We all have our Star Wars bands. The bands whose music, no matter how dated, obscure, embarrassing or just plain terrible, is like a soft blanket and a warm fire on a cold winter's night, wrapping us in a comforting glaze of associative memories, familiarity, and the sanctity of more halcyon and innocent days, and also never, ever failing to make us feel better again. I take the title 'Star Wars Bands' from an episode of How I Met Your Mother in which Ted is described as watching Star Wars “when he's home sick with the flu... on rainy Sunday afternoons in the fall... on Christmas Eve... in sickness and in health; in good times and in bad”- there are a few musicians and albums out there who have the same effect. At this point I want to apologise to anyone reading this for the wrong reasons and confirm that no, this article is not actually about Star Wars. For me, it will always be Weezer. Ever since I borrowed the Blue Album from a friend at the tender age of 16 (I was a late bloomer), I've been completely addicted to their particular brand of all-American riff-centered garage-rock. I used to describe their music as the “happiest way to express over and over again why they don't have girlfriends”. And with their large glasses and references to D&D, surfing, and the occasional opera, they certainly exemplified aspects of geek chic long before it could even have been said to exist. In fact what guided me to my extreme level of adulation was the synchronicity with which their stupidly happy rock emerged time and time again to aid me through the turbulence of day-to-day existence.
Blue got me through my teenage years, 'The Sweater Song' and 'The World has Turned...' easing me into my first knowledge of romantic rejection, the spiraling beautiful 'Only In Dreams' getting me to pick up a bass guitar for the first time, 'In the Garage' completely justifying my desires to closet myself away from the world. 'Buddy Holly' will always remind me of an entire day spent watching music videos with a close friend of mine. And of course then came Guitar Hero and the intrusion of 'My Name is Jonas' into the collective unconscious. Make Believe became important to me the year it came out, my first year of university. I backtracked to a love of Green during my second (that's only partly euphemistic), 'Knock-Down Drag-Out' exemplifying far too many brief flings, and 'Smile' and 'Island in the Sun' filling me with bubbly warmth all over again. The less said about 'Hash Pipe' the better. Third year uni, older and wiser than ever, and Pinkerton took me with humour, rage, and beauty, to a greater understanding of myself through the appreciation of falling in love, and the pains of heartbreak. The past year, I have finally gotten around to Maladroit and the far dirtier tones of 'Fall Together' and 'American Gigolo', as well as the sweet heartbeats of 'Burndt Jam'. I know by this point, this article will have lost me a lot of friends. Very few people share the intensity of my obsession, and between some of my friends is a strict 'don't ask, don't tell' agreement. And this is how it should be: that's what makes Weezer so very special to me. So, as it's the season, take a moment to think of your Star Wars band, maybe check their website, and of course sling their album on, loud as you want it, one more time. Nicole Holgate is currently burying herself alive as an allegory of how disappointing Weezer's last two albums were. May she rest in peace.