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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

In Print: A Defense of Weezer, and the Books' Archivist Instincts

Posted By on Wed, Nov 24, 2010 at 6:00 AM

From SF Weekly's latest print music section:

In Defense of Weezer: Weezer reissued 1996's 
Pinkerton this month, and the glowing reviews -- including a Pitchfork 10.0 -- explain why. The accepted critical narrative on the band goes like this: Weezer made two classic albums in the '90s, one instantly popular (the self-titled blue album) and another (Pinkerton) whose affecting, if uncomfortably intimate, portraits of adolescent lust gradually attained cult status. The slow-growing appreciation for the latter album aided Weezer's return to prominence in 2001, and the band has been on the radio ever since. This year's Hurley hit Billboard's Top 10, rather impressive for a group many had written off a decade ago. Yet strangely, the same critics and fans who helped Weezer rise again have largely disavowed its new music.

The Books' Archivist Instincts: The Books haven't strayed from their early revelations. Their sound remains a mixture of, on one hand, crookedly mounted artifacts snatched from a parallel universe of disabused consumer electronics, and, on the other, opaque washes of guitar, cello, and unaffected vocals. What has evolved in the decade-plus since the Books started is the the way they make music. On its surface, The Way Out, the duo's latest and most cohesive album, is marked by more electronics and cassette-based samples than longtime listeners are used to. But the real difference is the rigor with which the duo prepare their sources, a feat of ingenuity and logic that begins with the sound library they are ever-building and refining.

Also, we recommend shows from: The Frames, Grinderman, The Black Angels, Souls of Mischief, and Jesse Rose.

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Ian S. Port


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