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Hey M’Darlin’

Good to finally get another song to discuss from Rivers Cuomo’s 1997 sideproject, Homie. Like “Hot Tub,” Cuomo demoed the song years before resuscitating it for his “goofball country” outlet — in fact, this one was written as early as 1991, the same year Cuomo wrote wildly different songs like “The Answer Man” and “The World Has Turned And Left Me Here.” Perhaps there was something about the Californian summer that inspired him to write something a little more southern, something with a little more twang and drawl. Unfortunately, it looks like we may never get to hear that version of the tune — which was then called “I’m Your Man” — or the Boston demo that Cuomo recorded on his DA-88 in September of 1997. The Homie rehearsal tape made later that year contained another version of “Darlin'” that likely involved guitarist Kevin Stevenson, bassist Drew Parsons and drummer Fred Eltringham, but has also yet to surface. Parsons and Eltringham played on the unreleased Homie album that band historian Karl Koch claims was recorded later that year, but that project remained unmixed and has to date been misplaced. Cuomo himself has even contradicted Koch’s word, claiming that only drums were ever recorded for the project — perhaps he’s just chosen to forget it, seeing how his faith in just about anything he wrote from Pinkerton up through The Green Album has always been scarce.

So what’s that leave us with? A hiss-drenched tape of Homie’s first show, 11/4/97 at the Middle East venue in Boston. That said, it remains pretty easy to hear the details of most everything in the composition. A sudden drumroll propels us directly into the opening chorus, Cuomo and Stevenson partaking in some lovely down home harmonies on the title lyric. From there, we go into a spitfire verse unlike anything else from the early Weezer period in both its strange lyrical bent and its amelodic construction: “Well the little man came and sat down on my knee / Picked my nose and said ‘what’s up!’ / Well the big man came and sat me down on his knee / Picked his nose and said ‘heads up!'” Cuomo raps over a three-note riff that could’ve been inspired by the vocal melody from “Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini.” The pre-chorus is an effective transition into a very pretty tune, as Cuomo sings, “Got no clothes! / No candy treats / I’ll be damned if I am the candy man / But baby got me down on my knees.” This takes us back into the chorus, and the song repeats this cycle before breaking into an awesome call-and-response solo between a bright keyboard figure and one gritty, wranglin’ rodeo lick of guitar.

It’s very rare that I’ll take a moment to mention a cover of a Weezer-related song in these pages, but albumsix.com forum member Runnersdialzero deserves much credit for his brilliant studio version of this song. It’s a very faithful version that liberates the listener from the poor quality of the live Homie bootleg, and Runners’ expert performance does the trick so nicely that it would *almost* be acceptable were we to never hear a clearer version of this song from Cuomo himself. The drums are tight and punchy, the keyboard soundfont seems to match the one Homie used that night perfectly, the guitar solo is a carbon copy of Stevenson’s, and Runners might even do those chorus harmonies better than the band could have. It’s a marvel to hear, and I do hope someone drops a link in the comments section so that the uninitiated might be able to enjoy.

But to conclude with Cuomo: this is, like the dirty minimalism of “Lover In The Snow” or the misogynistic white-boy funk of “Hot Tub,” further evidence that Cuomo was experimenting with the many different shapes and facets of his muse long before the outspokenly eclectic stylings of The Red Album, and with far greater success. This one is remarkable not only for its quality as a song, but also for the fact that nothing else like it exists in the Weezer/Cuomo discography. Songs From the Black Hole get all the hype, but a quick and dirty release of the old Homie record might be even more worthwhile.

34 Comments

  1. Chuck wrote:

    Honestly, I have Runnersdialzero version, and I would kind of prefer an instrumental of that version. It’s just my opinion though.

    I want and need this Homie album. Simply for the fact that I want to hear the “goofball country” version of Longtime Sunshine.

    Sunday, December 21, 2008 at 9:57 pm | Permalink
  2. Dennis Moore wrote:

    Runner’s vocals on Hey M’Darlin’ are incredible. You’re right in calling his the nigh-definitive version. Leaves absolutely nothing to be desired.

    Sunday, December 21, 2008 at 11:43 pm | Permalink
  3. Art Vandelay wrote:

    link please?

    Monday, December 22, 2008 at 12:51 am | Permalink
  4. MyNameIsJason wrote:

    http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewProfile&friendID=23178100

    link to the runners cover. It’s listed as “Hey M’Darlin’ rough”. great cover. His other stuff is cool too.

    and to the song: This is a damn good song. It’s songs like this that make you ask yourself why Cuomo isn’t the John Lennon of our generation, but then you realize he simply doesn’t release his fuckin stellar, 10/10 songs. Hey M’Darlin is amazingly catchy, and even though the lyrics are nonsense, I still love it.

    Monday, December 22, 2008 at 1:01 am | Permalink
  5. s.o.s. wrote:

    If only a studio recording of this song will see the light of day…

    If only…

    I absolutely love this song along with everything else Homie. Hey M’Darlin’ is probably tied with Sheila Can Do It as my favorite Homie song.

    Monday, December 22, 2008 at 3:46 am | Permalink
  6. ThomYorke wrote:

    I’ve contended for YEARS that the Homie and Pre-Green eras are the REAL treasure trove we should be seeking.

    American Girls, Lover in the Snow, Hey M’Darlin, Autmn Jayne…need I go on? This is clearly one of, if not THE strongest set of songs Cuomo has written since the release of Weezer’s first two records.

    Even with Alone 1 & 2, Rivers has oddly kept most of this era’s material out of reach to the fans. Is it because he plans on actually utilizing it for a future project, or does he really believe that it’s “goofball” throw-away material?

    Rivers is usually a poor judge of his own work, but I will remain hopeful that one day he will have a change of heart and release all of the material from an era that, by all evidence shown, has some of the greatest unreleased works of all.

    Could you imagine if Green had been a conglomeration of Homie material and SS2K? Or what if Homie has just been released on its own between albums?

    *sigh* Rivers, when will you learn to recognize your own best work!

    Monday, December 22, 2008 at 8:43 am | Permalink
  7. ...Our Name Is Jonas wrote:

    “This takes us back into the chorus, and the song repeats this cycle before breaking into an awesome call-and-response solo between a bright keyboard figure and one gritty, wranglin’ rodeo lick of guitar.”

    I’m not sure, but, I think that ‘bright keyboard lick is a harmonica

    Monday, December 22, 2008 at 10:58 am | Permalink
  8. Ludicrosity wrote:

    I really like this little diddy too. It’s simplistic enough but there’s something about it that just draws you in for repeat listen after repeat listen. It really is unlike anything else Cuomo has done and I’m glad we got the cover version as a substitute, if nothing else.

    Speaking of which, I uploaded the cover to sendspace for anyone who doesn’t have it:
    http://www.sendspace.com/file/xydafx

    Monday, December 22, 2008 at 11:01 am | Permalink
  9. waitingandwaiting wrote:

    http://www.myspace.com/polestarqc

    Monday, December 22, 2008 at 11:15 am | Permalink
  10. HMC wrote:

    Here’s Runnersdialszero’s version on YouTube:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7HDOoviNRyE

    Monday, December 22, 2008 at 12:03 pm | Permalink
  11. Soyrev wrote:

    Chuck: I would very much like to hear that, as well. And the Pinkerton edition.

    SOS: I love “Sheila Can Do It.” Looking forward to that one!

    ThomYorke: Absolutely. It’s obvious that up through 1997, Cuomo’s 1990s winning streak had still yet to end. I’d like to hear more of ’98 and see how he fared there (“Crazy One” is solid, but nothing on the level of Homie, the RCB songs or LITS).

    ONIJ: What are other people thinking on this? The hiss obstructs…But if that IS a harmonica, it sure is nimbly played. That makes some sense, though, considering that — correct me if I’m wrong — keys are heard nowhere else during the set, but a harmonica is. I’ll have to relisten when I’m not at work.

    Thanks to anyone/everyone who’s been droppin’ links. Now you can procure a copy of the Runnersdialzero version any way you’d like!

    Monday, December 22, 2008 at 12:09 pm | Permalink
  12. GuessWho wrote:

    Ha, I’d never looked in to the Homie material much, but maybe I should now!

    This is a pretty neat song, nothing elaborate, but very catchy. The verses are goofy but addictive, and the “heeeeeeeeey my darlin’!” vocals make for a great chorus. Altogether it seems like a great sing-along song. Loving the little back-and-forth keyboard/guitar solo as well.

    It would be great to hear a non-crap version of Cuomo performing it, but Runnersdialzero/Polestar’s cover is really well done, I’m impressed!

    Monday, December 22, 2008 at 12:29 pm | Permalink
  13. Melack wrote:

    I love Homie so much. Infact I think the Homie bootleg we have is the third most played Weezer related thing in my library after TBA and Pinkerton.

    And if I say Hey ‘M Darlin is probably my favourite Homie song then you know how much I like this song.

    This song is so damn catchy but still feels relevant and honest, the chorus is so “in your face” you can’t avoid it.

    Even if Rivers calls these songs “goofball songs” he still sings them with much conviction and you can hear that he really likes the songs.

    This song is very ska-ish, especially the main riff in the verse. It’s almost like you’re expecting a trumpet to come in at some point, but I’m glad it doesn’t.

    The lyrics are lighthearted and fun compared to let’s say Pinkerton. But they are still great in their own way and fits the sound of this song like a hand in a glove. He’s trying to write more positive lyrics and lighthearted songs these days, but this is how the lyrics and music should be not like the ones in let’s say “Troublemaker”

    It’s so sad that no version of this song is listed in the four and five star demo list, hearing “I’ll Think About You” with a Rivers in full Homie mode just made me want these songs in better quality more.

    Well at least “Sheila Can Do It” is in that list another one of the great songs from the Homie bootleg.

    Alone 3 please!?

    Monday, December 22, 2008 at 1:00 pm | Permalink
  14. Soyrev wrote:

    Indeed, I think these sunny little jams were a much-needed respite from Pinkerton‘s gloom and failure, at least for Cuomo. Homie sounds like the guy trying to cheer himself up.

    I was delighted to find that Alone 2‘s “I’ll Think About You” was a full-on Homie performance, but was disappointed that Cuomo didn’t even mention the band’s name in the liner notes, and doesn’t even mention that that song, while written pre-Pinkerton, was resuscitated in 1997 (the version that he put on the disc!). For whatever reason, Cuomo seems to not want to draw too much attention to this particular period of his life. And to that I say: wake up already!

    Monday, December 22, 2008 at 1:09 pm | Permalink
  15. WAItingandwaiting wrote:

    Did’t Rivers say that he found a new hard drive of stuff, is so I hope HOMiE is on that.

    The brilliance of this song is it’s in your face cheer and it’s pure wacky sing along sound, which could be interpreted as too obvious. However it comes out so honest, and despite the random lyrics it comes across as a desperate plea of longing to his girl, when the chorus kicks in. Then the frustration he feels in the quick fire verse create an overall atmosphere of anger and a fight. And Cuomo then bursts into the bright chorus, reminding the girl of how good things could be if they got along, hence the sunny sound it has. It is what glorious Day aimed at, but sadly never achieved.

    Also, if runners’ band is recording an album as it say’s, this MUST be included. I’d pay a tenner for that, plus his over songs are pretty good.

    Monday, December 22, 2008 at 1:36 pm | Permalink
  16. ThomYorke wrote:

    “was delighted to find that Alone 2’s “I’ll Think About You” was a full-on Homie performance, but was disappointed that Cuomo didn’t even mention the band’s name in the liner notes”

    I found that odd too, and i couldn’t agree more that his seeming disdain for this era has obviously been misplaced.

    Monday, December 22, 2008 at 2:26 pm | Permalink
  17. brado8 wrote:

    The Very Best? I dunno about that.
    I’m a big fan of this song though, and all the Homie stuff I’ve heard. I would definitely be more interested in the Homie album than Songs From The Black Hole.

    Monday, December 22, 2008 at 5:01 pm | Permalink
  18. sandwiches wrote:

    one of my favorites from the era, then again i’ve always been a strong supporter of the RCB/Homie songs. I agree with BRAD08 that i wanted them more than the SFTBH, and i’m not just changing my tune since we now have much of the SFTBH demos.

    i also love the cover of this song. great job on that.

    If Rivers were ever to revisit this song, I wouldn’t totally be against some of the goofier (nose picking) lyrics being changed, especially since it doesnt seem like it carries much other relevance in the song, unless someone can elaborate. But if left as is, i’m totally fine with it.

    soy, great post for a great song. you mention in your comments rivers 90s track record, and while i’d nearly agree, does this statement consider Little Sister?

    Monday, December 22, 2008 at 11:20 pm | Permalink
  19. sandwiches wrote:

    Also, this song makes me want to hear a full version of “Youre the One”

    Odds and Ends, maybe?!

    Monday, December 22, 2008 at 11:23 pm | Permalink
  20. Melack wrote:

    Yeah “You’re the One” sounds very ska-ish much like “Hey M’ Darlin'”

    And this song surely deserves to be in “The Very Best” section.

    And if I were to decide there’s three more Homie songs that should be included as “The Very Best” when they show up on this blog. But that’s comments for another day 🙂

    Tuesday, December 23, 2008 at 6:04 am | Permalink
  21. Soyrev wrote:

    waitingandwaiting: That sounds familiar…hope it’s true!

    Brado: I was waiting for someone to call me out on that! But yes, I feel it’s true. Towards the tail end of The Very Best spectrum, but deserving its place among those ranks nonetheless.

    Sandwiches: I do not hate “Little Sister” as much as the next guy; in fact, I could scantly say I hate “Little Sister” at all. It’s certainly not up there w/ most of the stuff Cuomo was banging out then, but I find it to be an interesting little stylistic experiment that justifies its existence well enough. But we’ll cross that bridge when we get there.

    I’ve never connected “You’re The One” with “Hey M’Darlin'” stylistically, and still don’t really see the comparison…But my lord, those 8 seconds of that song sound so damn good. I want!

    Tuesday, December 23, 2008 at 10:11 am | Permalink
  22. NoobcakesMcGee wrote:

    I just downloaded the Homie show. It all sounds pretty good, it would be awesome to get some more quality recordings of these songs a la I’ll Think About You.

    Tuesday, December 23, 2008 at 6:35 pm | Permalink
  23. Soyrev wrote:

    Sooo, how ’bout that new Homie bootleg, huh?

    Thursday, December 25, 2008 at 8:08 pm | Permalink
  24. ThomYorke wrote:

    Uh, yeah man. I think I needed to change my pants after I saw that thread title.

    The clarity of Autmn IN Jayne’s lyrics is a pleasant surprise. Shelia Can Do It was fucking sweet. There’s just so much to sit and listen to a couple of more times in this recording. I loved Sunshine O too – so much fun! Gahh, I want the real recordings of this shit!

    Still, I can’t beleive a decent quality version of this recording showed up over 10 years after the fact. Thank you Internet, once again, you prove to be awesome.

    I’ll

    Thursday, December 25, 2008 at 9:09 pm | Permalink
  25. ThomYorke wrote:

    I forgot to mention: It’s really obvious Rivers wastrying to get away from Pinkerton’s mood and tone so much here. These songs just scream “joy” and “I’m enjoying playing.”

    The best part is, he hasn’t lost any touch in the structure or quality of the melodies, and he puts a lot of conviction in to this performance too.

    Thursday, December 25, 2008 at 9:11 pm | Permalink
  26. runnersdialzero wrote:

    You guys are too nice *blushes*

    Friday, December 26, 2008 at 3:06 pm | Permalink
  27. runnersdialzero wrote:

    Also, a good recording and performance of “Little Sister”, with a bit more tweaking, could be good. I think the performance we have is a little “meh”.

    Also, I may add some of the new elements of “Hey M’Darlin'” found in this version to my cover and post it.

    Friday, December 26, 2008 at 3:09 pm | Permalink
  28. Soyrev wrote:

    runners himself!

    I agree about “Little Sister.” And I’m not sure if you can improve on your cover any, but you’re welcome to try! A version of “Sheila Can Do It” might be time better spent, though…; )

    Friday, December 26, 2008 at 3:11 pm | Permalink
  29. Art Vandelay wrote:

    After hearing the new Homie bootleg, i’m inclined to quibble with you on the lyrics a bit… I’m leaning towards:

    got no […] (probably not “clothes”)
    no candy treats
    i’ll be damned if I am a dandy man
    my baby got me down on my knees


    of course, it’s a lo-fi bootleg, so interpret whatever you like.

    Any way you slice it, the lyrics are largely nonsense… but they’re performed with such exuberance, you have to enjoy them.

    That organ/guitar call and response is a total delight. I’m not sure which of the two bootlegs is better… I think I like the guitar licks on the first one a little more.

    Tuesday, December 30, 2008 at 8:14 pm | Permalink
  30. runnersdialzero wrote:

    The lyrics for my cover and the ones posted here are derived from the lyric sheet Rivers posted on the COR. There was another interpretation some time ago that said, “Got no Ho-Hos”, which may be correct on the newer version after all 🙂

    Wednesday, December 31, 2008 at 1:06 pm | Permalink
  31. brado8 wrote:

    what is this ‘new bootleg’ you speak of?

    Wednesday, December 31, 2008 at 1:31 pm | Permalink
  32. OOS wrote:

    Does anyone find this REALLY similar to Sunshine O? I don’t know what it is, but whenever I think of HMD, it segues into Sunshine O’s chorus. That being said, I think that Sunshine O is better, but it’s interesting, and if Homie had actually been recorded, i’m not sure if these two should’ve been placed together on it.

    Saturday, September 26, 2009 at 8:28 am | Permalink
  33. Soyrev wrote:

    Yeah, the two songs have similar rhythms and momentums, with the rhythm guitars on the upbeat and all.

    I frankly don’t think “Sunshine O” should have been on a record at all (would’ve been a decent b-side to a Homie album, though). “Hey M’Darlin'” is WAY better, if we are to compare, to boot!

    Saturday, September 26, 2009 at 12:04 pm | Permalink
  34. OOS wrote:

    For me, Sunshine O beats HMD hands down. The swooping guitar riff, the melodies, it’s all so good. HMD is fine, and catchy, but I wouldn’t rank it with Homie’s best.

    Saturday, September 26, 2009 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

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