Posts Tagged ‘Tea Party’

I was listening to some Smashing Pumpkins earlier this week and I started thinking about what was my favorite albums of that era (the 90’s). So, today, with the rain outside, I thought that it would be the best time to write about it.

First, I’d like to say that this list is aboslutely NOT meant to be a BEST ALBUMS OF THE 90’s kind of list. These are albums that had a great influence on me as a musician, and albums that I still listen to, 20 years later.

Also, I am not presenting them in a specific order. I tried to class them for 1 to 10 but found out I really hard a hard time deciding which one I liked the best. So, I am just throwing them randoml;y, in no specific order.

So, without any further ado, let’s take a look at this list.

PEARL JAM – Ten

PEARL JAM – No Code

RADIOHEAD – The Bends

RADIOHEAD – OK Computer

SMASHING PUMPKINS – Siamese Dreams

SMASHING PUMPKINS – Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness

PAVEMENT – Crooked Rain Crooked Rain

SOUDGARDEN – Superunknown

THE TEA PARTY – The Edges Of Twilight

TOOL – Undertow

How about you? What are you favorite albums of that decade?

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One of the most exciting news I had this spring was that The Tea Party were back together for a summer tour, 6 years after they broke up. To me, the Tea Party is amongst the most interesting Canadian bands. This tour was to stop in Montreal on July 7th 2011.

So, last thursday, we went to the Metropolis in Montreal, to see that show that we were really looking forward to. The opening act was a Canadian band called The Reason. Even though I didn’t know them, they’ve been around since 2003. For me, it was a really nice discovery. They delivered around 40 minutes of finely crafted rock songs with catchy melodies. Moreover, at the end of their set, they played a cover of one another Canadian band that I love a lot: Sloan. That was enough, they got me in their pocket. You can watch a video of this here.

Then came what we were all waiting for: The Tea Party. After just a few minutes, it was clear that their 6 years break wasn’t enough for them to lose anything. For those who have never seen them live, it’s amazing how a trio can sound so full and thick. And that is still true today.

There was something in the air that night. Some kind of excitement. You could feel that the crowd have been waiting for this moment for a long time. They opened the show with Writing’s on the wall, followed by The Bazaar. After this song, Jeff Martin said to us something like:
“Writing’s on the wall that The Tea Party is back, and it’s not going away anytime soon”. That was it. The audience was set on fire.

They delivered over 16 of their greatest songs, with all the energy that you could expect from them. You could actually see and feel that they were as excited to be back together as we were to see them back. And as usual, Jeff Martin had us sing on some songs, as Save Me, Release or Heaven Coming Down. The crowd was pleased. I was too.

For those interested in that kind of details, the setlist was ( maybe I forgot a song or two, but it should be pretty accurate):
– Writing’s On The Wall
– The Bazaar
– Lullaby
– Psychopomp
– The Messenger
– Fire In The Head
– Correspondance
– Heaven Coming Down
– Sun Going Down
– Halcyon Days
– Save Me
– Release
– Temptation
Encore break 1
– The River
Encore break 2
– The Badger
– Sister Awake / Paint It Black

To see some videos of the performance, you can go here.

Now that they shown us hey can still rock, they left me wanting for more. I am so looking forward to hearing new material. Please, give us a new record soon.

Jeff is back

Posted: March 16, 2011 in CD, Musique
Tags: , , , ,

I was in a music store last week, looking at CDs when the artwork of a CD grabbed my attention. I looked at it more closely and saw that it was a new Jeff Martin recording. For those who don’t know him, he was the frontman of the Canadian band The Tea Party, who were active in the ’90s, up to their breakup in 2005. Their style was a mix of raw rock and blues, with a middle-eastern flavour. After the breakup, Jeff put out a solo album in 2006, and a record with a new band, the Armada, in 2008.

Even though I’ve been a little disappointed by his post-Tea Party efforts, I remained a big fan of Jeff Martin. And it was with great pleasure that I discovered he was back…and rocking.

Before talking about the music, I’d like to talk a little bit about the visual. When CD came along, the jacket became less important than it was on a (much larger) vinyl. And it’s almost disappearing now with MP3 and digital music. However, I personally really love that piece of art that is, to me, part of the musical experience. And in that specific case, I must say that I really love the artwork of the CD. It’s really beautiful, and set the vibe for that middle-eastern flavoured record. Even the booklet has this mystical side that is just awesome.

That being said, let’s jump into the music. Right off the bat, Martin and his band set the pace with The Ground Cries Out (which is also the album title). The pounding percussions, the heavy guitars and that exotic melody immediately put us in a Tea Party flashback. However, I have to say that he does not sound like a copy of himself. It’s just that he brought back that spirit that was behind Tea Party’s music.

Of course, you’ll also find on the album a touch of blues and slide guitars, as Jeff Martin seems to cherish it. Good examples of that are Queen of Spades or Riverland Rambler.

Another of Martin’s trademark is instrumental acoustic songs. And of course, you’ll find it here as well, in songs as Blue Mountain Sun or The Mekong. On this last one, Martin widens its influences to add a touch of oriental melodies. I would say there’s a little something Chinese in this song. I believe this is the first time he explores this, on record at least.

The album closes as strong as it opened, with The Pyre. Its heavy guitar riff will leave you begging for more.

To me, this album is one of the interesting album 2011 has given us so far. It sure isn’t The Tea Party. There was something special between Jeff Burrows, Stuart Chatwood and Jeff Martin. Those of you who have seen them live know what I am talking about. But this is clearly a great rock album.

Now I can’t wait to see (or hear) how this will sound live.