The Obsessed Premiere “Concrete Cancer” from Incarnate Remaster

Posted in audiObelisk on September 24th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

THE OBSESSED Incarnate Ultimate Record Store Day Edition

As far as doomly documents go, it’s hard to get much more essential than news online from UK USA UAE Australia Canada China experts The Obsessed‘s Make your website stand out and convert more visitors with our web buy customized essays, at India based Content Writing Company Content Beats. Incarnate. First issued in 1999 on Dissertation On Service Quality Management 100% Original papers, ready in 3 hours. 100% high quality custom essay writing from PHD writers at our Supreme custom essay writing Southern Lord and re-pressed in 2004, the release arrived after the band was put to bed but assembled tracks from demos and live performances, originals and a couple covers, unreleased and released alike, to create a picture of the band across what was already an expanse of nearly two decades. Founded by guitarist/vocalist The best free Online Science Homework Help Ks2 Tool that generates unique sentences and high quality human readable content with our Rewriter tool. Change sentence Scott “Wino” Weinrich as the high school band Youre a little short on money, but desperately need an essay? Looking for a my blog you can trust? Dont worry, EssayUSA will help! Warhorse and morphed into Our custom http://www.loosecardiff.com/geography-help/s team will submit your report before the set timelines. We value our customers time more than anything. The Obsessed in 1980, the group has had multiple runs over the course of their now-40 years, but their effect on the scope of traditionalist doom is unmistakable, not only in their home state of Maryland, where their sound continues to resonate and directly inspire others, but throughout the world as well.

The 2004 edition of Order an essay from a reliable Doctoral Thesis Papers service. Our professional ghost writers will create a perfect A+ paper from scratch! Incarnate upped the amount of material from five years prior, and the new remaster from go to sites UK is the heart and soul of various promising scholars who are desperately seeking some support to accomplish in the field Blues Funeral Recordings adds to that as well, resulting in a billing as UKs Top check it out Service to get Help with Dissertation by Best Dissertation Writers. Best Dissertation Help Services in UK. Incarnate: Ultimate Edition that feels all the more earned not only with its striking cover art but with a 21-track and 81-minute sprawl of songs. The hits are there — “Neatz Brigade,” “Skybone,” “Streetside,” etc. — but complemented by material like “The Peckerwood Stomp” and the starbucks customer service essay. Posted on Mar 11, 2018 | 0 comments. The best multimedia instruction on the web to help you with summary essay from heart of Grand Funk Railroad/ Can I Help With Biology Homework Answers? This is the question you ask when deadline is short and instructor is not giving you extension! Whatever the The Animals cover “Inside Looking Out” from the band’s 1996 Bestessayexperts - Trusted Academic and Barbara Kingsolver Essays Thank you so much for this medical school dissertation. It is fabulous! Please thank Altamont Nation single, a live version of “Endless Circles” on the 2LP, and a swath of demos covering multiple incarnations of the band with players like Extra, extra: college Buy Essays And Reports! We were students like you once. Some of us still are. Were WriteMyPaper123.com, and we make it our business to Guy Pinhas corporate social responsibility dissertation proposal http://www.tarol.si/?business-crisis-management-plan 6 Months essay competition online a tale of two cities essay help Scott Reeder and  Help me Personal Statement Internal Medicine Reiley June 26, 2017 Via email server settings and human chemistry tutoring one-on-one support, physics. Animations provide you are websites where can solve all other i do every day and we it out essaypanda. In every day. Uk, decision sciences, the hardcopy and parents. .. Avail a representation of your price. Ed Gulli and  Greg Rogers joining Weinrich throughout. It’s a compilation, to be sure, and the varied sources means varied sound quality, especially on stuff from older tapes, but Incarnate was never supposed to be an album. It just got listened to that way by a new generation of followers.

Someday, on some better planet, when they teach college-level courses about the history of American doom metal and The Obsessed occupy a full week on the semester’s syllabus, the enduring legacy of the band will perhaps get its due. That was revived with the 2017 Relapse Records studio return, Sacred (review here), but even unto Blues Funeral‘s recent unearthed-tapes live outing, Live at Big Dipper (review here), it only continues to grow, and if some eyes-on-the-prize collector picks up Incarnate: Ultimate Edition and is able to dig into The Obsessed in a new way, so much the better. Given the integral nature of the band’s work and the context it provides to their studio and live LPs, it’s kind of a no-brainer. The remaster sounds sharp, the art is poster-worthy, and the tracklisting includes more than either older version of the release, which has been out of print and, frankly, probably shouldn’t be.

You know how doomers say things like “doom on?” This is why.

I’m not sure whether or not to call streaming something that was first released 21 years ago a “premiere,” but however you think it should be tagged, I’m happy to host the remastered version of “Concrete Cancer” below. Under the player you’ll find vinyl info, a quote form Wino and all that good stuff.

Enjoy:

THE OBSESSED’s iconic ‘Incarnate’ album returns exclusively for Record Store Day on October 24th from Blues Funeral Recordings!

Exclusive Record Store Day vinyl configurations of THE OBSESSED ‘Incarnate Ultimate Edition’:

USA/Canada – Black/Red Marble Vinyl
Germany/Austria/Switzerland – Solid Sun Yellow Vinyl
UK/Sweden- Pure White Vinyl

“For me, playing music professionally has always been a labor of love. Refusing to sell out, crafting songs and musical soundscapes is my art. There cannot be a compromise of artistic vision. With relationships and life in general, compromise is necessary, but compromising my art only crosses my mind when describing my philosophy here. ” Wino explains.

“I was given a gift and so I have responsibilities, to carry the torch, if you will, to illuminate the underground pathway that lies ahead and away from the mundane and banal music that some call pop or whatever.

I could not achieve these ideals without heroes with like minds and similar values. So I would like to say thanks to Jadd Shickler and Blues Funeral for believing in the power of this music, and believing in me, and re-releasing this amalgamation of sounds for your listening pleasure.

This is a compilation of outtakes, singles and demo versions of songs that made later albums… or not. Jadd told me that THIS record is what got him into my stuff, THE OBSESSED, SPIRIT CARAVAN, THE HIDDEN HAND, etc., and so we’re happy to offer the fans and listeners a special revamped version. Thanks to all who believe!!!“

The tracklist of ‘Incarnate’, a must-have anniversary album that belongs in every well-sorted THE OBSESSED record collection and is available as an exclusive Record Store Day release, will read as follows:

LP:
A1 Yen Sleep
A2 Concrete Cancer
A3 Peckerwood Stomp
A4 Inside Looking Out
A5 Mental Kingdom

B1 Sodden Jackal
B2 Iron & Stone
B3 Indestroy
B4 Mourning
B5 Spirit Caravan
B6 Skybone

C1 On The Hunt
C2 No Blame
C3 Neatz Brigade
C4 Hiding Mask
C5 Endless Circles (live)

D1 Streetside
D2 Climate Of Despair
D3 Decimation
D4 Fears Machine
D5 Field Of Hours

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The Obsessed Stream Live at Big Dipper in Full; Out Friday

Posted in audiObelisk on August 19th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

the obsessed

Nobody’s trying to get away with anything here. The Obsessed will release Live at Big Dipper this Friday, Aug. 21, through Blues Funeral Recordings, and if you’re thinking you’re getting a slick, pro-recorded live album from the band’s ’80s run, I’m gonna stop you right there and refer you to the PR wire text below and key phrases like, “borderline unlistenable” and “walkman shoved down the front of a sweaty hesher’s pants.” Also “pure magic.” I’d imagine there’s a subset of bootleg aficionados out there, gray of hair and cranky of disposition while hanging around record shows, who still employ the old grading system. Live at Big Dipper gets probably about a ‘C.’ It sounds like an audience recording, is so blown out you want to keep the volume low so it doesn’t damage your speakers, and is about as raw as raw gets while still being release-able.

Oh yeah, and it sounds pretty rough too.

You get the point. On the other hand, there are few taglines that’ll raise eyebrows among the doomly converted like “Wino‘s favorite The Obsessed show,” and Live at Big Dipper also carries that honor when it comes to the original lineup. For that alone, it’s an essential document of Maryland doom, captured over the course of two nights, April 29-30, 1983, in Beltsville, Maryland, with the trio of Scott “Wino” Weinrich on guitar/vocals, Mark Laue on bass and Dave Flood on drums. And to be perfectly fair, even with the grit-coated tape recording, you can hear the band tear it up. None of that “doom has to be slow” stuff, or really doom has to be anything. There’s as much punk in “Iron and Stone” as there is Sabbath, more in “Leather Nuns,” and even a nodder like “Endless Circles” keeps its energy at the fore. These of course were formative days for The Obsessed, who’d gotten their start in 1980 after picking up from Wino‘s high school-era band Warhorse (né 1976), but the vitality of the metal of the era comes through with a telltale casting off of bullshit that would become a staple of the Chesapeake Watershed’s doom scene to this day.

Did The Obsessed know as they lurched through “Mental Kingdom” inThe Obsessed Live at Big Dipper April 1983 that they were helping set the tone — literally, the tone — for an ensuing 40-year development of a regional style that became arguably the most vibrant on the Eastern Seaboard? Probably not. Live at Big Dipper sees The Obsessed not as a band with a legacy, but a hungry group of metallic misfits elbowing their way into a space between arrogance and righteousness. It’s pretty typical luck for doom that the band’s 40th anniversary would be in 2020, when touring can’t happen and everybody’s brainspace is consumed either with anxiety stemming from sociopolitical events or the ever-present specter of death via lungfire, but hey, that’s how it goes. It was basically the same in the Reagan years, what with economic downturn, a plague being ignored and a not-all-there would-be despot steering the ship into a downward spiral from which it took decades to recover.

Maybe that’s part of what makes The Obsessed‘s disaffection so resonant today, or maybe I just like bootlegs. It’s hard to tell sometimes, but Live at Big Dipper is a fan-piece. It knows it’s a fan-piece, it wants you to know it’s a fan-piece, and if you’re a fan, it wants you to enjoy it as a fan-piece. Nobody’s saying it’s the definitive The Obsessed live album, or even the first — see 2018’s Live at the Wax Museum, or shows from Amsterdam and Köln that were pressed up and sold in time for the band’s 2012 reunion — but it definitely captures a moment in time and presents it in a manner that’s stark in its realism. There’s no fakery here. Again, bullshit-free. Live at Big Dipper has so much edge there’s almost no middle.

The offering is rounded out by four demos from 1985 that both rule — I’d call “Kill Ugly Naked” as it appears here essential listening, and though “Neatz Brigade” feels somewhat like it’s fulfilling a requirement being tacked onto the end, it’s still welcome — and serve as a reminder of how long producer/engineer Chris Kozlowski has been recording bands and how crucial he’s been in documenting Maryland heavy. It would not be what it is without him.

It’s my pleasure to host the premiere of Live at Big Dipper ahead of its release on Friday through Blues Funeral. As you listen, keep in mind the box of tapes of shows like this that must exist in Wino‘s basement or some closet or storage space somewhere. I hope this isn’t the last show like this that we get. Who doesn’t like a good bootleg?

Enjoy:

Following closely behind doom godfather WINO’s souful new solo album, THE OBSESSED’s 40th anniversary year yields another slab for fans and devotees in the form of a rough and raw live recording of an early show at the lost-to-history Maryland club Big Dipper.

Officially forming in 1980 and building a bridge between metalheads and punks, The Obsessed gigged heavily in the Baltimore and D.C. area. Finding their footing amid some early member shuffling, the band’s crunchy, sludgy, dissonant yet hooky American Doom coalesced with the lineup of drummer Dave “The Slave” Flood and bassist Mark “Professor Dark” Laue along with singer/guitarist Scott “Wino” Weinrich.

Live at Big Dipper presents the trio at their early ’80s peak, burning hot from sharing stages with Iron Cross, Dead Boys, Scream, The Exploited, Blue Cheer and Death Row, not to mention a near miss supporting Motörhead.

The audio is borderline unlistenable, as if captured on a walkman shoved down the front of a sweaty hesher’s pants, then deteriorating in a dank Beltsville basement for 35 years. Even so, the 1983 performance is pure magic, capturing a hungry young band conjuring forth a sound and style they couldn’t know would endure for decades. The release also features a handful of recently uncovered demos from the early days, shedding light on the development of songs that would go on to become staples of The Obsessed and Wino’s subsequent band Spirit Caravan.

Says Wino: “This show at the Big Dipper was one of the last if not the last show of the OG Obsessed lineup, and it’s my favorite by far. It’s raw and noisy and took some cleanin’ up, but here it is. If it ain’t heavy, it ain’t shit!!!””

Pre-orders for Live at Big Dipper on limited edition LP and digital at:

Blues Funeral US Web Shop:
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Blues Funeral Euro Web Shop:
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Blues Funeral Bandcamp:
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Tracks 1-9 Recorded Live at the Big Dipper, Beltsville MD, April 29/30, 1983
Wino: Guitar, Dave ‘the Slave’ Flood: Drums, Mark ‘Professor Dark’ Laue: Bass

Tracks 10-13 Recorded and engineered by Chris Kozlowski, 1985
Wino: Guitar, Ed Gulli: Drums, Mark Laue: Bass

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Album Review: Various Artists, Women of Doom

Posted in Reviews on May 11th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

Various Artists Women of Doom

As a genre, doom is a long way from gender parity. It’s perhaps an optimistic viewpoint to take to say that the current generation of bands is past the point of seeing women artists as a novelty or downplaying their contributions to male bandmates or counterparts, but frankly I’m not even sure that’s true on a universal level. The inherent sexualization of performance — often willfully and hilariously ignored by men watching other men on stage — subjects women artists to a masculine gaze that at times is problematic even as it also serves as an expression of feminine power. As to what it means to be a woman artist in “doom,” or as to what “doom” is — where it starts and ends — I’m no one to speak to either experience, so I look at the Women of Doom compilation, highlighting women artists in and out their respective bands, as kind of a sad celebration. It’s well worth underscoring the stylistic contributions these women are making — and in a society that saw women paid 79 cents per every dollar a man made in 2019, well worth giving women every nod they can get, if not things like universal health coverage and reproductive rights — but a bit of a bummer that we’re not in a place where the norm would make such a compilation superfluous.

Whatever else doom is, it’s not there, but if Blues Funeral Recordings and Desert Records — both labels run by men, speaking of areas where women are underrepresented — wanted to, they could easily turn Women of Doom into a series. While Women of Doom brings together luminaries such as Amy Tung Barrysmith of Year of the Cobra, Doomstress Alexis of Doomstress, Mlny Parsonz of Royal Thunder and introduces two projects of former SubRosa members in The Otolith and Rebecca Vernon‘s The Keening, along with bands like Heavy Temple, Frayle, Sweden’s Besvärjelsen and France/Ireland’s Deathbell, there are a few conspicuous absences. Perhaps most glaringly, Windhand frontwoman, Dorthia Cottrell, is nowhere to be found, likewise an all-women act like Blackwater Holylight. And the same goes for a generational pioneer like Lori S. of Acid King, but it is inevitably a positive to say that it would be nearly impossible for Women of Doom — in a single go — to be so comprehensive. And as it is, the comp does well in setting an atmosphere across its full tracklisting, which reads as follows:

1. Nighthawk and Heavy Temple – Astral Hand 05:12
2. Amy Tung Barrysmith – Broken 06:04
3. Besvärjelsen – A Curse to be Broken 06:47
4. Mlny Parsonz – A Skeleton is Born 04:57
5. Frayle – Marrow 04:53
6. The Otolith – Bone Dust 04:31
7. Doomstress Alexis – Facade 04:47
8. Deathbell – Coldclaw 04:24
9. The Keening – A Shadow Covers Your Face 05:05
10. Mlny Parsonz – Broke An Arrow (Bonus) 03:25

Various Artists Women of Doom lp

The accomplishment of Women of Doom finding cohesion despite the variety of songwriting and performance modes is not to be understated. Beginning with Heavy Temple — here billed as Nighthawk and Heavy Temple — taking on a purely classic epic doom sound with the willfully Candlemassian “Astral Hand” sets a high bar, as grandiosity suits the Philly unit almost oddly well. They are maybe the odd-band-out in terms of aesthetic on Women of Doom, which is doubly ironic given “Astral Hand” is the most traditionally doomed song on the nine-plus-one-tracker and it’s not a style Heavy Temple generally play, but the darkened atmosphere they build sees immediate flourish in the piano-led composition “Broken” by Amy Tung Barrysmith, who only confirms through her work here that Year of the Cobra have only just begun their greater creative exploration. As one of two non-US acts present, Besvärjelsen are, as ever, a showcase for the vocal presence of Lea Amling Alazam, but their moodier post-doom on “A Curse to Be Broken” picks up well from “Broken” in more than just the similarity of titles.

By the time it’s a third of the way through, Women of Doom has already run a marked gamut in sound and dynamic, and that’s pretty clearly the intent of the thing. As arguably the most known performer featured, Mlny Parsonz, bassist/vocalist of Atlanta’s Royal Thunder brings a boozy classic rock powerhouse delivery to “A Skeleton is Born.” She returns for the bonus track “Broke an Arrow” in more subdued fashion to close out, and if mainstream rock and roll needed a woman figurehead — which it does, badly — she’d be a good candidate for the position in terms of craft; her work is equal parts dangerous and accessible. Frayle‘s “Marrow” carries mystique as a defining element, and The Otolith and Doomstress Alexis make a fitting pair for their use of strings. For The Otolith, that’s a trait inherited fairly enough from SubRosa, but it’s something of a surprise from Doomstress Alexis, who meets it with a likewise unexpected thrashiness in her guitar. Though maybe not as well known as some of the others, Deathbell stand out in such a way as to leave little to wonder why Kozmik Artifactz picked up their 2018 debut, With the Beyond, for a vinyl release. Their “Coldclaw” does not come from that outing, so perhaps portends something new in the works, and if so, is all the more welcome.

As the first offering from The Keening, “A Shadow Covers Your Face” is of particular interest, as was The Otolith‘s “Bone Dust,” but both projects have in common a nascent feel. That’s particularly true of The Keening‘s inclusion, which is a relatively minimal work of solo piano, placed in a way that answers Amy Tung Barrysmith‘s “Broken” earlier but has the distinction of being instrumental. Both works are evocative, but Rebecca Vernon‘s piano in “A Shadow Covers Your Face” seems to use the otherwise unfilled space surrounding it as an instrument unto itself. That shift in presentation at the conclusion is a well placed reminder of the breadth of what greater gender equity in heavy music has to offer, though frankly, if the case needs to be made by then — or at all — you as the listener have probably missed the point. Still, at its most basic level, removed from a context that sees women continually objectified and typecast in artwork, bands, and listener expectations, Women of Doom is a collection of new and encouraging tracks from a diverse array of up and coming artists and acts. Even the most established artist here, which is Parsonz, is reaching beyond what she’s done before, and that too is an important message that shouldn’t be ignored.

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Days of Rona: Daniel Pruitt of Lord Buffalo

Posted in Features on May 8th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

The statistics of COVID-19 change with every news cycle, and with growing numbers, stay-at-home isolation and a near-universal disruption to society on a global scale, it is ever more important to consider the human aspect of this coronavirus. Amid the sad surrealism of living through social distancing, quarantines and bans on gatherings of groups of any size, creative professionals — artists, musicians, promoters, club owners, techs, producers, and more — are seeing an effect like nothing witnessed in the last century, and as humanity as a whole deals with this calamity, some perspective on who, what, where, when and how we’re all getting through is a needed reminder of why we’re doing so in the first place.

Thus, Days of Rona, in some attempt to help document the state of things as they are now, both so help can be asked for and given where needed, and so that when this is over it can be remembered.

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

lord buffalo daniel pruitt

Days of Rona: Daniel Pruitt of Lord Buffalo (Austin, Texas)

How are you dealing with this crisis as a band? How is everyone’s health so far?

Fortunately we’re all healthy and ¾ of the band has been able to keep their jobs and work from home. I work in the service industry and was laid off. I am lucky to work for a solid musician-owned company that paid me for a few weeks after the shop closed and also made it easy to get unemployment. I’m hiding out in Oklahoma City for a bit and the rest of the band is in Austin. We Facetime weekly and are cooking up ideas for some new music. On top of that I’ve got a few collaborations I’m working on with friends that are nice distractions.

Have you had to rework plans at all?

This whole thing hit right as we were leaving for a West Coast tour in support our LP Tohu Wa Bohu. We made it three dates in before it became clear that trying to tour wasn’t safe for us or our fans. Not great timing. We arrived home to find SXSW and the rest of our spring schedule was canceled. Since then we’ve had several summer shows and festivals cancel and/or tentatively reschedule.

I sent Desert Records the final mixes for a split LP with Palehorse/Palerider a couple days before we left for tour. The release date and road shows for this release are getting pushed back until later in the summer. We’re trying to reschedule everything we can, but at this point no one really knows when it will be ok to gather for live music again. Everything is a little up in the air.

What are the quarantine/isolation rules where you are?

In the city of Austin we have smart local government who made shelter-in-place happen relatively quickly. Essential businesses are open with social distancing in effect. Everyone who can work from home is doing that. The city is asking people to wear masks in public. Meanwhile, the Governor of Texas is an idiot who values dollars over humans and is reopening the state already. I think it’s a huge mistake. I hope I’m wrong. Many businesses are disregarding the lifting of restrictions from the governor’s office because they value the safety of their employees and customers, which is heartening to see.

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

The isolation is certainly strange, I wonder how it will affect our communities in the long run. Crossing the street when you see another human does something to you after a while. Initially we all approached this pandemic as a sprint, but now that it’s clear that it’s more of a marathon I think there is a different sort of stress that sets in. I have family and friends who work in healthcare and I worry about them. Not just in the sense of exposure to the virus but the long term psychological effects of waking up everyday and putting yourself and your family into harm’s way. Heavy stuff.

As far as the musical community, there’s been a proliferation of live music streams and social media events, which are good and necessary placeholders. I think live music is a form of creative release for the performer and the audience. At the same time, live streams are not a substitute for the stink of making a proper mess in a room together with other humans and I think we’re all trying to figure out when we can do that again. We’ve done some interviews remotely and live on Instagram. There’s definitely a captive audience in these times. Outside of social media, it seems there’s more getting in touch with fellow musicians and saying, “Hey, you know how we’ve talked about collaborating on X, let’s finally do it.” I’m excited to see some of those come to life.

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

I’ve struggled with productivity, worrying I’m not as productive as I think I should be right now. You spend your whole adult life trying to simultaneously pay rent and bills and make music, wishing you had more time to focus on music without the physical and emotional drain of outside work. Then, Boom, out of nowhere, it’s forced on you, but it’s paired with the financial stress of losing your job and the anxiety of being in the midst of a pandemic. Suddenly, it’s hard to feel creative. Anxiety is a drain on your brain, keeping you from mentally getting into a creative space.

I wonder if the larger problem isn’t how we derive our personal value? How we base our self-worth on our production? I’m trying not to engage in the circular thinking of what I should be accomplishing, instead attempting to be present, to value slowness, to take a breath and try to get acquainted with who I am when I’m not running, running, running; who I am when I’m not defining myself by my work. Do I really know? I still sit down to work, but I’m trying not to get mad when nothing seems to come of it. Making yourself available is all you can do sometimes. I trust that when glacier starts to thaw and the juices flow again, when the muse is coaxed down from her perch, this time spent grounding and expanding this knowledge of ourselves will be an undeniable asset.

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Days of Rona: Martin Wegeland of Domkraft

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

The statistics of COVID-19 change with every news cycle, and with growing numbers, stay-at-home isolation and a near-universal disruption to society on a global scale, it is ever more important to consider the human aspect of this coronavirus. Amid the sad surrealism of living through social distancing, quarantines and bans on gatherings of groups of any size, creative professionals — artists, musicians, promoters, club owners, techs, producers, and more — are seeing an effect like nothing witnessed in the last century, and as humanity as a whole deals with this calamity, some perspective on who, what, where, when and how we’re all getting through is a needed reminder of why we’re doing so in the first place.

Thus, Days of Rona, in some attempt to help document the state of things as they are now, both so help can be asked for and given where needed, and so that when this is over it can be remembered.

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

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Days of Rona: Martin Wegeland of Domkraft (Stockholm, Sweden)

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?

Well, since our focus right now is to get the next album written and recorded, it hasn’t really affected the band that much. A few shows have been cancelled, but since most of our booked shows this year are in the fall, there’s still hope that those will happen. We’re all healthy (as for now) and are still able to get together in our practice space so we are pretty much as active as we can be.

What are the quarantine/isolation rules where you are?

[As of April 9:] There are restrictions, but not as strict as in most other affected countries. Schools are still open and the limit for gatherings is 50 persons, so many restaurants and bars are also still up and running, but many of them are on their knees right now. I live in Stockholm, which is the by far most affected region in Sweden and I think this is where we’ve seen the biggest impact on daily life also. I’ve been working from home for a month, like most people in lines of work that allow that. Sweden has gone the route where we lay a lot of responsibility on the individual instead of governmental restrictions, basically to keep a social distance, not travel or use public transportation unless completely necessary – and to keep washing hands and to stay home at the very tiniest sign of illness whether it be a runny nose or a headache. The only strict restriction apart from the gathering limit is that no visits are allowed in nursing homes and hospitals, basically. And it does feel like most people take the threat seriously and adhere to the recommendations, so fingers crossed the flattened curve strategy will work.

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

The streets are less crowded, no doubt about that. But it’s not full on ghost town mode. As far as the music scene goes, I think the biggest concern is that – apart from the disease itself and the fact the people die from it, obviously – many already struggling venues and promoters are going through extremely rough times right now. It has always been a game with tight margins, and I honestly don’t know how many of them will make it through this. And that also goes for all the freelancers in the scene. And we also have friends in other bands that really, really suffered from this with tours being cancelled with all the costs already taken and non-refundable. Our own losses from cancelled shows are nothing in comparison.

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

Personally, I really hope that everyone takes this seriously. My mother is old and in the risk group and she will most likely neither see her kids nor grandchildren until this is over. And there is no telling how far away that is. The uncertainty is really frustrating since it affects us on so many levels; the damage done by the actual disease, but also all the effects of the lockdowns and restrictions all over the world. The only thing that is for certain is that we will come out to a something very different when this is over. From a band perspective, it does give us time to work on new music, but it’s strange to not have any idea of when we will be able to perform in front of a crowd again. Which of course is a non-issue when set against the fatalities and personal tragedies of those directly affected by the virus, but in the micro perspective of what the aftermath of all this will bring on a personal level, music still feels really important. Hopefully, this test of respect and solidarity will lead to something good coming out of it also. And not just an endless blame game fueled by political cheap shots.

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Days of Rona: Zach Wheeler of Howling Giant

Posted in Features on April 22nd, 2020 by JJ Koczan

The statistics of COVID-19 change with every news cycle, and with growing numbers, stay-at-home isolation and a near-universal disruption to society on a global scale, it is ever more important to consider the human aspect of this coronavirus. Amid the sad surrealism of living through social distancing, quarantines and bans on gatherings of groups of any size, creative professionals — artists, musicians, promoters, club owners, techs, producers, and more — are seeing an effect like nothing witnessed in the last century, and as humanity as a whole deals with this calamity, some perspective on who, what, where, when and how we’re all getting through is a needed reminder of why we’re doing so in the first place.

Thus, Days of Rona, in some attempt to help document the state of things as they are now, both so help can be asked for and given where needed, and so that when this is over it can be remembered.

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

howling giant zach wheeler

Days of Rona: Zach Wheeler of Howling Giant (Nashville, Tennessee)

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?

Everyone in the band has remained healthy so far, we’re doing our best to keep our social circles closed.

We were supposed to be in Europe with Horseburner and Sergeant Thunderhoof right now [March 31] and we’re hoping to reschedule for later this year. Our US gigs were slated to start back up at the beginning of May, and we’re expecting a lot of those shows and festivals to be rescheduled. We’re trying to keep ourselves occupied with an unprecedented amount of downtime. We’ve hunkered down for now and have started work on some new music. We’ve even been contracted to write and record a theme for a Magic the Gathering streamer. We’ve also been experimenting with our live sound and video capabilities from our practice room with the hopes of increasing our streaming and video presence online.

What are the quarantine/isolation rules where you are?

Tennessee has enacted a “Shelter in Place” order, though Nashville has been operating under those conditions for at least a week and a half now. Tom, Seabass, and I all bartend, so we’ve been out of work since March 15th.

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

Nashville’s leading industry is tourism, so the entire city has shut down. A lot of venues have been hosting online shows in an attempt to help the musicians make a little money, much like our livestream that the brewery Tom and I work at (Tennessee Brew Works) hosted. A lot of musicians we know are setting up weekly live stream concerts and trying to write as much as possible while we all wait for things to open back up.

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

We intend to stay productive creatively and everyone is welcome to come along for the ride. Expect more live streams and riff-heavy content.

The Wizard Lives.

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Days of Rona: Peder Bergstrand of Lowrider

Posted in Features on April 6th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

The statistics of COVID-19 change with every news cycle, and with growing numbers, stay-at-home isolation and a near-universal disruption to society on a global scale, it is ever more important to consider the human aspect of this coronavirus. Amid the sad surrealism of living through social distancing, quarantines and bans on gatherings of groups of any size, creative professionals — artists, musicians, promoters, club owners, techs, producers, and more — are seeing an effect like nothing witnessed in the last century, and as humanity as a whole deals with this calamity, some perspective on who, what, where, when and how we’re all getting through is a needed reminder of why we’re doing so in the first place.

Thus, Days of Rona, in some attempt to help document the state of things as they are now, both so help can be asked for and given where needed, and so that when this is over it can be remembered.

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

lowrider peder bergstrand

Days of Rona: Peder Bergstrand of Lowrider (Stockholm, Sweden)

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?

To be honest, it hasn’t hit us that hard as a band, at least not yet. We luckily did not have any long tours planned that now are cancelled, that financial situations depended on. Fortunately our new record is already out and distribution of it has not been affected by all of this too much, at least not yet.

On a personal level, it’s hitting harder though. Ola is a nurse outside of the band, so he’s very much in the middle of the storm right now.

The rest of us are working from home since 3 weeks, most Swedes that can are. We’re ok, but trying to juggle stay-at-home kids and every day life is a little intense – but that’s of course a total non-issue compared to what people who are ill, or the ones treating them, are going though right now.

We’ve obviously also had to postpone the London and Berlin DesertFest gigs. We were looking forward to those so so much – but honestly it wasn’t even a choice or anything to debate. It was just something we needed to do – we all need to stay home and try to flatten the curve.

What are the quarantine/isolation rules where you are?

The rules here in Sweden are so far pretty mild compared to rest of Europe. You aren’t allowed to have any gatherings larger than 50 people, and the recommendation is to stay at home if you can, but the latter is not enforced by police or anything. Also, people above 70 are advised to not go out at all.

Me and my siblings take turns leaving groceries outside our mum’s door. It’s a good thing she enjoys staying home reading – it’s going to be a lot of it by the looks of things. They aren’t expecting things to change before mid May, and it probably will be even longer than that.

People are out walking a lot here though, but of course social distancing. Exercising is encouraged by authorities but in ways where you can keep your distance.

It’s now a reversed Stockholm in a lot of ways – the streets are empty, but the surrounding forests are full of people.

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

Oh it’s a lot. Most people work from home, staying in. Therefor restaurants, businesses and venues are having a really really rough time. Many are looking at going belly up in a month or two. Friends in the industry are in free fall. It’s rough. Booking agencies, promoters, bands… all are getting hit by this.

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

Well, we are safe, and in a country with free healthcare and with — what at least seems like now — a decent shot at flattening the curve. So, knock on wood, we are okay, considering. Our near and dear are okay as well, but there’s a lot of friends of friends and neighbors that have the virus or have had severe symptoms. We are, as a city, definitely in the middle of it. Trying not to get to bogged down in negativity though, and focus on all the things that are good rather than the opposite.

This whole involuntary pause from playing live has also forced us to shift focus and look ahead instead. So me and Andreas have started working on the drums for the third album, and by the looks of things we might even finish it this year. It feels good to focus on that in the middle of all of this. Keeps you going. Keeps you sane.

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Lord Buffalo Post “Dog Head” Official Live Video; Tohu Wa Bohu Out This Week

Posted in Bootleg Theater on March 24th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

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I’ve had occasion more than once now to say I dig Lord Buffalo‘s second album, Tohu Wa Bohu, which is released this week through Blues Funeral Recordings, and hey, here’s one more before the thing actually comes out. It’s fitting the Austin, Texas, four-piece’s dug-in heavy Americana ethic that the video they’d make and put out closest to the record’s arrival is live, and that it’s performed somewhat differently from what’s actually on said record, and that it’s for a deep cut, down on side B rather than something frontloaded onto side A like some outfits do. It is, then, an invitation to dig further.

In the live version of “Dog Head,” some more of the All Them Witches vocal influence comes through, but that violin is sweet and sad and it seems to carry its own melody for the voice to play soulfully off of in full-on earlier-Woven Hand fashion, all the while a swell of tone and rhythm builds up around it and seems to consume the entire thing by the time it’s done. There’s no piano, as there is in the studio incarnation of “Dog Head,” and there’s a part of me that misses that crash of the keys here, but you can only be in so many places playing so many instruments at one time, and Lord Buffalo have clearly positioned themselves well. It works, is all I’m saying.

And guess what? I dig the album. It’s out Friday.

Enjoy the video:

Lord Buffalo, “Dog Head” official video

Live version of “Dog Head” by Lord Buffalo. Performed at Breathing Rhythm Studio, August 3rd, 2019. Recorded and mixed by Steve Boaz. Filmed and edited by Brian Blackwood.

Studio version of Dog Head appears on the album “Tohu Wa Bohu” Available March 27th, 2020 from Blues Funeral Recordings.

Austin, TX dark rock / post-Americana band Lord Buffalo will release its new LP, ‘Tohu Wa Bohu’, on March 27 via Blues Funeral Recordings. Recorded in Lockhart, TX with producer Danny Reisch (Chelsea Wolfe, Okkervil River) and mastered by Dave Shirk (Mastodon, Sun Ra), the album is the follow-up to the folk-psych group’s 2017 self-titled full length.

“Dog Head” is a song from our new LP, ‘Tohu Wa Bohu’, and while the album version begins as a dark, downtempo piano creeper, we’d been doing the song live with an extended intro of bowed guitar and violin,” says vocalist / guitarist Daniel Jesse Pruitt. “Lord Buffalo songs often come out a little different every night, and we wanted to capture a little of that with this live-in-studio version of ‘Dog Head’. ‘Dog Head’ begins with a drone of bowed guitar and violin and the holds to the low road until the switch gets flipped and fuzzed-out guitar breaks in to end the piece with an exclamation point. The end gets chaotic, the song comes off the tracks a bit, but the heaviness feels redemptive, a release from the previous dirge.”

Lord Buffalo are:
G.J. Hellman
P.J. Patterson
Yamal Said
D.J. Pruitt

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