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Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo Expands Web Store With Unreleased Demos

Musician has collected over 2,000 recordings that span his pre-Weezer years up through 2016’s “The White Album”

Rivers Cuomo of the band Weezer performs at the Rock in Rio music festival in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Saturday, Sept. 28, 2019.

Leo Correa/AP

Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo has expanded a new online market where he’s selling thousands of demo recordings made over the past couple of decades.

Cuomo quietly launched the site back in November with a single demo bundle, and today, December 8th, appeared to finalize the market, which now boasts 2,655 recordings. Cuomo created the site, he said, as a final project for a web programming class.

There are nine Alone demo collections that cover different eras — ranging from Cuomo’s pre-Weezer days through the demos for Weezer’s 2016 self-titled album, known as “the White Album” — as well as a “best of” collection. Because the collections are tied to Dropbox folders, Cuomo will be able to keep adding material he finds and fans will be able to re-download them without making another purchase. Each set is available for $9.

Audio previews for each of the collections are available, and by hovering the mouse pointer over the name of each Alone installment, a text box will appear with short liner notes and a tracklist. Cuomo’s liner notes offer a succinct window into where he was at the time when he recorded each of the demo sets: For Alone VI: The Black Room, he writes about struggling to regain his confidence after Pinkerton’s initially negative reception; for Alone VII: The Green Years, he namechecks Nietzsche as a main influence; and for Alone X: The Red-Raditude-Hurley Years, he writes about finding joy in marriage, the birth of his daughter, and musical experimentation and collaboration.

Despite the uniform price point, the collections range significantly in length, from just under an hour-and-a-half (Alone VII: The Green Years) to a whopping 38 hours and 25 minutes for Alone XI: The EWBAITE [Everything Will Be Alright in the End] Years. On a FAQ-type page, Cuomo shared a few caveats about the recordings, saying some may have chunks of silence or super low sound quality, or at times offer little more than some “rambling, talking, making sounds” or “just a drum beat.” He also noted, some might be “wildly inappropriate.”

To that end, Cuomo asked fans to help out with a bit of quality control, writing, “Also, please let me know if there’s anything I wouldn’t want public in all the voice notes. I never thought I would be releasing those. I don’t know what’s in them.”

From Rolling Stone US