Children saw the eye as a sign from God descending from the sky
April 1, 2018 11:02 AM   Subscribe

Ween's 1997 album The Mollusk [Full Album, ~45m] is difficult to describe. Perhaps if Sgt Pepper was in the Navy and did way too much LSD while huffing laughing gas. Cassette Side A: I'm Dancing In The Show Tonight, The Mollusk, Polka Dot Tail, I'll Be Your Jonny On The Spot, Mutilated Lips, The Blarney Stone (NSFW), It's Gonna Be (Alright) posted by hippybear (31 comments total) 40 users marked this as a favorite
 
Here for Buckingham Green!
posted by pziemba at 11:03 AM on April 1, 2018 [6 favorites]


A Ween post on Metafilter? Wow, mang!! Seriously, love it.

2 years ago, I only really knew Ween for a couple of their early "hits" and assumed they were more of a novelty band than anything... but when they were announced as headliners for the Nelsonville Music Festival in southern Ohio (near my home of Athens), I decided to dive into their discography, and fell in love with their style(s). Shortly afterwards, my wife joined me and also fell in love with them.

They are an incredibly rewarding band to follow, if you're willing to put in a little time...they change styles and genres often, so if you don't like THIS song, you might like THAT song, and before you know it, you've found half a dozen songs that will remain favorites forever.

I'm pushing 50 now, the same age as the 2 founders of Ween, and I honestly thought my days of falling in love with new music were behind me (I know, sad..), but I can't begin to explain how much joy I've gotten from these guys.

To make it even better, they encourage people to film their shows and upload performances on YouTube (or perhaps more accurately, they don't DIScourage it).

This performance here is the one that never ceases to make me smile...
posted by newfers at 11:11 AM on April 1, 2018 [8 favorites]


it's been 20 years, can we finally reveal the words of the golden eel?
posted by murphy slaw at 11:54 AM on April 1, 2018 [4 favorites]


Comedy in music is an amazingly difficult thing to get right and I'm continually impressed by how much Ween manage to pull it off. There's a delightful sort of campiness in so many of their songs, not just in terms of writing and lyrics but also just as a fundamental part of how they sound. Something about the timing in things like The F**ked Jam or the sheer grossness of Spinal Meningitis feels really off and goofy in a way that makes me laugh.

There's something really fun about taking the experimentation and free-form approaches from psychedelia, prog, etc. but without the self-seriousness that so often accompanies them. Sometimes they edge into being straight-up distasteful of course, but I guess it wouldn't be rock & roll if they only stuck to the safe & comfortable.

And when they play it (reasonably) straight it's damn good too: Transdermal Celebration still gives me chills.
posted by cwill at 12:10 PM on April 1, 2018 [1 favorite]


Here for Ocean Man.
posted by supercrayon at 12:43 PM on April 1, 2018 [5 favorites]


This is the only Ween album I need. It darts from style to style yet somehow seems cohesive. It opens with a remake of a 1950s novelty Christmas song (the B side to "I want a hippopotamus for Christmas"), and also includes a classic English ballad from 1400, but has so many other wonders -- the dance break in Waving My Dick, the groove of Ocean Man. And The Blarney Stone is (with the possible exception of the DKM's Kiss Me I'm Shitfaced) the best St Paddy's Day song -- not the best Irish song, but the one that best captures the brotastic spirit somehow.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 1:03 PM on April 1, 2018


God I love this album.

Sometime in the early '00s I was a grad student in a marine lab, studying—I kid you not—mollusks. One day I was bored and poking around the local network, just browsing the computers with shared volumes, and I found a machine named for the lab a few buildings over. The computer contained a folder, the only directory shared on the machine, named "Ween - The Mollusk" that had just a list of mp3s. I had never listened to Ween before but I thought "cool"—it reminded me of the Napster days not long past—and copied the files over to my machine.

I swear I've listened to those songs a thousand times. I've gotten other Ween albums since then (all of them purchased), and I love many other of their songs. But this is the only album I keep coming back to. Every song is its own little lived-in universe.

I'm not sure how much I found it or it found me.
posted by cyclopticgaze at 2:59 PM on April 1, 2018 [5 favorites]


when the blue goes brown!
posted by stinkfoot at 3:53 PM on April 1, 2018 [4 favorites]


I saw Ween in Bend, OR last summer and they played The Mollusk in its entirety. It was a dream come true.
posted by montbrarian at 4:15 PM on April 1, 2018 [3 favorites]


Their first album was one of the first items I discovered in WZRD's record collection when I started doing college radio in 1990, the year the album came out. I'm 99% certain we were the only radio station in the Chicago market playing it. Or possibly any other Ween music, other than (eventually) Push Th' Little Daisies. I loved that album, and nobody else I knew understood why.

I also played a lot of Harm Farm (Spawn), and it was only this year that I realized why the music from Wub Wub Wubbzy was so endearing to me when my kids were watching it at a certain age (Brad Mossman and Brad Pedinoff turn out to be the same guy!)
posted by davejay at 4:33 PM on April 1, 2018


Eh? The Mollusk is from 1997. Their first album, GodWeenSatan was from 1990, but its not quite as uhhhhh... coherent.

I'm glad Homeboy Trouble pointed out Cold Blows the Wind being a cover.

Also, this album was apparently a big influence on the creation of Spongebob.
posted by lkc at 5:04 PM on April 1, 2018


Here to wave my dick in the wind
posted by not_on_display at 6:25 PM on April 1, 2018 [1 favorite]


That would be rather much being on display.
posted by hippybear at 6:27 PM on April 1, 2018 [1 favorite]


If you're having difficulty trying to understand Ween, start with their live shows or live recordings. There's so much pop melody, humour and fun that can sometimes be less apparent in their records due to the use of vocal filters and effects.

Yay Ween! So glad they're back playing shows. Please come to Australia again!! One of the best live rock gigs I've attended.
posted by bigZLiLk at 6:35 PM on April 1, 2018 [1 favorite]


What a great album! I mean, it's a practically a friggin' concept album, what with the large amount of aquatic-themes in the songs, plus the bookending "I'm Dancing In The Show Tonight ". It's like a little play put on by the Ween Brothers along the same lines as 'Sgt. Pepper's..." It's definitely more accessible than a lot of their earlier material. Another good one to look for if you're looking for more mature Ween music is "White Pepper."
posted by frodisaur at 7:27 PM on April 1, 2018


The best Buckingham Green is the one on 1997 public access.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 7:50 PM on April 1, 2018 [2 favorites]


Also I played “Piss Up a Rope” on a jukebox in an English pub and regret nothing
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 8:05 PM on April 1, 2018 [1 favorite]


I have only heard Ocean Man from this album, thanks to the Spongebob movie. Miles ahead of Push The Little Daisies.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 8:06 PM on April 1, 2018


No one will ever convince me this album wasn't the direct inspiration for the entire Spongebob Squarepants weird subaquatic vibe.
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:36 PM on April 1, 2018


Here's a link to an interview with Mickey about the process of making The Mollusk. If you have listened to the album all the way through more than once, you'll probably like reading this.
posted by compartment at 9:29 PM on April 1, 2018 [3 favorites]


Eh? The Mollusk is from 1997. Their first album, GodWeenSatan was from 1990, but its not quite as uhhhhh... coherent.

Yep, that's the one I was referring to. I loved that album. I was even talking about it ten years ago in a previous thread about that album.
posted by davejay at 10:08 PM on April 1, 2018


No one will ever convince me this album wasn't the direct inspiration for the entire Spongebob Squarepants weird subaquatic vibe.

Good news, nobody has to convince you...because it WAS the direct inspiration.
posted by davejay at 10:14 PM on April 1, 2018 [1 favorite]


This Ween is Best Ween.

I only saw them once and it was the infamous Vancouver meltdown in 2011. They broke up not long after and this show was thought to be the kicker. Gene looked like someone who had been drinking all day and tried to sober up last minute with some lines or something. Dude was messed up. At one point they turned down his mic and amp without him realizing and there was a solid stretch, including scorching versions of With My Own Bare Hands, Spinal Meningitis, and Motorhead, David Bowie & The Carpenters covers. Then Gene realized what had happened, and things got ugly. Check out the Setlist. The last 4 songs, 'Gene Ween Solo', are him stumbling around trying to tune his guitar and sing while the rest of the band storms off-stage, and the concert ended with him awkwardly asking the audience if they knew what had happened to the band.

A lot of people were angrily demanding their money back when leaving, but I don't know, in a weird way that was always what I imagined a Ween experience to be.

oh and I never knew Cold Blows The Wind was an old standard, but that makes sense - always was my favorite from The Mollusk
posted by mannequito at 11:14 PM on April 1, 2018 [1 favorite]


My wife saw Ween live once, in 1998. She didn’t know anything about them but tagged along with a friend who was a huge fan. She thought they were good but after two hours or so she’d pretty much had enough Ween for the night and was somewhat dismayed when her friend told her the concert was probably only half over (they wound up playing for four and a half hours that night).
posted by The Card Cheat at 5:53 AM on April 2, 2018


I should like Ween more than I do. I am a Zappahead, for instance, and the Ween boys shared his penchant for going all over the map musically and inserting humor into music liberally. But Push th' Little Daisies is the only song that has ever made me physically break a radio.

(Song came on. Irritating as shit. I threw something at my clock radio across the room in reflexive protest, radio fell, bought a new radio the next day. The new radio was better behaved because I kept the corpse of the old one nearby to teach it not to do that shit.)
posted by delfin at 6:19 AM on April 2, 2018


Current mood: The opening lines to Blarney Stone.
posted by whuppy at 7:38 AM on April 2, 2018


Sweet Boognish, I love Ween.
posted by Dr. Wu at 11:31 AM on April 2, 2018


The day this album came out there was a line of people to buy it at my tiny hometown's one record shop, they said it was pretty much the only line they ever had for an album, i was home from college and saw pretty much everyone I knew. A small gang of us raced to a garden shed that passed as a home for one of my friends, since the rest of the the gang was staying in our parents' houses. Easy to picture, stupid art, 3 bongs, empty hard liquor bottles proudly displayed, a futon and huge speakers. We smoked a bunch of kief and some opium and I think I lived an entire life like Picard in that one ST:TNG episode buy the time track three started.
posted by Stonestock Relentless at 1:15 PM on April 2, 2018


Perhaps if Sgt Pepper was in the Navy and did way too much LSD while huffing laughing gas.

Or maybe some Scotchgard-powered bong rips.
posted by the painkiller at 1:40 PM on April 2, 2018


True Story: in college, GodWeenSatan had come out a year before, and my friend Jon was a huge fan, and I was comfortable with them as a torchbearer of Butthole Surfers/Helios Creed/Dr Demento madness. Then, The Pod came out, and Jon invited me over to listen to it on cassette.

Everything sounded muffled and backwards. Jon thought it was a brilliant second album. I liked it, but something was amiss; I felt I wasn't understanding the Joke. So I asked him if I could borrow the tape; I went back home, wound it back and forth for 15 minutes, found where the tape had folded itself upside down, and corrected it. I listened to it again, and, boom, instant favorite album, played forward.

My friend Jon, though, was disappointed. He insisted I "fix" it.

I think Jon was the truer fan.

[Also, my son's first concert, at 12 years old or so, was Ween at the Orpheum in Boston.]
posted by not_on_display at 5:47 PM on April 2, 2018 [1 favorite]


Everything sounded muffled and backwards. Jon thought it was a brilliant second album. I liked it, but something was amiss; I felt I wasn't understanding the Joke. So I asked him if I could borrow the tape; I went back home, wound it back and forth for 15 minutes, found where the tape had folded itself upside down, and corrected it. I listened to it again, and, boom, instant favorite album, played forward.

My friend Jon, though, was disappointed. He insisted I "fix" it.

I think Jon was the truer fan.


This is fantastic. I can see myself in either of your shoes for this one.
posted by stinkfoot at 12:06 PM on April 7, 2018


« Older #RiceBunny, the #metoo movement, and censorship in...   |   I think there’s something very positive about... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments