Ween, Live @ House of Blues, N. Myrtle Beach, SC (1/26/08)

Posted February 19th, 2008 by logan

Unless you’re some Peter Pan-like freak, the bands you loved as a kid, hopefully, aren’t the artists you adore today that is, after pimples, after trigonometry and most certainly post your “first time.” Granted, life – and to a certain extant, music itself – was a helluva lot simpler then. You liked what you liked merely because you liked it. Not even Cicero or Foucault would expect the fourteen-year-old hardcore brat to justify the aesthetic ins and outs of his own bad taste. And while some bands will forever remain great despite whether your hairs are coming or going (e.g. The Beatles, The Clash, Nirvana), still carrying a torch for gateway groups like Gerry and the Pacemakers, Rancid or Pearl Jam is sadder than watching Heath Ledger in A Knight’s Tale.

Likewise, no one over 25 should ever currently admit to presently liking Ween. It’s the taste equivalent of wetting the bed with your thumb in your mouth. Sure, some 15 years down the road you’ll always have getting stoned to Pure Guava in your parent’s basement at 4:20 in the afternoon. And you’ll never forget/fully remember downing a pint of Robitussin and staring comatose at the Live in Chicago DVD whilst your cousin hastily forages through the junk drawer looking for a balloon man enough to withstand three whip-its. Perhaps more so than misspent youth, Gene and Dean Ween’s hopped-up genre-hoppings are inextricably linked with youthful indiscretions of the narcotic type. And if there’s anything worse than Generation XYZ’s adolescent musical judgment, it’s got to be that same judgment on drugs.

True to form, last Saturday’s show at the House of Blues found Tweedle High and Tweedle Higher peddling their newest batch of tunes from October’s La Cucaracha (Spanish for “The Roach””¦get it?) as well as some good, ol’ fashioned dankness from their previous gel-capped efforts. Opening number “Pork Roll Egg and Cheese” off 1991’s lo-fi cluster fuck The Pod pretty much set the mood – something between inhaled Scotchgard stupor and exhaled Scotchgard bliss – for the evening. “Happy Colored Marbles” from their last, so-long-Elektra LP Quebec followed, and almost immediately the familiar stench of slow-burning pot filled the air. (May it never be said that Ween fans give two shits about the dope law.) Even with choice cuts like “Piss Up a Rope” from 12 Golden Country Greats and White Pepper‘s surprisingly accessible “Even If You Don’t” exquisitely executed (let is also never be uttered that Ween themselves cannot play the shit out of their instruments), after a while, the set list threatened to degenerate into a catalog-only show. With hardly another song to spare, the group wisely began mining La Cucaracha‘s newer fare. The groovy-to-a-tee “Your Party”was played with particular aplomb, even without the illustrious David Sanborn on sax, while track 11’s understated “Lullaby” might just be Ween’s most beautiful song since The Mollusk‘s “It’s Gonna Be (Alright).”

Over the last quarter of a century together, Gene and Dean Ween have indeed become masters of other people’s forms. And to their credit, heard within the context of our get-anything-now iTunes culture, their pluralistic plundering of the entirety of pop music was in fact way ahead of the curve. Unfortunately, for the two stoners from New Hope, Pennsylvania, when it came time to empty the water out the bong and concentrate on finding their own voice however – over a decade ago now – Gene and Dean went the way of Jan and Dean ’round that same curve. After all, it’s hard enough to win a drag race as a kid. And it’s nigh on impossible if that kid’s baked out of his mind.

Tags: liveshow · touring

14 responses so far ↓

  • 1 K // Feb 19, 2008 at 10:24 am

    Well played, Logan. Well played.

  • 2 d. // Feb 19, 2008 at 11:19 am

    I still LOVE Ween. That’s right. I said it. Presently. I just couldn’t stand back and say nothing after watching this play out for a few days. And now I’ll wait for the backlash and hope that you’ll still love me, too, while I queue up some Bloodflowers to go with it. Yeah, Bloodflowers. So there.

    Although, I will admit that it’s even weird to me that my first comment after reading the drawer for so many years was spurred by some Ween hatin’. This is my first comment, right?

  • 3 d. // Feb 19, 2008 at 11:22 am

    Oh…wait. I just now saw all the Ween fans’ comments from the last Ween post. And I must amend. I love Ween, but I totally despise Ween fans. That is an extremely important distinction to make. Oooh… second comment…don’t get used to it.

  • 4 K // Feb 19, 2008 at 12:07 pm

    d! miss you!

  • 5 Rayy // Feb 19, 2008 at 1:48 pm

    Let’s get high.

  • 6 Goulden Appel // Feb 19, 2008 at 2:27 pm

    epic luls, dude. yr tastey choice of sounds does not impress these cultured senses. no burn, more like lukewarm at best. i’m proud of you for holding fast to well worn cliches. i bet that’s straight outta the manual. gnome sain? ooooooh mang, you got em ween real good. yr blog is mainstream pablum at best.

    warmest regards,

  • 7 zardozer // Feb 19, 2008 at 2:57 pm

    oooh the irony…and I’m not talking alanis morisette irony here (i really don’t give a fuck if i spelled her name correctly). If dante were alive today..I’m sure he’d rewrite the inferno to include another level in hell for “wanna be” music critics. Funny how ween is well respected by their peers and often trashed by twenty-something talentless gunts who can’t fuck their way out of a paper bag. I wouldn’t mess with the ween fanbase too much….they tend to be really smart and devilishly vindictive towards dickless emo pig fuckers. Don’t be suprised when your bank account is emptied (all 300 dollars…gone) and you start receiving mail from nambla.

    adios douchebagette. forgive him Rancifer…he knows not what he does.

  • 8 Coldplay Fan Kenneth // Feb 19, 2008 at 3:14 pm

    I couldn’t agree more with this blogger. Ween is so passe. The singer has no true vocal range and their guitarist can barely play a tune (and not in tune either LOL). Don’t get me started on their fans. I feel sorry for the blogger having to sit around while they smoke pot around her with no respect for the laws of this nation. Weens’s best song IMHO is She don’t Use Jelly and even it’s awful. I think I’m going to play my new New Pornographers LP, read a David Sadaris book and contemplate on how refined my tastes are. I drive a Prius and I don’t own a TV. Ween is bad. Feist.

  • 9 Rayy // Feb 19, 2008 at 3:19 pm

    ” Weens’s best song IMHO is She don’t Use Jelly and even it’s awful”

    The flaming lips suck fuckhole.

  • 10 Dubai Danny // Feb 19, 2008 at 4:00 pm

    I’m 36…and have spent a good part of my life seeing every band that crosses my path — from Pearl Jam to Nirvana from Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan to Youssou N’dour, from the Cro-Mags to Metallica and from the Grateful Dead to the Who — and a WEEN show is more fun and musically interesting than any of them.

  • 11 Coldplay Fan Kenneth // Feb 19, 2008 at 4:18 pm

    “WEEN show is more fun and musically interesting than any of them.”

    Then you obviously have never attended a Decemberists or Coldplay show. FYI.. I’m listening to Belle and Sebastian at the moment.

  • 12 das // Feb 19, 2008 at 4:20 pm

    i really hate you.

    i hate the fact you exist, i hate the fact that there is an internet that ALLOWS you to post your opinions. i hate that you have ears to LISTEN TO MUSIC. i hate that you have a brain that tells you your opinions are worth something. i hate that you have a mouth with which to speak. i hate that you have a body with which to go to concerts with, and that you waste that fucknig airspace when someone who really is in tune with the world, in tocuh with reality and life, could be standing.

    i hate that you exist. seriously. i hate you. a lot. more than a lot of other things, really.

    and now that im done hating on you, i want to point out exactly why you are such an asshole. you posit that when we are kids, we ” liked what you liked merely because you liked it.”

    why the hell else would you like something? oh yeah, when you grow up, you’re supposed to like what Pitchfork and Drawer B tell you to like.


  • 13 joe // Feb 19, 2008 at 4:34 pm

    that last guy was a little harsh. but i see why he got so angry.

    you do at least respect them as musicians. i’d advise you to listen to more of their tunes, especially Quebec, and don’t think of them as a joke band. seriously. weird al is a joke band….ween is a rock band.

    and, yes, all people, not just kids, should ”like what they like just because they like it”, thats how life should be, we can like anything we want, there is no barometer for taste.

    sure,there’s a few exceptions, such as “good charlotte”. no one should like them. i’d excuse a kid for liking them.

    but seriously, to call ween a juvenile band is plain piss poor journalism.

  • 14 bebop tango // Feb 19, 2008 at 4:39 pm

    I get it now – this is where the jaded wannabe-pitchfork writers who get rejected end up. It’s like the shitty-hipster-music-critic version of winding up in the gay bukkake industry!! Rock on, oh ye of little taste!!