Missed Music

Music you didn’t know you needed…until now.

Irreverent Pop genius from Ween

Ween is a hard band to get a handle on. There is no way I can give you a flavor for this band by recommending a few tracks from a single album. They are as versatile as Zappa, as goofy as Phish, and as Pop-sensible as The Shins. They love to play in a wide variety of musical styles and genres, though they rarely take a serious swing at any of them. Pick up a Ween album and you’ll find titles like, ‘Piss Up a Rope,’ ‘Help Me Scrape the Mucous Off My Brain,’ ‘Cover It With Gas And Set It On Fire,’ and ‘Flies on My Dick.’ Even if you’re unfamiliar with the band, you might have heard ‘Push th’ Little Daisies‘ (which reached the top 10 in Australia).

Gene and Dean Ween, rock stars.

Gene and Dean Ween, rock stars.

When they actually attempt a Pop song, they remind me of The Barenaked Ladies. Their sense of humor shines through in the lyrics, but at the same time they are great songwriters and the hooks are very catchy, even mainstream.

Theirs is an uplifting story of two boys (Aaron Freeman and Mickey Melchiondo, later changed to Gene and Dean Ween) who met in an 8th grade typing class, became friends, and went on to great success together in the music business. The best part is they never had to compromise (or at least abandon) their quirky creativity even when working for a major label; absurdity, satire, and wit are present on every album.

If you are interested in easing into this band, you might do well to check out their 2000 release, “White Pepper.” As with all their albums, some of the songs are very challenging. I expect you will like these 4, though.

  • Exactly Where I’m At – This is a very accessible song. I like the flange effects they apply to both the percussion and the vocals at the beginning of the song as they introduce the melody. Then they settle into a very pleasing pop song. The stills here give you some idea of just how strange these guys can get.
  • Even If You Don’t – I think of Jellyfish (the band) when I hear this song. In fact, the weird lyrics and time signature games they play in this are all that keep this from being “too poppy” for me. As it is, it’s just weird enough but catchy enough that I love it.
  • Back to Basom – He sings this like he’s just inhaled a balloon of nitrous oxide. The chorus makes me think of vintage Alan Parsons (ask your parents, kids). This is a really beautiful song and is my favorite from this album.
  • Stay Forever – I did say these guys remind me of the Barenaked Ladies, right? Well, here you go. A fat Pop song with a sweet chorus and harmony vocals that would be right at home on Gordon. Enjoy the pictures of some random person’s family as you listen (great picture 55 seconds in).

Word is they’re working on an album that may see the light of day this year.



July 9, 2009 - Posted by | Alternative, Indie, Popular, Rock

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