Rivers Cuomo

Charli XCX’s ‘Sucker’ Is 2014’s Best Pop Kiss-Off

Charli XCX’s sophomore album, Sucker, begins with a big, fat “fuck you” — literally. She holds nothing back on the opening title song, calling herself a killer and her detractors suckers, all over a merciless electronic rock track. It’s the sort of thing Shirley Manson might have offered up in Garbage’s late ’90s prime, after a particularly nasty disagreement with a major label. Under Charli’s watch, “Sucker” slyly shouts out Dr. Luke (“You joined my club/ Luke loves your stuff”) and sets the tone for an album full of sharp pop kiss-offs across love, laws, and lavish lifestyles. The 22-year-old singer and songwriter, born Charlotte Aitchison, then reveals the heart of her anger: “Oh dear god, do you get me now?” … Read More

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Rockism’s Latest Poster Boys: Weezer

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. … Read More

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Rivers Cuomo’s Harvard Life Seems Ripe For TV

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. … Read More

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Dare We Dream That Weezer Will Make an Album That Doesn’t Suck in 2014?

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. … Read More

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Match the Musician with Their Favorite Album of 2010

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. … Read More

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Lady Gaga Joins the Canon of Celibate Musicians

“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. … Read More

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What’s on at Flavorpill: Links That Made the Rounds in Our Office

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

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The Morning’s Top 5 Pop Culture Stories

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

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The Morning’s Top 5 Pop Culture Stories

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

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