Sunday, September 25, 2011

Thrill of Discovery: Ween - Conclusion

Day 14: September 22nd, 2011

It’s over. Well, it’s not really over, since Ween is going to be one of those bands I carry under my arm or around my neck or just generally on my ipod or burnt CD-R in my car forever. Ween proves that the experiment worked. If you just barrel into a band’s daunting discography you can come out the other side a fan. I didn’t expect to become a fan, just to understand why other people were. It was easy though. At first it was kind of like staring at that really awful car wreck on the highway that the helicopters are circling over, but by the end it was this fantastic voyage into the evolution of a band over a couple of decades. Watching Ween mature into actual, respectable adult music without really sacrificing any of their inherent Ween-ness was kind of spectacular. I didn’t know I’d find tunes that were you know, actually great and heartfelt and tender and sad. I thought it was gonna be all weird shit for the bros but then there’s stuff like “Stay Forever” and “She’s Your Baby” and “I Don’t Want It” that just bring the fucking house down. Then there’s the way the guitars come in on “Nan” that hit me in the sweet spot every time or the cautionary tale of “Sorry Charlie” that I only realized was about that one guy you know who can never seem to do anything right and you’ve gotta just let go in order to move on with your own life. Or how fucking catchy “Voodoo Lady” is and how that track alone kind of makes Chocolate and Cheese great. The Mollusk still feels like the masterpiece, a perfect album. White Pepper is the one that has my favorite songs. Quebec shattered my heart a little bit in a good way. And I’m relistening to GodWeenSatan: The Oneness, The Pod, and Pure Guava because I think only now am I ready to truly appreciate them without the rubbernecking and the standoffishness that I approached them with in the first place. And now they’re sounding really good. Some tracks are just too fucking weird but listening to “Tender Situation” after hearing some much better live versions, I see the murky beauty and weirdness in the recorded version and it’s fucking wonderful.

The project is done, but there are still pry a hundred b-sides, early recordings, live shows and demos to listen to over the years. That’s a pretty nice thing.

I'mma leave it with a video of these two as a couple of young spring chickens playing one of the most gripping songs in their discography. I can't explain why it's gripping, other than maybe some innuendo, and really, all I know is that this is fucking weird as fuck and genius as shit. And I can't explain that either. It just is.

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