Friday Full-Length: Gozu, Locust Season

Posted in Bootleg Theater on May 29th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

 

We Write Your Entire Business Plan. Professional Business Plan Consultants. BizPlanEasy How To Write An Application Letter Nigerias. Gozu‘s  An Components Literature Review Dissertation is the heartbeat of the television newsroom. Here is a career profile and a job description. Locust Season (review here) came as a surprise. From out of one of the US’ most established heavy undergrounds — namely Boston’s — came a largely previously unheard four-piece, who immediately signed to We provide high quality, cost-effective ut austin essay help across a wide variety of industries in both the private and public sector. Small Stone and dropped a debut album that sounded like most bands’ third record. Who the hell were these guys?

Guitarist/vocalist  Order a much needed writing service to work on one of your how to research paper writers assignments. 14-5-2007 Train your kids to do homework without arguing! Marc Gaffney and guitarist  Looking for professional personal narrative essay to buy? CDP offers high quality SEO content and article writing services at affordable prices with unlimited Doug Sherman had been in bands together before and performed in a variety of styles, but arguably it was then-drummer Feeling trapped while writing an essay? MyAssignmenthelp.com is the one that not only promises but also provides top-quality online http://cheapessaywritings24.com/help-me-write-essay/ help me write essay Barry Spillberg who had the most established pedigree, having played in  Affordable prices for read thiss in Australia Assignment helps provide report writing services in Sydney, Australia for university students. Wargasm. Bassist  http://www.nuotohydros.net/can-i-pay-for-someone-do-my-homework/ Close. Provides custom writing, ebook writers for a ghost writer services - best essay. When they seams to browse these Jay Cannava (also  If you tagged us, please Homepage online then we take it seriously and do your project efficiently within no time as well as low price. Clouds) would be out of the band by their next record and the position was nebulous for some time, but  Our gallery of over 500+ free business plan look for a business plan thats for a business that operates of Your custom thesis proposal Locust Season was nothing if not solidified in its purpose. Recorded with and mixed by find this UK is Best, As We Serve You Through Highly Qualified and Experienced Writers With Free of Plagiarism And Top Quality Cheap Essay Benny Grotto at  Writing a conclusion for kids - top 10 resume writing services technical cv writing service To An Essay literary analysis essay on 1984 dissertation student room Mad Oak Studio in Allston, it was brash in its aggression, weighted in tone and downright arrogant in how much fun it had. The album itself wasn’t nearly so foreboding as the  http://rahimbakhshighschool.edu.bd/chemical-engineer-phd-resume/ at 100% Best Custom Essay Writing Service. Buying Papers Online of Top quality only Alexander Von Wieding cover — though haunting — made it out to be, with  You apparently do know how spending nights trying to craft a perfect research paper feels. Have rest and let our http://sovetsky.info/?sex-ed-essay do it for you. Roadsaw‘s  10 Reasons to Use zoology homework help Writing Service: You will receive the highest quality custom paper that will surely help you out when you need it. Craig Riggs sitting in alongside  Gaffney for vocals on opener “Meth Cowboy” and second track “Mr. Riddle,” two immediate bangers that fostered a seething groove that was nonetheless righteously soulful.

The album turns 10 years old this summer and the vocal arrangements still stand out. As Sherman‘s leads cut through riffs piled higher than the Blue Mountains and Spillberg propels the band forward in a kind of tension of tempo that marks Locust Season not just as an early release, but one fueled by multiple impulses, Gaffney pulls out falsetto backing vocals behind his lead vocal lines, acting as a chorus for himself, and through “Meth Cowboy,” “Mr. Riddle” and “Regal Beagle” and onward into album highlights “Kam Fong as Chin Ho” and “Jan-Michael Vincent,” his voice remains a standout factor, as creatively arranged as it is sure in its performance. Brimming with swagger that was earned as they went, Gozu‘s songs tore through most of Locust Season‘s 41-minute runtime, brazen in their heavy-rock genre rulebreaking when they wanted to be but still making an impression on the basic level of their riffs and groove, taking what might’ve served as the total aesthetic of another band starting out and instead using it as a foundation to launch their own identity. This was staggering at the time, but it might be even more impressive in hindsight because of how the band’s sound has developed in the years since.

Bottom line? Sherman and Gaffney — the two remaining founding members of the band — knew what they wanted Gozu to be. The band had gozu locust seasonissued a self-titled demo in 2008 — it’s on Bandcamp; good luck finding a CD, even in Boston; I never managed to — that featured “Meth Cowboy” and “Rise Up,” which follows “Jamaican Luau” on side B of Locust Season, but even there the roots of what Gozu would become are plain to hear and the band’s purpose feels set. Certainly there’s been progression in their craft — they’ve grown more patient in their slower parts, and as their lineup solidified with bassist Joe Grotto handling low end and Warhorse‘s Mike Hubbard taking over for Spillberg and the four-piece gained more stage experience together, they naturally became a more dynamic unit. But you can hear that potential in the songs on Locust Season. “Meth Cowboy” and the penultimate “Meat Charger” and “Jan-Michael Vincent” have featured in live sets for years, and revisiting their studio versions, the band’s comfort level with them is readily apparent. “Rise Up” might be the most forgettable track on the album, but it serves its place momentum-wise on side B in terms of the album’s overarching flow, and as closer “Alone” takes hold with swirls of guitar solos over a slower-rolling tempo, Gozu present their interpretation of the classic heavy rock trope of sticking the longest, most drawn-out song at the end.

That’s something they’d push even further on 2013’s The Fury of a Patient Man (review here and here), which would be their final outing through Small Stone, but the malleable rhythm and encompassing melody of “Alone” remains striking, with Gaffney‘s high-register singing far back in the mix behind and adrenaline kick of drums and steady guitar push. The song finishes well enough ahead of its seven-minute runtime (on the CD version) to allow for the hidden track “Tomorrow” from Annie being sung by someone’s kid, I’m not sure whose. It’s quite a journey from “Meth Cowboy” to “I love, tomorrow/You’re only a day away,” but so it goes. One more example of Gozu doing whatever the hell they wanted to and getting away with it because there was no one to really stop them except themselves.

The Fury of a Patient Man was an absolute monster of a follow-up to this record. It showed the potential they demonstrated in Locust Season was no fluke and that their identity, while recognizable in the material, was not so rigid as to be unable to progress as it moved forward from one release to the next. Their wont for gag song titles aside, it was clear Gozu were a sonic force to be reckoned with, and as they moved through 2016’s Revival (review here) and 2018’s Equilibrium (review here) — tracking both LPs with producer Dean Baltulonis at Wild Arctic Studio in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, they honed an ever-sharper take that was both more aggressive and more spacious when it wanted to be, the latter album adding breadth to the overriding shove of its predecessor. One way or the other, asses continued to be kicked.

A split with Hubbard was somewhat unexpected when it occurred, but Gozu aligned with Patrick Queenan of Sundrifter in July 2019 and proceeded to tour Europe last Fall. They’re reportedly writing new material, though of course like everyone else, their plans have been hindered by the gutshot-to-productivity that is 2020. All the better then to revisit their debut 10 years after the fact and remember how absolutely blindsiding it was the first time around. Who the hell were these guys? Turns out they were Gozu.

As always, I hope you enjoy.

I don’t know how much of this I have in me. There’s stuff scheduled for next week, whatever. A Pale Divine track premiere. That’s something to look forward to. Maybe a Temple Fang stream? We’ll see.

New Gimme show today, 5PM. http://gimmeradio.com

Same as ever.

The rioters are right. I hope no one gets sick while rioting. For future reference, this was the week the President of the United States threatened to shoot black people.

Great and safe, your weekend, I hope.

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Album Review: Göden, Beyond Darkness

Posted in Reviews on May 29th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

goden beyond darkness

Beyond Darkness is built and tailored to be opaque. In many ways, its title sets the goal: Göden are going beyond darkness. Whether that means to something lighter and more hopeful or something that the band’s Svart Records-released debut album engages directly in a linear narrative across its consuming 19 tracks and 72-minute runtime, but the title is also a reference to the band’s own past, particularly that of guitarist Stephan Flam and keyboardist/narrator Tony Pinnisi in forever-underrated New York death-doom pioneer Winter, whose lone-but-pivotal full-length, Into Darkness (discussed here), was released in 1990. Göden as a unit is intended as a progression and a next step from what Winter were, hence the “beyond.” And the new trio, completed by lead vocalist Vas Kallas — best known for her work in industrialists Hanzel und Gretyl — are indeed more complex. While rooted in the extreme end of doom, Beyond Darkness uses its core narrative of the “coming of the age of Göden” (pronounced “god-in”) to unfold in a back and forth of lurching volume swells of charred riffing and ambient spoken pieces.

As for the story, each member of the band has their role to play, whether it’s Flam setting the core instrumental backdrop as ‘Spacewinds,’ Pinnisi accompanying there on keys and speaking as ‘The Prophet of Göden’ during the series of interludes titled as “Manifestation” between longer tracks — between the songs, as it were — or Kallas with her growling rasp as ‘Nyxta,’ representing darkness. And the storyline that plays out through the bulk of the material — I’m not sure where “Komm Susser Tod” (“come sweet death”) or the closing take on Winter‘s “Winter” fit in the plot — is written out in the liner for the CD and the 2LP, but comes through in the narration as well, moving from the nine-minute instrumental opener “Glowing Red Sun” through “Twilight” and “Cosmic Blood” split by “Manifestation I: Tolling Death Bells” along the way to “Komm Susser Tod” and the catchy-in-spite of itself “Genesis Rise” with two more “Manifestation” interspersed.

To say it’s a lot to take in is something of an understatement. Considering Winter‘s last studio outing was 1994’s Eternal Frost — which Svart has reissued, along with Into Darkness — one might think Flam has been sculpting the storyline and breadth of Göden over the last 26 years, but it’s been at least five since Winter‘s on-stage reunion came apart and he proceeded on to the new project, bringing in Kallas and Pinnisi as well as a host of drummers, guest guitarists, a violinist, etc., culminating in the massive work that is Beyond Darkness. Perhaps the album’s greatest triumph is that despite the varying contributors along the way around the core trio and despite the back-and-forth nature of the proceedings between interludes and fits of extreme doom metal, it manages to remain cohesive and indeed only seems to become more so as it proceeds. It might be that as Göden plunge ever deeper into the miasma of their own making, they enact a kind of Stockholm syndrome on the listener, but I put it up to world-creating. The album crafts its own setting, plot and characters, and it tells its own story. Therefore, as you listen, you take it on as you would take on a novella.

And sure, some of the language in pieces like “Manifestation III: The Spawn of Malevolence” and “Manifestation V: The Epoch of Göden” and the later “Manifestation VII: Gaia Rejuvenated” is over the top, but that grandiosity becomes an essential facet of the presentation. Like Triptykon before them, Göden use a theatrical posture in darkness as part of an overarching sense of their command of their songwriting and, in this case, dramatic storytelling. And cuts like “Dark Nebula” — on which church organ and the splash of Scott Wojno‘s drums resound behind Kallas in a striking midsection — and the reinvention of Black Sabbath‘s “Black Sabbath” that is “Ego Eimie Gy” are highlights unto themselves, standing up to scrutiny even when removed from the context of the record as a whole. One couldn’t necessarily say the same for individual “Manifestation” pieces — though certainly all eight of them together would work — but they’re not meant to be experienced in that way in the first place, so it’s moot.

As at last Beyond Darkness arrives at “Night,” which isn’t the finale but comes ahead of the epilogues-of-a-sort “Manifestation VIII: A New Age” and “Thundering Silence” — plus the “Winter” cover that rounds out — the proceedings feel perhaps more grueling than ever, and the lineage from Winter to Göden is laid bare for the listener to behold. And yet, even around that raw, plodding riff, there is evidence of the new outfit’s mission: the keyboards that surround, Kallas‘ language- and mythology-swapping lyrical invocations and the underlying focus on atmosphere that ultimately is what draws Beyond Darkness together as an entire work no less overwhelming than it intends. It’s not supposed to be accessible. It’s not supposed to be for everyone. It’s supposed to be for those willing to meet it on its own, uncompromised terms.

The howls of the last “Manifestation” give way to the creeping guitar and drone, and, finally, nothingness of “Thundering Silence” and when the telltale chug of “Winter” takes hold, its reinterpretation is something of an afterthought given just how much the album prior has worked to get the message across that Göden are to be considered as distinct but grown out of the band that was. Will there be another Göden album? Can there be? I don’t know. Between the ground that Beyond Darkness covers aesthetically and in its plot and characterizations — not to mention the fact that the story is finished at the end of the record — one would have to think a follow-up would entail some reimagining of how the band functions. Maybe even a permanent drummer. As it stands, however, Beyond Darkness is a testament to brutality as artistry. It harnesses bleak visions of the world that is and reshapes it along stark lines of blackened aural decay that more than lives up to the task it sets itself in its name.

Whatever comes next, even if nothing does, Beyond Darkness remains, and will remain. In that most of all, it is the essential answer to what Winter accomplished those years ago.

Göden, Beyond Darkness (2020)

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The Obelisk Show on Gimme Radio Playlist: Episode 35

Posted in Radio on May 29th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

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Digging deep on some of this stuff, and I like that. I mean, yeah, you’ve probably heard Enslaved and Lowrider by now, and maybe Black Rainbows, but stuff like Burning Brain Band, Jointhugger and King Gorm could be new to you. I hope so anyhow, that’s why I picked the tracks. That and I thought they were cool. Pretty simple process when it comes down to it.

I did the voice tracks for this one while my son played (first) with kinetic sand and (then) on the piano, so that’s kind of a mess, but I’ve come to enjoy that and it’s a good show either way. If you manage to check it out, stick around for the end, because the last two songs, the long ones from Dire Wolves and Stonegrass, are absolutely killer. I was recently put onto both records and I have absolutely zero regrets. Cardinal Fuzz put out the Dire Wolves LP in April and Stonegrass is out through Cosmic Range Records in Toronto digitally now with LP to follow. Both albums are worth your time if you have the time.

And as always, thanks for listening if you do.

The Obelisk Show airs 5PM Eastern today on the Gimme app or at http://gimmeradio.com

Full playlist:

The Obelisk Show – 05.29.20

Circle of Sighs Kukeri Salo*
Lamp of the Universe The Eastern Run Dead Shrine*
Lowrider Pipe Rider Refractions*
BREAK
Enslaved Homebound Utgard*
Wren Seek the Unkindred Groundswells*
StoneBirds Only God Collapse and Fail*
Jointhugger I Am No One I Am No One*
Saavik He’s Dead Jim Saavik*
Black Rainbows Hypnotized by the Solenoid Cosmic Ritual Supertrip*
The Burning Brain Band Bolero/Float Away The Burning Brain Band*
King Gorm Beyond Black Rainbow King Gorm*
BREAK
Dire Wolves Flow & Heady / By the Fireside Flow and Heady*
Stonegrass Tea Stonegrass*

The Obelisk Show on Gimme Radio airs every Friday 5PM Eastern, with replays Sunday at 7PM Eastern. Next new episode is June 12 (subject to change). Thanks for listening if you do.

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Days of Rona: Stephan Möller of Iron & Stone

Posted in Features on May 29th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

The ongoing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, the varied responses of publics and governments worldwide, and the disruption to lives and livelihoods has reached a scale that is unprecedented. Whatever the month or the month after or the future itself brings, more than one generation will bear the mark of having lived through this time, and art, artists, and those who provide the support system to help uphold them have all been affected.

In continuing the Days of Rona feature, it remains pivotal to give a varied human perspective on these events and these responses. It is important to remind ourselves that whether someone is devastated or untouched, sick or well, we are all thinking, feeling people with lives we want to live again, whatever renewed shape they might take from this point onward. We all have to embrace a new normal. What will that be and how will we get there?

Thanks to all who participate. To read all the Days of Rona coverage, click here. — JJ Koczan

iron-and-stone-stephan-moller-(Photo-by-Andre-Gross)

Days of Rona: Stephan Möller of Iron & Stone (Hildesheim, Germany)

How have you been you dealing with this crisis as a band? As an individual? What effect has it had on your plans or creative processes?

The most obvious thing is we haven’t been able to rehearse for almost 2 months now. It is easy to practice the songs at home, but you simply cannot recreate the dynamics of five dudes in a rehearsal space playing music at full volume. So this is something that we really miss. Fortunately we found out that rehearsals in our space are possible so we will be able to start rehearsing again.

Otherwise things have not changed that much. We stay in touch via Whatsapp or phone. Pretty much everyone of us is able to work on the music at their home, so the writing process goes as usual and we are working on another EP (the first in a series of three) which we are planning to record in the summer.

We had to cancel a couple of shows and since nobody knows when the clubs will be able to open again it is hard to get any new shows for the future. Some local festivals we were to play this summer have been moved to 2021 and we stay in contact with promoters.

How do you feel about the public response to the outbreak where you are? From the government response to the people around you, what have you seen and heard from others?

I think the government did a pretty good job so far, especially in the beginning. Of course, there are a lot of ways it could have been better, but overall we have a rather low number of deaths and the number of infections is developing in a positive way too. During the early days of the pandemic it looked like fighting of the different parties stepped back a little and everybody was working for the greater good. So we can only hope that this will continue (which does not seem to be the case right now).

As in almost all countries there is a good amount of “woke” people rubbing their bullshit-theories into everyone’s face and they seem to become more and more stupid by the hour. Much more alarming is that some far-right groups try to undercut the otherwise un-political corona-critical-groups. This may turn really ugly.

On a personal level it (strangely) feels like something has changed for the better. Henning (our singer) and me are neighbours and we live in a very small village in a rather rural region. Me and my wife work from home and through those last weeks life has decelerated a good amount. We drive to the city once a week to shop groceries and the other days we enjoy the countryside and hike the woods and fields or work in the garden. Everything is quiet and more peaceful since there are less cars driving through our valley. If there weren’t people dying off the virus it would be a beautiful time around here.

Christopher and Torsten on the other hand work at hospitals so they are affected by the whole situation in a much more direct way.

What do you think of how the music community specifically has responded? How do you feel during this time? Are you inspired? Discouraged? Bored? Any and all of it?

By what I have seen so far the scene reacted quite well. From streaming live-shows to those Bandcamp-Fridays there has been a lot of creative actions and it seems like people are working together to get through this.

We all have our regular jobs so we do not depend on the band financially. But as a band the whole situations is surely frustrating to a certain degree, since we cannot rehearse and had to cancel or postpone some of the few shows that we are able to play each year. But on the other hand we are highly motivated to return to the stage and we are working on new material to record later this year. So no time for boredom, we are highly motivated.

The clubs and venues however are in real danger of not making it through the crisis as well as the bands that are doing music as a full-time job.

What is the one thing you want people to know about your situation, either as a band, or personally, or anything? What is your new normal? What have you learned from this experience, about yourself, your band, or anything?

I feel like this whole situation is chance for us all to focus on the really important aspects of life. We will get through this together and we will not fall victim to all those loudmouths preaching their hate and anger and conspiracy bullshit. Our scene will get through this, there will be live shows again, I am confident about this. We’ve got to be careful and reasonable so we can all stay healthy. Support each other, we’re in this together. Peace.

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Days of Rona: Captain and Bjudas of Kal-El

Posted in Features on May 29th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

The ongoing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, the varied responses of publics and governments worldwide, and the disruption to lives and livelihoods has reached a scale that is unprecedented. Whatever the month or the month after or the future itself brings, more than one generation will bear the mark of having lived through this time, and art, artists, and those who provide the support system to help uphold them have all been affected.

In continuing the Days of Rona feature, it remains pivotal to give a varied human perspective on these events and these responses. It is important to remind ourselves that whether someone is devastated or untouched, sick or well, we are all thinking, feeling people with lives we want to live again, whatever renewed shape they might take from this point onward. We all have to embrace a new normal. What will that be and how will we get there?

Thanks to all who participate. To read all the Days of Rona coverage, click here. — JJ Koczan

kal-el

Days of Rona: Captain and Bjudas (Stavenger, Norway)

How have you been you dealing with this crisis as a band? As an individual? What effect has it had on your plans or creative processes?

Captain: As all live shows got cancelled, we started writing new material, and has been busy with studio. Released a single and signed to a new label, Majestic Mountain Records. The writing process has been quite fun this time around as everyone has chipped in with ideas and arrangements. Even the dull process of recording was fun due to the fact that the eagerness and willingness to make music is back ? My day job has pretty much been going as usual, but of course the shadow of a pandemic and the seriousness of the impact on society has been in my mind since the outbreak.

My parents are of age, with my father in the “target group,” so of course it is something that lurks there all the time. I got friends struggle with their business due to decrease in income, and the city I live in has been like a ghost town for several months now. They just opened up so we can visit bars again, with heavy restrictions of not being to close to others. Not easy on bars, but somehow it seems to work in an odd way. A third of the normal crowd is allowed in, so it’s strange indeed. As mentioned earlier, all the live shows we had booked, was cancelled, so we went into the rehearse room and started writing. We have a ton of different ideas and riffs just sitting there, so it was pretty good to just work on those.

Bjudas: It is safe to say that the covid-19 epidemic has set some major drawbacks. But as a band, we have adapted quickly. So instead of sitting around and waiting for this thing to go away. We decided that we wanted to record a new album. Sins we found out that we had a big bag of riffs laying around. We had enough stuff to make a whole album. So, the creativity has exploded in our case.

How do you feel about the public response to the outbreak where you are? From the government response to the people around you, what have you seen and heard from others?

Captain: At some level it could seem like overkill in how everything just got locked down. People started to behave different, and it seemed like doomsday in many aspects. To see businesses, lifeworks, just get shattered, millions of people in isolation, deaths by the thousands and an immense suffering due to an invisible enemy was pretty shocking to experience and understood the hard actions taken by the different governments more seriously.

Bjudas: The public response has been ok. And we have managed to control the virus pretty good. Regarding the government, I feel they have responded in a professional manner. And have provided the needed founding for the main population. We have a very good welfare system (compared to other countries). And people got their money in full.

What do you think of how the music community specifically has responded? How do you feel during this time? Are you inspired? Discouraged? Bored? Any and all of it?

Captain: Personally it’s been challenging to see people being on the brink of collapse due to their jobs just cease to exist. No income, no hopes at all, just darkness as businesses just vanish in thin air more or less overnight. Bars, small specialty shops, venues, festivals and the likes by the millions have been affected. We may never get back to the so called normal ever again, but hopefully we will get back to a similar way of life as time goes by.

Bjudas: The music community along with the rest of service-related occupations has had the biggest blow in these crises. With band not able to do gigs and have no steady income. Bands are struggling to make ends meet. In my case, I get more determined in cases like this. What can we do to stay active? How can we still be able to be productive and feel that we are a band? And not a sunken ship? So, I`m not bored, there is a lot to do still.

What is the one thing you want people to know about your situation, either as a band, or personally, or anything? What is your new normal? What have you learned from this experience, about yourself, your band, or anything?

Captain: Never to give up, we are born into this challenge called life, and there are always mountains to climb. We didn’t get this far by giving up by overwhelming odds, and we will not give up this time either.
As for the band; we are still alive, and we will continue to make music and do shows for a long time to come!

Bjudas: I have learned that you should not eat a bat. That is for Ozzy to do… I think that we are very adaptable, as I have said earlier. Not giving up is a big thing. The new normal I can say, is this distancing thing. I take myself in not staying to close to people. And I think this will stay with us for a while.

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Days of Rona: Mike Scalzi of The Lord Weird Slough Feg

Posted in Features on May 28th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

The ongoing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, the varied responses of publics and governments worldwide, and the disruption to lives and livelihoods has reached a scale that is unprecedented. Whatever the month or the month after or the future itself brings, more than one generation will bear the mark of having lived through this time, and art, artists, and those who provide the support system to help uphold them have all been affected.

In continuing the Days of Rona feature, it remains pivotal to give a varied human perspective on these events and these responses. It is important to remind ourselves that whether someone is devastated or untouched, sick or well, we are all thinking, feeling people with lives we want to live again, whatever renewed shape they might take from this point onward. We all have to embrace a new normal. What will that be and how will we get there?

Thanks to all who participate. To read all the Days of Rona coverage, click here. — JJ Koczan

slough feg mike scalzi

Days of Rona: Mike Scalzi of The Lord Weird Slough Feg (San Francisco, California)

How have you been you dealing with this crisis as a band? As an individual? What effect has it had on your plans or creative processes?

It has been rough because we had 5 festivals scheduled for this Spring/summer, and of course they were all cancelled. Quite a let-down, but necessary of course. However, as a band we’re actually making good use of the time. We’ve created a podcast called “Slough Feg Radio” (http://sloughfeg.com/feed/). We’re up to episode #7 I believe. Since we cannot rehearse—Adrian and I meet at our rehearsal space each week (with masks, gloves, and a long distance between us!) and record a radio pod cast— we basically dj weird/eclectic music, including some of our own songs, demos, weird outtakes, etc. that we think might be interesting for people to hear, and banter and babble back and forth about the music, the band history, funny stories of what our lives are like now etc. It’s been great because it’s been well received and we have quite a few listeners, and it gives us, and the fans a feeling that the band is very much alive and active during this ‘downtime’.

We just finished an album last year, so I’m actually not really in ‘writing mode.’ Which is annoying because obviously this would be the time to write music — but we were ready to go do a bunch of live shows, so it makes it all the more annoying that we can’t. Oh well. If this lasts long enough perhaps we’ll write some more stuff, but for now we’re pretty excited about Slough Feg Radio.

How do you feel about the public response to the outbreak where you are? From the government response to the people around you, what have you seen and heard from others?

The public response has been generally good. San Francisco (where I live) was the first US city to practice shelter in place, the local and state government did a good job of getting on the case early, and as a result there has been an extremely low rate of infection and death count here. So I’ve been pretty lucky when you look at the kind of numbers other US cities are looking at. San Francisco is a city with relatively few older people, although there is much population density. New York has faced unbelievable tragedy, obviously. But even in the dire case of NYC, the local and State Governments have done an incredible job of fighting the virus.

If we had legitimate national leadership at this time, that would help considerably. But we clearly do not, so we must let the individual states do the heavy lifting and hope they can bear the burden. I think some of them are stepping up and doing a fantastic job — and I’m lucky enough to live in a state that had a pretty solid state government.

What do you think of how the music community specifically has responded? How do you feel during this time? Are you inspired? Discouraged? Bored? Any and all of it?

I’m not sure how the music community has responded, outside of the mainstream music media (because I see them on TV, internet, etc.). I suppose they’ve responded pretty well, and pretty positively. Many mainstream musicians are doing remote performances and writing songs about the pandemic, etc. As for lesser known musicians, I am not as sure what they are up to — the ones I know, including myself, seem to be producing whatever they can at the time— as stated above, I’m really enjoying out podcast radio show, and I’ve had a lot of good responses from fans, telling us our show relieves some of their boredom and frustration sitting around the house all day etc.

As for myself, I was pretty terrified at first I suppose—for myself, my family and friends. Fortunately for me, nobody I know has passed away from the virus. Very, very lucky. I do have some friends who contracted it though and went through hell. I have also been rather bored at times — I am not a person who can sit at home all the time. So since the beginning of this thing my schedule has been active — getting out on my bike and riding in the mountains almost every day. Discouraged? At first yes after those festival cancellations. Inspired? At times. I was super frustrated and feeling trapped a month ago. Now I have adapted a little, fell into a bit of a new schedule, and am somewhat hopeful for the future. You can only get so terrified, angry, etc., until you begin to adapt (hopefully).

What is the one thing you want people to know about your situation, either as a band, or personally, or anything? What is your new normal? What have you learned from this experience, about yourself, your band, or anything?

The band will survive. We’ve survived for 29 years, and we ain’t stopping now!! this is the longest Slough Feg has EVER gone without practicing. So It’s a bit maddening — but we’ll survive. Everyone is in good spirits and eagerly awaiting the day we can practice and play gigs again.

My daily schedule is basically: get up way too late (at 11 or noon!!) do whatever work I have to do (I teach a class that is now online of course) pack a bag with some food, a book, a face-mask etc. and try to get out the door by 2:30 or 3:00 on my bike, ride across the Golden Gate Bridge and into the Marin Headlands. This is truly inspiring. Another great thing about San Francisco is that you get out of the city, into areas of incredible natural beauty in less than an hour on a bicycle. I stay out in the headlands where there are parks, beaches, trails etc. until about 7 or 8 at night. I see very few people there. It’s saved my life — I would be utterly insane if I could not do this and had to stay in the house all day like many others are doing. I also work one day a week at a Brewery, serving beer and food for takeout. Gotta be careful there, but I am, and I’m grateful to have the work.

What have I learned so far from Covid 19? Well, mostly that I don’t wanna get it!! Honestly I think the most important thing I’ve learned is how important it is to stay healthy and strong as you grow older. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for the rock ‘n roll lifestyle: drinking yourself half to death and being a parched-out wretch of a human being, sleeping in a different place every night. That stuff is great fun and has its place — mostly when you’re young. But that stuff can only go so far until it stops being fun — and especially during a health crisis. Whether you’re in good shape or not can be a matter and life and death.

But maybe this whole thing will be a big wake up call for the entire human race — reminding us of what is really important. NOT wealth and status and all that nonsense we spend our lives worrying about. That stuff ain’t gonna do shit for anyone is the face of a pandemic. Your health, activity, creativity, and the people you surround yourself with — that’s what matters in a pandemic, and in life. Period.

http://www.sloughfeg.com/
https://www.facebook.com/sloughfegofficial/
https://www.cruzdelsurmusic.com/blog/
https://www.facebook.com/cruzdelsurmusic/
https://cruzdelsurmusic.bandcamp.com/

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Days of Rona: “Dirty Dave” Johnson of The Glasspack

Posted in Features on May 28th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

The ongoing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, the varied responses of publics and governments worldwide, and the disruption to lives and livelihoods has reached a scale that is unprecedented. Whatever the month or the month after or the future itself brings, more than one generation will bear the mark of having lived through this time, and art, artists, and those who provide the support system to help uphold them have all been affected.

In continuing the Days of Rona feature, it remains pivotal to give a varied human perspective on these events and these responses. It is important to remind ourselves that whether someone is devastated or untouched, sick or well, we are all thinking, feeling people with lives we want to live again, whatever renewed shape they might take from this point onward. We all have to embrace a new normal. What will that be and how will we get there?

Thanks to all who participate. To read all the Days of Rona coverage, click here. — JJ Koczan

the glasspack dave johnson (photo by Chris Jenner)

Days of Rona: “Dirty Dave” Johnson of The Glasspack (Louisville, Kentucky)

How are you dealing with this crisis as a band? Have you had to rework plans at all? How is everyone’s health so far?

We are basically not dealing. We are not dealing with the Glasspack as a band during coronacrisis. The band aspect is on hold. Individual survival is obviously more important right now. What’s more, our state of Kentucky has been at the forefront of progressive measures to stop the spread of the coronavirus by basically shutting everything down in the state, except “essential” businesses, and forbidding gatherings.

Thus, everything changed for the Glasspack in what seems like the blink of an eye. We have been completely separated, other than by electronic means.

Having said the above, however, I have been dealing with the band stuff alone. And, yes, I have had to rework plans for the band and adapt as I go. The Glasspack completed the writing and demoing process of all new music for our upcoming “Moon Patrol” release. So, I have been trying to take advantage of the down time in isolation by writing lyrics and vocals for the demo recording. I have also been working on an upcoming live video release of the Glasspack live at DeadBird Recording Studios in Louisville (2020). I, myself, have been selling Glasspack merchandise too on our new Bandcamp page to repay our debts incurred in anticipation of SXSW 2020 (cancelled). The Bandcamp experience has been quite an adjustment too.

When this virus broke out, we were in the middle of plans for a trip to SXSW 2020 in March this year to play about six parties. We were one of the first bands to make a decision in regard to our plans for SXSW 2020 immediately after SXSW cancelled their official festival. After a long discussion considering all the factors and concerns of this then potential crisis, we voted to cancel all SXSW 2020 plans. It was a very difficult decision and rocked the band to the core, no pun intended.

In the end, the city of Austin, TX shut everything down anyway. Personally, I was a bit frustrated at the time because I had been working on those SXSW 2020 plans since October 2019. However, I remain positive and also believe everything happens for a reason the Universe sees fit.

I choose to see the positive opportunities in negative circumstances these days. I actually established and learned how to use Bandcamp.com as a band during all this. This learning experience also provided a chance to upload some Glasspack recordings not previously released digitally.

I believe everyone of the Glasspack is in good health thus far and I have faith we will remain that way. Everything will work for the band as it is meant to.

What are the quarantine/isolation rules where you are?

Kentucky has been at the forefront of progressive action towards the crisis. The KY governor ordered nonessential retail businesses to close to the public. He also forbid gatherings in groups. However, the governor’s requests did fall on some deaf corporate ears, university students, street-racers, and church-goers for a bit.

Eventually, our governor and the courts started ordering folks into quarantine by police force. This resulted in some failed attempts of Kentuckians to constitutionally challenge the governor’s orders on various First Amendment grounds. However, the Tenth Amendment power of a state in regard to the health, welfare, and safety of its citizens during a crisis is very powerful as well. See the “days of small pox.”

You can check out more on Constitutional issues and coronavirus in Kentucky here:
https://www.kentucky.com/news/coronavirus/article242094661.html

The courts eventually shut down physically too, although certified attorneys like me can carry out electronic filing and Zoom video conferencing to continue working. The issue, however, is no new business came in my law office for a long time due to all this coronacrisis stuff. It damn near destroyed my business and made it nearly impossible for me to carry out the work I needed to do. But, again, what will be will be and my office still exists. I am very grateful because I know a lot of small businesses will not fair as well.

The police of Kentucky basically just went into hiding and did nothing, as usual, but that is better than causing the ruckus they have been causing for a while. The LMPD is a constant source of national controversy.

Now, everything is starting to open back up but the people of my county, Jefferson, are receiving Fs for public social distancing after the state was receiving As for its efforts in fighting the pandemic. That is discouraging.

Even when everything is open, I am not going to risk my health and safety or that of others. I will wear a mask and practice proper social distancing.

Most importantly, however, I will keep my positive mental attitude regardless of all this.

How have you seen the virus affecting the community around you and in music?

Louisville, our city, and Kentucky, our state, are basically a hot mess of political strife over all this right now. Just yesterday, protesters hung a dummy from a tree with our Governor’s face on it and some Latin. (“sic semper tyrannis” which is Latin for “thus, always to tyrants”). I mean this place is fucking boiling over.

You can check out more on Kentucky political strife here:
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/may/25/kentucky-governor-effigy-protest

The combination of everything said above in my responses to prior questions has resulted in Kentucky musicians being even poorer than they were already. Some Louisville musicians and members of the Glasspack work for essential businesses too which have to remain open. And yet, some other Louisville musicians, including members of the Glasspack, work for assholes who refuse to stop in favor everyone’s health. Both of those scenarios are scary as Hell right now.

Some other Louisville musicians are taking advantage of playing live streams on the internet under careful conditions to make money. Also, like me, a lot of Kentucky musicians are just sitting in their rooms alone writing awesome songs in isolation, no doubt.

You can check out more on Louisville bands and live streams here:
https://www.facebook.com/deadbirdlive/
https://www.facebook.com/headlinersmusichall/

As I said above too, I have been spending extra time selling Glasspack merch on Bandcamp to pay our debts. We ordered a bunch of merchandise to take to SXSW 2020. I basically take the orders, fill the orders, and deliver the orders in and around Louisville. The folks of Louisville overwhelmingly have helped us in my efforts! I am very appreciative and grateful!

And, we still sell t-shirts for $12!

You can check out more on the Glasspack’s Bandcamp page here:
https://theglasspack.bandcamp.com/

It is very unclear, especially in Kentucky, when bars and music venues will be able to start having shows again under the coronacrisis circumstances. I have a bad feeling that a lot of our amazing and unique bars and venues in Louisville will shut down, leaving nowhere to play. I hope for the best though.

Some of the Louisville record stores have adapted quite well though. Surface Noise is currently taking orders online and making house deliveries! Imagine that! A record store brings you awesome records to your step and then takes all your money! Haha!

You can check out more on Louisville record deliveries and stores here:
https://www.facebook.com/surfacenoiserecords/
https://www.facebook.com/undergroundsoundsrecords/
https://www.facebook.com/funhouse

What is the one thing you want people to know about your situation, either as a band, or personally, or anything?

Personally, I think everyone needs to take a deep breath, meditate a bit, and be grateful you are still alive! So many Americans have died. It is all really so very sad. But turn the sadness into gratitude every day for all your family, friends, animals, and the Earth! If humanity would just live in sync with the Earth and have respect for animals, I do not think we would be having to deal with all this.

As a musician, I would just like to point out that, right now, it should become very clear that the Arts in general, including music, is a necessary part of the human existence. Perhaps the unfortunate state of affairs for the bands and music industry is just the Universe telling us all it’s time to really value those things. To change! To support them more than ever! I mean, what the fuck are you going to do right now but listen to every god damned record you have and get fucked up? That’s pure pleasure! Especially Hawkwind!

Love,
“Dirty” Dave
The Glasspack

Porchtrait by Chris Jenner.

https://www.facebook.com/theGlasspack/
https://theglasspack.bandcamp.com/

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Enslaved Post “Homebound” Video; 7″ out June 26

Posted in Bootleg Theater on May 28th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

enslaved

I hear good things about the new Enslaved record, but I haven’t actually heard the album yet. But going from the first single to come from the record — “Homebound,” for which you can see the video below and which will receive a limited 7″ pressing from Nuclear Blast with a TNT cover as the B-side, because Enslaved like beer — it would appear they’ve got themselves a lead singer in drummer Iver Sandøy. Of course, founding bassist/vocalist Grutle Kjellson will always be the band’s frontman, and his rasp is one of the band’s hallmarks, but where on 2017’s E (review here), it was then-new keyboardist Håkon Vinje handling the clean vocals, it would seem that now Vinje and Sandøy will share the responsibility.

As Sandøy is stepping in for longtime Enslaved drummer Cato Bekkevold and making his first appearance on their upcoming LP, Utgard, clearly Enslaved‘s core members — Kjellson, founding guitarist/backing vocalist Ivar Bjørnson and guitarist Arve “Ice Dale” Isdal — are keeping the band’s expanding dynamic in mind. They’ve made themselves more versatile.

To that end, the quote from the band under the video below, which comes courtesy of the PR wire, is the first time I’ve seen Enslaved acknowledge progressive Norwegian countrymen Motorpsycho as a direct influence pushing them into broader sonic territory. Doesn’t mean it’s never happened before — can’t say I spend my days reading interviews or anything — but it’s a first for my eyes at least. References to the likes of Led Zeppelin and Kreator et al don’t go unnoticed either.

And the song? Despite the new dynamic edge that Sandøy brings particularly later in the track as it builds toward its apex, it’s very much in latter-day Enslaved‘s wheelhouse of progressive blackened metal, with a cleaner hook offset by screams and a galloping central progression that is given visual accompaniment in the video by flying birds — also a returning theme — and various other symbols drawn from Norse mythology. Knowing the band’s past work, I wouldn’t expect it “Homebound” to speak for the entirety of Utgard, but neither are they picking their singles by happenstance. “Homebound” bodes well for the album to come.

Enjoy:

Enslaved, “Homebound” official video

Norway’s avant-garde metal heroes ENSLAVED release their new single “Homebound” from the upcoming record “Utgard,” that will be released in fall 2020.

Get the new single here: http://nblast.de/EnslavedHomeboundPre

ENSLAVED will be releasing the new single on a Limited Edition 7″ vinyl format, limited to 500 pieces. The single will be out on June 26th and can be pre-ordered here:
http://nblast.de/HomeboundVinyl

The tracklist reads as follows:
1. Homebound [A-side]
2. Knights Of The Thunder (TNT Cover) [B-side]

The B-side of the “Homebound” Vinyl is an exclusive to this format.

The band states:
“‘Homebound’ is about the greatest reward of exploring and traveling into unknown territory – to “go viking” if you will, turning Homebound at the end of the journey. It is a song that takes Enslaved on a musical journey that is as much an homage to those who dared so we could play our very own style of music: from nurturing blackened roots to nodding at zeppelins in the sky, beholding teutonic thrash titans and watching speeding motorpsychos take off into the futures.”

The band recently revealed new details about the upcoming record – propelling the listener deep into their world, the musicians explain:

“‘Utgard’ bears countless meanings to us; an image, metaphor, an esoteric ‘location’, a word on its own etc. – on different levels and layers. From Norse mythology we know it as a landscape where the giants roam; where the gods of Asgard have no control; dangerous, chaotic, uncontrollable and where madness, creativeness, humour and chaos dwell.

The album is a journey into and through ‘Utgard.’ It is a place of unification of that which is above and that which lies below. It is not about avoiding fear of the pitch-black darkness (it will keep on growing until the next confrontation), but to go into the darkness itself. This is the rebirth of the individual. In a world that has become so obsessed with the false lights of greed, jealousy and egotism this is a necessary journey.

‘Utgard’ is not a fairytale, it is a vital part of both your mind and your surroundings, and it has been since the dawn of mankind. Acknowledging that this realm exists and is a vital part of the self, has inspired us deeply since the early days of our lives. Enjoy our journey to the outer limits.”

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Enslaved on Instagram

Enslaved website

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Nuclear Blast on Instagram

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