Ween formed in suburban New Hope, PA, in 1984, when 14-year-olds Mickey Melchiondo and Aaron Freeman adopted their respective fraternal aliases, Dean and Gene Ween, and cut the first of literally thousands of home recordings. After a pair of 1988 self-releases, titled Axis: Bold as Boognish and The Live Brain Wedgie/WAD LP, Ween signed to the Minneapolis-based independent label Twin/Tone, which in 1990 issued the double album GodWeenSatan: The Oneness, a sprawling, often brilliant release which careened from a headlong hardcore rush to helium pop to Prince-Xeroxed funk.
“La Cucaracha,” the duo’s latest studio album and first for the Rounder label, surfaced in 2007. The disc marked the band’s first full-length release since 2003’s “Quebec.” Dean Ween confides, “This record is a lot more fun because that’s where we’re at right now (I’m getting teary-eyed just typing this).” The recent lineup features Dean Ween, pseudonym for Mickey Melchiondo – lead guitar, vocals, etc., Gene Ween, pseudonym for Aaron Freeman – lead vocal, guitar, etc., Dave Dreiwitz – bass, Claude Coleman, Jr. – drums and Glenn McClelland – keyboards.
The band’s genre blending style displays psychedelic art-rock, galloping proto-metal, anything-goes ’80s punk sensibility, bubblegum pop, boogie rock, folk rock, reggae, folk, mariachi, and more, mashed into small, pulpy chunks which could serve as models for retro rockers Guided by Voices, metal parodists Tenacious D or truly accessible eccentrics such as They Might Be Giants. Where the music was once truly twisted, it’s now merely psychedelic, and often quite mildly at that. Since its inception, Ween has created its own self-contained universe and collected a large underground fanbase.
ABOUT THIEVERY CORPORATION
A defining element of Thievery Corporation’s sound has always been its decidedly organic quality and this is clearly evident in the rich productions of their studio recordings and recent live performances. Although some may lazily pin Thievery Corporation as the soundtrack to their cocktail infused late night soiree, the Washington DC based international production and DJ set have always drawn deep from the well of independent and confrontational music subculture their home town is known for, to produce an ever expanding globally conscious catalogue of music that is difficult to classify. They often collaborate with International all-stars to create a sonic fabric that touches upon the eclectic sounds of Jamaica, Latin America, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.
Despite their minimal beginnings, foundering members Rob Garza and Eric Hilton have adopted a growing cast of collaborators over the years including the likes of David Byrne, Perry Farrell, Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips, and Sarah McLachlan. Playing sold out venues and festivals worldwide, Thievery Corporation dazzle thousands of music fans every year with their kaleidoscopic live show of their contributing dynamic, 15 member live band of musicians and vocalists.
Garza and Hilton have long positioned themselves as fiercely independent voices within the music industry, successfully building their label over the past decade through continued belief that great music will find its audience – with or without US commercial radio assistance. “Apart from a few independent bastions, there is no musical or informational freedom on the US airwaves anymore. The traditional public commons have been sold to the highest corporate bidders. Music is suffering and society is suffering too. Radio Retaliation is about an exodus of conscious people who are willing to acknowledge something is wrong with the ‘official version’ in news and culture. Therefore, we need to create our own channels,” explains Hilton.
With the help of long time partners, the UN World Food Program, Thievery Corporation also aim to provoke conscientious thought among their audience. Garza explains, “We definitely want to contribute to the opening of ears, eyes, and minds. With our live shows it’s a poignant example of music and culture mixing together in an explosive vibrant way. To see a Persian singer singing in Farsi, as America debates on a war with Iran, next to other band members from all corners of the earth singing in Spanish, Portuguese, French and so on, it makes people wonder . . . and if you can get people to question the things around them, just a little, then that’s not such a bad thing.”
ABOUT PREBLE STREET
Preble Street is about passionate and generous people who believe that families living in poverty should not have to go hungry, that women should not have to be on the street when they are tired or sick or cold, that youth who have no home should not have to live in fear and danger. And most of all, Preble Street is about the courageous people who overcome unimaginably difficult circumstances/disabilities, abuse, unemployment, addictions, isolation, and language barriers to find a way to care for themselves and their family.
While striving to meet immediate needs for food, shelter, clothing, health care and employment for thousands of youth, adults and families Preble Street has distinguished itself for its comprehensive and collaborative approach to helping people living in poverty and ending the tragedy of homelessness and hunger.
Preble Street’s mission is to provide accessible barrier-free services to empower people experiencing problems with homelessness, housing, hunger and poverty, and to advocate for solutions to these problems.
ABOUT PIER REVUE
Pier Revue is an annual summer music concert held on the Maine State Pier in Portland. The established event, now in its third season, features evening concerts by nationally and regionally recognized touring Artists in a scenic seaside environment. Pier Revue has hosted the popular jam band moe., indie rockers Wilco, alt-country band Conor Oberst & the Mystic Valley Band, guitar virtuoso Kaki King, singer songwriter Ryan Montbleau and genre bending string band Hot Day at the Zoo.