Today I am thrilled to announce the first band for the first-ever The Obelisk All-Dayer, to be held Saturday, Aug. 20, 2016, at Saint Vitus Bar in Brooklyn. Coming over from Bordeaux, France, ascendant heavy psych trio Mars Red Sky will make their first East Coast US appearance ever as a part of a seven-band lineup to be fully revealed over the coming months.
By the time they arrive on US shores, Mars Red Sky will have released their third full-length, Apex III (Praise for the Burning Soul), on Listenable Records. Following-up on 2014’s excellent Stranded in Arcadia, the new album is a defining moment that captures one of the heavy underground’s most satisfying progressions of the last half-decade, boldly moving the band forward while maintaining the blend of fragile melodicism and elephantine tonality that has become their hallmark.
Expect something genuinely special when they take the stage. After numerous European tours over the last several years, Mars Red Sky have truly reached a new apex, and I couldn’t be more proud to have them as a part of this event.
Ticket preorders for The Obelisk All-Dayer are available now, and more band announcements will follow over the coming months. The Obelisk All-Dayer is set to offer a different experience than the average fest. Set times will be longer to allow each band to really flesh out on stage. All sets will be recorded for posterity (at least unless someone says no). Look out for word about food on hand, posters and more to come as the day gets closer, and expect a heavy, spaced out and welcoming vibe for all who make the trip, no matter where they’re coming from or who they’re there to see. All are invited.
Thanks to everyone who can make it out, to Saint Vitus Bar for hosting, and thanks in advance to Mars Red Sky for making the trip.
Posted in Label Stuff on December 31st, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster
The above image was posted via Instagrammophone yesterday by Made in Brooklyn Silk Screeners, and like Fidel Castro holding up a newspaper, it’s definitive proof that merch for The Obelisk is a real thing, happening right now, on this planet where we live. I wasn’t sure for a while if I believed it myself.
We wound up with over 100 orders for shirts and hoodies between the two designs by Harley and J and Alexander von Wieding, and nearly 150 items purchased in the one week that they were available. I got a sweatshirt for myself for around the house — don’t think I could really wear it out — and The Patient Mrs. got a couple shirts too.
Made in Brooklyn is doing the pressing in Brooklyn — duh — and they’ll be picked up by the aforementioned The Patient Mrs. on Jan. 7. That’s next Thursday, and my plan is to spend probably the better portion of next weekend putting orders together to go out asap. Frankly, I don’t want the stuff hanging around for any longer than it needs to be. Space is a premium as it is.
I got the invoice yesterday from the printing job, and it looks like between that and a generous holiday donation toward the cause from my mother I’ll be able to purchase a new camera, which wasn’t my goal when I started out to make merch for The Obelisk, but kind of became the obvious thing to do with whatever cash came in. I’ve had my eye on a Canon 5D Mark III long enough, and it’s my hope that getting one makes this site an all-around stronger, more quality outlet, at least as far as photography goes.
Thanks one more time to everybody who placed an order for a shirt or hoodie. I don’t know when or if I will do another run of merch. It’ll be at least two years if I do it at all, and by then who knows what the situation will be? Maybe all shirts will have circuits in them to monitor heartrate and steal your data to sell it back to you in the form of targeted advertisements and the little guy will be priced out of the market because of semiconductor costs.
I’m just saying, we don’t know what the future will bring, so I appreciate everyone who stepped in with bigtime support in the present. It means more than I can say, and I hope you’ll continue to show love to MiBK, Harley and J, and Alex von Wieding.
I’ve never been Mr. Commerce. During the couple years this site ran an in-house label, I was never really comfortable with the idea of me selling something to you. Accordingly, understand that the manifestation of t-shirts for The Obelisk comes after years of getting requests for them and basically after Dave from Made in Brooklyn Silkscreeners stepped in and said, “This is happening, get on board.”
Fair enough. Here’s how it works: If you want a shirt or a hoodie, you go to the BigCartel store. You pick out what you want. There are two designs. The one on the left above is by Alexander von Wieding, the one on the right by Harley and J. You pick a hoodie or a t-shirt, find your size, and place the preorder. After a week, the product gets made, it gets shipped to me and I send it out. We’re not making more than are being sold.
Point is, if you want one, order it. The preorder is going to last a week, from Dec. 11-18. That’s it. Whatever orders are placed will be filled, and there you go. Working with Dave has been a pleasure, and the same goes for Harley and J and Alex, but I can’t promise you I’m ever going to do this kind of thing again, so if you’re on the fence, this is the time.
Shirts are Gildan, available in S-3XL in hoodie or t-shirt form.
Thank you for your continued support of this site, thanks to Dave MiBK, Alex von Wieding and Harley and J. Any cash made that doesn’t go to shipping cost or producing these goes right in my need-a-new-camera fund, maybe a plane ticket to the other side of the planet or hosting costs, so please know that one way or another, you are directly helping me make this place stronger.
The countdown is on. Thanks in advance if you get to place an order.
Been a while since we heard anything from Tony Reed about his HeavyPink solo-project, the 2011 debut 7″ from which was the third release on The Obelisk’s in-house label, The Maple Forum. Reed, who at the time was in the transition from playing with Stone Axe to reigniting Mos Generator, took a momentary side-step to embark on HeavyPink, playing all the instruments on the two resulting tracks, “There is a Light” and “Flower and Song” and providing vocals on what musically was a vibe distinct from anything he’d done before yet still clearly the product of his own brilliant songwriting. I was and still am thrilled to have been involved in helping put it out in the small way I was.
I’ve still got copies of the 7″ available — you may have noticed the banner in the sidebar with the HeavyPink cover for the last three years or so — and they’re $6 for anyone who wants one. Basically I eat the postage on that, but whatever. That money’s long gone anyway. Breaking even is the dream of madmen. If you want one, go for it.
The other night, Reed posted some news that he’s put together a live band for HeavyPink, which also happens to include Stone Axe bassist Mike DuPont, and proved it with the picture above. Here’s what he had to say:
Up until last night HeavyPink was completely a studio project for me. I brought in Bo Mcconaghie (guitar), Reno Dave (Drums) and Mike Dupont (bass) to take this to the stage. I will continue to write and record songs on my own in a studio invironment but the live band will also be writing together at the same time and the albums will be a mix of both creative processes.
No word on when this new collaborative band might get to putting out a record, and I’m quite certain that when they do, Reed will either release it himself or hook up with any one of the myriad labels he’s allied with before — though I reserve the right to revive it at any point The Maple Forum is more or less defunct and frankly they could do better — but as someone who was a fan of the project when it was just Reed working on it and someone who’s a fan of his work in general, I’m definitely interested to hear what comes out of HeavyPink as a full band, and hopefully one of these days I’ll get to see them live.
Here’s “Flower and Song,” if you’d like a refresher of how cool this 7″ was:
Posted in Label Stuff on June 12th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster
…That’s right, your Clamfix.
Everybody knows these Clamfight guys are jerks, but they’re also some of my favorite jerks, so even though all the copies of their second album, I vs. the Glacier, that I was selling through The Maple Forum are gone, and even though I saw them last week, I just can’t seem to stop myself from nerding out on their doings. Their Clammery, if you will. You probably won’t.
They’re about to take a bit of a break as drummer/vocalist Andy Martin departs to dig up fossils (yes, really) in Scotland. Last I heard, he was looking for the cave with the alien doodles from Prometheus — because that’s just how much he l-o-v-e-d that movie and found it to be a well-crafted addition to the Alien mythos — but he might’ve found it last year. In any case, before he splits out for the remainder of the summer, Clamfight will be sharing a bill July 6 at the North Star Bar in Philly with Skeleton Hands and Wizard Eye.
From what I gather and have witnessed, all those dudes are pretty tight, so I expect nothing but sloppy manhugs and shout-launched beerspittle, but if you’re in the neighborhood it should be a good time.
Even more importantly, the Clambros have posted the entirety of I vs. the Glacieron their Bandcamp page. It’s up their with their first record, Vol. 1, and obviously I consider them both recommended listening. If you didn’t get to pick up a physical copy while they were being sold on The Maple Forum, there are limited quantities available from what Clamfight were selling at shows, and I’m told a CD repress is in discussion while an outlet for vinyl is also sought out.
But if you want the first edition of I vs. the Glacier, once however many the band has are gone, that’s it. And if you never got the chance to take a listen to the album while I was plugging it, here’s that full stream on some terrible, wasn’t-broke-but-we-just-fixed-it new kind of player from Bandcamp:
Posted in Label Stuff on June 8th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster
This CD is sold out. Thank you so much for your support.
Well, we knew we’d get here sooner or later, and I had a feeling it would be sooner, which this is. From my original 105, I’m down to just three remaining CD copies of Clamfight‘s I vs. the Glacier. Three copies, and then they’re gone.
I know I’ve said this before, but I suck as a salesman. I’m not the kind of guy who can get up and start working a room. It’s not my thing. Fortunately, when it comes to Clamfight, the band has been steadily busting its ass to spread the word and play as many shows as possible, and for that, I owe them thanks.
Not nearly as much as I owe them thanks for the record itself, though. There have been just a few releases, but I’m extremely proud to be associated with everything The Maple Forum has helped release up to this point, and I vs. the Glacier has been twice the joy because in addition to being friends with the band for (as we discussed just last night) going on eight years now, I’ve watched them get to the point where they can unleash a bastard of a record such as this. These songs continue to amaze me, these guys continue to amaze me, and I couldn’t be happier with how this album came out. I’m lucky to have been involved in the small way I was.
If you bought a copy because you saw the band posting about it somewhere, be it Facebook or whatever else, or you ran into them at a show, or you saw another review someplace — special thanks to everyone who took the time — it means an awful lot. Thank you for deciding this project is something worthy of your support and for taking the extra step and actually making that support happen. I hope you’ve enjoyed the album as much as I have.
So as always, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, and if you pick up one of these last three copies, kudos on getting in under the wire.
Posted in Label Stuff on March 25th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster
21 3 Copies Left.
Once again, if you’ve managed to pick up a copy of Clamfight‘s new CD, I Versus the Glacier, either using the Paypal button above or through the Maple Forum BigCartel store, you have my sincere thanks as well as that of the band.
We’re in the home stretch — a scant 21 copies remain in my possession and they’re going at a steady pace. If you’ve been on the fence, it’s a get-it-now-or-regret-it-later kind of deal. The Maple Forum doesn’t do second runs. It’s in the charter. Okay, there isn’t a charter, but seriously, the discs are moving, so thank you for that and they won’t be around for much longer. I guess that’s the point.
If you’re in Philly this coming weekend, as I know I’ll be, catch them Saturday, March 30 at Kung Fu Necktie with Borracho, Been Obscene and Supervoid. Friday, they’re at Cafe 611 in Frederick, MD, with Ichabod, War Injun, Beelzefuzz and Hollow Leg, and the band has sent along word of more shows to come, including confirmation that they’re looking to hit the West Coast this summer and news about new material in progress!
Anyone can bring you a Clamfight update with show news. Here’s one from drummer/vocalist Andy Martin that has a unicorn:
Forgive me for the bullet points folks, but I’m bashing this out on a borrowed laptop in a hotel somewhere deep in the wilds of Pennslytucky, and time is of the essence…
We’ve got two great shows this weekend, we’re at Cafe 611 in Fredrick Maryland with Ichabod, War Injun, Beelzefuzz, and Hollow Leg on Friday the 29th, and we’ll be hooking up with Supervoid, Been Obscene, and Borracho at Kung Fu Necktie in Philly on Saturday, March 30.
April 6th we’re atThe Depot in York PA with Crobot, Kingsnake, and Witch Hazel.
April 25th we’re back at Kung Fu Necktie with Holly Hunt, Sunburster, and the mighty Shroud Eater, in a show that’s sure to start our great southern weekender off with aching heads and rumbly tummies.
April 26th-29th with our bosom chums/band-I-am-also-in, Heavy Temple, we’ll be rampaging through the southeast. Friday the 26th sees us both at the Oasis in Charleston, South Carolina, with Compel, Greenseer and possibly one more TBA, Saturday will likely see us in Virginia (details still getting ironed out on that one), and Sunday the 29th we’ll be wrapping it up with the Akris at Lallo’s in Knoxville Maryland.
The other massive (for us anyway) show news is that we will be slipping the surly bonds of the east coast this summer. We can’t say when or with who but trust us, Clamfight will be heading west this summer.
The final bit of big news is that we are actively writing the next record. We’ve demoed about 25 minutes of material and have rolled out one new song, “Block Ship” live. Obviously things are very premature at the moment but we’re aiming to be in the studio by next winter. Saying much more would almost feel like cursing a process that’s been going really, really well for us, so we’ll just say this, we aim to be studio bound not long after hitting Richmond, Virginia, for Stoner Hands of Doom XIII this November.
Speaking of SHOD and “Block Ship,” we’ll be heading back to Gradwell House as soon as our schedules allow to record both “Block Ship” and a reworked version of a tune that shall remain nameless (for the time being) from our first record for our special SHOD-only split with Wizard Eye and Allthing.
Finally we’d just like to say one last thanks to Thump Box, Brain Candle, The Workhorse 3, Black Hand, and the many, many friends who came out to see us in Delaware last week. Delaware’s somehow always been incredibly cool to us and due to our show/my digging schedule last week’s show may have been our last in Delaware till the fall. Fear not first staters… We shall return.
Posted in Label Stuff on March 21st, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster
When Aaron Edge first hit me up to put out a CD by his band Roareth, I had barely given thought to starting a record label as an extension of what I was doing with The Obelisk. It was one of many passing ideas that, were it not for his “get off your ass and do it” — a bonus considering it didn’t actually require I get off my ass — I probably would never have had the motivation to make it happen. I know The Maple Forum hasn’t exactly changed the world, but I’ve been able to support projects I believe in and I’ve had a lot of fun in the process. Aaron Edge was instrumental in making that happen.
To run through the list of bands Aaron has been in over the years is an exhausting undertaking. In and out of acts like Roareth (short-lived and badass as they were), Brothers of the Sonic Cloth, Harkonen, Iamthethorn, Grievous, he’s also done design work for Southern Lord, YOB, and countless others. He designed the Maple Forum logo that I use on all the label’s sporadic releases. Some people just can’t sit still, and that’s an ethic that has seen Aaron move from Seattle to Los Angeles to Portland over the last several years, all the while remaining an active part of both the creative underground and building a name and having an impact in the world of distance biking and running with the #furtherfasterforever hash tag and the community that’s built up around it.
Aaron was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis on March 6 after months of pain and tests. When he emailed me last night, he was in the ER again. The pain is tremendous and of a scale matched perhaps only by the medical bills. There’s no cure, and on freelancer wages, he’s taken a hit on the financial end as well as physically and emotionally. A fund has been set up to help Aaron keep up with the costs of his treatment — which will be ongoing — and the good people at #furtherfasterforever are giving a shirt away with donations the design for which you can see below:
So, as it was Aaron’s call to action that inspired me to start The Maple Forum, I hope you’ll take the time and give him some support when he needs it most.