Thursday, October 13, 2005

Ween, II (MN: 14)

Ween- Chocolate And Cheese

Here’s what you need to know about this one: ‘Chocolate And Cheese’ was considered a much more mellow record than the one that preceeded it, even though it contains (among others) a little ditty titled ‘The HIV Song,’ an entirely cheery bit of music that would sound perfect as the soundtrack to a carnival ride were it not for Gene and Dean butting in every few minutes to say “AIDS” in these silly voices. These guys can get away with whatever the hell they want, no question about it.

Ween- 12 Golden Country Greats

The title is a twofold joke. There’s only ten songs on the album, but twelve country session musicians were hired to record it without knowing what Dean and Gene had in mind. If you listen to apocrypha- and who doesn’t?- the dudes who recorded the music for the album were all sorts of pissed when they heard the end results of their labor. Can’t really blame ‘em – songs like “Piss Up A Rope” and “Japanese Cowboy” sound like slags on the genre, to be sure. Thing about Ween, though, if you spend any time with ‘em, is that they have the ability to pick all of the best elements of different styles of music and celebrate those stylistics and signifiers in a funny way that borders on parody but winds up being homage. Honestly, no one listens to the Ween record to pick on the musicians- it’s to laugh at the jokes. I’m on the same side of the fence as the rest of the people who think that good renditions of __________ are awesome, even if the subject matter is silly as hell. Maybe you’re on the side where everyone thinks that fun is being had at the expense of others. You’re either laughing with or at Ween. They really don’t give a shit either way as long as you’re laughing.


Blogger Maggie's Pa said...

For what it's worth, my godfather (a Nashville session musician) played on the 12 Golden Greats album and he loves it. He ended up touring with them and remains friends with Gene and Dean (but he calls them by their "real" names, Mickey and something-or-other,) to this day. Can't speak for the other 11 players though...

2:37 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

Right on! Have him get in touch with my people and we'll find him some session work up here.

10:49 PM  

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