"Freedom of ‘76," Ween
Northern Irish heartthrob Tim Wheeler once played an acoustic version of Ween’s “What Deener Was Talkin’ About” just for me. Ok, that might be a stretch. But when Wheeler and bandmate Charlotte Hatherley did a signing at Looney Tunes shortly after Ash’s spot on Moby’s Area2 festival, they might as well have been singing straight at me, clearly the only person in the joint who thought this was an absolutely brilliant cover selection. (Hatherley really did compliment my Yohshimi tee, though, no fooling!)
In fact, I think virtually everything about Ween is brilliant. They produce an idiocy so sublime I can barely fathom it, a stupidity so majestic most can’t even tolerate it. To wit: I once insisted on playing GodWeenSatan
at a party and was legitimately dejected when my guests requested we put on whatever else I’d bought that day (Since I Left You
, as it turned out, so even I’ll concede it was a fair trade). Considering how polarizing they can be, it’s not too surprising the video for “Freedom of ‘76” isn’t on Spike Jonze’s
Director’s Label DVD. There’s a nice picture of our boys with their bell (our bell?) in the accompanying booklet, but we don’t actually get to see the “Freedom Brothers” carry off their heist.
The way they rep their PA roots is one of the little private delights of my Ween fandom. One of the best “vacations” I’ve ever taken was a short trip to Philly to visit a partner. Despite having spent maybe four days there, I still find myself pretending I have a relationship with the city that allows me to recognize its landmarks in movies and videos. (I can’t.) Even better, my college was a short drive from the Brothers Ween’s hometown: New Hope. I almost got my tongue pierced in New Hope! I bought my first gaff in New Hope! I really would have gotten much queerer much earlier if I’d spent more time in New Hope! (Recurring regret!
) To most people, Ween are the obnoxious kids you hope will get thrown off the bus by the end of the year. To me, they’re a sort of strangely sweet, weird older cousins whose history I got to sort of wander through during college. You can disagree. Just thank your lucky stars I didn’t make us all watch "Push th’ Little Daisies."
Ween’s one of those bands like Phish where I’m not super super into them (OK I’m pretty super into Phish, but it’s all relative) but respect and enjoy the hell out of them. We all know that one person who likes Ween a little too much, right…