The idea of music as a “life saver/life changer” is something ingrained in our culture. How many times have you heard the phrase “that song/album changed my life?” come out of someone’s mouth in your lifetime ? Countless times, no doubt. Recently, I’ve had the idea in my head that, after all those years of thinking that way, I may have totally had it wrong about music.
PINKERTON SAVED MY LIFE AND OTHER BULLCRAP THAT I SAID IN THE PAST
I’ve gushed about my love affair with Weezer’s 1996 album Pinkerton here and here and a bit here so read those if you want background. Looking back on things, did the album really “save my life?” I mean, c’mon, I was a 16 year old boy living in the suburbs of Pittsburgh. My family was in pretty good shape financially and didn’t have any weird emotional troubles. I had a roof over my head, 3 meals a day, and all was well. I didn’t need to be saved. I was full of s*** thinking that I needed to be saved. I just needed some kick ass music to rock out to, and that’s what Pinkerton gave me. 34 minutes and 32 seconds of energy and excitement unlike anything I had experienced at the time. It was just a really f****** good rock record, not “the voice of a generation” or something like that.
Weezer’s output from 2000-present is a clear example of this. Is Rivers Cuomo trying to save the world when he sings these lines from “Burndt Jamb” from 2002’s Maladroit?
How I miss you.
If I only
Once could kiss you.
I'd be happpy
For one moment
Of my lifetime
I'd be there.
To me, it sounds like a bunch of stupid words put together. But here’s the deal. It f****** rocks.
Back in 2002, I didn’t want to admit this for fear that I’d be labeled some kind of idiot who listens to throwaway music and that my “cred” as someone who knows good music would be tarnished. I bashed a lot of Weezer’s output during this time to keep up some kind of image as a music snob or something like that. Truth is, I ain’t happy at all with that label. I don’t want to secretly listen to Weezer circa 2000-2011 in dark alleys and hide my secret away from the world. Dammit, I like this music...a lot...and that doesn’t make me any less of a person.
Music can make you feel good or music can make you feel bad. The rest of what everyone else says is b*******.