The Golden Dogs release Coat of Arms

In all of the excitement about Ween visiting Toronto and Bobby getting dosed in upstate NY a very important day has come and past without notice.  That day was July 29 when The Golden Dogs (core longstanding members being the husband and wife team of Dave Azzolini and Jessica Grassia) long overdue masterwork Coat of Arms.  Having delivered two instant landmarks in the Canadian rock canon (Everything in 3 Parts and  Big Eye Little Eye) Azzolini and Grassia with a steady and very able band in tow have mounted their most promising work to date.   The following days coverage will be dedicated to the history of The Golden Dogs, the genesis of this album and it's execution in the east end Toronto garage/recording studio Illeagle Studio at the hands of Carlin Nicholson and Mike O'Brien (Zeus).

Tonight don't miss an opportunity to see two members of the Zeus Family Tree (Danielle Duval whose yet unnamed full length is waiting to drop and of course The Golden Dogs) perform live at the Garrison (1197 Dundas St. West) tonight July 31.


Bob Weir Dosed At Nokia?

Bob Weir collapses onstage at Capitol Theater Update: (04/25/13)

Bob Weir 'dosing' Update: (08/12/10)

After some thought I questioned the plausibility of this story after hearing offhand from Deadheads on a Canadian forum that Phil was joking the second night and that it was a 'prescription drug reaction on an empty stomach'.   For a moment I bought that party line myself (also on the basis that no respectable print outlets picked up the story, where for instance one piece of a hilarious acid crazed dude trying to put on his sandal at Coachella made CNN's American Morning at the time).  Then it occured to me 'how many prescription drug reactions on an empty has Lindsay Lohan had' - indeed isn't that the caveat for any drugged out aberrant behaviour in Hollywood?

After some furthur poking around there is some talk on www.philzone.com message boards that Phil's wife (hoooooootness) came down on the entire crew hard after the performance.

The relevant background to get here is that Phil Lesh is a recovering alchoholic and suffers from Hepatitis C and as such makes regular Organ Donor Rap's at his concerts encouraging fans about the importance of organ donation.   This says a few things- first of all the backstage area is likely fairly to highly controlled definitely with regards to alcohol despite the predelictions of the fanbase.  For instance in one of the finest incarnations of Phil Lesh & Friends (with longime Deadhead Ryan Adams) it was perceived in very bad form that Adams slugged off a fourty of whiskey onstage with his hero.  If as it seems Bobby was really dosed the  finger would have been pointed first at the crew (whose responsibility it is to secure the backstage), the venue security, and there are a host of liability issues extending as far as the venue itself I would think.   From a medical perspective although Bobby (and Phil) have gobbled enough acid to liberate a small African country please remember Bobby is 62 years old and a grandparent, it seems likely he was assessed by a private physician, likely given oranges and cigarettes in the chillout tent or at least some valium and alot of fluids.

Original Post:

There's been some speculation amongst Deadheads on various forums about whether longtime guitarist and vocalist Bob Weir was inadvertently (unwittingly) dosed during or before Furthur's performance the first night at the Nokia Theatre.  

Judge from this youtube clip of El Paso (which was in the parlance of Deadheads butchered, aborted and drew audible boos afterwards) where the band unnervingly circles around over and over again as Weir misses his vocal intro, if familiar with the song and improvisation one can audibly detect the group instrumentally gathering around Weir like a sick foal coaxing him along.

From the sounds of it he really was dosed - on paper the next night at the Nokia Theater's setlist is really confident including massive showpieces Dark Star and particularly the revered Unbroken Chain.  As his compatriot Phil Lesh said onstage the second night: "Never drink out of something you haven't poured yourself".

Furthur - Nokia Theatre, New York, NY, July 29, 2010

Set 1:

Dancin' in the Streets>
Tennessee Jed
Reuben & Cerise
Money For
Gasoline, Mississippi Half-Step> Let It Grow

Set 2:

So Many Roads
Seven Hills Of Gold> Dear Mr Fantasy> Jam> Dark Star(v1)> Unbroken Chain> The Other One> The Eleven> Death Don't Have No Mercy> Dark Star(v2)> Goin' Down The Road Feelin' Bad> We Bid You Goodnight

Ween setlist Koolhaus, Toronto, ON, July 29, 2010

Ween -  Koolhaus, Toronto, ON, July 29, 2010

Fiesta (sans Gener)
Take Me Away
Mr. Richard Smoker
Transdermal Celebration
Piss Up A Rope
Bananas and Blow
Buckingham Green
Do You See Me
Mutilated Lips
Stallion Pt. 3
With My Own Bare Hands
Spinal Meningitis
Your Party (Gener introduces special guest David Bowie)
Lets Dance
Reggae Junkie Jew (3rd Stone From The Sun tease)
Baby Bitch
Stay Forever
Birthday Boy
Ocean Man
Dr. Rock
Johnny On The Spot 
Goin Gets Tough From The Getgo
Pandy Fackler (huge Glenn solo)
Booze Me Up And Get Me High
Push The Lil Daisies
The Mollusk
Roses Are Free

She Fucks Me
You Fucked Up


Ween play live in Toronto Canada (Koolhaus)

Forget whatever you know or supposedly know, this straight off the tip of the dome is really most if not all of what you 'need to know' about Ween. Otherwise you just have to bathe yourself in the brownness that is Ween (today, Thursday, July 29, Kool Haus, Toronto, Ontario, Canada).

Ween are honourary brothers - the blessing bestowed upon them by their godhead the Boognish who likely first appeared to them during the mid to late eighties when they self-released a series of cassettes including the Crucial Squeegie LP, The Live Brain Wedgie and Axis: Bold as Boognish.

It should be said that Aaron Freeman (The Golden Jew) and Micky Melchiondo (clearly a Wop) are from New Hope, Pennslyvania which is outside Philadelphia. Not unlike the most famous duo - in fact the progenitors of Bright Eyed Blue Eyed Philly Soul- Mr. Darryl Hall and Mr. John Oates (to whom Freeman admits a non-ironic debt to the 'ridiculous amount of soul on their early records' - like for instance Abandoned Luncheonette). On one of their better known ballads Freedom of '76, a fan favourite (Spike Jonze video directed) is as much an homage to the black and white Soul of Philly, PA is it is to the 'liberty bell cracked in half'.

Think of it this way- Deaner's mom is Quebecois so the records she had around the house (explaining perhaps their baffling title Quebec for one of their more recent prominent achievements) included Leonard Cohen whereas Gener clearly introduced Deaner to for instance Prince and Parliament Funkadelic. Therein, with alot of scotchguard in between lies the core of their early bond. Now at what may be the penultimate moment - of which there are so many at a Ween concert- their concerts sometimes culminate in the performance of Poopship Destroyer (which I believe contains elements of both Prince's Alphabet City and Shockadelica). Likewise Mickey Melchiondo's elegaic guitar solo/song Tear For Eddie is an homage to the blindingly brilliant guitarist Eddie Hayes who was with PFunk for it's most important stretch.

In 1989 they released GodWeenSatan: The Oneness. The full malice that is the Boognish was made incarnate on The Pod recorded on 4 track in Solebury Township, Pennsylvania reportedly under the influence of Scotchguard. The problem with inhaling Scotchguard is as Micky once pointed out 'it makes you see everything in grids'. The cover of The Pod is a direct and obvious homage to Leonard Cohen's Greatest Hits except in place of the debonair Canadian Cohen we get Mean Ween with an inhaler mask that is known to fans as simply The Cribbler.

There will be more time to talk about their back catalogue when intensive pre-show rituals and routines don't need to be followed to the strictest measure.

Know though that Gene and Dean are not alone on that stage they have brothers in arms for long standing including badass bassist Dave Dreiwetz, the superchunky Claude Coleman on drums and very invigorating in recent years is the addition of elder statesmen Glenn McClelland (formerly also notably of David Clayton Thomas` Blood Sweat and Tears) who responded to an open audition (to play an organ solo on Pandy Fackler) and won the role clearly meant for him.

“There are some people you can tell have a good sense of humour and they would be a lot of fun to hang with. To me, The Beatles are really funny,” Melchiondo says. “And Prince is probably the funniest fucking guy in the whole world. He changes his name to unpronounceable symbols and people get all caught up in it -- he’s probably laughing his ass off about it! … But I’m not so sure that Robert Fripp has any humour at all. That would be the last person I’d ever wanna fucking hang with.” - Mickey Melchiondo, National Post, July 29


Buckingham Green Public Access TV '97

Songwriters: Aaron Freeman, Michael Melchiondo

A child without an eye
Made her mother cry
Why ask why
She kept her child clean
On Buckingham Green

The children saw the eye
As a sign from God
Descending from the sky
It was alright to dream
Of Buckingham Green

Summon the Queen
Spoke the child of eye
It's time to fly
Turning fire to steam
On Buckingham Green


Prince surprise set in Paris 'til break of dawn

Prince (born Prince Rogers Nelson) thrilled fans in France on Thursday night (July 22) when he took to the stage for a surprise show - and performed until daylight broke.

The Purple Rain hitmaker played a set at the tiny, 500-capacity New Morning Club in Paris in the early hours of Friday (July 23), after news of the gig leaked on Twitter.com just hours earlier.

He kept the audience waiting until 2.30am before appearing onstage - but then sent them into a frenzy with a set of lesser-known tracks as well as classic hits including Kiss, Raspberry Beret, and Cream. The rocker was even joined by soul singer Erykah Badu, who sang with him on three tracks.

And after telling the crowd he would perform "til the sun comes up", Prince kept his word - he played six encores and closed the show at 6.15am.

> The actual setlist was:

Start: 2:30
Stop: 6:15

02.Brown skin (?)
03.I've never loved a man
04.Baby love
05.Beautiful strange
06.Sometimes it snows in April
08. (?) w/Uptown interpolation

-----Encore 1------
09.When will we b paid?
10.Que sera sera
11.Controversy w/Housequake chants

-----Encore 2-----
12.I love u but i don't trust u anymore
14.The ride
15.Miss you

-----Encore 3-----
18.How come u don't call me anymore? w/Please please please

-----Encore 4-----
19.Shake your body
20.Everyday people
21.I want to take you higher

-----Encore 5-----
22.Purple Music / All the critics love u in New Morning
23.Dance (disco heat)

------Encore 6------
Piano Set
24.Diamonds & pearls
25.Raspberry beret
26.Starfish & coffee
27.Venus de Milo
28.Still waiting
29.Future soul song
30. "Oh New Morning" - Purple Rain

Flutes Of Chi

Everything that you are,
that you'd like to be
Will come in three, my friend

Times thine inequity
The flutes of the chi
Will sound again, my friend

Wrap yourself up in gold,
The fruits of the old,
Are ripe to be told, my friend

For, it's not what you are,
How you've come to be
All this will will end and begin again


Everything that you are,
that you'd like to be
Will come in three, my friend

Times thine inequity,
The flutes of the chi
Will sound again, my friend

Ween play Ween, KOOL HAUS, Toronto, Thursday, July 29, 2010

Taste the waste boy, taste the waste

On this my birthday week, leading up to Mr. Mickey Melchiondo (Deaner) and Mr. Aaron Freeman's (Gener aka The Golden Jew) upcoming performance with the whole band, we celebrate the browness that is Ween. Enter The Boognish.

Here then is one of the most legendary performances of a deeply revered fan favourite Tender Situation performed by Ween in 1991 at the legendary Wetlands in NYC.

State this ache as the final break
Tender situation - create a good illusion
Feel the grip of your salvation
This is indeed a tender situation

Make a move man, state your case
Taste the waste man, taste the waste
What is your place in my glorification
Yeah, this is really a tender situation

Get off the pot man, shake and bake
Taste the waste boy, taste the waste
Pump it up or stray from that old station
Yeah dude this is really a tender situation

[repeat all twice]

Tender situation, tender situation, tender situation

State this ache as the final break
Tender situation - create a good illusion
Feel the grip of your salvation
This is indeed a tender situation

Make a move man, state your case
Taste the waste man, taste the waste
What is your place in my glorification
Yeah, this is really a tender situation

Get off the pot man, shake and bake
Taste the waste boy, taste the waste
Pump it up or stray from that old station
Yeah dude this is really a tender situation

[repeat all twice]

Tender situation, tender situation, tender situation


Young Empires

I didn't need to read in Toronto's Now Magazine, that Young Empires was the one band that 'blew up' this year at NXNE- I blew up with them. Essentially the music conference- which has little if any of the clout of it's similarly marcated Austin, TX based conference to the south by south west- took over my little honky tonk local (The Dakota Tavern). In what turned out to be an opening slot for a surprise show by last year's critical darlings Japandroids (who were immminently and immediately forgettable from the opening notes) the crew of Matthew Vlahovich (Hooks), Aaron Ellingson (Swagger), Jake Palahnuk (Rhythm) had the audience torn asunder within moments of their opening notes. For this devoted listener and dancer- having been a part of Toronto's burgeoning Jungle scene as far back as '94 (when one could see global talents like Kenny Ken, Darryn J, Nicky Blackmarket, MC GQ and oh my golly golly gosh wicked Mickey Finn) it was like too many worlds colliding. I am incredibly proud to be Canadian, incredibly proud to be from Toronto but the music renaissance as of late that has been most engaging has been the re-emergence of so-called Roots artists like Zeus (Jason Collett formerly of the Broken Social Scene's backing band often compared to a modern day The Band) at specifically The Dakota Tavern. Each night I bathe myself in the honky filth and analogue shuffles at The Dakota Tavern, and each morning I wake up and wash that honky filth right off with as much Prince and Black Milk as I possibly can. The morning of Friday June 18th there was not a speck of honky filth upon me. Their altruistically pyromaniacal set that night included their anthem Rain of Gold and the instantly recognizable from the first note (re-cognizable, from before, a priori) was the hook and innnate melodic sweep of White Doves. Just missed them in Toronto (July 21) prior to a brief UK tour, then NYC, Chicago and motherfucking Bogota, Columbia back to to Toronto which even Arianna Huffington and the Huffington Post agree is the 'hot new destination for all things crazy, sexy, cool.”
07.21.10 /// Toronto
07.27.10 /// London
07.29.10 /// Bristol
07.30.10 /// London
07.31.10 /// Brighton
08.01.10 /// Glasgow
08.03.10 /// London
08.13.10 /// New York City
08.28.10 /// Chicago
09.03.10 /// Bogota


7/7/2010 Furthur Ottawa Bluesfest, Ottawa, ON

Alabama Getaway, Don't Ease, Mama Tried, Dire Wolf, Hell in a Bucket, Bertha, Truckin > Smokestack Lightnin > Casey Jones, I Need a Miracle > Help on the Way > Caution > New Speedway Boogie > Wharf Rat > I Fought The Law > Liberty E: On the Road Again > Touch of Grey *Only ''I Fought the Law'