I Finally Get the Ween

Okay, now that you're over the cringe-worthy (and admittedly prurient) title, I wanted to inform all of you that have been on the Ween bandwagon for years that I finally get it. Out of nowhere it clicked. It wasn't an epiphany; you couldn't even consider it a "eureka!" moment. It was a soft, subtle nudge of perspective that allowed me to get past the shtick that lies on the surface and embrace the solid goodness Ween has to offer.

The nudge in question occurred at approximately 11:30 PM last night, while quietly picking up clothes, books, and toys strewn through the house as the Missus and Jack slept. At that time of night, I typically have my headphones on as I pad around, and for some reason (possibly the humidity) I decided to load up Ween's The Mollusk.

For the past couple of years I've made a dozen half-hearted attempts to get into the band, based on recommendations of friends, musicians, and friends who happen to be musicians. Most of the recommendations focused on either Chocolate and Cheese, their 1994 foray into a slightly more mainstream sound (although how mainstream are you when you have a song called "Spinal Meningitis (Got Me Down)"?) or their first proper studio record, 1990's GodWeenSatan: The Oneness. Neither album did much for me, although I will forever remember the odd shame and guilt whenever my eyes rested on the cover of Chocolate and Cheese ever time I came across it in the record bins.

But the vague nautical concept of The Mollusk held a weird fascination for me, and so I loaded it on my iPod where it lay buried amidst 12,000+ other recordings. If it ever surfaced during a random shuffle, I wasn't aware of it.

That is until last night, when I decided to bring it up and let it play as background music while I went around collecting the remains of the day, so to speak. And for the first two songs it was an active effort to refrain from just stopping and moving on to more certain and comfortable ground. By the third track, "Polka Dot Tail" I had successfully moved the sound to the back of my brain, allowing it only the most remote of access to the frontal lobe while I chored away.

All that changed when I got to "Mutilated Lips." Something managed to burrow its way to the surface and demand more than a modicum of attention be paid. I complied and found myself saying to no one in particular:

"Wow. This is pretty damn good."

Suddenly things began to make a little more sense. The next track, a silly sea shanty called "The Blarney Stone" made me chuckle and do a little pirate dance as I cleaned. Knowing that I had been up since 5:30 AM and was probably more than a little punchy/giddy from lack of sleep, I called it a night and decided to play The Mollusk again in the morning to see if it had the same effect.

Next morning, same thing.

Does this mean I'm now firmly a Ween fan? Dunno. Doubt it. I haven't tried their other albums yet, and it's dubious that I'm even a Mollusk fan; this could all be a quirk and perhaps the flash of creamy goodness was a due to an odd combination of chemicals, sleep deprivation and too many comic books. Or it could just be The Mollusk but nothing else. Or this could be one of those life-altering moments where I become an enormous Ween fan, tattooing their logo on my chest and legally changing my name to Chris Ween (not a bad ideas, actually).

Anyway, has this ever happened to anyone else? Have you ever had the feeling you were suppose to really like something, or were told that you should really like something only to find that you didn't? Maybe it wasn't Ween (let's face it, it probably wasn't Ween) - maybe it was a movie or a book or some hobby or interest your friends, family and co-workers all said you would love.

If you have a few minutes chuck 'em in the comments. I'd love to hear about it. In the meantime I'll give Chocolate and Cheese one more try, if I can assuage my guilt at the cover long enough.