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On freeways and byways...
February 10, 2011 2:02 PM   Subscribe

Weezer has recorded a full-length cover version of Barry Manilow's "like a good neighbor" State Farm insurance jingle.

The internet responds.
posted by mintcake! (84 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
Insurance Blue?
posted by schmod at 2:03 PM on February 10, 2011


Why?
posted by kyleg at 2:09 PM on February 10, 2011


Clearly, Weezer, like me, do not differentiate between themselves and Ween.
posted by gurple at 2:10 PM on February 10, 2011 [9 favorites]


Is this the part of the Internet where I get to say how much I hate Weezer (yes, even the first album, yes, even Pinkerton)?
posted by infinitywaltz at 2:10 PM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's in black and white. That means it's artistic.
posted by starman at 2:10 PM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Something something Demolition Man something satire reality something.
posted by AugieAugustus at 2:10 PM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


It doesn't sound like Weezer, it sounds like a great parody of Weezer.
posted by 2bucksplus at 2:11 PM on February 10, 2011


My middle school self is dying. Oh, adulthood.
posted by missmary6 at 2:11 PM on February 10, 2011


(Yeah, apologies for the Pepsi Blue aspect of this, it's just so strange...)
posted by mintcake! at 2:16 PM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Jerry Jerry & the Sons of Rhythm Orchestra did a wicked version of a Crisco lard commercial.
posted by mazola at 2:23 PM on February 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


I really wish Weezer had broken up in 1997 or so. 10 years from now they could do a reunion tour and we'd all be nostalgic for some great music. Instead, we get this.
posted by OverlappingElvis at 2:24 PM on February 10, 2011 [7 favorites]


Mazola just blew my mind.
posted by docgonzo at 2:26 PM on February 10, 2011


It doesn't sound like Weezer, it sounds like a great parody of Weezer.

That's pretty much what they do now.
posted by Zozo at 2:29 PM on February 10, 2011 [6 favorites]


Wow. Weezer could patent their sound.
posted by punkfloyd at 2:30 PM on February 10, 2011


Sigh, it seems Weezer is following the Foo Fighters track, just a few years late... posted by SirOmega at 2:30 PM on February 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Weezer? You must be shitting me.

Whenever I'm driving the freeways and byways, I'm always reminded Ok Go is there.
posted by at the crossroads at 2:30 PM on February 10, 2011


I don't think Weezer fans even like Weezer any more.
posted by mr_roboto at 2:33 PM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Someone please explain to me the difference between State Farm and Monsanto.
posted by at the crossroads at 2:36 PM on February 10, 2011


Whatever. I respect Weezer for exactly what they are: a kinda talented group that made a few good-great albums, tried to recapture the magic, got panned and then just decided to screw the critics and have fun. They make a lot of money still and they do whatever they want. I am jealous of Weezer. A solid band with a long run. They are not Radiohead and never were. Enjoy them for what they are!
posted by arveale at 2:38 PM on February 10, 2011 [8 favorites]


why is something called a jingle when it doesn't?
posted by kitchenrat at 2:38 PM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


I remember this jingle and "I am stuck on Band-Aids" way better than any Weezer song. Manilow FTW!
posted by queensissy at 2:39 PM on February 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Weird. I didn't like it at first -- Cuomo's constant need since the green album to make everything super-compressed and distorted and straightforwardly-rawking is really monotonous and destroys any semblance of nuance, which blue and Pinkerton had in spades. But there were some nice vocal moments and the guitar solo was cool. So yeah, I'd say that was better than just about anything they've done in the past 10 years. I don't think it's pinkerton b-side level, though.
posted by Anatoly Pisarenko at 2:41 PM on February 10, 2011


Except the Ween one succeeds on more than one level at the same time. I'm gonna have "Where'd the Motherfuckin' cheeze go at?" stuck in my head all day. Whereas I've forgotten the Weezer song entirely 60 seconds later. I'm hoping someone hires Reggie Watts to do a commercial.
posted by BrotherCaine at 2:45 PM on February 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


PS - Monsanto.
posted by queensissy at 2:45 PM on February 10, 2011


My parents stopped buying albums sometime after I was born, if my memory serves. But at a certain point, I remember when my mom got some cassettes from Columbia House for a penny (in a tale that would often be told for its "be careful or you'll get ripped off" moral - which is apocryphal, since my parents obviously canceled their account ASAP, since they didn't keep getting cassettes monthly)

Among this initial order of Columbia House cassettes that were obviously fairly important to my memory was Barry Manilow Live! -- which my mom played often to and from football games that my dad was coaching. One of the other coach's wives who we sometimes car-pooled with played it as well. What I'm getting at is. This album was played. A lot.

And though I remember all the songs, I remember my 4 year old self getting very excited when "A Very Strange Medley" came up because it was shit I knew. And eventually, I remember watching the same thing happen to my younger baby brother who also would recognize these pounded-into-our-heads jingle lyrics.

There's a joy in recognition. Even if its shit.

But when you try to get to that shit-recognition joy in an "ironic" way... well, you don't completely kick the 4 year old me inside me in the teeth, but it's something like that.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 2:45 PM on February 10, 2011


This just cements my half-baked theory that Weezer has been playing an elaborate Kaufmanesque prank on us for years - that they could make great music if they gave a shit, but they actively, consciously do not give a shit. And now they've made their first brilliant 3-minute single in a decade out of a stupid jingle contract, just as a smiling middle finger to everyone.
posted by naju at 2:47 PM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


> It doesn't sound like Weezer, it sounds like a great parody of Weezer.

Weezer have been parodying themselves from day one. I went to see them in concert in 1995 (they played their first album in its entirety, plus one other song), and they spent the whole show striking "ironic" "rawk" poses and shouting things like "DETROIT RAWKS!" IT. WAS. TERRIBLE. They've had a few good singles here and there, but the adulation heaped upon them has always been a mystery to me. They're like Smashmouth, only better with melodies.
posted by The Card Cheat at 2:54 PM on February 10, 2011


Wait wait wait, BACK UP.

Barry Manilow wrote the State Farm jingle?
posted by DU at 2:55 PM on February 10, 2011 [21 favorites]


Since you brought it up...

Somebody once told me the world is gonna roll me/
I ain't the sharpest tool in the shed


Go ahead. Get that out of your head now.
posted by yeti at 2:57 PM on February 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


they spent the whole show striking "ironic" "rawk" poses and shouting things like "DETROIT RAWKS!"

I doubt there was any ironic intent. Young Rivers Cuomo was a diehard KISS fan and played in hair metal bands.

The blue album and pinkerton are both modern classics, in a whole different league from any manufactured one-hit-wonder stuff.
posted by Anatoly Pisarenko at 2:58 PM on February 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


The best part of that concert was watching opening act that dog dare the crowd to boo them offstage, then telling everyone who booed that they were contractually obligated to finish the show and then playing their way through the loudest booing I've ever heard.
posted by The Card Cheat at 2:59 PM on February 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


I was thinking the same thing, yeti.
posted by mysterpigg at 2:59 PM on February 10, 2011


> I doubt there was any ironic intent.

"I don't even know anymore."
posted by The Card Cheat at 3:01 PM on February 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


Whatever. I respect Weezer for exactly what they are: a kinda talented group that made a few good-great albums, tried to recapture the magic, got panned and then just decided to screw the critics and have fun. They make a lot of money still and they do whatever they want. I am jealous of Weezer. A solid band with a long run. They are not Radiohead and never were. Enjoy them for what they are!

I have honestly never understood why or how Weezer generates such agressive disappointment in so many. Rivers Cuomo seems to have a special ability to fill people with violent disdain.

I doubt there was any ironic intent. Young Rivers Cuomo was a diehard KISS fan and played in hair metal bands.

Chuck Klosterman has a piece in one of his books about how Weezer is devoid of irony, no matter how much people assume they must naturally be doing all sorts of things with varying levels of irony. I'm inclined to believe him on that front.
posted by Copronymus at 3:04 PM on February 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Glad to see the premiums I've paid over all the years went to this.
posted by birdherder at 3:11 PM on February 10, 2011


Barry Manilow wrote the State Farm jingle?

When he talks about how he writes the songs that makes the whole world sing, he's talking about how he wrote nearly every god damn jingle you remember.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 3:16 PM on February 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


Ooh-wee-ooh, I have great news, Buddy Holly
Oh oh oh, I just saved a bundle more
I don't care about that gecko's accent anyway
I don't care about that
posted by katillathehun at 3:19 PM on February 10, 2011 [7 favorites]


Thanks for showing me this ad. I would have missed it otherwise.
posted by crunchland at 3:23 PM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wait so State Farm has money to pay Weezer to do this cover, but they don't have enough money to keep their California offices open or let those people keep their jobs? Like a good neighbor indeed
posted by Senator Howell Tankerbell at 3:34 PM on February 10, 2011


Why is Rivers so flat here? Can he not hear himself?
posted by psp200 at 3:35 PM on February 10, 2011


Wow. I wish I had attended a concert during Weezer's "Memories Tour" Driven by State Farm, where I could have visited a State Farm booth and uploaded my video to facebook.com/StateFarmNation so that I could enter the State Farm Grantin' Wishes with Weezer Contest and have my wish come true at a Weezer "Memories Tour" Driven by State Farm concert!

I wish I was making that up:

State Farm helped us make the the Memories Tour possible. Both Weezer and State Farm wanted it to be more than just a sponsorship thing - we wanted to make something unique happen, to use State Farm's help to give something back to Weezer fans. And thus was born the "Grantin’ Wishes with Weezer" contest.

Maybe someone wished for a decent goddam Weezer tune again, and this jingle is what they got?
posted by Kabanos at 3:36 PM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Here's a compilation of a few of Barry Manilow's jingles sung by Barry Manilow!
posted by spec80 at 3:39 PM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Also, looks like State Farm and Live Nation have been sleeping together for a while, so Weezer is probably just there to spice it up with a threesome.
posted by Kabanos at 3:41 PM on February 10, 2011


> Weezer is devoid of irony

Oh god that makes it even worse.
posted by The Card Cheat at 3:41 PM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


phew! that was the most ominous [more inside] i think i've ever come across.
posted by wreckingball at 4:04 PM on February 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Faith No More did a Nestle jingle.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 4:08 PM on February 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


Here's a compilation of a few of Barry Manilow's jingles sung by Barry Manilow!

The audio in that YT clip is from the aforementioned Barry Manilow Live! record; I think MCMikeNamara & I might've grown up in the same car. It's a pretty amazing live album - bombastic as hell, and with a great version of Rupert Holmes' "Studio Musician."
posted by mintcake! at 4:10 PM on February 10, 2011


I'll come clean: I really like Weezer. Of course, I pretend they've only released three or four songs in the 21st century, but that's another story. I saw both nights of the Memories tour, and they were actually really great shows.

This is clearly the best thing Weezer has done in years and it's embarrassing.
posted by uncleozzy at 4:14 PM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Cuomo's constant need since the green album to make everything super-compressed and distorted and straightforwardly-rawking is really monotonous and destroys any semblance of nuance, which blue and Pinkerton had in spades.

This. Oh my god, this.

I mean, I guess the band probably has an exclusive deal on Proco Rat stompboxes or something, but even then you'd think they'd be encouraged to occasionally demonstrate the bypass setting.
posted by Sys Rq at 4:15 PM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm going to repost my comment from an economics blog here:

I think the economic lesson we learn from Weezer is that rock bands who manage to win over a slightly nerdy audience - the kind of audience that thought it was too nerdy for music fandom, until a group like Weezer came along and made it feel welcome - hit GOLD, because that audience will never, ever abandon its favorite bands, no matter how much those bands fail to live up to their potential.

Fans of "cool" bands are fickle, and will find new music to listen to if they feel a band has become bad, uncool, or boring. But the nerds, man: speak to them in their language, and they're yours forever.
posted by subdee at 4:16 PM on February 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


I'd submit a link to the Sea Monkeys punk rock cover of the Food Emporium jingle, if I could find one.
posted by StickyCarpet at 4:40 PM on February 10, 2011


Cuomo's constant need since the green album to make everything super-compressed and distorted and straightforwardly-rawking is really monotonous and destroys any semblance of nuance, which blue and Pinkerton had in spades.

Oddly, this worked like hell for Bob Mould's second act in Sugar.
posted by mykescipark at 4:44 PM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


I kinda liked Barry Manilow, even though he was very uncool back in the day. His pop persona was painfully awkward, but he sang some really solid ballads. For example: Could It be Magic (which starts with a nice Chopin reference and ends with a rousing climax)..

ABBA made the revisionist leap from 70's pop-schlockmeisters during their prime to revered critical artistes in retrospect. Perhaps Barry's artistic oeuvre is due for re-evaluation too.
posted by ovvl at 4:47 PM on February 10, 2011


DU: "Wait wait wait, BACK UP.

Barry Manilow wrote the State Farm jingle?
"

He wrote the songs that make the whole world sing, DU. He writes the songs of love and special things.
posted by theredpen at 4:52 PM on February 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


And anybody who wants to diss Barry is going to get a visit from my slapping hand. A bunch of his orange Arista cassette tapes got me through the 1970s. I'd still have a crush on him if it weren't for the plastic surgery.
posted by theredpen at 4:55 PM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Haters can suck it. I love Weezer unconditionally, like I love my mother. Concepts like "good" and "bad" just don't mean anything in this context. Would you stop loving your mother just because she made a terrible album, or five or six or seven? No! She's your mother. And Weezer is my Weezer. My mother gave me life, and Weezer gave me Across the Sea, and I fucking love them both and I always, always will.

And I feel the exact same way about Ryan Adams, only I actually still listen to his albums when they come out.
posted by two or three cars parked under the stars at 5:07 PM on February 10, 2011 [9 favorites]


Fans of "cool" bands are fickle, and will find new music to listen to if they feel a band has become bad, uncool, or boring. But the nerds, man: speak to them in their language, and they're yours forever.

This certainly explains the enduring appeal of that band I don't like.
posted by box at 5:20 PM on February 10, 2011


I think MCMikeNamara & I might've grown up in the same car.

Yep, me too. And then at some point my Grandma got a copy of it and had it on constantly in her kitchen. I swear that in my mind, the Manilow medley is tied in with the image of her sitting in curlers, smoking Bel-Airs and teaching me to play Yatzee. It's a damn good thing she doesn't have internet access, because if she new about this cover, she'd find Rivers Cuomo herself and smack him around.

(The first concert I ever saw was Manilow, my mom took me along with a bunch of her girlfriends. To say that my concept of what makes up a good stage show has been skewed since then is an understatement.)
posted by librarianamy at 5:28 PM on February 10, 2011


Talented musicians doing corporate jingles doesn't always turn out bad.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 5:30 PM on February 10, 2011


Weezer should be commended for accomplishing the remarkable feat of transforming from Van Halen to Van Hagar without changing lead singers. It really is impressive.
posted by The World Famous at 5:45 PM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


I love Weezer, although I haven't heard the new album. I find this state farm thing disturbing though.....
posted by sadieglass at 5:45 PM on February 10, 2011


I like it; but Weezer wasn't the soundtrack of my youth. Otherwise....
posted by Senator at 6:01 PM on February 10, 2011


Judging by their TV ads, State Farm has been aggressively trying to reposition their brand to attract a more youthful and primarily caucasian demographic for the past couple of years.

Assuming this isn't just a YouTube thing and State Farm starts using this tune in its TV spots, Weezer just got paid a swollen shitload.
posted by jeremy b at 6:06 PM on February 10, 2011


Is this the thread where I get to mention that State Farm has an inexplicably obnoxious spokesman with an exceedingly punchable face? I know I'm not alone on this.
posted by Rhaomi at 6:10 PM on February 10, 2011


I unashamedly love Weezer. I hadn't seen them in about ten years in concert, but I just saw them here in Vail, CO at an outside concert in single digit weather and it was one of my favorite shows. They had energy. They were there to have fun and it showed. I'll keep listening to Weezer and I'll throw support out there just to balance out the haters.
posted by Phantomx at 6:15 PM on February 10, 2011


Half of Lynyrd Skynyrd dies in a plane crash, and Rivers Cuomo is still farting around with no sign of cancer, a drug OD, or an alcohol induced car wreck in site.

WTF God?
posted by bardic at 6:16 PM on February 10, 2011


no sign of cancer, a drug OD, or an alcohol induced car wreck in site

Those things only happen to rock stars.
posted by jeremy b at 6:38 PM on February 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


I love Weezer up to and including Maladroit. Not sure about anything they've done since though. The Blue album is probably the best thing to come out in the last 20 years as far as I'm concerned, but I don't get out much. You hate Weezer? Sounds like a personal problem.
posted by Daddy-O at 6:50 PM on February 10, 2011


What's with these homies dissin' my band? Why do they gotta front?
posted by Ron Thanagar at 6:56 PM on February 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'm a die-hard, strictly Blue Album and Pinkerton fan and I actually...sort of enjoyed this. Sadly, I think this is better than anything they've ever done in the last 10 years.

I'm sort of ashamed to admit I listened to it twice because it almost - ALMOST - brought back the nostalgia of hearing a song off of Pinkerton for the first time, if I made a concerted effort not to pay attention to the lyrics.
posted by windbox at 7:48 PM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Capitalism, ho!
posted by Allan Gordon at 8:23 PM on February 10, 2011


I'm fascinated by Weezer. Cuomo, in his Youtube videos, describes his analytic approach to making a hit.

we also went to small public high school together. I don't think we knew each other.

go Panthers

posted by zippy at 8:59 PM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


a great parody of Weezer.

One night, I was out drinking with my brother and sister, & they started talking about the song playing at the bar. I didn't recognize the song & so I said so, & feeling a bit antagonistic--we had been out for quite a while--I told them, "It sounds like someone pretending they're Weezer."
"That is Weezer, you ass," my sister told me.
"That's not my Weezer."
"Mine neither," my brother said.
posted by Hoenikker at 10:21 PM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't know. This doesn't surprise me, since I first learned about Weezer in 7th grade when the video of Buddy Holly was bundled with Windows 95.

It also doesn't mean this is any good, mind. Just that it's not surprising.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 11:24 PM on February 10, 2011


The Blue album is so good. Every. single. track. Nothing they've done since has lived up to it (for me), and I've always wondered how much of that is due to Ric Ocasek's production.

As for the jingle? Wow, psp200 ain't kidding - Rivers' singing is so flat that I couldn't listen past 45 seconds. But good for them, and I mean that unironically. I'd love to get paid that kind of money to play music.
posted by usonian at 5:28 AM on February 11, 2011


a great parody of Weezer.

Actually, that's what's sort of interesting about this. It's phoned-in (I'd be surprised if this took more than an afternoon to arrange and track), with the Weezer formula applied to some thoroughly-decent source material. In a way, it highlights what's been wrong with Weezer in the last decade. When you apply the formula to lame songs, it doesn't work. But it works here.
posted by uncleozzy at 5:39 AM on February 11, 2011


I got an error message when I tried to play it with the in-line thing. "This video contains content from state farm, who has blocked it from display on this website." It made me wonder - they are willing to pay to embed OK GO's video but not these guys? Unless I am not understanding something technical?

I used to work for SF and although I did not love it, I admire their rabid attempts to corner the youth market.
posted by janepanic at 6:53 AM on February 11, 2011


"It sounds like someone pretending they're Weezer."
"That is Weezer, you ass," my sister told me.
Ed Exley: Shut up! A hooker cut to look like Lana Turner is still a hooker. She just looks like Lana Turner.

Jack Vincennes: She is Lana Turner.

Ed Exley: What?

Jack Vincennes: She is Lana Turner.

[Lana Turner throws a drink in Exley's face]

posted by kirkaracha at 8:03 AM on February 11, 2011


The Blue album is so good. Every. single. track. Nothing they've done since has lived up to it (for me), and I've always wondered how much of that is due to Ric Ocasek's production.

Considering the differences between the blue album and Pinkerton, I'd always assumed that Ocasek had everything to do with the punchier, more dynamic sound of the former.

And then the green album came out, also produced by Ric Ocasek, and it was just sonic slush.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:43 AM on February 11, 2011


I've seen a lot of the blame for the green album's sound laid on Tom Lord-Alge, who mixed it. That makes sense, given some of his other work and his stated preferences for extreme compression. Recoding technology and trends certainly changed between 1994 and 2001, and many would argue it was for the worse.
posted by Anatoly Pisarenko at 10:51 AM on February 11, 2011


(Not to mention, at least one of the songs--Glorious Day--seemed to crib its hook from the theme of Dear Aunt Agnes. Probably completely unintentional, of course, since that show was only ever shown on TVO, a Canadian public television station. But still. You can't un-hear that.)
posted by Sys Rq at 11:03 AM on February 11, 2011


I'm astonished that this seems to be a bigger deal than the idea that they sold the naming rights to their last record and put a cover on it that was designed to fit the theme of the naming rights being sold! This jingle? This is nothing compared to that.
posted by interrobang at 1:41 PM on February 11, 2011


I'm astonished that this seems to be a bigger deal than the idea that they sold the naming rights to their last record and put a cover on it that was designed to fit the theme of the naming rights being sold!

It's enough to make you feel a bit hurley, isn't it?
posted by Sys Rq at 3:25 PM on February 11, 2011


What's with these homies dissin' my Weez?
posted by punkfloyd at 4:12 PM on February 11, 2011


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