The Dean Ween Group return with their sophomore LP, “rock,” a mix of instrumentals, covers and funny lyrical tracks.
In between Ween concerts and a studio album their fans have been waiting on for more than a decade, Dean Ween, aka Mickey Melchiondo, has been mining nearly 35 years of tracks in his Lambertville studio to craft several into solo side project releases. The Dean Ween Group’s 2016 debut LP, “The Deaner Album,” is to be followed-on March 16 by “Deaner Rock 2,” featuring fellow Ween members Claude Coleman Jr. on drums, Dave Dreiwitz on bass, and Glenn McCelland on keys, as well as a parade of other players. They include Parliament-Funkadelic guitarist Michael Hampton, SpiTune lead guitarist Bill Fowler, and Electric Six drummer Ray Kubian, all of whom frequent Deaner’s weekly Invitational Jam at John & Peter’s in his hometown of New Hope. The various players match Melchiondo’s live energy on “Deaner Rock 2” and make for some tasty jams on the 11-song guitar-oriented LP’s instrumentals, covers, and funny lyrical tracks.
With longtime partner, Gene Ween (Aaron Freeman), Melchiondo said he has made songwriting the priority on their nine studio albums. But with The Dean Ween Group, he brings his axe to the fore to recreate the side project’s raucous live shows.
Highlights include two covers: the opening Iron Knowledge funk classic “Showstopper” and Ween’s lunar inversion of Gerry & the Pacemakers’ “Don’t Let the Sun Catch You Crying” in a roots-rocking take that sounds like “Sweethearts of the Rodeo” Byrds meet “Exile on Main Street” Stones.
Also fun are several instrumentals sprinkled throughout “Deaner Rock 2.” They include “Fingerbangin’,” a garage-rockin’, R&B-drippin’, jazz-tinged surf tune in the vein of the Munsters theme if played by John Zorn. “Love Theme from ‘Skinheads Kicking Your Ass’” is an Irish punk instrumental that should fire up fans of Flogging Molly and The Dropkick Murphys, especially the shouts of “oi” in between slabs of Emerald Isle rage and cakes of Celtic noodling. There are really nice albeit not credited keyboard parts most likely by McCelland on “The Ritz Carlton,” along with strong, tasty rhythms, probably by Coleman and Dreiwitz.
The outing also closes with an instrumental, the bluesadelic “Sunset Over Belmar,” which likely was inspired by trips on Melchiondo’s charter fishing boat. The tune mixes the scorching spirit of Hendrix, ’70s-style R&B waltz, and a bit of Elvis-like Hawaiian schmaltz.
But the standout track is the hysterically funny, incredibly crude country novelty number “Pussy on My Pillow,” which makes Jimmy Buffett’s “Why Don’t We Get Drunk and Screw?” seem tame. This is Dean Ween at his most naughty and funny.
I also like the Beatlesquedelic “Waste Station 9,” which sound like Paul McCartney fronting Cream, and “Someone Greased the Fatman,” a sequel to Little Feat’s “Fatman in the Bathtub” peppered with P-Funk, Primus and Zappa.
The Dean Ween Group will kick off a tour on March 21 in Indianapolis that will bring them March 27 to Black Cat in D.C.; March 28, Ballroom at Outer Space, New Haven; March 29, Brighton Music Hall, Boston; March 30, Theater of Living Arts, Philly, and March 31, Brooklyn Bowl. Then they’ll head to Australia in April.
Blue Curtain Returns To Pettoranello Gardens Amphitheater
(PRINCETON, NJ) -- After 14 years of bringing world-class musicians from around the globe, Blue Curtain returns to Pettoranello Gardens Amphitheater (Route 206 and Mountain Ave.) on Saturdays, July 14 (Pradhanica & Leonardo Suarez Paz's Cuartetango) and July 21 (Iberi & Lakou Mizik). Each concert starts at 7:00pm. This live entertainment is free and open to all to attend.
TOTO To Perform At Tropicana AC
(ATLANTIC CITY, NJ) -- TOTO is touring North America in support of the band’s 40th Anniversary and will bring its 40 Trips Around The Sun Tour to Tropicana Atlantic City on Friday, November 9 at 9:00pm. Tickets are available for purchase now via Ticketmaster.com and at the Tropicana Box Office.
Jared Dylan Returns From Ireland To Celebrate New Single At The Cutting Room
New Jersey native Jared Dylan has returned from Ireland where he has been working with Irish musicians and producers, writing new music, touring, and garnering critical acclaim and radio airplay. To celebrate his return and his brand new single, Jared will be performing to a hometown crowd at The Cutting Room on Wednesday, July 18th before heading back to Ireland once again.
Bruce Springsteen Jams At The Official Reopening Of Asbury Lanes
(ASBURY PARK, NJ) -- It's often been said that venues in Asbury Park do not truly exist until Bruce Springsteen drops by. Having him spotted at a venue puts it on one level and having him play there puts it on an even higher level. The newly renovated Asbury Lanes wasted no time to reach the higher echelon by inviting him to be a special guest at the venue's offical reopening on June 18th. The night's lineup was already stacked with Portugal. The Man and Tangiers Blues Band. But, as many expected, Springsteen wasn't listed as a special guest just to make an appearance - he was there to play.
Event calendar Saturday, Jun 23, 2018
White Denim @ House of Independents, Asbury Park - 7:30pm