Back in the year 2000 (how fitting for this since Conan used to have a segment on his show about “The Year 2000”), while A Perfect Circle was supporting the release of their amazing debut album, Mer De Noms, and while on tour with Nine Inch Nails, they made a stop to perform “Judith” on Late Night with Conan O’Brien. This performance is absolutely killer. Josh Freese is a beast behind the kit and was such an integral part of this band. It’s too bad he wasn’t involved in their recent return along with Paz Lenchantin on bass and Troy Van Leeuwen on guitar. Either way, enjoy this gem!
A Perfect Circle- Judith on Late Night with Conan O’Brien:
Since the announcement that A Perfect Circle will be returning, I thought making an ultimate set list for them is very appropriate.
I’m curious to see what your ultimate/dream set list would be for A Perfect Circle.
As usual here are the rules:
Rule 1: What line up of the band would it be
Rule 2: Where would you want to see the show
Rule 3: maximum 25 songs
Lineup: Maynard James Keenan, Billy Howerdel, Josh Freese, Danny Lohner, Troy Van Leeuwen, and Paz Lenchantin
Venue: Fonda Theatre- Los Angeles, CA
01) The Hollow
02) The Outsider
07) Sleeping Beauty
08) Weak and Powerless
09) By and Down
10) The Package
13) Thinking of You
16) The Noose
17) 3 Libras
I wrote a piece a while back about A Perfect Circle needing to come back. Well it seems like it is actually going to happen. During a recent stop along Maynard’s book tour in Los Angeles, A Perfect Circle guitarist was the moderator at this stop, and they both said that the band was going to get back together. Billy and Maynard both said they had been working on new music. Billy said that he has about 75% of an album completed musically. They also announced that they would be playing a show at the Hollywood Bowl, May 7, 2017.
This is very exciting news, especially since there doesn’t seem to be a light at the end of the tunnel for a new Tool album any time soon. I don’t know about you all, but, I sure was getting tired of all the Puscifer releases.
There is one caveat I have about them getting back together and that is coming back with the right lineup. They people that replaced Josh Freese, Troy Van Leeuwen, Danny Lohner and Paz Lenchantin, are solid musicians but, they really don’t fit in the band. Let’s hope Josh and Danny come back with this reunion.
If there is one band that really should come back around and release a new album it’s A Perfect Circle. It’s been over thirteen years since they released an album of new material. Maynard has kept busy over the years with Puscifer, which is interesting and another outlet for him, but the fact that there are more Puscifer albums than A Perfect Circle albums, it’s just not right. A Perfect Circle guitarist Billy Howerdel has said that “there are fully developed songs without lyrics and melody…as far as the music end goes, I’ve got 75% of the foundation of [the next] A Perfect Circle record ready to go.” And that he is just waiting on Maynard. In March of 2016 Maynard was quoted as saying “I still hope to make and release new music with the band.” Well then get on it. It’s been over ten years since there was a new Tool record, and thirteen since there was a new APC record. I get the need and want to go off and do different things, explore new musical avenues, but what I don’t get is how you can just leave a band like A Perfect Circle behind. I still remember the day that Mer De Noms came out. I was so excited and pumped to own that album and I listened to it so much I had to get another copy. Then when The Thirteenth Step came out, it elevated their game so much more, and became one of those albums that you just can’t get enough of.
Enough with the wait. It’s time to get Maynard in a room with Billy Howerdel, Josh Freese, Paz Lenchantin, Troy Van Leeuwen, and Danny Lohner and make a great new album. The world needs a new album from A Perfect Circle, it’s been too long!
Soundtracks are a tricky thing to make. Songs have to fit perfectly with each scene. Sometimes the music chosen fits perfectly and becomes the best part of watching certain scenes. One such movie and soundtrack is the first Underworld. The film’s soundtrack was produced by Danny Lohner (former Nine Inch Nails multi instrumentalist). Danny contributed several songs to the soundtrack under his pseudonym Renholder (A Perfect Circles’s song Renholder off Mer De Noms is in reference to Danny Lohner). In addition to contributions from The Dillinger Escape Plan, Puscifer, A Perfect Circle, Page Hamilton of Helmet, and Skinny Puppy, there was a group called The Damning Well, that provided a song for the soundtrack. The Damning Well was a supergroup comprised of Wes Borland (Limp Bizkit), Danny Lohner (Nine Inch Nails), Josh Freese (A Perfect Circle), and Richard Patrick (Filter). Their contribution “Awakening,” was a real highlight of the soundtrack, and left listeners wondering what could’ve become of such a collaboration had they continued. It’s been said that much of the music that they created wound up being used for the first Black Light Burns album. One other song featured on the soundtrack called “Bring Me The Head Of The Disco King” is also a huge highlight. This song features David Bowie, Maynard James Keenan and John Frusciante.
The movie itself wasn’t that great but, there were a couple highlights. Kate Beckinsale and this fantastic soundtrack.
The Damning Well: Awakening
David Bowie and friends: Bring Me The Head Of The Disco King
A Perfect Circle: Weak and Powerless (Tilling My Grave Mix)
During the year 2000 the world was presented with A Perfect Circle. Their debut album Mer De Noms was released to great fanfare and critical acclaim. Mer De Noms also featured a rebirth of sorts to what had been missing for quite sometime, making a cohesive album. Songs such as “Judith,” “The Hollow,” “Magdalena,” “3 Libras,” “Rose,” and “Thinking Of You” all were such standout tracks that left a lasting impact. There were a couple songs (“Thomas” and “Over”) that were out of place on their own but in the context of the album as a whole they fit. The first half of the album really shines but tends to drift and fall away towards the end. Production wise it is above superb.
In 2003 A Perfect Circle released Thirteenth Step. This album marked a growth and departure from the more polished sound of their previous album. It seemed that Maynard’s time back in Tool in between albums gave him new perspective on the direction on which to write for A Perfect Circle. The thematic tone of the album provided quite a distinctive backdrop for how the music sounded, was produced and how the songs were placed in the album. Songs such as “Weak and Powerless,” The Noose (my personal favorite),” “Blue,” “The Outsider,” and “Pet” again can stand out on their own, but really hit home more in the album as a whole. Production wise there is a more raw feel to it. It almost helps get under your skin faster and sink in.
Both records are totally different but all the while great in their own right. I lean more towards Thirteenth Step.