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Maynard James Keenan

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!

A Perfect Circle confirm Hollywood show

A Perfect Circle have put out a press release that confirms a show at the Hollywood Bowl on May 7th, with the promise of more shows to come:

We are happy to announce that A Perfect Circle will return this Spring for our first North American tour in six years. A home town show May 7 at the Hollywood Bowl is the first of the dates we can share with you. Tickets are on-sale Thursday, Dec. 15 at 10 am pacific. More dates will be announced soon.

Previously announced festival performances:
April 29 Jacksonville, FL Welcome To Rockville
April 30 Fort Myers, FL Fort Rock
May 5 Charlotte, NC Carolina Rebellion

Tickets for the LA show seem to be via Ticketmaster.

A Perfect Circle to tour in May 2017

According to a number of sources, Billy Howerdel and Maynard James Keenan confirmed at last nights Q&A that A Perfect Circle will be touring in 2017, with a show announced for the 7th of May at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles.

There’s not much other detail at this stage, but word is it will be a decent sized tour and that new material has been worked on.  More details to come soon I expect!

Review: A Perfect Union of Contrary Things

Last week my copy of Maynard James Keenan’s biography – A Perfect Union of Contrary Things arrived from the US, and over the last few days I’ve read through it, and composed a few thoughts in a review of sorts.  If you haven’t read the book, below contains a few minor spoilers of sorts, but nothing that should ruin your enjoyment of it.

The first half of the book covers Maynard’s life pre-Tool.  It goes through his upbringing with his mother in Ohio, then father in Scottville, time in the military, Boston and eventually LA.  It talks about his various pre-Tool bands such as texA.N.S., C.A.D. and adventures with Green Jelly. I found this section interesting and insightful, and painted a great picture of how Maynard evolved into the man he is today.

Moving onto Tool, it covers the beginnings of the band quite well, recounting stories with Tom Morello (and how he considered Maynard for the singing role in Rage Against The Machine) and the coming together of the band with Danny and Adam.  It tells anecdotes of the first few Tool shows, as well as their dealings with record labels during the signing process.  We also get some good insight into his work on the comedy scene including the famous Cuntry Boner performance with Laura Milligan with Adam joining in.

We get to hear the story of Maynard’s move to Arizona, as well as the tale behind his time and self discovery with some local Native Americans.  It gives us a good feel for Maynard’s connection, not just with the land but with nature in general – it’s a theme that has been with him throughout his life.

From then on though the book becomes a bit of a blur – Lateralus and 10,000 Days don’t get much more than a couple of paragraphs each, same with A Perfect Circle post-Mer De Noms.  Even Puscifer gets squeezed into a single chapter.

Hi wine making exploits get good coverage, but there is no mention of Blood Into Wine and some of the topics (and personalities) contained within.  We don’t really get much insight into delays in Tool albums expect that Maynard doesn’t write his lyrics until the music is done (which differs quite a bit from the Opiate and Undertow it would appear).

Overall I was both pleased and disappointed with the book.  The first half I found quite interesting – surprisingly so since it really doesn’t cover much of what we Tool fans would expect.  It is well written, and paints a great picture of Maynard’s upbringing, and as well for me insight into the difference between growing up in the USA vs Australia.

This was tempered with what I felt was a somewhat disappointing second half.  Maynard’s “rockstar” career I felt was overly abbreviated, and was left craving more detail into almost everything.  Touring really isn’t discussed in any depth, nor is recording.  It wasn’t like he pushed one agenda over the other either – his recent work with Puscifer and wine making doesn’t get a whole lot more page space than his other projects.  I feel like there is more to be told and would come as no surprise if there were to be some kind of Tool biography, or even an MJK book that focuses on his music career – I (and I expect many here) would read this.

Negatives aside, I come away from the book feeling like I know much more about Maynard the person – and I expect this was probably the goal behind this story being told.  It’ll sound corny to some of you, but I do feel inspired by some of the words Maynard has had to say, and some of the philosophies behind how he works.  This book won’t change your life, but may challenge you to reconsider how you consider some aspects of life.

A Perfect Union of Contrary things is an authorised biography written by Sarah Jensen with Maynard offering frequent insights into her writing.  You can grab a copy from Amazon!

A Perfect Union of Contrary Things
A Perfect Union of Contrary Things

 

Puscifer release video for The Arsonist

Yesterdays Instagram post was a hint towards a new Puscifer video it seems, this time an animated feature with Joe Rogan, Ronda Rousey and Trumpzilla accompanying The Arsonist – in my opinion one of the better tracks from Money Shot.  It’s pretty good!  Watch it below:

More info on the video at AV Club

Puscifer on The Onion?

I came across an interesting Instagram post today from Puscifer:

See you all tomorrow! @theonion #comedyfirstalways #thearsonist

A video posted by Puscifer & Caduceus (@puscifer) on

Perhaps we’re going to see Maynard and/or Puscifer on The Onion tomorrow?

In other Maynard related news, there is a reasonably new interview with him on Aussie digital radio station Double J.  It’s not an especially insightful interview, however does give us a tiny clue as to the Puscifer Tour in Australia next year:

“It’s gonna be a different show to what we brought last time,” Keenan told Double J’s Myf Warhurst. “A couple of curveballs. It should be fun.”

Moderators announced for Maynard James Keenan Book Tour

Moderators for the upcoming Maynard James Keenan book tour have been announced today, and there are some interesting names including Billy Howerdel, Kim Thayil and Alex Grey.  It sounds like these will be pretty interesting events, so get along to one if you get the chance!


Moderators for Maynard’s A Perfect Union of Contrary Things book tour have been announced:

November 9 Nashville, TN City Winery Nashville SOLD OUT
Moderators: Dino Paredes (Suretone Management) & Mark Brooks (Metalocalypse director)

November 10 Wappinger Falls, NY COSM Chapel of Sacred Mirrors
Moderator: Alex Grey (Renowned artist/Chapel of Sacred Mirrors founder)

November 11 New York, NY New York Society for Ethical Culture SOLD OUT 
Moderator: Roxy Myzal (HardDrive Radio Producer/beloved radio personality)

November 12 Washington, DC Sixth & I Historic Synagogue
Moderator (both 7:30, SOLD OUT, and 10 pm readings): Roxy Myzal (HardDrive Radio Producer/beloved radio personality)

November 14 Toronto, ON Convocation Hall (University of Toronto) 
Moderator: Alan Cross Official (102.1 the Edge Music Director)

November 16 Chicago, IL Thalia Hall (7 pm reading) SOLD OUT
Moderator: Amanda Danielson (Owner, Trattoria Stella and The Franklin/Master Sommelier)

November 16 Chicago, IL Thalia Hall (10:30 pm reading)
Moderator: Dirk Flanigan (Executive Chef, Ocean Cut Chicago and Il Coniglio/Former Pigface vocalist)

November 18 Portland, OR Aladdin Theater
Moderator (both 7:30, SOLD OUT, and 10 pm readings): Paul Barker (Ministry/Lead Into Gold / Bells Into Machines/Puscifer)

November 19 Seattle, WA Kane Auditorium
Moderator: Kim Thayil (Soundgarden)

November 21 San Francisco, CA Herbst Theatre
Moderator: Laura Milligan (aka Hildy Berger/Mr. Show)

November 22 Los Angeles, CA The Montalban
Moderator: Billy Howerdel (A Perfect Circle / ASHES dIVIDE)

November 25 Phoenix, AZ Mesa Arts Center SOLD OUT
Moderator: Kimber Lanning (Local First Arizona / Stinkweeds)

November 26 Boulder, CO Boulder Theater
Moderator: Matt Mather (Sommelier at Frasca Food & Wine)

November 27 Dallas, TX Texas Theatre
Moderator: Steven Drozd (Flaming Lips)

Tickets for all dates are on-sale now, with the exception of the Nov. 14 event at the Chapel of Sacred Mirrors, which are available to the general public on Oct. 14.

Maynard Biography Interviews

Interviews are starting to appear online in support of the new Maynard James Keenan  authorised biography A Perfect Union of Contrary Things.  For your consideration today are an interesting interview with Rolling Stone magazine, and a Podcast.

In Rolling Stone, Maynard answers a range of questions which I suspect broadly preview the content of the book.  The key point I take from this is that we shouldn’t be expecting it to be a Tool biography:

This book you just put out is very adamantly not a Tool book. Tool is a part of it, but in some ways, there’s probably more Puscifer or the winemaking or even the sort of pre-musical life. Was that a calculated thing?
There’s so much stuff out there about Tool, and there’s so many things about me with Tool out there right now it would just be redundant. And some of the more behind-the-scenes things that go on with the band, it should be a volume that’s done by all four of those people, not just me. So, a lot of the things are saved for that next incarnation. Even though this is a biography, I feel like it’s more of, like we talked about, a map – just a map of certain decisions and how they were arrived at, if nothing else for an inspiration for me, to chronicle where I’ve been, to know where I’m going, and also for an observer to look at it and see how it applies to their life.

Will be interesting to see if a Tool biography ever eventuates.

The second interview is a podcast with Kevin Eikenberry from The Remarkable Leaders series.  It’s an interesting and thoughtful interview where Maynard talks about the creative process, and how he has refound his love for music.

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