Monday December 9, 2013
A Perfect Circle
Several words come to mind thinking about A Perfect Circle, mysterious, brooding, intellectual, innovative, experimental, stirring and celestial barely scratch the surface. With the enigmatic, reclusive Maynard James Keenan's ethereal yet powerful vocals, Billy Howerdale's driving, silky smooth guitar work and drums by one of the most talented persons to ever hoist a stick, Josh Freese, A Perfect Circle nit a nerve with their successive albums (three in five years) from 2000 to 2004, "Mer de Noms", "Thirteenth Step" and "eMOTIVe" filling a void we didn't know was there. That's because no one had ever sounded quite like APC before. New turf. Of course, there were other notable artists who contributed to the milieu, notably Danny Lohner of Nine Inch Nails and Queen's of the Stone Age's Troy Van Leeuwen, but it was that core group of three, Howerdel, Keenan and Freese, that wrote the APC how-to manual. APC captured the zeitgeist of the
post-new-millennium rock landscape. APerfectCircle.com is their web address and they're on the requisite social sites too.
Why are we welcoming the band back to Rockline? Because they're releasing a greatest hits package called "Three Sixty", which contains an obligatory new song, SOP with greatest hits albums, but this one, "By and Down", is a sweeping, dramatic and cinematic song representing the first newly recorded material by the band in over 10 years. As well as it turned out we can only hope for an encore and more new material from the band. Remember all those adjectives in the beginning of this missive? Apply all of them to "By and Down". The song stirs the senses and reminds us of the band's original appeal and unbridled talent. We'll see what develops long term, but one thing is certain, Keenan will be celebrating his 50th anniversary by performing with two of his three bands (APC and Puscifer) at the Greek Theater in Los Angeles on Saturday May 10, 2014. Is this a portent of things to come? Only time will tell.
In the interim, join us for Billy Howerdel, "Three Sixty", and "By and Down" exclusively on the next Rockline!
Wednesday December 11, 2013
A Tribute to
Where do we start with this one? There are many layers and stories involving Ronnie Montrose, his musical career, his myriad friends and band mates, his relationship with Rockline and more importantly his love affair with his fans and his fans love of him. It's likely Ronnie did far more work than the average fan is aware of. One of his earliest triumphs was to be guitarist (electric and acoustic) on the legendary Van Morrison album, "Tupelo Honey", which includes the massive hit single, "Wild Night". Montrose quickly accepted more work and appeared on even more gigantic classic rock songs such as those on Edgar Winter's monster album, "They Only Come Out At Night". That's the LP with "Free Ride" and "Frankenstein" on it. In 1973 he formed his namesake band, Montrose, with a little known vocalist (at the time) by the name of Sammy Hagar. Montrose released two albums with Hagar singing and a third and a fourth with vocalist Bob James. All told there were five Montrose albums plus a greatest hits CD. Ronnie continued to record with other artists including Boz Scaggs, Gary Wright and scores more. His website, RonnieMontrose.com remains active.
Not only did Ronnie record nine solo albums from 1978 to 1999, but quite remarkably he also created four albums with his band Gamma from 1979 to 2000 featuring Davey Pattison (Robin Trower) on vocals all the while continuing to work with an amazing roster of performers as a guest in whatever capacity he was needed. There are so many artists who welcomed Ronnie into their bands and sessions that we won't attempt to list them all, suffice to say when word went out that we were doing this tribute to Ronnie we had more artists ask to take part than we had room to hold them all. After carefully paring them down we have a final list of guests, Ronnie's lovely wife Leighsa, fellow guitarist Mark Bonilla, bassist Rickey Phillips (Styx), drummer Eric Singer (Kiss) and vaunted keyboardist Ed Roth. We plan on sourcing the music for the show from a wide variety of possibilities including the recorded tribute concert, Rockline, exclusives, revered studio songs, Ronnie's acoustic album "Bearings" and who knows what else.
Join us to properly say goodbye and to celebrate the life of the famed guitarist. It's a tribute to Ronnie Montrose on the next Rockline!