Music Geek #6: Appearance of “Superfriend” serves as a nice Weezer refresher

Matthew Montgomery wears funny glasses in a Cedar City, Utah park.It was in 2001 — six-and-a-half years ago — that I first heard tale of Weezer’s mysterious opus, Songs From the Black Hole, a project that frontman Rivers Cuomo had spoken of very little and much hype had arisen behind as a result.

It’s 2008 now, and still, there are several songs from the never-finished concept album that have yet to see the light of day. One of those, until sometime in the range of one month ago, was “Superfriend,” a track that had gained some notoriety on Weezer fan message boards, particularly the Rebel Weezer Board and the Rivers Correspondence Board, which I read voraciously but kept my posting to a minimum, for better or worse.

At any rate, the track quickly became a thing of legend, with only a very select few having actually heard it — and the track certainly wasn’t floating around the mass of information that is the Internet (or bootleg trading circles, for that matter) for easy listening purposes.

It’s remarkable, really, how a single song can become so ingrained in select portions of a band’s fanbase when a very small number of said fans have actually heard it: Such was the case with “Superfriend.”

But now, with the release of Alone: The Home Recordings of Rivers Cuomo, an anthology of what are essentially unreleased Weezer tracks, “Superfriend” has made its way to the ears of those fans with alacrity. Has it somehow lost part of what made it special? Hardly, but after almost seven years, it’s hard to remain excited about an unreleased album (well, maybe Smile would prove an active exception — and, perhaps with good reason, Songs From the Black Hole has been called Weezer’s Smile,) let alone a single song.

However, after finally hearing the fabled song, I wonder whether the hype was worth it, or if I would have been better off hearing the track during the prime of my Weezer obsession. Still, there’s no going back now, and “Superfriend” is indicative of a bygone era of songwriting by one of the masters of the craft, Rivers Cuomo.

Despite whatever stumbling blocks may have cropped up — the band’s 2001 self-titled album, affectionately dubbed The Green Album, 2002’s Maladroit, and 2005’s Make Believe (complete with annoying singles but tracks that were not bad — not great, but not bad) may reflect a change in Weezer, but even I’m looking forward to the yet-to-come sixth album, set to be produced by Rick Rubin.

Matthew Montgomery is the editor in chief. He can be contacted at

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