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Music / Ween

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Can U taste the waste?
"Out of nowhere, out of the total musical vacuum, out of total darkness comes one, one, ONE ray of light... and it's fucking Ween."
Henry Rollins, 1990

Ween's a band. Ween is Two Guys: Dean Ween and Gene Ween, no relation. They met in junior high in New Hope, Pennsylvania. They make the songs with the music, the music and the Scotchgard.

They're multi-instrumentalists and sometimes the only performers on their albums. Gene is usually the lead singer, and Dean the lead guitarist.

The band is known for their Genre Roulette sound, playing anything from hardcore punk to country to prog rock to cheesy pop music. They are commonly thought to be a comedy band, though while they have many humorous songs, their music is mostly serious.

Known for their relatively small (but very devoted) cult following, one of their more notable fans was the late Stephen Hillenburg, who cited Ween's 1997 nautical-themed concept album The Mollusk as a major artistic influence on SpongeBob SquarePants. In recognition of the band's influence on the show, he used their song "Ocean Man" in The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, and invited them to record the original song "Loop de Loop" (the one about tying your shoes) in the episode "Your Shoe's Untied".

Gene announced that he was retiring his "Gene Ween" alter ego and more or less declared the band broken up, much to Dean's surprise, in 2012. However, they reunited for a series of shows in 2016, and have continued to do so from 2017 onwards.

Principal Members (Founding members in bold):

  • Claude Coleman Jr. - drums, vocals (1994-2012, 2016-Present)
  • Dave Dreiwitz - bass, vocals (1997-2012, 2016-Present)
  • Aaron Freeman (Gene Ween) - lead vocals, guitar (1984-2012, 2016-Present)
  • Glenn Mcclelland - keyboards, vocals (1997-2012, 2016-Present)
  • Michael "Mickey" Melchiondo (Dean Ween) - lead guitar, vocals (1984-2012, 2016-Present)
  • Andrew Weiss - bass (1994-1997), production (1984-1999, 2003-2007)
  • Chris "Cribber" Williams (Mean Ween) - bass, vocals (1989-1994)

Studio Discography:

You can vote for your favourite Ween album by heading over to the Best Album crowner.

Live Discography:

  • 1999 - Paintin' The Town Brown: Live '90 - '98
  • 2001 - Live in Toronto Canada
  • 2003 - Live At Stubb's, 7/2000
  • 2003 - All Request Live
  • 2004 - Live In Chicago
  • 2008 - At The Cat's Cradle, 1992
  • 2016 - Godweensatan Live

Other Albums:

  • 1998 - Craters Of The Sac
  • 2005 - Shinola Vol. 1
  • 2007 - The Friends EP
  • 2011 - The Caesar Demos

Stuck in my cabana, living on bananas and Tropes:

  • Affectionate Parody: The cover art to The Pod is a parody of the cover of Leonard Cohen's ''The Best of album.
  • Album Title Drop: Almost done during "Candi" with the line "Chocolate with cheese." The actual name of the album is "Chocolate and Cheese."
    • They do it on "Mononucleosis" from The Pod ("When you came into the Pod, you told me that something was wrong..."). note 
  • Arc Words: Guava, Weasel, Brown and Boognish, although the latter is more than just a word.
    • The Pod has a couple bizarre lyrical motifs. Four songs mention a "pork roll egg and cheese": "Pork Roll Egg And Cheese", "She Fucks Me", "Frank", and "Awesome Sound".
      • Four others mention Rip Van Winkle: "Sketches Of Winkle", "Boing", "Strap On That Jammypac", and "Molly".
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: "Reggaejunkiejew" is a hurricane of seething insults toward whoever the song is about - including telling the person to overdose on heroin and drop dead - but then there's the significantly less harsh but still rude line, "Maybe some people like to eat it, but I think you're a dick!"
  • Big Rock Ending: "It's Gonna Be a Long Night", "The Grobe"
  • Black Comedy: They have a few darkly humorous songs, such as "Spinal Meningitis (Got Me Down)" in which Gene imitates a toddler with the life-threatening disease.
  • Black Comedy Rape: Zigzagged. Dean was asked in an interview whether he had any hesitations about writing the line that involves gang rape in "Cover it With Gas and Set it on Fire" and whether it was a rape joke. He clarifies that the joke to the song isn't the rape, but the fact that none of it makes sense; the line in question is "He's a hobble with a wobble at the gang rape" and the following line is "It's an earth chock, war plot, peppermint lasso." Dean sums it up with, "If you think there’s some kind of statement in there, you’re fucking doing more drugs than we were."
  • Blatant Lies: On the live album, At the Cat's Cradle 1992, during some stage banter, Dean lists a few songs including "Reggaejunkiejew" and says "We don't play any of those songs live." Right after this, they played "Reggaejunkiejew."
  • Bookends: The Mollusk starts and ends with "I'm Dancing In The Show Tonight" (ending with a slow, distorted version).
  • Bowdlerize:
    • When "Push Th' Little Daisies" was released as a single, they had to make a special radio edit of the song due to the lyric "happy as shit" - the offending word was replaced by an intentionally jarring shout of "NO!!!" (sampling the intro to "Alphabet Street" by Prince)
    • The censored version of "It's Gonna Be A Long Night" omits "gang-bang" from the refrain. Can't have the kids thinking about gang violence or group-sex now, can we?
  • Broken Record: The phrase, "Pork roll egg and cheese on a kaiser bun," is repeated in the background throughout the entirety of "She Fucks Me."
  • Captain Obvious: "Mister Would You Please Help My Pony?" gives us the line, "He can't talk because he's a pony."
  • Careful with That Axe: YOU FUCKED UP! AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!
  • Cluster F-Bomb: "Baby, Baby, Baby Bitch/Fuck you, you stinkin'-ass ho" and a lot of other songs as well.
    • They greeted the world with, "YOU FUCKED UP!! YOU BITCH, YOU REALLY FUCKED UP!! YOU FUCKED UP, YOU FUCKING NAZI WHORE!!" They relied on this a lot early on.
    • Part I of "The Stallion" is composed largely of this.
  • Continuity Nod: "Big Jilm" features the line "It's a pleazel, it's a pleazel my weasel," a reference to their earlier tune, "I Gots A Weasel," whose lyrics were based on similar lines.
    • "Baby Bitch" has the line "Wrote 'Birthday Boy' for ya babe", which is a reference to an earlier song of that name. It might also be a Shout-Out to Bob Dylan, since in the song "Sara", Dylan mentions "Writin' 'Sad-Eyed Lady of the Lowlands' for you".
    • The title of "Strap On That Jammypac" appears again in the lyrics of the later song "Beacon Light".
  • Darker and Edgier: Quebec is this compared to most of their albums, as apart from "It's Gonna Be a Long Night", none of the songs have any humor.
  • A Day in the Limelight: In addition to the songs on which Dean is the lead singer, some guitar solos are played by Gene, such as "The Stallion (Part 3)."
  • Deadpan Snarker: Both have their moments. Especially noticeable on the At the Cat's Cradle, 1992 live album in which Dean sees the much smaller crowd compared to their previous concert at the venue and quips, "We must have been really good last time we were here." Later, on the same album, Dean plays a very long, very noisy guitar solo in an early version of "Buckingham Green" and once it ends, Gene asks the crowd, "Wanna hear it again?"
  • Digital Piracy Is Evil: Inverted, for the most part. They have actually encouraged the use of fan torrents like browntracker for those who want digital copies of their live songs as well as their now-rare home demos/albums like The Crucial Squeegie Lip and Axis: Bold As Boognish, though they haven't advocated piracy of their studio releases. Dean also runs Ween Radio, an Internet radio stream where fans can request songs and listen to obscure, unreleased, and/or live songs in addition to songs found on their studio albums.
  • Epic Rocking: When playing live, they've been known to do 30+ minute renditions of songs that are only a fraction of that length on the album (a perfect example is "Poop Ship Destroyer", turning this into this) , and Dean Ween plays noticeably extended solos. It is also not uncommon for their concerts to last three or more hours.
    • The second disc of Live Album Paintin' The Town Brown is an hour long and consists of just three tracks : A 26 minute version of "Poop Ship Destroyer", a 31 minute version of "Vallejo"... and a three minute version of "Puffy Cloud".
    • "Nicole" and "L.M.L.Y.P." from GodWeenSatan are both around nine minutes. The version of "Monique the Freak" on Craters of the Sac is just above the 10 minute mark. "Woman and Man" is 10:48.
  • Everyone Went to School Together: Aaron and Mickey met each other in their typing class when they were both in junior high; despite having different personalities and not liking each other at first, they eventually became friends after realizing they both loved music.
  • Everything Is an Instrument: "Never Squeal" features a chainsaw solo.
    • Those beeping noises that solo for a while in "Reggaejunkiejew?" A Simon game.
  • Fake-Out Fade-Out: After "The Stallion (Part 2)" fades out, there is a brief, highly distorted monologue that concludes the song.
  • Food Porn: "Pollo Asado"
  • Genre-Busting: Every kind of music and noise.
  • Genre Roulette: Prominent on all of their albums, with the exception of 12 Golden Country Greats.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Dean and Gene have been best friends since middle school and donned stage names that would suggest they're brothers.
  • "I Am" Song: The STALLION (mang)!
  • Indecipherable Lyrics: In some songs like "The Stallion (Part 2)," "Mourning Glory," and "Poopship Destroyer," there are lines that are so hard to make out that even the official lyrics replace some words with question marks.
  • Instrumentals : "A Tear For Eddie", "Pink Eye (On My Leg)", "Ice Castles", and "The Fucked Jam".
  • Intentionally Awkward Title: The first album, God-Ween-Satan: The Oneness, is itself an example, and gives us: "Licking the Palm for Guava", "Mushroom Festival in Hell", "Marble Tulip Juicy Tree", "Squelch the Weasel", and "L.M.L.Y.P." ("Let Me Lick Your Pussy")
    • Way on the hardcore side, we have "Put the Coke on My Dick", "Suckin' the Blood from the Devil's Dick" and "She Fucks Me".
  • Intercourse with You: Some songs have this, LMLYP is basically the best example of it, primarily because of the Prince inspiration.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: "She Wanted to Leave," " It's Gonna Be (Alright)"
  • Last Note Hilarity: During the outro of "It's Gonna Be A Long Night," Dean wails loudly while the instruments play an extremely over-the-top Big Rock Ending. Considering the song itself is a tribute to Motörhead, it's likely just another part of the joke.
  • The Killer in Me: "Buenas Tardes Amigos"
  • Letters 2 Numbers: The band has songs with titles like "Pumpin' 4 The Man" and "Don't Get 2 Close (2 My Fantasy)." They also substitute "You" with "U" frequently, such as "Can U Taste The Waste?" and "Loving U Thru It All." This is probably done as a Shout-Out to Prince, one of the band's primary influences.
  • Limited Lyrics Song: Some songs have this, most notably "The HIV Song".
  • Live Album: The band have released 7 live albums over the course of their career. Three of the more notable releases include Paintin' the Town Brown, a collection of live performances from the band's entire career, Live in Toronto Canada, which features the duo (who were promoting 12 Golden Country Greats) backed by a country band they dubbed The Shit Creek Boys, and GodWeenSatan Live, a live performance of their debut album in its entirety.
  • Lyrical Dissonance: Never more so than when they write one of the prettiest tunes you've ever heard and fill it with Incredible Vulgarity.
  • Man of a Thousand Voices: Gene Ween. His vocal range is so broad it's almost mindblowing to listen to Chocolate And Cheese when you realize yes, that's him doing the Jim Morrison style vocals on "Take Me Away," the bizarre growling of "I Can't Put My Finger On It," the Mexican speaking in "Buenas Tardes, Amigo," the country drawl of "Drifter in the Dark," and the falsetto soul singing of "Freedom of '76." And that's just five songs on one album.
    • Gene pulls off a shockingly perfect Prince imitation on "L.M.L.Y.P.".
    • In "Shamemaker", he adopts an exaggerated Southern Californian accent throughout the song, which has been taken as a parody of Tom Delonge (or just typical 2000s Pop Punk vocals in general)
    • Push Th' Little Daisies is popularly but erroneously believed to have been recorded after a dose of helium.
  • Mind Screw: They actually use the phrase in "Marble Tulip Juicy Tree," making them possibly the Trope Namer. It also happens in a lot of their songs, such as "Mourning Glory."
  • Miniscule Rocking: GodWeenSatan: The Oneness is mostly this, being their most punk-influenced album. There's also the live-only "Cover It With Gas And Set It On Fire" that usually clocks in at about a minute and a half.
  • Misogyny Song: Played With in "Piss Up a Rope," which appears to be a harsh breakup song with sexist lines like "On your knees you big booty bitch start sucking." Surprisingly enough, Dean claims he wrote the song for his wife as a joke.
  • Murder Ballad: "Buenas Tardes, Amigo"
  • Narcissist: The Stallion.
  • New Sound Album: While most of their albums tend to experiment with several different genres, it's fairly easy to tell which album a song is from. GodWeenSatan is mainly punk, hard rock, and metal, The Pod has mostly slow songs with distorted vocals, 12 Golden Country Greats is nothing but country music, The Mollusk has a nautical theme, etc. The largest change to their sound came with Chocolate & Cheese, where they shifted completely away from the previous releases' lo-fi sound, got a backing band, and increased their Genre Roulette to levels even further beyond what they'd already done, as well as showing far more of Gene's improved vocals and Man of a Thousand Voices qualities.
  • Noise Rock: Also Noise Pop, Noise Country ("Piss Up A Rope" has a breakdown that would be a good example), Noise Jazz, Noise Reggae ("Voodoo Lady"), Noise Ragtime, Noise Classical, Noise Easy Listening, Noise R & B, and Noise Noise.
  • Non-Indicative Name: 12 Golden Country Greats has 10 tracks.
    • Alternatively, this may refer to the twelve golden country greats who form Ween's backing band on the album. Or even the fact that they recorded 12 songs, but two were left off the album and used as B Sides.
  • Non-Appearing Title: "Birthday Boy", "Mourning Glory"
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: It's notable that Gene sings "If You Could Save Yourself You'd Save Us All", the closing track from quebec, without any vocal affectation whatsoever. No silly voices, no pitch shifting - just Gene, belting into a microphone. Given the lyrical content, it appears to be part of a very personal reaction to his then-recent divorce.
  • Overly-Long Gag: At the beginning of "Wayne's Pet Youngin'," rather than counting to 4 like most bands, Dean counts to 25, even though the song is in 4/4.
    • In "The Stallion (Part 2)," Gene Ween randomly starts singing the alphabet only to spell "stallion" once he gets to "S-T." ("A-B-C-D-E-F-G-H-I-J-K-L-M-N-O-P-Q-R-S-T-A-L-L-I-O-N I am the stallion mang!")
  • Refuge in Audacity: WHERE TO BEGIN??
  • Revenge Ballad: "Buenos Tardes Amigo" is a revenge song being sung to the man who killed the narrator's brother. The twist is that the narrator was actually the killer himself, probably due to jealousy, and is framing the listener to keep anyone else from knowing the truth.
  • Rhyming with Itself: "Puffy Cloud":
    Drift away on a puffy cloud
    Go away on a puffy cloud
    My brain is dead from too much pot
    Cause Deaner and I smoke too much pot
  • Sensory Abuse: The Pod might be this, because of it's rough sound. "Mourning Glory" is this, because of the earrape-like noise.
  • "Sesame Street" Cred: "Ocean Man", which became the ending theme of The Spongebob Squarepants Movie.
    • On top of that, Ween also wrote and recorded "Loop de Loop" for the SpongeBob episode "Your Shoe's Untied".
    • "It's Gonna Be A Long Night" appeared in the soundtrack for Tony Hawk's Underground 2.
  • Shaped Like Itself: "A friend's a friend who knows what being a friend is!"
  • Shout-Out: White Pepper efficiently references two of The Beatles' LPs—and, possibly, a classic photograph by Edward Weston—in addition to extending the band's long-standing obsession with the edible.
  • Siamese Twin Songs: "Licking the Palm for Guava" and "Mushroom Festival in Hell." Not only do both songs fade into each other on the album, but they were usually performed together live.
  • Song of Song Titles: "L.M.L.Y.P." directly lifts most of lyrics from Prince's "Shockadelica" and the rap from "Alphabet St."
  • Spelling Song: "Zoloft", which features the refrain "Give me that Z-O-L-O-F-T".
  • Stage Name: Dean Ween's real name is Michael "Mickey" Melchiondo, Jr.; Gene Ween's is Aaron Freeman.
  • Stealth Parody: While their genre parodies tend to be more obvious, they have a couple of these as well. For example, "Buckingham Green" almost sounds like a serious song rather than a satire of Progressive Rock. The biggest clue that particular song isn't serious is kind of an esoteric local reference: Despite the dramatic-sounding music and cryptic fantasy-based lyrics, the Buckingham Green they refer to is a Pennsylvania strip mall.
  • Step Up to the Microphone: Some songs like "Awesome Sound," "The Blarney Stone," and "I'm In The Mood To Move" feature Dean Ween on vocals.
    • "Little Birdy" is the only song with lead vocals by sometimes-bassist Mean Ween.
    • The Live at Stubb's rendition of "Put the Coke on My Dick" features lead vocals by Claude Coleman Jr, Ween's drummer. The same live album also features a cover of Van Halen's "Hot For Teacher", also sung by Claude.
    • The demo version of "It's Gonna Be A Long Night" features bassist Dave Dreiwitz on lead vocals.
  • Straw Fan: Their live-only song, "Leave Deaner Alone," is about this.
  • Studio Chatter: GodWeenSatan: The Oneness is full of talking before, after, and sometimes during the songs.
    • The actual first words on their first album are Dean's "'You Fucked Up', by Ween."
  • Surreal Humor
  • Take That!: The rarity, "I Hate The Smiths (And Steven Morrissey)."
    • Several of their early songs seem to be Take Thats directed at personal acquaintances — "Reggaejunkiejew" was apparently about a real-life freeloading, dreadlocked, Jewish heroin addict who the band didn't appreciate coming into their social circle.
    • They even delivered a couple Take Thats to Pizza Hut, of all things. Pizza Hut had a jingle contest and Ween wrote a brief song called "Where'd the Cheese Go?" When Pizza Hut gave them negative feedback on it, they sent in another jingle named "Bitch, Where'd the Motherfucking Cheese Go At?", which was essentially the same song, only with obscenities thrown into nearly every line. In the All Request Live version of the song, they had a more subtle one that talked about going to Papa John's (one of Pizza Hut's main competitors) to get some cheese.
  • The Cover Changes the Meaning: Their cover of Billy Joel's "Piano Man" sounds like an honest attempt at a note-for-note cover with some of the lyrics in the wrong order at first. Then there's the new chorus: "Sing us a song, you're the piano man/Put some coke on my dick tonight!"
  • Theme Naming: Dean Ween, Gene Ween, and their former bassist, Mean Ween. In his side project, Moistboyz, Dean is known as Mickey Moist and singer Guy Heller is known as Dickie Moist.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: The Pod contains no less than four songs with references to pork roll, egg, and cheese: "Frank", "Awesome Sound", "She Fucks Me", and "Pork Roll Egg and Cheese".
    • Nearly every album has at least one song that mentions guava, or has it in its title.
    • They also seem to have a thing for bacon; "Awesome Sound" mentions a "pork roll egg cheese and bacon," "Freedom of '76" has a line about a bacon steak, and "Even If You Don't" has a line about bacon.
  • The Something Song: The HIV Song: "Da da, da Da da da da Da! Dada Dada Da Da Da Dun Dun Dun Da Da Dada dada dun. AIDS. Da da, da Da da da da Da! Dada Dada Da Da Da Dun Dun Dun Da Da Dada dada dun. HIV." repeat.
  • Villain Song: "Object," about a serial killer.
  • Wham Line: In Buenas Tardes, Amigo — a song about a man hunting down his brother's murderer:
    Now... now that I've found you
    On this most joyous day
    I tell you it was me who killed him
    But the truth I'll never have to say.
  • Underboobs: Prominently featured on the cover to Chocolate And Cheese.
  • Verbal Tic: "Fat Lenny" is built around this. The song title is dropped over 30 times in under two minutes.
  • Word Salad Lyrics: Several examples on every album. Would be True Art Is Incomprehensible if it weren't so obvious that they were doing it for the humor value.
  • Younger Than They Look: While Gene is six months older than Dean, he looked quite a bit older in the band's later years due to his thinning, grey hair and receding hairline in contrast do Dean's full head of brown hair. The fact that Gene did harder drugs longer and more frequently than Dean didn't help things, either; the reason he quit the band, in fact, was that being in it wasn't helping him to stay sober.
  • Your Mom: From the live-only "Leave Deaner Alone":
    You're like a little fucking puppy dog for me to abuse
    Asking me what strings do I like to use
    I use nickel-wound doodie when I wanna rock
    And I buy 'em from your mother when she's sucking my cock