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Maynard finally in Tool songwriting mode?

Blair posted a small update on Toolband today, suggesting that Maynard is finally working on vocals for the next Tool album:

In speaking with Danny last night, he told me that the band has temporarily MOVED some of their gear into a larger space (across town) where MAYNARD is working on VOCALS for some of the new Tool material. I’m sure that he has already been doing this to some extent, but now he has more room to breathe and a better vocal booth.

So good news it seems, and while I still think the album is some way off, it’s good to see some of the roadblocks being removed.  Adam recently posted a snippet of some footage from this not-Loft location, showing mixing desks and other recording related gizmos.  While I don’t think this is necessarily related Tool actually recording anything other than demos, it’s all good signs of progress.

~

A post shared by Adam Jones (@adamjones_tv) on

Velvet Slipper Club coming to Australia!

For the serious Caduceus wine drinkers Down Under, local supplier Sip Wines have announced they are bringing the Velvet Slipper Club to Australia!  As you can imagine it’s not cheap but for someone who loves Maynard‘s wine it’s the only way to get a hold of some exclusive wines locally.

There are two tiers, the Exclusive and General Admission level.  Both get you 3 shipments of 3 bottles each year (typically in March, June and September) with the Exclusive level getting a much sought after bottle of Judith.  As I write this there are only 4 spots left at Exclusive level (out of 36 in total) and 19 spots in General Admission, so get in fast especially if Exclusive is your thing.

For details you can contact Matt from Sip Wine via email or on 0439 800 893

Review: Puscifer at Thebarton Theatre, January 23rd 2017

Puscifer‘s latest Money $hot tour seemed to be getting great reviews on it’s various US and European legs, and Maynard James Keenan and co decided to share the love with Australian audiences with a tour taking in most capitals in Australia, as well as the MOFO Festival at Hobart’s MONA.  I was lucky enough to get along to the show at Thebarton Theatre here in Adelaide, and can report I had a great time!

First stop of the evening was a wine tasting session at local bar Udaberri run by Matt from Sip Wines.  He’s the Australian distributor for Maynard’s drops, and had a few bottles open for sampling.  For tasting were three reds and one white, the highlight for me was the Tarzan, which Matt tells me is out of stock!  I also had a chance to try Sense of Compression by Ochotoa Barrels – it’s a collaboration between a local Adelaide winemaker and Maynard.  It’s an expensive wine (was $13 for half a glass!) and while I enjoyed it, I came away preferring the much cheaper stuff.  Perhaps wine aficionados would appreciate it more then I!

After a quick bus trip home to pick up the car, I made my way to Thebby (as it’s know locally) for the show.  Entry to the venue was pretty easy, unless you were silly enough to pick up tickets at the door, for which there was a pretty long queue.  Once inside I grabbed a beer, chatted to a couple of other Fourtheye readers and then made my way into the main hall.  It was unusual to see this venue full of chairs, as every other show I’ve been to here has been general admission.  Unfortunately my seat wasn’t quite as close as I’d like, and was a bit off to the side, but the view was good enough despite that.

At around 8:00pm Luchafer came onstage to do their wrestling act.  The sound was pretty muffled – I got the impression they were taunting each other or having some form of dialog, and it’s possible we were meant to hear what was being said, but the sound was poor enough at this stage that I had no clue.  They “wrestled” on stage for about 20 minutes, the highlight of which was a Trump style pussy grab (with retribution).  It was interesting, but 20 minutes was more than enough.  The wrestlers were back for more antics during the show.

Puscifer made their way on stage at around 8:30.  Maynard and Carina Round started up on the wrestling ring, but moved around the stage during songs and between the 4 acts.  They played pretty much the same setlist they have for most of the Money $hot tour.  I enjoyed it and didn’t really find that there were any dull moments during the show.  For the most part the songs were heavier and had an extra punch missing from the recorded versions.  As a fan of heavier music unsurprisingly this went down pretty well with me!  I would have liked to have heard a few more older songs, but overall was happy with the setlist choice.

It was a pretty cool visual show as well, with a range of videos projected on the big screens being the band (and occasionally on two screens either side).  Highlights were the excellent visuals from the Grand Canyon video.  There were the occasional skits shown as well, but these seemed to suffer from poor sound quality, and frankly missed the mark for me.  They didn’t appear to get many laughs from the wider audience either.  They were only a very small segment of the show though, so didn’t really take anything away from the night overall.

The crowd was pretty quiet, remaining seated for the first two songs until Maynard proclaimed that if a 52 year old can dance on stage, then so can the rest of the crowd.  Personally I’m not a huge fan of seated shows – if Maynard wanted people to stand and dance, then it should have been GA.  Despite a few signs in the lead-up that the crowd would be small, it seemed as though the venue was reasonably full – it wasn’t a sell out but didn’t appear to be many spare seats either.

As mentioned before, the sound quality of the videos and wrestling was pretty poor, but the quality of the show seemed reasonably good.  Maynard’s vocals were relatively low in the mix I thought, but other than that didn’t have many complaints.  Maynard’s performance through the show was strong, and while Puscifer may not have the same vocal challenges Tool does, he sung well and was quite animated during the show.

In summary it was a really good night – I enjoyed the show from beginning to end and was very happy that Puscifer made the effort to visit our frequently skipped over town.  I’d happily go seem them again, and have no hesitation recommending others to check them out when they get the chance!

Adam confirms another track done!

Progress is slow, however some glimmer of light shines through the storm clouds with Adam today confirming that another Tool track is “in the can (minus Vox)”.  So while the album ain’t done yet (and probably is still a way off) at least there seems to be progress!

~ Another arrangement in the can (minus Vox) #onefingerchallenge #Tool song schematic

A photo posted by Adam Jones (@adamjones_tv) on

Tool Newsletter September 2016 updated

As Blair hinted at in the January 2017 newsletter, he has also updated the one from September 2016.  For those with short memories, September 2016 was the infamous “positive thinking” one.  Blair mentions recent interviews with Justin, Danny’s appearance on the Seth Meyers show and even Adam at recent VIP outings as good evidence that the next Tool album is indeed a thing.

I doubt this is changing anyone’s mind though – I don’t expect that any of the skeptics are going to change their mind.  I for one am content to wait for whatever may come.  I’m obviously a huge Tool fan, but life is not so empty that a lack of Tool albums becomes an object of scorn or hate.

Instead I look forward to seeing Puscifer here in Adelaide in a couple of nights time (there’s even a free wine tasting in town before hand).  I’ll continue to enjoy the large number of quality releases from other artists.  Code Orange may have already released an album I might have on my top 10 of 2017 (we’ll see in 12 months time I guess!)

Tool January 2017 Newsletter

The Tool 2017 Newsletter for January is out, and it doesn’t say much except to confirm a few things we already know.  There is some vague promise of further news to come, but anyone’s guess as to what this is.

Here it is:

I especially don’t like to waste water here in the desert, but allow me to pour a tall cold glass of it over the on-line rumors that DANNY (“the mysterious buyer”) recently purchased a new house with vineyards so that he could become a wine-maker. The TRUTH is that he bought a house that just happened to come with a MICRO-VINEYARD. Therefore, DON’T expect him to be releasing bottles of “MONAS HIEROGLYPHICA” anytime soon. Instead, he will be working on new Tool material at the loft, and performing on February 4th with VOLTO! at… (No)… THE WHISKEY on the Sunset Strip. In other news, for those of you who only read the ‘newsletters’, TOOL will be playing a couple of festivals in MAY – one being “THE GOVERNOR’S BALL in NYC, with the other being “BOSTON CALLING.” In anticipation of your next question, these are the only Tool shows that I am currently aware of. I have also listed in the NEWS POSTS a number of APC shows in May. Now, in case you’re wondering why the January 17th newsletter is so short (or celebrating the fact), until I get a better grasp on certain things that have happened to me recently, this will have to do. In the meantime, look for an UPDATE explaining this in the archived SEPTEMBER 2016 newsletter on January 20th. Hopefully, that is…

Australian Puscifer Tour starts this week!

For any Australian (and New Zealand) Puscifer fans who haven’t been paying attention, Puscifer hit our shores next week for a series of shows across the country (except WA!).

As well as the show at MOFO in Hobart, Puscifer play in Melbourne, Adelaide, Sydney, Brisbane and Auckland.  Get your tickets if you haven’t already – it looks like we’ll be getting the full Puscifer experience with the tour being the same as the one that went across the US.

Promoter Destroy All Lines have a competition going where you can win a bunch of signed stuff including a post, Maynard’s book and a shirt by Liking and Sharing stuff on Facebook.  Check it out!  More details here!

I’ll be at the Adelaide show – if anyone else is going let me know!

Hellboy’s Top 10 Albums of 2016

You guys have had your turn at selecting a top 10, and after much procrastination it’s time for me to reveal mine.  Over the weekend I might also add the best of the rest – a list of albums that gather lots of votes, but not quite enough for the top 10 or I think you may have missed in general.

I present this list from 1 to 10 in some order of preference.  My opinion on albums changes sometimes on a daily basis, and while it’s safe to assume I like album #1 more than #10, there are others that have a position that may be somewhat interchangeable.

Gojira – Magma

To many the latest Gojira album was a bit of a step down from their earlier work.  While I don’t necessarily disagree with that statement, I feel like this is a really strong album, which is a testament to how fucking great some of their earlier work is!  With some great and unique sounding tracks – no one writes riffs or sounds quite like Gojira.

Every Time I Die – Low Teens

“Metalcore, urghhh” – I hear some of you moan! It’s true that some if it is quite shit, but Every Time I Die are one of the best examples of the genre. It’s got some great songwriting, relentless energy and just fucking rocks. Get behind it!

Red Fang – Only Ghosts

Only Ghosts was released during a period this year stuffed with albums.  It seemed like months passed with not much being released, and then BAM! a bunch of great bands all released albums in a short period of time.  One of these was Red Fang‘s album, which I actually think is one of their best and more mature works.  Surprisingly it get very few votes in the readers top 10!

A Tribe Called Quest – We got it from Here… Thank You 4 Your service

A long time between albums for these guys, and We got it from Here was well worth the wait!  It’s got plenty of great rhymes, excellent sampling and beats and is accompanies by a range of interesting guests.

Meshuggah – The Violent Sleep of Reason

Meshuggah threw away the amp modelling software for this album, and to me have come back with one of their more organic and compelling releasing since Nothing.  While not pushing the limits of their songwriting chops on this album, I found this album to be more cohesive and consistent that their somewhat more diverse last two releases.

Sex Prisoner – Tannhauser Gate

It wouldn’t be a top 10 of mine without at least on grindcore or power violence album, and Sex Prisoner‘s Tannhauser Gate is the best of 2016. 20 minutes of grindy bliss!

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Skeleton Tree

I’m more of a fan of Nick Cave‘s more energetic work (think Grinderman and 90s Bad Seeds) however this album while mellow, is heavily laden with enough emotion that I found it an enticing listen.

Iggy Pop – Post Pop Depression

When I first heard this album, it was a bit “meh, this is ok” and didn’t really expect it to come close to making my top 10.  Much like the last Queens of the Stone Age album (which is relevant as the album is co-written by Josh Homme) it’s a grower, with most tracks offering something for the attentive listener.  I think the final track Paraguay would be close to my favorite track of 2016.

Wrong – Wrong

I’m a really big fan of early Helmet, and clearly Wrong are as well.  In fact several of the tracks on this album sound like borderline plagiarism based on their similarity to tracks from the seminal Strap It On and Meantime albums.  But fuck it – I really enjoyed their tribute of sorts, and is a great listen unlike most recent Helmet albums (though to be fair I enjoyed Dead to the World)

Meek Is Murder – Was

Meek Is Murder are a relatively recent addition to my library.  I was impression with the brand of hardcore on their last EP, and their latest album Was is just as good.  The album is full of energy, great riffs and is done in about 20 minutes.  As all good (non-Tool) albums should be!

Boston Calling Tool!

Looks like another festival featuring Tool is happening the the US North East, this time Boston Calling:

Given that there’s a week between this and the Governors Ball show, it wouldn’t surprise me if we see a couple of solo dates appear as well.  Stay tuned I guess!

A Perfect Circle announce US dates

It was a while ago that A Perfect Circle announced the Hollywood show as well as two Festival dates, but finally we have a list of other shows for 2017:

  • April 7 & 8 Las Vegas, NV The Pearl
  • April 10 Phoenix, AZ Comerica Theatre
  • April 11 San Diego, CA Open Air Theatre
  • April 13 San Francisco Bill Graham Civic
  • April 14 Reno, NV Reno Event Center
  • April 15 Salt Lake City Maverik Center
  • April 17 Denver, CO 1st Bank Center
  • April 19 Kansas City, MO Starlight Amphitheatre
  • April 20 St. Louis, MO Chafietz Arena
  • April 22 Tulsa, OK BOK Center
  • April 23 Grand Prairie, TX Verizon Theatre
  • April 25 Austin, TX HEB Center at Cedar Park
  • April 26 San Antonio, TX Freeman Coliseum
  • April 27 Houston, TX Smart Financial Center
  • April 29 Jacksonville, FL Welcome to Rockville
  • April 30 Ft. Myers, FL Fort Rock Festival
  • May 2 Atlanta, GA Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
  • May 3 Nashville, TN Bridgestone Arena
  • May 5 Charlotte, NC Carolina Rebellion
  • May 7 Los Angeles, CA Hollywood Bowl

These new shows will go on sale on Friday morning – check with your local ticket vendor.

Interestingly it seems to me mostly the southern parts of the US – no word on whether or not these are all the dates.

 

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