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Riverpedia archive - 02/15/2021

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Alone Series

Alone IV - XIII are a series of demo bundles I’ve released in The Market. Each bundle represents a different era, and are grouped as outlined below.

  • Alone IV: Before Weezer
  • Alone V: The Blue-Pinkerton Years
  • Alone VI: The Black Room
  • Alone VII: The Green Years
  • Alone VIII: The Maladroit Years
  • Alone IX: The Make Believe Years
  • Alone X: The Red-Raditude-Hurley Years
  • Alone XI: The EWBAITE Years
  • Alone XII: The White Years

Track Lists

Riverchatters are keeping up to date track lists for each bundle in this google sheet..
Missing demos can be noted on page 2 of the google sheet. Be sure to note the song title and the era.

Ratings

My demos can be rated here. Thank you to gracz for creating and sharing his site while I finalize a native ranking system.

Album Artwork

Fans have created and shared their own album artwork for each bundle in a google drive, where you can view or download their concepts, and you can even upload your own work!

Alone V: Pre-Weezer

Alone V: Pre-Weezer starts when I was around 11, pretending to be a DJ in Connecticut on my home recorder and ends in 1992 just when I started to write songs for Weezer.

It took me a while to find my voice as a songwriter. I started off trying to write metal riffs. But by the time I moved to LA in 1989, the songwriting and types of music I was exploring really varied.

Before focusing on Weezer, I compiled a number of tapes with full songs, riffs, sketches and even mash-ups with phone calls. And there’s my ‘opera’ tape- 20 plus tracks with me at the piano. Some of these can be a little raw, but they’re a fun listen.

The music got grungy but eventually, I gained focus when I started to write songs specifically for Weezer. This bundle has the first demo for Undone (The Sweater Song) and a number of early Weezer songs that didn’t make The Blue Album.

Highest-rated by curators:

  1. Make Me a Pallet
  2. Christmas in LA
  3. Colmusheen
  4. Little Bag
  5. Anything 4 You (Take 3)
  6. I Can’t Forget the Way
  7. Close Your Eyes and Give Me a Kiss
  8. Spider Bitch
  9. Ain’t Got No Words
  10. Hey M’Darlin

Highest-rated by neighbors:

  1. I Can’t Forget the Way 2
  2. Hey M’Darlin
  3. Make Me a Pallet
  4. Christmas in LA
  5. Phone Call Interruption
  6. Wet Dog
  7. Undone
  8. Crazy Rock ‘n Rollers
  9. Hello Men and Boys
  10. Colmusheen

Alone III & Alone IV: The Blue-Pinkerton Years

Once Weezer was underway, I found my voice and a unique, true identity as a songwriter. This bundle starts when Weezer was still rocking the clubs in LA, when I wrote most of the songs that would end up on the Blue Album. You’ll probably find a lot of the songs in this collection familiar—there are the original demos of classic Weezer songs from Blue and Pinkerton, like In the Garage, Holiday or Why Bother?

After the release of our first album, we toured constantly and I at first, found it difficult to write. But I drew inspiration from my disillusionment with life on the road and used that for the concept behind Songs from the Black Hole.

I took a break from touring for leg surgery and to go back to school, where the space opera concept transformed into the ideas that would become Pinkerton.

Even though I put myself out there for Pinkerton, the personal lyrics and complex rock arrangements didn't resonate with audiences like I had hoped. During one of the European festivals we played before the album's release, I remember how the audience connected way more with a musical act that didn’t have guitars, a bass or drums than they did with us. The crowd was drawn to their simple sound with repetitive beats. I spent years trying to emulate that with my own music.

After we stopped touring in the summer of '97, I returned to Boston. But instead of resuming my classes at Harvard, I set out to make music that was the opposite of Pinkerton, a (repetitive sound) with impersonal lyrics. With groups of Boston musicians, I led two bands, one called Homie which played weird, country goofball songs written during Pinkerton, and another that I called Lovely, focused on the music I thought I would play in the future. Some of those songs, like Rosemary and American Girls, are part of the Blue-Pinkerton years because they were my response to the reception to Pinkerton and a hint of what was next.

Highest Rated by Curators

  1. Waiting on You
  2. In the Garage
  3. Rosemary
  4. Superman
  5. Punk Rock Girl
  6. Simply State
  7. Hot Tub
  8. Too Good For Me
  9. When You’re Near Me
  10. Let Me Wash At Your Sink

Highest Rated by Neighbors

  1. Waiting on You
  2. You Gave Your Love to Me Softly
  3. Devotion
  4. Susanne
  5. Holiday
  6. In the Garage
  7. American Girls
  8. Tired of Sex
  9. No One Else
  10. Why Bother 

Alone VI: The Black Room

I returned to LA in early 1998 determined to work on a new sound for Weezer's third album. The Black Room is a time where I was struggling to find confidence. I isolated myself and experimented with several different styles of music to find what was next.

I returned to T.K. Productions, where Weezer had its first rehearsal, rented a recording/rehearsal room and worked on various sketch tapes, many of which are in this bundle. The tapes are made up of songs and sketches, and my approach changed throughout the year. At first, I was convinced that Weezer's future lay in repetitive, impersonal yet romantic rock. Then I looked to Oasis for inspiration. By that summer, my inspiration changed to Nirvana and a more dissonant sound. But by the end of the year, I was unhappy with most of what I had done that whole year and decided to take drastic action.

Deciding that I needed to purge myself of all external influences, I cut off contact with the outside world. I painted the walls of my bedroom black, covered my windows and stopped watching TV. I wrote down every musical notion that I had and what type of environment or stimulus was behind it. All for the goal of creating a formula for the perfect pop-rock song. I called this the Catalog of Riffs, and used the numbering system for these songs for many years after.

A year and more than one hundred songs later, I moved out of my apartment to Beechwood Canyon and shared my efforts with my bandmates. There were some clear standouts, like My Brain, which would be the first 'new' Weezer song fans would hear, and Island In the Sun, which went on to be a hit on the Green Album.

Even though I would put this time behind me, the influence of the Black Room would continue to be strong in my songwriting. Songs like Pork and Beans (23 Wan and Wistful Silvertone Riff), Byzantine (TKX-21 There’s a Bomb in the Air) and Hash Pipe (TKX-55 Everybody Needs a Place to Rest) all have their roots in these songs and sketches.

Highest Rated by Curators

  1. French Pop
  2. TK-10 Girls’ Soccer
  3. Average Town
  4. TK-7 Sunshine
  5. Always
  6. The Black Rider
  7. Labrador
  8. Kilmanjaro
  9. I Hip
  10. I Want You

Highest Rated by Neighbors

  1. Good Times
  2. Sweet Love
  3. Suicide Pilot
  4. My Brain
  5. In The Night
  6. Rosemary
  7. I Wish You Luck
  8. Average Town
  9. TK-7 Sunshine
  10. TK-8 Stars Shine Bright (Goodnight)

Alone VII: The Green Years

I didn’t realize it at the time, but when Weezer got back together in early 2000, we had amassed a whole new set of fans who loved Pinkerton. Which was a different reception to the album than after its release. That spring, we received an offer to play a show in Japan which dwarfed any offer we had ever received for a concert. So Weezer was back on the road.

In the time between Pinkerton and that summer, I was trying to come up with the best system for writing songs. At the time, I didn’t have confidence in myself. And no matter the music I was making, I couldn’t find confidence in that either. I was dependent on my system (still using the Catalog of Riffs) and boosted by the writings of Nietzsche, Goethe and Stravinsky.

Weezer was in demand and we had to make a record. Looking back, I consider the album was made not necessarily through our talent, but more through sheer force of will. I decided to follow the example of “great” men cited by Nietzsche who pursued “world domination.” But for me, that was simply being active in the pursuit of commercial success.

After our tour ended in the fall of 2000, I was back home at my house in Beechwood Canyon where the band and I worked on the songs that would make up Weezer’s third album. Even as we rehearsed, I was still writing and recording new songs on my own. Some of these songs like My Best Friends are Gone (Brightening Day) and Teenage Victory Song would become B-sides for the Green Album. But I didn’t dwell on this time period for long. This phase ended in May of 2001 with the release of the Green Album. We achieved commercial success and I was determined to make the most of it.

Highest Rated by Curators

  1. You Stupid Piece of Shit
  2. I Wish You Luck
  3. Hole in Time
  4. Teenage Victory Song
  5. My Best Friends are Gone
  6. No Way
  7. Fanny Bone
  8. Gimme Something
  9. Possessed, Obsessed
  10. Let’s Get Mellow

Highest Rated by Neighbors

  1. Yer Fun to Play With
  2. I Wish You Luck
  3. Hide into the Sun
  4. Mr. Docksider
  5. Fanny Bone
  6. Suddenly I Shot My Mouth
  7. You Stupid Piece of Shit
  8. Tremendously Awful
  9. Pleased to Meet You (Annie, Come Home)
  10. My Best Friends are Gone

The Maladroit Years

The Green Album was a huge hit, reaching commercial success and audiences we had never reached before. To me, this success validated everything I did to get us where we were. If my approach to music was successful, then I reasoned that the same type of approach to business would succeed also.

I started taking over business responsibilities for the band, parting ways with our manager. I was the new manager, in addition to performing, composing and writing music, and recording music. I renegotiated our contracts and changed the way Weezer worked.

Amid all of this, Weezer was busy. We were on Saturday Night Live. We toured Europe and the United States. We were recording demos for our next album. And throughout it all, I was writing new songs and making demos.

Despite Green’s success, criticism of the songwriting stuck out to me. At the same time, the commercial success told me the method I took to write the songs for Green was the way to go, so I continued cataloguing as I composed. Many of the demos in the Maladroit Years were recorded with just a guitar on an Olympus digital handheld recorder.

Possibilities, Fall Together, Space Rock and others would appear on Maladroit. Other songs in this collection would go on to be attempted for the album, but go unused. Others, such as She Who is Militant, Hey Domingo and Oh, She Left Me There would form the foundation for songs on future Weezer albums (This is Such a Pity, Peace and Summer Elaine and Drunk Dori). One song from this time period, Perfect Situation, would go on to chart higher than any song off Maladroit. And there’s one song (Adio) that I would record with full instrumentation for Enrique Iglesias that he turned down.

Despite the musical productivity, things were starting to unravel. Weezer faced multiple lawsuits from friends and business partners. Maladroit was not the hit album that I thought it would be, hurting our relationship with the label. I was unhappy with the situation and my music and questioning everything.

As the discontent was beginning to build, I would meet producer Rick Rubin, who would work with Weezer on two future albums. His guidance would help me out of this unhappiness, affecting not only my music, but also my life.

Highest Rated by Curators

  1. Message Board
  2. Strangling My Nook
  3. Perfect Situation
  4. Adio
  5. I’m So Alone
  6. Tell Me What I Want
  7. Oh She Left Me There
  8. Sugar Daddies
  9. Sandwiches Time
  10. Up Yours

Highest Rated by Neighbors

  1. I Admire You So Much
  2. You’re My Best Friend
  3. Broken Arrows
  4. Lullaby (acoustic sketch 1)
  5. I’m So Alone
  6. Tell Me What I Want
  7. Victory (I Don’t Want Your Lovin’)
  8. Message Board
Further Reading:
Ilizarov Procedure

( Last edited by King Tom at February 15, 2021 4:30 PM )

MRN Global Song

While I was away at my annual Vipassana meditation course, a group of neighbors got together and hatched a plan to show their appreciation for Mr. Rivers’ Neighborhood, me, and each other. Their idea: produce a song to commemorate their favorite MRN moments. Thus, “Mr. Rivers’ Neighborhood Global Song” was born.

Neighbors from eight different countries secretly schemed, first writing music and lyrics, then collaborating on vocals, instrumentals, sound mixing and production as they recorded and shared their individual parts across five continents. Last, they created a music video to accompany their creation, which can be viewed below.

CREDITS
Mixing Engineer: Marjolaine
Producer: Julit375
Scratch guitar: Juli
Scratch vocals: Julit375, Geewiz
Lead guitar: Geewiz
Guitar solo: Lina
Drums: Marjolaine
Lyrics: SarahDan, Julit375
Vocals: SarahDan, Lorena, Cepheid, Yuki, Julit375, Geewiz, Marjolaine, snish, carolzz, Lina, mariarenata, Olivia, TragicGurl, NatKat128, Mel, elChuby, Rivers
Video Production: Lina’s friend Max
A detailed list of participants can be viewed here

( Last edited by Tiffany at February 15, 2021 4:09 AM )