As someone who jumped on the Weezer wagon ca. "Undone (The Sweater Song)" and still knows the words to every single '90s single, the quartet's enduring popularity continues to mystify me. It's Ben Folds syndrome: The band gets older, but its fan base stays the same age.
But with the last album -- which aped hair metal, '80s new-wave and, well, themselves -- and new single "Pork and Beans," I've at least figured out something about Weezer. '90s videos and songs such as "Buddy Holly" created pop cultural phenomena; the band's look and sound directed and influenced music. But now? I feel like Rivers Cuomo and co. look at their tunes like a meta experiment, where they use, twist and spoof the tenets of pop culture to make some sort of statement about their place in music -- a hyper-self-aware stance they know will paradoxically draw people in who don't see the knowing, sly nods. So they get the popularity while at the same time keeping ironic distance from popularity.
Or perhaps Weezer isn't next-level, and it's just turned fucking dumb. I really can't tell anymore. This video features YouTube phenoms the Numa Numa kid (the best part, as his dorky dancing is celebrated), those animated bananas, All Your Base Belong to Us, Tay Zonday, the kid who cries over Britney Spears, and more. Watch after the jump.
-- Annie Zaleski