The Dean Ween Group
- Thursday, September 20, 2018, 8 p.m.
Belly Up Tavern,
143 S. Cedros Avenue,
$25 - $44
Fans of indie rock radio (and the MTV of old) know this song cold, even if they don’t remember exactly who recorded it. “Push th’ Little Daisies” was the hit single off of Ween’s third album Pure Guava, and it got heavy airplay after it surfaced in a Beavis and Butthead episode. This was back in 1993, and “Daisies,” an aggravating dope-addled prank song, still gets occasional airplay. As it turns out, Ween would produce only one other hit in their entire span, the relatively unremarkable “Voodoo Lady.”
For nearly a decade, Ween was just two guys — Dean Ween and Gene Ween — and they performed to pre-recorded tracks. Dean Ween is Mickey Melchiondo, and Gene Ween is Aaron Freeman. The two shared classes in junior high school and discovered they liked music and the same kind of humor, and so the seeds for Ween were planted. This was in 1984, in Pennsylvania. Within six years, Ween would release their debut album GodWeen Satan: The Oneness. The alt-rockers eventually hired more band members and continued to release messy funk-punk-folk-rock-country albums. In 2012, Ween told their mostly underground following that they were finished. Freeman went to rehab, and Melchiondo found work as a charter boat captain.
The Dean Ween Group, "Mercedes Benz"
Live at Theatre of Living Arts, Philadelphia, PA 3/30/18
But he also kept his guitar tuned and worked the occasional side project, including the Dean Ween Group. DWG released The Deaner Album in 2016 to a solid 6.0 from the finicky reviewers at Pitchfork. Now taking another lap around in support of Deaner Rock 2, Melchiondo still has no genre. His music is southern rock, psych funk, jam band, junk country, and 50s rock rolled into one. On paper it reads like chaos, but live, somehow, it works. Why? Because Dean Ween takes it right back to high school with all that heat and weirdness. He’s like that one buddy you had a joke with back then and still can laugh about today.