Maybe it was my brothers’ repeated subjection to Chocolate and Cheese to my unwilling ears when I was the tender age of 13, or the repeated subjection to the entire catalog by guy friends’ acoustic sing-alongs in college, but I’d always chalked Ween up to be a vaguely amusing, misogynistic, very much weird band … and very much a “guy” thing. No matter how much I was “one of the guys,” Ween’s music has always made me feel completely alienated; it was something I wasn’t allowed to be a part of. So I never bothered, and of course, grew resentful.
Over the past 6 months, Brian’s done his best to influence me otherwise, but I still generally agreed with a friend’s comment that it was “circus music” and, generally, irrelevant. So when he asked if I wanted to go to their show, I almost declined. In fact, I think I did at first but then eventually agreed. After all, I knew some of their songs and had watched a portion of a live DVD of theirs and it didn’t seem like it would be too terribly painful an evening.
Turns out, I was right. And then some. Here’s what I learned, that every fan already knew, last night …
Ween is depraved. Those guys are total sickos, but in a good way. Their music is hilarious, honest, unrepentant, and highly entertaining.
Ween is funny. Dean and Gene aren’t comedians who make music. They’re musicians with fantastic senses of humor. There’s no air of the Dane Cook school of “Look-At-How-Ridiculously-Funny-I-Am!!!” desperation to their lyrics. Surely they realize how amusing they are, but it’s obvious that they’re not specifically trying to engage in the comedian/musician buffoonery like, say, the Conchords do. While the Conchords are hysterically entertaining, Ween is definitely not a “joke” band. There’s no gimmick here; and every time I caught myself giggling at their lyrics or onstage antics, it was a genuine outburst.
Ween shows are total sausagefests. “There sure are a lot of dudes in here,” I remark to Brian as we’re waiting in line in the Halo Bar. Claire later even remarked how many “smelly” boys there were; most looked like they’d just rolled out of bed, smoked up some doob, then threw on the nearest T, jeans and hoodie and headed out the door. After seeing so many of them go insane over a rock show – including my own, non-smelly, boy – I understand how and why so many guys relate to this music; whereas before I never even tried. I’d always taken a lot of their lyrics (“Piss Up a Rope” is an excellent example) as an affront to my feminine nature; but I get it now that guys have their own ways of grappling with their heartbreaks. Combatative and misogynistic as some of the lyrics are, they’re still far more inventive, fun, and entertaining than most of the bullshit “protest” feminazi crap I listened to when I was younger and, as a result, don't even relate to now that I've gotten a grip on reality.
Ween gives good guitar face. I’m convinced. Dean Ween’s could rival, and win, over Nigel Tufnel’s any day.
Ween is eclectic. Duh, even I knew that going in; and I even hate using that word to describe them, but I’ve never seen a broader range of styles in one show by one band, ever. I even found myself digging the noodly guitar, key and drum solos.
Ween is incredibly talented. The technical skill level of the entire band was mesmerizing. Last night was a showcase of probably the best group of musicians I’ve seen perform together, ever.
Ween makes me feel like a total poseur. But not in a negative way; instead of feeling like an outsider, I totally felt like I was “that girl” … the one who goes with her boyfriend, just to be a date. The way the crowd wildly responded to every last song in the set, I really found myself wishing that I was more familiar with their music. It was certainly better than, say, any Ani show I’d ever been to … I’d rather hear a guy shouting about wanting his girl be his “cock professor” than being utterly disgusted by hearing about how some whiny bitches’ “cunt is built like a wound that won’t heal.” Thank you.
I love a good rock show, and last night truly was an astounding specimen; probably the best all year. I sang, I boogied, I shouted for more.
What a retardedly fun night.