bottle belongs to Steven or Stevens is a liquor with which I’m not familiar. But being conflicted about what you want from life and family and girls, how you want to appear to them, how you might actually appear to them, and how you can hide from dealing with all that in music and nerdery? That’s fucking gold for a kid looking forward to 8th grade with sweaty palms.

In the summers that followed, I’d buy a lot more CDs, favoring more obscure and consciously indie bands than Weezer, and I eventually talked to girls. But the Blue Album will always be playing on the dashboard stereo in the Grand Caravan of my heart.

I could write an entire essay about learning about other bands from liner note thank-yous. Also, reblob for Ric Ocasek.

(Source: johnnythehorse)

bthny:

After I move and get my life a little bit more settled again, I’m going to try to reteach myself GIS using open source software because I’m tired of saying “yeah I just don’t really use GIS anymore.”

I’m doing this right now and it’s hard.

Thought of @brookehatfield when I saw this poster today.  (at San Francisco Ferry Building)

Thought of @brookehatfield when I saw this poster today. (at San Francisco Ferry Building)

More lake stuff #latergram

More lake stuff #latergram

Key natural rock formation selfie (at Cleo’s Bath)

Key natural rock formation selfie (at Cleo’s Bath)

Cleo’s Bath (fun rock scramble, cold water, some rain, nice hike) (at Stanislaus National Forest)

Cleo’s Bath (fun rock scramble, cold water, some rain, nice hike) (at Stanislaus National Forest)

Lakelife, today #latergram (at Pinecrest Lake)

Lakelife, today #latergram (at Pinecrest Lake)

It’s new boots day.  (at Mission Bar)

It’s new boots day. (at Mission Bar)