“Beverly Hills.” Remember that song, with it’s dumb lyrics and catchy as hell chorus? Some might have you think it’s one of the worst songs they’ve ever recorded, a glaring point in Rivers Cuomo’s career where he ran completely out of creative integrity. Maybe it is one of their worst songs, but I love it. It was the first Weezer song I’d ever consciously listened to and thought, hey, I like this, it’s fun and I’m going to listen to more of these guys! I was 15-years-old and didn’t care about what Pitchfork said because I didn’t even know what Pitchfork was. ”Beverly Hills” was my gateway drug. Had I not loved that song and loaded it on my iPod Shuffle and listened to it on repeat every day for months, I wouldn’t have grown to love Weezer the way I do now, and I doubt I would love music the way I do now, either.
I was never one of the cool kids who at 14 or 15 was listening to old Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, or Nirvana albums. It wasn’t until I was 18 or so that I started listening to what most would consider “good music.” I’ve always been late to the party in that regard, and that’s as true today as it was then. I’d never listened to a Springsteen album until just a couple years ago. The first time I listened to an R.E.M. album? Two months ago.
So now that I’ve established my critical taste in music as haphazard at best, you’re probably wondering how I’m possibly qualified to write about Weezer for an entire week. Here’s my answer: I don’t think many people are actually “qualified” to write about music. I don’t know of any art form that creates as subjective and personal opinions as music does; music is hard to criticize and even harder to defend.
The Blue Album came out when I was four-years-old. Pinkerton when I was six. I didn’t grow up with “good Weezer”, but you know what, for a lot of kids, “good Weezer” means “Troublemaker” and “Perfect Situation” and “Island in the Sun.” I’m not going to talk about why one Weezer album is critically better than another. I’m going to talk about my first concert (go ahead, guess who it was). I’m going to talk about how fucking great it feels to drive up the coast of California with the windows rolled down listening to the entire Blue Album, plus the B-sides. And I’m going to talk about how “Only In Dreams” may be the greatest song I’ve ever heard. I’m going to talk about why it all means so much to me.
The first paragraph here is pretty standard: “This band connects with me in unique ways that are really special to me, and I’m going to tell you about my feelings and why this band connects to me.” That might sound a bit mean, but plenty of music writing I love could be described as that, and two of my favorite things I’ve written about are about Wiz Khalifa/Drake being post-breakup cure music (and I doubt many would connect to same way I did with that music, no matter how many words I wrote).
So, nothing is really wrong with that paragraph, but it does explain the rest of his OWOB introduction. I won’t comment on his paragraph on “Good Music”, because I really don’t believe in such a thing.
Before I got a chance to write for Pitchfork (once!) or even interacted with any of their writers (be it e-mail, Tumblr, or Twitter), I always had a hard time understanding how people treated this one website as the ultimate authority on music. Not, because I disagreed with them, but because it always seemed to me that it was a site of writers and despite how much their scoring system tries to hide that, its a website made my people and not a Indie Judgement rendering robot. But, Joey mentioning how he didn’t care about what Pitchfork said, because he hadn’t heard of it, is just hilarious to me. As, if the great Pitchfork machine cared about him ignoring by admitting he hadn’t even heard of them, so he couldn’t be harshly judged. I get that Pitchfork’s reputation at this point is pretty solid and based on their earlier years, but I still get a chuckle when people refer to this site of a few dozen people as a music industry monster that is ready to chastise them for listening to the wrong music.
Then Joey, asks if he is even qualified to write about Weezer. My Answer: You are Joey, you are! His answer: “I don’t think many people are actually “qualified” to write about music.” What Joey, what?! Then he continues: “I don’t know of any art form that creates as subjective and personal opinions as music does; music is hard to criticize and even harder to defend.” Right here this amateur music critic/writer/person-dude could barely continue the rest of the post.
I know plenty of people seem to treat music with more subjectivity than other arts, but lets be real for a minute: that’s just not true. The whole “qualified” issue is a dumb one to bring up, because Joey, you aren’t a biographer or even a critic, you are just writing about the music and how it affected your life, which you eventually get to at the end of your piece. So, why talk about who is and who is not “qualified” to write about music. I get you are writing for a site that has seen plenty of real critiques, but One Week One Band isn’t a literary journal or even a reviews website. It’s “One Week One Band” or better yet “One Person One Band”.
And, as for your last comment on “music being hard to criticize or defend”. Music is pretty easy to criticize and defend. I’m not even quite sure, what you mean with that comment, because music doesn’t come from a place that makes it resistant to criticism, and the same applies to the need to “defend” it. I’m sure this week of you going to talk about your relationship to Weezer will be interesting, but this first foot forward had be a bit concerned where the rest of the week might go.
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