Alone II hootenanny

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The Alone II hootenanny (also known as the Alone II jam session or Jam Session with Rivers) took place on November 25, 2008 in Long Beach, California. The event was held at Fingerprints Records with roughly 150 guests in attendance. The format of the show allowed fans to bring instruments as "performers" and for others to view as "spectators". "Performers" were allowed to request any song Cuomo had ever written and play along.

A CD and DVD of this event was released on May 5, 2009.

Announcement

The hootenanny was first announced in a Pitchfork interview with Rivers Cuomo. Said Rivers,

"I want to do a really cool event to promote Alone II on the day of release. It's basically another Hootenanny, but it's a little different. Anyone can come, you don't have to bring an instrument, but if you want to, you can bring an instrument, and you the audience will pick the songs we play, and it can be anything. And I'll just print up the lyrics right there on the spot, I'll have to have a computer there or something, I'll get them off line, off the Internet. It can be any of my songs or any cover, and so, in some cases, it might just be one person [who] says, like, "Oh! Let's play this obscure B-side!" or something, some song from [unfinished Weezer disc Songs From] the Black Hole, and he may be the only person in the room [who] knows it, besides me, and then it will just be me and that person giving a concert to the rest of the room. And then the next song, there might be 20 people who know it. So that will be a very dynamic event, and very fun for me. And I won't have to bring a guitar [laughs]."

Event

Choosing songs

To start the event, Rivers asked what songs fans wanted to hear. So many songs were shouted that Rivers decided he would let people with unique instruments choose songs. He proceeded to alphabetically call off letters and anyone whose instrument started with that letter was permitted to name a song (Acoustic guitar, electric guitar and guitar were void). For 'v', Rivers chose the instrument "vocalist" which allowed him to pick his own song (he picked "Can't Stop Partying"). After songs were picked and organized into a column, Rivers asked the fans to chose an opener. Fans unanimously choose "Blast Off!". Then, Rivers asked fans to choose a closer, which resulted in a debate between "Longtime Sunshine" and "Butterfly". "Longtime Sunshine" was voted off (along with "Peace" and "I Was Made for You") in favor of other songs like "Buddy Holly", "Lover in the Snow" and "Getting Up and Leaving". Eventually, Rivers decided that after "Blast Off!", the songs would follow in alphabetical order.

Regarding the songs fans selected, Rivers commented they were all slow and "chill". He asked fans if they wanted more fast songs.

Official Release

Songs performed

  1. "Blast Off!"/"Who You Callin' Bitch?"
  2. "Across the Sea"
  3. "Buddy Holly"
  4. "Butterfly"
  5. "Can't Stop Partying"/"Pork and Beans"
  6. "Devotion"
  7. "El Scorcho"
  8. "Getting Up and Leaving"
  9. "Lover in the Snow"
  10. "Susanne"
  11. "Waiting on You"
  12. "The Greatest Man That Ever Lived (Variations on a Shaker Hymn)"
  13. "Undone (The Sweater Song)"

Blast Off!

To start of the song, Rivers said that the song would require three more male, lead vocalists. Eventually, a fourth lead was cast to play kazoo over M1's part (bringing the total vocalists on stage to five). Weezerpedia co-founder ohjonas sang the part of Dondó. The song was given three takes and at the end of the final take, the crowd sang "Who You Callin' Bitch?" after Weezerpedia user MyNameIsJason suggested adding it at the end to Cuomo. He eventually laughingly joined in on the song.

Across the Sea

"Across the Sea" was one that, when finished, Rivers congratulated the audience on stating that it was the hardest song in the Weezer catalogue because of it's chord changes, key changes and tempo changes. He was impressed by the audience.

Buddy Holly

"Buddy Holly" was turned into a fast paced ska rock song. It was suggested by Rivers that they try to change it up. At one point, the audience considered doing it as a slow sad song, but Rivers decided that they already had enough "mellow songs".

Butterfly

"Butterfly" was performed with only Rivers and banjoist Ryan Booth on stage. During the second verse, guitars and falsetto "oohs" were performed by the crowd.

Can't Stop Partying

For "Can't Stop Partying", Rivers left the stage and stood in the center of the crowd. For the second take, user wATERbUISCUIT suggested that the crowd sing the final chorus of "Pork and Beans" after the song because "they have the same chord progression."

Devotion

For "Devotion", Weezerpedia user MyNameIsJason played the drums. The song was described on ohjonas' twitter as a "Mario Galaxy storybook cut scene". Before the song, Rivers struggled to remember the melody and taught the audience falsetto harmonies. This song was played on an Omnichord only.

El Scorcho

Fans were so eager to get into "El Scorcho" that they began to sing it without Rivers. Rivers did not join in until the end of the song. After the take, Rivers suggested that he not even sing because it sounded so "cool" with just the fans. Fans booed the idea. Rivers then suggested that the fans sing at least one verse on their own, which fans also booed at. Rivers expressed that he didn't think the fans knew how "cool [they] sounded."

Lover in the Snow

Getting Up and Leaving

"Getting Up and Leaving," a holy grail for Weezer fans, was one that Albumsix boardies present emphatically demanded. Originally, the song was attempted before "Lover In the Snow", but because no one knew the chords or lyrics ohjonas and Sarah found them on Weezerpedia, printed them off, and gave them to Rivers afterward. While they finished printing them, Rivers sang an a capella version of the song. He stated before hand "I don't think I even finished it!" Fans responded "You finished it for the "Pink Triangle" single!" which caused Rivers to laugh. The song was not played in it's entirety because, according to Rivers, the chords in the sheet music were incomplete and the fans did not have the chorus chords. He quickly went into the next song. Fans agreed afterward that he seemed to be avoiding the song, possibly because he might include a full home demo version on a possible Alone III and knowing that hardcore Weezer fans would post all the Hootenanny songs on Youtube.

Susanne

Waiting on You

Weezerpedia user MyNameIsJason also played drums on this song.

The Greatest Man That Ever Lived

"The Greatest Man That Ever Lived" was originally not on the setlist, but was picked at random as an encore. Originally, fans argued over a finale. Many wanted "Undone", "Only in Dreams", and others. Rivers told fans to select a number between one and fifty-five. Fans all argued over what the number should be while Rivers laughed and said the choice had to be unanimous. Finally, it was decided that the song number would be 25 because it was the 25th of November. Rivers looked at his sheet and said "And the song choice is...*long pause*...oh crap! The Greatest Man that Ever Lived!"

Undone (The Sweater Song)

Undone was performed onstage by fans after Rivers Cuomo left the stage and went into the back room of the store. It appears on both the CD and DVD releases of the show.

Albumsix Interaction

On the night of the event, ohjonas and johnny12ockets each updated live twitter feeds with the event's proceedings. By doing so, Albumsix boardies were able to follow the events of the hootenanny as the unfolded.

There were several Albumsix boardies and Weezerpedia users in attendance. Ohjonas, MyNameIsJason, Soupandballoons, BenHogan77, Robotanachi, mutantmanifesto, mawlahdroyt, it really happened, the nest, wentlyman, wATER bISCUIT, trite3825, riverz, tstrapac, burntpork, johnny12rockets, jackssmirkingrevenge, and polyrhythm all participated in the event.

See also

External links