Song Of The Day 4/15/2015: Ween – “Frank”

You Pick the Artist III:
Ian Stenseng gave me Ween, and it produced a far more violent internal conflict than I anticipated it would. Namely, whether I was going to go conceptual or nihilistic. Wasn’t pretty.

I bought The Pod when first it arrived in 1991. The Pod was a sloppy, childish noise fest recorded on a Tascam 4-track in a so-so apartment near New Hope, Pennsylvania. There were allegedly three Ween brothers at the time: Dean and Gene, who we all know and love, and Mean, whose visage has been lost to the ravages of anonymity. You thought The Pod was either unlistenable or mockingly hilarious. As it turns out, even though I went on to acquire every subsequent Ween album through Quebec, it’s the songs on The Pod that have stuck with me the longest, like hepatitis-B or ripped car leather.

But many of my favorite Ween songs are on their generally bypassed 2000 album White Pepper, a strikingly mature power pop album that showed a real command of melody and slightly more sophisticated humor. Not that much more sophisticated, but certainly somewhere above the level of pretending you recorded the greatest Tascam album in history while under the influence of Scotchgard. I love “Exactly Where I’m At” and actually covered “Even If You Don’t” at one of my Cocktail Hell shows in 2003. Up until press time I was all ready to pick “Bananas and Blow” as Song Of The Day because I think its portrait of a Jimmy Buffett type zonked out on cocaine and moral dysentery was a dreamy masterstroke. I wanted to reward Gene and Dean for really nailing the simulation and driving their agenda home with a solid PowerPoint presentation.

But ultimately, I couldn’t, because the romance and chivalry of The Pod just wouldn’t stick its severed little head back in the cupboard, and let’s face it: If I had worked with a classically trained guitarist in 1991, The Pod is probably the kind of album I would have schlepped out at that time. So you’re getting “Frank.”

Man, am I glad that set-to’s over. Thanks, Ian!

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