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Weezer 

Wednesday, August 30, at the Odeon

Weezer speaks for the socially inept, the romantically challenged, and that geeky guy who runs the comic book store in The Simpsons. The quartet rose to power on the strength of songs about unraveling sweaters, Kiss posters, Buddy Holly -- songs with lyrics such as "In the garage/ I feel safe/ No one cares about my ways." In person and on MTV, one couldn't ask for four goofier-lookin' guys. They scored no groupies, flashed no ice, schmoozed with no movie stars. But it all worked. The question is, will it work now? After Weezer's self-titled 1994 debut propelled it into celebrity oblivion, 1996's Pinkerton slapped it right back out. No one got the sarcastic, sniping humor behind barn-burners such as "The Good Life" and "Why Bother," or the literate tunefulness of "Butterfly" and "Pink Triangle." It stands, in all honesty, as one of the decade's most underrated albums. But after commercial radio gave it the cold shoulder, a four-year near-whiteout followed, spawning a host of loony rumors -- none loonier, however, than the Spin news blurb claiming that singer Rivers Cuomo was holed up in a studio, unable to write, speak, or think clearly, prone to throwing a pink rubber ball against a wall and catching it for hours on end. But as we all know, watching this band (which has a new album due out before the end of the year) as it unravels provides the most fun of all. And judging by the time it took this sucker to sell out (a matter of hours), an Odeon full of Cleveland kids will tell you the same thing.

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