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Getchoo

Pinkerton is not just the greatest record Weezer will ever make. It is, in my opinion, one of the greatest records anybody has; though it’s not the best record of all time, it might very well be my favorite. And when you’ve got a record that boasts “Falling For You,” “Tired Of Sex,” “Across the Sea” and “Butterfly,” it’s easier to lose sight of the (technically) simpler ones.

But let us not forget that “Getchoo” is a flawless song in its own right. Or rather, it is a beautifully flawed song, with every little crack and failing in its right place — indicative of one of Pinkerton‘s greatest strengths as an album. With a buzz-saw power slide, this song’s opening fanfare takes the tension and release of “Tired of Sex” even higher, the perfect track 2 rockout to kick your ass and leave you dang near senseless (leaving the freshly exhausted listener ready to exhale and really take in the words of the more downbeat, reflective “No Other One” — inspired sequencing at work). Here, Cuomo’s lyrics are pretty simple (to wit, chorus: “Getchoo,” “uh-huh,” repeat), but there’s enough interesting imagery (“Sometimes I push too hard / Sometimes you fall and skin your knees”) to offset the more standard love-gone-awry cliches (“It used to be a game, now it’s a crying shame”), creating a smart synthesis of an instantly relatable theme and enough of a personal spin to keep you keen.

Most importantly, Cuomo fucking means it: the way his voice quivers and breaks, seething at the seams, ready to burst. Brian Bell fucking means it, too, when he cuts in with his just-right backup vocals at all the just-right times. Matt Sharp means it when the surging bass reaches for the ends of the fretboard on the bridge, and Cuomo means it when when he taps into that scorching solo immediately thereafter (one of the best neck burners in his recorded repertoire), followed by that euphoric, maddened, “YEAH!” Pat Wilson fucking means it with every last one of his essential fills (especially the decimal blur at 2:25, and the spine-snapping silence breaker five seconds later), and everyone means it in that rollercoaster climax that is the final 20-second charge.

“Getchoo” is the sound of a band that really, really fucking means it.

About those last 20 seconds: as real as Weezer gets. Cuomo wailing like a wounded animal in those final white flashes before death, a perfectly sour-noted Bell and Sharp chanting “this is beginning to hurt” in the background (a terminal flashback to the beginning of the song’s lyric), the frantic and frankly sexual rise of the screaming guitars, Wilson’s precise and thunderous bludgeoning of the kit…All before that final release, that moment of the soul finally leaving the skull, and everyone’s left a flushed and exhausted mess on the floor. “Orgasmic” is a cliche of sonic description on the order of “epic,” but divorce that final swell from its narrative context and it becomes the one rock passage in recorded history that can be said to most closely resemble the way an orgasm feels.

It’s pretty epic, too.

42 Comments

  1. Low wrote:

    ““Getchoo” is the sound of a band that really, really fucking means it.”

    this. sentence. is. just. brilliant.

    it’s “knee”, not “knees” i believe. but besides that – it’s an almost perfect post, your best so far. too bad it’s not longer.

    Wednesday, July 30, 2008 at 5:24 pm | Permalink
  2. Soyrev wrote:

    As a complete aside, this is my favorite Weezer song to work out to. Same adrenaline rush as “Paperface” and with none of the comedown.

    Wednesday, July 30, 2008 at 5:25 pm | Permalink
  3. GumbyTom wrote:

    Yeah, it’s a damn good song.

    I first heard this off a crap quality bootleg a few months before Pinkerton came out, and the recording didn’t do it justice (they had been playing it since late ’94, I believe). It must have been something to those Weezer fans at the time, who didn’t see this kind of depth in the popular songs off Blue to have the band come out with this wailing, deep number.

    Wednesday, July 30, 2008 at 6:46 pm | Permalink
  4. Soyrev wrote:

    Also, Low: thanks for the props and the little correction. I think it’s funny that I’ve gotten to the point where four paragraphs is considered short on TVS (most songblogs only dedicate a paragraph or two per song), but I didn’t want to drag on longer when I felt I could be concise for once (at least, relatively concise). Many more long ones to come though, I’m sure.

    Man, hearing early live versions of Pinkerton tracks, being there before it even came out…Must have been a really special time. Sadly, my friend only got me into Weezer roughly around the time Maladroit came out (despite being 13 at the time, I could still tell that TBA and Pink were the real shit, and TGA/Mala were pretty damn flawed…Strangely I actually went through a phase where I hated those records enough to delete them from my iTunes entirely, though I’ve come to appreciate them in different ways now).

    Wednesday, July 30, 2008 at 7:44 pm | Permalink
  5. Sick Nick wrote:

    it’s this song that sums up what makes pinkerton amazing as a whole. i totally agree about the ending “this is beginning to hurt”. I also love “i can’t believe what you’ve done to me. what i did to them you’ve done to me”. you can’t paint a better picture of a heartbreaker who gets his heart broken is so few words.

    Thursday, July 31, 2008 at 7:53 am | Permalink
  6. Soyrev wrote:

    New thought: the best performance of Pat Wilson’s life? I’d say so.

    Thursday, July 31, 2008 at 8:05 am | Permalink
  7. HowCoolIsThat wrote:

    You are so right, this song gets overlooked too easily. At one point several years ago, I identified this song as my “least favorite” on Pinkerton, but I quickly changed my mind over time. It’s damn hard to have a least favorite on Pinkerton, but after reflecting on “Getchoo”, that certainly isn’t it.

    Also, how fun is this to sing along to?! So good when you’ve had a long day or are just plain frustrated.

    Thursday, July 31, 2008 at 8:20 am | Permalink
  8. Soyrev wrote:

    ALL of Pinkerton is fun to sing along to, HCIT…I would venture to say, the best singalong album ever (so many options, all of them great: Rivers’ kickass lead, Matt’s beautiful falsetto, Brian’s emphatic harmonies!). Rivers’ voice sounds great but it keeps it in just the right mid-range, so even a poor singer can belt it out along with the record and not sound too bad. Also, “El Scorcho” is the best fucking sing along song of all time, period. We still do it occasionally, but back in the day there wasn’t a time me and my friend Pete were in the car together and totally ruining our vocal chords to that song.

    In related news, I’m at the office listening to Pinkerton right now, trying to be productive, and it’s just not working. I’m sitting here in my cubicle, drumming along on the desk, doing air guitar, singing along sometimes when I just can’t help it. I must look like a fucking idiot, and I don’t care. 😀

    Thursday, July 31, 2008 at 8:27 am | Permalink
  9. tapegun wrote:

    i mean i “get” your post – everything you said is true — i love the sound of the song, it is kickass – and yes, i too used to listen to pinkerton when i worked out…it is amazing (btw -as in i USED to work out).

    but…

    this song has just never done it for me….i don’t know, it’s nice but it is something i might skip (not like i skip a track like “cold dark world” but more like i really want to get on to other songs i love). maybe it’s because I would never relate to a song written by from a ‘heartbreaker’s’ perspective because i was just a pathetic, needy boyfriend/loser for most of my life….maybe its just because i thought the word “getchoo” was a little stupid….(i know, i know there is a lot of stupid lyrics in weezer)….just trying to get why it doesn’t click.

    but here’s the best part (at least from your perspective) – i think i respect it a lot more than i would have ever done on my own. i would never call it “epic”. but damn the band sounds good. and frankly, if this track was on a post 2000 record, i would probably be ga ga about it.

    go figure.

    one more thing – you are going at an amazing rate…are you ever going to slow down?? is this a summer pace or should we expect you pounding these out every 2-3 days. it’s really impressive. i am busy with my own writing project (not on-line and not about music) and you are really putting me to shame.

    how many songs are on your count…some dude on albumsix had 188 on his list and even if he is missing some…you are on pace to finish a lot faster than i ever thought would be possible.

    Thursday, July 31, 2008 at 6:46 pm | Permalink
  10. tapegun wrote:

    i wrote that fast and i am already noticing lots of spelling/grammar issues…

    so, we can’t edit these posts, eh?

    Thursday, July 31, 2008 at 6:48 pm | Permalink
  11. Harrison Ong wrote:

    Awesome.

    Excuse me if I ditch the verbiage.

    Thursday, July 31, 2008 at 7:35 pm | Permalink
  12. HowCoolIsThat wrote:

    Yes, yes, you’re right, Pinkerton IS one of the all-time greatest singalong records, but unfortunately not enough people know this. However, I’ve found it somewhat easy to spread the Pinkerton love via Rock Band. I ALWAYS make it a point to play “El Scorcho” and get everyone to sing along with me during the chorus at my infamous Rock Band parties.

    Anyway that’s getting off-topic. I sure as hell can’t wait until your entry on “El Scorcho”. 😀

    Thursday, July 31, 2008 at 9:49 pm | Permalink
  13. Soyrev wrote:

    tapegun: Thanks for the props all around, but first — strangely, I know what you mean about a song as great as “Getchoo” just not clicking. I think when I first got into Pinkerton (somewhere in middle school), a few of the songs just didn’t really do it for me…I loved the record for the most part, but rather inexplicably, I pretty much never played “Getchoo,” “No Other One” and (if you can fuckin’ believe it) “Falling For You.” I knew they were great, I just never really felt compelled to seek them out…I’m not sure where my reappraisal came into play but I think it was (in terms of the 6 or 7 year timeline of my fandom) actually relatively recently. As evidenced by this post, I’m now totally in love with the record in pretty much every way possible.

    As for the current rate, yes, I’m on summer break, and yes, I do expect this to slow down a bit once fall hits. But, hopefully I’ll maintain at least a couple posts a week. When I started this, it was sort of a test for myself — I had no idea I’d be so enthusiastic to write these things (almost) every day.

    Also, I wish you could edit…but wordpress won’t allow, I guess. Sorry!

    My old bowman: A real pleasure to have you join us; you’re always more than welcome, verbiage or no.

    HCIT: Me neither. Actually, I hope it doesn’t come up in the shuffle for a little while…I’d have to think a bit of how to do my love for the song justice before I write a single word.

    And re: spreading Pinkerton love, the most effective way, in my experience, is to do it in a car setting (one of the best for the record), with two people who love the album to death in the front seats and all uninitiated person(s) in the back. The two in the front sing along and rock out the entire time, and the other(s) feel as though they’re A) missing out on something, and B) get to experience the record one of the ways it’s meant to be (some say you’ve got to be sad to listen to Pinkerton, but I think I’m not happier listening to any other record than I am listening to Pinkerton).

    Thursday, July 31, 2008 at 10:55 pm | Permalink
  14. Soyrev wrote:

    Oh, and for the record, the Pinkerton songs that immediately clicked with 13-year-old me were “Across the Sea,” “El Scorcho,” “The Good Life” and “Why Bother.” Gotta give my young self props for the first few, and while the latter is definitely no slouch, I now think it’s the weakest track on the record. A very strong weakest link, though.

    Thursday, July 31, 2008 at 11:01 pm | Permalink
  15. nick wrote:

    This song is just stunning. It’s one of my favorites on Pinkerton. Just the emotional way it is sung and played by the band makes it one of the best Weezer’s ever created.

    It’s so heavy and fuzzy sounding (for Weezer anyway) which only adds to the emotion of the song. It’s great.

    Friday, August 1, 2008 at 1:00 am | Permalink
  16. Stupidsuck wrote:

    I remember first hearing this song on a bootleg before Pinkerton came out much like a previous poster. I seem to recall before they started the song, I think it was Matt that stated “This is our next single…”

    So I remember being surprised as hell when I heard El Scorcho as the single.

    I really wish I knew where that old bootleg is right now.

    Friday, August 1, 2008 at 6:56 am | Permalink
  17. WaltDisney wrote:

    It’s like the evil version of I’ll get you by the Beatles with “uhuhs” instead of “oh yeah”s. I love the bonus “uhuh”s. Good word is getchoo.

    Friday, August 1, 2008 at 12:52 pm | Permalink
  18. tapegun wrote:

    hey stupidsick, was that boogleg called “american holiday” or something like that? i was remember seeing that around but never having enough money to get it.

    Friday, August 1, 2008 at 1:30 pm | Permalink
  19. Soyrev wrote:

    Matt Sharp can’t have been serious about “Getchoo” being the lead single. No way in hell radio would ever go for it. (“El Scorcho,” I think, would’ve had a better chance had it been released a couple years prior)

    WD, that “evil I’ll Get You” connection is ingenious. And the verse of “Getchoo” is just like the “I’ll Get You” intro! (Albeit much more sinister) I love this song even more now.

    Sorry I keep delaying the new post folks, it’ll drop early tomorrow, no BS this time.

    Edit: My lord, the way that it gets all quiet and then Wilson’s kickass fill leads into that final build…I think that’s my favorite thing he’s ever done on a Weezer album, except maybe that one insane fill on “Across the Sea.” And “THIS IS BEGINNING TO HURT” is just so great…beginning to, like there’s not even any end in sight. It’s so hopeless and pained and perfect.

    Friday, August 1, 2008 at 9:58 pm | Permalink
  20. Fro wrote:

    Getchoo is a great song, but there’s a reason it comes up so often in the worst on Pinkerton discussion (not that I necessarily think it’s the worst). I can’t think of a darker and more abrasive song in Weezer’s repertoire. It’s the kind of song you can envision parents telling their kid to turn off/down when the “Getchoo, UH HUH”s hit over and over again for the first time. Pinkerton is sometimes labeled as a “grower” type of album, and this song is probably the best representation of that. I wholeheartedly agree with a lot of what you’ve written about the songs strengths, but I’d also point out that those strengths can be its main weakness. The abrasiveness of it all (great as it is) can definitely turn people away from the song without ever giving it a chance to grow.

    Friday, August 1, 2008 at 10:32 pm | Permalink
  21. Soyrev wrote:

    An official TVS “The Very Best” selection.

    Monday, August 11, 2008 at 11:48 am | Permalink
  22. Walfred wrote:

    Pinkerton, and this track in particular, is the definition of RAWK, not Maladroit.

    Tuesday, December 2, 2008 at 5:32 pm | Permalink
  23. justbluemyself wrote:

    It took awhile for this one to click with me as well. I think the moment “Getchoo” goes from being your least favorite song on the album to being one of your most played, that is the moment Pinkerton cements its status as your favorite record of all time. Pinkerton is definitely a rough first listen, but once those loose ends are tied up, there is no denying its genius. I agree that this is the perfect track to follow TOS. The guitar intro on “No Other One” that follows it is also perfect sequencing, imo.

    Listening to this song makes me realize how dumb the idea of a Pinkerton survivor is. I decided to vote this one out 1st round, but it just doesn’t make any damn sense. This song is brilliant in the context of the album and doesn’t deserve that. None of the songs do.

    Saturday, December 6, 2008 at 1:57 pm | Permalink
  24. Soyrev wrote:

    The just-surfaced version of the Rivers Cuomo Band playing this in early ’98 slays. I love the new bassline, and the band seethes with energy — Cuomo included. Clearly he hadn’t completely lost his Pinkerton zeal just yet…I dig that solo too! Not as good as the album version, but awesome in a very different way.

    Also, I didn’t mention this in my post in the interest of brevity, but how cool is it that this song is such a clever reference to “I’ll Get You” by the Beatles?

    Monday, January 5, 2009 at 7:22 pm | Permalink
  25. brado8 wrote:

    “Also, I didn’t mention this in my post in the interest of brevity, but how cool is it that this song is such a clever reference to “I’ll Get You” by the Beatles?”

    You may not have mentioned it in your original post, but Waltdisney brought it up in the 17th comment on this here song. ‘I’ll Get You’ is one of my favorite Beatles tunes, too.

    God damn do I love both songs. I don’t know which one I like better, actually! Probably ‘Getchoo’.

    Tuesday, January 6, 2009 at 3:09 am | Permalink
  26. Soyrev wrote:

    I really should re-read the comments before I add thoughts months later.

    And I definitely prefer “Getchoo,” no contest. “I’ll Get You” is still a 5 star song in my book though.

    Tuesday, January 6, 2009 at 9:09 am | Permalink
  27. Cesar wrote:

    I often say that Getchoo is the worst song in Pinkerton, but whenever I hear it, I still hear unmitigated genius. It is so intense. It may be the worst song in the album, but I’d put it in “the very best” in a heartbeat, too.

    Saturday, October 3, 2009 at 7:45 pm | Permalink
  28. Soyrev wrote:

    I’d definitely put “Why Bother” below it. Probably “No Other One,” too…

    From the solo on, I just don’t know if there’s a more thrilling moment in the =W= discography. “THIS IS BEGIIIIIIINNING TO HUUUURT!!” What a fucking moment!

    Saturday, October 3, 2009 at 11:07 pm | Permalink
  29. OOS wrote:

    No Other One is top 10 Weezer for me.

    Sunday, October 4, 2009 at 6:32 am | Permalink
  30. Soyrev wrote:

    Damn. Just rocked out to this song. One of the few tunes that can make me feel like I’ve completely left my body by the end of it.

    Monday, February 8, 2010 at 7:26 pm | Permalink
  31. Mr. Sweeney wrote:

    Never noticed Pat’s crazy fill at 2:25. The hair on the back of my neck is standing up.

    Friday, October 1, 2010 at 4:21 pm | Permalink
  32. Thunder wrote:

    One of my favourite things to do is sing along to Weezer albums. It’s so unfortunate that track 2 on Pinkerton contains a moment that is both the most awesome thing to sing along to and the most throat-tearing segment of their entire discography.

    YEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH

    Saturday, October 2, 2010 at 6:02 pm | Permalink
  33. ehsteve14 wrote:

    I have to say… the rough tracking version that’s gonna be on P:DE is quite promising… Even from the 30 sec clip, I like its sound. Different from the final Pink version to be sure, but it can at least stand tall in comparison, I believe.

    Sunday, October 3, 2010 at 12:25 am | Permalink
  34. OOS wrote:

    That should be interesting then. I’ve kept away from the samples, but definitely seems promising.

    Sunday, October 3, 2010 at 7:02 am | Permalink
  35. Burgess wrote:

    Maaaan “Getchoo” rules. Maybe I will make my band cover it. It rocks so hard.

    Monday, October 4, 2010 at 12:52 pm | Permalink
  36. Mr. Sweeney wrote:

    Great quote from the Pitchfork review of Pinkerton Deluxe.

    “The chorus of “Getchoo” isn’t a hook, it’s a fist repeatedly hitting a wall.”

    Sunday, November 7, 2010 at 7:34 pm | Permalink
  37. Soyrev wrote:

    Great line indeed. Aside from the cheapshot of combining DTFM in the same review, I thought it was a fantastic article.

    Monday, November 8, 2010 at 4:48 pm | Permalink
  38. Mr. Sweeney wrote:

    Probably the best write-up on Pinkerton I’ve ever seen. It’s incredibly hard to describe my feelings about that album, but that article did a pretty damn good job.

    Monday, November 8, 2010 at 7:31 pm | Permalink
  39. BigPete wrote:

    Man, The rough tracking mix version of this song is incredible. So much baseline goodness.

    Monday, December 13, 2010 at 4:57 pm | Permalink
  40. bitterandalone wrote:

    “Anyway that’s getting off-topic. I sure as hell can’t wait until your entry on ‘El Scorcho’.”

    Kinda sad that 8 years later there’s no El Scorcho post =(

    Friday, February 26, 2016 at 1:17 pm | Permalink
  41. Collin wrote:

    Would love to see a post on No Other One

    Tuesday, March 1, 2016 at 8:27 am | Permalink
  42. Novemberton wrote:

    still no say it ain’t so post either 🙁

    Wednesday, March 2, 2016 at 12:04 am | Permalink

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