The Encyclopedia o' Pop

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A photo from Alone II liner notes with Cuomo's binder. (right)

The Encyclopedia o' Pop is a three-ring binder filled with charts and experiments created by Rivers Cuomo in 1999. It documents and dissects every song written by Kurt Cobain of Nirvana, as well as songs by Oasis and Green Day, in a mathematical manner. According to Todd Sullivan, Weezer's A&R man, "(Rivers) figured if he could home in on Kurt's formula, he'd figure out his own formula. That way, he would be a never-ending supply of songs."[1]

Songwriting methods

In the booklet for Alone 2: The Home Recordings of Rivers Cuomo, Cuomo names a number of songwriting methods devised while writing the Encyclopedia of Pop.

"Intellectually acquired emotionally volatile concept"

Also shortened to "IAEVC"; the song "I Admire You So Much" was written using this method. As described by Cuomo:


Rivers Cuomo head.png
On September 5, I conducted experiment #333, the method being Concept '(IAEVC)-Incipit-Melody-Guitar-Develop-Tea.' 'IAEVC' was an acronym which stood for an 'intellectually acquired emotionally volatile concept.' It meant that rather than waiting to be overwhelmed by a feeling to write about, I would calmly search my mind for a subject which I knew had the potential to inspire emotion in me.


- Rivers Cuomo, [citation needed]


"Incipit-Melody-Guitar-Develop-Tea"

"I Admire You So Much" also utilized this concept. Said Cuomo:


Rivers Cuomo head.png
I would then compose the incipit (the opening lyric) which was a seed idea, the main thrust of the lyric, then write the melody, start strumming the guitar and continue developing the lyric, melody, and guitar from there freely. And all throughout the experiment, I would be sipping a cup of tea with half-and-half.


- Rivers Cuomo, [citation needed]


"Arbitrary-Progression-Distortion-open-Strum-Intro-Melody-Arrange"

"Cold and Damp" was written using this method.

See also

References

  1. Eliscu, Jenny. (June 20, 2002). "How the Weezer frontman cracked the code of the perfect song". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on Weezerpedia at Rolling Stone article - June 20, 2002.