Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney
It's a great day cause Rivers Cuomo is sort of a weirdo again. There's no getting around the oddball quality to his reading of this personal poem that jets us all back to those days when he was lodging up in a seedy motel for months or however long it was, taping the windows place and just becoming a recluse. Although that act was essentially his way of dealing with the poor reception of his Weezer's masterpiece Pinkerton (by the way, those same critics are now older and now suddenly realize what they had in that album the first time around, a blueprint for emo and a lasting piece of culture), a number of the home recordings found on the newest Alone collection (Alone, Vol. 2 — The Home Recordings of Rivers Cuomo), show Cuomo to be that guy who all the kids worshiped in the mid-to-late 90s. This poem, entitled "By The Side of the Road," has a Gwar-like Cuomo gagging through a narrative about vomiting and putting his face in it — the act somehow bringing him closer to nature. It's startling and yet, it's comfort food as we recall when his love songs and those about his nerdiness were clever and touching. This poem and his home recordings are where that man still lives, even if the Red Album suggests he's somewhere else.