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Keep Fishin’

Speaking of Homie, Rivers Cuomo introduced “Think About You” from the same show they played “Hot Tub” by comparing the opening riff to the Sesame Street theme song. The audience laughed, Fred Eltringham counted off the song, and indeed the opening chord progression bore a striking resemblance — but it wouldn’t be the last time Weezer fans would hear the similarity.

In fact, I find the beginning to “Keep Fishin’” so much like that of “Think About You” that I have to wonder if it is not some extremely thorough rewrite of that Homie original (the two do not share a COR number so perhaps that’s a bit far-fetched; either way, “Fishin'” was Cuomo’s return to the riff, conscious or not). There’s a bit of a temporal gap there: “Think About You” was written in 1994 (right after “Clarinet Waltz” and right before Pinkerton’s “No Other One” — two songs radically different from “Think About You”) then finally played live in 1997; “Keep Fishin’” didn’t percolate until 2001, released finally in 2002 on Maladroit.

The album version we have is a pretty good piece of power pop, and one of the brighter spots of Weezer’s fourth record. It’s one of the clearest band efforts the group had released since at least Pinkerton — Pat Wilson’s rolling drum intro establishes the song’s upbeat personality, and Brian Bell’s vocal echoes in the verse might very well be the clearest showcasing of his voice on any Weezer album to that point (except, of course, the lead line or two he takes for the bridge to “El Scorcho”). In fact, the band’s performance is pretty great on the whole, with the pretty, poppy doo-ahh backups on the chorus, a solo that (while brief) provides the relief that Cuomo wouldn’t be adhering to the vocal melody mimic formula of The Green Album any longer.

I have nineteen versions of this song, which is, frankly, too much. Three of those versions are officially issued. Aside from the album version, there is the “radio remix” that Geffen commissioned when the song was released as Maladroit’s second single, which was actually re-recorded with a click track and is, in my opinion, the definitive version. It bypasses Wilson’s drum intro for some quick acoustic chords, an overexposure of bright pop guitars, and bass that’s actually audible (revealing Scott Shriner’s rather impressive work). The outro is also rearranged, nixing those somewhat-annoying spoken word backups for a neat little interplay between Rivers and Brian — which make for an admittedly dumb-as-hell refrain, “Waste my days (and get a job).”

There’s also the Franklin Mint remix that was issued as the b-side to the US retail CD-single for the song, which is basically drummer Wilson rebuilding the song as a piece of MIDI muzak. Hm.

The other clutch of “Keep Fishin’” variants we have are from the exhaustively-documented Maladroit sessions, as offered for MP3 download on Weezer.com as they unfolded (and before Geffen realized what was happening and ended the band’s generosity). The very earliest we have is from the DC Demos of 5/27/01, when bass duties were still carried by Mikey Welsh. It’s a sloggier, slower version that is otherwise unremarkable. By that December’s Extended Hyper Midget Tour, Shriner had replaced Welsh; we have two takes from successive nights of that month, which were “shred-worthy” in Cuomo’s post-facto opinion, but ultimately disposable.

From here, we have thirteen versions from the Maladroit sessions dating from December 20th ’01 to the following February 13th. A fine tune, but no thanks.

27 Comments

  1. Ludicrosity wrote:

    Is the DC demo of American Gigolo the one that sounds drastically different and nothing like the album version? I find that version very interesting but I am not sure if I prefer it over the album version or not… it’s definitely more quirky, if nothing else.

    Wednesday, August 4, 2010 at 7:24 pm | Permalink
  2. Milo Minderbender wrote:

    Direct from Rivers’ Twitter feed:

    “Hey, Weezer is happy to announce our signing to @epitaphrecs and release of new album “Hurley” on September 14.”

    Uh….. 1,000 points for anyone who saw any piece of that coming.

    Wednesday, August 4, 2010 at 10:15 pm | Permalink
  3. Milo Minderbender wrote:

    D’oh, I should have said “seen that coming a year ago”. Ah well, Soy you can just delete that comment. And this one.

    Wednesday, August 4, 2010 at 10:29 pm | Permalink
  4. OOS wrote:

    Yes, ThomYorke, Weezer is now with Epitaph. Though no one really knows the details of the arrangement in relation to the Hurley exclusivity deal.

    Wednesday, August 4, 2010 at 10:31 pm | Permalink
  5. AF wrote:

    Yeah, Ludicrosity, the DC demo of AG is the goofy-sounding one. I don’t mind listening to occasionally for novelty value, but all-in-all it’s still not really that good.

    Thursday, August 5, 2010 at 1:33 am | Permalink
  6. Lams wrote:

    english is not my first language, what is Hurley besides a character on lost?

    Thursday, August 5, 2010 at 3:19 am | Permalink
  7. Ludicrosity wrote:

    Some store… don’t live in the states either so I don’t know what they sell… wanna say clothing but I am probably wrong on that.

    Thursday, August 5, 2010 at 7:42 am | Permalink
  8. Ludicrosity wrote:

    Okay, according to wikipedia it’s a clothing brand that was bought by Nike a few years ago… they sponsor bands Blink-182 and Avenged Sevenfold… nothing about their own stores though.

    Thursday, August 5, 2010 at 7:47 am | Permalink
  9. Soyrev wrote:

    Earlier conversation: the home demo of “Broken Arrows” is one of my favorite Rivers things, and it absolutely slays the band version that came about later during the Mala sessions.

    Milo: No such luck. 😉

    Hurley: Yeah, and a Rolling Stone article just came out talking about how it’s going to largely be ’60s style pop with big crunch guitars. Sounds like what we’ve wanted from Rivers forever — he even compares his song “Smart Girls” to “Back in the U.S.S.R.” in that it’s clearly a cheesy Beach Boys-type thing not written by the Beach Boys — but there are still plenty of caveats (“the band worked with a fleet of songwriters”), and a truly dumb-assed quote about how “Smart Girls” was inspired by Rivers’ Twitter chica horniness. Proceed with caution, as ever…

    http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/17386/188927

    Thursday, August 5, 2010 at 8:45 am | Permalink
  10. ThomYorke wrote:

    I would squeal like a school girl if this album actually sounds like 5-star quality “60’s style pop with big crunch guitars,” but this band has given me ZERO reason recently to actually get my hopes up on the likelihood of them achieving that.

    As you said, Soy, we shall proceed with extreme caution and crossed fingers. It does not bode well they named their album after a fucking clothing brand.

    Please Weezer, I beg you…pull it off this time!

    Thursday, August 5, 2010 at 10:54 am | Permalink
  11. Thunder wrote:

    I didn’t really mind Rivers’ quote about hot girls on Twitter. I thought it was kinda funny. Isn’t it natural for a guy to notice when hot girls are talking to you, even if you’re 40 and on the internet?

    Anyway, up ’til now I’ve always remained optimistic over a new release from a band I like, even if their last work sucked. This time, I can’t get very worked up over the new album. Maybe it’s because in the entirety of 2010 so far, there’s only been one single new album that’s really blown me away. It’s just not been a great musical year so far.

    But yeah, Keep Fishin’. I don’t really like it. It’s just sort of there. I’ll admit it’s grown on me a little bit on recent re-listens of Maladroit, but I still don’t get why people pick this as one of the highlights of the album. While I won’t deny Maladroit has a *lot* of forgettable songs, there’s still a decent amount of material that, if nothing else, is a lot catchier than Keep Fishin’.

    Thursday, August 5, 2010 at 2:43 pm | Permalink
  12. OOS wrote:

    In regards to Soy’s Broken Arrows comment, I look forward to when that song comes out, because I really just dont get how people love the cell phone demo and dislike the Mala demo. For me the cell phone demo is basically the Mala demo recorded on a horrible mic. Though I haven’t listened to either in a while, so maybe i’m wrong.

    Thursday, August 5, 2010 at 4:20 pm | Permalink
  13. OOS wrote:

    And re-reading that I realized I made a mistake: I meant “comes up” (on TVS of course), not “comes out”.

    Thursday, August 5, 2010 at 4:20 pm | Permalink
  14. yim_yecker wrote:

    I’m going to their Allentown show on September first. I hope they play some new songs!

    Hurley sounds like it’s going to be upbeat.

    Thursday, August 5, 2010 at 4:28 pm | Permalink
  15. ThomYorke wrote:

    I don’t know that there has ever been a time when the primary message board was down just prior to a record release. It’s feels weird.

    Thursday, August 5, 2010 at 6:46 pm | Permalink
  16. Soyrev wrote:

    Which board, Thom? ATW and .Com are both up.

    Friday, August 6, 2010 at 9:28 am | Permalink
  17. ThomYorke wrote:

    I haven’t been able to load ATW for at least a couple of weeks – maybe something is just screwy on my own browser.

    Friday, August 6, 2010 at 11:14 am | Permalink
  18. AF wrote:

    Aw shit, ThomYorke. I didn’t realise you meant that before otherwise I would have said something. It’s just the main page that is mucked up at the moment. If you go directly to allthingsweezer.com/forum it’s still OK.

    Friday, August 6, 2010 at 3:54 pm | Permalink
  19. Milo Minderbender wrote:

    “With the hip-hop and teen pop flavors of Raditude pushed to the side, Cuomo said Hurley will instead focus on 1960s-inspired pop songs such as the first single, ‘Memories,’ and the tracks “Ruling Me” and ‘Hang On,’ which he described as sounding like ‘Frankie Valli but mixed with Metallica guitars.'”

    Agreed with Thom and Thunder on this. Statements like that make me WANT to get excited about this album…. But then I think about the realization, “A thousand Keep Fishin’s does not equal one Say It Ain’t So”, which got me equally hyper-pumped for I Want To Take You Home Tonight, a song that ended up being forgettable-at-best. (See how I brought it back to the actual topic of this article? Not easy!)

    See also — Dreamin’, re: “epic, 6-minute, symphonic type of art song.”

    Saturday, August 7, 2010 at 2:22 am | Permalink
  20. ThomYorke wrote:

    Thanks,AF!

    Saturday, August 7, 2010 at 7:17 am | Permalink
  21. Soyrev wrote:

    Yeah Milo, there’s definitely always been a disconnect between how Rivers perceives his own art and what it actually is. This sounds like an interesting idea for a Weezer record (at this point, I’m down for pretty much whatever), but a description like “Franki Valli + Metallica” — while cool in a perfect =W= world — just makes me imagine something more akin to “Represent” than anything else (Scott said that the album comes from the same sessions as that song). I also get the feeling that Rivers’ idea of a ’60s pop sound these days is along the lines of Weezer’s “I’m A Believer” cover, which is also disheartening.

    Granted, I’m mostly just trying to expect the worst in hopes that the actuality of the record will pleasantly surprise.

    Saturday, August 7, 2010 at 9:07 am | Permalink
  22. Lams wrote:

    what’s wrong with their cover of i’m a believer? sounded better than smash mouth’s, and after raditude, being better than smash mouth is something

    Saturday, August 7, 2010 at 11:02 am | Permalink
  23. Ludicrosity wrote:

    Well the first single is out… I really hated it on first listen but the chorus is surprisingly catchy somehow… I think Rivers thinks that yelling makes the music raw though… which is kinda funny.

    Saturday, August 7, 2010 at 7:17 pm | Permalink
  24. OOS wrote:

    It’s their worst lead single, though not quite their worst overall. I like parts of it, and though the chorus is quite catchy, it’s ruined by an overload of production.

    Still, the style of the verses/bridge bode well, and if this is one of the albums weaker tracks, were in for a good disc.

    Saturday, August 7, 2010 at 9:24 pm | Permalink
  25. Soyrev wrote:

    “if this is one of the albums weaker tracks, were in for a good disc.”

    Why anyone still clings to this rationale is beyond me. Is “Hash Pipe” one of Green’s weaker tracks? Is “Keep Fishin'” or “Dope Nose” (err, which came first?) one of Maladroit’s? Like it or not, “Beverly Hills” is probably Make Believe’s most successfully realized track. And even as someone who’s not a huge fan of “Pork and Beans” or “I Want You To,” I can’t really imagine many folks placing either of them as one of the three or four worst tracks of their respective albums.

    Granted, I hope “Memories” is by far Hurley’s weakest showing, because it is absolutely abysmal. Definitely their worst single (lead or not), and definitely one of the worst fucking things this band has ever done. I might actually break TVS tradition entirely and write a post about this thing on the morrow, if I can find the time and give-a-damn to vent a little.

    Saturday, August 7, 2010 at 10:55 pm | Permalink
  26. Soyrev wrote:

    YOUR BOY SOY STEPPED UP AND DONE DID THE POST ALREADY

    Please redirect all future “Memories”/Hurley talk accordingly. 🙂

    Sunday, August 8, 2010 at 12:06 am | Permalink
  27. Burgess wrote:

    I would like to second everything Art said in comment #7.

    Thursday, September 9, 2010 at 7:50 am | Permalink

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