Say it ain't so

It makes perfect sense to form a Beatles or Rolling Stones tribute band. After all, everyone already likes those bands and knows all the songs, or at least enough to fill an hour-long set at Club Dada. Plus, the Fab Four have been broken up for almost three decades, and the Stones should have split at least that long ago. There's no competition, brutha. As long as you put all the chords in the right places and act like you're having fun, luring people to your shows should be easier than "working" at a Mafia-obtained no-show job or getting a parking ticket on Lower Greenville. But forming a band that covers nothing but Weezer songs? Not quite that easy. Few people can name more than a handful of songs off of Weezer's two albums, and even fewer can identify more than one member of the band.

Actually, that works in Weener's favor. If you didn't know any better, you'd think the band's set (culled from 1994's Weezer and 1996's Pinkerton) was nothing more than original material by one of the area's best new groups. And if the members of Weener ever decided to form a real band--that is, one that plays its own tunes--that's exactly what it would be. Rarely does a cover band have this much talent; most tribute acts couldn't carry a tune even if it had a handle. But Weener--featuring guitarists Glen Reynolds (Chomsky) and Jason Weisenburg (The Commercials) and bassist Mark Hughes (Baboon)--is one of the few supergroups that lives up to its name, though it opts to use its considerable talents to perfectly parrot Rivers Cuomo and company.

To Weezer fans, it really is the closest thing to seeing the band live--if you close your eyes. Sharing lead vocal duties, Reynolds, Weisenburg, and Hughes plow through Weezer's warped pop songs with the glee of a kid at Christmas, their energy and ability periodically making you forget that those aren't their songs. In fact, sometimes they play Weezer songs better than Weezer does. It's doubtful you could say the same for Hard Night's Day or Sticky Fingers or any of the other bands playing to the tourists over at Dada. We can only hope that when Weezer swings through town in the spring (the band's new album should hit stores around then), they'll have enough sense--and sense of humor--to include Weener on the bill. Hey, it'll at least give Weener the opportunity to learn some new material.

--Zac Crain

Weener performs Thursday at Club Clearview, 2806 Elm; ages 19 and up are welcome. Doors open at 9 p.m. Drinks are $1 until 11 p.m., $1.50 all night. Call (214) 939-0077.

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