My Brain Is Working Overtime
|"My Brain Is Working Overtime"|
|Demo by Rivers Cuomo|
|Album||Alone II: The Home Recordings of Rivers Cuomo|
|Released||November 25, 2008|
|Alone II: The Home Recordings of Rivers Cuomo track listing|
|Rivers Cuomo song chronology|
"My Brain Is Working Overtime," (originally titled "My Brain", later reworked into "Do You Really Want Me Down?"), is a song that was demoed in 1999 by Rivers Cuomo and performed live by Weezer in the Summer of 2000. It was released officially on Alone II: The Home Recordings of Rivers Cuomo in 2008. A reworking of the track titled "Losing My Mind" was considered for Make Believe in 2004 but was unreleased until it was included on the compilation album Death to False Metal in 2010.
- Summer Songs 2000 ("official" album, 2001)
- Alone II: The Home Recordings of Rivers Cuomo (2008)
- Alone VI: The Black Room (2020)
- Alone IX: The Make Believe Years (2020)
- Alone X: The Red-Raditude-Hurley Years (2020)
|Eleven more months passed making song-experiments, growing ever more disappointed and anxious, until finally one day in November I felt so stressed that I absolutely had to express my mind-state in a song, impersonality be damned. Without even picking up an instrument, I wrote the opening stanza to "My Brain is Working Overtime" (Track 6):
My brain is workin' overtime,
I logged this stanza as an experiment #92 in the Catalog O' Riffs. It seemed unusually compelling to me but I was still so rattled by anxiety that I could not maintain the faith to finish it. Over the next few months I continued on with other song-experiments and mostly avoided any personal content. But in January 2000, I happened to review #92 and determined that it was indeed strong, and precisely because of its personal nature and psychological truth for me. I finished the lyrics:
It was February, 2000, with the catalog growing to 167 entries, before I finally had the confidence to play even a handful of the songs for anyone. Weezer's manager came over to my house to hear what I had. When he heard #92, he said, "That's a hit!" and that exclamation was one of the reasons I felt confident enough to get back on the road and in the studio with Weezer. I felt like I had finally written something worthwhile after two-and-a-half years of near-fruitless labor in a science lab. And for that reason, I felt gratitude for this song.
The lyrics for "My Brain" were originally written by Rivers Cuomo in 1999, and finished the following January. The song is first known to have been demoed by Weezer on May 3, 2000 at Cole Rehearsal Studios, and was performed live a handful of times by the band throughout the following summer, though it did not appear on the band's subsequent album.
"My Brain" was resurrected in early winter of 2004, when Cuomo demoed it again as a potential song for the band's planned fifth album (that would eventually result in Make Believe). The song, in various forms, remained on Cuomo's "A-list" of song's in contention through the following summer during the album's pre-production, being re-titled "Do You Really Want Me Down?" in April. This iteration of the song, which wouldn't be heard by fans until it was leaked online in November of 2020, featured a wholly new chorus ("Do you really want me down? / Do you really want me?") which would later become the bridge heard in the final version of "My Brain Is Working Overtime" on Alone II. The song was subsequently reworked again with a new chorus by June of 2004, under the new title "Losing My Mind". "Losing My Mind" was completed in October, sans a final mix, but went unused on the final album. By this point the song featured wholly different verse lyrics, making it an entirely distinct song from "My Brain". "Losing My Mind" would not see release until it appeared on the compilation Death to False Metal in 2010. A version of "Losing My Mind" featuring the verse lyrics from "My Brain" appeared on the digital compilation Alone IX: The Make Believe Years in November of 2020.
A demo for "My Brain Is Working Overtime" was released on the album Alone II: The Home Recordings of Rivers Cuomo in November of 2008. There remained confusion for some time as to when this demo was recorded, however. Months prior to the CD's release, the song title appeared on a spreadsheet posted to riverscuomo.com titled The 4 and 5 Star Demos of Rivers Cuomo. This spreadsheet dated the demo as coming from 2004, and the Weezer Recording History mentioned that the demo recorded from that year featured a "totally new bridge" (Indeed, the version on Alone II featured a bridge not present in live performances from 2000). The new bridge also featured the lyric "Do you really want me down?", and "My Brain Is Working Overtime" was briefly re-titled "Do You Really Want Me Down?" in 2004. However, the chronological order of the songs in the liner notes for Alone II implied that the demo originated in 2000, which Karl Koch stated that he believed to be the case. Cuomo himself clarified when asked about it via his chat application, Riverchat, on November 10, 2020, stating that the demo was originally from 2000, but featured new tracks from 2004, a fact corroborated by the subsequent release of the demo compilations Alone VI: The Black Room and Alone IX: The Make Believe Years.
The "SS2K" version of the song is notable for its use of the word "fuck," which hadn't been used in a Weezer song previously and wouldn't appear again until spoken by Lil' Wayne on "Can't Stop Partying" in 2009 (Cuomo would not use the word in a song until "I Love the USA" in 2016).
"My Brain is Working Overtime" was streamed by several music websites and Cuomo's official music Myspace on November 11, 2008. In 2009, the isolated vocal, instrumental, and background tracks were shared online to allow fans to remix them for a contest on Indaba Music.
|Performer(s)||Title||Filename||Date of recording||Recording location||Length||Appeared on||Notes|
|Rivers Cuomo||My Brain||092 My Brain (OG).MP3||1999||2:18||Alone VI: The Black Room|
|Weezer||My Brain Is Working Overtime||May 3, 2000||Cole Rehearsal Studios, Los Angeles, CA||Unknown if same as Weezer demo above|
|Weezer||My Brain Is Working Overtime||July 2000||Tour demo. Unknown if same as Weezer demo above.|
|Rivers Cuomo||My Brain Is Working Overtime||my brain mix4.mp3||2004||3:30||Alone IX: The Make Believe Years|
|Rivers Cuomo||My Brain Is Working Overtime||- my brain mix4 (16374).mp3||2004||3:30||Alone X: The Red-Raditude-Hurley Years||Duplicate of above file|
|Rivers Cuomo||My Brain Is Working Overtime||my brain mix 9.1.mp3||2004||3:31||Alone IX: The Make Believe Years|
|Rivers Cuomo||My Brain Is Working Overtime||- my brain mix 9.1 (16372).mp3||2004||3:31||Alone X: The Red-Raditude-Hurley Years||Duplicate of above file|
|Rivers Cuomo||My Brain Is Working Overtime||my brain cbmix3.mp3||2004||3:31||Alone IX: The Make Believe Years|
|Rivers Cuomo||My Brain Is Working Overtime||- my brain cbmix3 (16370).mp3||2004||3:31||Alone X: The Red-Raditude-Hurley Years||Duplicate of above file|
|Rivers Cuomo||My Brain Is Working Overtime||myBrain-oasis-intro-mp3.mp3||2004||3:31||Alone IX: The Make Believe Years|
|Rivers Cuomo||My Brain Is Working Overtime||background_vocals_wav.wav||2004||3:29||Indaba Music||Isolated background vocals for Indaba Music contest|
|Rivers Cuomo||My Brain Is Working Overtime||instrumental_wav.wav||2004||3:29||Indaba Music||Isolated instrumental track for Indaba Music contest|
|Rivers Cuomo||My Brain Is Working Overtime||lead_vocals_wav.wav||2004||3:29||Indaba Music||Isolated lead vocals for Indaba Music contest|
|Rivers Cuomo||My Brain Is Working Overtime||2004||3:28||Alone II: The Home Recordings of Rivers Cuomo|
|Rivers Cuomo||My Brain Is Working Overtime||13 092 My Brain is Working Overtime.mp3||February 20, 2004||S.I.R. Rehearsal Studios, Los Angeles, CA||3:43||Alone IX: The Make Believe Years||Guitar and vocals|
|Rivers Cuomo||Do You Really Want Me Down?||07 092 Do You Really Want Me Down_ (.mp3||April 23, 2004||S.I.R. Rehearsal Studios, Los Angeles, CA||3:46||Alone IX: The Make Believe Years|
|Rivers Cuomo||Do You Really Want Me Down?||02 Do You Really Want Me Down_ (My B.mp3||May 3, 2004||S.I.R. Rehearsal Studios, Los Angeles, CA||3:46||Alone IX: The Make Believe Years||Unchained Melody|
|Rivers Cuomo||Do You Really Want Me Down?||03 092 Do You Really Want Me Down_ (.mp3||May 18, 2004||S.I.R. Rehearsal Studio, Los Angeles, CAs||3:43||Alone IX: The Make Believe Years|
|Rivers Cuomo||Losing My Mind||02 Losing My Mind (My Brain) 2.mp3||2004||S.I.R. Rehearsal Studios, Los Angeles, CA||3:31||Alone IX: The Make Believe Years||"My Brain" verse lyrics with "Losing My Mind" chorus lyrics|
|Rivers Cuomo||My Brain Is Working Overtime||My Brain is Workin' Overtime (piano).mp3||?||4:03||Alone X: The Red-Raditude-Hurley Years||Piano demo|
|Rivers Cuomo||My Brain Is Working Overtime (?)||My Brain TPmm1.m4a||?||Listed as dummy data on riverscuomo.com demo storefront.|
Alone II version:
- Rivers Cuomo – lead guitar, lead vocals, drums, rhythm guitar, bass guitar, piano
- Rivers Cuomo – lead guitar, lead vocals
- Patrick Wilson – drums
- Brian Bell – rhythm guitar
- Mikey Welsh – bass guitar, backing vocals
- Weezer concert: 06/16/2000
- Weezer concert: 06/17/2000
- Weezer concert: 06/20/2000
- Weezer concert: 06/21/2000
- Weezer concert: 07/04/2000
During two shows on the Troublemaker Tour, the song was performed solo by Cuomo, in the audience in-between sets of the opening bands. It was revealed later that Cuomo was being filmed for the song's music video. The video features multiple audience recordings of this performance.
|The fans came to the rescue again, to document the band's first official performance in nearly 3 years, and the first unveiling of the Summer Songs of 2000 material, like this one, "My Brain (Is Working Overtime)." Other songs in this series went on to be album classics like "Hash Pipe" and "Dope Nose.|
My brain is working overtime
Alone II version
My brain is working overtime