Gene Ween tonight at the 7th Street Entry

Ah, Ween. One of those intensely anomalous rock acts that has been antagonizing ears and public perceptions for over 20 years. Are they cool, or lame? Experimental auteur adventurers or hippy-dippy jammers with a sense of irony? With Ween, there are never any easy answers.

In Ween's long shadow, co-founder Gene Ween (birthname Aaron Freeman) has made a nice solo niche for himself, rarely performing live outside of his central hub in New Hope, Pennsylvania. Which makes his solo performance tonight (which should include truncated hits from Ween's selected discography) all the more momentous for Twin Cities space cases.

Gene Ween live in Hopewell, New Jersey.

Gimme Noise has never been 100% sold on Ween. We've always kept them at arm's length, if only because they seem like a sort of vampiric band-- a band that keeps a sort of company with the likes of Primus and Kiss, in that, after one close listen, you'll find yourself scouring Soulseek for bootleg live shows from 1991, wasting away into the night. We just don't have the time or energy for that kind of obssession.

But good God, if this band doesn't have a fan base that would make Jerry Garcia grind his teeth. They're as dedicated as dervishes. They organize festivals. They pursue the band coast to coast. We're not sure exactly what the charm is, but we're not going to poo poo it.

Tonight is the first of two Twin Cities shows for Gene Ween (he plays again on Thursday at Saint Paul's Turf Club) , and it should make for a most intimate evening. The entry's capacity if but a fraction of the Turf Club's, which means you should be able to all but taste the bong resin on the sweaty, flannelled fanatic just to your right.

Sure, it may be a stiff cover charge. But for a chance to see half of ween a few thousand miles outside his usual comfort zone, it's a bargain. Hit up the ATM. Beg a few bucks from mom and dad. Get to the show.

21+. 9:00 P.M. $20.00. 7th Street Entry, 701 First Avenue North, Minneapolis; 612.338.8388.