Monday, August 29, 2011

Thrill of Discovery: Ween - Part Eight

Day 10: August 23rd, 2011



“It’s Gonna Be a Long Night”

A stupidly great homage. Really, just fucking awesome.

This sounds like a fucking Motorhead song or something. Probably an insult to Motorhead, that one, but seeing as the band knows how to play “Ace of Spades” I refuse to rule it out. Just fun, sleazy over the top stadium metal or something. After a few days off from Ween and coming at this from the new perspective of someone who genuinely appreciates what Ween contributes to the world of music (took a couple albums but I got there, OK?), I’ve noticed it’s a place I needed to get to appreciate something like what I think Quebec is going to be like. Right off the bat it feels like a return to the weirdness that made’em famous. And I’m diggin’ on that. Also, I notice that Josh Freese played drums on this record which begs the question: Is Josh Freese from fucking Mars because what album HASN’T that guy played on?

“Transdermal Celebration”

An unfuckwithable jam, as we say in the biz. Well, I say that in the biz, or did when I was working at a college radio station. "Unfuckwithable Monster Jam" would have been more like it if I'd written this album up. Can you fuck with this one? No, not really. Practically tailor made for a goddamn greatest hits collection. Also, how did I work at a college radio station for 3.5 years and not get into Ween? It's embarassing, really. I just associated them with that awful jamband show. I FEEL BAD ABOUT THIS.

I just read a quote from Gener that says “All that jam band shit makes me want to puke.” PHEW! Another great straight-up Ween track that sounds like it belongs on a greatest hits collection. Maybe track 3. It’s kind of weird seeing Ween moving further and further away from their roots. This isn’t a bad thing at all, because it seems natural to move away from your roots, right? Like a tree or a plant or something? Certainly, it’s not always successful (ok, probably rarely successful in bands) but Ween pulls the whole maturity thing off. This is a thoroughly listenable song that feels just as valid as anything they’ve ever released.

Day 11: August 24, 2011

“Tried and True”

Old creepy Gene Ween returns to sing a song that has to probably be about his divorce (since, according to the web, a bunch of these songs are about that because good god divorce is like a record album goldmine ok?).

“Chocolate Town”

I love that this is like, Ween gracefully entering middle age. A soft-rock jam about buying drugs in the ghetto. STAY CLASSY WEEN!

Lots of weird stuff on this album, but Gener’s straight-laced emotional jams still keep hitting me in the guts. This album feels like a sleeper hit. Once Ween is dead and gone (if they ever die, who knows) and looking at their discography as a whole, this feels like it’ll be a stand-out. An incredibly worthy follow-up to White Pepper which, looking at that album right now, is laced with so many ear worms it’s a wonder I don’t have fucking tumors on my brain. “Chocolate Town” is almost a throwback to 12 Golden Country Greats grafted onto some soft rock vibes. It’s a breezy, and utterly nice song about buying drugs. Pretty sure it’s not about poop sex, which was my initial thought which is weird because it could just as well have been a song about Hershey, Pennsylvania seeing as the brothers Ween hail from the Keystone State.

“I Don’t Want It”

Fuck this one is so good. Shit shit shit. "I understand it/ But I don't want it." Been there, done that. Perfect compliment to that whole sort of thing. Again, WHO FUCKING KNEW these guys had something like this locked up inside? Or maybe I was supposed to have known all along. Maybe I should have listened to all their albums in reverse but then again, revisiting the early stuff is much more of a treat knowing the outcome.

Another fucking tender Gener jam to bring the stupid house down. I realize that every album can only have like, two or so of these and I accept that. An album of these would be too much. It would cheapen the tunes, which are usually strategically placed towards the latter half of the album to pull the rug out from under you, remind you that these guys are incredibly deft album-smiths and well, you start to see the hype and the living up to it. A divorce album staple.

Day 12: August 28, 2011

“If You Could Save Yourself (You’d Save Us All)”

I don't know why I thought Quebec would somehow be a lesser Ween album. Maturity suits them incredibly well, again again again WHO FUCKING KNEW?! Feeling like a failure.

Oh man, this IS a divorce record, isn’t it? A pretty triumphant, heart wrenching finale right here. It’s intense. It’s over the top and it NEEDS to be over the top. The imagery is depressing and sad, like you’d expect, and the melody follows suit but there’s that underpinning monster hook in the chorus that makes all the sad bastard pop songs in history sing-a-long toe-tappers. “The trash caught fire when the leaves turned brown/ The vultures were circling when the circus left town/ I left you a note but I wrote it in disappearing ink.” Depressing. Divorcey. Probably the most emotional highlight of Ween’s long, storied career. Looking at this sweeping, orchestral heartbreaker, it’s hard to even remember what GodWeenSatan: The Oneness sounds like, and I think that’s Ween’s greatest asset. A discography that has been ever-changing while remaining true to itself. And that’s why millions of people love Ween. And that’s why I love Ween. This is honest music, and even when it’s fucked up and weird, it’s fucking real.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Thrill of Discovery: Ween - Part Seven

Day 9: August 19th, 2011

White Pepper

10:14 PM
“Exactly Where I’m At”

Gener's guitar sounds like shit. Awesome. Pry blowing Letterman's fucking mind. NICE SHADES BRO.

Fuck, Ween keep and keep reminding me of a filthier version of GBV. “Exactly Where I’m At” calls up pangs of Bob Pollard, but also OH I GET THE TITLE (actually, I didn’t I was just like “haha a white pepper who gives a fuck” and then I read the Wikipedia article) it’s a play on The White Album and Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band!!! It’s Ween playing straight pop after the resounding success (read: listenable music) of The Mollusk and all it’s glorious fucking theatrics. This is a pretty tasty jam. Super simple, a fucking brainworm melody, some funky synths. You know, that sort of bullshit. It’s a song I’ll use on the mix I plan on making Jenny when I’m done with this to say “SEE IT’S NOT ALL THAT UNDERPRODUCED FILTH YOU THOUGHT IT WAS JOKE’S ON YOU!”

“Even If You Don’t”

Ha! Directed by Trey Parker & Matt Stone! DUH. What a solid sunnytime pop jam goddamnit.

Fuck, another one going up top on the mix for Jenny. This is like Looney Tunes pop. Classic in every which way, with a little Ween-y twist. But barely. It’s just straight-up flat-out balls-down pop. And somehow they manage to wedge a bitchin’ guitar solo right there in the middle of it all.

“Bananas and Blow”


Oh god, I remember this song. Another one with a chorus that’s been stuck in one of my brain lobes for the last 8 years. Is this a Jimmy Buffett parody or something? I don’t know enough about shitty music to understand the nods. It’s fucking funny either way, don’t get me wrong. Love the backing vocals, love the Spanish guitar. God, this has to be what Jimmy Buffett sounds like. I’ve seen the shitty cover of his book 8000 times with its fucking comic sans and I’ve priced enough of his shitty CDs at work to understand. I suppose it’s fitting with the White Album-ness of it all.

“The Grobe”

Deaner has the best fucking rock and roll face I've ever seen. Halfway between setting himself ablaze with the tastiest of jams and pinching off the nastiest of loafs.

Fuck, I don’t usually love sweet, jammy grooves but the crunchy nugget that runs through this tune is strangely appealing. That Jimi Hendrix obsession that all those bands have, I suppose. Something about the guitar tone here is just pretty fuckin’ gnarly. It also sounds kind of weird traditional Ween style and I can dig on that. Again with the Stockholm Syndrome. Again again again.

“Stay Forever”

Love the fuck out of this sensitive-ass jam. Such a wonderful counterpoint to "She Fucks Me," et al.

Fuck, I’m waiting for this one to go downhill. Some uncomfortable hand jobs maybe? Someone shits on someone’s chest? I don’t know. I can’t bear the tension but I will. And right now, this just sounds like a regular, super sweet love song fit for any mixtape. Let’s just hope the girl doesn’t know who Ween is. Or maybe she does, and understands that this is the sweetest song in Gener’s canon. Or maybe she just knows that they have songs called “Poop Ship Destroyer” and “Common Bitch” and you’re fucked. It’s simple, and uncommonly plain, but it’s these nice little moments that float by on a breezy melody and some heartstring tugging sap that make me really appreciate the range this band has an ultimately, make me a fan. I just wrote “make me fat” there. FAT WITH FANDOM.

“She’s Your Baby”

Backe by strings? Fuck that shit. It's too fucking perfect goddamnit. Think this is my favorite Ween track. Has to be.

Fuck, another goddamned excellent song where Ween plays conventional but kills it so hard it hurts. Right in the heartstrings and all that. I think this might be the most tender song in Ween’s catalog. At least so far. Just unspeakably lovely, which is in turn infinitely rewarding. The melody kills me. That about-to-fall-apart delivery. I just put the song on again (note: I’ve been writing all of this based on first impressions YES I HAVE) and it gets better. It’s amazing how fucking accessible this album is. It’s all a little surreal, which seems fitting given Ween’s penchant for surrealism. It’s almost just another gimmick record that succeeds in nearly every aspect. First country & western, then prog-rock, now pop itself. I’m gonna listen to this track a third time, and then I’m going to listen to it one more time before I move on. And this feels like the reward I wanted when I started this. I knew there was something there and now, after White Pepper confirmed it for me. Or maybe it’s just been slowly confirming itself. It being the fact that Ween isn’t a novelty act and, if you take them seriously and have a sense of humor you can see the little sparkles of genius that shine through the cracks.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Thrill of Discovery: Ween - Part Six

Day 8: August 17th, 2011 (cont’d)

The Mollusk

9:57 PM
“The Mollusk”

Hahahah this video is amazing. Wonderful and whimsical and kind of boring but legos! The spinny Sgt. Pepper band is great though.

Ween’s next genre exercise: prog rock. And fuck, fuck fuck fuck this is legitimately great. I remember this song from early college when I’d downloaded all the Ween albums off of someone in Hashinger Hall’s hard drive. That wonderful year, everyone had this program that let everyone else on the residence hall’s network download songs from everyone else’s iTunes library. It was amazing. And I had all the Ween and clearly never listened to it. Except for The Mollusk. I’m pretty sure I listened to this one because I remember this title track and “Ocean Man” and “Buckingham Green” being in some heavy rotation (but why not the album? WHY?!) The title track is great though. No dick jokes, no crude recording/crude humor. Just straight up whimsy. A song about a little boy and his mollusk. And some weird proggy stuff and THEN SOME FUCKING HORNS. This is just plain good. What happened, Ween?

“Mutilated Lips”

How did I neglect to mention the baller psychedelic elements of this jam? HOW GODDAMNIT HOW! A surprisingly competent and complementary fan video!

Oh there’s the trademark Ween-ness (is this called Brown-ness? Is this what the fans call it? I read that somewhere? The typical fuckedupness and weirdness that makes a Ween song a real motherfucking Ween song?), singin’ bout some lips that are all mutilated. Doesn’t make any sense really, the song that is, but that’s probably the point and it’s oddly catchy even with the weird high pitched counter-vocals. I remember this too from that one time I listened this album. Hmm.

“The Blarney Stone”

Fuck, how many times has Ween played this town? Also, you can always tell when it's a Deaner track (it's usually obvious but sometimes the vocal effects get in the way) but I was listening to this and I was totally like "This has Deaner's stains all over it." Nice. Shitty sound quality, but fun and goddamnit I wanna see this band live and I want to be very, very high. I think I might actually enjoy being high if I was at a Ween show compared to every other time I've been high and wanted to run home crying. Fuck, this looks like fun.

Oh man! Taking the piss out of an Irish drinking anthem this is great! “Got ooze in my pores my feet are all wet/ Got mold in my ears but I ain’t dead yet.” There’s something really funny about this in a way that seems to transcend the hardy har har novelty of a parody of a drinking song. It’s because it sounds legit. Like it could be a real thing. Like thousands of years from now this will be the only drinking song anyone will find and they will think they all sounded like this, even though it’s kind of a joke. (Note: Just read that each song has a “nautical theme.” Fun! Is this a sea shanty then?)

“It’s Gonna Be (Alright)”

Solo acoustic renditions of Gener's tender situations are the reason I keep listening to this stupid fucking band. So choice.

Aw shit, I love these. The ones where Gener puts on the wounded indie-rocker ballad face and fucking kills it (kills, in this case, means brings the house down on top of everyone’s broken hearts). This is probably his best one, well actually “Baby Bitch” is the best but this one is an immediate sensation. Or causes an immediate sensation. My “Aw shit bitch this my jam” sorta thing. But yeah, up there with “Birthday Boy” and “Don’t Laugh (I Love You)” and “Sarah.” It’s like every once in a while Gene and Ween realize that they need to just play it straight. Just for a second. Capitalize on the fact that they’re excellent, innovative musicians and that he’s an excellent songwriter and just play for the squares.

“The Golden Eel”

What a hilarious looking band. Gene looks like he has pink eye and/or hasn't slept in days and is practically the opposite of what a rock star looks like. And Dean looks like...well, he just looks like a dude covered by shadows. WAY MORE ROCK STAR BRO!

Fuck this album is epic sounding. Who knew they had it in’em? I mean, certainly the seeds for this album (which I’ve read is at least Deaner’s favorite) must have been there the whole time, but goddamn this is just really fun and it sounds great. Who would have ever thought Ween made an album with some top-notch production? Granted, the two previous albums sound pretty great but here, with all this wild fun stuff going on it sounds spectacular.

“Buckingham Green”

I would go see Ween and they would play this song and I would probably scream like a little girl and think about that time I saw GBV and how this was like that (not ever as great, natch) and I would realize why I now hate going to shows: Because they'll never be as great as the really, really great ones because the other bands just don't try hard enough. This has the insane fucking monumental moments you SHOULD expect from every show you go to goddamnit.

Fuck, I might as well put the whole goddamned album on this entry because every song is so fucking good. Maybe it’s Stockholm Syndrome. Maybe my music snobbery has backfired on me, and well, maybe that started at GodWeenSatan if I made it this far. I mean, it’s not that at all. I’m not my fiancĂ© who will dismiss anything if she doesn’t like the first chord, but it has been a trial. A trial I wouldn’t have fucking undergone if I hadn’t thought it would payoff. And this is the goddamned payoff, right here. “Buckingham Green” is a towering behemoth ready to crush you with its greatness. Everything Ween was ever capable of doing encapsulated in this fucking monster jam. Everything after this is probably just leftover shit escaping the bowels of a dead body. Ok, probably not, but you know how good this song is? How? How! How if the band isn’t fundamentally great, then how can they put out a song this good? Fuck. I’m a sucker for this orchestral bullshit.

“Ocean Man”

Cute video. Was afraid I was gonna have to start posting those usually awful (occasionally awesome but mostly kind of why-did-you-feel-the-need-to-do-that? covers people like to post that I usually use when I can't find a proper video.

OH YEAH AND THEN THERE’S OCEAN MAN. A song that gets stuck in my head once a month. Just good old fashion fun about a man from the ocean! AN OCEAN MAN! What a just super solid jam on a just plain fucking outstanding record.


Oh sweet fucking christ this is incredible. I'm now having a flashback to the one time I watched this abomination of a film which now seems like less of an abomination because Ween has the greatest shameless advertising cameo I've ever seen by anyone ever.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Thrill of Discovery: Ween - Part Five

Day 7: August 16th, 2011

12 Golden Country Greats

4:32 PM

“I’m Holding You”

What the fucking fuck? Is this Ween just saying “You know what, we’re gonna make an album of classic country songs to show you that we aren’t total children and actually understand how to make music?” There’s like, absolutely nothing weird about this other than the fact that this band’s last album had a utterly distasteful songs about HIV, Spinal Meningitis, and stinkin’ ass hos. Given they recruited a bunch of famous Nashville people, this sounds like the real deal. It’s good, yet the Weenness feels totally absent.

“Piss Up a Rope”

Oh wait, there’s the brown sound. “On your knees you big booty bitch, start suckin’/ you ride my ass like a horse in a saddle.” Nice! And then it only gets worse. Like genuine comedy worse. It’s kind of an inspired move. Lull the folks at home with a couple of standard sounding numbers up front and then piss in their mouths. Nice nice nice! A perfect country music parody. A shining moment for Deaner!

“I Don’t Wanna Leave You On the Farm”

And there’s the old standard Ween-y number that’s also got a sweet side to it. God, the singing is really good on this album. Amazing. Who knew!

“Powder Blue”

This album sounds like it was pretty fun to make. A fun little genre exercise that could have just been a one and done track but it’s way funnier as a whole album. Also, that Muhammed Ali sample is hilarious.

Day 8: August 17th, 2011

5:36 PM

“Mister Richard Smoker”

The awful review of this album (which spends the whole time decrying how Ween think they are “above” the country & western genre but good god, all they do is make fun of shit don’t you get that duh!) says that this song is “homophobic” but I mean, it’s obvious that if you’re going to do a tribute/send-up to country music you gotta have one song that’s addresses the homophobia most country music culture seems to embody these days. Also, referring to a homosexual as a “poopy poker” seems to basically be a way of saying “we’re just fucking around lighten up goddamn.”

“You Were the Fool”

This is really good. Like legitimately good country music. I really wonder what Ween fans thought of this album. Did they hate it? Were they the people that said “any music but country” when people asked what their favorite music was (that’s a lie, they’d probably say “FUCKING WEEN BRAH”)? Fortunately the album is a brisk 33 minutes, a good fifty shorter than their albums tend to be, and I don’t think 12 Golden Country Greats ever overstays its welcome. It’s a fun project that’s seems like a novelty in idea but a damn fine record in execution. It’s Ween illustrating that they can be serious musicians and goofball pranksters at the same damn time.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Thrill of Discovery: Ween - Part Four

Day 6: August 13th, 2011

Chocolate and Cheese

5:55 PM

“Spinal Meningitis (Got Me Down)”


Fuck, it’s amazing what studio recording can do for a band. This sounds exactly like what any of the previous three records would have sounded like if they were recorded by a proper individual. Yet all that weird fucking shit is smeared all over this. LIKE THIS SONG. Good God, it’s weird. Chocolate and Cheese was the only Ween record I’d ever listened to all the way through at the start of this project, and that was years ago. Coming at it with a new appreciation I can already see the masterpiece status in the recording, the writing, etc and I’m only two songs in. Granted, I’ve spent some pretty consistent time with “Baby Bitch” over the years (which is probably why I was willing to listen to every Ween album ever, because that song is fucking great). But yeah, I don’t feel like I’m drowning anymore. I’m getting all the brown weirdness and Weenness and it sounds great and it’s sharp and funny and skilled. Good show.

“I Can’t Put My Finger On It”

Totally remember seeing this as a child, thinking this song was fucking weird and awful. Although I was wrong, they didn't rag on this track. Beavis liked it! Well, before Butthead reprimanded him.

OH FUCK THIS SONG. I remember seeing this on Beavis & Butthead when I was a kid and I distinctly remember them tearing it apart. Now I think that is really funny and probably some inspired Matt Judge move of having these two idiots talk shit on the one band in the world they should probably love. Genius. This song is weird and makes me feel dirty. Mostly just Gener’s vocals good god, something rapist-sounding about those. Something that makes my guts churn in the best way.

“Roses Are Free”

I skipped ahead a couple days ago when The Pod was getting particularly unbearable and I was like “Well fuck this song this is annoying” and now it’s playing and I’m like “Oh shit, this song’s the jam!” What happened? I don’t know, must be in the context of the record. I’m aware this is a hit, that’s why I listened to it in the first place. It’s a great little song though. Has all the things that made “Push th’ Little Daisies” a success, I suppose. It’s Ween playing it SORT of straight but still being total weird fuckers. This is a WEIRD sounding song. This sounds only like Ween, which I think is why this album is considered the masterpiece (I’m sure that’s arguable, but this is pry the one everyone starts with or something). Here instead of fucking around with genres and effects Ween sounds fucking on. Their spirit or whatever shines through and sure they still fuck around with genres (“Freedom of ’76, some more probably) but there’s this distinct Ween-quality that is on every song here that maybe the previous three albums didn’t have. Sure certain songs hit the mark but all of them do on this one. Oh, and this kind of sounds like a Prince song when Gene sings about throwing the pumpkin at the tree.

“Baby Bitch”

I can't even remember the first time I heard this or why I heard it. I want to know, because I feel like I've known this song forever. Still sounds like the best song in their catalog. A real classic-sounding jam.

Fuck. Goddamnit. This is the greatest song ever. Well, not really, but it’s probably up there. Listening to it in context for probably the first time it hits like a fucking brick in the face, the heart, the nuts. It hits. Like everyone, this is every awful breakup I’ve ever had. Every girl who fucked me over, etc. That line “It’s just too bad you’re beautiful, I guess” affected me so much I made some really awful photoshop art with the lyrics and the girl who’d crushed my heart (granted, not really I didn’t care to much she was just a bitch and I got over it in two seconds in very atypical Ian fashion) over a sunset with some weird effects. Hilarious. This song seems uncharacteristically straightforward but I think it’s where Ween becomes a real band to be loved by millions of people. This sounds like a fucking breakout, complete with self-referential nods to the past (“Wrote ‘Birthday Boy’ for you babe), totally disgusting vulgarity (“fuck you you stinkin’ ass ho”), and those wavery vocal effects but not enough to totally bury the perfectly righteous jam.

10:54 PM
“Drifter in the Dark”

Song feels like it should be way fucking weirder amirite?

Is this a precursor to 12 Golden Country Greats? Because it might as well be because it’s a great little country ditty, despite the fact that they’re tongue is firmly planted in their collective cheek. The weirdest thing about this song is that it’s not fucking weird at all. It’s just too fucking normal. TOO NORMAL BUT STILL FUCKING GOOD OK.

“Voodoo Lady”

Goddamn this is a catchy motherfucker ain't it?! A right tasty jam.

FUCK. “Voodoo Lady” was released as a 7” single on Flying Nun Records? It’s like my worlds are all fucking colliding! HOW FUCKING COOL! This is a fucking righteous jammy jam though. Again, I can see why this record is the classic. This is all the elements that Ween was capable of coming to a head and spilling over the glass, onto the table, and onto the floor causing some poor sap to slip and break his neck. It’s that kind of good. Ween are understanding how to transmit their idea of fun into songs that are also fun for the audience. This is a groovy track. It’s a fun song and an enjoyable song to listen to. All without Ween having to sacrifice any of their inherent brownness.

“What Deaner Was Talking About”

God these guys are funny looking. Also, God this song is so goddamn good.

And then there’s this gem. A fucking true gem. A real fucking goddamn late-album gem the likes of which you don’t really see much. A perfect melody, a great little song. This is why I love Ween. They are capable of this. They so precisely know what they are doing at all times that it’s OK to accept the fucking batshit stuff because you know every album is gonna at least have four or five songs that are just brain-melting pop tunes.

“Don’t Shit Where You Eat”

Another sneaky little brainworm. Unsuspecting and shit.

Man, the latter half of this album just kills it doesn’t it? And the first half of the album is pretty sensational too. It’s like all this investment and then the reward on the initial promise (the three or so songs on GodWeenSatan: The Oneness that were impossibly good for a couple of twenty year old stoners).

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Thrill of Discovery: Ween - Part Three

Day Four: August 11th, 2011 (cont’d)
Pure Guava

2:31 AM

“Little Birdy”

Approaching borderline jam band territory and stoner catnip qualities.

Oh another weird fucking vocal modulation stoner jam hooray, I guess. Apparently Pure Guava is the last album Ween did on a four-track until their latest album. GOOD. Just kidding, I love the four track recording method. Just not with Ween. KIDDING. I see the appeal. It works. Etc. I’m just fascinated by this fucking band and how they have such a talent with songs that you know, have melodies yet lace their albums the way Denzel laced Ethan Hawke’s blunt with PCP in Training Day. There’s some joyful bliss and then there’s some fucking weird freakout bizarro shit that makes you want to climb into a cave and stay there for a thousand years. But this is just the first part. It’s not even as weird as the other stuff before this. It’s actually conventional weirdo bullshit. GO FIGURE!

“Tender Situation”

Fuckin' obsessed with this track. Kept telling Jenny to "taste the waste" last night and then laughing. So awful. I will be an awful husband. I don't even know what "taste the waste" MEANS. WHAT WASTE? Like poop waste? Anyway, no matter still a lovely song even lovelier when the vocals come through.

“Taste the waste man, taste the waste.” Christ there’s something brilliant here that is just covered in fucking shit. Beautiful glorious shit. The problem is I just watched a live version of this shot in Lawrence and it’s fucking gorgeous. And that’s kind of what keeps Ween interesting. It’s hard to appreciate “Tender Situation” in its album form for a minute until you know how goddamn good it is. It’s easy to overlook, etc. What with all those hushed vocals and all. But there’s something really sad there, in all that hushedness after the grossness of tasting waste.

“Push th’ Little Daisies”

Fuck, the video makes the song better. Bizarre 90s alt-rock genius at work. Also, editing the song with a Prince squeal? Inspired. Truly inspired.

Oh shit this song! This is the hit, isn’t it? It’s like a perfect blend of the pop sensibility Ween has displayed before but with shit all over it. And maybe that’s exactly how Ween works. Great songs covered in shit. Oh, and the next song mentions getting shit on. GO FIGURE. Listened to this song like three times and I don’t see what all the fuss is about and it’s practically designed to grate. Gene’s helium vox are a little overboard but I suppose it’s got a decent hook buried in there. Oh well, I guess if you stand under the umbrella of deconstructionism it’s impossible for anyone’s shit to get on you. Shit or God’s tears.

Day 5: August 12th, 2011

11:03 PM


Christ, this one brings the motherfucking house down. Just so fucking great.

Fucking FINALLY, a normal sounding song. A lovely little sad song that sounds like it’s actually being sung by a human being and not the devil. A short little lovely ditty with the trusty flanger and dreamy delay and yeah, appealing to the GBV sensors that are helping me soldier through this discography. Just simple great little songs that hit the gut is all I require. After “Pumpin 4 the Man” and “I Play it Off Legit,” that was nice.

“Loving U Thru It All”

Holy fuck, “Mourning Glory” was a weird five minutes of fucking noise. I’m amazed that that any major label would ever put this out. But I suppose it was the 90s. Still, this is a fucking weird, difficult record and even keeping the openest of minds I can’t imagine listening to this in one go and truly enjoying it on any sort of level that you really expect when you listen to a record put out by a major label. Still trying to decide if it’s artistically rich or just pulled-out-of-ass bullshit (pry a bit of both) but goddamn. This was a nice little palate cleanser.

“Don’t Get 2 Close (2 My Fantasy)”

Fuck, another goddamned monster jam that I only realized was a monster jam after letting it sink in. It'll be fun to revisit this discography after burning through it.

See, in my head this is what the Ween songs I like sound like. No garbage distortion or effects to bog down the often inspired songwriting. They seem to have prog rock mimicry down to a fucking T. It’s solid stuff, probably the solidest song on this whole record…and then they follow up this jam with a song called…

Overlooked So Far:
“The Stallion pts. 1-3”

“The Stallion pt. 2” got stuck in my head today at work. I couldn’t get it to leave, so there it sat right next to “Tender Situation.” When I got home, listened to the jam and noticed how hilarious the lyrics are. In a legitimately hilarious way, not in a poop joke way or anything like that. The part that goes “1: I can drink/ 2: I get groomed/ 3: I go for a walk/ I am the stallion mang/ You know that I am the stallion” cracks my shit up. Can’t explain why. The Stallion Suite (at least 1-3, the only I’ve got to so far) is fascinating, and part 3 gets even fucking weirder, boasting bizarre advice like “don’t caress the weasel” and “don’t seek the blood from the panther” before making more boastful declarations that are part surreal and part gaga goo goo batshit. “I am screaming backward in the sand (hey, dude, he’s the stallion).”


This looks like it was the best fucking wedding EVER. A 9 year old singing "The Stallion Pt. 3" curses and all?! What a wonderful world.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Thrill of Discovery: Ween - Part Two

Day 2: August 9th, 2011

The Pod

“Dr. Rock”

A sort of excellent homage-y jam. Reminds me of the time I saw GBV and almost died because I could have died right there because it was the greatest concert I would ever see, etc. Ween fans have that same idiotic geekery running through their veins. I understand. I do. Also, this song fucking slays.

Hmm, there’s something definitely unsettling about this album. Notably how this song is actually kind of catchy yet still full of gonzo guitar wankage and a spaced out (literally, in every goddamn atom of the sense of that fucking word) of what a coherent song should sound like. And then it ends. I’ve heard about this album, and how it’s supposed to be fucking weird and how the lore behind it may or may not be more interesting than the actual music. The crunchiness of these jams is hitting my spritual center. The aforementioned GBV effect, etc. That and the use of the Tascam four-track recorder, which I have a great affinity for. Mostly because there is a Tascam four-track recorder sitting about two feet away from my feet on the floor, covered in dog hair, because I MIGHT FEEL LIKE RECORDING SOMETHING LATER GOD.

“Sorry Charlie”

The live version here is so much better than the album version, though burying songs in shit is something I'm kind of fond of. If you've got a great catchy song why not bury it in garbage to see if the hooks shine through? Sure, a great little live version like this shows you that it's a well-written jam and a great little-ass song but you know, there's a time and a place and you're only in your very early 20s once and you might as well bury it in trash because you can always trot it out years later when you've got an adoring fanbase and you kind of have to give a shit (even if you don't).

Man, I wish I’d have thought to sing vocals through a fucking kazoo. I’d be a fucking millionaire, too.

Day 3: August 10th, 2011

9:24 PM

Flange the shit out of that shit Gene Ween! I do think that any decent song ought to be able to be stripped down to a sparse acoustic get-up and still kick all ass. And well, this does it. Really interesting to hear people singing along to these wonderful fucked up lyrics. Thinking that maybe this album has much merit that I'm not seeing just now.

Man, this album totally sounds like it was recorded by some dudes with fucking mono. I remember when I had mono and this is probably the best ever artistic interpretation of that pretty much fake disease (note: only fake because you can’t do fucking shit about it other than just sit around feeling like shit). There’s a hazy, druggy vibe to the whole thing. Lines like “Now you’re on the couch, you can’t even move your fucking head,” and the bit about not being able to smoke or drink a beer or pet some horses is pretty spot on to. It’s maybe the second actual coherent track on this album so far.

“Oh My Dear (Falling in Love)”

Fuck, I just figured it out. The difference between Ween fans and Guided by Voices fans is that Ween fans are potheads and drug addicts and Guided by Voices fans are drunks. Certainly some crossover, but in this one I see Gene Ween as a Robert Pollard figure and wonder why the fuck they don't have a side project together seeing as Bob Pollard has like a billion fucking side projects! A BILLION AND ONE WOULDN'T HURT NO ONE!

FOLLOWED BY OH MY GOD A FUCKING CONVENTIONAL SONG THAT SOUNDS LIKE IT’S GOT A LITTLE COUNTRY TWANG INFLUENCIN’ IT! Love it. I feel like a drowning man finally breaking the surface of the lake if only for a second. Just simple, sweet little perfection on this one. But I’m a sucker.

“Sketches of Winkle”

This is basically Ween's "Kicker of Elves" DESPITE the fact that this came out before Bee Thousand...and more GBV parallels I have to wrap my goddamn head around.

Fuck! ANOTHER SONG NOT BURIED IN GOD KNOWS WHAT DISTORTION FUZZY MESS! Yes, it’s a spastic motherfucker but this is appealing to my Bob Pollard senses. A little more spaced out and such, but you know, same basic thing as GBV. I think that’s why Ween is so appealing to me despite the fact that their music drives me fucking crazy half the time. There’s something about a monolithic discography that just makes me want to crawl around inside of it like a dead tauntaun. And right now, if I can get a track that doesn’t sound like someone ordering something at a drive thru, I’ll take it.

“Pork Roll Egg and Cheese”

Peel Sessions make everything sound fucking legit as shit.

Again psychedelic helium vocals, but singing trippy drug jam about a sandwich late 60s style is fucking rad. Another worthy hook, solid melody, etc on and on. I really should be listening to these albums in one sitting but goddamnit, they’re long as fuck and emotionally upsetting you know the drill.

Day 4: August 11th, 2011

12:somefuckingbuillshit AM

“The Stallion Pt. 2”

Just saying oh my god this song is fucking incredible with this video.

So much better than “The Stallion Pt.1.” God, it took me four days to finish this fucking album. Granted, small doses might have been the right thing to do at this point in time. I just re-watched Reservoir Dogs for the first time in a dog’s age (HAHAHAHAHAHHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH) and noticed how good a movie it is for totally different reasons than I did when I was 16 (like it’s not just cool because it’s got dudes in suits and sunglasses and guns smoking cigarettes etc etc etc). It will be interesting to listen to The Pod after blitzing through the rest of Ween’s discography. This song and its counterpart will probably be really stupid though. Yet I can’t help but kind of liking this one. I mean, really, what’s the point? Oh, you are the Stallion, great. Good for you Deaner! Is it Deaner? It SOUNDS like Deaner. Which is to say it sounds like a convicted demonic rapist and not some helium laced clown. BUT WHO KNOWS. I did have “Pork Roll Egg and Cheese” stuck in my head all day at work today so that’s something! MOTHERFUCKINGJAMSINYOURMOTHERFUCKINGFACEYESYESYESYESYES.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Thrill of Discovery: Ween - Part One

Welcome to a new feature, in which I listen to a band's primary discography front to back in a sad attempt to fill in the gaps in my musical knowledge. Why the fuck have I never listened to Ween with any sincerity? Well, it's about time. Here goes.

Day 1: August 8th, 2011

GodWeenSatan: The Oneness

5:08 PM – “You Fucked Up”

Christ this is like the ultimate piss-in-the-mouth to punk rock. Love it!

I’m about halfway through GodWeenSatan: The Oneness and I feel dirty. Not just normal dirty, but the sort of dirty you feel when a sex scene comes up when you’re watching a movie with your parents. Or when you say an uncouth joke that might be OK in some circles but the girl you’re on a first date with definitely does not approve of Anne Frank humor. I’m sure there’s something grand at work here, that much I can sense, but holy fucking god this is the sound of some high school kids on too many drugs (or maybe just ditch weed) turning probably bad ideas into a form of musical genius that may or may not be unlistenable. From the handful of jams I’ve heard here and there from later Ween records, I know they’re capable of pure pop majesty but right now this is the raw shit.

7:45 PM – “Common Bitch”

Yet still, despite punk rock having piss in its mouth, this is pretty fucking punk rock for 1992. I approve. I approve so fucking hard.

Took a break to go eat pizza. Jenny just walked in with “Common Bitch” playing to the tune of “What the fuck are you listening to?” I quickly hit the pause button and said “What? Nothing. Oh, just Ween. You know all those fucked up songs I randomly sing around the house, I feel like they’ve all been secretly based on Ween.”

8:44 PM – “Stacey”

I don't think this song was on the actual album when it was actually released, but what the fuck is it that makes this song great? "I know a girl named Stacey/ With a brain that's kind of spacey." Also, jam band enthusiasts watch Dean Ween's guitar heroics midsong OH I SEE IT NOW GODDAMNIT. Though, I'll let U know, I'm not about the solo. The solo can suck my dick for all intents and purposes, really. But still, it's pretty cool and mostly I just said that cuz I'm jealous that I can't jam out sick solos etc.

A couple of years ago when we lived at 21st and Tennessee, there was a house in our wonderful old neighborhood that had some peculiar decorative lighting around Christmastime. Why yes, somewhere around 20-something and Kentucky there is a house that has the Boognish on their fucking roof! Jenny asked, “What the hell is that, some sort of demon?” I responded “Yes, it is some sort of motherfucking demon.” Still about halfway through GodWeenSatan: The Oneness and I’m finding that my favorite thing about this album is that it’s like a really filthy Guided by Voices record. All the songs are diverse enough to make this record really move and short enough (with the exception “Nicole” and (oh godddd) “LMLYP,” which I haven’t even listened to yet but I read that it’s the totes filthiest) to never have a chance to get stale. Sure, this still sounds like a couple of kids banging pots and pans but I can definitely feels some fucked up genius at work.


Hooks hooks MOTHERFUCKING HOOKS. Goddamnit. It's that little extra pinky finger on the D chord at the beginning of the verse/chorus or whatever that chord is. I don't really know.

Little moments of pop genius float around this 80 minute odyssey. There’s a really perfect guitar sound on “Nan” that rings 90s indie rock so perfect, despite the fact that the vocals are the drunkest sounding vocals I’ve ever heard. Shit, maybe I should be stoned. I can’t tell. Is that what Ween fans do? Get stoned and listen to Ween? Fuck, are they like a jam band because they have THAT sort of following? I CANNOT TELL. Anyway, pop majesty buried in verses and such. “Don’t Laugh (I Love You)” from half the album back is still sticking with me weird ass fucking vocals and all. The Ween songs I know (all five of them!) are all perfect little pop songs that I recall fondly despite not having listened to them in a long time, so maybe that’s why I’ve chosen to tackle Ween’s daunting discography.

11:54 PM – “L.M.L.Y.P.”

I don't know if I could deal with a 10+ minute version of this Prince track if I went to a Ween show. I love how most of their songs never broach the 3 minute mark but goddamnit this one is too fucking jammy. Too much jammy jammyness, you know. It's fun sure but GOD IT IS SO FUCKING BULLSHIT LONG. But you know, I guess people like this. And it's funny like a really funny dirty joke that's not really THAT funny but it is because OMG THIS IS JUST LIKE PRINCE HAHAHAHAHAHA.

It’s not that this album is particularly dense. I mean it is, in its own way. In that sort of exhausting way where you’ve faced 80 minutes of over-stimulation and you feel like your brain is like to start seeping out your ears if you don’t take a break. Halfway through the incredibly spot-on Prince homage “Let Me Lick Your Pussy” and things are getting a little bit jammy. And wonderfully disgusting. And overwhelmingly disgusting. The part about the massage is brilliant though. “I say, yeah baby, I give you a massage like, like thirteen kings, baby.”

“Birthday Boy”

I haven't always had the nicest things to say about Mary Lou Lord on this blog but goddamnit her voice is really goddamn lovely. And sometimes you needa cover song to validate the original. Well, the original validates itself but goddamn this one just hits the fucking core in the same goddamn place in a different way. Which is really yeah, what a great cover does. New light on an old favorite. Also, fucking Elliot Smith as the backing band? Colossal win.

Seriously, though. The rock-solid-est jam so far. This is a perfect fucking song.

Oh fuck I know this one, cuz they reference it in “Baby Bitch” (funny story about “Baby Bitch” when we cross that bridge). This song feels like breathing holy fucking shit. The word “Deconstruction” gets thrown around a lot when it comes to Ween, at least from every fucking single thing I’ve been reading on the internet, but oh my god it’s nothing but fuzzy mega-distorted chords pop mastery on this one. My brain feels relaxed after the goddamn hour of insanity that preceded this perfect little song. I think the real genius here that seems to be at work amidst the seeming shit is that though unadorned “Birthday Boy” touches on something so universal I can think “Oh yeah this song is a fucking jam” something like years and years after last hearing it. A sort of “well of COURSE it’s good.”

“Marble Tulip Juicy Tree”

Oh the classic marriage of songwriter and guitarist, each content to do their duty. Also, these live videos make me realize how weird these songs actually are. They also make me realize that these songs are actually fucking great once you get past the fucking recording sometimes. Although this song is actually one of the two or three tracks that are listenable on GodWeenSatan: The Oneness. Granted, with enough dope, you could listen to ALL the songs and still ask for an encore that's just a continuation of some "LMLYP" solos. Probably. Who the fuck knows.

Whose idea was it for Gene Ween to sing in that fucking helium voice? Was it his own or was it a joint effort? There’s a certain art to it, but it’s ever so prominent on this and “Don’t Laugh (I Love You),” two of the album’s most conventional tracks. It’s as if there needs to be an extra layer of weirdness. An added offputtingness to keep the listener a bit unsettled. To remind them that they are listening to Ween who sound like nobody and yet build their songs around parodies and homages and seemingly view it through whatever bizarre prism unites the fictional brother’s Ween to, if you will, an overarching oneness.