40 Years of Noe

#Tool #Lateralus #2001 #Music



So I have a guy named Matt Duve to thank for getting me into the band Tool. In high school he would periodically loan me tapes to listen to. When I first heard the album Undertow, my life changed. Flash forward to the year 2001. The album Lateralus is released during a time when our country was invaded by terrorists. However, I was personally moved and deeply touched by Maynard and the gang in a very positive way.

Everything about Tool’s fourth album is an experience, starting with the packaging, which consists of liner credits printed on a translucent plastic sleeve over the CD and a booklet that layers anatomical representations atop one another. The first page pictures musculature and blood vessels; the next, bones; the third, internal organs; and so on. It’s worth describing the packaging of Lateralus because it says much about the astonishing music within.

While it remains in the Tool tradition of trance-inducing progressive metal, Lateralus is tighter, clearer, crisper, and all around a notch above their admirable previous releases. Aenima was flawed by muddy production and a certain predictability. Don’t get me wrong, I truly enjoyed that album. Undertow had a cleaner sound but wasn’t as confident or adventurous. It was an adventure in high school that catapulted me into the world to begin my Tool adventure but I have moved on since then.

With Lateralus, Tool have raised an already lofty bar still higher by coming up with a collection that kicks major ass. Lateralus, like I said was released in 2001, it has got to be one of the more groundbreaking musical releases since the mid-80’s and early 90’s. Lateralus is a long, well thought out musical masterpiece that draws parallels to Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon.” This whole record is just full of amazing progressive rock and it is nearly impossible to fathom that human beings actually wrote and then performed this type of music. Every song has layers and sub-layers and sub-sub-layers.

You do not listen to this album…you surrender yourself to it. The experience of Lateralus penetrates deeper than the brain — it is deeply spiritual and uplifting. Nothing comes close to obsessing my world of the first decade of the 2000’s like this one. TOOL ROCKS!


Concert Review: Puscifer Ignites The Cadillac Palace

4423948Tuesday night at 151 West Randolph Street in downtown Chicago; tattoos, leather jackets, cigarettes, nose-piercings, long haired-hippies and dudes wearing Tool t-shirts were standing outside of the Cadillac Palace. Once an old home to Vaudeville and now a place for pre-Broadway shows this place looked a little different last night. Sometimes, an act like a rock band named Puscifer comes here to “perform.”

The band is a side project of frontman, Maynard James Keenan (normally a part of the band Tool, hence the t-shirts). He knows a thing or to about putting on a dramatic performance. The show began around 9:00 pm and things started off with a small projected screen of Keenan and others dressed like redneck cowboys with an ignorant attitude and a comical documentary about a fake band. Keenan came out onto the stage with a cheering crowd yelling out his name. He wore a black cowboy hat, black cowboy shirt, and big sunglasses. Maynard was setting up a camp on the stage while chatting with the crowd. It was funny how he was dragging around this silver trailer.

The stage eventually contained a picnic table, camping lawn chairs, wine glasses with a bottle of wine next to them and the band members casually drank the wine throughout the show. A fake rattle snake was placed out in front.

So he opens the door to the trailer and lets out a brunette girl named Carina Round, who is a British singer and guitar player. Earlier, she was the opening act. She helped Keenan set up some more stuff on the stage like a drum kit and really cool looking microphones. The true genius of this show was about to begin.

A gigantic screen filled the walls and floor to ceiling that stood behind Keenan and Round. All during the night, several images drifted through it. Bizarre desert landscapes, oceans, clouds, colored bubbles and faces were popping in and out of the screen. It looked really cool as their shadowy figures danced back and forth in a ritual-like motion. The two of them were perfectly harmonizing together. Both have quite strikingly beautiful voices that blend with the industrial sounds of guitars and drums strumming and beating away. It was hypnotic, trance-inducing and alarming to watch and listen to.

They were promoting the new album, “Conditions of My Parole.” I know I already stated this but Keenan performed like a champion. The music and theatrics were simply amazing! this 2 hour show left me dazed but not confused. I was filled with enthusiasm. My wife Denny was so enthralled watching this show. Probably her favorite rock show to date.

Ultimately, there was this cool Arizona desert vibe while camping outdoors with a fire pit and drinking wine while jamming in a rock noir fashion. That is how I felt and I think Maynard was also promoting his wine that he makes in the Arizona desert. So there you go, a little plugging while plugged in and jamming. Can’t wait to see what He has in store next for the band Tool or any other unusually fitting Maynard James Keenan project. Just as long as Carina sings backup with him. She was quite a performer too.

So that’s my review, I hope you enjoyed it! Until next time,

C-Note signing off