Newcomers trying to figure out Ween might consider starting with “Freedom of ’76,” from 1994’s Chocolate and Cheese. The song features a little bit of everything from the band’s discography: Gene’s childish falsetto, Dean’s lo-fi funky guitar, a sparse rhythm section, and the duo’s tendency to sing about things that make absolutely no sense whatsoever—all reasonable expectations from a band whose name is a contraction of “wuss” and “peen.” In a strange twist for an even stranger band, Gene Ween is touring on his own for the first time in 24 years of mastering the art of playing packed venues while avoiding commercial success. Ween fans have speculated on message boards that Dean is taking a hiatus from the band to work on his fly-fishing. Others think that Gene wanted a little time to himself. But what really matters is that seeing even half of Ween live is like finding only half a joint on the ground: It’s still more than enough to get you where you want to be.
THE GENE WEEN BAND AND PAJO PERFORM AT 9 P.M. AT THE BLACK CAT, 1811 14TH ST. NW. $18. (202) 667-4490.