In my experience, most people haven't heard of the Rentals — and most of those who have heard of them only really know them as "that other band that Weezer's old bass player was in." Or the band who wrote "Elon Musk Is Making Me Sad."
That is all technically accurate. The group was started by Matt Sharp while he was still Weezer's secret weapon. And Elon Musk does make him sad. Since leaving that other band, Sharp has continued to release orchestral synth-y power-pop with a rotating cast of musicians under the Rentals moniker over the last 20 years. The group has included performers like Maya Rudolph, the Haden Sisters, Joey Santiago from the Pixies, Patrick Carney from the Black Keys, and many others.
The spaced-out track above is an instrumental mix of a tune from the band's upcoming sci-fi-themed album, Q36. The band has been releasing a new track every 2 weeks, along with a corresponding limited-edition t-shirt and hitRECORD project. And while I liked the regular version of "Invasion Night," I absolutely love this ambient version of it. Sharp cut out all the the vocals, drums, and bass in order to focus on his synthesizer sounds and the guitar work of Nick Zinner (most famously of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs), and the result almost makes me feel like I'm in the head of Major Tom as he floats to his death.
The video that goes along with it was actually part of the Rentals' 2009 album Songs About Time, which included 365 photographs, 52 short films, and 3 EPs, all created in real-time over the course of a year. Read the rest
At Weezer's show at The Forum in Los Angeles Wednesday, Weird Al got onstage mid-song to join the band in a cover of Toto's 1982 hit "Africa." You may remember that a 14-year-old recently convinced Weezer to cover "Africa."
— Al Yankovic (@alyankovic) August 9, 2018
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"We're gonna take you on a distant voyage," promised singer Rivers Cuomo, who was sporting a classic sleeveless Nirvana T-shirt and rocking a flying V guitar. "To the continent of your choosing... where do you kids want to go tonight?" The question was rhetorical, of course, as "Africa" has become the highlight of the band's sets on their current co-headlining tour with The Pixies. Just moments after the crowd shouted "AFRICA!!!," the band kicked into the song's familiar heat mirage intro and Cuomo awkwardly played some air drums and then, just after the third verse, it happened.
"Weird Al" wandered out on stage in his signature Hawaiian shirt, his accordion at the ready to rip off a wicked solo. Al joined in on the chorus and finished it off with an accordion/guitar riff-off with Cuomo. And then, officially, summer was over.
After all the noise made over Weezer covering Toto's Africa, it was only a matter of time before Joseph Williams and the rest of the lads decided what's good for the goose is good for the gander: at a concert in Vancouver, Canada earlier this week Toto unleashed their cover of Hash Pipe upon an undeserving world. Read the rest
It was a matter of "giving the fans what they want," as the Weezer fan Twitter account @weezerafrica began suggesting the band "bless the rains down in africa" late last year.
@RiversCuomo it's about time you bless the rains down in africa
— weezer cover africa by toto (@weezerafrica) December 6, 2017
Mary has been busy tweeting at the band members with her humble request and has been encouraging others to do the same. “it’s about time you blessed the rains down in africa,” she tweeted at Cuomo on Wednesday. Agreed, it is time. She even got a reply from drummer Patrick Wilson. “I laughed,” he said. But Mary, with a determined, unbreakable focus on her goal, replied: “thank you for replying patrick. it has made me feel almost as blessed as the rains down in africa.”