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.

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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.


Dean Ween featured on new episode of Guitar Moves


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.


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.


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


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


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.