Monday, November 05, 2007


Ween-ies: Turn That Brown Upside Down....

I have a special affinity for musicians that make good use of less common instruments, change up the beat often and are quirky in both styling and subject matter. And there are few bands I've come across that fit that niche better than WEEN. - Though, yes, that might not be saying much considering my relatively small collection of music, I DO have a strong opinion about what I do and don't like. I know it might seem weird to do a review style blog entry on a band as a whole rather than their new album, one that's already popular and one that's been around for more than 20 years. However, the whole WEEN experience is new to me and has made enough of an impression that I feel the need to comment on it, so here ya go

I was recently introduced to WEEN via a certain dashingly handsome and witty artichoke connoisseur. And I was surprised, after hearing so much about the band, that I wasn't really all that impressed at first listen. It was then explained to me that WEEN is a group that one needs to be eased into for maximum appreciation. So I asked for a little help. I suppose I should have stressed "a little" because promptly following that request I was handed
a stack of a dozen albums with instructions to give each album several listens before making a final judgment.

But with a long roadtrip and 3 WEEN shows looming in the approaching distance I decided to take on the challenge so that I could get the most out of my drunken nights of rockin. (and jumping around drunkenly in the crowd without being able to bellow out the lyrics along with other crazed and equally drunk fans just isn't me).

I took the albums and tucked them around places in my every day life. The Pod and Quebec in my desk at work, Chocolate and Cheese, The Mollusk and GodWeenSatan in my car and various other albums stashed in convenient locations like my purse, backpack and accidentally my dads car. (He's a big fan of the country album now, aside from references to big booty bitches on their knees giving blow jobs. I don't think religious people are allowed to laugh at that...though I'm almost sure I've heard him humming the song)

Little by little the songs, the albums, the band have grown on me and I've come to recognize a pattern. With WEEN there are 3 types of songs:
1) Songs I fucking love and can't get out of my head
Where most WEEN songs fall

2) Songs I don't fucking understand
Rampant- and clever- use of metaphors are usually to blame for this category

3) Songs that just creep me the fuck out
read: Spiral Meningitis (though I might slip Spiritwalker into this catagory too)

Many of the songs sound something similar to if OF MONTREAL, PRINCE and CAFE TA CUBA had threeway which produced a crack baby who grew up being molested by Frank Zappa and drank too much during it's developmental years then one day happened to stumble into a recording studio just after taking about 5 hits more acid than he needed to get high.
Sounds like a good reason why their popularity has exploded in recent years according to friends who are long time fans.

I've seen a lot of live shows and I can honestly say that the Santa Cruz WEEN show was by far the most enjoyable show I've ever seen - in ANY music catagory. Followed notably by that I should mention my violent loathing, my soul-wretching hatred, my pure and unadultered antipathy for "the encore". Nothing brings down my musical high like the band faking the end of the show to force the audience to stroke their ego by screaming and chanting their name when everyone knows they're coming back out to play more anyway. Not to say that WEEN didn't have that break in play. I nearly shite myself when I realized that an encore was about to be pulled out of the hat but then I realized that the band had just played for more than 2 hours (none of these shows had an opening act) so when the stage lights continued to pulse and flash to let everyone know it wasn't over followed shortly by the band returning with drinks in hand I felt the resentment trickle away. And the fact that they easily made up for the pause by promptly rocking a face melting mini-set to close the night, well that cemented my understanding of why those who love this band, LOVE this band.

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Even being stuck at the back of the nosebleed section at the Warfield San Fransisco couldn't dampen the enjoyment- balcony moshpit anyone?-

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