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Your Room

This song first surfaced during an SnS demo sessions dated 9/6/01 (bassist Scott Shriner’s first recordings with Weezer, if I’m not mistaken), and appeared many more times on the way to Maladroit, the album it failed to make. It was played with some regularity on the band’s Extended Hyper Midget Tour of late 2001, four instances of which were posted to the band’s official website as free downloads. From there, six studio demo versions of the song from the Mala sessions were released that same way, dated between 12/20/01 and 1/12/02.

For all the time that apparently was spent on it, it’s remarkable just how little “Your Room” developed or improved in its life as a Weezer song. Not that it was much of a song to begin with: it’s essentially two minutes of circular, destinationless riff-rock that has two haphazard vocal sections that we might as well call “the chorus” (they’re identical). Some versions are a little bit better than others, though the differences are largely immaterial — though if someone were to threaten violence in forcing me to listen to this song, I’d probably choose the 12/08/01 live take or the 12/20/01 studio version.

You’re coming up worlds away
There’s nothing that I can say
And all of these games you play
Will lead you to your room

That’s the lyric sheet in it’s entirety, and while I found a lonely comment on this song on SongMeanings by some guy convinced that this is a song about a girl who cheats, it clearly means fuck-all — whether you’re the listener or Rivers Cuomo himself. As for this here chorus section, the way the second line creates some tension with the chord progression (especially as Brian Bell parenthetically echoes, “I can say”) is a nice little musical moment that is just about the song’s sole redeeming factor in my book — far from sufficient for me to ever seek it out, but that moment would be one that could fit nicely in the context of a “real” (better, finished) song.

“Your Room” in a nutshell? Not good, not awful, and no real reason to exist.

22 Comments

  1. Running Monk wrote:

    i kinda like Your Room. i’ve always thought that this and The Dawn were very similar, and i guess Rivers chose Your Room as the better.

    i’d venture to guess that it’s more likely it’s about isolation than cheating.

    another guess as to it’s meaning:
    it’s about someone that’s doing crazy, stupid stuff that will get them in trouble. “Your coming up worlds away” refers to how “out there” and crazy the things the subject of the song is doing. “There’s nothing that i can say” refers to Rivers’ bafflement at their actions and his inability to stop them. “And all of these games you play will lead you to your room” is using “your room” as parents would to a kid that has gotten in trouble and is being punished.

    I actually like the second interpretation more.

    Tuesday, January 26, 2010 at 4:33 am | Permalink
  2. Hup_Y wrote:

    Awful, nuclear holocaust of crapness. Who in their right mind would WANT this on a Weezer album? I’d rather be babysat by Kate McCann than listen to this fetid piece of racoon turd ever again

    Tuesday, January 26, 2010 at 7:08 am | Permalink
  3. Wentlyman wrote:

    “”Not good, not awful, and no real reason to exist.””

    My thoughts exactly. The main riff is too wannabe to be considered for a Weezer song, with that typical rip-chug and last bar half notes. Almost like Rivers was trying out a pop Black Sabbath impression.

    Vocally, it’s a demo so I don’t expect brilliance, but there was a long way to go before this became worthy of album-hood. I find the song’s redeeming qualities are some of the lead work that is buried beneath that chuggachugga and the guitar interplay during the “chorus”.

    Tuesday, January 26, 2010 at 8:24 am | Permalink
  4. Preston wrote:

    I agree with what you said in there…. The chorus is actually pretty nice and would be worth listening to if it were, y’know part of an actual song and not what seems to be a glorified jam session. The song just isn’t complete and even if it was, the sort of fake and hard-rock-pretension-laden ‘verse’ is boring and rambling.

    Tuesday, January 26, 2010 at 10:34 am | Permalink
  5. Art Vandelay wrote:

    I don’t consider it a song, even. Belongs squarely in the “Very Worst” section.

    Tuesday, January 26, 2010 at 12:25 pm | Permalink
  6. Soyrev wrote:

    Congrats Running Monk, you managed to find a a way to make sense of the lyrics that is actually kind of feasible. I’ll take it!

    And Art, I understand what you mean — few things are worse than “boring” in music — but it’s too middling even by “nuclear crapness” standards (thanks, Hup!) to make me wanna Very Worst it. There’s a definite distinction between go nowhere crap like this and actively offensive crap like “Change The World.”

    Tuesday, January 26, 2010 at 2:08 pm | Permalink
  7. David wrote:

    Don’t like this one much. Doesn’t seem to go anywhere at all, and I don’t really like the guitar riff.

    Tuesday, January 26, 2010 at 3:28 pm | Permalink
  8. Melack wrote:

    Oh Maladroit era demos how mostly all of you suck…

    Tuesday, January 26, 2010 at 6:21 pm | Permalink
  9. Soyrev wrote:

    And there’s so many of them. Makes my job harder…

    Tuesday, January 26, 2010 at 7:19 pm | Permalink
  10. Running Monk wrote:

    i’d love to try to find the good in ALL the weezer tracks. and making sense out of the maladroit/green/EA5D songs is fun, since so many of them seem like nonsense. i may make a “rival” blog one day, soy, watch out! 😉 🙂

    Tuesday, January 26, 2010 at 11:13 pm | Permalink
  11. Soyrev wrote:

    This is one burden you don’t want to take on…Trust me, man…

    Tuesday, January 26, 2010 at 11:24 pm | Permalink
  12. ThomYorke wrote:

    You know, for all of the hate Mala era demos get, i still find them more interesting to listen to than some of the shit on Raditude. I’ll take Listen Up, The Dawn, Mr. Taxman, My Weakness, Cygnus X-1, and Broken Arrows over a lot of the bullshit we got in 2009.

    Wednesday, January 27, 2010 at 8:46 am | Permalink
  13. ThomYorke wrote:

    At least during the Maladroit era the band was being themselves and producing something they created as a unit. Maybe you guys just had to be there, but I don’t hate this era nearly as much as the rest of you. Oh, and I forgot to mention that So Low is pretty sweet too.

    Wednesday, January 27, 2010 at 8:48 am | Permalink
  14. Crippy Boy wrote:

    Maybe you did have to be there, I certainly was and I enjoyed it just fine. After hearing the “solos” on TGA, it was nice to hear Rivers actually shred again, however boneheaded it may have been. To me, listening to “Maladroit” is a lot like listening to a T-Rex record: You leave your brain at the door and just rock out. Plus, it’s always hilarious to hear Cuomo try and sound like a badass with all the “yeaaahs” and “uhhhs” he utters on that album.

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I’ll never understand the hate Mala gets here. At least the band was attempting to appease their actual audience during that time, rather than the non-existent (in their case, anyway) teenybopper fanbase they’re trying to cater to now. And unlike when I listen to “Raditude”, I actually enjoy listening to most of, if not all of “Maladroit”.

    Wednesday, January 27, 2010 at 11:40 am | Permalink
  15. danup wrote:

    If you don’t like Raditude it’s kind of self-evident that they weren’t “attempting to appease their actual audience”, but as a member of their actual audience I happen to like it a lot. And I have no idea who they were trying to appease during the Maladroit sessions, but given where Rivers’s head was at I’m willing to guess it was nobody.

    Wednesday, January 27, 2010 at 12:19 pm | Permalink
  16. Crippy Boy wrote:

    Yeah, asking for fan input during the creation of an album sure sounds like appeasement to nobody.

    Wednesday, January 27, 2010 at 1:31 pm | Permalink
  17. noobcakesmcgee wrote:

    Was any of the fan input actually seriously considered? I know Rivers corresponded with people, but I just hear stories of him antagonizing everyone. Did he ever take any criticism seriously and make any major changes? Because most of these songs don’t really undergo anything drastic between their first and last demos (besides production) and if Rivers really was editing according to the fans, then the fans must’ve had some truly awful suggestions.

    Wednesday, January 27, 2010 at 1:56 pm | Permalink
  18. ThomYorke wrote:

    He took some criticism seriously, but there’s no doubt he was always the ultimate editor of his own work. Often, that meant he ignored us completely, but there were also times when he’d change something exactly as it was suggested.

    Granted, those moments were far more rare, but they existed nonetheless. The primary challenge at the time was convincing Rivers that it was in fact a combination of his talents that fans really wanted. He would write this wailing awesome solo, but refuse to inject any emotive lyrics. Then he’d write an thoughtful lyric, but the way he’d sing it would end up sounding contrived by the time it was recorded professionally.

    It surely frustrated him, as he probably felt like he just couldn’t make anyone happy. As all of you know though, he’s nailed the perfect balance of all these things many times, but can’t ever seem to recognize when he does. Even when told what part was missing, he was often defensive.

    Maladroit has more buried meaning in its lyrics than people think. There are several songs I’ll go to the grave believing are about his dealings on the board and also as the bands manager at the time dealing with a label he was unhappy with.

    Wednesday, January 27, 2010 at 2:20 pm | Permalink
  19. Ludicrosity wrote:

    I wasn’t around at the time to witness it first hand but thought I heard that only a select few were listened to (wasn’t it some people he designated himself for feedback?) In any case, it certainly didn’t sound like he polled the entire msg board or took the advice from a large group of fans.

    As for Raditude, I sometimes wonder if Cuomo just did it to appease Geffen because they just wanted to get out of their contract. I just find it weird that on Red he wrote songs about growing up and reminiscing on his past, only to turn around and make a pop record that caters to teeny boppers… and fails miserably. I mean Pork & Beans is about not conforming to pressure and being okay with receeding hair and gaining weight… it’s a severe 180 that makes no sense to me. And now they’re rushing Pinkerton deluxe and Odds & Ends for the spring… I am sure I am wrong because there’s plenty of evidence to suggest that Cuomo is serious about Raditude but it’s so strange that they could make a record like that and then be so concerned with releasing rare stuff like they’re about to do. Who exactly are they trying to appeal to anymore? Do they know even?

    Wednesday, January 27, 2010 at 2:21 pm | Permalink
  20. ThomYorke wrote:

    I think they’re clueless, Ludicrosity, and have been for years. Ironically, the only man who “gets it” is Karl, and apparently, he’s only listened to occasionally at best.

    Wednesday, January 27, 2010 at 2:24 pm | Permalink
  21. ThomYorke wrote:

    And yes, he did tend to listen to a select few people more than others, but it was very clear he’d read pretty much everyone’s 2 cents.

    Wednesday, January 27, 2010 at 2:28 pm | Permalink
  22. Soyrev wrote:

    “Yeah, asking for fan input during the creation of an album sure sounds like appeasement to nobody.”

    Yep — especially when 95% of that input was flatly disregarded, and the 5% that was used was being applied to songs that sucked and pretty much no one liked from square one.

    Asking for “help” during this phase wasn’t a sign of a band looking to go the extra mile for their fans. It was a sign of a band suddenly clueless as to what had ever made them special at all, even on a record released less than a year prior.

    Wednesday, January 27, 2010 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

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