Rivers Cuomo: Ten Years Of Musical Bliss

1170 words - 5 pages

Today's music scene is slowly growing, and differentiating in styles. One of the newest styles of music that has broken out is a generally unrecognized genre of music called "Geek Rock." By taking the meaningful lyrics of Emo, the heavy guitar riffs of Grunge, and the do-it-yourself attitude of Indie rock, this genre forms a new-wave approach to music. Many new artists have been categorized under this label, including Ben Kweller, Ozma, and Rooney. Rivers Cuomo, front man and lyricist of Weezer, is predominantly responsible for this underground rock movement. By transferring his life experiences into a musical statement, Rivers Cuomo has the ability to appeal to his fans on a new level.

Rivers Cuomo's childhood influenced his unique style of music. While raised in a sheltered community in the rural town of Yogaville, Connecticut, by his hippie parents, Rivers began to listen to music. He grew up with bands such as The Beatles, The Beach Boys, and Buddy Holly and The Crickets. Later on he began to listen to the heavier sounds of Kiss, and Van Halen. He brought all of these bands' styles into his own music. By using a formula of music writing created by such greats as Brian Wilson, of The Beach Boys, and Kurt Cobain, of Nirvana, Rivers is able to cross a pop/rock song, with heavy riffs, and emotional lyrics.

Through creating such a distinctive approach to music, Rivers has developed a fan base that stands out from the mainstream crowd. For the most part, a Weezer fan has a distinct look, age, emotional status, and social status. The socially inept, clumsy nerds who sport black-rimmed glasses, and are between the ages of 17-28 are usually put under the category of being a Weezer fan. The main characteristic of them though, is their instability emotionally; this is the main reason why the essence of Weezer's music is so appealing.

Having the ability to capture an audience with a harmonizing vocal track, and powerful guitar riffs, Rivers and his band mates have developed quite a strong fan base. Weezer attracted their first big group of fans with, "Buddy Holly" the second single off their 1994 self-titled album. A catchy chorus, with simplistic, enjoyable lyrics, "Woo-ee-oo I look just like Buddy Holly," caught a listeners attention, while beautiful harmonies and powerful guitar riffs, made this song an instant classic. In his senior thesis, Jeff Rosenfeld, Harvard graduate, states "As one indie rocker from Dallas noted, seeing Weezer for the first time in 1994 `was like watching a 90's version of the Beatles - it was a godsend'"(95). The "Buddy Holly" music video, directed by Spike Jonze, won numerous awards for its "Happy Days" setting.

Weezer's third single off of their 1994 album showed a different side of this band. Rivers sang of struggles with his father's life style:

Dear Daddy,

I write you in spite of years of silence.

You've cleaned up, found Jesus,

Things are good or so I hear.


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