Picadilly Circus
music - Picadilly Circus, lyrics - MPS

Story

The setting is 1994, in the bustling metropolis of Tallmadge, OH... After several early incarnations featuring other members, my first band - Picadilly Circus released our first ep - a casette tape called "Deja Boo." It featured lifetime Circus members Mason P. Shuman on bass and vocals and Allen Ilg on drums. It also featured Admiral Dave Yatsu on rhythm guitar. It sold well at our high school - well enough that we started playing shows. This song, "Mike TV," was probably my favorite from the early days. It features the lyrical style of Mason I would love hearing over the coming years. His poetic, metaphorical style was a huge influence on me and still is. One thing I remember from these very early days is how people had no idea how to respond to us (a theme that would reoccur many times throughout our career) One student who shall remain nameless asked me, "So, do these songs actually mean anything?"

Picadilly Circus
music - Picadilly Circus, lyrics - MPS

Story

 

Northeast Ohio circa 1998 was a pretty cool time and place to be in a band. There were a ton of different styles floating around and a feeling that literally anything could happen. We were exploring ideas on and off stage - trying to come up with ways to push the envelope of what Picadilly Circus could be. I think this picture sums up the era better than any I could find. We were a tight knit, aggressive, three piece rock band. We lived and breathed this band. We released our first full length album - "Dangerous Open Minded Behavior" in the fall of 1998. I remember one reviewer trying to wrap his head around it writing something like - "take one part Pearl Jam, add a bit of Living Colour, throw in a Pantera-like throbbing rhythm section and you're about 1/4 the way there." This particular song, "655321," features that throbbing rhythm section - notably Allen Ilg on drums. Listening back to our songs and live shows from this period, I am always amazed at how fast and hard we were all playing, especially Allen.  

Picadilly Circus
music - Picadilly Circus, lyrics - Kev

Story

 

In 2000, we went into Grooveyard Studios to record our third album - an EP called "Wink, Wink, Nudge, Nudge." It featured a new member - Carlwin Adonis Windom on woodwinds. We had always wanted a sax player in the band, and Carlwin came in as a sort of jack of all trades. He played baritone and soprano sax, flute, keyboard, keytar, and an electronic wind instrument we called the "schwanzstucker." This album was another head scratcher for many folks. Our live shows were pretty rowdy at this point, but the album we were selling featured flute solos. Nobody every claimed we were marketing geniuses...  

Picadilly Circus
music - Picadilly Circus, lyrics - Kev

Story

                            

 

Yes, that's me in a dress. Like I said, our shows were interesting events. This song used to close our shows for years, so I felt it was necessary to include. At the Grooveyard, I recorded these vocals using a SM-58 mic plugged into a Marshall guitar cabinet - that's why I sound so manly.

Picadilly Circus
music - Picadilly Circus, lyrics - Kev

Story

 

In 2002, we decided that we were going to try a new approach to the recording process - do it all ourselves. One thing about this band is that we never pocketed one cent from any show, album, or tshirt. Every penny went back into the band. We had bought vans for touring, lots of gear, paid for studio time, and finally paid to turn our rehearsal space into a studio. By now, we were playing with a new guitarist - Philberto Crimaldi - and our sound had mellowed considerably. Mason was married, I was a father about to be married, and our seperate home lives were seeping into the music. "Syzygy," our fourth and final album, seemed on the outside to be an excercise in socialism through music. We wrote it, recorded it, produced it, and released it. Looking back on it, I feel there are great moments on there, but I think we were slowly coming to the realization that it was over. We weren't the tight knit unit we were in 1998. We had things that were bigger than the band. We released this album then threw in the towel soon thereafter. I don't want this to sound like a death rattle, though. We played some of our best shows during this period. In all honesty, I think if you asked any fan of Picadilly Circus when we were our best - they would say during the "Syzygy" era.

Fine

07:27
Ralph Macchio
music - Ralph Macchio, lyrics - Doug Case

Story

 

Sometime around 2004 (the details are hazy, and a bit top secret) I joined forces with Kevin Kimmell, Doug Case, and Clint Ryan to form a super group called "Ralph Macchio." We played a few shows - notably one dressed head to toe as KISS - and featured full karate choreography on stage. I think there are videos somewhere of this, but I'm not sure they need to see the light of day. This song, "Fine," is from a live show at the Voodoo in Akron, OH.

Funkensalsa
music - Funkensalsa, lyrics - Kev

Story

 

In 2005, I joined up with some players to form "Funkensalsa." It didn't last long, but the musicians involved all pushed each other to new places. This song is, ironically, called "Circus." We all contributed to the music, but I wrote the lyrics about a hippie who dresses up like a clown and steals cars before eventually getting caught and tased to death by the police. Oddly, it is a theme I have yet to revisit. This is a live recording from the only show we ever played.  

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