Nerdvana: “Black Halo” by Three Merry Widows

Today’s Nerdvana is one of my current jams. Jason will tell ya, I’ve been listening to this A LOT.

I was first introduced to the band Three Merry Widows while watching an episode of an old and forgotten ESPN series titled Max Out, which would show footage of various extreme sports (surfing, skydiving, skiing, skateboarding, rock climbing, snowboarding, etc.) with alternative music playing over it (sort of a precursor to Fuel TV); it was the perfect sports show for a geekoid like me who’s not all that into sports and doesn’t participate in sports at all, but loves themsleves some alternative music. (This show also introduced me to the collaborative album between The Art of Noise’s Anne Dudley and Killing Joke’s Jaz Coleman Songs from the Victorious City–if you haven’t heard this amazing album yet, more’s the pity.) The track in question is from the band’s first (and to date, only) major label album, Which Dreamed It?. It’s been so long since I’ve seen that show or heard any traces of Three Merry Widows that to this day I’m still not sure if this is the track from them that I heard on Max Out, but upon discovering it, I found that this song kicks MAJOR booty so this is the one I’ll be spotlighting here.

With a band name like Three Merry Widows one would expect a trio of doll-eyed ladies performing village-y type folk and New Age style songs a la Medieaval Baebes, but it’s actually 4 dudes and 1 lady, and this song is a funk-tastic burst of psychedelic grunge; it sounds like something Janis Joplin would’ve done if she had lived in the early 90’s. Three Merry Widows (well, some of them, anyway) have semi-sort-of reunited 20 years later and have bandied about the possibility of putting out another album (they’ve since uploaded some unplugged performances of some of their other songs, which sound folksier and more typical of what you’d expect a band called Three Merry Widows to produce, which we may be spotlighting somewhere down the line), but in the meantime, enjoy the mesmerizing awesomeness that is “Black Halo”.

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