Tag Archives: A Perfect Circle

You should be listening to A Perfect Circle!

A Perfect Circle is the ever changing heavy metal/hard/alternative rock group that was formed in 1999 by Tool’s Maynard James Keenan and guitar tech to the rock stars Billy Howerdel.  Howerdel’s resume includes bands such as Faith No More, Fishbone, Guns N’ Roses, Smashing Pumpkins, Nine Inch Nails, and most fortuitously Tool.  It is through his work with Tool that he approached Keenan with his music and Keenan offered up his vocals in the event that Howerdel ever formed a band.

Fortunately for us, dear reader, that little venture came to fruition and has provided us with three excellent albums.  In 1999, the band comprised of Howerdel, Keenan, female bassist Paz Lenchantin, who later left to help Billy Corrigan create the forgettable Zwan.  Tim Alexander, formerly of Primus briefly handled the drums and was replaced by Josh Freese. Troy Van Leeuwen rounded out the band on guitar.  Easy to see why A Perfect Circle was bestowed with the over used and oft times kiss of death title of “Super Group”. 

Mer de Noms (translates to Sea of Names) was the debut album for A Perfect Circle and was released in 2000.  The album entered billboard charts at #4 and stayed on the charts for consecutive 51 weeks.  The album yielded three singles: Judith, 3 Libras, and The Hollow.

Their follow up album, Thirteenth Step, was released in 2003 and reach #2 on the billboard chart.  Shortly after the release, both Paz and Troy left to pursue other musical interest.  As mentioned Paz left to help create Zwan and Troy left to tour with Queens of the Stone Age.  In an ironic twist of fate, James Iha, formerly of Billy Corrigan’s Smashing Pumpkins replaced Troy on guitar.  Jeordie White a.k.a Twiggy Ramirez (bassist for Marilyn Manson) replaced Paz.

They quickly released eMotive, their third album, in 2004. The album is basically a cover album of political and protest songs.  There are two original songs on the twelve track disc.  The covers include John Lennon’s “Imagine”, Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On”, Depeche Mode’s “People Are People”, and Joni Mitchell’s “Fiddle and the Drum”.

A Perfect Circle Discography:

  • Mer de Noms
  • Thirteenth Step
  • eMotive

It appears that Howerdel was an apt pupil while working with the upper echelon of rock music geniuses.  Whether it is the musical theatrics of Smashing Pumpkins or the distortion of Nine Inch Nails Howerdel knows how to texture the music and get the most out of the accomplished musicians that make the band.  With Maynard’s vocals, A Perfect Circle is reminiscent of Tool, especially on Mer de Noms as it is darker and more bombastic while Thirteenth Step seem to be more melodic.

Top 5 Perfect Circle Songs:

  1. What’s Going On (eMotive)
  2. The Hollow (Mer de Noms)
  3. Weak and Powerless (Thirteenth Step)
  4. Judith (Mer de Noms)
  5. Blue (Thirteenth Step)

The bands last performance was in 2004 and it appears that they are on a lengthy hiatus with rumors of both their demise and resurrection surfacing over the years.  We may not have realized, ten years ago, how much we needed A Perfect Circle to broaden the musical landscape, but I think it is safe to say that we could certainly use them now given the auto tuned vocals and saccharine musical confections that pass for music today.

Check out A Perfect Circle at www.aperfectcircle.com.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=352RjUV_f1U

www.youtube.com/watch?v=uXlKkzjkheg

www.youtube.com/watch?v=O5xuY3OFHvA&feature=related

Great music awaits!


25 albums you should own!

Over time, there have many great musical artists and from each artist comes an assortment of songs that become an album. In theory the sum of an album should be equal or greater than its parts (songs).  If only this were true.  Today, with streaming audio, and the ability to buy/download single songs, the allure and importance of the album has waned.  Artists might release several EP’s before they release a full length album. 

Growing up, I had to roll the dice and hope that each album I saved for would be as good as the song I heard on the radio.  Sadly, that was not always the case.  Domo arigato Mr. Roboto!

However, some artists do indeed get it right and below is a list of 25 albums you might not know but you should own.  This collection does not include live albums or greatest hits. 

Also, I do not include any type of review for the below artists/albums.  This is in an effort to allow you to form you own opinion, keep the blog reading to an acceptable time, and selfishly save me time writing the blog itself. 

Twenty Five albums you should own! (In no particular order):

Artist Album
Alexi Murdoch Time Without Consequences
Animal Liberation Orchestra Fly Between Falls
Arcade Fire Funeral
Ben Harper Welcome to the Cruel World
The Black Keys Attack and Release
Citizen Cope   The Clarence Greenwood Recordings
Chris Whitley Living with the Law
The Dead Weather Horehound
Drive-By Truckers Brighter Than Creation’s Dark
Elliott Smith From a Basement on the Hill
Sonic Youth Daydream Nation
Jason Isbell Sirens of the Ditch
Jeffrey Foucault Stripping Cane
John Butler Trio Sunrise Over Sea
Joseph Arthur Come To Where I’m From
My Morning Jacket The Tennessee Fire
A Perfect Circle Mer De Noms
The Raconteurs Broken Boy Soldiers
Slaid Cleaves Broke Down
Tom Petty She’s the One
The Tragically Hip Fully Completely
Joe Purdy Only Four Seasons
Son Volt Trace
Neko Case Middle Cyclone
Iron & Wine Our Endless Numbered Days

 Great music awaits!