Tag Archives: Blue

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!


Music you should have listened to last month but can now watch!

Greetings music fans,

Today I will highlight the artists from last month and give my selection for their best album and song. 

This may seem like a copout blog, and it kind of is.  But, with good reason, we became foster parents to three endearing and for the moment, little puppies on Saturday, and they necessitate and deserve more attention than you!  Just kidding, you too deserve some attention, but this is as good as it gets today.  However, I did pull video for each song selected.  That should count for something!

Last month’s featured artists, in no particular order:

Artist Best Album Best Song
The Avett Brothers I and Love and You Ten Thousand Wordswww.youtube.com/watch?v=Gt6k8htvc9k
Bruce Robison Wrapped My Brother & Mewww.youtube.com/watch?v=Q3q8ShBkqBI
Counting Crows August and Everything After Anna Beginswww.youtube.com/watch?v=1tY9SNFAK2I
Doyle Bramhall II Jelly Cream So You Want It to Rainwww.youtube.com/watch?v=N52cpz6NJ_4
Drive By Truckers Brighter Than Creations Dark Gravity’s Gonewww.youtube.com/watch?v=BHnbiiPoMSU
G. Love & Special Sauce Philadelphonic Rainbowwww.youtube.com/watch?v=5glVe3BmjmM
James McMurtry Childish Things We Can’t Make It Herewww.youtube.com/watch?v=ZbWRfBZY-ng
Jay Farrar & Ben Gibbard One Fast Move or I’m Gone Big Surwww.youtube.com/watch?v=NNIWA5esH4o
The Jayhawks Smile Bluewww.youtube.com/watch?v=GUVVGQjWFg4
Josh Ritter The Animal Years Wingswww.youtube.com/watch?v=X3OiUUEzwwI
Mason Jennings Boneclouds Fighter Girlwww.youtube.com/watch?v=ABfK9zajLdo
My Morning Jacket Z One Big Holidaywww.youtube.com/watch?v=_0Q9iAcPjzc
One Day as a Lion One Day as a Lion Wild Internationalwww.youtube.com/watch?v=6mKtt7F0rPU
Reckless Kelly Under the Table and Above the Sun Let’s Just Fallwww.youtube.com/watch?v=mW5uP8aYZsk
Robert Earl Keen Walking Distance Shades of Graywww.youtube.com/watch?v=eEgY93WECEc
Ryan Adams Gold Wonderwall (Cover)www.youtube.com/watch?v=N6xX6ZE16PI
Silversun Pickups Swoon There’s No Secrets This Yearwww.youtube.com/watch?v=Qbz-SqEd7JQ
Them Crooked Vultures Them Crooked Vultures Scumbag Blueswww.youtube.com/watch?v=2M53SxSLHYk
The White Stripes Icky Thump Seven Nation Armywww.youtube.com/watch?v=xi8KdTk0u0g
Wilco Being There Sunken Treasureswww.youtube.com/watch?v=j_GQWm35Ndo

 

Great music waits!


You should be listening to The Jayhawks!

The Jayhawks are the harmonizing alt/country, rootsy, rock, with a touch of pop/folk band that emerged from Minneapolis, Minnesota in the mid 80’s.  Considered by many to be one of the forefathers of the then bourgeoning alt/country scene.

Formed in 1985 and co-helmed by Gary Louris and Mark Olson, The Jayhawks released their self titled debut on the indie label Bunkhouse Records.  In an attempt to snag a major label deal, the band recorded a set of demos, and then due to tragic and unforeseen circumstances, Gary temporarily left the band.  Upon his return, the collection of demos was fashioned into their sophomore release Blue Earth.

In 1992 their musical aspirations came to fruition with the major label signing to American Records and the release of the major label debut Hollywood Town Hall.  The album was well received and spawned the hit single “Waiting for the Sun”.  1995 was a tumultuous year for the band, with expensive production of their finely crafted release Tomorrow the Green Grass, low sales compared to label expectations, and the unforeseen exodus of Mark Olson. 

With the departure of Olson, Louris composed most of the songs on the 1997 release Sound of Lies.  The results were a menagerie of musical styles that polarized the original sound of the band.  The band continued to expand their sound with the 2000 release Smile.  It had a certain pop sensibility to it and the single “I’m Going to Make You Love Me” and was featured in a Ralph Lauren commercial and the T.V. show The O.C. 

The band’s last hurrah was the 2003 release Rainy Day Music. The album seemed to be a homecoming to their musical roots with sparse, acoustic guitars, pedal and lap steel, and banjo. 

The Jayhawks Discography:

  • The Jayhawks
  • Blue Earth
  • Hollywood Town Hall
  • Tomorrow the Green Grass
  • Sound of Lies
  • Smile
  • Rainy Day Music
  • Music from the North Country: The Jayhawks Anthology

The Jayhawks Top 5 Songs

  1. What Led Me to this Town (Smile)
  2. Blue (Tomorrow the Green Grass)
  3. I’m Going to Make You Love me (Smile)
  4. Big Star (Sound of Lies)
  5. Waiting for the Sun (Hollywood Town Hall)

Over the years, there has been some reunion talk and speculation based on the occasional Jayhawks gig.  Gary and Mark have occasionally toured together and billed the event “From The Jayhawks: An evening with Mark Olson and Gay Louris, Together Again”.  They also recorded and released an album, 2009’s impressive Ready for the Flood.

 2009 also saw the multi formatted release of Music from the North Country: The Jayhawks Anthology.

Check out The Jayhawks at www.thejayhawks.net

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GUVVGQjWFg4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2FCLqM5dIHk

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TEVvOATOCGo&feature=related

Great music awaits!