[Hype Hype Hooray] Rivers Cuomo’s Detestable Fall


Hype Hype Hooray is a biweekly “critique” of the music scene and the blogosphere that feeds it, told through the lens of Jamie Hale, a journalist who likes music about as much as he likes scotch and a firm leather chair. Please enjoy with a grain of salt.

Today I decided to check out Rivers Cuomo’s latest contribution to music, “Homely Girl.” The song is 100 percent, fine-cut Japanese pop. It’s sung almost entirely in its appropriate language. It’s straight out of the closing credits of any anime ever. It’s also unbearable.

I sat down and decided to take a closer look at the song. looked at it from the outside: a well-made ode to popular Japanese music written by a talented and well-respected songwriter. But then I stepped a little closer and saw it for what it was: an awkward, conceited waste of time written by a narcissistic lunatic.

We all remember Rivers Cuomo, right? He was the awkward guy with glasses who fronted Weezer, the alt-rock band from the ’90s who did “Buddy Holly” and “Hashpipe,” among other things. Before he was a confident shooting star however, Rivers was once known as something of a king to awkward, outsider teens, who angrily embraced his words as if they were their own.

In those days Rivers thrived. Remember The Blue Album? It swayed cautiously, yet aggressively into our hearts, burning with a quiet intensity that inflated our troubled souls. We nodded our heads with every word. MY name was Jonas and THAT WAS how I felt.

Then there was Pinkerton. We grew with Rivers from his first album to his second, encountering the same painful experiences in our lives, learning the same lessons he did. This was an opus to being emotionally estranged–a sort of opera for those who isolated themselves within themselves. It was Rivers bearing his raw, beating heart to the masses. It was beautiful, but it ruined him.

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Rue Royale: “Set Out To Discover”

Firstly, we hope all of our American readers had a nice, long Memorial Day weekend involving some form of barbecue (I was on a train and had their BBQ veggie burger. Sounds unexciting but it was fun!). Secondly, with a transition that really has no place here, comes a new song from Anglo-American […]

[Abby’s Road] Like Fire


We are overrated – we humans, I think. While there is a propensity for kindness and love and the pleasant, gentle touches of friends, we are also noisy and hateful and we abuse each other and the land that breeds the means to our own good health and well being. Perhaps this is the reason behind only allowing a handful of folks into my life, as far as friendships are concerned. I have a hunger for closeness and platonic intimacy, obviously, as I have friends (new ones, even), yet seeing my own faults reflected in the actions of others is uncomfortable and depressing and therefore avoided a lot of the time. I have issues, you say? Well, of course I do. Fucking hell. So do you. So there.

Music is an escape. Sometimes a song can be so good it seems to have been created in an otherworldly musical Petri dish by ghostly hands unattached to a mere mortal. But alas, the rhythms blanketing one’s solitary existence are made by people. Though it would be magnificent to witness, the strings aren’t plucking themselves. The human element can lead to disappointment, not so much in the music as in the person behind it, often changing the way a song is heard and perceived. For example: will I continue to listen to Sonic Youth on occasion? Of course I will. That said, will I ever be able to listen to “Silver Rocket” again without thinking Thurston Moore is a complete asshole for shacking up and leading a double life with some young groupie bird who ultimately severed the matrimony of one of rock and roll’s great duos? Nope. We all make mistakes and he killed the awesome.

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Lucius: “Until We Get There”

I saw these folks perform live as an opener to Milo Greene a little while back and I had a blast with not only their cutesy sound but also their aesthetic. The duo of Holly Laessig and Jess Wolfe stand facing each other as they perform, essentially mimicking each other’s moves. The entire […]

[Hype Hype Hooray] My Music Makes Me Live


Hype Hype Hooray is a biweekly “critique” of the music scene and the blogosphere that feeds it, told through the lens of Jamie Hale, a journalist who likes music about as much as he likes scotch and a firm leather chair. Please enjoy with a grain of salt.

I drive 68 miles an hour down I-205 outside Portland. It’s 11 p.m. and my mind is racing. Dim orange highway lights creep through a haze of dense fog. Hoards of insanities enter and exit my brain at breakneck pace. They are a mass of random associations, phrases that carry no meaning. Words like “leave it to be.” Leave it to be. Leave it to be. Leave it to be. I utter them on loop, my mind a broken record, skipping on the next crazy thought as I hurdle through the open night.

This moment of mania didn’t rise on its own from my strange subconscious. No. It could never. It had help. It was music that brought it to fruition. Music that buzzes madly from my cheap stereo, fills my car, and rolls through my body.

“How could I feel so-so when I’m feeling like a little honey can roll?” it wails. “Tart but not total and I’m feeling like a little honey can roll?”

I drown in the words. The music fills my lungs. My pupils dilate wildly in the night.


Occasionally I meet people who think very little of music. “I don’t really listen to it” they tell me. “It just doesn’t do it for me.” I accept their views, and I make no effort to change them. But that idea, that music is meaningless, has no purpose in their lives, fills me with great sadness.

Music can be so transformative for me. It’s odd. The right combination of frequencies, when coupled with the perfect rhythms, can swirl and mix with the chemicals in my brain to induce some brilliant shade of human emotion–from the deep blues of depression, through tranquil green serenity, to the the wild manic neons that drive me to insanity.

I look back at the music-less souls, my mind drifting in a sea of melody, theirs sitting idly, comfortably on the shore, and I can’t help but be confounded. Why do these songs, these notes, these sounds, have such profoundly different effects on us? Why does it twist my mind, but not theirs?

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Tunng: “The Village”

New Tunng? Yes, please. You know I am affectionate toward the London crew, and their new song, “The Village,” does little to alter that. The song is 4 minutes 33 seconds, and I’ve listened to it 5 times in the last 22 minutes and 45 seconds. Math!

“The Village” is the new single […]

[MP3] Fialta: “Photographs”

I wrote about Fialta, the ‘fun-loving California indie pop group,’ back in May of 2011, and my opinion hasn’t much changed. They’re keeping things light and sugary on their upcoming full-length, and “Photographs,” the first single, is a prime example. Even though they’re in sunny Cal all year round, they know what it’s […]

Wilsen: “Dusk”

I’ve been sitting on a new one from Wilsen, which really makes no sense, as I loved their sprawling seven-minute first single, “Anahita.” I suppose I’ve been waiting for the right mood. Better to post this later in the day than earlier (NY time), so here goes. Tamsin Wilson’s voice continues to devastate.



Heylady comes to us from Brooklyn, NY, but despite the similarity of their home base to most artists featured here on Knox Road, they’re actually quite different than our usual suspects. Heylady is my friend Josh Green’s soul/funk project, and while I’ve typically shied away from funk bands since, well, middle school, I […]

Owls of the Swamp: “The Hypnotist”

Sometimes I like to think I’m a thousand miles away, at a cabin on the lake, with my cousins and nieces and nephews. They brim with enthusiasm when the day is hot and they’re playing tag and the sun is shining its driest heat. And at eve it’s cool — not just a […]