|1997 - 1998
Homie was a side project of Rivers Cuomo. The project has officially released just one song, "American Girls", for the soundtrack of the 1998 film Meet the Deedles. For this recording, Cuomo was joined by Greg Brown member of Cake, Matt Sharp (formerly of Weezer, lead singer of the Rentals), Adam Orth of Shufflepuck and Yuval Gabay of Soul Coughing. The band also performed shows and recorded studio material with a variety of different musicians.
- 1 Overview
- 2 Beginnings
- 3 Live performances
- 4 Homie album
- 5 Fan demand
- 6 Discography
- 7 See also
The Homie project began during Weezer's hiatus in late 1997, following the release of Pinkerton. The project was composed of songs Cuomo wrote that he felt weren't right for Weezer, including songs written in his early 20s, songs written concurrently with Pinkerton, and new songs. Commenting on the song "American Girls" in a Riverpedia entry in 2020, Cuomo said, "I wrote it at the same time as I wrote Pinkerton. If a song was lighthearted, I put it in the Homie pile. If it was darkhearted, I put it in the Pinkerton pile. Having both piles allowed me to write whatever I was feeling without having to worry if it was too dark or too light."
Weezer fans sometimes erroneously apply the Homie moniker to a totally different Cuomo-led group of Boston-area musicians that played several shows while Rivers took time off from Harvard. This group (sometimes informally referred to as the "Rivers Cuomo Band") was not Homie, but were played under the guise of "solo" shows, and the material played at these shows were songs Rivers had written for the third Weezer album at the time. The material played at Homie shows were exclusive to the Homie project and are assumed to have been intended for the Homie album which was worked on in 1997 and 1998.
The song "Wanda (You're My Only Love)", although originally written as a Weezer song for the 1995 film Angus, is considered to be a Homie song, as it was played during the Homie shows. "Wanda" was later released on Alone: The Home Recordings of Rivers Cuomo.
According to Cuomo's blog, master tapes of recording sessions made during the Homie-era exist, but are largely unfinished, with only drum tracks put down. Bootlegs of their live shows have been available online since 1997 and played a small role in Weezer's resurgence following their second album, Pinkerton.
In a December 2010 interview with RXP 101.9 FM Rivers revealed that while the album was indeed recorded at Fort Apache, the studio has since closed down. This means it is unlikely that the album will see the light of day as the master recordings were left in the studio and Rivers never "went back" to retrieve them. During a "Nerd Night" in September 2011, Rivers stated that the Homie recordings were all destroyed. He did however say that he planned to eventually release a version of "Hey M'Darlin'" which he recorded when he was 20 years old.
After the somewhat disappointing success of 1996's Pinkerton, the members of Weezer each separated to pursue their own projects. Rivers dropped out of Harvard and moved to Boston to be closer to his family. Upon his arrival, he recorded the demo tape consisting of songs that would become the Homie album.
These are home demos recorded in Boston by Rivers on his DA-88 machine.
- American Girls
- Autumn In Jayne
- Hey M'Darlin'
- I'll Think About You
- Sheila Can Do It
- I'll Stay Right Here
- Longtime Sunshine
These recordings were made exclusively by Rivers. "American Girls" was a fast paced rock number. "Rosemary" was a ballad that slowly built up in dynamics. "Autumn in Jayne" is a self-described "country song". "Hey M'Darlin'" and "I'll Think About You" are both old demos from before Weezer's formation that Rivers never used with Weezer. It is uncertain in exactly which ways the songs had been reworked for this demo. Finally, "Longtime Sunshine" was a reworking of the old fallen Songs from the Black Hole track. It is uncertain exactly what is different about it. Karl has said in an email exchange, "I don't remember anything in particular...but it was probably given the 'Homie treatment'."
In late 1997 and early 1998, Rivers played five solo shows in Boston clubs. Three of these shows were "Weezer Tryouts", two of these shows were "Homie Tryouts". Karl has said, "According to various conversations with Rivers at the time, the new material showcased at these shows was both 'in consideration for new Weezer songs' and, paradoxically also 'goofy country songs that are not Weezer', (i.e the Rivers-fronted project band, Homie). While songs from both "bands" (Weezer and Homie) seem to be mixed into all 5 shows."
Homie Show #1, 11/5/97 at The Middle East, Cambridge, MA
Homie show #2, 11/21/97 at T.T. the Bear's Place, Cambridge, MA
Following the live performances of the Homie material, a rehearsal tape was recorded. It is uncertain as to who played what.
- Autumn in Jayne
- Hey M'Darlin'
- I'll Think About You
- Wanda (You're My Only Love)
- Sheila Can Do It
- Sunshine O Sunshine
- I'll Stay Right Here
- Hot Tub
- No One Else
- Long Time Sunshine
- Never You Mind (Despite rumors that state otherwise, Karl Koch has confirmed that "Never You Mind" is not the same song as "Chess")
Shortly after, Rivers entered a pro studio with a group of unknown musicians (but presumably those from the shows above and the rehearsal tape). Together, they recorded two professional studio recordings of Homie material. Ross Humpheries engineered.
Recording the final album
In December of 1997 and January of 1998, Rivers Cuomo entered the studio, with Fred from the Gigolo Aunts on drums and Drew from the Tracy Bonham band on bass, and possibly recorded a Homie album. There is some debate as to what actually happened.
According to Rivers in a 2006 fan interview, only the drums were tracked. However, according to Karl Koch prior to Rivers' statement, this was the actual Homie album, completely finished except for a final mix. Karl writes, "He recorded an entire album's worth of Homie songs, I believe at Fort Apache in Boston. The song listing will be posted here "ASAP", as track sheets for the sessions have turned up. The tapes were never mixed down, however, so there is no listening copy available at this time. This session includes such 'solo' show songs as "Hey M'Darlin'" , "I'll Think About You", and "Fun Time". According to Rivers, he considers the recording to be a completed album, and at the time he had hoped to someday release it as Homie."
Later, in an email exchange, Karl said "Unfortunately, I was never able to re-find those track sheets. Actually, Rivers either hid them or lost them, and that was 6+ years ago now. And the tapes are either in Boston at a studio or are missing. 'Shadows in the dark...' as Gandalf said..."
Meet the Deedles soundtrack
Around this time, Rivers recorded what would become the only released Homie song, "American Girls". The song was recorded in Boston at a professional studio, but no one seems to remember where. Karl wrote, "The older version of the song was a very up-tempo rocking song. When the "Deedles" version was released (on March 24, 1998), many were surprised to find that it was now a much slower song, smoothed out on the R-n-B / country tip with a pop feel appeal to it."
|HOMiE - Volume 1
|Tribute album by HOMiE
|February 20, 2009
|March 2008 - February 2009
Like Songs from the Black Hole, the Homie album is a holy grail for Weezer fans, often debating which album should be finished or released. Unlike SFTBH, many believe that the Homie album is actually finished and sitting in the Weezer archives. Of course, this claim is unverified. Others simply hope for the Homie demos Rivers recorded to be released. Many fans joke about the album, comparing it to Brian Wilson's legendary Smile project, and say that "Rivers will probably finish it when he's older and his voice is shot." In 2006, ohjonas went so far as to make cover art for the Homie album, parodying the "Smile" artwork. Since then, Homie has often erroneously been spelled "HOMiE".
Unfortunately, the actual Homie album may never see the light of day. Despite this, some Homie songs have been leaked or released, but none are recordings from the actual era. "Wanda (You're My Only Love)", and "Longtime Sunshine" were both released on Alone, but in their original incarnations rather than in their Homie form. Furthermore, "I'll Think About You" appears on Alone II as a 1997 Homie recording (likely a demo or rehearsal version), not the original 1994 demo of the song.