Karl's Corner - Winter 1996

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Transcribed from original Weezine #5. Pages 10–13 missing.

Riversslob.png Don't you be a slob
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Hello everybody! Well, welcome to the "lean months". Public excitement has faded, radio stations and Mtv hardly play any Weezer anymore, the band isn't on tour, the new record isn't finished yet, blah, blah, blah... Hmmm! Sounds like winter to me! Well I hope I can spread some holiday cheer around! Let's see...

Well, I suppose the biggest good news is The Rentals and their successful start. Matt Sharp's labor of love is off the ground and on the street. By the time you read this their first tour will be history, with plannings underway for future shows. For all the Matt fans out there it's a pretty amazing time indeed! I personally dig his album quite a bit. Nothing else out there really sounds like it. Matt did a great job recording and getting himself his own record deal to boot! Matt was pretty independent when it came to The Rentals. My personal experience was fairly limited. I helped him move equipment for a few hectic days in Spring '94 so he could start recording at a small studio in L.A. Those sessions were scrapped later when the opportunity arose to record at Poop Alley Studios with Tom Grimley. Poop Alley is a strange and magical little L.A. studio where bands like that dog., the Geraldine Fibbers and Beck have made many recordings. I was only there a couple times during The Rentals recording sessions. I can only say that Poop Alley may be the only recording studio with both a working electric butt massager and a working intellivision video game setup.

Anyway, more stuff... vinyl people will be pleased to know that yes, the Weezer album finally exists as an L.P. record. Geffen U.K. at last send me a copy, and I immediately put it on my turn table and put down the needle... I gotta say it was a good day, to borrow from Ice Cube. However, I can report that while it is cool, it's not as cool as it could be. Inside there is no garage photo anywhere, just a paper sleeve with the record in it. The cover photo looks kind of grainy, as if they just blew up the CD booklet rather than work from the original photo. And, of course, they cut off the guys' legs too low, just like on the CD, and even gave the same old ,mailing address. Somebody wasn't on the ball. I did everything I could, but somewhere along the line my "suggestions" (I considered them orders, of course) were apparently thrown out of the window.

In other discographic news, it has come to my attention that there is a Weezer bootleg out there. I have seen and listened to this CD. It looks similar to the album at first glance, but says "Weezer...Geezer" across the top, and the guys' heads are replaced with random old men's heads. This CD was apparently made from a "homemade" audience recording at a show last winter at The Sting in New Britain, CT (not the show opening for Live in October '94 but the headlining show i December '94 where Letters To Cleo and The Dambuilders opened). It doesn't sound too good and is by no means worth the 25 to 30 dollars it sells for. It does contain "getchoo" (listed as "get to my heart", apparently mistakenly interpreted from the line "get-choo, uh huh"). Despite this "debut" and the general scarcity of live Weezer material out there, I must discourage the purchase of this CD, as not only is it of inferior quality at an outrageous price, but it's illegal and like all bootlegs, all the proceeds go to somebody who snuck in a tape recorder at the show. Unless you can get it for a fraction of its usual price, it really is a rip-off. Preferably only a few people will buy it and everyone else can tape it off of them. Thanks to Jeremy Crum for advance warning on all this. He wrote that he found it in an ad in Goldmine! Sheese!

Next... to answer Ian Toomey's question: the imported "undone" singles use the full album version, limited at 4:55. The U.S. promotional versions have the two different edits 3:55 or 4:10. I have since learned that they all say 3:55 on the case, and the 'newer' 4:10 CD's were put into the old 3:55 cases after the edit was corrected. So only the printing on the CD itself will tell the true tale.

Next... Kurt Wendlenner wrote in about a tape he acquired with a live radio show from Paris that Weezer did in Feb. 95 (opening for Radiohead) on one side, and an 'audience taped' live show on the other. The show was taped in Boston at The Avalon in August 95. While I don't find the Boston show tape too curious (people tape shows all the time), I do find it very interesting that the Paris show is out there. Also odd is how those two shows are on one tape. Kurt you must write back, because you didn't mention if this tape was purchased or dubbed from someone, and if it was purchased if it looks "home-made" or "professional". If you can copy the Paris side and send it to [...] sounded kinda crappy in the radio studio). And xerox the cover, if there is one. And Kurt, keep reading for more info on "getchoo", or 'get you' as you put it.
By the way, if any English Fanclub member has a tape of the Weezer Radio One broadcast from way back in February '95, be a god/goddess adn send a copy to the fanclub. That sessions is the closest thing to a "peel session" that Weezer ever did, and while it sounded pretty good in the BBC studio, very few tapes of the completed music ever got out. It would be neat to see how that came out on the air a year later too.

Okay... GOOD NEWS at long last regarding the Weezer music book! I've learned today (December 12 as I write) that a second draft of the book was sent to Rivers some time ago and he approved everything except for a final check to see if they got all the notes right. I was told that the approved final draft was finally going back to the publisher before Christmas. With a little luck the long awaited book will be on the stands early in the new year (about when you read this). A HUGE thanks to all the music-minded fans for being so patient and not rioting and tearing the streets up.

...Thanks to Antoniette Java, Dian Syani, and Erin P. Dooley for their custom Mtv award cards.

...Thanks to Linda Polizzi for the great letter-it's cool to know the story behind little events like that set list thing. I'll have you know that it was your intense politeness that won me over - usually I just whip them out there.

...Jen Hagen:... Spike Jonze is all there: nice, funky and especially "what?"

...Justin Hoenke: Your questions are all answered in there course of this article, except: "deceased" was just my stupid way of saying that they don't play that song anymore. I was trying to imply that those songs are so old and were dropped so long ago that they really aren't Weezer songs anymore.

..."Rainbow Brite girls": thanks for the "O.J." version of "Say It Ain't So". Very funny, in a morbid kind of way.

Next up I thought I'd sort of review the Angus and Mallrats soundtracks a bit for the benefit of those unsure if they should invest any cash to get them. Speaking personally, if I like at least 3 bands on a soundtrack and I don't have their contributed songs elsewhere, I usually deem it 'worth it'. Of course, some bands are extra special to some folks, and if they can afford it they'll get everything with that band's name on it, even if it's a song they already have elsewhere. The Smith had that effect on some fans back in the day, and it was a very expensive venture to keep up with all their stuff. Fortunately, Weezer's output has been more slow and steady. In my opinion "Angus" and "Mallrats" are pretty good as far as soundtracks go (my own favorites including "Malcolm X", which includes the fantastic "Beans and Cornbread" by Louis Jordan, "Akira" and of course "Star Wars"), they each have a couple stinkers but are on the whole listenable. Angus of course, contains "J.A.R.", a great Green Day song that isn't on their new record, a cool version of "I Am Wrong" by Love Spit Love, and songs by groups who are getting some more attention these days. The Riverdales (opening for Green Day on their tour), The Smoking Popes, The Goo Goo Dolls, who have grown tremendously in popularity in recent months.
"Mallrats" contains a more 'corporate' mix of songs including stuff by Bush, Sponge, Silverchair, and Elastica, although not all the songs are new. It's also listenable" (I didn't throw my stereo across the room or anything), and it's kept lively with some dialogue from the film.
As to whether each is worth it to the "Weezer Only" fan... "Angus" contains a song not yet available anywhere else. "You gave your love..." has since been recorded and, as of this writing, is slated for the new album. So, a different 'improved' version is going to appear, but not for several months at least. If you cannot wait, don't mind it's impending 'obsolescence', and especially if you dig some of the other Angus artists, go for it.
"Mallrats" contains "Susanne", which is not only the only U.S. release of this song (and will stay that way), but it is partially re-recorded, different from the version on the "Undone" imports. The drums, bass and some of the guitars and vocals were remixed, while some guitars and the backup vocals have been re-recorded. Also, a keyboard was added to the solo section. Overall it sounds tighter and more crunchy, to my ears it's a big improvement.
Buying Mallrats is almost definitely worth it if you never found "Susanne" on an import. "Undone" singles have been absent lately in stores and are probably all gone by now.
If none of those things excites you and you just wanna hear the songs, then by all means tape them off a friend. Those soundtracks are good but not earth shattering - kind of like the movies! Weezer fold are just thankful that "Only in Dreams" did NOT end up on the Empire Records soundtrack. Not only did the movie bomb, but it kinda stunk too. We have to have some kind of standards here!

Okay now an update on the recording process for Weezer's second record. In late August, just a week after the summer tour ended, everyone was in New York, back in Electric Lady studios. Me, Pat Wilson, and Pat's wife Jen came in early and had a few days to settle in and have some fun. Rivers and Brian showed up next and the first weekend was spent 'getting sounds' with engineer Joe [...] Meanwhile in the studio down the hall, Chris Shaw was working on the Re-mix/Remake of "Susanne" for Mallrats. For a day, Rivers and Brian would alternate between vocals on "Susanne" and rehearsals back in the big room. Matt, frantically finishing recording on his Rentals album in L.A., wouldn't show up until Monday, the day recording was to start. (Matt=hardest working weirdo in show biz). In the meantime, I sat in for him a couple of times when a rough recording was needed to see how the guitars, drums and bass meshed.

Funkobluealbum.png I'm no six-foot, hot-look, all-American man
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