Stranded In Stereo: SiS At The Club: Ween

Thursday, November 29, 2007

SiS At The Club: Ween

I'm not going to lie: when I first saw Ween last summer, I was upset with them. Maybe the better word to use at this juncture would be disgusted; to use upset would denote that I actually liked the band and that I was upset with them over a poor song selection. They were playing as part of an amazing triple bill, alongside Sonic Youth and The Flaming Lips. Although all three bands played equal set times, the idea that the Youth went on before the Ween didn't sit well with me, it gave me that feeling of disgust that was mentioned a sentence or so ago. I stood there, irate during their 75 minute set, wondering when would this singing about waving dicks in the wind and ladies charming men with their voodoo would stop so Wayne Coyne could come out and confetti would explode all over the masses.

And it was sometime after that show, I was maybe a month removed, and I found myself listening to Ween records. I was floored by The Mollusk; I thoroughly enjoyed their attempt at a commercial record with its follow-up, White Pepper. People thought I had gone mad, going back on a statement that I declared I would never like this band. And then, something just happened. I don't know what it was but it just clicked, and the stars aligned, and I became a "fan."

Maybe "an appreciator of their music" is the better tag that fits me? Their brand of humor has seeped through my pours this last year, and with their new album La Cucaracha, they have managed to hold my interest. It's cohesive for a Ween record; from the cheesy horn intro ("Fiesta,") to the dabbles in reggae ("The Fruit Man,") to what I aptly call their version of a lost song that should've been on CHiPs ("Woman And Man.") Essentially, it's the Ween record for all fans of the band.

So last night, all but 15 months since my first dabble with Ween in the live setting, I saw them again. Rather than 75 minutes this time, they would play for 135. In the 30 songs that made up their set, they played the new ("Learnin' To Love") but obviously did not forget their humbled beginnings ("Buckingham Green," "Dr. Rock," Stroker Ace.") I think I would actually prefer Ween live over their records, at least for their older material. On record, old gems like "Spinal Meningitis" is one of the umpteen tracks that utilizes the ploy of manipulating their vocals, whether they are slowed down, sped up, or otherwise. Live, though, it's rather hard to do, so Gene Ween finds himself having to manipulate his voice off the cuff. At times he uses no tricks on his voice on the album version, but changes is up for its live presentation ("Someday,") displaying a voice that really isn't all that painful to listen to. All the while, Dean Ween stands on his side of the stage and plays his guitar for a packed audience, just like he dreamed of as a child in his bedroom I am sure.

I noted that I felt like I was a mutant frat party or something; the crowd was rather diverse, you felt like this band was the band at the college party and the band playing down on the farm. They are a band that definitely creates an interest cross breed of fan: people who like their heavy metal and their brit pop, or people who like to laugh at their music and shout along to obscene lyrics. Or, maybe they don't care for any of that, and they just enjoy seeing the creators of that music having a good time, and the people who do enjoy it having a good time in return. That's what I am to Ween.

Ween Set List:
Fiesta / Nan / Take Me Away / The Grobe / Bananas And Blow / Spinal Meningitis / Learnin' To Love / Transdermal Celebration / Voodoo Lady / Your Party / Did You See Me? / Piss Up A Rope / Touch My Tooter / Put The Hammer Down / Buckingham Green / My Own Bare Hands / Zoloft / Stroker Ace / Object / Tried And True / The Mollusk / I Don't Want It / Help Me Scrape The Mucus Off My Brain / Dr. Rock / Waving My Dick In The Wind / Gabrielle / Woman And Man / Someday // The HIV Song / Roses Are Free

Download: "Spinal Meningitis" [mp3] // [Buy Here]

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