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We Go Together

In the fall of 2001, Weezer — fresh off a comeback with The Green Album, and having just replaced rehab room bassist Mikey Welsh with ex-Marine Scott Shriner — agreed to film a concert for HBO’s Reverb series. Funnily enough, it wound up being one of the shows the band did under their alter-ego, Goat Punishment (who had previously played two secret shows covering the songs of Nirvana and Oasis), hence the gigantic light-up “=GP=” that hovers behind the stage. HBO of course advertised it as a Weezer concert, which must have left viewers at home pretty confused as to why Rivers Cuomo was saying things like, “Thanks for coming to see the Goat.”

Perhaps the moniker was adopted for this show not only to encourage a small, “intimate” club setting, but also to explain the dodgy setlist: fans witnessed almost nothing but what were then nascent Maladroit contenders, like “Faith In The Light” and “Fall Together.” Green deep cuts “Glorious Day” and “Smile” were also played, as were singles “Hash Pipe” and “Photograph.” Eventual Maladroit bonus track “Living Without You” and the elusive “Diamond Rings,” one of the better (if still typical) outtakes of the era, were both on the setlist, but sadly neither of them made it to the official broadcast of the concert, and the performances remain uncirculated to this day.

One outtake that was broadcast, however, is “We Go Together.” It’s a pristine document (both audibly and visually) of a song that is, in the soon-to-dawn Maladroit era, a rare glimpse of smart pop craftsmanship. It’s comparable to “Diamond Rings” in that it’s a synthesis of Green and Maladroit aesthetics that work better than the majority of what made it onto either of those albums. The instrumentation is simple but effective, Cuomo’s lead vocal melody catchy and singable (some have claimed it blatantly rips off the Grease song of the same name – which would mark it an early ’00s song indeed, among other derivative works like “I Do,” “Burndt Jamb,” and “December” – but aside from the obvious similarities at the beginning of each verse, I think it’s more a tribute than anything), some surprisingly spot-on falsetto ooh-oohs from Scott Shriner, and Pat Wilson’s snug-fit drum work. Cuomo’s verse-conclusive guitar leads are great, and though too brief, the solo is a nice blend of Green‘s formulaic repetition and The Blue Album‘s pentatonic ambles. Lyrically, the song seems to be caught between Green‘s readymade love song themes and the aimless free association of Maladroit, but it works well enough.

Unfortunately, the only other version of the song we have is from the Maladroit sessions, dated January 10th, 2002. Nearly three months after its HBO Reverb incarnation, it has already regressed quite a bit: the performance is sloppy, Cuomo attempts to retread the lyrics from the HBO performance but seems unable to rally (“But another ding-ding-dong, that much is true?”). The song would get even worse when Cuomo rewrote the song under the new name of “Little Songs” for the Early Album 5 demos – but we’ll get there.

19 Comments

  1. s.o.s. wrote:

    Definitely one of my favorite songs from the era. Could/should have been a great song. The whole GP show is really good and I watch it from time to time to get renewed =w= inspiration. It’s a shame nothing came out of this one.
    🙁

    Friday, September 12, 2008 at 2:12 pm | Permalink
  2. Sick Nick wrote:

    This, Ain’t Got Much Time and Your Room were my favorites of the unused Maladroit stuff. It’s a shame we didn’t get a few progressive demos of it before it dissapeared.

    Friday, September 12, 2008 at 2:24 pm | Permalink
  3. Adroit wrote:

    This is one of the songs i’ll be reaching for when it’s time (as it will be for all of you out there) to perform the noble task of indoctrinating our as-yet unborn children
    into the world of Weezer (“this is the way baby, this is the way”) , the same way that my parents skillfully utilised ‘Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da’ and ‘Yellow Submarine’ on me as an infant. Sly fuckers…i’ll be listening to The Beatles on my deathbed now, no escape.

    Its undemanding, loose, catchy as hell and is short enough to keep their attention. Perfect for a little brainwashing!

    As you say in the post, the song boils down to a guys persistant loyalty in the face of nagging doubts and disappointments.

    A perfect introduction to the band, and life in general, then…

    Friday, September 12, 2008 at 4:15 pm | Permalink
  4. Danorganplayer wrote:

    Nice post, I always thought it was one of the better maladroit era tracks..

    I want angel to pop up!

    Friday, September 12, 2008 at 6:26 pm | Permalink
  5. Art Vandelay wrote:

    “rama-lama-ding-ding-dong”

    Some fans seem to like We Go Together, and back in ’01 I might have agreed…
    but in retrospect, I find to be no better than the rest of the half-baked drivel Cuomo wheeled out in those years. Totally insubstantial nonsense lyrics (You’re really stretching if you find a narrative in them) over a bed of lazy generic distortion pop.

    But I get why some people like it. It’s vocal melody is what hooks people… it’s simple and effective. Unfortunately, the fact that the band couldn’t be fucked to DEVELOP it beyond the initial “seed for a song” stage bestows Turd status on the whole endeavor.

    Friday, September 12, 2008 at 6:31 pm | Permalink
  6. sandwiches wrote:

    Hey I’m mainly a lurker on the old .com, weezernation, and now albumsix boards, but i just wanted to say you are one of the only weezer board members I know (aside from maybe babybritain) that is pretty much spot on in feelings on weezer songs with me. Reading your blogs pretty much captures everything i think or feel about the songs. Its refreshing to know someone else feels the same way as me, especially since post-red album i’ve seen such a diverse group as far as who likes what. But you have mentioned all the songs i like from the TRA era in your list (minus TAATO which i dont care all that much for) and you’re a very talented writer. Keep up the good work! Also, i’m pretty bummed by the red album and the updatesof the new tour so far. but i had a feeling it was going to be a “head for the hills” scene after the release of the album and the hootenanny stuff, so i didnt buy a ticket to a show. Also, we go together, couldnt have said it all better myself!

    Friday, September 12, 2008 at 10:33 pm | Permalink
  7. Ludicrosity wrote:

    Where can I get the HBO version of this? I only have the Maladroite demo and thought it sucked. Maybe that’s why I could never figure out why so many fans liked this song!

    Saturday, September 13, 2008 at 1:39 pm | Permalink
  8. PeeGrinder wrote:

    By the way, does anyone know of the other live version of this song that’s out there in an audience recording form? I’m sure I downloaded it back in late 2001 and I’m sure Rivers doesn’t sing the vocal inflections on the verses like he does on the GP broadcast (i.e. a big sur-pri-i-ise….”), which must have meant it was a different performance. Sadly, my mp3 has long been lost, it’d be good to compare. The audio quality wasn’t great (think ‘Diamond Rings’) but somehow I remember it being better that the widely-shared versions.

    Tuesday, September 16, 2008 at 5:57 pm | Permalink
  9. Soyrev wrote:

    Interesting…

    Tuesday, September 16, 2008 at 5:58 pm | Permalink
  10. Ludicrosity wrote:

    Wow, this HBO version makes me kind of mad. Why the hell did they end up ruining this song the way they did? This would’ve been a solid Maladroite track if they’d kept this arrangement. It’s like they were sabatoging the songs and making them generic on purpose it seems.

    Wednesday, September 17, 2008 at 9:38 am | Permalink
  11. Ludicrosity wrote:

    Oh yeah and I just listened to the demo again from the Maladroite sessions and he sings “ramalama ding ding dong” which is obviously a reference to the song from Grease… you have to listen close but I am pretty sure that’s what he sings.

    Wednesday, September 17, 2008 at 9:55 am | Permalink
  12. GumbyTom wrote:

    You know Soy, I never thought of ‘free association’ in relation to Maladroit, but I think you nailed it- everything from the December recording sessions on was pretty much free association from the whole band. And while it’s interesting, overall, it wasn’t very productive.

    The output (or at least the demos we were getting from Karl and the live songs) from the post-green, pre-mal era is tighter and more comprehensive than what ended up as Maladroit. I think if the band had gone with what they were doing in this era (WGT, So Low, etc.) and put that out as Maladroit/Album Four, then the reaction would have been much different from the fanbase.

    Makes an interesting ‘what if,’ that’s for sure.

    Thursday, September 18, 2008 at 8:38 pm | Permalink
  13. Soyrev wrote:

    Indeed it do. We’ll explore that in greater detail toward the end of the songblog. 😉

    Thursday, September 18, 2008 at 8:44 pm | Permalink
  14. Martin wrote:

    I don’t care for the studio version, but I adore the HBO Reverb GP version. It trumps Little Songs. Although I do like the opening “whoa” from Cuomo in Little Songs.

    Friday, September 19, 2008 at 11:29 am | Permalink
  15. OOS wrote:

    I really love this melody, and the “woo-oo-oh” backing vocals. Definitely should’ve made it to an album.

    Sunday, March 1, 2009 at 2:17 pm | Permalink
  16. Cirdan wrote:

    OK, I just wrote that all my mala faves made the cut, but I have to admit this is the exception. I might have forgotten it because I prefer the “little songs” version… I like the jumpy ska-vibe of that version, and I prefer the lyrics, though they still need a bit of work here and there.

    Sunday, September 20, 2009 at 4:58 pm | Permalink
  17. Cirdan wrote:

    Like I said, I like the ska-vibe of little songs a lot, it’s pretty unique among weezers recordings and I prefer the lyrics (though I admit that lyrics are not that relevant to me). The live version of we go together is great, too, but it sounds like the green album… not that that’s bad, but at least in this case I prefer something new to another knock-down drag-out.

    Sunday, September 20, 2009 at 6:16 pm | Permalink
  18. Dumb Angel wrote:

    The bridge — “Here she comes again / And here she goes again / That’s true…” – always reminded me of The Velvet Underground’s “There She Goes Again”.

    Monday, October 11, 2010 at 4:51 pm | Permalink
  19. nonnymouse wrote:

    such a beautiful song

    Sunday, December 5, 2010 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

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