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Makin Waves Record of the Week: The Dean Ween Group’s ‘Deaner Rock 2’


originally published: 03/07/2018

Makin Waves Record of the Week: The Dean Ween Group’s ‘Deaner Rock 2’

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. 

Bob Makin is the reporter for www.MyCentralJersey.com/entertainment and a former managing editor of The Aquarian Weekly, which launched this column in 1988. Contact him at makinwaves64@yahoo.com. And like Makin Waves at www.facebook.com/makinwavescolumn.




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The THE BAND Band Comes To Darress Theatre
(BOONTON, NJ) -- The Darress Theatre presents The THE BAND Band on Saturday, December 15th. If you like the music of The Band, you’ll love The THE BAND Band, the most acclaimed and exciting tribute to The Band on the scene today. The show begins at 8:00pm.  Tickets are $25.
Spiral Sounds Hosts Abbie Gardner & Craig Akin
(JERSEY CITY, NJ) -- Spirals Sounds' next concert on Friday, December 14th, is a duo with Abbie Gardner and Craig Akin.  Abbie is a key element in the Americana vocal powerhouse, Red Molly, who are well known throughout the U.S. for their impressive harmonies.  Craig has performed extensively with Roosevelt Dime and Red Molly. Doors open 6:30pm, concert at 7:30pm sharp.
NJSO presents Chinese New Year Celebration
(NEWARK, NJ) -- The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra presents its first annual Chinese New Year Celebration on February 2, 2019 at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) in Newark. The event includes an NJSO performance led by Music Director Xian Zhang, as well as pre-concert cultural festivities and a post-concert gala dinner.
State Theatre Presents Salute to Vienna - New Year's Eve Concert
(NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ) -- State Theatre New Jersey presents Salute to Vienna - New Year’s Eve Concert on Monday, December 31, 2018 at 6:00pm. An annual tradition at the State Theatre for 13 years, this year’s program features Viennese conductor Christoph Campestrini and The Strauss Symphony of America; along with Viennese soprano and tenor, Iva Schell and Martin Piskorski; members of the Europaballett St.Pölten (Austria); and International Champion Ballroom Dancers. Tickets range from $55- $125.
Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts Presents CAFE Choir Concert in Chatham
(CHATHAM, NJ) -- The Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts (WIPA) presents a holiday concert featuring the CAFÉ Choir on Friday, December 14 at 5:00pm at the Chatham United Methodist Church located at 460 Main Street in Chatham. The concert is free and open to the public.


An Interview with Chip Davis Of Mannheim Steamroller Christmas
You can experience the magic of the holidays — Steamroller-style — when Mannheim Steamroller Christmas by Chip Davis makes a tour stop this Thursday, December 6, 2018, at New Brunswick, NJ’s historic State Theatre.
Max Weinberg’s Jukebox LIVE! at the Grunin Center
Something is different about tonight’s November 18, 2018 concert at Toms River, NJ’s Grunin Center for the Arts starring Max Weinberg, celebrated drummer from Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band!
PHOTOS: Matt O'Ree Band at The Stone Pony in Asbury Park
(ASBURY PARK, NJ) -- The Matt O'Ree Band returned to The Stone Pony in Asbury Park on Friday, November 16 and photographer Estelle Massry of Coucou Photography was on hand to take some photos.  David Bryan from Bon Jovi was one of the special guests that night.
"How Could You Not Love Them?" The Buckinghams and Herman's Hermits LIVE! at BergenPAC
Although it’s a chilly Saturday, Nov. 17, 2018 evening in Englewood, NJ, music lovers are lined up outside the Bergen Performing Arts Center waiting to hear classic songs of the ’60s as performed by two quintessential groups of the era — The Buckinghams and Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone!
If It Ain't Baroque... Bach's Brandenburg Concertos With Symphony in C
You know the old joke: If it ain’t Baroque, don’t fix it? Well, put away those tools, dear reader. Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos ARE Baroque, so no fixing necessary. This Saturday, December 1, Symphony in C is performing Johann Sebastian Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos Nos. 2 through 6 at the Rutgers-Camden Center for the Arts. Officially presented in 1721, these collective works are considered to be some of the finest orchestral compositions of the Baroque era (generally 1600 to 1750). These six concertos are among the most recorded, performed and beloved works by Bach. – And that’s J.S. Bach, for those of you keeping score at home. There are a LOT of Bachs.






Event calendar
Sunday, Dec 09, 2018


MUSIC

CHINA CRISIS @ The Saint, Asbury Park - 6:00pm

Sensational Soul Cruisers Holiday Show @ iPlay America, Freehold - 4:00pm

Scott, Garner, Gray, Says Jimmy Baldwin @ Victoria Theater @ New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), Newark - 7:00pm

The GLEN MILLER ORCHESTRA @ The Newton Theatre, Newton - 3:00pm

The Weight Band – Featuring members of The Band and Levon Helm Band @ South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC), South Orange - 7:30pm

The Met Opera: Marnie (Encore) @ Pollak Theatre @ Monmouth University, West Long Branch - 1:00pm







THEATRE

Elf, The Musical @ Surflight Theatre, Beach Haven - 2:00pm

A Christmas Story @ Pax Amicus Castle Theatre, Budd Lake - 2:00pm

An Actor's Carol @ Cape May Stage, Cape May - 3:00pm

Seussical @ CDC Theatre, Cranford - 2:00pm

Peter Pan @ Axelrod Performing Arts Center, Deal Park - 1:00pm and 5:00pm

Annie: The Musical @ Centenary Stage Company - Sitnik Theater of the Lackland Center, Hackettstown - 2:00pm

Irving Berlin's Holiday Inn @ Paper Mill Playhouse, Millburn - 1:30pm and 7:00pm

A Wonderful Life @ Broadway Theatre of Pitman, Pitman - 2:00pm and 7:00pm

Junie B. Jones The Musical at Black Box PAC @ Black Box PAC, Teaneck - 11:00am

A Charlie Brown Christmas @ Studio Playhouse Upper Montclair, Upper Montclair - 1:30pm and 3:30pm


KIDS

Breakfast with Santa @ iPlay America, Freehold - 9:30am

PAW Patrol Live! “Race to the Rescue” @ Prudential Hall @ New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), Newark - 10:00am and 2:00pm and 6:00pm


MISC

CIRQUE DREAMS HOLIDAZE @ State Theatre New Jersey, New Brunswick - 2:00pm

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