Album: Pure Guava, 1992
Justification: OK, I need to come clean here: I never liked Ween. I got what they did, but I always thought they were a bit too self-consciously zany.
Now, I appreciate that anyone who’s actually traipsed through this blog will be coughing gently into their handkerchief and saying “Really? Ween a little too kooky for you, were they? Not maintaining the lofty, artsy po-facedness of, oooh, They Might Be Giants and Oingo Boingo and Devo and the B-52s and Wall of Voodoo and Timbuk 3 and Fountains of Wayne, would you say, let alone the arch seriousness of the Banana Splits and the Bloodhound Gang and Tom Lehrer and Weird Al fucking Yankovic? Hmmm? What’s that? I can’t hear you from your ivory tower where you’re working on your Masters in the Glorious Seriousness of Proper Music That’s More Richly Cerebral Than Ween, Professor Doctor Serious McWankington.” And that’s all delivered in a toffee-nosed cartoon British accent, naturally, because that’s the voice what intellectual sarcasm talks in.
But yeah, that’s pretty much right. I understand novelty songs, I understand bands with a sense of humour about what they do, but bands that just appeared to get baked and then home record never appealed to me, fun though the process sounded. That’s more or less why it took me so long to get into Sebadoh, to be honest.
So why is this song here? Well, it’s partially because it’s catchy as hell. And it’s partially because Ween have been in the news of late with Aaron Freeman, aka Gene Ween, announcing that he was retiring the name and leaving the band in order to… um, make a solo album of songs by Jacques Brel translator and universally loathed poet Rod McKuen. As you do.
But the main reason is that two of my dearest friends loved Ween with a fierce passion, and I’ve been thinking about them a lot lately as I’ve been rehearsing old songs for an upcoming gig, several of which they played and/or co-wrote with me in the Undecided and the Career Girls. In fact, it’s only because of the influence of Todd and Jeremy that I have anything approaching a knowledge of Ween (mainly from hearing The Mollusk played in their cars). And those were happy times.
This song must have been a nightmare to play live, unless Freeman had a helium tank on stage.
SONG YOU SHOULD HAVE REDISCOVERED THIS TIME IN 2010: The Wonder Stuff were enjoying their greatest success with the jaunty ‘The Size of a Cow’.
SONG YOU SHOULD HAVE REDISCOVERED THIS TIME IN 2011: NZ’s mighty JPS Experience were dropping mad 90s shoegaze with ‘Into You’.
AND HERE’S THE LAST FIVE…