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Ween

Ween was the ultimate cosmic goof of the alternative rock era, a prodigiously talented and deliriously odd duo whose work traveled far beyond the constraints of parody and novelty into the heart of surrealist ecstasy. Despite a mastery for seemingly every mutation of the musical spectrum, the group refused to play it straight; in essence, Ween was bratty deconstructionists, kicking dirt on the pop world around them with demented glee. Along with the occasional frat-boy lapses into misogyny, racism, and homophobia, the band's razor-sharp satire cut to the inherently silly heart of rock & roll with hilariously acute savagery; fueled by psilocybin mushrooms and an all-consuming craving for hot meals, Ween created their own self-contained universe, a parallel dimension where the only sacred cow was their own demon god, the Boognish.

The duo formed in suburban New Hope, PA, in 1984, when 14-year-olds Mickey Melchiondo and Aaron Freeman adopted their respective fraternal aliases, Dean and Gene Ween, and cut the first of literally thousands of home recordings. At about the same time Freeman -- working under the name Synthetic Socks -- issued an eponymous 1987 solo cassette on the fledgling TeenBeat label, Ween released their own debut tape, The Crucial Squeegie Lip, on their own Bird O' Pray imprint. After a pair of 1988 self-releases, titled Axis: Bold as Boognish and The Live Brain Wedgie/WAD LP, Ween signed to the Minneapolis-based independent label Twin/Tone, which in 1990 issued the double album GodWeenSatan: The Oneness, a sprawling, often brilliant release which careened from the headlong hardcore rush of the opening "You F**ked Up" to the helium pop of "Don't Laugh I Love You" to the Prince-Xeroxed funk of "L.M.L.Y.P."

A move to the Shimmy Disc label followed prior to the release of 1991's The Pod, another masterpiece of dementia recorded on four-track under the influence of inhaled Scotchgard; darker and more deranged than its predecessor, The Pod expanded the Ween palette to include Beatlesque pop (the sublime "Pork Roll Egg and Cheese"), oddball folk ("Oh My Dear [Falling in Love]"), and mystic hard rock ("Captain Fantasy"). Against all odds, the record won the Weens a deal with major label Elektra; against even greater odds, the leap to the big leagues did nothing to alter the duo's mindset. 1992's Pure Guava, their Elektra debut, was their most consistently weird and wonderful outing to date. Highlighted by the disturbingly infectious single "Push th' Little Daisies" (a Top Ten hit in Australia), Pure Guava found the group as snarky as ever on self-explanatory workouts like "Reggaejunkiejew," "Hey Fat Boy (A**hole)," and "Flies on My Dick"; "Springtheme" mocked love songs at their queasiest; while the climactic "Don't Get 2 Close (2 My Fantasy)" distilled the overblown excesses of Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" and Queensrÿche's "Silent Lucidity" into an epic art rock portrait of child molestation.

Dedicated to the late comedic actor John Candy, 1994's Chocolate and Cheese -- its title a perfect summation of the duo's blend of R&B and schlock -- upped the ante yet again. Widening the net to ensnare cowboy songs ("Drifter in the Dark"), Philly soul ("Freedom of '76"), Afro-Caribbean funk ("Voodoo Lady"), and Sergio Leone-inspired spaghetti Western epics ("Buenas Tardes Amigo"), Chocolate and Cheese also featured "Spinal Meningitis (Got Me Down)" and "Mister Would You Please Help My Pony," two of the creepiest tales of childhood trauma ever committed to vinyl. Having taken their anything-goes aesthetic to its logical extreme, Ween took a sharp left turn for 1996's 12 Golden Country Greats, a ten-track concept album recorded in Nashville with Music City session luminaries including the Jordanaires, Bobby Ogdin, Russ Hicks, Hargus "Pig" Robbins, and Charlie McCoy. While the song titles alone -- among them "Japanese Cowboy," "Mister Richard Smoker," and "Help Me Scrape the Mucus Off My Brain" -- served notice that the group's lyrical attitude had not altered one whit, the music was remarkably evocative of Nashville's golden era, and performed with skill and affection.

A tour with Ogdin and a backing unit dubbed the S**t Creek Boys (which included steel guitarist Stuart Basore, guitarist Danny Parks, fiddler Hank Singer, and bassist Matt Kohut) followed prior to the release of 1997's The Mollusk, a concise, mock-progressive semi-concept album that proved to be one of Ween's strongest efforts. The follow-up was a double-disc concert compilation, Paintin' the Town Brown: Ween Live '90-'98, issued in 1999. In the spring of 2000, the duo resurfaced with White Pepper, their first new studio effort in three years; it peaked at 121 on the Billboard charts, their highest placing to date.

In 2001, Ween began releasing a series of live albums through their Internet-based independent label, Chocodog. The first of these, Live in Toronto Canada, captured a show with the S**t Creek Boys. Around this time, the band and Elektra parted ways, and Ween was without a record label as they worked on their eighth studio album. After a wait of two years -- during which time they released another live album, the triple-disc Live at Stubb's -- they signed with Sanctuary Records in 2003, releasing Quebec in August of that year. It was the first Ween album to crack the Top 100, peaking at 81.

A few months after the release of Quebec, another independent live album followed (All Request Live), with additional retrospectives arriving in 2004 (Live in Chicago, a combination DVD/CD set) and 2005 (the rarities compilation Shinola, Vol. 1). Ween headed back into the studio to work on their ninth studio album, and the resulting La Cucaracha arrived in October 2007 (prefaced by the Friends EP earlier in the year). Recording activity began again in 2009, but nothing appeared forthcoming from the band. In 2012, Gene released a solo album -- a tribute to the songs of Rod McKuen called Marvelous Clouds -- under his given name of Aaron Freeman. Shortly after its release, he announced to Rolling Stone that the band had ended its run. ~ Jason Ankeny, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

ween one my favorite bands ever seen play live many times will miss the live show but one day they get back together,hey if van Halen can do ot any band can peace I will pray to the boogniss that I will blessed to see them live again
White pepper
I respect your reasons for breaking up(i guess) but with it a lot of good died too hopefully someday you can create in moderation .... to far to eather side and we might loose you guys like many recent others
geriatricmis t r e s s
I saw them in Columbus Ohio. They played an encore, a 30-minute version of Let Me Lick Your P**sy. Awesome. Like 30 women all got onstage and danced. In all my years of going to shows, I've never seen more titties than at Ween. The power of Boognish ya know?
geriatricmis t r e s s
No, Pure Guava
I can't get enough of these guys.
Pure Magic !
So why does this feed play more Flaming Lips than Ween?
redmash73
HEY!!! Ween New Album where is it? Love these guys. Love their videos. but who doesn't. great band but you knew that already.
redmash73
HEY!!! Ween New Album where is it? Love these guys. Love their videos. but who doesn't. great band but you knew that already.
redmash73
HEY!!! Ween New Album where is it? Love these guys. Love their videos. but who doesn't. great band but you knew that already.
check out my band. We're called The Butthole B**ches. You can find us on the cover of Rolling Stone.
Can't have enough boognish tattoos !!!! Best music ever made came from Ween!!! chocolate and cheese is the best album and transdermal celebration and too many more
Love these guys!
hilief
This one goes out to my good friend Burk. You will be missed.
Weeeeeen. Come back
I'm kind sad that more people dont comment on this band but as i said sometime last year weeeeeen!!
Does anyone else's Ween station always play the same 3 ween songs and then a WAY random selection for the rest of the day. For as extensive as their catalogue is, I'd expect a lil more variety of their stuff, ya know
Best combo of hilarity with rocknroll ever. Hands down. Only a few bands make me hurt from smiling seeing them live and ween does this like no one else- forgetabouti t
My dad used to play Ween when I was like 3 and I would dance to it for hours
wewantweenwe w a n t w e e n w e w a n t w e e n w e w a n t w e e n w e w a n t w e e n w e w a n t w e e n w e w a n t w e e n w e w a n t w e e n w e w a n t w e e n w e w a n t w e e n w e w a n t w e e n w e w a n t w e e n w e w a n t w e e n w e w a n t w e e n w e w a n t w e e n w e w a n t w e e n w e w a n t w e e n w e w a n t w e e n
subrage44
Still amazed by their ability to pick apart any genre of music, pick it apart, put their spin on it, and play it well.
on Buckingham Green
Hail Boognish
weeeeeeen!!
Saw them at the Norva in Norfolk, Va around the time white pepper came out. It was one of the best shows in my life.
damonbfox
long live the boognish.
anyone else hungry..... FOR CHOCOLATE AND CHEESE!!!
Best. Band. Ever.
captainpylan t h e s
It finally showed up on the station.... I put Stay Forever on my own wedding mix almost 10 years ago.
if ween and green day had a baby...my head would explode(in a good way)
My best Pandora station ever is also based around Ween
This is boognish48, myhopes boyfriend on her pro. grew up in berks county, pa. ween is huge there!
I got my Boognish tattoo finally, Ween forever!!!!! ! ! ! !
f22reo
Grew up with them here in Bucks county. Crazy, awesome, beautifu,l flawed like us all, rockers!!! Last saw them in a pool in Brooklynn with 10k crazies. WHAT A F**KIN SHOW!!!! Please make up and rock again! Oh mickey is a captain of a charter fishin boat in jersey now.... the arch angel II i think its called.
If your brain waves don't except WEEN as one of the best bands ever, just give up listening to music, because there really is no hope for you.
Is Ween the most unique band ever? Their music is, as a whole, inexplicable to the average music listener. CASE IN POINT: Similar Artists of Ween are not at all, well.... Similar.
I was at that same show elburrito. They are amazing, and I will miss seeing them live more than anything
elburrito_fu e n t e s
Saw them last year in Bend, OR. After 90 min. of great music they chased all the posers out with 20 min. set of noise, after which they truly got down to it! Up there with the P-Funk all-stars, best live shows I've ever seen! All hail the Boognish!!
quintessenti a l : check usage
Dynamic, eclectic, contagious. Phenomenal live shows. Sad to see them go. I have faith a reunion will be forthcoming eventually.. .
Manliest music alive.
nosaerretla
ween is the best band ever when all is taken into consideratio n . . . q u i n t e s s e n t i a l
deff resisting the urge to kill
Ive created my entire BEST radio station around WEEN. I love them that much
captainpylan t h e s
Love Ween, but never got to see them 'cause they always rolled through town at the worst times for me. Come back Geener!
Come back! I got a new casserole recipe. I will feed you and smoke you up.
The Live at Stubbs CDs are incredible. I wish I had been there!
The only live WEEN show I ever saw was at Stubbs in 2000. It was quite possibly the best night of my life!
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