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Ween makes the scene at Higher Ground

SOUTH BURLINGTON Ween is a cockroach. Supreme survivor and adapter, the musical duo thrives on what some would consider vile. Cockroaches have been around for about 300 million years, Ween for only 23. But during those two-odd decades, Aaron Gene Ween Freeman and Mickey Dean Ween Melchiondo (not brothers) seem to have mastered more musical genres than roaches have habitats. Their musical fluency is enhanced by dark humor and explicit, often perverse lyrics. Their fans are fervent and fiercely loyal, their long, tirelessly performed shows quickly sold out. Ween may owe some of their success to Boognish, the mischievous demon god who allegedly brought them together in a junior high school typing class and continues to oversee (and occasionally screw up) their lives. The embodiment of good and evil, Boognishs yin-yang influence is evident throughout Weens work. At Higher Ground on Nov. 26, Ween opened with the chillingly beautiful Ice Castles and then thoroughly entertained the crowd with about 30 other songs including Spinal Meningitis (Got Me Down), Buckingham Green, Gabrielle, and Mister Richard Smoker, (a song about a drug-using pedophile). Hail Boognish. They also performed five songs from their latest, characteristically wide-ranging CD, symmetrically closing their regular set with Fiesta, the song that opens the album. The album is appropriately entitled La Cucaracha (Spanish for cockroach), and was recorded in a moldy old farmhouse, probably full of album namesakes. YouTube.com is, of course, loaded with Ween tunes. And Weens July 23, 1993 concert at Higher Ground (then located in Winooski) and Oct. 31, 2003 concert at Memorial Auditorium are available at www.archive.org . Not everyone is keen on Ween. The BBCs review of La Cucaracha, for example, found With My Own Bare Hands to be a litany of swearing and sexist rubbishboth puerile and wearing. Although actually praising some of the other songs, the reviewer voiced his suspicion that there arent too many Ween fans in the UK and that the new album wont be making many more. Its not easy bein Ween. Want even more genre transcendence? The wolves are coming to South Burlington! No, not Dan Wolfes relatives. Los Lobos (Spanish for wolves) will be at Higher Ground on Dec. 12 at 7:30 p.m. Drawing from Mexican cumbia, jazz, rockabilly, Tex-Mex, R&B, country, folk, blues, and rock, the band fluidly transforms all those varied influences into one polished, powerful product. Los Loboss latest CD, The Town and the City, focuses on the theme of immigration. Rolling Stone Magazine acclaimed it as an album about peoplethe hard life of outsiders in a new placetold without moralizing or sentimentality. Higher Ground is at 1214 Williston Rd, So. Burlington, 802-652-0777, www.highergroundmusic.com . Tickets for the Lobos concert are $23 advance, $25 day of show. Get ready to howwwwwl.

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