My Favourite Video: Jimmy Reilly

Jimmy Reilly is a Sydney-based musician whose non-musical interests include comics, film and technology.
His latest project, The Retictulating Splines, can be checked out here on Facebook.
His favourite video is Pork and Beans by Weezer.

It strikes me that Rivers Cuomo is not a man you should be pissing off.  Despite a weedy physique and glasses thicker than Jessica Simpson, he’s liable to take it personal, and include a couple of barbs to smack you around a little in the next song he writes.  This man’s song writing is often as subtle as Dylan’s, so you WILL get the point.  Oh, and if you really annoy him, expect him to prove you wrong throughout the song

Pork and Beans
has an interesting story behind it.  After the abominable failure of the last three Weezer albums, Geffen’s head honchos decided that they wanted a word with Mr Cuomo about the missing money they had pumped into the suckfests.  Wanting to avoid a 4th suckfest, they suggested maybe Rivers should be writing songs that appealed to a larger audience, not just his rabid and quite dangerous fan base.  The idea being that even if the record did suck, enough people who have never heard of the band would buy it based on the pop single, thus minimising the loss.  “Fuck You!” Cuomo is reported to have responded. He then won’t home and penned a whiny song about how he’s happy doing what he always does (writing songs for himself), added a metaphor or two that got lost along the way and called it Pork and Beans.

Weezer have a history of spectacular film clips.  From using the genuine set of Happy Days to dancing with Muppets and Hugh Hefner, if it’s a Weezer video, you’re in for a good time.  So it should come as no surprise that Pork and Beans follows suit with a great concept, turned up to 11 and played for all it’s worth.  To go with the general theme of “Fuck You People Who’ve Been Giving Me Money for Years!,” Cuomo enlists the help of several of the internet’s most successful celebrities and created what is about three minutes of tribute to the meme phenomenon.  If it was on the internet, there’s a good chance it’s included SOMEWHERE in the film clip.

It opens with a setup very similar to the famous “Canon Rock by Funtwo” video, and you are then assaulted by every single internet craze from the past ten years.  We have, in no particular order, Mentos and Coke, The Dramatic Chipmunk (tweaked to look like bassist Scott Shriner), Tay “Chocolate Rain” Zonday, The Daft Hands and Daft Bodies, Miss California, The Banana from the Peanut Butter Jelly time video, and a message kindly informing us we have been Rick Rolled.  Bonus points for getting all of these internet celebs, and subsequently allowing them to make fun of themselves.  This film clip is basically showing Geffen, and the viewer, how easy it is to be recognised and made famous thanks to the internet.  Take that, Major Label who’ve supported us for years!

The song itself is all about Be Yourself.  Bend to the will of no man, and basically be happy with who and what you are.  It’s a little hard to hear this message, as really it’s about Rivers being able to do all those things; and to be honest, if you’re listening to the song, you’re not paying this video the attention it deserves.  After a while you will probably stop paying attention to the song, and get distracted by all the dancing, light sabres and Mentos.  The song isn’t the best I’ve heard Weezer do, and it has all the subtlety of a hammer to the skull, but for sheer meme density and, lets be honest, BALLS Cuomo displays by giving his label the finger, this clip is definitely worth watching.

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