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Stream Freeman’s introspective self-titled debut via Spin

Photo courtesy of artist.
Photo courtesy of artist.

Founder of surreal pop-rock band Ween and formerly known as Gene Ween, Aaron Freeman is releasing his latest LP this summer; a sorta-self-titled record from his newest project, Freeman. It’s his first release since 2012′s Marvelous Clouds, a tribute to Rod McKuen, and this album is his first since disbanding Ween and getting sober. Freeman explains why he broke up Ween by saying “If I hadn’t left my partnership, there wouldn’t be anything,” he explains. “I’d probably be dead too. I know that at the end of the day, this is the best thing I could’ve done for me and for every Ween fan.”

The lyrics are more personal, like on “Covert Discretion” where Freeman talks about his experience as a part of Ween. In a recent interview with Newsweek, Freeman stated that one of his influences for the album was Paul McCartney. The warm pop on Freeman does have a McCartney vibe to it, especially on “The English and the Western Stallion”. However, Freeman also channels some classic Ween sounds,  which is prominent on “(For A While) I Couldn’t Play My Guitar Like a Man“. Then there are the more experimental pieces like “El Shaddai” and “Golden Monkey”. Overall, Freeman has created a continuation of Ween.

Freeman will be leading a song-writing session through the Rock Academy, where he currently teaches in August before embarking on a tour in support of Freeman. Catch Aaron Freeman at Johnny Brenda’s October 3rd. Get more details here. Stream Freeman via Spin and listen to “The English and Western Stallion” below.

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Read Dean Ween’s hilarious story about stealing Carlos Santana’s gear for a night

photo via facebook.com/deanweengroup

Okay, so this is something you simply couldn’t make up if you tried. You know the guitar solo from the Ween song “Transdermal Celebration”? That one single from the quebec album? That was recorded with Carlos Santana’s gear without him knowing.  

According to a in a (grammatically questionable) post on Facebook this week, Dean Ween told his “favorite Ween story of all time”: how his roadie at the time also just happened to work for a backline company (those are essentially companies that will supply or help transport a band’s gear to their concerts for them) and tipped him off that Ween’s shipping company would have Carlos Santana’s gear in transit at his backline company’s storage facility.  As a result, Ween decided to break in to the facility at 2 in the morning and record the solo to “Transdermal Celebration.” — the very take that appears on the album — through Carlos Santana’s PRS and Mesa Boogie amp.

“What needed to be done was immediately clear to me, I had an opportunity to play the solo on “Transdermal Celebration” through Carlos Santana’s amplifier and guitar. I had one shot at it, it meant taking a hard disk recorder to a storage space where all of Carlos’ stuff was sitting in transit. I arrived at 2am. We (very carefully) unpacked his equipment and set up his stage gear and in one take I recorded the guitar solo for “Transdermal Celebration” (the one that appears on the album, playing thru Carlos Santana’s guitar, pedalboard, and amplifier. The whole think took 10 minutes and we were terrified we were going to get caught. A lot of people would have lost their jobs. We got the fuck outta there relly fast after that. So the solo on “Transdermal Celebration” was played thru all of Sanatana’s shit in what resembled an early morning bank heist or something”

Check out the whole story, which is backed up with photographic evidence on Dean Ween Group’s Facebook page here.

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Watch Brian and Vanessa from The Lawsuits cover Ween’s “She’s Your Baby” (playing Kung Fu Necktie on 12/6)

Screen shot 2013-12-02 at 3.34.07 PMFor the latest installment of Root Down in the Shadow‘s Covers Club series, it’s like Bucks County of the present takes on Bucks County of the past. Brian Dale Allen Strouse and Vanessa Winters of The Lawsuits delicately harmonize on “She’s Your Baby,” a gentle folk-tinged tune from Ween’s 2000 album White Pepper – which Strouse tells Root Down’s Dan McGurk was the album that served as a gateway to the weird and eclectic world of the Deaner and Gener. Watch the video below, and compare it against Ween’s original. The Lawsuits open for their Bucks County brethren Levee Drivers Friday December 6th at Kung Fu Necktie; get tickets and more information on the show at the XPN Concert Calendar.

Continue reading →

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Listen to Gener’s Gone: The Final Demo Recordings of Gene Ween (2009-2011)

Aaron Freeman
Aaron Freeman

In early 2012, a flurry of news articles surfaced about the fate of 90s alt-rock duo Ween.  The New Hope, PA born project of childhood friends Aaron Freeman (Gene Ween) and Mickey Melchiondo (Dean Ween) was apparently calling it quits, as Freeman seemed ready to hang up the Gener moniker and move on.  A 2012 solo record from Freeman called Marvelous Clouds supported this announcement, and now a six-track requiem EP on Bandcamp solidifies the transition even more.  The note accompanying Gener’s Gone: The Final Demo Recordings of Gene Ween (2009-2011) states:

These demos represent the final writings and music of Gene Ween, before he departed and the inner FREEMAN emerged. On that note, we have received a two word personal statement from Aaron: “stay tuned.”

Listen to the EP below.  Fans of Ween might also be interested in Melchiondo’s latest project Moistboyz, coming to John & Peter’s in New Hope on December 4th and to the North Star Bar on December 6th.

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Dean Ween featured on new episode of Guitar Moves

dean-ween-fishing

A new episode of the web-show Guitar Moves has been released, and features Matt Sweeney talking to Dean Ween, co-founder of “avant-stoner royalty act” Ween, in Dean’s shack in New Hope, PA. While Ween may have been a band founded on the grounds of being somewhat of an inside joke, and merely a way to stir things up within the alternative world of music, there’s no denying the fact that Dean himself can really shred, as made further evident by his appearance on Guitar Moves. Check out the video below.

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Dean Ween prepares solo album for a 2013 release

It’s been a strange year for Dean Ween. Back in May, his onetime creative foil The Gener announced that their inventive avant-pop group Ween was calling it quits (Deaner’s response: “news to me“) and went on to release Marvelous Clouds, a solo album of Rod McKuen-inspired songs under his own name, Aaron Freeman. Undaunted, Dean (offstage name: Mickey Melchiondo) posted on his blog today about his own excursion into the world of the solo artist. The guitarist and avid fisher told readers he’s engrossed by his new songwriting project:

I postponed all of my fishing charters until a later date and since mid-August I’ve been in the studio non-stop, 7 days a week working from 7pm until 7am. I wake up around 3 or 4 in the afternoon and I’m sorry to my friends who haven’t gotten any callbacks or email responses. I am on a mission to try and make a truly classic album and haven’t been so focused and driven in many years.

Among the collaborators he lists are Ween bassist Dave Dreiwitz and drummer Claude Coleman; versatile Philly session player and skateboarder Chuck Treece; and Josh Homme and Nick Oliveri of Queens of the Stone Age. Homme will be one of the producers on the album, which begins final production in Los Angeles this January, with a release expected sometime next year. Read more at Deaner’s blog, and check out his gallery of snapshots from the recording studio here.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: WXPN Welcomes Sharon Van Etten to Union Transfer, Aaron Freeman at World Cafe Live, and the PhilaMOCA Summer Solstice

Sharon Van Etten first hit our radar as the inaugural artist in Shaking Through, the video and audio collaboration between Philly’s Weathervane Music and WXPN. In many ways, the seeds of her recent acclaim were born in that session for Shaking Through at Brian McTear’s Miner Street Studios in Fishtown in December, 2010. The song she recorded, “Love More,” was included on her gorgeous and intimate October, 2010 release Epic. Since then, Sharon’s career has grown significantly, solidified by an extensive touring schedule and her February 2012 release, Tramp on Jagjaguwar Records. Over the past couple of years Sharon has released hushed, indie folk tunes that reveal intimate truths; easily making audiences swoon. Tonight WXPN welcomes her along with Meg Baird to Union Transfer at 9 PM; purchase tickets here.

Also tonight:

PhilaMOCA Summer Solstice Ice Cream Social with performances from Arctic Splash, The Really Cooks, Attia Taylor, Shorty Boy Boy, and MC Juliet Hope Wayne. Tickets to the all ages show will be sold at the door and are $8. Doors open at 6 PM.

And over at World Cafe Live, previous singer of the late, great Ween, Aaron Freeman performs songs from his new Ben Vaughn produced album, The Marvelous Clouds. The 8 PM show tickets are $20

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Listen to a new song from Aaron Freeman (Gene of Ween), “As I Love My Own”

photo courtesy of Shore Fire Media

To many music fans, Gene Ween is known as the lead singer of Ween; since the mid ’80s, he and childhood friend Mickey Melchiondo (Dean Ween) have been performing under that name. These days, Gene (real name Aaron Freeman) is getting ready to release his debut solo album as Aaron Freeman, called Marvelous Clouds. It is being released by Partisan Records on May 8th and was produced by Ben Vaughn—producer and host of The Many Moods of Ben Vaughn (Saturdays at 5 pm on WXPN). Vaughn last worked with Freeman when Vaughn produced Ween’s 1996 release 12 Golden Country Greats. Marvelous Clouds contains all covers of songs by the poet, musician, and author Rod McKuen. Below, listen to “As I Love My Own.”

Aaron Freeman – As I Love My Own by Shore Fire Media

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Has Gene Ween really made a Rod McKuen tribute album? Uh, yes.

Aaron Freeman, AKA Gene Ween, is releasing his solo album Marvelous Clouds on May 8th on Partisan Records. Produced by Ben Vaughn, the album is a tribute to Rod McKuen, a singer-songwriter and poet who began his career in the mid-’50s as a newspaper columnist and poet. McKuen’s most popular song was “Jean,” which was originally performed by Oliver for the 1969 film The Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie. Freeman covers “Jean” on the album. Below, watch a preview video for Marvelous Clouds and a video of “Jean” performed by Oliver.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6P2j5YGcuYc&feature=related

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