Sirkis puts 'critical thought' to music

By Leah Trinidad
Arizona Daily Wildcat
February 27, 1996

Arizona Daily Wildcat


Jon Sirkis has been playing what he calls his "acoustic alternative" music (that's folk to you and me) for students at the U of A almost every year since about 1980. He feels that student listeners haven't changed much during that time - they tend to be apathetic to live music, and therefore miss any kind of message the music is meant to convey.

"My music is 'heavy mental' music, it's very political, it has something to say," says Sirkis. "But I find that critical thought is lacking in our society, and sometimes the main thing I want to do in a performance is to get people to think about anything."

This "anything" that Sirkis wants his listeners to think about ranges from really bad B-movies to science fiction to anything bizarre. Whatever he can think of to sort of jump-start his listeners' minds, he talks about in a stand-up routine of sorts during half of his set.

"Some bands just play music off the record. The show is mechanical," Sirkis says. "I like my shows to be conversational, so I add my obtuse commentary - social satire, funny stuff."

Oh yeah, he also plays music. His latest album is Songs for Kelly on Boulder Folk Records. Lots of political stuff here, like "Green Pictures of Dead Presidents," about the importance society places on money, but there's also a tribute to his late friend, "Song for Kelly," and a nod to twisted romance in "It Ain't Love."

Sirkis will be performing on Tuesday at 11 a.m. in the Student Union Cellar.