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Weezer: どいたしまして。(Don't Touch My Mustache!)


Rivers Cuomo brings his love affair with things Japan (or, at least, things Japanese girls) back for (yet) another appearance at a summer festival here. You’d think with the number of times Weezer has played here (and the fact Rivers’ wife is Japanese) that he/they/their webmaster would know Naeba Ski resort is nowhere near Mt. Fuji, Japan - but I guess that’s what a Harvard degree’ll learn ya’ these days.

Their usual festival of choice has been Summer Sonic (they played in 2000, 2002, and 2005), but the Weez will follow on the heels of their January “Hootenanny Tour” with another appearance in Japan at Fuji Rock Festival headlining the Green Stage on Sunday night.

I can forgive Weezer their last two albums because of their first two. Their first eponymous album gave us “Buddy Holly,” “Undone (The Sweater Song),” and “My Name Is Jonas”. Pinkerton, their previously much maligned and now cult status second album was Puccini’s Madame Butterfly written for ADHD-ridden, MTV-suckled Generation Y’ers by a bunch of riff-laden, self-deprecating, slacker Gen X’ers.

Really. Pinkerton is named after a character in the opera: B.F. Pinkerton. From the ukiyo-e cover art (“Night Snow at Kambara” by Utagawa Hiroshige, plus the “Here Be Monsters” style map packaged inside the CD ) to the pen-pal love letter from a young female Japanese fan in “Across The Sea” to “El Scorcho” and its “Goddamn you half-Japanese girls, you do it to me every time” opener; Pinkerton has all the symptoms of a bad case of yellow fever. Once contracted it is something that never goes away, kind of like malaria, and the only way to keep it in check is by making return appearances to the Land of the Rising Sun every other year.

As much as their last few albums have been, umm...uninspired, they can still bring the hooks and the riffs and the jump-up-and-down choruses (and the great videos–to wit: count the YouTube celebrities in "Pork and Beans" on YouTube no less). This is the Weezer we want to show up, mustache be damned!

"Say It Ain't So!"