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The Sweater Songs at the Brooklyn Bowl

Brooklyn’s Weezer tribute band finds unexpected fame

The Brooklyn Paper
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Holy cow — we think we’ve got one here!

If you’re all undone over not seeing Weezer in the band’s heyday, you’ll have another shot at the good life when tributeers the Sweater Songs rock Brooklyn Bowl on Dec. 17.

The band started out as a one-off novelty show in 2012, cobbled together by Brooklyn musicians who all play in other nationally touring bands. But the reception to the gig was so huge, they have kept the shtick going, explained one band member.

“We started selling out at our second show,” said guitarist and Greenpointer Oscar Rodriguez. “We were totally shocked by that.”

The act has struck a nostalgic chord with fans in their late 20s and early 30s, Rodriguez said. For many, it has been a year or two since they were out on the floor, shaking booty, making sweet love all the night to Weezer’s wildly popular breakout album “Weezer” — also known as the “Blue Album.”

“If you’re talking about people in the age range over 25, I think everyone kind of grew up with this band, and people really get amped up about these shows — almost to our detriment,” he said. “At our first show at Brooklyn Bowl, during ‘Only in Dreams,’ this one guy was so drunk and amped up, he grabbed a fire extinguisher off the wall and he just started spraying it everywhere. It was remarkable to me that someone would get that excited seeing a tribute band.”

The band has dabbled in post-’90s Weezer tunes, but it mainly plays the two albums roundly known as the band’s best, said Rodriguez.

“I think we played “Hash Pipe” [from a 2001 Weezer release] at one point,” he said. “But for us, it’s the Blue Album and ‘Pinkerton’ that everyone holds near and dear, and we just get such a kick out of playing them.”

Bespectacled and be-cardiganed on stage, the musicians look like they just walked out of central casting. Even their audiences look just like Buddy Holly — the group passes out thick-rimmed plastic glasses (a nod to Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo’s signature specs) to everyone who comes to its shows. But although there might be one or two posters of Kiss among the five musicians, there aren’t any 12-sided dice in their arsenal, Rodriguez said.

“We’re all music nerds in terms of music trivia and knowing who played on what records and who played what song,” he said. “Otherwise we’re all pretty normal dudes. Like, I don’t think anyone is going home and playing World of Warcraft.”

The Sweater Songs at Brooklyn Bowl [61 Wythe Ave. between N. 11th and N. 12th streets in Williamsburg, (718) 963–3369, www.brooklynbowl.com]. Dec. 17 at 6 pm. $8–$10.

Reach reporter Max Jaeger at mjaeger@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–8303. Follow him on Twitter @JustTheMax.
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Keith from Brooklyn says:
Just gonna throw this out there. The Blue Album Group was doing this years before:
http://bluealbumgroup.com/
Dec. 19, 2014, 4:05 pm

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