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Monday, June 23, 2008

Hey, Remember That Time We Played “El Scorcho” With Weezer?

posted by on June 23 at 12:05 PM

On Saturday evening, around 6 pm, 200 lucky Weezer fans brought instruments to the Vera Project and recorded a record with the band.

True story.

rsz_1WEEZER-VERA__031-1.jpgPhoto by Curt Doughty

For the past week, the band has been hosting their first annual “Hootenanny” tour in a few cities on the West Coast, and Saturday was Seattle’s turn. To get in, you had to win passes via 107.7 the End or be invited through the Vera Project. Once everyone was there, instruments in hand, we were sorted into sections and lead into the room accordingly—guitars in the front, horns to the side, strings to the other side, woodwinds in the middle, percussion in the back, etc. There were mics all over the room, and Weezer and their people kept reminding us that it was an actual recording session (the best cuts from every city are going to eventually end up on a CD). Among the usual suspects (lots and lots of guitars and shakers) we also had an accordion, a bassoon, an oboe, a didgeridoo, some tomtoms, even a gong.

The members of Weezer were spread throughout the room. Rivers (weirdly in head-to-toe Weezer swag) stood in front by the guitars. Brian Bell (who looks like a sexier Marc Jacobs in person) was to his left with the string section. And Scott Shriner (who was the most animated Weezerite of the night) stood to his right by the horns and kazoo players (that’s where I was, I play a mean kazoo). Those who didn’t have an instrument clapped, stomped, and sang along.

WEEZER166.jpgPhoto by Curt Doughty

Surprisingly, once we started playing, it wasn’t a complete disaster. The room was full of a talent, a who’s who of local bands with members of the Lashes, Schoolyard Heroes, Speaker Speaker, Tennis Pro, Kay Kay and His Weathered Underground, Wild Orchid Children.

Eric Howk (the Lashes, Palmer, AK) took one of the guitar solos, while his bandmate Note Mooter was a star during “Creep” with his weepy accordion. Danny Oleson (Speaker Speaker) impressed Rivers and Brian with his secret violin skills, so he had a couple solos himself. The kazoo section (with Jonah Bergman and Ryann Donnelly of Schoolyard Heroes) even got a few minutes in the spotlight, taking the solo in Beverly Hills.

rsz_WEEZER-VERA__168-1.jpgPhoto by Curt Doughty

We played “Pork and Beans,” “Island in the Sun,” “Say it Ain’t So,” “El Scorcho,” “Beverly Hills,” and Radiohead’s “Creep” (which was actually one of the most epic parts of the night—our version was string and accordion heavy with very little percussion and everyone singing the chorus as loud as they could).

The End’s website has photos, video, and recordings from the session posted here. And the band promised there’d be some videos on their YouTube channel too.

rsz_WEEZER-VERA__181-1.jpgPhoto by Curt Doughty

It was awesome—really, really awesome. I was singing “El Scorcho” at the top of my lungs and Rivers was singing it with me. Right there. Just feet away.

RSS icon Comments


megan...thank you for saying what you did about brian bell. i couldn't have professed it better myself, sincerely.

Posted by dylan | June 23, 2008 1:17 PM

It's getting sadder and sadder watching music blogs and press outlets try harder and harder to care about this band.

Posted by Nick | June 23, 2008 1:49 PM

@1 It was actually Ryann who pointed it out to me, so she deserves your thanks! But it's so true, I had to share it.

@2 Just because the last three records have been bombs, doesn't mean they're not worth caring about completely. They're still a relevant band. Especially when they do something like this, something that no other band has really done before. The Blue Album and Pinkerton are still great albums. Rivers seems like a weirdo, but this hootenanny thing was actually a lot of fun that I'm surprised the band pulled off as well as they did.

Posted by Megan Seling | June 23, 2008 1:54 PM

Wow. And cool!

Posted by trent moorman | June 23, 2008 5:02 PM

The Hootenanny was a total blast. Weezer's been one of those bands for me that aaalmost got relegated to my nostalgic pile. But the variety of fans that turned out, the pure joy in people's faces as they sang along-that's not something a lesser band could hope to fake.

The Hootenanny, in the exuberant words of "El Scorcho", kinda made me fall in love all over again.

Posted by Shirley | June 24, 2008 3:48 PM

I didn't think it could get better than the last time they rolled through Seattle....
I was wrong.

enjoy -

Posted by Eric | June 25, 2008 10:23 PM

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