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Ween's Chocolate and Cheese (33 1/3) Paperback


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Product Details

  • Series: 33 1/3 (Book 79)
  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic (March 31, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0826431178
  • ISBN-13: 978-0826431172
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 4.8 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #71,193 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Hank Shteamer is a writer and musician living in Brooklyn. He covers music for Time Out New York, The Wire and various other outlets, including his personal blog, Dark Forces Swing Blind Punches. He also plays in the band STATS.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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See all 15 customer reviews
Well written and very funny/informative.
Pee Dee
This is a top-notch professionally-written biography about a great band and its most important album.
The Galapagos Five
For now, though, this small book will more than do.
KoolWhp

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Moniker on August 8, 2011
Format: Paperback
For fans of Ween, the subject matter here is obviously not going to be uninteresting, that's impossible. So this book is a no brainer. For me, I knew that I had to read it to put to rest a wealth of questions and to address curiosities that have lingered in the back of my mind since I was fifteen. In some sense, reading this, I knew, was going to weirdly close a chapter of one aspect of my adolescence.

But subject matter completely aside, the writing and choice of author are both highly questionable. I somehow expected as much. Let's see, where to start...

This book is painfully repetitive. Let me repeat that: this book is painfully repetitive. In all sincerity, the book reads as if the author suffers from dementia and has completely forgotten that he has already drilled home the same point countless times. It occurs to the point of being maddening and really exhausting. How many times can the thesis be spelled out to the reader? Over and over and over again, Shteamer reiterates his central point, but doesn't even highlight it in different ways. Instead, the same exact idea, even wording, crops up incessantly throughout the entire book, treating his readers, it would seem, as dense or sufferers of short term memory loss. It makes it an unnecessarily unpleasant read.

The aspect that I knew would surely disappoint was that of the very topic of music. We live in a culture where writing about music is hardly ever about music, especially when garbage such as Pitchfork media is so prevalent and followed. The concept of these 33 1/3 books, while at first a seemingly wonderful, long overdue idea, was bound to suffer from this unfortunate reality.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By conceptus on April 22, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Since Ween is one of my favorite bands, and has been for years, I was really looking forward to this book. However, as the previous reviewer touched upon, this is really, really poorly written. Like sophomore english class bad. Indeed, it reads like a student essay--and a sloppy one at that--rather than a coherent book. The misspellings are really unforgivable in this age of spell correct, ESPECIALLY since this is a book people are paying for. Some other examples of sloppy writing include Schteamer's tendency to mistakenly refer to the wrong song title when discussing that particular song. I encountered that 2 -3 times. Also, he writes things like "As we've seen, Ween improved their live playing" which again, reads like an essay. He writes "As we've seen" a lot. Also he'll be discussing a song, and write something like "Strangely, Elliot Smith covered this." Why is that strange? He actually invokes "strangely" inappropriately a number of times. Another thing he does is refer to everything as "episodes." Like he'll refer to a solo in a song as an "episode." It's just stupid. This guy had no business writing this book. Or any book, really. The abysmal writing is surprising given how credentialed this guy is--he writes for Time Out New York--but I guess that just tells you how far the craft of writing has sunk in the popular realm. I read and enjoyed the writing of the other 33 1/3 book I read on Pavement's Wowie Zowie.

I basically realized I had to skip the parts that Schteamer wrote in this Ween book, and just read the quotes from the band members, since those are the only portions that provide any sort of insight or coherence. All in all, I feel bad for the members of Ween, that this is the published document on their album. It's embarrassing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Eric Mortensen on November 18, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've read countless 33 1/3 books and I've loved them all. I'm a huge Ween fan, too. This book was a massive letdown. The information contained within is not new or interesting. Bummer.
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By Simon Browne on February 2, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
great book for any ween fan. interesting insights into the makings of this great album. a great read tis it
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By IWISHUWOULD on May 24, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
this was a great read. Im a big fan of ween and i felt like this was a very informative read. i burned right through it, then i loaned it to my two close friends, who also love ween. makes me interested in the other books in the series, even though they are penned by different authors.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Rich L. on September 21, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was the first book I got in this series, and it was a great introduction. The author wisely omits himself from the narritave, and focuses more on the actual making of the album, and the meaning of the songs. Also gives sufficient info on their history before this album, and their resulting career. Only complaint: "The Crucial Squeeige Lip" wasn't their ONLY pre-"GodWeenSatan" tape. If he was going to cover their complete evolution he should've at least mentioned "Axis 2:Bold As Boognish" and "WeenWad/Live Brain Wedgie." In any event, still a great book, essential for Ween fans, and highly recommended for fans of the 33 1/3 series.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By The Galapagos Five on June 16, 2011
Format: Paperback
This is a top-notch professionally-written biography about a great band and its most important album. It's also concise and a joy to read (I read it in 1 day and I'm not a super-fast reader). The research that went into the book and the way that Hank Shteamer conveys detail are both amazing. Just as an example, his insights into the music videos and the photo shoots involved with making and publicizing the album were fantastic (and unexpected). The overviews of Ween's early and late histories that straddle the subject album are also very informative. The commentary on each song comprising Chocolate and Cheese reveals numerous insights not only into the creation and recording of the music, but also into the band members themselves, particularly Dean and Gene Ween. Anyone who appreciates Ween should read this book twice.
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