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Live in Chicago (Sanctuary)


Once renowned as the most juvenile of bands, famed for writing songs such as "Touch My Tooter," "Booze Me Up and Get Me High" and "She Fucks Me," Ween has somehow aged into an elder statesman of indie rock. Some of this respect came about when people stopped giggling at the song titles and started hearing the song craft that went behind them. Some of it came through Ween's tireless attempts to be at the cutting edge of audience relations, with open taping policies, streaming audio and video Web sites and official bootlegs feeding fan appreciation. But mostly, the respect came from seeing the band live: Sprawling parties with cheesy funk, sludgy stoner rock and angry guitar licks, Ween shows are one of the few places on earth where you can find a dude with dreads and a punker locked arm-in-arm in musical rapture.

So despite the endless bootlegs -- official or otherwise -- that are available, Live in Chicago was inevitable. Featuring both a DVD and CD, Chicago gives you the full Ween treatment, from the slow psychedelica of "Mutilated Lips" to the heavy, propulsive "Doctor Rock." The pinnacle comes about halfway through the DVD, with the endless riffing at the end of the heroic, joyous "Roses Are Free." In the words of Frank Sinatra, if you don't like that, you don't like ice cream.

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