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Weekly Update 18-Sept-2017

Only the second edition of this weekly update thing, and already I feel like I have bugger all to write about.  Strap yourselves in for a bunch of somewhat vaguely relevant “Tool” news!

In this weeks edition:

  • Aenima turns 21
  • Tool + Taylor Swift Mashup
  • Signed “Chet Zar: I Like To Paint Monsters” DVD Documentary
  • New music I’ve enjoyed this week!

Aenima turns 21

Moreso than Undertow, I think Aenima should be considered Tool’s breakthrough album, as it signaled to the world the direction this band would take in years to come.  It was released back on September 17 in 1996, and given that I became a Tool fan not long after it’s release, I guess 21st anniversary of Tool fandom is coming up as well.

No real fanfare from the band, no collectors edition re-issue (though Danny did hint a little while back that their old albums are going to be remastered/issued).  If you’re lucky enough to own it on vinyl, give it a spin for me.

Tool + Taylor Swift Mashup

Look what you made me do:

Signed “Chet Zar: I Like To Paint Monsters” DVD Documentary

A guy called OD emailed me today, telling me he had the opportunity to catch up with artist Chet Zar recently.  He says that the really liked Chet Zar’s DVD I Like To Paint Monsters and we should all go out and buy a copy.  It includes his relationship with Adam Jones and involvement with Tool and also his involvement with the “Hellboy” movies amongst other topics.  I’m yet to check it out, but it’s always been on my list to do so.  You can get signed copies for $25, so sounds like a good deal!

Music

The last few weeks have been good for music, here’s a few albums I’ve enjoyed, that perhaps you might too.  Have a recommendation?  Let me know!

  • 90s rock band Living Colour have a new album out called Shade – it’s great worth a listen!
  • Mastodon will be putting out an EP soon called Cold Dark Place.  You can check out the first track off it called Toe to Toes here.  Speaking of Mastodon, I think Emperor of Sand is one of my favorite albums from this year.
  • Aussie prog metal band Mish put out a great album earlier this year called Entheogen.  Check it out

  • Primus released the next song off their forthcoming album called The Scheme.  I really enjoyed this, as well as the first track.  Album is shaping up to be an excellent one!

That’s all for this week.  If you have anything to share, let me know!

Chet Zar – Dystopia

Frequent Tool collaborator Chet Zar has a new Kickstarter campaign happening, this time for a new project called Dystopia. The focus of the project seems to be the publication of a new book DY5TOPIA: A Field Guide to the Dark Universe of Chet Zar:

Why Support?

Written by: Mike Correll

Have you ever encountered a painting so intriguing, that you wanted to know what lay outside the confines of the frame? Enter Chet Zar, the prolific “Painter of Dark” who captures what seem to be snapshots of monsters from another world. Each has its own personality and sense of humanity, while the brief glimpses he allows us into their surroundings are both unsettling, and awe inspiring!

What You’re Supporting…

What if you could help create a book that probes into this unknown realm, a book filled with both old and new Chet Zar monsters? This is your opportunity to enter the bizarre landscapes that Chet has channeled with his sketches, sculptures and paintings. You will be guided through the peculiar geography, culture, and creatures that inhabit a place not far removed from our own: DY5TOPIA. You will see close-up sketches of accoutrements, landscapes and dwellings, and read about how this Dark Universe works.

The campaign looks like it’s off to a strong start and isn’t far off getting half way. If you enjoy Chet’s art, then there is a range of reward options for supporting the project.

Sketch from Chet Zar's Dystopia

Vicarious DVD Review

I received my copy of the Vicarious DVD one Tuesday, and after watching all the of the various parts of it, I felt it was about time to share my opinion with you all. If any of you want to share your thoughts on the DVD, feel free to comment below. I may well put a poll up at some point in the next few days too.

The Vicarious DVD comes in a package much the same as the 10,000 Days CD, with the two lenses designed to view the stereoscopic images within. The images supplied are all stills from the Vicarious video, and look quite nice when viewed properly. The lenses attached to my DVD seemed quite blurry though, and I got much better results with the 10,000 Days set, or by just doing the cross-eyes thing.

The first thing I watched off the DVD was the Vicarious video. As previously reported, it’s fully CGI and features significant work from Alex Grey, particular during the Net of Being sequences. I’m not going to really speculate on the themes behind the videos, but the “plot” seems to involve a strange human-like being (referred to as X in the documentary) interacting with an unusual world full of insects, dust and hovering tentacled eye balls, all of which may or may not have some kind of symbiotic link. Eventually, this being somehow looks into itself and sees the Net of Being. All par for the course on a Tool video guess. Personally I’m usually more interested in the effects than the actual story.

The CGI work is generally pretty good, though my inital thoughts were that it was a little inconsistent throughout. Some parts of the video seem quite detailed and smooth, while others seem a little jerky, and just not a well animated as the rest. The jerkiness is explained away in the documentary are part of Adam’s concept, but I can’t help but think that what were looking at is some of the old animation that Adam was rumoured to be unhappy with, with the newer work done by Hydraulx. For example the parts where the glass blocks shatter seem quite low quality. Perhaps it’s meant to be like this. I not sure, but it detracted from the video somewhat for me.

The music itself is extended as advertised, but merely with some ambient noise produced by Lustmord. Don’t expect to hear another Vicarious verse at all!

Next up was the commentry. I loved the commentry on the Schism and Parabola DVD’s. They cracked me up the first time, and I still get a laugh out of them whenever I happen to watch it. David Cross is a comedian I know very little about, and unfortunately this commentry gives me no reason to bother finding out more. I fought the urge to skip both tracks about 2 minutes in, but listened to the whole thing just for the benefit of the review. It didn’t get much better. Someone please direct me to something good by this guy, cause the commentry doesn’t do it for me. I also disliked the fact that the musical track was completely muted. I would have like to have heard the music faintly in the background while David commented.

The Documentary on the video was actually the part of the DVD I looked forward to the most. This 40 minute film features comments from many key members of the Vicarious video team, including Alex Grey, Chet Zar, Kevin Willis and many members of the Hydraulx team. It was quite interesting to hear them talk about what went into the video, and in some cases what has gone into past ones. The documentary features photos from not only the Vicarious development, but also that of previous videos. I quite enjoyed watching it, but felt that it would have benefited from Adam talking about it as well, but I guess that’s not really the way Tool operate.

Also included is a short COSM tour. Only running for about 6 minutes, it shows some of the interior of the complex while Alex Grey talks about what goes on there, as well as some of the impact of the Tool fans that visit.

Finally a set of story boards from both Alex and Adam, outlining some of the inital plans for the video. This is pretty short and sweet and there’s not really much more I can say about that part.

Overall, I was pretty happy with the package. The video itself I’d rate as one of the better Tool videos, but not as good as Parabola or Aenima. For the price of the DVD, I thought it was pretty good value for money, much better than the frustratingly seperate Schism/Parabola DVDs. Here’s hoping a future DVD (The Pot perhaps) has similarly good features, and hopefully some better commentry.

Chet Zar on Alterati

Today’s post on Alterati features an interview with long-time Tool collaborator Chet Zar.   He discusses several aspects of his art in the lead up to a could of shows featuring his work.  The second part of the Pigmy Love Circus interview can also be found on the site.

New Shows, Chet Zar, Lustmord

A few items here that I’ve neglected to post in the last few days.

Firstly two more Tool shows have been confirmed for the US Tour.  These are in Oklahoma City on the 29th of March and Southhaven on the 30th of March.  No details on pre-sales at this stage.  Here’s the list of confirmed dates so far:

2007 15 Mar Las Vegas NV US The Pearl   
2007 16 Mar Las Vegas NV US The Pearl   
2007 18 Mar Reno NV US Reno Events Center   
2007 20 Mar San Diego CA US Cox Arena   
2007 21 Mar Tucson AZ US TCC Arena   
2007 23 Mar Albuquerque NM US Tingley Coliseum   
2007 24 Mar El Paso TX US Don Haskins Center   
2007 26 Mar San Antonio TX US AT&T Center   
2007 27 Mar Corpus Christi TX US American Bank Center   
2007 29 Mar Oklahoma City OK US Ford Center   
2007 30 Mar Southaven MS US Desoto Civic Center

Blair also tells us that Chet Zar’s work is being featured in a solo show at the Strychnin Centre in Berlin.  “Stranger” opens on Friday the 16th of February and runs until March 11th.

Finally, Lustmord has a new CD out called Juggernaut and it features some guitar playing by Buzz Osbourne.  According to Lustmord the album will appeal to those that liked the Lustmord/Melvins CD Pigs of the Roman Empire .  Check out samples on his Myspace page.

TA Xmas Sale, Chet Zar, Maynard Interview

Blair posted on Toolarmy last night that for the next two weeks, orders received via Toolarmy (no word if it also includes sales via Toolband) will be randomly selected to get an autographed photo of the band. Hopefully this applies to people waiting for their orders to be sent (ie- people who have already ordered the Platinum Lateralus Plaque). What you order is irrelevant, so feel free to order the smallest item from the site to be eligible. It was also mentioned that there may be some special items coming up in the weeks before Xmas, mainly older collectibles and other discontinued merchandise.

Also mentioned today is that Chet Zar will be signing copies of the book Spectrum 13 in Burbank of Sunday the 3rd of December. One of his paintings is featured within the book. The signing will be at Dark Delicacies found at 4213 W. Burbank Blvd., Burbank. More details can be found at their website.

I stumbled across this Maynard interview today, thanks to a tip from the guys at the Tool Hotline. Quite an interesting article, focusing on Maynard’s political views, and also talks about his relationship with the fans.

AVC: Given how many records Tool sells, do you feel your message just gets diluted anyway?

MJK: Oh, it’s going to get diluted. I tested the water with the political album A Perfect Circle did. [Until 2005, Keenen was pulling double-duty in A Perfect Circle; the political album was 2004’s covers EP eMOTIVe. —ed.] I didn’t even write those songs; I was just letting people hear what was said before me, the things that inspired me as a child, and things that were said during various turbulent times. And I was fucking crucified. If you go back and listen to that album and just forget that it’s covers, it’s a good album, but I was crucified because of its content, because there’s an army of little fucking brats out there just going into every little chat room, talking shit and undermining anybody who has anything to say. It’s like this insane, 1984/Big Brother infrastructure.

Hmmm, I have no problem with the political points eMotive was trying to make, I just though it was a pretty uninspired and boring album….

One final note, those of you who are Xbox 360 player should hookup with more for some Gears of War action. Here’s my gamertag:

Chet Zar’s Live Painting

Adam’s good mate Chet Zar will be painting live this Saturday the 20th of May at the Max Group Art Show (1018 Santa Fe Ave., Los Angeles, CA.). More details can be found on his website. He also seems to have a new art show on the 9th of June. Thanks to Blair on Toolband/Army for that info.

Happy Birthday Mum!

Adam Jones turns 50

Adam celebrates a big birthday this year as he hits the big 50. Hopefully birthday celebrations include writing some more tunes, and spending some quality time with his new family and friends.

To celebrate, Artist Direct have produced a list of Top 10 Adam Jones Leads. There’a few there I don’t necessarily agree with, but perhaps you guys do? Feel free to let us know in the comments.

Here he is with one of his buddies, Chet Zar:

Chet Zar’s Ego Death hits Kickstarter

Long time Tool collaborator Chet Zar has a new project in the works – a solo art show of new paintings called Ego Death. He is hoping to fund this show using popular crowd-sourcing site Kickstarter.

From his own description:

In the wee morning hours on the first day of 2013 I got an idea for the title of my next solo show of original paintings: EGO DEATH. Ego Death is a term for a mystical experience where the ego temporarily loses its grip over our consciousness. It is that moment when the veil is lifted, you leave all of your internal baggage behind and have that crystal clear vision of the way things REALLY are.

The EGO DEATH title came with another great idea: What if I presented the show like a funeral? You know, decorate the gallery like a traditional Gothic funeral―with Lillies, wreaths, a hearse and even a coffin―a funeral for our collective ego..

The concept really got my mind going! Not only was this a visually exciting idea, it also said something that I have been wanting to say with my artwork for years: perhaps it is finally time to lay the ego to rest. Maybe the same ego that was instrumental in bringing us to this stage in human evolution has outlived its usefulness, and has become the problem. What better way to symbolically lay the ego to rest than a mock funeral?

I have long been toying with the idea that my paintings are, and have always been, representations of our collective ego. Maybe this is why I have not only been painting monsters but I have been painting monsters with pathos.The paintings are portraits of ourselves, the parts of us that we are often afraid to look at. The parts of us that are vulnerable and wounded. They are the parts of us that are in pain.

Snazzy pic below. Chet is asking for $55k, which is not an insignificant figure. If you fancy taking part in the process, you can pledge some money on the Kickstarter page. Depending on how deep your pockets are you could walk away with a range of samples Chet’s work.

The Heart Eater-18x24

Chet Zar & Steve Niles in TOME Kickstarter

I spotted today on Twitter Chet Zar plugging a Kickstarter project entitled TOME which is apparently come kind of comic related project. Not only is Chet involved in the project, but so is fellow Adam collaborator Steve Niles (of 30 Days of Night fame). According to the blurb this years theme is Vampires, so if comics and vampires are your thing, then check it out!

Vampires!

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