This one is mainly for the fans, or at least people somewhat familiar with the band, or, if you know nothing about the band, at least go with someone who knows what's up. Why? Well, this is Gene Ween's first show of his first tour as Aaron Freeman (his real name for those of you who don't know) and he is supporting his new album which is a collection of Rod McKuen covers....ok, what does that mean?
I am guessing a bunch of people don't know Rod McKuen....I didn't until recently, nor did Gener. He was a beat poet and songwriter known for somewhat sappy pop songs. I knew the song Seasons in the Sun because there is a, well, sad video of Nirvana covering it at the end of the DVD that comes with the With The Lights Out boxset (see videos below from the Nirvana DVD and Aaron playing it the other night). It is a sort of cheesey song and they all switch instruments with Kurt on drums, Dave on bass and Krist on guitar, and they are just having fun messing around with this song that is clearly not in their standard repetoir...considering the depressing way that band came to an end, it is sad to watch them messing around in the studio having fun. They aren't mocking the song, but realize it is funny and fun for them to be playing it.
Gener isn't that far off from Kurt in this regard. He has an eclectic taste in music and sees the good qualities in music others may deem cheesey/bad/etc. I think everyone should be more like this as there are good qualities in all sorts of music, regardless of seemingly bad qualities.
So yeah, Rod McKuen's songs are pretty cheesey but they are fun and pretty perfect for Aaron. If you walked into this show not knowing anything about Gener I think you would be confused as fuck. Is this a joke or is this some bad attempt at lounge music?
If you know Ween you'd know it's funny but not a joke. Aaron is putting on a character with his jacket, all cleaned up, taking his standard stage movements and mutating them into more of a lounge singer, and with Dave Dreiwitz and the other musicians singing harmonies. Gener isn't mocking this music - he writes just as many love songs as tweaked out fucked up rock songs - but he is cognizant of how people perceive these tunes and since he is funny and he always has fun on stage, the show is fun and funny.
So yeah, if you are a big fan who has seen Ween (and associated acts) many times and smile ear to ear when watching them, you will do the same here. Unless you have been playing the new record over and over for days, you won't know the songs but you will love the change of pace. Sitting down in a small venue, not drunkenly screaming, and just hanging out watching a more laid back show complete with spoken word pieces. Gener even wrote down notes to read to introduce the show/music. That was kind of awkward, but it was charming and the girls in our group thought he was "so cute". This is not just different for Gener. This is an Aaron show and completely different.
As Gener, Aaron gets to take on his stage persona....who knows how different that really is from Aaron's personality, but it is just the more absurd side I am guessing. The one who affects his voice (and often puts heavy effects on it too) and is loud and boisterous. It seemed like he felt pretty naked as himself up there at first. He keeps his voice unaffected on the record and you could hear him fighting to hold it back at times...though toward the end he did just let Gener come out.
So yeah....this isn't a joke, it isn't mocking the songs, but it is fun and funny and completely fucking unweak and awesome. While I would have been happy with the show if it was all Rod McKuen songs, Gener coming out at the end to play some Ween songs took it over the top and made it comepletely awesome. I got videos of the final 4 songs and they are all attached here. Check this show out if he is coming near you, and if you are bringing people new to Ween, give them a heads up about what they are getting themselves into.
Alright, so not sure why this makes me think of the holiday season but we figured this would be a good post. A few years back Dean Ween posted his recipe for his Sunday Sauce on the Ween website and everyone seemed to love it, so has left it permanently up on this site: http://www.chocodog.com/chocodog/sauce2.htm
Everything below comes from Dean Ween and is not our own - pics, etc. Enjoy. Oh and thanks to Deaner, he treats his fans like none other
I have really mixed feelings about posting this because there’s an unspoken code in my family regarding recipes. Basically, you never tell anyone the whole truth when it comes to cooking because the best meals are improvised and you couldn’t tell it on paper anyway. You have to adjust on the fly, using your senses—your eyes, your nose, your experience, and most importantly your mouth. If it looks and tastes fucked up then it is fucked up. Basically, if you don’t know what good food tastes like, you will be throwing darts when you try and cook. This recipe is for your basic “Sunday sauce”, it takes a whole Sunday afternoon to cook it. I’m a proud Italian-American and if I ate macaroni and meatballs 3 times a week I would die fat and happy, but satisfied. When given the choice I will always eat Italian food before anything else. My good friend Jim Woolsey says it the best, “the French talk about food but the Italians know how to eat.” If you’ve ever been to Italy then you know what I’m talkin’ about. Italian/American cooking is it’s own thing, different than the food in Italy, but I’m a bastard and I can only tell you what I grew up with. I come from a large Italian family in New Jersey and they all claim that I make the best macaroni and meatballs and I’m gonna show you how to do it right here. This was taught to me by all my relatives but I’ve added my own tasters along the way; I’ve cooked this meal one hundred times for my family and it’s always what I crave when I’m truly hungry. This is a step by step pictorial guide that I made on 12/16/07 for my wife, son, and parents. I cook for my folks and my sisters once a month and it’s the most rewarding thing in the world. All the little things I mention here are important for a successful meal, the difference between a great dinner and a passable one, so don’t skip the little shit in this tutorial and it will reward you in the end.
Pasta is pasta right? WRONG! I like spaghetti and clams. I don’t eat spaghetti with meatballs. I like tortellini Bolognese but I like Rigatoni with Carbonara sauce. Marinara sauce is something that I’ll only eat on mussels. I like fusili with garlic and oil. There’s a reason that pasta comes in so many shapes, and it’s not to accommodate your fork or for your kid to play with. When it comes to the most standard meal (pasta and meatballs) I will only eat macaroni. That’s penne rigate or rigatoni by my definition. If I cook spaghetti it’s usually with shredded chicken or seafood or (my fave of all) white clam sauce. This is about my regular family Sunday meal though, which from heretofore-unce on will be called macaroni with meatballs. Pencil points we call them.
Time is a bitch, it’s really true. You can’t make this meal in less than 4 hours. If you do it enough you will learn how to force it in 3 hours, but no less. If you try and tell lies or rush this then it won’t taste as good. Good food takes time, and it’s not just a cliché. Relax and enjoy the experience, get drunk on wine while you’re cooking—it’s acceptable when you cook this.
I’m already tired of typing this. You’re gonna fuck this up anyway. You have to go to the supermarket and buy the following: (this recipe is designed for 7 people so adjust accordingly, freeze the sauce and meatballs you don’t eat for another day)
4 lbs of ground beef/veal/pork (if you’re lucky enough to have a butcher in your hometown have him grind it from cutlets, if not then buy it in the plastic packs) some pork chops (bone in) 2 lbs. of penne rigate 1 gigantic yellow onion 1 head of garlic 1 fresh batch of basil 1 batch Fresh parsley An egg 1 long ring of hot Italian sausage 4 slices of bread ( I use any kind of white bread) Milk pecorino/romano cheese (don’t skip on this one, buy the best cheese you can get and either grate it or spend extra for the good shit already grated) extra virgin olive oil dry white wine (I just use holland house cooking wine, available anywhere) 3 big (29 oz.) cans of tomato sauce (depending on what texture you like—I like regular, already pureed sauce for this recipe) 4 bottles of wine. A loaf of fresh Italian bread, and get some butter too.
Go Time Alright.
You have a big pile of groceries on the counter. It’s 1pm and dinner is at 6. Relax. Pour yourself a glass of red wine and commence drinking. Sharpen your knife, the big one. Dice the big onion into bits. Take 5 cloves of the garlic and dice that too. Chop the basil up, all of it. Put the beef/v/p/ into a big ass bowl and add salt, pepper, a little bit of oregano, ½ cup of the cheese, and one raw egg. Take 4 slices of the white bread and put it into a cereal bowl and fill it with milk. This is key. Bread crumbs are bullshit in meatballs, this is our substitute. This is what will make your meatballs excellent. Sautee ½ of your onion, ½ of your garlic, and one half of the basil in 2 tblsps of oil in a big pan, slowly. I mean really slowly. If you burn the garlic right here then all is lost. Throw the whole meal away and start over. You won’t fool anyone if you burn the garlic. Burnt garlic will be the only thing anyone tastes. Be cautious and go slow and low, medium low heat. When the onions are translucent then it’s ready, it might take 15 minutes but wait it out. When the onion/garlic/basil mix is finished sautéing, then dump it on the bowl of meat. Squeeze out the milk bread and put the wrung-out milk bread into the meat bowl too. Squeeze the milk bread gently so it relinquishes half of the absorbed milk. Go easy. This is what it’ll look like out of focus:
Now it’s time to get messy. Grind this shit together through your fingers. Mix and mash it up it up for 5 minutes, kneading it. Make sure that everything is blended together evenly. When it’s all done it will look something like this hopefully:
Now just wash your hands and set this bowl aside for the moment.
The Sauce (gravy, whatever)
Add another 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a large spaghetti pot and sautee the rest of your onions, garlic and basil, again, slow and low. Do not burn the garlic. When the onions are translucent, add the three cans of tomato sauce. For every can that you pour in the pot, go to the sink and fill up half the can with water and dump it in the pot, rinsing out the remaining sauce still in the can. This water is going to cook off over the next 3 hours as you will see. Remember that, 3 cans of tomato sauce, 1 ½ cans of water. Now sprinkle some oregano on the pot of sauce, and add a tablespoon of sugar, stir it a little, and simmer the sauce on medium low heat.
Ok here we go. I like to brown my meatballs before putting them in the sauce, it greatly helps the texture and flavor of the end product, but it’s more time consuming and messy, but totally worth it. Pour an inch of oil in the bottom of your pan and turn the burner to medium high. Get that oil scorching hot. Shape the meatballs in your hand to whatever size you like, I like larger meatballs. Add them to the scorching hot pan, try and not let them touch one another. If the oil is hot they should brown on each side quickly. We are not trying to cook them here, it’s okay if they’re still undercooked in the middle, they will be cooking in the sauce for three hours. When each side is browned, remove the meatballs to some paper towels and add the next batch to your pan. I usually have to do this 4 times, 4 batches of meatballs. When you’re done, add your browned meatballs to the sauce.
I always throw a couple of (bone in) pork chops in my Sunday sauce, they add a ton of flavor and they completely fall apart while cooking in the tomato sauce. Anyway, using the same oil you used for the meatballs, brown your pork chops, remove them from the pan and pat some of the oil off with a paper towel and then add them to the tomato sauce too. After this, cook the sausage and repeat the previous, add the sausage into the sauce.
My father loves hot Italian sausage so I usually add a few pieces in there for him too. It too helps the flavor of the sauce.
Deglazing the pan
By now the bottom of your pan is filled with little bits of meatball, pork chop, sausage, onions, etc. put the empty oily pan back onto medium high heat and pour in some wine, enough to cover the bottom and then a little more. Smoke will come billowing out and all of the pieces that were stuck to the bottom will come off. Simmer this for a couple of minutes until the alcohol cooks off, you will be able to smell this. Now pour the brownish wine gravy into your sauce and stir it in.
This is after 2 and a half hours of simmering, the pork chop has completely fallen off the bone and dinner is almost ready.
The hard work is now over. You are going to let your sauce simmer on low heat for the next three hours. Clean up the mess that you’ve created and get ready for the final phase. Over the next three hours your sauce is going to relinquish a lot of fat and oil, like tons of it. There is a lot of debate over this in my family, I personally skim 90 percent of it off. It is a constant job. Some people believe in stirring it back in for flavor. You will see what I mean. Like I said, I leave some and stir it back in, but not a whole lot.
This is what it will look like. Get the table ready and put out the wine and whatever else your guests like. We tend to eat simple, but tasteful meals. I usually put out a bunch of fruit and berries and olives and cheese.
Cook your pasta until it is al-dente, about 11 or 12 minutes. When it’s finished, drain it in a colander and then transfer it to a big serving plate. A large plate is better than a bowl for this. Grab a fistful of cheese and cover the pasta with it and then toss it a little, this will help the sauce adhere to the pasta. Now start spooning the tomato sauce over the pasta, stirring it in, covering the pasta. Don’t put too much sauce on it yet, let your guests decide how much they want, I just cover it enough to use as a starting point.
I like to put some meat around the outer ring of the serving plate, but take the whole pot of sauce and meat and put that on the table too. Let people decide how much sauce they like and let them hand pick what meatballs, sausage, pork they want. Last but not least, sprinkle the dish with parsley and a little more cheese for presentation. You made it.
This is what it should look like and it’s time to eat and drink! Make sure the cheese is on the table. MANGIA!
Sorry guys, haven't put shit up in a while but my girlfriend bought me this 33 1/3 book for Chocolate and Cheese (by Ween) the other day for me to read whilst being sick. It was one of those fiegned excitement, oh yeah, thank you, I can't wait.....and the reason I saw that is that I first bought the book about Double Nickle on the Dime, which is about the Minutemen's album and it was some random jerkoff writing his thought and experiences with the album and didn't give any facts. Ok, I know what you fuckers are thinking, what the fuck do you think this stupid STOPTHEWEAKNESS site is....but though I ramble and can be a little long winded, I am not writing a 200 page book on one album.
So I thought, ok maybe I will try another one and went with one of my all time favorite albums, Pretty Hate Machine, by....and I am sick of writing these "bys" because you should know who these are by (NIN) unless it is "by Ween" which any Ween fan will see the humor in. Anyway, same bullshit. Hey, maybe I just need to read a little deeper but what I got out of the first half was fuck Dylan and Eric, we were the trenchcoat mafia way before those motherfuckers shot up Columbine, and they just gave all this shit a bad name.
So....I get home and my girlfriend hands me the 33 1/3 book for Chocolate & Cheese (by Ween) and right off the bat they talk about interviewing Aaron, Mickey, Andrew Weiss, Pat & Greg Frey and the whole inner cirlce that the Ween fanatics, who Deaner once described to MTv saying, "Our fans are the biggest losers in the whole world", all know and love. It is the perfect book. You get to learn about pre-C&C, during C&C and post C&C and it is fantastic. Very very cool stuff.
The series is up to at least 80 albums/books and there have to be other good ones in there, so.....just read a few pages first to make sure you don't get some stupid guy rambling for 200 pages about how this album changed his life. I am the most longwinded individual in the world and don't think I could come close to doing that.
This is kind of old news and I will let the music do the talking, but ?uestlove of the Roots came out with Bustle In Your Hedgerow the other night at Brooklyln Bowl. For those you that don't know, Bustle is an instrumental Led Zeppelin cover band with Dave from Ween, the Benevento/Russo duo and Scott Metzger. They fucking slay and are completely unweak. ?uestlove DJs on Thursdays at Brooklyn Bowl and this was on a Thursday night....we were about to leave as it was late and we have had the pleasure of seeing Bustle many times and then Questlove came out. It was absurd. They played the Wanton Song and Trampled Under Foot. Check out the videos:
Alright, you want to know the definition of something that stops the weakness, well here you have it. Dean Ween is one of the coolest motherfuckers around and treats his fans like none other. Ween has always been known for being close with their fans and being very interactive with them and here is the perfect example - last week he uploaded 2 full CDs worth of demos from the quebec recordings...though he took them down 4 hours later...but we have links below so you can get them in case you missed the original postings.
He has done this many times over the years and the most recent was a few years back when he found a tape in his car from the Mollusk sessions the he uploaded, dubbed the Long Beach Island Tape. This one tops that. This is 2 full CDs and includes alternate takes of quebec songs (I Don't Want It, Zoloft, If You Could Save Yourself) and previously released outtakes (Someday, Ooh Va Lah) that may be better or at least browner than the released versions. Then there are tracks like Hello Johnny and You Can Go Shit In Your Hat Matt that are just old school fucking Ween.
If you can't tell how awesome this is from reading this and looking at the tracklists, then you have issues and just stop reading this site from now on. This is where it's at and shows why Ween is one of, if not the, greatest band around. Most bands would wait til they need some money and package this up in a deluxe edition and charge you for it, but not Ween. They drop bombs like this on their fans so often that you'd wish that they would wait and do deluxe editions just so you could give them your money. You wonder why Ween fans are always crazy and so into this band? This is why. Alright, I will shut up and leave it at that.
Oh, I almost forgot, here are some links to where you can download these recordings. We didn't upload these so we aren't sure how long they will be put up. In typical Deaner fashion he put them up on the Ween Website and took them down 4 hours later, so if you missed them you have to search elsewhere to find them. So for now, you can download them HERE and HERE.
oh, and the pictures to the left come from Dean Ween himself. Those aren't our pics.
A reader sent this show in saying it is the sweetness. Awesome Demon Sweat and a bunch of other great tracks. To download the show, go to this link HERE and if you want to know the set list first, here you go:
1. Crowd 2. Fiesta 3. Nan 4. Transdermal Celebration 5. It's our first time in Oakland 6. Take Me Away 7. Wavin' My Dick in the Wind 8. Mister, Would You Please Help My Pony? 9. Learnin' to Live 10.With My Own Bare Hands 11.Baby Bitch 12.Spinal Meningitis (Got Me Down) 13.Happy Colored Marbles 14.Bananas and Blow 15.Did You See Me? 16.Demon Sweat 17.Voodoo Lady 18.Chocolate Town (acoustic) 19.Tried and True (acoustic) 20.Lucky Man (acoustic) 21.The Mollusk (acoustic) 22.Joppa Road (acoustic) 23.Help Me Scrape the Mucus Off My Brain (acoustic) 24.I Don't Want It (acoustic --> electric) 25.Buckingham Green 26.Ice Castles 27.Final Alarm 28.Your Party 29.Let's Dance 30.Wayne's Pet Youngin' 31.The Goin' Gets Tough From the Get Go 32.Fat Lenny 33.Dr. Rock 34.Sorry Charlie 35.The Blarney Stone 36.E:Stroker Ace 37.E:You Fucked Up 38.E:Never Squeal on the Pusher
Some Ween fans out there may remember the tour diaries Deaner used to put up on their site after each tour. They were funny and pretty awesome, but then they died and went away. They picked up a few years ago when Deaner started his new site, but then that turned exclusively into fishing. Anyway, I came across these old tour diaries from their 2003 summer tour. It is hard to believe this was 10 years ago. I think the Martha's Vineyard show described here is one of the best, most fun shows, Ween or otherwise, I've been to.
We were under 21 at the time and took a ferry over to Martha's Vineyard for the night with no place to stay and no idea that the show was 21+. A slight panic set in as we found out once in line that it was 21+ but we didn't have much time to worry. We were with a set of twins and one by one we all get in until one of the twins gets pulled aside. Not only do they not let him in, they call the cops. The comedy that his twin brother got in, and the fact that he was the person that bought the tickets for a good amount of our friends, is not lost on me. I bought my own ticket, but he had to go to will call and get tickets for everyone else while waiting for the cops to come. Anyway, cops came, but they didn't arrest him. I think they just wrote him up a ticket, not sure. After they left we paid a bouncer $100-200 to let him in the back door. It was well worth it. The show was incredible and I just wish I remembered more of it. They played Birthday Boy, Tender Situation, Ohio, Put the Coke on my Dick, and a bunch of other incredible tunes. They started off with an acoustic set. Oh and one person in our party almost got kicked out for basically having sex with a girl in the back of this bar. The Hot Tin Roof is just that too, a small bar on Martha's Vineyard. This was awesome. Post show we ended up at someones house. I have no clue if we had any connection to them whatsoever or if we met them at the show but there were close to 10 of us and I think we completely freaked them out into the wee hours. I remember waking up, peeling my face off the linoleum in that where-the-fuck-am-I daze, and slowly waking people up so we could get the fuck out of there before anyone who actually lived in the house woke up. We got out of the house safe and sound while the sun melted us and the taste of deadness wouldn't leave our mouths all day, got a cab to the ferry and left that island never to return. The End.
On that note, here are Deaner's notes from 2003:
2003-07-25 Pittsburgh, PA – Club Laga - arrived the night before, back in old pittsburgh. aaron swears that i promised we'd never play pittsburgh again but i recall saying we'd never play club metropol again. either way, this club was better for sure, nice folks and a sold out show. experienced the backlash from our all request concert a few nights before, people were calling out for "where'd the cheese go" most of the night. i thought we played a little sloppy, but it was actually a pretty eventful show for opening night. topless girls all over the stage during lmlyp to close the show, a few fights, and some dude literally broke thru a wall to get into our dressing room before getting tossed from the club and pummeled by bouncers. ironically enough, me and glenn and this same guy (the wallbreaker) went down the street for hot dogs and french fries like 15 minutes after this incident. ween is all about pleasing the kids, everyone knows that.
2003-07-26 Kalamazoo, MI – Kalamazoo State Theatre - it was a beautiful theater, maybe the nicest converted movie theater we've ever played, which is a lot of movie theaters. i thought this show was pretty awesome. actually, we played "lmlyp" to close again for the 2nd night in a row and i thought we'd never play this song once on tour let alone twice in 2 nights. having said that, this gig pretty much wore me out for having douchebags crawling all over the fucking stage. the show was pretty much marred by some stupid college boy jumping onstage during "roses are free" and pissing the crowd off so much that people started to throw shit at him. some genius decided to throw a seagram's 7 bottle and it smashed on the front of my monitor. now i'm all for having a good time but once someone throws a bottle in my direction as hard as they can it becomes impossible to concentrate and play a gig relaxed. if it hits you in the head, you're a dead man, if you say something to the crowd you sound like a pussy, and then the tone is set for the night. we all play barefoot too. i thought we played well but it's not about this stupid performance art piece where you buy a ticket and tell your friends later "hey did you see me up there?" we can take some of the blame, you can't have it both ways----it's either we tell security that there's no one allowed onstage or people have to be cool about it. we are on tour to play fucking music, not to put on some asshole dog and pony show.
2003-07-27 Milwaukee, WI – The Rave - barricades all up around the stage which meant no stage dancers thanks god. i got fuckin torn up before this show from booze and pills and we played a long strung out set with a lot of long jams. captain, fluffy, reggaejunkiejew, voodoo lady, et al. this is a strange town---we haven't been there enough for me to understand the place but they treated us very well. i thought all 3 gigs were good to start the tour but we need a day off badly. all 3 shows have been sold out too, really not what we expected in these smaller cities. our bus is a piece of crap, we are playing these big ass shows yet we are travelling in a rolling sardine can with no air conditioning or tv. the whole band is trying to drink itself to sleep every night in the 90 degree bunks but we keep staying awake playing poker all night to avoid the horror of the sleepless sweaty coffin bunks. everyone is talking about setting the bus on fire, and only in a half-kidding sorta way.
2003-07-30 Minneapolis, MN – 1st Avenue - a 2 night stand here at 1st ave, one of our favorite clubs. played here too many times to count. we also played an in-store appearance at electric fetus records which turned out to be a lot more than i expected. the store was massive, there were almost 500 people in the place and it was a sweatbox. we had rented equipment (which didn't work the way it was supposed to) so our planned setlist of songs from quebec went out the window because we couldn't load sounds for glenn. i think we played like 5 or 6 tunes and bailed out----nice store though, great people, like everyone in minnesota. the first ave. shows were awesome in my opinion. the crowd on the 1st night was totally off the hook and we played a really rowdy set. i thought we actually played a lot better on the 2nd night, but it was an all ages show that started at 7pm and the crowd wasn't really as liquored up. i thought it was the tightest i've heard the band sound though in a long ass time. we love this club and we played something like 50 different songs over the 2 nights including a bunch of covers. There are a lot ofclubs that we won't go back and play anymore just because we want something different but First Ave. is special somehow, I feel a great affection for that club and it's staff. maybe next time we'll do 3 nights.
2003-08-01 – Columbus, OH – Promowest Pavilion - well, this may have been the worst show i ever attended either onstage or as a ticketholder. sometimes you win and sometimes you lose and in columbus we just sucked a fat one. sorry if you were there, i didn't think we were capable of having gigs this bad anymore, but ween are chameleons, constantly reinventing ourselves in new and awful ways. 2003-08-02 Rochester, NY – Water Street Music Hall - a really kick ass performance at a club we've played a dozen times over the years. i can't think of too much to say about this show---i mean it was in rochester. we basically smashed rochester's ass into pieces and then left.
2003-08-04 Portland, ME – State Theatre - we played golf all morning and then a cab driver pointed us towards the best lobster house in town. we had twin lobsters stuffed with lobster. i mean, lobster stuffed with lobster? are you fucking kidding me? it was pretty serious and we ate like pigs. i also drank like a fiend and was really hurting after this meal. i was in the bathroom at the restaurant swirling around and a fan comes walking in the men's room from behind me, "yo deaner----ween is awesome" and then it came---i puked a pretty large portion of my dinner straight into the urinal, the whole pile of puke was black from the double espresso i capped off my meal with. i think this kid was horrified and i got a good laugh about it later anyway. the gig the next night was really good---we played "cold blows the wind" for the first time ever and overall the set was pretty kick-ass. after the show we went to a bar, maine has this really stupid 1am curfew, but right at last call fire alarms start blaring and 5 fire trucks and 4 cop cars all come screaming up in front of this bar---in rush america's heroes with their axes and oxygen tanks and shit....there was obviously no fire, nor did the bartenders or firemen have any explanation as to what they were even doing there. we busted their balls a bit and then went and played hallway golf back at the hotel.
2003-08-05 Hampton Beach, NH – Hampton Beach Casino - the day of quebec's release, i would've bet money that this gig was going to suck. the venue was an old ballroom style dance hall from the early part of last century, you could just imagine the duke ellington orchestra playing there. the security here were total fascist bastards---i mean in an overall way this is some of the saddest shit i have ever seen on tour--and not just this gig. No smoking, no drinking, no dancing, just don't fucking do anything or we'll have the off duty cops we hire as bouncers pound you into submission; we'll have you arrested, take your drugs, suspend your driving privileges, and put you on tom ridge's terrorist watch list. anyway, i'm getting off topic. this gig was fucking great. one of the most solid shows of the tour, the crowd came to get down, we came to play and it was a very memorable day on a number of levels. oh yeah, it was also mick preston's birthday. all 'n all it was pretty off the hook.
2003-08-06 Cape Cod, MA – Wellfleet Beachcomber - home, home again. i like to be here when i can. unfortunately we stayed about 45 minutes away from the club in some motor lodge. i thought this gig was pretty solid, but i have to honestly say that i felt pretty let down by the audience. i think maybe expectations were pretty high, i felt like people were waiting for us to pull off some magic trick. playing live is a give and take deal---we came out raging and the audience sorta watched us dumbfounded and gave us the golf clap. it was still a blast and i don't wanna take a poop on the whole night or anything, but i thought the crowd was pretty soft and we played well. did the usual after show partying around the fire down on the beach with the hippies, blah blah. spent the night at the club with my buddy dan, the bar manager, and we attempted to play golf the next morning but i think we were both so dinged up from the night before that i was having hallucinations on the golf course. it's tough to line up putts when you're seeing triple.
2003-08-08 Martha’s Vineyard, MA – Hot Tin Roof - what a strange little island. i would have liked to have seen more of it. i have to be honest though, and i think i can speak for the whole band here. i fucking hate new england and have since i can first remember. something about these people is just so......*white*. i mean there are so many jerked off honkies of irish/anglo descent with their docksiders and polo shirts, living out their jerked off bed and breakfast fantasies up this way. it offends the "new jersey" in me and i basically told the crowd at martha's vineyard how i felt during "the blarney stone". i drank enough liquor to kill a large steer and we fuckin absolutely smashed this crowd and this club into total fucking submission. just a killer gig in every way.
2003-08-09 Philadelphia, PA – Penn’s Landing - the final night of the tour, all our friends and family were there and we actually didn't suck in front of our hometown crowd for a change. at the very last second we decided to do our acoustic set to open the show. (actually we did an acoustic set at martha's vineyard as well.) this was a pretty solid set, our friends "the tin men" opened the gig for us and it was a really satisfying night of music and hanging with friends. i was back in my bed by 4am and slept for about 16 hours.
2003-09-12 Asheville, NC – The Orange Peel - played an old r+b club that has recently been reopened called "the orange peel". funnily enough, the place actually did kinda smell like orange peels when we walked in. we did a photo shoot for newsweek before the gig and just chilled in this cool hippy mountain town. it has been years since i made this mistake (and i have made it 3 other times), but before the show someone gave me a basket of cookies and i hadn't eaten all day. i ate like 6 of them and hung around waiting to play before i started feeling pretty strange, and in a bad way. of course they were pot cookies and until dave dreiwitz picked up the letter that had come with the cookies i didn't even notice. within about ten minutes i felt like someone had filled my body with liquid cement and i played our whole set in a deep, hot, miserable stoned haze that i didn't enjoy at all. what a way to start a tour.
2003-09-13 Atlanta, GA – The Tabernacle - just an awesome venue, used to be a church back in the day. we really kicked some fucking ass in atlanta. most of my night was spent trying to get anyone to order the de la hoya fight and tape it for me, but of course it didn't work out because most of the nerds that like ween are too lame to know anything about sports at all. it was like trying to score methadone at a mary kay convention. anyway, we had a great gig here---one of our better atlanta shows in my opinion. after the show i found out that de la hoya lost on a controversial decision and it pissed me off that much more.
2003-09-14 Memphis, TN – New Daisy Theater - ole memphis, home to jonny "it's not my dog" dubbya. aaron had no voice for this show unfortunately and could barely even talk let alone sing. we tried to take it easy on him and we ended up playing a lot more jams than the sing songy music but he ended up tearing his voice to pieces anyway. the comedian doug stanhope was doing a show after ours so he came onstage before us to plug his gig. we didn't think much of it at the time but he gave us cds of his stand-up routine which turned out to be some of the funniest shit i've heard in awhile. the new "man-show" sorta does suck though. we played exactly 2 hours and stopped without playing an encore and as usual people were bitching at us afterwards. i thought 2 hours was a pretty noble effort for aaron given the circumstances but now the problem was even worse---he couldn't even speak to have a conversation and we were only 3 shows into the tour. overall, memphis really sucks balls, graceland or not. the best thing it has going for it is that jonny lives there.
2003-09-16 Oklahoma City, OK – Diamond Ballroom - this place was the fucking shit. an old roadhouse bar with pictures of country music stars all over the walls. hank williams sr. once played here and this place had the vibe for sure. again, we did a lot of different tunes to make it as easy as possible on aaron which meant a lot of me singing, a lot of older tunes, and a lot of long solos. the gig turned out to be great actually.
2003-09-17 Fayetteville, AR – Dave’s On Dickson - got drunk with a capital d and couldn't even see straight. it started in my hotel room when i put down about 12 coronas before 5pm and went from there. i don't remember much about this show at all. we went out with some girls after the concert and the chick that i was talking to all night turned out to be a total psychopath. at some point some other girl who was at the show came up to me to sign her ticket stub and this girl looks at me after the other girl walks away and says "is that your girlfriend?" i said no, i never saw her before and she gets all pissed off and slams her drink down and says "well if you'd rather go be with that whore then i won't waste any more of your time mister rock star." i was laughing so hard staring at this neurotic psychopath that i spit my beer out. i didn't have the heart to tell her that i was married with a baby because she may have just pulled a fatal attraction on me and slit my throat. fuckin hos, unbelievable. i pity the poor fuckin guy that marries that chick someday.
2003-09-18 Dallas, TX - Granada - one of my favorite gigs of the tour so far, we finally escaped deep ellum and played in a really cool converted theater. just a great over the top set. reminded me instantly why i love playing texas. we hung out with our friends all night after the gig and got torn up. austin is approaching and we are anxious about our return to stubb's.
2003-09-20 Austin, TX – Stubb’s - lots of anticipation for this gig---actually it was 2 gigs. i felt like it was gonna take a magic trick to live up to our expectations. lots of music around austin on this weekend, it's sort of an honor to be playing there on such a heavy weekend of music. we had a night off in town and my friend kwanzaa and i had a nice dinner across the street from stubb's and listened to the mediocre white sounds of string cheese incident wafting through the air like a nasty fart. our show at stubb's was pretty solid and we finally pulled out a bunch of the newer tunes and intentionally avoided playing l.m.l.y.p. if nothing else. we finished on a really high note with one of our better renditions of fat lenny and then went out for a night of texas debauchery that ended in my hotel room with a bunch of friends around 9 am. the next day we played the ACL festival opening for REM at dusk. I don't think we went over that well with the massive crowd (maybe like 30,000 people) but i thought we brought it pretty hard. the second i finished playing and took off my guitar i spotted gibby haynes, (one of my heroes) and we ended up hanging out til 3 or 4 am at a bunch of bars. the funniest part of the night was the fact that you couldn't park a car at the festival so we flagged down a van on the service road behind the stage which turned out to be filled with spanish speaking mexican dudes delivering food to REM from some local restaurant. gibby's girlfriend speaks fluent spanish and we ended up getting a ride back into the city from these mexicans, but we had to sit in the back of an econoline van on crates of seafood on ice. the van smelled like a rancid pussy and the whole ride was spent listening to gibby's girl arguing in spanish with the driver over where he would take us for 20 bucks and being shoulder to shoulder with gibby haynes and 5 mexicans. it was something i'll never forget. he's starting a new band and they're gonna open for ween on our upcoming american tourdates in the new year.
2003-09-24 Los Angeles, CA – The Wiltern - this venue was just so nice---reminded me a lot of the beacon theater in nyc. well this was my "birthday" show and we played maybe the most mellow setlist of the tour (intentionally). I really enjoyed this gig thoroughly, it was the most tunes from quebec that we pulled out in a single show---we closed with fluffy. after the gig my friend shelby threw a party for me down the street from the club, and i think the entire crowd tried to squeeze into this little bar. she had someone construct a pinata in my likeness and she also hired a mariachi band that played for me out in the street. i drank every color of shot imaginable and vomitted them all back up in one glorious moment in the bathroom. overall tho, there were too many people in this place and i bailed after a couple of hours and did drugs with claypool on our bus all night instead.
2003-09-26 Berkeley, CA – Greek Theater - first we got to enjoy a rare night off, which i spent (on my birthday) eating filet mignon and penne bolognese at original joe's down in the tenderloin. is san francisco truly the last city this filthy and crime laden or is it just the tenderloin? one way or another, that's where i eat everytime we're in the bay area. the next day we played the greek theater in berkeley and it was everything i was ever told that it would be. the only drag about the whole thing was the attendance which still has me sort of baffled. we had pretty much all sellout shows until we hit the greek, which holds something like 8,500 people. less than 2,300 people showed up in what's usually one of our biggest tour stops. how the hell we did twice as many people in portland, vancouver, and denver i'll never understand. there's no way we can draw 8,500 people in any city, but seeing as how the bay area has always been such a great place for ween coupled with the fact that we were at the nicest venue for a concert, no one showed up and it looked really empty from the stage. this probably means that next time we come back we'll be at the same places we been playing for the last 10 years, but truthfully, i don't care all that much when it comes time to start playing. the most memorable part of the whole set was late in the show when we were doing pandy fackler and i look over and there's this black dude sitting down at glenn's keyboard rig----i suddenly realize, "holy shit, that's bernie worrell" and i just about crapped my pants. i mean, if you knew how many times i've seen p-funk and every splinter group that has been spawned from funkadelic you'd be amazed. i mean, here is one of my heroes sitting in with ween at the berkeley greek. after he walked off stage i couldn't play a damn note, i was so nervous about him standing there. what's even cooler is that for like 5 minutes Ween had 2 black guys in the band, that's some pretty good stuff! overall this was a wicked good show in arguably the greatest venue in the world. the sound onstage is just incredible and the staff were extremely nice and courteous to us. we watched "bullit" on the bus after the gig, the definitive san francisco movie and i ate 3 gyros and 3 pieces of baklava and then i puked again and passed out.
2003-09-27 Santa Cruz, CA – The Catalyst - possibly the best show of the tour, maybe one of my favorites ever actually. in los angeles and berkeley we played pretty dynamic musical sets and we were ready to play loud and cheap and the catalyst was the perfect setting. a long and narrow club with a punk rock vibe, we just fucking shredded and played the brownest set in years. we been rehearsing "all of my love" and we finally gotten it to a place where it was passable, although i can't figure out the jimmy page b-bender tasters he plays with the hipshot. we just came raging out of the gates in santa cruz and the crowd was right there with us, it took like 1 song for the mosh pit to get going. we pulled out the most gnarly tunes we have for this one and played our asses off. this was definitely one of the sleeper gigs of the tour. there was so much crazy shit going on that it's all kind of hard to remember, except i think we also did "summer wind" by frank sinatra and "reggaejunkiejew" by ween. aaron summed it up best when he said "this is the place where the hippies and the punks meet and fuck each other up the ass with tea tree oil." before the show i went to some massage parlor because my whole body is in agony, but the hippie girl that gave me the massage smelled like sour milk really bad and her stomach was grumbling through the whole massage and i couldn't stop laughing thinking about the kale and tofu burrito she had probably just eaten before working on me. i think she even laid a nasty fart at one point. also, this bag lady walked into our dressing room and just sat there drinking all our booze before we realized that she wasn't an employee or someone's friend or mom. later on she was sitting on our bus doing the same thing before kirk threatened to kick her ass. all 'n all it was a really crazy fucking night.
2003-09-29 Portland, OR – Crystal Ballroom - we started with the night off, which is always nice. we went out with some friends and had some drinks and played pool, harmless fun....we ended up going to a barbecue at midnight and i was so hungry that i started picking at the hors d'ouerves that had probably been sitting out since that afternoon. next thing i know i'm in the garden puking my guts out and had to haul ass back to the hotel. i spent the rest of the night on the toilet with a trash can in my hands. diarreha and vomit simultaneously, food poisoning all the way. we had an in-store appearance scheduled for the next morning but i was still awake throwing up so we had to cancel it. by showtime my stomach had settled but i was sore all over and wiped out. the first show was cool and all but we had some major sound issues that were worked out by the second night, which was way more inspired and rowdy in my opinion. i have no recollection of what we played, but i always dig these 2 night stands cuz we get to play a lot more tunes. this place has that crazy dance floor that is mounted on some sort of ball bearing setup. the floor actually moves up and down and you can see it from the stage. overall, i dig this place even though we've played there like 4 or 5 times now.
2003-10-01 Seattle, WA – Moore Theater - i thought we had a night off after portland so i stayed up all night only to find out at like 6am that we had a gig in seattle that day. so i kept drinking. i was so fucked up that i spent the last hour before the show in my underwear walking around the club and trying to figure out how to climb onto the roof somehow. we kicked ass and played a big brown set. we were gonna play for 4 hours and go for our all-time marathon set length record but they pulled the plug on us just as we were getting ready to go back onstage for an encore, which was basically gonna be a whole 'nother set. my judgement was a little sketchy, but i thought the show was great.who knows tho, maybe it sucked. i ate tuna. let's see what else.... i forget what we did afterwards exactly but i think we went to a bar. i can't believe anyone reads these tour diaries. all we do is basically get drunk and play every night. some nights are better than others.
2003-10-03 Vancouver, BC – Orpheum Theater - we played in this place where the vancouver symphony orchestra performs. one of the nicest looking places we ever played. also the worst sounding place we ever played. it was one giant bass-heavy reverb tank and i was so frustrated i almost smashed my gear. playing quietly didn't help, playing loud didn't help. it was totally sold out and the crowd was there to rock. it felt like having sex with a half hard penis. weird thing about this gig, they'll let you smoke weed in vancouver, there are coffee shops everywhere like amsterdam but cigarettes are totally off limits. security was letting people smoke weed in plain sight, but they were ejecting anyone who lit a cigarette. overall, i was really frustrated by this show, this town is one of the biggest towns for ween and the show fell short of what i expected almost entirely because of the sound. another strange observation about vancouver, i can't pinpoint it exactly, but everytime we go there i see a lot of violence. i see fights at the gigs, fights in the streets, fights in the bars---this time was no different. we hung out afterwards for a little while at a bar but i never feel like celebrating a sub-par show.
2003-10-06 Edmonton, Alberta – Red’s - we played in a club called red's in the biggest mall in north america. the mall had a waterpark and a driving range and a sea-world show and shit. our first time in edmonton and it was sold out--like over 2,000 people. the crowd was divided into two parts, legal age drinkers on one side and underage kids on the other side. the bars in canada serve raw ham and cow blood to the candian patrons to get them psyched for the concert. aaron busted out his alter-ego "hollywood gene ween" for this show, which is sort of a cross between david lee roth and dean martin. for the first 5 songs i watched the red sox/oakland game from the stage on the tv across the room back by the bar, for the rest of the show we showed edmonton how we do it in new jersey. drunk.
2003-10-07 Calgary, Alberta – MacEwan Ballroom - we played the university of alberta in some big square box that sounded acoustically great for some reason. i thought this was a really amazing gig and we closed it down with one of the better versions of "fluffy" that i can remember. after the gig we drove all night towards missoula montana and we crossed the border at like 7am at sweetgrass montana. the fucking u.s. customs pigs had the bus driver drag us all out of our bunks and into a brightly lit office where they busted our balls and then searched the bus. fucking pigs man, they're all the same. while they're harassing us the one pig says to his friend "hey jack, have you tried the new special at chili's yet? you get your choice of a few entrees and deserts and it's quite a bargain." aaron muttered "fucking pigs man" and i almost pissed myself laughing. at the time it was somehow the funniest thing i've ever heard in my life. reminded me of that scene in reservoir dogs where tim roth is in the bathroom and the 3 pigs are having the conversation where the cop says "buddy, i'm gonna shoot you in the face!"
2003-10-08 Missoula, MT – MT University Theater - i don't remember much about this one either except that it was a good gig. some kids printed up counterfeit tickets and it caused a bit of a stir. i thought it was pretty punk rock and was honored in a way. we have been hearing about this town for awhile and finally made it there. unfortunately i didn't get to see any of it except for the hotel bar where i watched the yankees with some homeless guy who had a plate in his head.
2003-10-10 Denver, CO - FIllmore - first time ever at the fillmore, capacity was over 3,500 people and we sold the place out. last show of the tour and we played one of the best shows of the trip, and one of the more memorable shows of all-time for ween. it was just right in every way and it was the best stage sound i've heard in my life, anywhere. people were just amped from the first note and we played our asses off and ended the tour on a very high note. of course some asshole tried to ruin it by throwing a large vodka bottle at the band. if this happens again we're gonna walk off the stage so do me a favor, and if you ever see anyone do this at a ween gig, grab them and either kick their ass yourself, or come get one of our crew guys and point the person out. i'll gladly take a five minute intermission to get my shots in on your cowardly ass. get your heads out of your asses people, ween will tolerate just about anything but bottle throwing. earlier in the afternoon we played an acoustic set in a record store like 5 minutes after we woke up. it was a great store and the show went very well. overall, the tour was exhausting and we probably raged a little too hard during our downtime. the tour definitely took it's toll physically and mentally on everyone and now we get to fly home for 2 weeks off before we're back out doing it over again.
Alright, one of first posts on the website was going to be about a Bustle In Your Hedgerow show we saw at Brooklyn Bowl back in January of 2010. The show, which is am instrumental Led Zeppelin cover band, was pretty much what we are all about. Not getting stuff up on time is also what we are all about and that show never made it up sadly, though you can see a pic here of a long haired Dave Dreiwitz. Either way, it doesn't matter because just like Dave's new haircut this show was a lot cleaner and tighter. These guys give cover bands a good name.
The band is made up of Marco Benevento, Joe Russo (Benevento/Russo Duo), Scott Metzger (Gene Ween Band, RANA, Particle, etc.) and Dave Dreiwitz (Ween). As stated, they play instrumental versions of Led Zeppelin songs and they slay. If you think going to a Led Zeppelin cover band sounds lame, well, this one is not. You couldn't really get a better group of musicians together. I mean, yeah, I am sure you could come up with a better dream team line-up but these guys are the tops and have this nailed. Back in early 2010 the project still seemed like a one off type deal for fun. I guess the reception was so good that they took the show on the road, played more shows, and now the band is really tight and ill. Enough of me rambling about it, check it out for yourself:
This was one of the best Ween/Ween related shows I have been to. This is up there for the best Gener show and easily would be number one had I not gone to see Gener show in Hopewell, NJ, back in early 2007, which was also my first solo Gener show. That show was unlike any other Ween show I'd been to. The loud, high energy rock show typical of a Ween show was replaced by Gener solo on an acoustic guitar, everyone sitting quietly, so quiet you could hear a pin drop as the saying goes, playing rare tunes Ween never plays as a group and new tunes from what was their upcoming album....and a bunch of tracks that ended up not making that album (La Cucaracha). This show was different from Hopewell and actually reminded me of my first times seeing Ween back in the day.
Ween as a band has grown a lot over the past decade. Gener is sober, they have tightened up their playing considerably, and you no longer get to see them in tiny venues that are basically a bar with a stage. Ween shows used to be a sloppy rocking show with a lot of interaction between the band and the crowd. If they were enjoying themselves, they would just keep playing for hours. They would try new stuff, and they would mess up frequently. If they messed up they would stop mid song and start over, or just pick back up where they left off. They would ask the crowd for suggestions and take requests, and the crowd would be singing along for most all the songs, sometimes from the stage. It was a drunken sloppy free for all but it was fun. I am not sure the tightening up of their show is necessarily a good thing, but it had to happen. More and more fans have come along and they have just gotten a lot better. Gener getting sober had to change the dynamic as well as he is no longer blind drunk up there.....though this show would go against that claim as there were a bunch of mistakes and forgotten words. That is what makes Ween Ween though. Why people love the band and love seeing them. It isn't sloppy as much as it is just them having fun, trying new things, and going for energy and feeling over precision. That is Ween in a nutshell, and that is what we got the other night.
It was awesome. We showed up right on time as the opening band, who were incredible I must say, were starting. The Knitting Factory is tiny we were able to walk up to the front, hands on the stage, pretty easily. The place was full, but you weren't crammed in like sardines. You could almost reach out and touch Gener. He was looked great up there as well - he was happy to be there and was rather skinny. Anyone who follows Ween knows that Gener 's weight shifts around pretty drastically and recently he was in fat Gener mode....not so much anymore. He pulled out an incredible set of songs, and went to the crowd for suggestions a fair amount. In fact, he was interacting with the crowd a lot, though a lot of that was probably due to the small size of the place and the amount of people screaming stuff at him. A lot of this was fine banter between the crowd and Gener, as Gener was being very funny, but there were also a lot of annoying people in the crowd, yelling stupid things and not shutting up. Gener brushes these things off though and often has funny responses, so it is kind of funny to hear Gener talk back to them.....
....oh man, I will take this time to break into a little bit about the crowd. I couldn't believe this. The out of place cheesey 80s metal head, who worked his way right in front of us at the Sayreville show earlier this year, did the same thing at this show, only showed up behind us. You can read the old review here if you want more details, but basically this guy was the most annoying person ever. Roid rage, fisting pumping head banging out of control. He would basically throw his whole body around a space where 5 people could normally stand, and if you got in his way at all or tried to move around him he would get pissed and physical. So you didn't really want to mess with him. It was comical at first, and then just turned into the most annoying thing ever....anyway, Gener starts playing a sweet version of Don't Get 2 Close 2 My Fantasy the other night and that's when we hear it.....the most horrible shrieking imaginable. It hurt your voice to listen to and sounded like someone was dying. This was coming from right behind us, blaring right into our ears. I had to block my ears at times it was so bad. Anyway, I turned around and it was that guy from Sayreville. So annoying. Couldn't believe it was him. Anyway, he continued on like this for the rest of the show. Had the end of the show not been incredible, he could have ruined it. It was the tops though. Gener came out an played a 5 or 6 song encore (I will find the set list in a second and post it, but it was something like that).
So yeah, this show was incredible. The setlist was great and full of Ween songs, unlike when Gener went out with the Gene Ween Band and played a bunch of unreleased songs. Those were cool, but it was nice to hear solo acoustic versions of songs we knew. I finally got to hear Birthday Boy which is my all time favorite song and one I haven't seen Ween perform in many years. Gener was about to go into Baby Bitch at the crowd's request, but said changed at the last second and went into Birthday Boy. Other highlights were the Argus, Don't Laugh (I Love You), So Long Jerry, I Don't Want to Leave You on the Farm, and Old Man. That's right, Neil Young. He went straight into this from Brithday Boy and it was absurd. I could keep listing them out, Ooh Va La, Mountains and Buffalo, and Stay Forever, which is another one of my top 5 Ween songs. This one was actually never played by Ween until very recently. All around this show was the tops. You don't get to see Ween in a setting like this anymore and it was sweet.
Here is the setlist, not sure how accurate this is, but...what can you do. Also, we have video of most of this show and will be uploading the rest of it over the next few days.
Flutes of Chi
I Don't Wanna Leave You On The Farm
She's Your Baby
Stallion Pt. 3
Tried & True
Eye To The Sky
Mountains & Buffalo
She Wanted To Leave
Don't Get To Close To My Fantasy
Ooh Va La
So Long Jerry
Freedom of 76 (no guitar, just Dave's bass)
Pork Roll Egg & Cheese
Don't Laugh (i love you)
The following excerpt is from the Top 10 Guitar Solos list. The full article can be found by clicking the link in the header.
Ok I know there will be objections here and I realize there are omissions but I wanted this list to be something different to read. How many times have you read about Eruption, Stairway to Heaven and Machine Gun as being in the top 10. Maybe not everyone has, but if you are a guitar player then you have read about those a million times I am sure. So I want to go with something different....but not just for the sake of being different. I am go to go for my favorite solos instead of trying to claim what the best are. There is a mix of stuff here and I basically went with my favorite guitarists and then tried to pick my favorite solo of theirs. These are not in any order either, as it's hard enough to pick my top 10 favorite solos. So let's start....oh, and before we get started, if you want to watch the top 10 after reading, you can check the videos page for all the videos...or you can just skip the writing all together
The Stallion Pt 3 by Ween (Gene Ween)
Alright I know this is a weird choice. Some may even say it's a bad choice and I would almost agree if it weren't so awesome. It is pretty bad, really sloppy and just....simple. It sounds like a 5 year old who just started playing guitar wrote it. In fact I vaguely remember the songs/solos I wrote back when I first started playing guitar and they were sort of like this....though they tried to be way more awesome and were nowhere close. A big part of this probably comes from the fact that it is a younger Gener, who still rarely solos, taking a stab at one of his few solos on record. This solo just fits the song perfectly. It is demented, sloppy and simple on the surface, but oddly melodic and awesome once you get into it. Coming right after the "hey dude, he's the Stallion"s, it is shitty, weird and completely memorable. All about feel and how less is more. Side note, Deaner is really the main guitarist of Ween and I feel weird about picking a Gener solo when it's Dean Ween who made me consider a Ween solo for this list. To see some of Deaner at his best, and pretty much his signature solo, check out a live version of Voodoo Lady.
I got wasted, Ween was awesome, and the crowd at a NY Ween show kind of sucks. That pretty much sums up the evening.
I got off work late and ran up to the show, which started early, around 7:30. There was a line to get in, but it moved pretty quickly, so not a big deal. Once in the venue it was packed and the band was already on. I had heard that Madonna was filming a movie near by earlier in the day and came by to ask them to stop their soundcheck. Where does that fit in? It doesn't really, I just thought it was interesting. Anyway, as I said in the beginning, the crowd at a NY Ween show is kind of annoying - many people there don't know the music or care to listen to it. You wonder why they are there in the first place as it is much more enjoyable to sit around and complain about work in your quiet apartment where you don't have to shout over the sounds of a concert. Also, there was a lot of noodling and glow sticks left over from the Phish tour, but at least those people are watching the show....sort of.
Anyway, per usual, we walked over to the side of the stage furthest away from the door and were able to get a decently good spot close to the stage. They playing Sorry Charlie early on, which is one of my favorite Ween tunes, but also one I had never seen live before. People were talking a lot during this one. I also had some first time Ween goers with me, who came because they heard it was awesome, so I had a little bit of worry that it would not live up to the hype. These factors combined with being stressed out from working late and running to the show made me run for the bar. There was a huge beer line, but a nonexistent line at this wine bar which was serving big 10oz glasses....these big wine glasses=wasted.
Ween rocked per usual. I went from being annoyed with the crowd to the one probably annoying people around me with my fanboy excitement, in a matter of minutes. It was a good time though. As I said, they played Sorry Charlie and also Hey There Fancypants, which I had never heard before. They played Bowie's Let's Dance again, which was a real crowd pleaser, and Up On the Hill. The rest of the set was pretty ridiculous too as you can see below. They had to get off stage by 10 or 10:30 and after a 3 song encore they were done. I made it to the encore at least until the wine really took its toll. From there I left Central Park pleased with the evening, rambling, slurring, and repeating myself all the way home. It was once again a joyous evening of Ween.
She Wanted to Leave
Bananas and Blow
Learning to Love
Up on the Hill
Take Me Away
Don't Get to Close to My Fantasy
Even if You Don't
Push The Little Daisies
Happy Colored Marbles
The Stallion Pt. 3
With My Own Bare Hands
Touch My Tooter
You Fucked Up
Waving My Dick in the Wind
Hey There Fancy Pants
Wayne's Pet Youngin
When the Going Gets Tough from the Get Go
Johny on the Spot
Mister Would You Please Help My Pony
Roses are Free
Mister Richard Smoker
Alright, a little late here as the show was a few weeks ago....but better late than never.
We had a first time Ween concert goer with us on our trip to the Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, NJ, and Ween and their fans definitely put on a show – one of the best Ween shows I’ve ever been to in fact. The place was completely packed and at first it seemed like there was not a seat in the house where you weren't squeezed in between some overly drunk, sweaty strangers. Though, after fighting my way through the maze of people to get to the bathrooms, which were intelligently placed at the front of the venue to the right and left of the stage, I discovered this beautiful paradise of space and air conditioning. I had to push my way back through all the people to retrieve my friends, but it was worth it. These were the best seats in the house even if they were sort of behind the band.
So, let's go back to the title here for a second. While in these relatively tame seats, things got a lot heavier, and weirder, as Ween increased the rock factor. As stated we started out with plenty of space right next to a bar at the front of the room. The people next to us included a guy in a cast sitting down with his girlfriend, and it was pretty relaxed. As Ween got heavier and our neighbors' drugs kicked in (it seemed like ecstasy was the drug of choice) things got weird. First we had a girl jump up and start dancing on top of a table in a dress, in a move much more coyote ugly than ween show...but not for long. Cast guy's girlfriend then sticks her head up the girls skirt and proceeds to have a meal out of her ass. For some reason this annoyed her boyfriend, so he pulled her away. Some talking was done, and they sorted out their issues. Seems he was pissed that he was in the cast and couldn't partake in the action, because before we knew it the three of them were grossly making like it was spring break '99 in Cancun. Slowly our nice open air conditioned space was taken over and we were privy to a nice fight. Someone did something at the bar behind us, maybe tried to steal drinks, I am not sure, and we had some punching, pushing, hold me back hold me backs, and some flying headlock down the flight of stairs in front of us. Some nice midshow action. Always nice.
This next part really belongs in the preceding paragraph, but this guy deserves a paragraph of his own. I don't know if he thought he was at a Warrant show or what, but he PUMPED. Hair that hasn't been cut, or at least changed styles, since the 80s, a black tank top, and the power of cheese rock flowing through his veins. I had guarded our nice space for quite some time and this guy just came and stole all of it in one fell swoop. He occupied the space of 4 people as he headbanged almost 180 degrees - I think his hair touched the floor behind him and in front of him. His arms, well fists, were flailing out of control too. This was fun, instead of watching the show I had to watch him most of the time to prevent him from headbutting me or punching me in the face. It was the most absurd thing I have ever seen so it was kind of amusing to watch, though mostly just annoying. I tried to get pictures of him but he wouldn't stand still and would flail back into my lens with each shot. One lady gave him a nudge to get by him as he was blocking the path to the bathroom and he gave the best Ugly Kid Joe middle finger to her back as she went by. FUCK YOU MOM, FUCK YOU DAD, NO RULES!!!! HERE'S A MIDDLE FINGER FOR YOU, DON'T TRY TO STOP ME FROM ROCKING!!!!
So that was the crowd around us and it went pretty well with the show Ween brought. As I said, this was one of the best Ween show I have been to and I have seen my fair share. They really brought the rock and were very much into it. I hate to say, oh maaaan, the band was really feeding off the crowd maaaaan, and vice versa, but it'd probably true. They had many rocking tunes, My Own Bare Hands, Final Alarm, Stroker Ace, Tick, Dr Rock, ReggaeJunkieJew, all of which rocked harder than ever before. They had slow weird tunes, Albino Sunburned Girl, Ice Castles, Object, and Did You See Me......and I hadn't seen Albino Sunburned Girl since one of my first Ween shows almost 10 years ago. Then they had a bunch of upbeat dance tunes, Bowie's Let's Dance and a version of Roses Are Free which was just ridiculous. Let's Dance was sick - a perfect cover for Ween, and Ween covers are always great. This was the only hometown show for Misters Ween and they really brought it. This really reminded me that Ween puts on the best show around.
I came across this interview here. It is an old Ween interview, but it is interesting to listen to. It talks about how they put together their early albums and how some early songs/records/ween came to be. Check it out if you want to hear.
So as I am sitting listening to some of these Ween songs from the links below, someone told me they always thought Ween were a jamband and comparable to the Disco Biscuits. It made me sad. So it made me look up some more Ween. Here is one of my favorite Ween songs, Tender Situation...it is an awesome version too back from 1991 with Deaner singing. This is back when they were a duo playing to the DAT. This video makes me not sad. Really not sad.
I also decided to find a video of my favorite song ever, Ween or otherwise. Birthday Boy. This is the greatest song ever written.
And just to add some more, here is Mary Lou Lord singing Birthday Boy with Elloitt Smith playing the guitar. Sadly, there is no video of this but rather just some pictures of Elloitt Smith and Mary Lou Lord going by while the song plays. I wish Elloitt was singing on this, but what are you going to do.
Another Ween post. This may not be new to a lot of people who use Browntracker and whatnot, but I came across this and thought I would post it. This has a lot of the pre-God WEEN Satan stuff and some other tunes. Check it out. I just searched through that site a little more, and this is probably the more desireable collection of ween outtakes etc. I guess this guy has a bunch of other downloads too.
Alright, here is another little blurb for one show. Ween is doing other shows around the country, but not many in the Northeast I don't believe. Anyway, this one is at the Starland Ballroom in NJ....Sayreville to be exact. I have never been there to tell you the truth, but they always seem to be getting good shows. This show will finally push me to make the trek out there. It probably isn't even much of a trek. Also, there can be a lot of douchebags at Ween shows in NY, so maybe this will cut back on that a little. This show is May 20th, so it's a little ways off, but I haven't been to a proper Ween show in a little bit and I am already getting excited. Here is the info
In addition I thought I would post some articles about Gener at the Yoko Ono tribute show put on a few weeks ago. I guess that's why he was busting out Oh Yokoduring his recent solo tour. Pretty awesome. In NY he said he was playing this song for his daughter. Here and here are some articles about the Yoko show.
|Here is my God WEEN Satan belt. I bet you wish you had a mother that loved you enough to make you a GWS belt.|
|So Schnitzel has been kind enough to reissue and release many Ween albums on vinyl. They did Chocolate & Cheese, Live in Toronto, La Cucaracha and a bunch of others as well as Moistboyz and Chris Harford as well. Now they are doing the Pod, both a remastered CD and 180 gram gatefold vinyl. So if you don't have a Shimmy Disc version like I do, or if you don't want to wear out your old original pressing, you can pick it up on vinyl finally. This is somewhat old news as it was posted on the Scnitzel site back in December, but it hasn't been released yet, so you haven't missed out on it. Therefore I figured I'd put it up. Not sure what this remastered version will sound like. I am not sure if they remastered it when Elektra re-released it, but, either way, I guess they are taking another stab at it. Depending on the price, I most likely will pick up another version of this.|
|So before La Cucaracha came out Ween started playing a bunch of new tunes, DC Weekend, Leave Deaner Alone, Gener's Gone and a few others. Most of these tracks were great, even better than what was finally released, but for some reason weren't put on the album. I think Deaner said they had something like 60 left over tracks. DC Weekend was one of these tunes and it is awesome. Leave Deaner Alone was not one I am/was crazy about, but I was disappointed to see DC Weekend didn't make the cut. Well....here it is. They released it for The Right Track: Tunes to Target Cancer. You can only hear a very brief clip of it on the site, but download it. It's a great. If you don't believe me, you can go to youtube and look up a live version of it, but just take my word for it. It's for cancer too you fucking dicks, so just buy it and everyone wins. There is a Weezer tune on there as well, and a Buffalo Tom song...I haven't heard the Buffalo Tom name in quite some time. Maybe not since No Alternative.|
The above quote is from my head throughout most of the show last night at Highline Ballroom. People are so annoying, it really baffles me why some go to concerts at all. If you don't know a song, that doesn't give you a free pass to just chitter chatter with your friends. Sort of like those signs on the subway that say, a crowded subway does not mean sexual assault is ok. I think the highline ballroom promotes this a little bit too because it is mainly filled with tables and waiters, so maybe it gives people the idea they are out to dinner with their friends and gener is just the house band. The first time I saw Gene Ween solo though, back in early 2007 in Hopewell, NJ, this was not the case at all. It was the same format but you could almost hear a pin drop during the songs, and then there was normal clapping and whatnot after songs. There were certainly no douchbags screaming for Freedom of '76 nonstop throughout the show like the guy sitting next to me last night. Gener's mom was sitting behind us and it was real intimate and awesome, unlike any show I have ever seen before. Definitely one of the best shows I have ever been too. When I heard the Highline Ballroom had tables, I was hoping it would be a similar experience, and it would have been if different people were there. I will stop talking about other shows in a second, but I saw Gener a few months after the Hopewell show at Johnny Brenda's in Philadelphia and that show had a normal crowd too. Different setup, no tables, not perfectly quiet, but still people were there to see a show, not just a few ween songs that they know by heart. At that show Gener played an awesome version of Pumpin 4 the Man, which is typically a Deaner song used during Gene bathroom breaks.
At least at the Johnny Brenda's show the people were into the show and singing along. The show last night wasn't all bad, or I should say, the people at the show last night weren't all bad - during the encore when gene came out and sang songs that everyone knew, they were all singing along and into the show and not talking to their friends about their work week and how they really like the layout of the new F trains as opposed to the old grimey ones. During the encore, it was awesome. It is just annoying because the show would have been awesome the whole time if people would have just shut the fuck up.
Enough with the people talking. A little background on the show, as you may have noticed from the pictures it was just Gene Ween, not the Gene Ween Band, and Dave and Claude did not make an appearance for any of the show. I had never seen Gene completely solo like this before, and it was pretty cool. With the Gene Ween Band, Gener would play a selection of very rare ween songs or outtakes, but when he plays solo he plays more standard Ween songs in the mix as well. Also when he plays solo, he will play standard album Ween tracks that Ween never really plays, like Stay Forever for example, which opened the show. This is one of my favorite Ween songs, and the band rarely plays it live. This was my first time hearing it and it was awesome. He played The Stallion pt 4 as well, which is an all-time favorite ween song of mine and up until last year I had never heard that live. Last night it was buried beneath a sea of chatter though, which was fucking annoying. He also played the Stallion pt 3 during the encore. At least this song is more popular, so people were singing along as opposed to talking through it.
As a loser Ween fanboy I could probably list every song he played as being the highlight of the show, and even after making that statement, I am probably still going to do just that....but....the highlights, or just other songs played were: the argus. this was especially cool to see solo like this. very cool. Oh My Dear I must be falling in love. Gene said this song was, from the pod, or was it pure guava, he couldn't remember. Then he sang the guitar solos (along
with the camera guy in the above youtube clip) and said that was his first guitar solo. at least I think he said...it was a little hard to hear at times....I sound like a bitter old curmudgeon. Stay Forever was awesome, once again, Eye to the Sky, from Muppets in Space, was really cool to hear, as was Kite Flying Man. The real highlight though were the two songs from the country album, I Don't Want to Leave You on the Farm and You Were the Fool. I really wanted to hear Birthday Boy, as it is maybe my favorite song of all time, but I did not.
Actually, if you go to the photos page and click on one of the Tower Theater pictures it will bring you to a clip of Birthday Boy from that show. I was at that show front row. I know what you are thinking, oh that is soooo awesome for you, you got to see your favorite song, front row, in one of the coolest venues ever. Thank you for the kind thoughts but, though I was at that show in the front row, and was scheduled to be there on time, I was not. As we pulled up to the venue, my friend in the back seat turned and vomitted out the window....except the window was still closed. He had vomitted before the show, so you would think that any normal person would probably open the window as they felt the watery vomit mouth come on...but thats for normal people, not my friend. This was my girlfriend at the time's mom's car too. So instead of going into the show on time, we got to drive over to Rite Aid and buy cleaning supplies and clean up the car. That was sweet. Then we got into the show, and like an asshole I screamed in between songs a number of times for Birthday Boy, only to find out the following day that they opened the show with it. Still not sure why someone didn't tell me to shut up that they already played that song. Oh well. Point of the story, Gene didn't play Birthday Boy last night, and I am cursed when it comes to hearing it. The last time I heard it may have been 2003 in Martha's Vineyard. That was one of the best Ween shows I have ever been to, but I was somewhat overserved and the memory is somewhat of a blur.
After that detour I am wondering if I have anything else to say about the show last night. I sound bitter, but it was pretty awesome. I have seen Ween too many times to the point where it really needs to be something ridiculous to knock my socks off...that doesn't mean that this show was still not better than most any other show around. If you have never seen Gene solo, I would suggest fixing that immediately. It is awesome, and not just for ween fans. If I were gener I would do this every night. After the show we were talking about how awesome a gig it is. Grab an acoustic guitar and walk out on stage and play a couple tunes for an hour and a half, and walk away with a few thousand dollars. Not a bad night in my books. Especially when your fans not only don't mind mistakes, but almost encourage them (for a reference point, check out the I dont want to leave you on the farm clip). This is going to sound really lame, but going to a ween show is really cool because you either love ween or you hate them, so at the show everyone is really fucking excited to be there and loves every second. When he forgets the words and laughs during a song, the people laugh with him, and when he sings the guitar solos off key the people sing along with them. Most of this shit would be completely unacceptable at other shows, but thats what makes ween ween, and probably the best live band around...in my biased, but undisputably correct, opinion.
***when I originally typed this up there were not youtube clips up yet, and after watching them I am pissed I didn't just leave my friends and move away from the people who were talking. The clips make it sound like I was at a completely different show.