American rock and roll band Weezer continues to be the ouroboros of popular music.
First, they covered Toto’s “Africa” and put “Weird Al” Yankovic in the music video. Then Toto did a cover of “Hash Pipe” in response. Now, Weezer has released the music video for their cover of another karaoke jam from the ’80s, “Take On Me” by a-ha, and put Stranger Things star Finn Wolfhard’s band, Calpurnia, in it. This, of course, comes after Calpurnia did a cover of Weezer’s “Say It Ain’t So” and cemented their love for the perennial ’90s nerd-punk group. Are you confused yet? Well don’t be, just watch the video.
The video takes place in 1985 with Wolfhard assaying the mulletted role of a young Weezer frontman, Rivers Cuomo, whose mother leaves for the afternoon while he’s listening to “Take On Me” on what old people recognize as a “Walk Man.” Cuomo then goes downstairs to find his band–Avant Garde, evidently–already set up in his living room. These bandmates are, of course, played by the other members of Calpurnia, Ayla Tesler-Mabe, Malcolm Craig, and Jack Anderson.
From there we get a lot of what you might expect–Cuomo’s voice soars while Wolfhard lip syncs and the video mimics a-ha’s original cutting edge clip by mixing squiggle-drawn rotoscope footage of the band singing with live-action footage. We also get some DIY lewks with the band members making their own version of the music video using old timey camcorders (though it has to be said, it’s a newer old timey camcorder than one from 1985).
We get the sense from this, and from “Africa,” that Weezer are celebrating their love of these classic songs of their youth. Their versions aren’t super different, though “Take On Me” does break down into a brief acoustic version which is definitely not like the original. Weezer’s covers album–entitled Weezer (Teal Album) was released in late January and we’ll likely get another new video or two before the release of their next full-length original album, Weezer (Black Album).
The covers, Duke. The covers!