What is…. Puscifer is part comedy, part concert and part philosophical thesis. Maynard James Keenan isn’t known for doing things conventionally and this latest brainchild is no exception.
The documentary starts and we are introduced to Maynard’s distant hillbilly cousin Billy D. Accompanying him on his tour is his wife and cousin Hildy D., played by Carina Round. Shot into stardom from a trailer park somewhere in Arizona, Billy and Hildy address their marital problems using “countyfied” Puscifer songs. While I have a natural aversion to country music and run at the mere sound of a banjo, somehow it works in the context of this comedy skit.The other characters who lend their voice to the camera are Major Douche and Peter Mirkin (both also played by Maynard). They are likewise a parody of America’s love of the military, guns, drinking, celebrity worship, mediocrity and ignorance. They continue to appear through the concert section of the DVD adding commentary and food for thought.
The concert section begin by Maynard wheeling out a small silver trailer. Out of this trailer appear foldable chairs, tables, wine, a bonfire and Carina Round. Carina and Maynard explain the concept of Puscifer and how it’s fundamentally human to combine creativity with utility. What follows is the Puscifer band proceeding to play a selection of songs from Puscifer albums, “V is for Vagina,” and “Conditions of my Parole.” Maynard and Carina’s voices are pairing made in musical heaven. Carina even sings an acoustic version of “Rev 22.00,” and does the impossible, makes a sexy song even sexier.
The best artists are those who create a entire new world with their music that includes imagery and aesthetic. Just like with Tool and A Perfect Circle, Maynard gave birth to Puscifer and it has taken on a life of its own. Combining rock, metal, electro, brilliant lyrics, politics, comedy and just damn good riffs to create some extraordinary good music, Puscifer is an energy and a way of life. One that is equally powerful in the studio and live on stage. I can never tire of watching Maynard and Carina command a stage and dance their asses off!
Puscifer “What Is…” Trailer