Tag Archives: What’s Going On

Tune In Tuesday: 4/20/10

Today is Tune In Tuesday.  As you might have guessed, I listen to a lot of music.  I listen at work, while I drive, while I drive to work, in the house, driving home, doing yard work, just about anywhere and anything I’m doing involves music. 

Driving is where most of my listening happens during the day and sometimes night.  My vehicle of choice and necessity, I have a brood of kids and 3 dogs, is a Chevy Tahoe, affectionately referred to as the “Ho”.  Aside from the ample space needed for carting afore mentioned brood and dogs, the Ho has a great Bose stereo with a six disc changers.  Six slots of pure musical pleasure. 

Each week starts out with me selecting six random discs from my imposing musical collection.  Once selected, they are inserted into the musical pleasure slots and then I hit the random button. 

The thought behind Tune In Tuesday is that I will tell you what is in the changer for the week and give you a little background on the album, artist and key tracks.

This week, here is what is in the changer:

 1.      Drive-By Truckers: The Fine Print (a collection of oddities and rarities 2003-2008)

This album is a collection of covers, alternate versions of songs from already released albums, and a few odds and ends.  The cover to Tom Petty’s “Rebels” is pretty cool as is their cover of Bob Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone”.  Patterson Hood handles the majority of the vocals on the album.  For me, the stand out cover is Warren Zevon’s “Play it all Night Long”. 

 2.      Steve Earle: Townes

This album is a complete cover of Townes Van Zandt.  “Lungs” is the standout track for me.  Tom Morello (the Nightwatchman, Rage Against the Machine, Street Sweeper Social Club) plays on the album as does Steve’s son Justin. 

 3.      Amos Lee: Last Days at the Lodge

This is the third album by the Philadelphia singer/songwriter.  He has got a voice that just captivates you.  “What’s Been Going On”, “Street Corner Preacher”, and “Baby I Want You” are three really solid songs. 

 4.      Slaid Cleaves: Everything You Love Will Be Taken Away…

This Austin based singer/songwriter has a way with the words.  Lyrically superior to the vast majority of artist out there, his voice is calm and inviting in a way that brings it all together.  “Beautiful Thing: is by far the best track while “Hard To Believe” and “Dreams” are right up there.  This is an album that can easily be listened to start to finish several times.

 5.      Bob Schneider: Lovely Creatures

Another Austin icon, Bob really runs the musical gamut on this one.  “40 Dogs (Like Romeo and Juliet)” is a great song and the most Bob like song on the album.  He gets pretty musically diverse as the album progresses.  “Tarantula” is just pure fun that will have you moving wherever you are.

 6.      State Radio: Let It Go

 This is the third full length album for the Boston based sociopolitical trio.  I’m a huge fan and love all of the music that they have done to date.  Their music is a bond between my oldest son and I can’t ever here it without thinking about him and the trips we have taken to see them live.  “Calling All Crows”,” Knights of Bostonia”, and “Blood Escaping Man” are great but then again, so is the whole album.

So, check them out and let me know what you think.

Great music awaits!


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!