My Top 1000 Songs #327: What Deaner Was Talking About
[I've been writing up my Top 1000 songs on a daily basis--you can see them all in descending order by hitting the All My Favorite Songs tag.]Gonna follow yesterday's track by a sometimes divisive mid-90s alternative rock band with... another one. Of course, Ween are far more provocative, their reliance on odd voices, jarring stylistic variations, general silliness, and some R-rated content making them an acquired taste for some (i.e. me). They are also one of those bands that can keep newbies aloof with the self-referential in-jokes. (The title of this particular song, singer Aaron "Gene Ween" Friedman referencing guitarist Mickey "Dean Ween" Melchiando.)
On the other hand: They can write a hell of a song, peppering their widely varied catalog with some almost Beatlesque pop. "What Deaner Was Talking About," from 1994's breakthrough Chocolate And Cheese, is one of those songs, stripping away the novelty song kitsch and sometimes flashy musical pyrotechnics (which have won them a large jam-band following), leaving a surprisingly sweet ballad, one of those incisive little melodies that you end up carrying around in your head all day. The backstory is that Dean has long suffered from panic attacks, which Gene couldn't relate to; but when Gene finally had his own such experience, he captured it in song. But even without the baggage, the lyrics get you there, fraught with confusion and aimlessness. "The sun comes up and I'm all washed out. Is this what Deaner was talking about? I don't think I will ever return, again my friend."
You're in and out in barely two minutes, a simple, lightly-flanged guitar gently picked; but the haunting effect lingers.Live in 2006:
Cover by Irish band Ash:Seems to be something of a YouTube favorite...