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A few weeks ago I achieved an adolescent dream: I saw Weezer live. It has been 12 years since my parents decided, in their infinite squareness, that I couldn’t get into a car with a bunch of kids they hadn’t met and drive to Lincoln, NE no matter how I presented the facts. Johnny Cochran couldn’t have gotten me to that show.

To my delight this year at Riot Fest Weezer decided to cash in on the growing trend of your formerly favorite band abandoning hope that you’ll like their new stuff and just give you the damn record that made you a fan in the first place by playing the Blue Album in it’s entirety. And then they didn’t. Weezer opened their set with their newest song, “Back to the Shack.” Afterward Rivers Cuomo greeted the crowd and said we were all hopping into the time machine, “All the way back to 1994… Wait, no. 2008.” Then they went into “Pork and Beans.” This left a number of the audience members, who were chomping at the bit to fulfill a teen fantasy, restless. By the third song that wasn’t off the Blue Album a number of guys yelled, “This is bullshit!” To Weezer’s credit, the song selection included some of the more promising singles off of bad albums, until they played “Beverly Hills.” “Is this some cruel prank?” I thought to myself. “Are they going to work their way back through their catalogue then give us ‘Say It Ain’t So’ and call it a night?” Thankfully, after they finished “El Scorcho” Rivers announced they were going to take a set break and come back in a few to hop into the time machine once again. When they returned a few minutes later the backdrop had changed from the EVERYTHING WILL BE ALRIGHT IN THE END’s album artwork to all blue with “WEEZER” written in the top right corner. It was not a ruse. Finally, everything was actually was going to be alright. The next 45 minutes was magic and made the guy’s yelling bullshit forget all about hearing Death to False Metal. It felt like a reunion show and in a lot of ways it was.

Over the past decade-plus, Rivers Cuomo seemed to be making vanity records. He wanted to shred: Maladroit. He wanted to make a pop hit: Raditude. He got super into Lost: Hurley. That night it was like Rivers got the band back together, because for the first time in years they sounded like the band all the guy’s that looked like Buddy Holly loved.

Return to form. Getting back to their roots. Whatever cliché you want to use, recapturing those days 20 years ago is a major theme in EVERYTHING WILL BE ALRIGHT IN THE END, and pretty much everything Weezer has done this year. After recently going full Thelma & Louise with producer Rick Rubin, Rivers brought Ric Ocasek back in to man the knobs hoping that they could recreate the magic of the Blue Album.

The record starts off on a promising note with “Ain’t Got Nobody,” a fuzzy hand-clapper with riffs that fall somewhere between Queen and KISS, which is followed by “Back to the Shack.” The first single off the album, “Back to the Shack” includes the lyric, “Rockin’ out like it’s ‘94.” Unfortunately, this song is closer to “Beverly Hills” than anything they rocked in ‘94. Right as it seems like the record is about to go off the rails, “Lonely Girl” pulls you back in. The song is a cross between “No One Else” and “Knock Down Drag Out” that shows Rivers can still make a really solid power pop song. Whatever goodwill this song builds is immediately squandered by “I’ve Had it Up to Here,” which sounds like it was rejected from a terrible rom-com soundtrack. “Da Vinci” is a sort of low-key “Pork and Beans” and it’s fine, but by this point it feels like we are getting Weezer methadone. “Go Away” and “Foolish Father” both sound like they would fit in nicely on the Green Album, and I’m one of the few people who doesn’t mean that as an insult. Sandwiched in between those two songs is “Cleopatra,” a song and subject that would have been cringe worthy on previous albums, is groan worthy on this redemption record. EVERYTHING WILL BE ALRIGHT IN THE END concludes with three songs that bleed into each other, creating a mini rock opera to close things out.

By the end, the ups and downs of this record left me feeling disoriented. Like most recent Weezer albums, EVERYTHING WILL BE ALRIGHT IN THE END is all over the place. At times the Weezer of old comes through and gives us a nice guitar driven pop-rock song that will stay stuck in your head. The lows, however, are especially low considering this was supposed to be more in the vein of their early stuff. It’s like Weezer hit middle age and dug around in the basement to find their favorite old t-shirt and when it didn’t fit like it used to they cut it up and turned it into a quilt. Sure, it’s sort of the same and reminds you of the old days, but only lame people will think it’s actually cool. That is the unfortunately reality of aging, going back to the shack will never be the same as being in the garage.

If you can’t get enough Weezer, check out our episode, Weezer w/ Adam Cayton-Holland

These Things Matter Podcast - Blink-182
  • These Things Matter Podcast - Aaron Brooks
  • These Things Matter Podcast - Blink-182

It finally happened. The moment Kevin had been waiting for since starting this podcast. We recorded an episode about Blink-182. Now for some of you out there, you may be baffled as to why this is such a big deal – Taylor is right there with you. Here is a Westword article that might help shed some light. Apparently Blink-182 is the most successful cult band of all time. Their infectious pop punk turned comedian Aaron Brooks into the punk rock comedian he is today!

Listen in as we ask each other what our respective ages are again over and over. That’s pretty much the whole show. And then be sure to catch Aaron when he comes to a town near you!

These Things Matter Podcast - This American Life
  • These Things Matter Podcast - Elliot Woolsey
  • These Things Matter Podcast - This American Life

Comedian Elliot Woolsey really enjoys a good story. He enjoys a nice drive around or a nice getting high on his couch while listening to the soothing tones of Mr. Ira Glass and Company on THIS AMERICAN LIFE. Perhaps you too have parked in your driveway for 45 minutes waiting for a story to end? Perhaps you too have been seduced by the strange voices of David Sederis, Sarah Vowell, Mike Birbiglia and John Hodgman?

Listen in as we talk about one of the greatest radio shows of all time, won’t you? And catch Elliot on his episode of the Empty Girlfriend podcast or at Comedy Works soon!

These Things Matter Podcast - Built To Spill
  • These Things Matter Podcast - Chris Charpentier and Bobby Crane
  • These Things Matter Podcast - Built to Spill

Comedians, Fine Gentlemen and best friends Bobby Crane and Chris Charpentier share many things. A sense of humor, a love of drugs, and a penchant to go every time Built to Spill comes to town. Jump into friendshipville with this duo and see why making guitar noises with your mouth is totally the best.

Bobby and Chris also share statuses as our first double return guest extravaganza! You can hear Chris talk Seinfeld and Bobby talk Modest Mouse till your heart overflows with joy! You can also see them every Wednesday at the Deer Pile above City ‘O City for their weekly show Too Much Fun. Did Dave Chapelle stop by once? Why, yes! Yes he did!

These Things Matter Podcast - Pulp Fiction
  • These Things Matter Podcast - Matt Monroe
  • These Things Matter Podcast - Quentin Tarantino

Comedian Matt Monroe is very much of his generation, aka one of those guys who saw RESERVOIR DOGS and could never go back to thinking about the world other than the way Tarantino saw it. Join us as we discuss the king of cool, obscure, pop cultural references and of long drawn out discussions of mundane topics followed by unspeakable violence. Then let’s all go walk the earth like Bad Mother Fuckers.

AND let’s all go see Matt’s monthly comedy show at Lannie’s Clocktower Cabaret, Propaganda!

These Things Matter Podcast - Marvel Comics
  • These Things Matter Podcast - Josh Mattison
  • These Things Matter Podcast - Marvel Comics

Our pal Josh was on the great lost episode of These Things Matter. We did a live podcast about podcasts for about 8 people at the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver for one of their Black Sheep Fridays events. It did not turn out well, sound quality-wise or content-wise. It was a smash hit, though, self-indulgence-wise!

We figured we should have the man back on talk talk about something other than podcasts. Join us as we discuss the cool massive comic book company. Of course there’s plenty of talk of DC vs. Marvel, but more than that, we’re talking Captain America, The Hulk, Iron Man, Spiderman, The Fantastic Four, Thor, etc, etc, etc. You know, the fun superheroes! HULK SMASH this episode, kids. And look for Josh’s upcoming podcast with fellow friend of the show Patrick Brown! Details to come!

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  • Photo Aug 24, 11 15 28 AM
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Holy cow! Check it out! It’s us, LIVE! What a blast! Thanks to Sam Tallent, Ian Karmel, Matt Ingebretson and Andy Haynes! Thanks to Oliver Howard for running sound. Thanks to Joyce Jasurda and Mara Wiles for running t-shirts. Thanks to TRVE Brewing for being so accommodating. Thanks to Karen Wachtel for overseeing the show. Thanks to Ron Doyle for stage managing. And thanks to Andy Juett, Adam Cayton-Holland and Charlene Conley for running the whole fest!

You guys. You guys are amazing. You guys showed up, heart, soul and body (especially body) to our live podcast taping as part of the High Plains Comedy Festival! Trve Brewery brought the metallic heat, our sound dude Oliver Howard brought the audio, Ron Doyle and Karen Wachtel watched out for the big picture, Taylor’s mom and Kev’s lady friend hawked t-shirts (AVAILABLE SOON!), and comedians Sam Tallent, Ian Karmel, Matt Ingebretson and Andy Haynes brought the hilarity thunder! We love all of you!!

Here are some pics for your viewing pleasure. Thanks to Joyce Jasurda, Jordan Doll, Lauren Bahlman, Jessi Whitten, Karen Wachtel, Mara Wiles and Kahlan Wiles for the shots!

Hey guys! Did you hear? Are you aware? We’re doing a live show at the HIGH PLAINS COMEDY FESTIVAL! That’s right! Friends of the show Adam Cayton-Holland and Andy Juett are doing it again! Join us as we talk about favorite stand-up comedy specials with Ian Karmel, Andy Haynes, Matt Ingebretson and Sam Tallent!! All whilst drinking sweet, sweet metal beer from Trve Brewery! 2pm on Saturday, August 23rd!

 

And guys… we’re not fucking around here… WE’LL HAVE T-SHIRTS! LOOK AT THESE THINGS! THEY’RE FANTASTIC! AND ONLY $15!

 

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If you don’t live in Denver and you want a t-shirt (of course you do) we’ll have them available VERY SOON for you. Even if we have to do it the old fashioned way with an exchange of money for a t-shirt via the mail… WE WILL GET YOU YOUR T-SHIRTS!

These Things Matter Podcast - Daisy BB Gun
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  • These Things Matter Podcast - BB Guns

It’s time for a toys episode, you guys. Well, a toys episode that turns into an American history episode that turns into an epic road trip story involving hitchhiking pirates. Seriously. It’s the world of writer and archeologist Mark Sanders, y’all! Join us as we talk about America’s favorite toy – the BB gun. We do so avoiding all discussion of the dangers of American gun culture! How ’bout them apples?!

You can read some of Mark’s many pieces of writing here at Westword and hopefully you’ll be able to read his BB Gun adventure book soon!