Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Dean & Gene Ween

In an American high school in an eighth grade class two dudes named Aaron Freeman and Mickey Melchiondo met, fate conspired and then what might be one of the greatest bands that has ever walked the earth was formed. Ween.

I have not been a life long Ween fan, which is a real shame. My only exposure to Ween was in the mid nineties when, inexplicably, 'Push th' Little Daisies' became a huge hit for them. That video was on alot here in Australia and it consisted of the duo, who called themselves Dean and Gene Ween, performing in some kind of inebriated state a sickly sweet pop love song. I didn't get it. I think alot of people didn't get it and that was the last I heard of Ween for almost eighteen years. Then I come across some stuff about Ween online. I hear Henry Rollins doing a hilarious spoken word bit about them. I start reading about this huge underground following for this band on some alternative music sites. I hit Weens Wikipedia page and the bands website. Interest is picked and then enter the last six months or so. I grab a Ween album at random from itunes. The album is 'The Mollusk'. I listen to it. I'm hooked. This album is amazing. It's a nautically themed pop-rock record, throwing some satire on everything from 60's Brit pop with tracks like 'Buckingham Green' and 'The Mollusk', to Irish drinking songs with 'The Blarney Stone'. I immediately download the rest of Ween's library. Over the past several months I fall in love with this band. They seem to jump from genre to genre with ease with some great pop, some pretty kicking rock songs, some psychedelic experimental stuff and even an entire country album called '12 Golden Country Greats' (with 10 tracks on it). I listen to some of their live recordings like 'At the Cat's Cradle' and 'Live at Stubbs'. I hear a band having so much damn fun. Ween's appreciation for drug culture becomes apparent. When I listen to Ween I hear two guys (probably stoned) making the music that they want to make. This is the heart and soul of artistic integrity. Ween doesn't pander to trends, they skirt the lines of classic pop but the 'against the grain', alternative nature of their sound is always there. When you listen to some Ween albums its almost like listening to two guys with guitars and a DAT machine in a recording studio making music simply to amuse themselves and one another. There is no pretense there.

My big regret is that it took me so damn long to realize this brilliant band were doing what they do. I could have been listening to these guys all through high school. They would have been a serious part of my 'life's soundtrack', if you will. I suspect they still will be, I just wish I had been turned on to Ween before six months ago. Anyway, if you want some amazing, honest, unpretentious, psychedelic rock-pop then look no further than Ween. I will say it again; possibly the greatest band to ever walk the earth. All hail the might Boognish, may he grant you wealth and power.

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