Let us not forget that Rivers Cuomo, human receptacle for music fandom’s collective disappointment, once posed on the cover of Billboard Magazine with his arm around Jermaine Dupri. Even in today’s genre-agnostic musical landscape, that pairing — the Weezer frontman and the R&B songwriter/producer, best known for his work with Mariah Carey — wouldn’t be the most obvious one, but in 2009, the concept was a real head-scratcher.
Those were the years before The Black Keys finally broke through the mainstream with Danger Mouse-produced pop hits, before Usher’s presence was practically expected at Afghan Whigs shows, and before A$AP Ferg remixing Haim somehow made sense. Poptimism was not a concept given much consideration by those outside the music media, let alone controversial thinkpieces in the New York Times. But empowered by the success of mid-2000s singles like “Pork and Beans” and “Beverly Hills” at both pop and alternative radio, Weezer doubled down on pop music. After all, a lot had changed since “Buddy Holly” cracked the Top 20 in 1994.
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Yesterday evening, Fox announced that it had given a put-pilot order to a sitcom called DeTour, from Psych creator Steve Franks. You may be wondering: what’s a put-pilot, and why should I care until this show actually gets a series order? Well, first off, a put-pilot is the kind most likely to reach your TV: a network must pay a hefty fee if they do not air the pilot. And secondly, you should care if you’re a music fan: Franks’ inspiration is the life of Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo, specifically the singer’s 11 years of on-and-off study at Harvard, and Cuomo himself is directly involved with the show.
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I am not a sports fan, but I imagine my Weezer fandom is a lot like loving a Cleveland team: at one point they were good, so there’s always that small sliver of hope that they could be again. Weezer have not made a tolerable album in 12 years (2002’s Maladroit), which means they’ve made as many bad records as good ones. They’re currently recording a new album that reunites them with Cars frontman Ric Ocasek, the producer behind 1994’s Blue Album as well as their 2001 comeback, Green Album. And if teasers on social media are to be believed, this may be the return to form that reels old fans back in. Or it could be more false hope, another example of nostalgia as hype. Which is it? Let’s examine the evidence.
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Time for another guessing game — this time we pit you against Spin Magazine’s list of musicians picking their favorite albums of the year. After the jump, we’ve picked 10 of our favorite artists from their list and it’s up to you to match them with their favorite albums. Don’t worry — we gave you a hint by including a quote from each artist about their pick. Highlight the blacked-out boxes to check your answers, and learn what everyone from Bradford Cox to Wayne Coyne was listening to this year.
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“I’m bluffin’ with my muffin.” Do these sound like the words of a chaste woman? Despite the sexually explicit images Lady Gaga conjures up when she sings about wanting to “take a ride on your vertical stick,” the singer recently announced that she’s celibate: “I’m celibate. Celibacy’s fine…It’s not really cool anymore to have sex all the time. It’s cooler to be strong and independent.”
It’s entirely conceivable that celibacy is just another bubble suit Gaga is trying on, attempting to sheath her personality under ever-increasing layers of fan-base feints. Of course, Gaga wouldn’t be the first notable musician to dodge hypersexuality by subverting the possibilities of actual, physical sexual expression. Considering the level of sexuality expressed in some of these musicians’ music, maybe we shouldn’t be so surprised if they gravitate towards celibacy; it’s like the butcher who is a vegetarian just to avoid taking the stench of flesh home with him. After the jump, see our list of notable musicians who are or once claimed to be celibate, some more surprising than others.
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Today at Flavorpill, we lusted this Moleskine multi-pack. We were excited to hear that the US Postal Service is honoring the Abstract Expressionists with their own stamps. We felt sorry for the contestants of the canceled (and first ever) Mr. Gay China pageant. We didn’t worry about getting our earbuds in… Read More
1. Jawbox, a beloved Washington D.C. punk band that had not performed together since 1997, reunited last night on Jimmy Fallon. There are no future concerts planned outside of the appearance. (video) [via ArtsBeat]
2. David Letterman is now on Twitter. [via PopCandy]
3. Steven Soderbergh‘s Spalding Gray documentary, And… Read More
1. Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo remains in a hospital in Amsterdam, NY following a tour bus accident yesterday. Remaining dates from the December Raditude Tour have been officially cancelled. [via TwentyFourBit]
2. The Zhu Zhu robotic hampster, the impossible to find toy that all the kids are asking for this season, may contain “toxic… Read More
Analyze Words is a new and super useful tool for determining other people’s personalities via their posts on Twitter. Developed by James W. Pennebaker, a University of Texas Professor of Psychology, along with his daughter Teal, Roger Booth and Chris Wilson, the program analyzes Tweets based on not the ‘content words’ but rather the ‘style words’ — like articles and prepositions — to determine the mental state of the author. Basically this means that you can plug in anyone’s Twitter handle and watch them be ranked in Emotional Style, Social Style and Thinking Style. We’ve been playing with this for hours. After the jump, check out some of our favorite Tweet analyses of famous… Read More
Raditude, Weezer’s questionably-titled seventh album, hit stores yesterday — and it is silly pop music. But that’s okay, because Leighton Meester is on board. Come on, Blair! Don’t you know it’s so not cool to like a band’s recent work? You have to roll your eyes and talk about how only their old stuff is good. And like any group of self-respecting elitists, the Pitchfork reviewers (primarily Rob Mitchum, but the two other dudes who have reviewed Weezer albums in the last ten years too) hate hate hate every Weezer album after Pinkerton. Hate… Read More