Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Bend Me, Shape Me #5: GodWeenSatan

(ween is in big trouble dudes)

I think that thing in the middle is a Boognish

I credit Ween's first studio album GodWeenSatan*, released on Twin/Tone in 1990, for breaking me out of the mindset that I liked certain genres of music and disliked others. Suddenly any genre could be enjoyable (and they tackle heavy metal, punk, funk, psychedelia, weasel, pop, glam, country, prog and indie here, and many many more!) as long as you listened to it through Ween's ears. Oftentimes, you could never listen to certain genres the same way again after you'd heard them interpreted by Ween. Finally, Ween created so many all-new categories (how do you describe "I'm in the Mood to Move" or "Nan"?) that pretty soon classifying music by genre seemed pretty pointless anyway.

"I'm in the mood to move my body like a weasel goddammit.
4-8-16 feet to the left goddammit"

Gene Ween and Dean Ween are, um, Ween

You like music that transports you to another place, far away from the mundane? GodWeenSatan takes you so far outside what you thought music and sanity was that you feel yourself going a touch mad... and liking it.

Ween are virtuosos of loco, blackjacks of the ditty.
Ween makes you laugh.
Ween rocks you out.
Ween is fun.

Years ago, someone close to me saw that I was reading Bret Easton Ellis's American Psycho and proceeded to rip me a new one in the "how dare you read a degenerate book that that!" vein. I was so flabbergasted that anyone who knew me could think that I supported out-of-control misogyny, materialism and murder that I failed to defend myself from their judgment in any cogent way. Later, I realized that all I needed to say was "Hey, it's satire! Get over yourself!"

It's true- you can like this book AND not hate women!

The same holds true for Ween, particularly on GodWeenSatan. This is brilliant satire as can only be created by someone who loves in some way the very thing they are satirizing. Anyone who had had this album described to them, or maybe just listened to one or two songs might think that only a freak could enjoy music like this. Trust me, you have to listen to the whole thing before you can really understand what the apeshit crazy individual parts are all about.

"Don't laugh I love you"

* The official name of this record is GodWeenSatan: The Oneness, but the CD I had/have makes no mention of "The Oneness" anywhere on the cover or the liner notes, so I never include it when I'm talking about the album (which was all the time in 1990-92 and virtually never now).

**If you're new to the site, the goal of the Bend Me, Shape Me series can be found here.**


Anonymous said...

it's too bad the tween market wasn't around (or nobody had called it that yet) when Ween hit the scene. They would have loved those guys.


Mr. Word Player said...

you are the parent of a future tween Mr. CFA, and should be warned that Ween, despite the similarity in name, is not suitable for tween listening.

Ween may "overpopulate their senses" and otherwise freak them out in ways that the more seasoned listener will enjoy.


Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Rielly -

In the immortal wordz of Gene Ween, Don't get too close to my fantasy! Don't be afraid to clutch the hand of your creator! Stare into the lion's eyes, and if you taste the'll get to the surprise.

Special K

Mr. Word Player said...

How great is it that you're a Ween fan too Special K?!? You'll get a kick out of this: I met Ween a decade ago at Benway Records in Venice. They were there signing stuff, so I waited in line and had them sign my Mr. T Coloring book. They signed it and doodled well. I really wanted to scan that page and use it in this post, but alas it's in storage and it would take me forever to find it.


Mrs. Word Player said...

Just to prove how truly diverse they are "It's gonna be alright" is actually one of the few songs that makes me tear up. A WEEN song you say? Yes! A WEEN song!

Anonymous said...

Oh, wow! Fa' real? That's almost as good as Daniel Johnston hitting on my friend's wife, then drawing them a monster and signing it in between eating a sandwich.

Mr. Word Player said...

I found an amazing gonzo look at GodWeenSatan at this fellow's blog... highly recommended if you're interested in additional reportage on the record's power.