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Chocolate and Cheese (33⅓ #79)

3.98  ·  Rating Details ·  156 Ratings  ·  26 Reviews
Ween now seems like a permanent fixture on the pop-cultural landscape, but when the band first hit MTV in the early '90s, their longevity wasn't so secure. Nearly two decades on, though, Aaron "Gene Ween" Freeman and Mickey "Dean Ween" Melchiondo preside over one of the most devoted cult fan bases in American music. So how exactly did Ween manage to transcend joke-band obl ...more
Paperback, 176 pages
Published March 31st 2011 by Bloomsbury Academic (first published March 17th 2011)
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33⅓
51st out of 114 books — 49 voters
Highway 61 Revisited by Mark PolizzottiChocolate and Cheese by Hank ShteamerPaul's Boutique by Dan LeRoyLow by Hugo WilckenElectric Ladyland by John M. Perry
Best of the 33 1/3 Series
2nd out of 16 books — 3 voters


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Community Reviews

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Rjyan
Apr 04, 2011 Rjyan rated it liked it
Well its short & Hank doesn't get too much in the way of his subject matter so its probably worth reading if you have any curiousity about Ween. But damn, dude has a grade school book report style that makes parts of the prose-- particulary chapter starts-- lousy with useless & redundant declarations like "I am going to show you how Ween's rise was both gradual & subtle" and "We have seen how Ween's rise was both subtle & gradual" etc.

I coulda dealt with a lot more technical deta
...more
Ben Schultz
Aug 03, 2016 Ben Schultz rated it it was amazing
Reaffirmed why Ween is my favorite band, and gave me a new, deeper appreciation for what was already a stellar record (still can't believe they got a major-label deal, though). Sure, the writing style leaves a little to be desired, but I didn't come here for mindblowing prose. There are plenty of details and anecdotes I'd never heard even as an obsessive fan, and Mickey and Aaron's joy and exuberance shine through the thick crust of brown on every page. If you can read this without smiling every ...more
John Lee
Aug 22, 2014 John Lee rated it liked it
The Mollusk is one of my favorite albums ever, and while this one isn't quite as good, I was still eager to read a more "serious" take on the music of Ween, which is usually anything but. Shteamer does a good job putting this album into context, both in terms of Ween's career as well as in the broader landscape of the nineties. The really great thing about this book, however, is all of the interviews with Gene and Dean, as well as Ween's other contributors. The interview excerpts are always info ...more
Nathan
Jun 20, 2011 Nathan rated it really liked it
Shelves: 33-1-3-series
Admittedly, I'm not a Ween fan, not even in the slightest bit. But, having read this book, I though Mr. Shteamer did a successful job of highlighting the bands hi-jinx, while also portraying them as hard-working musicians. Reading the book was easy, and well organized, though I'm still not super excited by the song by song explanation (at least here it wasn't about the time signatures, etc). This was definitely one of the better books in the series, and that surprised me as I have little to no i ...more
David Wallis
Mar 11, 2016 David Wallis rated it it was amazing
Shelves: music-bio
One of the better of the 33 1/3 series. Some of the books are very personal to the authors and they get themselves right in the history and analysis of the respective album. Sometimes this work in a good way, other times it is distracting and annoying. At the other end of the spectrum are the more cold, analytical tomes. This one gets the balance just right

Here Shteamer's enthusiasm for the band is clear but he doesn't try to inject himself into the band's history. He blends old articles with fr
...more
Diana Welsch
Aug 28, 2011 Diana Welsch rated it really liked it
This was a very interesting short read about the making of Ween's most famous album. I wish they had one of these about every Ween album! Sometimes the book-report style of it got old, but overall very well-researched and lots of good trivia. As someone who is obsessed with Ween's music but knew almost nothing about them as a band, I recommend it.
Sarah
Jun 19, 2012 Sarah rated it it was amazing
Very sad time to be reading this book, but I thought it was an amazing read. Some knock the writing style, but I think that's secondary to its awesome content: Ween. One of my favorite parts is in the chapter on the album, specifically Gener and Deaner's reaction to the Phish cover of Roses are Free:

Deaner: "After all we've done, *this* is what's bringing more people to our shows? What the fuck?...."

Gener: "It was god-awful at the time. It was really not cool in my circle of friends to be into P
...more
Erin
Jun 24, 2012 Erin rated it really liked it
Not very well written (lots of repetition) but through interviews with Micky (Dean) and Aaron (Gene), later members of the band & auxillary players, friends and fans (Josh Homme) the authors tells the story of how Chocolate and Cheese came to be written and recorded. The author explains that Chocolate and Cheese was a transitional album for the band; showcasing the elements and sounds of past recordings while taking a giant leap forward in using new digital technology to mature their sound.

M
...more
Rich
Jan 24, 2016 Rich rated it it was amazing
This was one of my favs among the 33 1/3 series. We play Ween at the shop all the time, and specifically this record, and it never fails to make people stop and listen. This book underlined my love...
Luke Gamage
Apr 08, 2014 Luke Gamage rated it liked it
It isn't the most well written book you'll ever read and I echo some of the sentiments of it sounding like a book report. A lot of the sources you can find on YouTube. But, how often are you going to read a book dedicated to Ween?
Neil
Jun 16, 2016 Neil rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wished it was longer, but nonetheless a great job providing the backstory on an important soundtrack to my teens and twenties!
Franklin
Jul 15, 2011 Franklin rated it really liked it
Well done, very researched. Before this I hadn't thought of C&C being a bridge between two Ween's, but I can see that now. I don't whole heartedly agree with his analysis of some things in this book, but I think it's a great documentation of the recording of this album if nothing else. A lot of these stories I had heard in more informal terms, but I especially liked the chapter on the cover of the album because I really didn't know much about it at all.

I agree that this book could have been
...more
Jason Davis
Jan 14, 2014 Jason Davis rated it it was amazing
Great read, with interviews with both Gene and Dean Ween, as well as Andrew Weiss and others. The Boognish is dead, long live The Boognish!
Jacob Mcconnell
Jun 27, 2012 Jacob Mcconnell rated it liked it
The song-by-song synthesis of Shteamer's book is by far the most interesting aspect of this read as it not only deals with the band's intentions for a specific song but also the range of reception for said song from a diverse fan-base. Introductory material and chapter openings are exhaustingly redundant though. If you're a Ween fan, this is a must read.
Gzus
Sep 22, 2014 Gzus rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great read about my fav all time album! Worth every cent for any hardcore Ween fan.
James Curtin
Dec 08, 2011 James Curtin rated it it was amazing
what the hell do you think? i loved this book. got it sent in to ccp and was afraid they would ban it because of the cover. essential reading for ween fans everywhere. there was plenty of info that even i did not know.
Larry
Mar 29, 2012 Larry rated it liked it
Shelves: 2012, music, 33-1-3rd
Some good "behind the scenes" tidbits about one of my favorite records and one of my favorite bands but written in a very pedestrian college freshman essay style. Not brown enough at all.
Jason Sinclair Long
Jun 30, 2011 Jason Sinclair Long rated it really liked it
Not the best writing ever, but a very in-depth window into each and every song that makes up the masterful Chocolate and Cheese.
Cale
Jul 07, 2012 Cale rated it liked it
Recommended to Cale by: Jason
A must for any fan, full of great interviews and anecdotes. Too bad it's written like a high school book report.
Mark Hanner
Oct 16, 2015 Mark Hanner rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ween are very important to me and this book shed some insane light on these two knuckleheads.
Joshua Friedman
Sep 14, 2011 Joshua Friedman rated it it was amazing
Excellent! A very brown take on Ween's classic album, by Hank Shteamer (gotta love that last name!)
Jane
Jun 28, 2011 Jane added it
damn. just signed on to this site and there is the ween. fanatical fan here. good omen.
Daniel Brockman
Aug 03, 2011 Daniel Brockman rated it did not like it
So far, complete garbage-- even by music-writing standards, amazingly sub-par.
David Van Den Bossche
Ween sucks at not being brown.
Peter Engh
May 08, 2012 Peter Engh rated it really liked it
So brown...
Kim Hamlett-potter
Jun 28, 2011 Kim Hamlett-potter rated it it was amazing
A+++
plasticnomad
plasticnomad marked it as to-read
Sep 12, 2016
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Jimmy Kirkus-Lamont marked it as to-read
Aug 31, 2016
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Aug 31, 2016
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Chiara marked it as to-read
Aug 27, 2016
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