Troy Van Leeuwen

Memorable TV Performances: Queens of the Stone Age on SNL 2005

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Back in 2005, when Will Ferrell hosted Saturday Night Live, Queens of the Stone Age made their SNL debut. They were promoting their album Lullabies To Paralyze at this time. Their SNL set consisted of “Little Sister” and “In My Head” both from that record. The reason why this performance is quite memorable is because of the special guest who comes out during the performance of “Little Sister.”

Queens Of The Stone Age on SNL 2005:


Great Music Videos: Chelsea Wolfe- 16 Psyche

Chelsea Wolfe's '16 Psyche' Roars Like An Asteroid : NPR

Over the past few years, I’ve really come to enjoy Chelsea Wolfe more and more. I remember seeing her open for Russian Circles way back and at the time, I wasn’t too into it. Perhaps it was because of the band before her and their energy on stage was so electric that by the time it was her set, the drop in energy just dropped. That’s not to say she and her band weren’t awesome. Anyways, a couple years back, Chelsea released the album Hiss Spun, and it all finally made sense to me. One of the songs that instantly caught my attention was “16 Psyche.” This track and video are stunningly superb. This track and album are also the perfect introduction to getting into the greatness that is Chelsea Wolfe.

Chelsea Wolfe- 16 Psyche:

 

Memorable TV Performances: A Perfect Circle on Conan O’Brien

A Perfect Circle - Judith live on Conan O'Brien - YouTube

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:

 

Worst Cover Songs: Gone Is Gone (Portishead)- Roads

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There is a new “collective group” (I’ve stopped using the term Supergroup) out called Gone Is Gone. It’s made up of Troy Sanders of Mastodon, Troy Van Leeuwen of Queens of the Stone Age, Tony Hajjar of At The Drive In and Mike Zarin. On paper this sounds like it could sound really cool, but it just doesn’t do it sadly. So much talent, but the execution is lackluster. Speaking of lackluster, on their full length debut album Echolocation, Gone Is Gone did a cover of Portishead’s “Roads.” Their version really misses the mark and is quite possibly one of the worst covers I’ve ever heard. Hear it for yourself.

Gone Is Gone- Roads:

 

Portishead- Roads (Studio Version from Dummy):

 

 

Portishead- Roads (Live Version from Roseland Ballroom 1998):

Ultimate Set List: A Perfect Circle

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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

Set List:

01) The Hollow
02) The Outsider
03) Rose
04) Orestes
05) Gravity
06) Passive
07) Sleeping Beauty
08) Weak and Powerless
09) By and Down
10) The Package
11) Judith
12) Thomas
13) Thinking of You
14) Blue
15) Pet
16) The Noose
17) 3 Libras
18) Magdalena

Bands That Should Return: A Perfect Circle

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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!

Unsung Masterpieces Part 2: Failure- Fantastic Planet

The 90’s were such a great time for rock music. There had been a revolution of loud guitars, heavy bass, thundering drums and meaningful lyrics. There was also a lot of epic masterpieces that went unnoticed. One album in particular was Failure’s “Fantastic Planet.” Ken Andrews (Vocals/Guitar/Bass), Greg Edwards (Bass/Guitar/Percussion/Piano), and Kelli Scott (Drums) produced a very honest etherial album. Space-rock themes course through the album’s lyrics, as well as various indirect references to drug addiction, drug-related experiences, and prostitution. There are also lush textures that guide the listener on a seductive path throughout the listening of the album. Fantastic Planet features so many great songs that it makes it hard to pick just one stand out track. Songs such as Saturday Savior, Sergeant Politeness, Smoking Umbrellas, Pitiful, The Nurse Who Loved Me and Stuck On You are the most common. Though other songs such as Dirty Blue Balloons, Blank, Pillowhead and Daylight, compete at such a high level that it’s hard to skip any of the songs. The album was self produced by Failure and engineered by Ken Andrews at their own studio. During the touring cycle for Fantastic Planet, Troy VanLeeuwen was brought on to add more guitar to the live sound. After only 3 albums together Failure parted ways with each other. Ken Andrews went on to start the bands Year Of The Rabbit and ON, as well as become a well sought after producer/engineer. Greg Edwards formed Autolux, a very experimental yet rocking band. Kelli Scott went on to play with Veruca Salt and other bands. Troy VanLeeuwen went on to play with A Perfect Circle and now with Queens Of The Stone Age. The amount of influence Failure has had on today’s bands is very noticeable.  Failure seemed to be on to something way before “it” was time for it to come to the forefront of the masses. Luckily for everyone that has become a Failure fan over the years can rejoice. Failure are back and ready to claim their place!

 

By: Brian Lacy