Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Ween - Mccarren Pool 7-25-08 + Hearts of Animals 7"

Who knew that they had some of the most fanatic fucking fans on the planet, the craziest collection of weirdos from what must have been all over the state...old bikers, crazy pants john lennon sunglasses Mcgee, spinning no tempo hippie girls, backwards hat fist pumping frat boys. I mean I had heard about the singalong shows and the fact they played for hours on end and didn't have an opener but I had to see it to believe it.
There was a huge dude heavy ratio...but it was insane to see all these people I would never peg as ween fans in one place. It kind of made me reevaluate my own ween devotion...I was pretty much a casual listener compared to half these people...what else could that rave guy possibly be listening to when he goes home at night? What the fuck did I have in common with anyone here?


I kept staring around at the near full pool. All these people payed $40 bucks a piece? I mean yes it's amazing, they just have built up this insane following in the spirit of that if you can just find 5000 people willing to pay 10 bucks a year for what you're doing then you can get out of the regular job game and do whatever you want. They are the prime example of that... on a huge scale. Was it worth the $40? Definitely...it's an exercise in endurance to be able to play like this for 3 plus hours, they earned every dollar.
Of course I didn't believe they could possibly start at 7...I know there's no opening band but as I was walking towards the pool around 7:30 I heard them already playing... make no mistake when they put a time on the ticket they are going to start. That's what I get for being a ween live virgin.

They started right out with the hits, the set, in no particular order: Voodoo lady, the mollusk, The HIV song, Gabrielle, With my own bare hands,
workin for the man, waving my dick in the wind, the golden eel, Shamemaker, Johnny on the spot, pumpinbuckingham green, ocean man, bananas and blow, booze me up and get me high (which was insane, the lights would blow out the audience on the chorus and every hand in the place would be up, pumping to the words....beer spraying with the other), fiesta, mutilated lips...(lots of stuff from the mollusk now I list them)
Weirdly absent: Push the little daisies, spirit of 76, friends, don't get 2 close to my fantasy, Homo rainbow... pretty much anything from their country album...which makes sense I guess, they knew their audience...we were drunk and wanted to rock the shit out. Now that I think about it, they stayed far away from the slow jams, or super 4 track stuff...of course.

It was amazing to see Gener really performing, embodying the characters in the songs, not even needing any kind of vocal effects as far as I could tell, just belting it out in ultra falsetto, with all the feeling of any arena rocker. Dancing around, disappearing into an industrial size smoke machine cloud, or leaving all together for a few minutes. They are just incredible musicians to reproduce this volume of material so consistently and even reworking jam parts or medleys. But I was waiting for the encore cover...I only realized almost the whole way through that it was some drawn out psyche version of 'Hey Joe'....I think...I didn't hear the lyrics or recognize them.
For a pool, I'm always surprised at the sound at this venue, it's consistently good, at insane volume, (minus the moment when the entire right side blew out for half a song), but I was convinced there was no way that was getting fixed, and the crowd would have rioted I'm sure. I get a little taste of the out of control feel of a band able to rock a crowd into almost past some point of sanity. It was like one of those 3 day rock festivals I avoid at all costs, it kept growing and growing, people went from drinking to puking, running out of cigarettes, falling in love, and punching each other...but just for the few hours or so it was totally worth it.

I can't find the track listing for this Hearts of Animals 7", but based on the other stuff from the myspace, it's a 4track-loop, casio beat home recording spree....but really dirty, the vocals are blown out, guitar notes are just a little off, harmonica out of key, but it's all from working into the early hours of the morning and just getting it down. You can't get the emotion out of a perfect studio session can you? Not like this. There's seven layers of distortion, but don't think it's part of the S-gaze, even though she's shared a bill with a few of them. It's accessible Ariel Pink, lots of echo on the not trying to be beautiful vocals. It's Vivian girls meets sebadoh one woman band quality full of headphone fun.
Get it from Dull knife records.

Found it from this review by Volcanic Tongue:
Hearts Of Animals
Stars Say No EP
Dull Knife Records

Edition of 300 hand-numbered copies from this cool new Houston, Texas based label. Hearts Of Animals is the nome-de-plume of Houston-based Mlee Marie who makes perfectly crafted bedroom dreampop with crude DIY overtones that moves from what you might imagine a more pop-song oriented Inca Ore might shoot for through to lo-fi takes on the sound of Brix Smith and primitively dubbed psychedelic miniatures.

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