They also have two other bands on the bill, but sue me, I’m biased. The Maple Forum veterans Kings Destroy will be celebrating the release of their album, …And the Rest Will Surely Perish on vinyl (the CD long since sold out), and they do so with future European tour partners Rosetta, with Clamfight — whose next record is now mixed, mastered and awaiting artwork, pressing and eventual Maple Forum release — and Floridian heavies Hollow Leg. It’s going to be quite a Wednesday, indeed.
If you’re in the area, obviously it’s got my vote for “places you should be” — free Genesee cans from 7-10PM adding to the already considerable element of danger — but even if not, I think you can appreciate the killer flyer they made featuring “sampled” Philippe Druillet art:
Posted in Label Stuff on December 29th, 2011 by H.P. Taskmaster
As of this post, there are 76 copies of HeavyPink‘s HeavyPink 7″ left. If you don’t have yours yet, you can order it using the Paypal button above or by clicking here to go to the Maple Forum store. It’s come to my attention that some people who’ve bought the record have had trouble with the download card — the link on the little piece of paper doesn’t work. If that’s you, I’d hope that instead of, say, calling me a chump on Facebook, you’d reach out and ask me for a solution to the problem. I’m more than happy to help out anyone who’s had trouble in any way I can, whether it’s sending you the files direct or anything else I can do to rectify the situation.
A full version of “Flower and Song,” the A-side to the single, has made its way to YouTube, and I thought I’d include it here for you to check out if you haven’t yet seen/heard it. Once again, HeavyPink is the one-man psychedelic incarnation of Tony Reed, whose careful hands have in the past sculpted Mos Generator and Stone Axe from out of the rock and roll ether. Reed handles all the instruments, vocals and recording equipment himself, and I’m just glad he let me be involved at all.
Thanks to everyone so far who has ordered a copy of the record. Your support of The Maple Forum and The Obelisk is genuinely appreciated.
Posted in Label Stuff on November 22nd, 2011 by H.P. Taskmaster
On the player below is an audio sampler of HeavyPink‘s HeavyPink 7″ that features both tracks included on the physical record itself, “Flower and Song” and “There is a Light.” There are currently 88 copies of the vinyl left, and if you haven’t yet made a purchase, you can do so using the PayPal button above or at The Maple Forum‘s store at BigCartel. Whether or not you buy the platter, I hope you enjoy the audio, which is followed by some refresher info in case you’ve missed the story so far:
Here is the Music Player. You need to installl flash player to show this cool thing!
HeavyPink is the new solo project of T. Dallas Reed, the multi-instrumentalist and driving force behind Port Orchard, Washington, rock revivalists Stone Axe and the guitarist and principle songwriter for Mos Generator, among other acts. Ever self-motivated, Reed performed all the instruments on HeavyPink‘s self-titled debut 7″ and recorded the songs himself at his own HeavyHead Studio earlier this year.
The HeavyPink 7″ is the fourth release on The Maple Forum (forum040) and finds Reed branching out from the straightforward nature of his past offerings and into more psychedelic territory — still maintaining his penchant for memorable verses and choruses, but crafting them into warm walls of sound that are deeply layered and richly toned. HeavyPink is unlike anything Reed has done in the past, and yet definitively his own, bearing the mark of his songwriting through both included cuts, “Flower and Song” and “There is a Light.”
All purchases of HeavyPink‘s HeavyPink 7″ come with a sticker and download card, and included in the download is the bonus track “Long Live the Mellotron,” on which Reed pays homage to the titular instrument and uses it to near-symphonic effect. Whispered vocals and other noises ensure that even those who’ve been a longtime follower of the man’s work are in for a genuine surprise.
Purchases can be made using the PayPal button above or at the Maple Forum store. Thanks as always for your support of The Obelisk and The Maple Forum.
Posted in Label Stuff on November 14th, 2011 by H.P. Taskmaster
Special thanks to Ollie Stygall from The Sleeping Shaman (he’s also the guitarist/vocalist of Grifter) for seeing fit to give the HeavyPink 7″ a thoughtful, well-written review. It’s definitely appreciated on this end, and makes for a great read if you haven’t seen it.
There are — true to the headline — 98 copies of HeavyPink‘s HeavyPink remaining in my possession. I’ve got emails out to a couple distro-type outlets, so hopefully it’ll start popping up in other places, and if you’re interested in doing a review, please drop a line and we’ll get that moving as well. Tony Reed also makes for a great phoner, as anyone who’s covered Stone Axe or Mos Generator over the years knows well.
Speaking of, I’ll be getting on the horn with him myself come tomorrow to talk about something very special and not necessarily HeavyPink related. It’s a big story, and I’m hoping to have it up before the end of the week, so stay tuned on that. I don’t want to give too much away, but yeah, it’s gonna be killer.
Posted in Label Stuff on November 3rd, 2011 by H.P. Taskmaster
Made my night last night after a long day at the office to get back to the valley and find the box HeavyPink records waiting for me on my porch, and today it makes my day to be able to let you know that as of Nov. 3, 2011, the latest project from T. Dallas Reed (Stone Axe, Mos Generator) is officially on sale!
Everyone who pre-ordered: Your packages are on the way. And for everyone else, click the Paypal button above or the cover image to go to the Maple Forum store and pick up your copy of the label’s rookie excursion into vinyl.
I know I’ve talked about it before, but for anyone who might have missed it,HeavyPink is Reed‘s foray into psychedelic walls of sound. The two cuts on the self-titled 7″ take his trademark songwriting ability to new places, sounding full and lush without being jammy or self-indulgent. He couldn’t stop writing catchy songs if he wanted to.
And in HeavyPink, it’s all him. It’s a solo project in the truest sense; Reed writes, plays all the instruments, sings, engineers the recording and sees it through from zero to vinyl. The result is a surprising turn from one of classic heavy rock’s most respected purveyors. This 7″ marks a new beginning for Reed, and I couldn’t be more excited to be a part of it in the small way that I am.
As always with The Maple Forum, the quantities are limited. We pressed 300 records, and I started with 125. Thanks to the pre-orders, there are currently 108 left, and as you can see above, all copies come with a sticker, a download card with an exclusive bonus track, and the high-quality vinyl itself. Thanks in advance for your support of The Obelisk, of The Maple Forum and of HeavyPink. More to come.
Posted in Label Stuff on October 14th, 2011 by H.P. Taskmaster
Thanks to everyone who’s placed a pre-order so far for HeavyPink‘s HeavyPink 7″. I got the test pressing last week from Tony Reed in the mail and it sounds awesome. I think anyone who’s dug his work in Stone Axe or Mos Generator is really going to be into what he’s doing here. I am, anyway.
So, while I wait for the records to get here from the press, I just wanted to let everyone know that bundled with each copy of the 7″ — along with assorted stickers and other goodies Tony said he was going to throw in — there’s going to be a slip of paper with info on how to access a free download of “Flower and Song” and “There is a Light.” Not only that, but included in the zip file is the track “Long Live the Mellotron” — exclusive to the download only.
The whole release is pretty psyched-out, but “Long Live the Mellotron” gets the prize. Tony plays up the mournful side of the instrument and backs it with drums and choral sounds layered in. It’s kind of like Black Sabbath‘s “Supertzar,” but (obviously) with mellotron instead of guitar and some weirdo spoken parts. It’s a cool experiment that Tony, natural songwriter that he is, can’t help but turn into something cohesive.
Anyway, so you supportive souls who’ve already ordered the HeavyPink 7″, keep an eye out for that when your record comes in, and thanks as always. I’ve got 110 copies of HeavyPink‘s HeavyPink left for anyone who wants them. Buy using the Paypal button above or click here to go to the Maple Forum online store.
Posted in Label Stuff on October 4th, 2011 by H.P. Taskmaster
Click the PayPal button above or click here to go to the official Maple Forum store and place your pre-order now for the debut 7″ from HeavyPink — the latest project from T. Dallas Reed of Stone Axe and Mos Generator! Comprised of the two tracks “Flower and Song” and “There is a Light,” HeavyPink‘s first self-titled release finds Reed exploring a more psychedelic side of his songwriting.
Of course, Reed is known for a straightforward style — anyone who’s ever heard Stone Axe can tell you there’s no messing around involved — and on HeavyPink‘s first outing, he keeps the strong verse/chorus sensibility, but expands the tones. His guitars echo, his drums seem more spaced out, and his vocals on the chugging “There is a Light” emanate from some deep chasm of the soul. Fans of Reed‘s work and newcomers alike will I hope be as thrilled as I am at the direction he’s taking with HeavyPink.
And it’s very much him taking the direction. Reed plays all the instruments on HeavyPink‘s HeavyPink, and he recorded and mixed the songs himself at his HeavyHead studio in his native Port Orchard, Washington. It’s a huge sound, and all the better played loud. As always, I hope you enjoy it.
The 7″ marks The Maple Forum‘s first foray into vinyl following three successful CD releases. There are 300 total copies, of which I’m being given 125 to sell (and pre-sell, for those who don’t want to take their chances). Given the sold out prior Maple Forum discs and Reed‘s dedicated fanbase, I don’t expect them to last long. Price is $11 domestic, $13 international, and all 7″s will be carefully packed with bubble wrap in a padded envelope. Since the release is so limited, I don’t want risk any damage during shipping.
If you place your pre-order now, I fill out the shipping label with your info and send you the disc as soon as they come in, which should be another two or three weeks, tops. You’ll know as soon as they get here.
Thank you in advance for your continued support of The Maple Forum project and The Obelisk, and thanks to Reed for allowing me to help him spread the word on this new creative avenue. Here’s to good music.
Posted in Label Stuff on September 1st, 2011 by H.P. Taskmaster
Today I’m proud to announce that The Maple Forum will be releasing the self-titled debut 7” from the latest project of T. Dallas Reed (Stone Axe, Mos Generator), HeavyPink. The vinyl single is limited to 300 and features two brand new cuts, “Flower and Song” and “There is a Light,” exploring a rarely-heard psychedelic side of the Port Orchard, Washington, native’s songwriting.
Reed, who is notoriously DIY, played all the instruments on HeavyPink,sang himself, and recorded the material at his own HeavyHead studio. Fans of Stone Axe will be thrilled to discover that although he is working in a different style, the signature elements of Reed’s work remain intact, most pivotally that there’s zero bullshit involved.
He explains the project’s origins thusly: “Before Mos Generator took our hiatus in 2009 we were working on an album to be called HeavyPink. When the band shelved the project I decided to pick up the concept and use it as a tool to try different recording and writing techniques. I look at it as an experiment in heavy and beautiful music, like Master of Reality meets Pet Sounds, meets Into the Pandemonium all in one and produced by Phil Spector.”
Just prior to posting this announcement, I sent the forms back to have the 7” pressed, and I hope to have 125 copies in my hands to sell starting no later than Oct. 11. Needless to say, I’m thrilled to be associated with Reed, of whose work I’ve been a great admirer, and even more excited to have The Maple Forum as the outlet for his first outing with HeavyPink, which you can ‘Like’ on Thee Facebooks here.
The front and back covers are posted above (the back featuring the lyrics to “Flower and Song” and “There is a Light”) and in the weeks coming, I’ll have much more on HeavyPink and The Maple Forum’s very first foray into vinyl!
Posted in Label Stuff on August 22nd, 2011 by H.P. Taskmaster
The hits just keep coming today with the news that my last copy of Dronolith by Blackwolfgoat sold on Saturday night! I’ve got the package here and I’ll drop it off at the post office tomorrow (it would’ve gone out this morning, but the CD was here at work), and then that’s it — no more Dronolith from me.
It’s been an absolute pleasure working with Darryl Shepard, the sole figure behind Blackwolfgoat. Dronolith turned out better than I could’ve hoped, and was hugely impressive for a one-man project, pushing drone into progressive builds and resulting in songs that felt like more than just self-indulgence. Recording live gave it a natural feel and Darryl knows what’s what when it comes to making a wall of noise. I’ve been lucky enough to see it first-hand.
Last I heard Darryl had a couple copies left, so you can get in touch with him via the Blackwolfgoat page on Bandcamp to see if that’s still the case, and Aquarius Records in San Francisco should still have some as well from the batch I sent them, but mine are gone. Thanks as always to everyone who bought a copy of the record, from the first to the last, and thanks to Darryl, Alexander von Wieding for his amazing cover art, to Scott Hamilton and Small Stone Records and to everyone who’s reviewed Dronolith or helped spread the word in any way.
Darryl will be playing with Milligram as they support Kyuss Lives! and The Sword in Worcester, Massachusetts, so if you’re up there, I’d definitely try to get tickets, as it should be pretty massive. As for The Maple Forum‘s next release, I hope to have some news from the Clamfight dudes in the next week or two, and we’ll take it from there with artwork, pressing the disc, etc. In the last couple days, I’ve also been talking to three other bands interested in working with the label, so 2012 seems to already be shaping up.
More on that as it develops, and in the meantime, if you didn’t get the chance to buy Dronolith, here’s the album stream Darryl set up. Thanks again.
Posted in Label Stuff on August 4th, 2011 by H.P. Taskmaster
I stopped by the post office on my way to work this morning and sent out a package to San Francisco mainstay/tastemaker shop Aquarius Records with 10 copies of Blackwolfgoat‘s Dronolith in it. Aquarius, who was kind enough to review the album a couple weeks back, had already sold out the batch Darryl “I’m the Only Dude in the Band” Shepard sent them, and wanted more. Considering that I’ve been to the store and generally dig what they do, I was more than happy to oblige. The discs will be in good hands and hopefully find good homes.
That left me with three, but as I was sitting here and writing this post, another just sold, which means I now only have two copies left of the album. If you want one, now’s the time. As ever with Maple Forum stuff, once they’re gone, that’s it. We only pressed 100, and they’re gorgeous, and I’m sad to see them go, but yeah, it’s time.
You can make a purchase through the official store of The Maple Forum or by using the Paypal button above, whatever you prefer. Just to remind, Blackwolfgoat is the one-man progressive drone outfit of Shepard, who has played guitar over the years for Milligram and Hackman, among many others and is a master of turning loops into massive barrages of noise. Dronolith was recorded live by Glenn Smith at Amps vs. Ohms Studio and features glossy gatefold digipak artwork by the fantastic Alexander Von Wieding.
Where most records categorized as drone stand still, Dronolith has movement within its six tracks, and I’m proud as hell to have helped with the release in the small way I did. I’ll have another update once the last two discs sell, which is imminent. Click here or the cover above to go to the store.
Posted in Label Stuff on July 15th, 2011 by H.P. Taskmaster
Clamfight know there’s nothing quite like a roadtrip, and that’s why — even as they prepare to hit the studio and put the finishing touches on their second album, Volume III (out this fall on The Maple Forum) — they’re headed down south with fellow mayhem-purveyors, Rukut, for a weekend of high-watermark bastardry. If you’ve yet to do so, be sure to see these charming rapscallions in the flesh.
Killer that I get news about Maple Forum bands on the PR wire now. Here’s the update that came in:
Philadelphia-area sludge thugs Clamfight are in the thick of recording their second full-length album, VolumeIII. After a long several days of laying down track after track of their groove-laden thunder at NewJersey‘s infamous GradwellHouseStudios, the band have completed all of the rhythm tracks for the upcoming album and will return in August to hammer out the leads and vocals for the record, which will see release via The Maple Forum in the Autumn months.
In the meantime, the crew have confirmed several new local live attacks taking place this week, as well as a quick run of the Carolinas with NewJersey-based cohorts Rukut late this month.
07/16 JR’s Bar Philadelphia, PA w/ Rukut, BlueAside, Bitchslicer
07/17 Mojo 13 Wilmington, DE w/ BlueAside, Lor, The Walking Ghost
07/29 DIVEbar Raleigh, NC w/ Rukut, The Black Tie Operation (free show!)
07/30 The House Simpsonville, SC w/ Rukut, Black Hand Throne
Posted in Label Stuff on June 14th, 2011 by H.P. Taskmaster
I’ve been reading some of the reviews coming in of Dronolith, the second album by Blackwolfgoat and third release from The Maple Forum, and it seems like, for the most part, people are getting what the record is about. The progressive and Krautrock influences are noted in just about all of them, and the overall response is pretty positive. Thanks to everyone who’s written so far (among them Heavy Metal Time Machine, Sea of Tranquility and the venerable souls at Doommantia) and everyone who’s planning to.
Thanks even more to everyone who’s bought the record and checked in with a response about it. I’m dig it and I’m glad you do too. It’s definitely something different, and I was a bit worried about how it might go over, but it looks like everybody who wants to be is on board. More than I can ask for, really.
As of today, I have 23 copies left of Dronolith, which you can buy using the Paypal button above or at the Maple Forum store on BigCartel. If you haven’t gotten one yet, please consider this humble advice to do so before they’re gone. For Darryl Shepard‘s expansive soundscapes and the beautiful Alexander Von Wieding artwork, it’s not to be missed, and once it’s sold out, that’s it. We only pressed 100.
If you’re in NYC or somewhere thereabouts, make sure you hit up Lit Lounge on June 27, where Darryl will be gracing the stage as part of the ongoing Precious Metal series headed by Curran Reynolds of Wetnurse/Today is the Day. As the room downstairs at Lit is essentially a low-ceiling cave, it should be the perfect setting for Blackwolfgoat‘s encompassing wall of sound. Expect volume in voluminous doses.
Posted in Label Stuff on June 1st, 2011 by H.P. Taskmaster
Even as Blackwolfgoat discs are heading out the door — you can buy yours here if you haven’t yet — the next Maple Forum release is in the works. Forum040 will be Volume III by South Jersey bashers and thrashers Clamfight, and as a fan of the band and someone who’s heard demos and rough mixes of the tracks, I can tell you straight out, it’s going to be a monster. The four-piece — guitarists Sean McKee and Joel Harris, drummer/vocalist Andy Martin and bassist Louis Koble — hit the studio on May 13 to start the recording process, and Martin was kind enough to take a couple minutes out and issue the following update on their progress.
Volume III should be out sometime this fall, if not before. Here’s what Martin had to say:
A few quick words of introduction here, as judging by the sales of Volume I, there aren’t a ton of you who know who we are, and it felt a little pretentious to just jump right in with the new record stuff. We’re Clamfight from suburban South Jersey. We’ve been playing together since junior high, have played a ton of shows in NY, PA, NJ, DE, and MD over the last six years, and we’ll never be too old or musically snobby to question the sheer perfection of Pantera’s Vulgar Display of Power, Deep Purple’s Machine Head, Sepultura’s Chaos A.D., and Clutch‘s self-titled. Last year we released a record titled Volume I that several husky bearded gentlemen from across the globe enjoyed and were kind enough to plug on their respective blogs and websites. Your own H.P. Taskmaster enjoyed it enough to offer to put out the follow-up to Volume I, and the making of this album, Volume III, is why we’re taking up valuable Obelisk real estate today.
Volume I was an accidental record; it was recorded in drips and drabs over several months in ’08, and then due to work and personal commitments as well as the fact that we knew dick about self releasing a record it languished, completed, for close to two years before we got it out. Knowing that JJ would be handling the releasing was a huge load off our minds from the get-go, now it fell to us to deliver as good a record as we possibly could. With that in mind we returned to the Gradwell House in Haddon Heights, New Jersey (gradwellhouse.com), and the man who’s our own loving combination of Colonel Tom Parker and the mom from The Partridge Family, Steve Poponi. To be honest, since working with Steve on Volume I we wouldn’t have gone anywhere else. Steve had been able to browbeat and turd-polish a solid record out of us when we really hadn’t meant to record one, now we were eager to see what he could do when we actually intended to make a record.
We hit Gradwell House Friday night (May 13) with a long weekend booked and the intention of laying all the basic tracks for the nine songs we’d prepared; a few guitar solos still needed to be written and vocals would have to wait until my allergies relaxed and I no longer sound like Yeardley Smith trying to scream-clear a snorkel. Booking the block time was Steve‘s idea and it was amazing how much time it saved. Our gear remained set up in the studio so once the several hours of setup time had been spent on Friday night, we could roll in the rest of the weekend and be recording within minutes of walking in the door. Joel went with the same Peavey Classic tube head he used on Volume I, this time through his Mesa cabinet, while Sean played his Mesa Triple Rectifier through a Marshall cabinet. I played the same Black Cat kit as on Volume I, and Louis played a Tech 21 Sans Amp through an Avalon direct input box. Friday night we knocked out “The Eagle,” “I vs. the Glacier,” and “Sandriders” (my ode to Dune; yeah, we’re those kind of nerds) and left the studio around 11, feeling pretty good.
Saturday, I knocked out the rest of my drum tracks (for such ditties as “River of Ice,” “The Shadowline,” “The Age of Reptiles,” “Mountain,” “Tower of the Elephant II,” and “Stealing the Ghost Horse”) and again I need to stop and give Steve a lot of credit for how smoothly things went here. 15 or so years of playing the drums in loud bands have left me with some so-so hearing (earplugs kids, wear your earplugs), and the last time we recorded I used regular headphones which honestly prohibited me from hearing everything properly and I consequently held back on my playing a lot. This time out Steve loaned me some great in-ear monitors and since it now sounded as if the guys were playing in my frontal lobe, I could relax and play as hard as I do live, instead of mincing around the kit straining to hear Sean.
Another key to our recording of Volume III has been Gradwell‘s gigantic live room. Though Louis is playing his bass through a DI and the guitar cabs are isolated, for the basic tracks and some of Sean‘s leads we’ve all been in the same room banging the songs out together. Besides the practical reasons like all of us being able to see each other and cue each other in on the changes — some of these songs were only finished two weeks before we hit the studio, so some of the changes remain a bit fresh — there’s just something about the four of us in the room playing together that brings a hell of a lot more energy to the songs than say, if I played to a click and a scratch track and everyone else layered their parts in afterward. It also takes a little bit of that microscope effect out of the process as well, being able to look at each other and flip the other guys off or mouth a well timed “fuck you” or “you suck” to ease the tension is a big help. It helps make recording — God forbid — fun. Ultimately that’s what we’re doing in this band anyway, I mean we’re not trying to pay the bills with a band named Clamfight (if we wanted to do that we’d move to Brooklyn, gank a name from Robert E. Howard and start working on our beards), we’re out to have a good time, to play some ugly music for whoever will have us, and to hang out with the same assholes we’d be hanging out with whether we were a band or not. That’s what’s been so great about the Volume III sessions so far-we’ve managed to have that same good time while engaging in what’s usually one of the most pressure-filled and money-devouring activities that a band at our level can engage in.
We’ll go back in a few weeks to complete leads and vocals and should have a rough mix of a couple of songs for our upcoming shows (June 10 at the M-Room in Philthadelphia with Boss 302 and Human Shield, who are the fucking tits). In the meantime I have to stop hogging this hotel lobby computer — there’s some businessmen types who are clearly eager to commence trolling Craigslist for hookers and if I hold them up any further they may band together and violently remove me. Stay classy, Obelisk. – Andy Martin
Posted in Label Stuff on May 31st, 2011 by H.P. Taskmaster
I’m thrilled to update that Blackwolfgoat‘s Dronolith sold nearly half my portion of the total 100 pressed in its first week. As of today, I have 26 copies left of The Maple Forum‘s third offering. If you want one, you can buy it using the Paypal button above or at the official Maple Forum webstore.
Thanks so much to everyone who’s made a purchase so far. Your support is hugely appreciated and I can’t say that enough. It’s awesome to see the names of people who also picked up the Kings Destroy and/or the Roareth discs coming back for more, and it’s awesome to see new names coming through as well. Point I’m trying to make here is that it’s awesome, I guess. Much appreciated on this end.
I was held up this weekend doing thesis work and the post office was closed Sunday and yesterday for the holiday, so I’ve got a handful of discs that will go out tomorrow morning, but the first bunch should have already landed for most (reports are they made it to the UK already). If you haven’t gotten yours yet, it should be coming soon, and if you have, I’d love to know what you think of the album. Feel free to leave a comment here or drop me an email through the contact page. Or if you’re too busy kicking out the drones, that’s fine too. In any case, thanks again.
In other Blackwolfgoat news, Darryl Shepard (the man behind the band) has set up a Bandcamp page where you can listen and buy the album — download or physical — directly from him. Anyone who hasn’t checked the record out yet can do so there, or on ReverbNation.