Armed with nothing more than a few DAT tapes and a penchant for deconstructionist pop gems and drug fueled jam outs, Ween took to the stage in the mid 1980’s to a baffled music climate that was just starting to get used to insane teenagers wielding musical instruments. Not only did the United States underground get used to Ween, they embraced the budding weirdos with stunning aplomb. Now, almost twenty five years later, Ween is coming to Indianapolis in a big way, playing a sold out show at The Vogue on Thursday, June 23.
|Animated promo video for “Transdermal Celebration” by Ween; Ween will be playing at The Vogue in Indianapolis on June 24|
Indianapolis music has nothing to compare with the musical force that is Ween. Though the band officially began life in 1987 (their first public appearance was at a talent show, where they played a cover of “Purple Haze”), Ween really came to prominence in the alt-rock scene of the early 90’s, a scene that spawned other experimental crazies like The Flaming Lips and Guided by Voices. Their first popular release was 1991’s The Pod, an album that Ween claimed was written entirely under the influence of Scotchgard, an upholstery protector. The record featured plenty of drug references, spastic drum machines, and crazily tuned guitars, inaugurating Ween’s signature offbeat sound.
|Video of Ween performing “Bananas and Blow” live; Ween will be playing at The Vogue in Indianapolis on June 24|
Indianapolis bands that play at The Vogue are usually on the experimental side of things (just look at the MGMT and Tame Impala show a couple weeks back); after all, that’s what the music fans in Broad Ripple Village have come to expect from all the top quality Indianapolis music venues out there. But Ween should bring an entirely different flavor to the Indianapolis nightlife venue on Thursday. Ween has an incredibly eclectic back catalog, including weirdo country (1996’s 12 Golden Country Greats, which only had 10 songs), soul and R&B (Chocolate and Cheese in 1994), sea shanties and Broadway show tunes (1997’s nautically themed The Mollusk), and bubblegum pop (White Pepper, released in 2000, only one of three studio albums by Ween released in the last decade).
|Video of Ween performing “Push th’ Little Daisies” live; Ween will be playing at The Vogue in Indianapolis on June 24|
Ween grew slightly less active in the 2000’s, releasing three studio albums, White Pepper (2000), Quebec (2003), and La Cucaracha (2007). Though the albums have expanded their catalog, they haven’t garnered the same critical or popular acclaim that their releases in the 90’s earned them; they’ve been flying under the radar for several years now. Ween has been living quietly underground, playing lots of live performances, releasing live CD/DVD’s and compilation records on their own Chocodog Records label, and keeping their rabid fan base happy in ways that most pop music groups only dream about.
|Video of a 1996 interview with Ween on an Austin radio station; Ween will be playing at The Vogue in Indianapolis on June 24|
Luckily, in 2010, it looks like Ween is making a comeback. The band released a new song to the public in February, and a new studio album should be along shortly. Indy music buffs who were lucky enough to grab a ticket to Thursday’s show at the Vogue will probably be able to hear new songs from the record in addition to old favorites and standards, a treat Ween fans haven’t seen since La Cucaracha.
|Video of Ween performing “Mutilated Lips” on an MTV show in 1997; Ween will be playing at The Vogue in Indianapolis on June 24|
There’s a reason this Indianapolis event is a big deal: the band hasn’t been to the Circle City in a long, long time, and their fans are starting to get impatient. If you haven’t gotten a ticket to the show, you’re really going to be missing out. Though Ween has been around for the majority of their fan’s lives, they haven’t gotten stale or retread old ground (well, except for their compilation releases). A performance by Ween is always a deliriously joyous occasion, and you can bet there will be plenty of unexpected surprises and moments that’ll make you scratch your head, shrug, and say: “Well, that’s Ween.”
Ween at The Vogue Theater
Thursday, June 24 at 8:30 p.m.
6259 N College Ave
Indianapolis, IN 46220
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