While he's been playing with Scott Metzger, Dave Dreiwitz, and Joe Russo recently as the Gene Ween Band, Gene Ween will be performing a rare pair of solo shows on back-to-back nights in the Twin Cities. The band has granted Gene a different approach to his music, a relationship similar to that between Primus and singer/bassist Les Claypool's many side projects, one that has allowed him to approach the unusual—if not bizarre—songs he's been playing for years in a new way. The band's stripped-down versions of Ween songs, Gene's mainstay since the mid-'80s, are a contrast to the songs' often wildly diverse originals. His solo shows, however, have historically gone a different direction altogether, with Gene playing sit-down acoustic renditions of Ween songs. It might not sound like much, but give credit where credit's due: Anyone who can lend the feeling of a campfire sing-along to swirling, twisted tunes like "Mutilated Lips" rightly deserves a bit of respect. 21+. Also Wednesday at the 7th St. Entry.
Thu., May 14, 9 p.m., 2009