Okay, I’ve had enough time to think about it. It’s time to start talking about “Pork and Beans.”
I think the real reason people are freaking out over this video is because it features the first pretty good-to-great song Weezer has produced since 2001. “Pork and Beans” has a super catchy melody, the lyrics are introverted / insecure / defensive / littered with pop culture references, and the guitars are mad crunchy. Those are all hallmarks of classic Weezer. I know I can’t stop listening to the damn thing.
So, yay. Rivers got the alternadork songwriting jones back. I am now officially looking forward to receiving the advanced copy of their new album I’m supposed to review for PopMatters. Before, I was kind of scared. Hey, we’ve all seen the cover:
It’s like a Gap ad exploded on the Village People during a promo for “Deadliest Catch.”
Anyway, this “Pork and Beans” video…it’s not all that great. Yeah, it’s cute, what with all those people from the Internetz in there, but all you nimrods comparing it to the video for “Buddy Holly” are off your meds. “Buddy Holly” was monumental not only because of its groundbreaking use of computer technology but also because it took an incredibly uncool property—“Happy Days”—and re-birthed it as something extremely hip. There is a direct correlation between the “Buddy Holly” video and the number of roles Henry Winkler started getting after 1995. There’s no way he would have been in The Waterboy had Rivers and Co. not jacked Fonzie for their Buzz Bin clip.
“Pork and Beans,” on the other hand, just takes a bunch of weirdo crap people already like and puts it on display in what seems like a strange attempt to remind everyone Weezer is still “with it.” I’d expect this kind of thing from Sum 41 or Sugar Ray, but Weezer? I don’t know. With a song this good, they don’t really need a bunch of viral celebrity cameos. Honestly, I feel “Pork and Beans” is only one step above that video they did with the Muppets, and I want to make it clear I am not ragging on the Muppets. I love the Muppets. Every goddamn last one of them (yes, even Lew Zealand). What I don’t like is rock video stunt casting.
I have to admit, though, the K-Fed appearance made me laugh pretty hard. His comedic value remains constant.
So, yeah, there you have it. My official line on the “Pork and Beans” video. I know you were all desperately wondering what I thought. Feels good to finally get all these thoughts off my chest. I’ll sleep well tonight!
A few Weezer-related paternal tidbits from my life: their drummer Pat Wilson looks a lot like my friend Jim Rumpf’s dad. My friend Dave Adelman’s dad hangs out with original Weezer bassist Matt Sharp’s mom. One time when I was in high school, my dad came into my room as I was listening to “Holiday” and demanded I rewind the tape back to the song’s doo wop breakdown (“This is what music sounded like when I was your age!” he told me; believe it or not, I already knew that). Rivers Cuomo is someone’s dad.