Rivers Cuomo *defines* nerd rock. He's also incredibly insecure. {snip horribly inaccurate factoid here. see writeup below for much better reasons Weezer didn't tour for several years.}

And if you ask me, he's also pretty unpoetic. If you're a die-hard fan of the band, but haven't ever really thought through the lyrics, take a little time to do so. For the most part, they're rather fumbling and/or incoherent. No seriously, I've pointed this out to no fewer than 3 people, and they all reacted with "No way! Weezer rocks!" and they all came back a few days later and said "Y'know? You're exactly right."

But that doesn't mean I don't absolutely love the lyrics. What Rivers lacks in poetic craftsmanship, he makes up for in heart. Of course, it doesn't hurt that he's an immensely talented musician and songwriter.

There is one set of his lyrics that I particularly love, though. The whole stream-of-consciousness vibe of the first and last verses of Undone always strikes me as very artful. But I'm a real sucker for that kind of thing.

And this may seem just a bit off topic, but my mother is a fish.

Rivers Cuomo, Weezer's guitarist/songwriter/creative driving force, was born June 13, 1970 in Connecticut. In interviews, Rivers often refers to his birthplace as "Yogaville". He likely does this for one or both of two reasons: one, to keep the town from getting flooded with tourists, and two, to point out the strangeness of his upbringing. His parents could be more or less accurately described as hippies. Fans often assume that Rivers is a pseudonym, but it is not. His brother's name is Leaves Cuomo. Apparently their parents were big on nature and plurals. In fact, in high school, Rivers went by the name Peter Kitts (Peter Criss), a slight change in spelling from the name of the drummer in his favorite rock group, KISS.

In the 1980s, Cuomo became increasingly aware of the hard sounds of metal, and he soon became a metalhead. He moved, along with the band he'd started with Leaves, to Los Angeles in the hopes of achieving stardom. The metal movement there soon faded away, and Cuomo's bandmates headed back to the East coast. Rivers eventually got a job at Tower Records, meeting Karl Koch and several other connections that eventually helped with the formation of Weezer. After being in several bands that didn't work out, some of them having future Weezer members in them, Rivers finally joined up with Matt Sharp, Jason Cropper, and Pat Wilson. They played shows for a while, until they finally got discovered by Geffen, and produced their first album "Weezer" after changing Jason with new guitarist Brian Bell.

After "Weezer", Rivers was pretty disillusioned with the rock and roll life. He headed off to Harvard, now having enough money to attend the school. He majored in English. During this time, also thanks to "Weezer" money, Rivers was going through a painful procedure to lengthen his left leg by 44 millimeters. Essentially, his femur was broken cleanly all the way around, and a complex device was attatched to his leg. Everyday, Rivers had to actually turn a series of screws to separate the bone by one millimeter. He talks about the pain he felt during this period in the song "The Good Life".

Rivers wrote "Pinkerton" from his very sad and angsty feelings. After he recovered somewhat, the band met again to record. Pinkerton was a disappointment critically and financially. Rivers was deeply hurt. He had opened up his heart, and people didn't like it. The band went on hiatus again, all members working on side-projects. Rivers worked with Homie and Rivers Cuomo Band during this time. For a while, it seemed that Weezer was gone for good.

Rivers and the rest of the band, including new bassist Mikey Welsh, joined forces again in 2000. Much to Cuomo's surprise, "Pinkerton" had developed a cult following and the band had more fans than ever before. One show in particular gave Weezer the motivation it needed to get back in the studio. They played at the Warped Tour. Rivers was sure that Weezer had been forgotten, especially by the sort of punk rock kids that were at Warped. He expected the band to be booed off of the stage. Instead, they were greeted with great enthusiasm.

Rivers was ready to start writing and recording again, and in 2001 "Weezer" (The Green Album) was released.

Rivers Cuomo is (or was) a mastermind in the band Weezer. I'll explain below why I believe that he's not that great anymore.

Weezer's debut self-titled album, released in 1994 was a huge hit, and now is more popularily known as The Blue Album. Newcomers to Weezer are usually told to listen to this album first, and they usually love it and want more. Now the introducer will take this fresh Weezer fan and lead him to Pinkerton. "What the fuck is this shit?" pukes the noobie. Ahh my young friend, you'll see what the shit really is when you get used to it, and you listen to the Green Album and Maladroit. Soon this noobie becomes a herald for other people just waiting to be ushered into Weezer.

But that is now, and the reason Rivers is not a mastermind anymore is because he made a stupid mistake, or rather he never learned his lesson. After Pinkerton flopped and Weezer lost critical praise, he went into seclusion and came out with Green. What a disappointment it was to the following Weezer had after Pinkerton, but it made Rivers happy because it was a pop hit. A disappointment because the lyrics were uninventive, and dry at the most. A disappointment because the music just wasn't powerful... at all. All the songs sound the same, with the exception of the two radio singles which have been drilled into our heads for months at a time. Real Weezer fans abhored Green because it embodied all that was wrong with music because it was mainstream. Many new Weezer fans that have grown to like Weezer because of Maladroit (which isn't bad per say, but not up to par with Blue and Pinkerton) proclaim Green to be Weezer's best album.

So Rivers is quite happy because he has the Real fans and the mainstream fans. He gets money out of both of them. It seems as if Rivers is only out for money (or maybe was only in it for the money from the beginning). Read any interview with Rivers; he fully admits to selling out. That wouldn't be so bad if what he produced was good, but it isn't. The larger population of his fans are the Real fans, the ones who love Pinkerton because it represents true music. If Rivers would write another album that expressed true emotion, it would not be a mainstream success - it would flop just like Pinkerton - but the true fans would love it. An even bigger fan base could be created and Weezer could become a great in the emo world. But that's not what Rivers wants. Rivers would rather stay famous and keep raking in the cash.

Maybe Rivers is a mastermind, but he won't show it. He can barely sing the Blue songs anymore, let alone write great songs such as the ones on that album. If a person wants to become a Weezer fan, they should buy Blue and Pinkerton, then scour the Internet for B-sides... until Rivers grows some balls and releases a good album again.

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