Days of Rona: Stefanie Zaenker of Caustic Casanova

Posted in Features on April 7th, 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: Stefanie Zaenker of Caustic Casanova & 9:30 Club (Washington, D.C.)

research paper on autism - professional scholars, quality services, fast delivery and other benefits can be found in our custom writing service 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?

I find it hard to believe that this crisis hasn’t affected every single working band, at least in some way. We are very fortunate to have not had any tours or shows to cancel. We basically toured non-stop from last summer until Thanksgiving on our newest Magnetic Eye Records release, God How I Envy the Deaf (Oct 2019), so luckily we had some time to get out there and put it into people’s hands. I truly feel for the bands who’ve put out new releases early in 2020 and can’t tour on them now. It’s doubly sad that bands (ourselves included) can’t really know when to plan a tour this year because of the uncertainty surrounding COVID’s timeline. Healthwise we are all doing well, thankfully. All of us understand the gravity of this crisis and the need for social distancing and a dramatic reworking of personal habits. Francis and I have spent a lot of this extra free time working on new music together, doing some double drumming in our practice space (maybe you’ve seen some of the videos!), and trying to keep up with CC social media daily.

college essay depression steps of research paper writing mit application essay help What are the quarantine/isolation rules where you are?

Right now the DMV (DC-Maryland-Virginia) is lagging behind some of the hotspot states in terms of cases and deaths, but the numbers are expected to grow substantially in the next couple weeks. Governors Larry Hogan (MD) and Ralph Northam (VA), and DC Mayor Muriel Bowser have all enacted strict restrictions on social gatherings, closed non-essential businesses, and issued stern stay-at-home orders. I think exercising outside alone and going to grocery stores/pharmacies, gas stations, or to get healthcare are the only allowable societal activities. The only human contact I’ve had outside of seeing Francis and his mom are my weekly grocery runs. The last time I went was a week ago and I felt like I was preparing for battle while walking in like, “Okay, do I have my hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes? Don’t touch your face. Stay away from other people. Only touch the things you need. Hurry up!” It was an extremely bizarre feeling while doing something as mundane as grocery shopping.

Customessayclub Com written by competent authors. Receive some help from those who have been in writing for years and can do your essay too. Read more How have you seen the virus affecting the community around you and in music?

The biggest takeaway for me has been how much of the local, no, global economy relies on the service industry (this includes any service that can be provided at a cost like AirBnB, not just restaurants, bars, and music venues). It has sent the whole world into an economic panic and has obviously put SO many people out of work, myself included. I bartend at a music venue in DC, the 9:30 Club, and we’ve been closed since March 13th. The earliest possible date shows can begin according to DC’s CDC guidelines is April 27th, but I find that highly doubtful and expect something more like May 15th or June 1st. The closure of a music venue impacts so many different people from door staffers and bartenders, to the performers and their crew, local promoters, venue operators, and of course the patrons too. It’s overwhelming to think about how many different people and industries this has affected. At least we’re all in it together. I’ve seen a lot of local restaurants and organizations step up to provide essential services to those in need. I also particularly empathize with all of my friends who are stuck working from home with their kids out of school. Family time is great, but I can’t even imagine what trying to get a full day’s work done while having to school, feed, and entertain your kids is like. Mad props! Regarding the general community I think for the most part people are taking it seriously (evidenced by the fact that everyone seems to be giving me at least six feet every time I pass them on a walk or run). But there are always the dummies hosting 60-plus people at bonfire parties (true story from MD — man got arrested yesterday). Some people are a lost cause and can’t understand the importance of public health or long term consequences vs. short term pleasure. I think the point is mostly that we all need a couple glasses of wine or a nice bath — inside.

http://www.iusetsocietas.cz/?stages-of-literature-review - The Leading Paper Writing and Editing Help - We Help Students To Get Secure Assignments With Discounts Online Academic What is the one thing you want people to know about your situation, either as a band, or personally, or anything?

Caustic Casanova doesn’t rely on the band as a primary source of income — all of us have other jobs (but currently two of us are out of work). We do make a lot of our band income touring and that’s impossible for the foreseeable future so it does actually impact us. That being said, so many bands in our scene at or above our level do rely on touring, merch sales, shows, etc., to survive. Please consider buying the music and merch from your favorite DIY bands, and spreading the word. These are uncertain times. No one knows what the musical landscape will look like two, six, or 12 months from now. I’d love to be able to book a CC tour but there’s no point right now being unsure when shows will resume as normal. Remember live shows?! We do plan to be as active as possible in 2020 so we’ll see how that shapes up! Regarding COVID-19 — Please, please, please do your part to curb transmission and listen to your local authorities. Play more music. Love you guys.

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Caustic Casanova, God How I Envy the Deaf: The Shining Sun

Posted in Reviews on December 16th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

Caustic Casanova God How I Envy the Deaf

Shortly before Washington, D.C., progressive noisemakers  DissertationTeam.com offers cheap PhD go. Top US writers for your thesis. Custom writing service that makes the difference! Caustic Casanova would issue their third-maybe-fourth long-player, http://free-musika.com/main.php?dissertation-statistical-service-public is unethical, but so is the university system, built on corruption and false promises of employability, that youre working in today. God How I Envy the Deaf, as their debut on  my site - All sorts of writing services & custom papers. Leave your assignments to the most talented writers. Let specialists accomplish their Magnetic Eye Records, the band posted an “unboxing video” on Facebook that featured drummer/vocalist  http://www.fime.it/?guidelines-to-write-a-research-paper have - These are very important in choosing the best and trusted service on the internet when it comes to essay writing services.... Stefanie Zaenker, totally straight-faced, unwrapping the CD. The caption posted with it read, “Check out this rad unboxing video with drummer/vocalist Stefanie Zaenker! For more creative content and to see the rest of the unboxing follow us on Spotify and/or dm us a picture of your favorite mammal!”

This intelligent, pointed skewering of cloying social media promotion is pretty emblematic of Global Dead Poets Society Essay: Assignments Writing Service for University Students in UK. We have team of expert writers to provide assignment help for your projects. Caustic Casanova‘s outlook on the universe and reverent sonic irreverence overall. Comprised of  Get top quality http://www.blessgans.de/?oil-spill-research-papers at an fair price for your blog, website, or social media. WritingsServices.com - Quality, Speed, Reliability ? Zaenker, bassist/vocalist  WritersServices is based in the UK and provides professional Chemistry Help With Stoichiometry for writers offering a free sample, high quality and great value at an Francis Beringer and guitarists  "Who'll http://workspaceadvantage.com/why-do-we-get-homework?" Wonder no more, Our 3000+ finance and Accounting experts are highly qualified and efficient enough to provide impeccable accounting assignments, essays, case studies, research papers etc. Our accounting assignment writers can handle any type of homework assignment with A grade writing. Andrew Yonki and newcomer  Will Writing Service - Dissertations and essays at most attractive prices. Top reliable and trustworthy academic writing service. professional Jake Kimberley, they’re a band who very clearly love a range of styles and see no reason to draw a line between them. Across the nine-track/50-minute run of  "Who'll Continue Reading?" Wonder no more, Our 3000+ finance and Accounting experts are highly qualified and efficient enough to provide impeccable accounting assignments, essays, case studies, research papers etc. Our accounting assignment writers can handle any type of homework assignment with A grade writing. God How I Envy the Deaf, that comes out in a meld of hardcore crunch, heavy rock groove and thoughtful songcraft, with cuts like “Filth Castle” and “Taos Lightning” casting an identity that pulls from multiple sources while being pieced together with a hard-won confidence from years of touring and experience in the studio.

Outright, it’s worth noting that  Online Making Resume. Since 1989 our certified professional essay writers have assisted tens of thousands of clients to land great jobs and God How I Envy the Deaf is the heaviest-sounding work  Caustic Casanova have ever done, and as it’s been producer J. Robbins at the helm for their studio work at least since 2012’s Someday You Will Be Proven Correct, a thickening of tone as compared to 2015’s Breaks (review here) and generally more aggressive spirit seems like it can only be a conscious decision. Humor and willingness to embrace the absurd are obviously a part of it — hence the pigeon propaganda cover art; note the boundless loyalty to Parrot Mao — and I haven’t had the benefit of a lyric sheet, but whether it’s opener “Fancy English” (premiered here) or the guttural shouting of a grocery list at the start and the concluding “an egg!” in “Donut and the Golden Hen,” there’s no shortage of personality on display.

It can be a fine line for a band to walk, and I think more often than not those who step back from doing so don’t want to be seen as the joke itself rather than those telling it, but Caustic Casanova‘s aggro take throughout staves this off, with plenty of divergences in style as on the echoing post-whatever of “Memory King” and the floating guitar amid the hard-hitting hook of later highlight “Truth Syrup,” wherein they seem to be answering the question of what Kylesa might’ve sounded like had they kept their tonal impact in kind with their melodic progression, to righteous result.

The diversity of their approach is united through songwriting and production, and even as God How I Envy the Deaf veers outward from the rules of its own making on its final two tracks, “Roger B. Taney,” — named for the US Supreme Court chief justice who said in 1857 that slaves weren’t citizens and the congress couldn’t outlaw slavery and featuring Emily Danger on vocals — and the 10-minute closer “Boxed and Crated,” which is by no means the first longer-form work Caustic Casanova have done but ends the record with a surprising devolution into cacophony, there is an underlying sense of direction and purpose to what they’re doing.

caustic casanova

But there is no mistaking the challenge that Caustic Casanova are putting forth on God How I Envy the Deaf. It is in the winding riffs and hardcore-born punch of “Filth Castle,” in the riffier groove of “If Your Brain is Properly Oiled” and in the lumber and shouts of “Boxed and Crated,” which pushes to the furthest extremes of any of the material here. To listeners, the challenge is to step outside of expectation for the limits of genre. There is no reason rock can’t be metal, punk can’t be heavy and all of it can’t be both progressive, shredding and fun.

The songs don’t necessarily invite dissection — this riff comes from this, that riff comes from that, etc. — but they stand up to that kind of scrutiny should someone want to get into it, and they prove only more effective and more memorable with multiple listens. That is, while the immediate impression Caustic Casanova make is that of an energized, considered act not at all beyond a bit of pummel when the situation calls for it — as it does at several points throughout here — the cliché of putting more in and getting more out applies to actually hearing what they’re doing from piece to piece. You can dig as deep as you like and the ground stays solid.

That is a credit to their songwriting and the decade-plus they’ve been together, and their maturity has been hard won — it would be inappropriate to discuss just about anything they do without noting the steady touring they’ve undertaken for extended stretches for years now; one lengthy list of dates after another in inheritance of a D.C. DIY punker ethic. Their chemistry, even with Kimberley as a relatively recent addition to make what was a trio into a four-piece, is unmistakable and well on display in the turns within these songs as well as the shifts between them, the spacious and stomping “Memory King” giving way to the unmitigated instrumentalist speed-shove of “Donut and the Golden Hen,” which makes an as-fitting centerpiece as one could reasonably ask for an album so brazenly working on its own level.

Another challenge of God How I Envy the Deaf is perhaps even more crucial, and that’s to Caustic Casanova themselves. You can hear it in how they’re pushing themselves to be not just heavier or meaner or louder, but more realized creatively and more willful in how they bring together the various elements that comprise their approach. They’re a progressive band not just because they write thoughtful compositions, but because they actually progress — continually. Perhaps the real achievement of God How I Envy the Deaf is how it manages to so much maintain the band’s personality stamp even as it embraces this heavier stylistic ideology, refusing to sacrifice who they are to fit into some tidy box of genre.

And more, it is less a push-pull of resistance than a continual drive toward the individual. Their sound, even as it continues to change, is their own. Their songs, same. Their perspective, same. I don’t know if they’ll ever be the kind of band fully embraced by the kind of hype machine that, say, might seriously ask a fanbase their favorite mammal, but on God How I Envy the Deaf, they manifest as entirely themselves, and that suits them better.

Caustic Casanova, God How I Envy the Deaf (2019)

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Caustic Casanova November Tour Starts This Week

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 5th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

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It was by fun coincidence that the press release blowing up the dates for Caustic Casanova‘s November tour happened to come down the PR wire while I was waiting for the band to take the stage this past Saturday at the Saint Vitus Bar in Brooklyn for Magnetic Eye RecordsDay of Doom (review here). But as the central thesis of that portion of the longer writeup concerning the D.C. four-piece was basically, “duh, go see them because they’re good,” it seemed only fair to put up or shut up and post the dates again whereby that might actually happen, at least for some people in the right place at the right time.

This isn’t the first tour Caustic Casanova are doing to support their new album, God How I Envy the Deaf, and it seems incredibly unlikely it will be the last. I have little doubt that the best advice I can give as regards the band — see: “duh,” etc., above — will apply to their next tour as well. Go go go. They certainly do.

Dates from the well-timed PR wire:

caustic casanova nov tour

CAUSTIC CASANOVA TO BEGIN TOUR ON NOVEMBER 8TH

Washington DC rockers Caustic Casanova are excited to announce “God How I Envy This Tour,” a run of dates in November that will take them from Brooklyn to Texas. Starting on November 2nd at legendary Williamsburg venue Saint Vitus with Magnetic Eye’s Day of Doom showcase, the band will travel through Virginia, the Carolinas, Florida, and Lousiana on their way to three final stops in the Lone Star State.

All dates will be in support of their recently released album God How I Envy The Deaf.

Tour Dates
Nov. 2 – Brooklyn, NY (Magnetic Eye Day of Doom Festival) @ Saint Vitus
Nov. 8 – Richmond, VA @Wonderland
Nov. 9 – Greensboro, NC @Flat Iron
Nov. 10 – Wilmington, NC @Gravity Records
Nov. 11 – Raleigh, NC @Slims
Nov. 12 – Charleston, SC @The Royal American
Nov. 14 – St. Augustine, FL @Shanghai Nobby’s
Nov. 15 – Gainesville, FL @Loosey’s
Nov. 16 – St. Petersburg, FL @The Bends
Nov. 17 – Pompano Beach, FL @Lozer Lounge
Nov. 18 – Orlando, FL @Wills Pub
Nov. 20 – New Orleans, LA @Carnaval Lounge
Nov. 21 – San Antonio, TX @Hi-Tones
Nov. 22 – Denton, TX @Backyard on Bell Block Party III
Nov. 23 – Fort Worth, TX @Lola’s Trailer Park Bar

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Live Review: Magnetic Eye Records Day of Doom in Brooklyn, 11.02.19

Posted in Reviews on November 2nd, 2019 by JJ Koczan

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Before the Show

Well, don’t tell anybody, but the dude sitting at the end of the bar DJ’ing is me. Actually, come to think of it, I’m pretty sure I don’t care if you tell anybody. At this point, I know most of the seven or eight people in this room right now. But I made a playlist, edited it together so it all plays as one track, and it’s three hours long — like the old podcasts, including a really long song or two along the way — but that’s going, so as far as I’m concerned, sitting here on my laptop is why they asked me to come early. The rest is kind of just waiting around, so at least this way I can look like I’m doing something.

I’ve been kicking around the idea of writing the review while the show is happening — I’m not committing to posting any of it live, since I’ve never done photos on this machine before when I’m actually in a hurry — but it’s 15-minute breaks between bands, DAY OF DOOM SCHEDULEso it’s going to depend on how I can time it either way. The important thing? That I stress out about it. Obviously.

And oh yeah, I included Earthride on my playlist specifically with the Saint Vitus Bar in mind, because they often play them between bands. My nod to the room. No one cares, but I wouldn’t expect otherwise, so there it is.

This is the Magnetic Eye Records Day of Doom, a nine-band label showcase that will go from at least now — coming on 1:30 — to 10:30 tonight, so yes, a full day of doom, as it were. At very least, if today had a quota of heavy, I suspect it’ll be filled by the end of it and then some.

But we enter now the sit-tight portion of the afternoon, so that’s my plan. Will check in with more either during or after it’s all over.

During the Show

These Beasts

these beasts (photo by jj koczan)

One would not accuse Magnetic Eye Records of easing into the day with These Beasts. Rather, the Chicago three-piece are at this very moment bludgeoning a Vitus Bar live room with an ultra-aggro, thickened noise rock that’s only sense of letting up is in letting up on the letup. By which I mean there is none. It’s somewhat awkward to be sitting here while they’re playing and admit I don’t know their self-titled LP, released earlier this year, but they’re showing me the error of my ways in pummeling fashion. Can hear punk roots coming through amid the intertwining screams and shouts, but there’s a definite heft to the tone and some vocal echo adds atmosphere to go with all that heads-down force. But there’s plenty of that too and it’s the sheer physicality of what they’re playing that’s letting them pull in such an early crowd. To wit, I’m one of like three people in the back bar right now and I’m about to head back in. Clearly they’re doing something right in there.

Leather Lung

Leather Lung (Photo by JJ Koczan)

It’s been weeks, not months, not years — more than days, though — since I last saw Boston’s Leather Lung. Last time? Dudes brought stoner-sludge chicanery to Ode to Doom in Manhattan (review here). This time? The location has changed, but the mission not so much. Vocalist Mike Vickers has had the cast taken off his arm and judging by his onstage mosh-shuffle, all seems to be in good working order, so that’s my official medical checkup, but beyond that, they’re bringing a groove that’s plenty fresh in my memory; sludge played from the heart via the crotch that makes no bones about where it’s coming from — Boston — and no bones about its affection for all manner of inebriating. Their groove has this toughguy edge to it that I can’t quite put my finger on and couldn’t last time either, but I don’t think these dudes want to fight so much as they want to get fucked up and play riffs. Like I said, the mission hasn’t changed much since I last saw them. I’ll check back on them in a bit and hope for no more busted limbs from them or anyone else in attendance, for that matter. “It’s all fun and games, until,” and so on.

High Priest

High Priest (Photo by JJ Koczan)

Chicago’s High Priest issued their Sanctum EP (review here) earlier this year and it was kind of a sleeper, but they were high (pun like 25 percent intended) among my list of anticipated acts for the day. Nothing too complex, but they roll out big-time riffs and dig into some hazy vibes and especially after the nasty nasty nastiness that was These Beasts and Leather Lung back to back, they’re a chance to show off some of the stylistic breadth on Magnetic Eye‘s roster. The kind of label as likely to redux Pink Floyd as Helmet, you know. They’d be a fitting complement to a tour with Elephant Tree, if we’re doing label pairings, but I guess probably there needs to be an album out before one starts nailing down dates. We’re in November now, so kind of fair to look back on some of the year’s highlights, and seeing High Priest live for the first time is a reminder of just how much I dug those tunes this past Spring. I’m apparently learning stuff all over the place today. Fun and educational! They also finished by dissolving into a total wash of noise that was affecting and psychedelic in kind. A pleasure to watch. Can’t say it plainer than that.

Caustic Casanova

Caustic Casanova (Photo by JJ Koczan)

Of the nine bands on this bill, I’m pretty sure Caustic Casanova win the prize for having the most recent release. Their new record, God How I Envy the Deaf, came out on Oct. 18 as their first through Magnetic Eye and they’re playing Vitus Bar as a precursor to hitting the road on the next of their seemingly endless string of tours. This is also the first time I’m seeing them as the four-piece of drummer/vocalist Stefanie Zaenker, bassist/vocalist Francis Beringer, and guitarists Andrew Yonki and Jake Kimberley, the last of whom is a new recruit. For a band on the road as much as they are, I have to imagine finding someone to mesh with wasn’t easy — Caustic Casanova‘s particular take on melodic heavy rock is a big-time beneficiary of the chemistry they’ve built through touring — but they did it, and the match extends to onstage energy, to be sure. How many bands could cover “Wicked World” and make it sound believable? Caustic Casanova played it like they wrote it, and their original material was no less vital. I’ll make it easy: this is a band you should see. They make it even easier by touring their collective ass off, but even if they didn’t, they’d be worth the effort of showing up when possible. Magnetic Eye made a good-ass pickup when they signed them.

Ghastly Sound

Ghastly Sound (Photo by JJ Koczan)

Rivaling Caustic Casanova in the running for most-recent-outing is Vermont trio Ghastly Sound, whose debut full-length, Have a Nice Day, dropped like a sarcastic anvil in September. This was my first time seeing the three-piece, but it’s worth noting they primo position on the bill they’ve received, and I’ll admit that because of that alone, my expectations were high before they went on. Is this the part where I say the band slaughtered those expectations outright, blah blah blah dominance, blah blah blah heavy band destroys minds reaps souls and all the rest? Well, my mind feels pretty destroyed and if I ever had a soul — nope — it’s long gone, but yeah, they delivered in a big spot, taking crossover-style hardcore and leaving the guitar at home, adding melody through vocal effects and reviving a bit of the aggression from earlier in the day. The way they were set up on the Saint Vitus Bar stage made me think there was a guitarist somewhere missing in the building, but nope, and it turned out they didn’t need one, though one hesitates to say such things on a day that has featured thus far and will continue to feature so much choice riffing. A little — or a lot, as in this case — of rumble goes a long way. Also with the shouting and the being really loud. No question the pressure was on, and I know their record was a while in coming, but if I didn’t know they’d just released their debut, I’d say they’d been around much longer.

Horsehunter

Horsehunter (Photo by JJ Koczan)

Okay. Putting together a nine-band bill? Pretty impressive. Doing so and bringing in bands from the UK and Europe? Even more impressive. Doing so and bringing a band from Australia? And that band is Horsehunter? Who I don’t think are really even together at this point? Yeah, that’s some next level shit. The Aus megasludge four-piece put out their self-titled second album (discussed here) and swansong earlier this year — like, earlier than September — and had already been busted up for two years. Should they be broken up? No, they should not. Even if one could manage to put aside the context of seeing them play even just for 45 minutes as being a total once-in-a-lifetime experience, a group of the Melbourne four-piece’s destructive potential should continue to exist. If they were the only band playing today, it would still be a Day of Doom, and in volume and viscosity alike, they’re on a plane of their own amid this lineup. I don’t know what the future might hold for them, as members have already moved onto different projects, but I have to think that if a band is willing to get together and travel to the other side of the planet to play essentially a one-off gig, they’d have to feel motivated to maybe follow that up with something? Or maybe this would be a pinnacle anyway? I don’t know. Either way, it’s clearly a special moment for all involved parties — those in attendance, those playing, and the Magnetic Eye crew, who believed in them enough to release the record even though they were done — and I’m lucky to have been here for it. Biggest big rock finish of the day as well, so bonus points there, as if they needed them.

Domkraft

Domkraft (Photo by JJ Koczan)

This is my second time seeing Sweden’s Domkraft after being fortunate enough to catch them about 13 months ago in Oslo, Norway, at Høstsabbat (review here). They were at that point heralding the release of their second album, Flood (review here), and as they got ready to go on just now I thought back fondly to the positive impression they made that day, blending noise rock, sludge and an almost post-metallic kind of ambience. That’s a fun little narrative, right? Sure it is. Lost in that, however, is the rhythmic undulation of that nod, but man, when they decide to lock that in — and they don’t always, because they’re not a do-one-thing kind of band — they are hypnotic. They had their work cut out for them in following Horsehunter, as anyone would, but guitarist Martin Widholm, bassist/vocalist Martin Wegeland and drummer Anders Dahlgren captured a feeling of spaciousness that seemed to take all the crush of the mighty performance before them and taffy-pull it into a headier, spacier reach, still deeply weighted, still giving that feeling of surrounding you while you’re standing there in front of it, but at the same time extending outward beyond you, beyond the room — maybe just beyond, period. They’ve been to the States before, having played Psycho Las Vegas, and I guess you could count the show they did last night in Jersey with Solace too, but they feel like a band who are really stepping into themselves, and the identity they’re finding as a part of that process suits them. I’m already looking forward to their next record, and far be it from me to tell you how to live your life, but you probably should be too.

Summoner

Summoner (Photo by JJ Koczan)

If you know anything about Magnetic Eye Records, or label founder Mike Vitali (also Black Electric, Ironweed, ex-Greatdayforup, etc.), it’s probably that the label frickin’ loves Boston’s Summoner. I’ve seen them live a handful of times over the years, certainly dug the crap out of 2017’s Beyond the Realms of Light (review here) as I have their material since their days a decade ago operating as Riff Cannon — a name they quickly outgrew and were smart enough to realize it, even though it was a cool moniker to have — and it’s hard to argue. I knew accordingly what to expect going into their set, at least to a degree, but with the recent change that brought Worshipper‘s Dave Jarvis to the lineup on drums — I’m not sure if it’s a permanent or temporary thing; dude was sitting next to me like 15 minutes ago, I should’ve asked — there was an added sense of intrigue to seeing them for what was the first time in a while anyway. However, part of knowing what Summoner do is knowing they do it pro-shop, and as their slot found them positioned right before Elephant Tree at the end of the show, they had an occasion to rise to and they rose to it accordingly, Jarvis sliding right in alongside bassist/vocalist Chris Johnson and guitarists A.J. Peters and Joe Richner, on familiar material while still bringing some of his own swing to it. You won’t hear me disparage the work of Summoner as they were, but if they’re indeed pressing on in this configuration, they’ll be just fine. When Johnson stops smiling on stage, I’ll worry. Didn’t happen at Day of Doom, even after the strap of his bass broke and he had to finish the song with it resting on his knee. That was like two songs in, maybe? No loss of momentum. Pro-shop, front to back.

Elephant Tree

Elephant Tree (Photo by JJ Koczan)

Elephant Tree‘s second full-length, which will actually be released by Holy Roar Records at least in the UK — I admit there might be some regional deal worked out with Magnetic Eye that I don’t know about — is reportedly in the mastering stage. At least, that’s what they told me and I’m not sure what would be their motive for lying about it. Last I heard were a couple rough mixes, but that was a while ago, and I’m all-the-way-serious when I tell you that I can’t think of another record that’s been announced for 2020 that I’m anticipating more. The Londoners’ 2016 self-titled debut (review here) has lost none of its appeal for the subsequent three years — just ask Sister Rainbow, who flew from the UK for this show basically just to see them for what I understand is at least the 48th time — and with the progression I heard evident in their performance (again) at Høstsabbat 2018 (review here) and those rough versions, yeah, I feel justified in my high hopes. It wouldn’t have made sense for them to come to Brooklyn and play only new stuff, but as noted, even the cuts from their self-titled were welcome. The fact that even after such a full show they were given a complete hour for their set should tell you something, and basically it should tell you they’re a band just waiting for your loyalty. See them 49 times? Well, I’m up to at least three now and I feel like that’s barely worth calling a start. Also of note, they’re a four-piece now, with John Slattery on guitar and keys and vocals joining the trio of guitarist/vocalist Jack Townley, bassist/vocalist Peter Holland (of the green strings) and drummer Sam Hart, so that’s all the more of an occasion for their primo stage banter. They’ve just hit into “Aphotic Blues,” if you’ll excuse me… Yeah, that’s an earplugs-out moment not to be missed. And to have them then follow it by bringing album-engineer/multi-instrumentalist/vocalist/he’s-kinda-in-the-band-but-not-really-anymore-except-I-guess-sometimes-like-tonight Riley “The Wizard” MacIntyre on stage first to scream like mad, then to take over Townley‘s guitar for “Wither” only highlighted how incredible this day has been. What a trip. It’s not over. I mean, it’s mostly over, but they’ve got about 10 minutes left, so I’m going to stow the computer and get back to what’s important and get up front for the end, which is where it feels like I should be.

After the Show

Just past 12:30AM. I left the Saint Vitus Bar at I guess around 10:45PM and got back here a little bit ago, cursing the name of the tech giant whose mappery failed yet again to take into account Lincoln Tunnel traffic in its calculations. Next time, I take the FDR unless it’s visibly on fire.

Elephant Tree finished with their slowed-down take on Black Sabbath’s “Paranoid,” which given the Brooklyn setting found Holland’s gruffer vocal reminding all the more of Peter Steele from Type O Negative (green strings may have been a factor there as well), and followed that with a new song called “Bird,” the harmonies of which are particularly gorgeous and lush seeming. Mike Vitali Magnetic Eye Records (Photo by JJ Koczan)I can’t wait to hear that album.

Basically I’m keying down from the show, and there was a lot of show to key up. Kind of striking how even the bands whose sounds had common elements were able to stand themselves apart. That was true the whole time. And I stayed the whole time. And I wound up running the playlist the whole time as well, at least until Elephant Tree were done. So I guess that’s a thing. I DJed the show. Wasn’t planned, but I was plugged in and using my laptop anyway, so there you have it. I dug the tunes, anyway. Hopefully I wasn’t the only one.

Thanks to Mike Vitali and to Jadd Shickler for having me on board for that and for putting the thing together generally. This was a pretty astounding feat when it comes to coordination, and those efforts on their behalf were deeply appreciated. Vitali got on stage before Horsehunter went on to thank everybody and it was plain to see it was an emotional night for him as well. It would have to be, frankly.

Thanks to the bands, to everyone who said hi and/or nice things, and thanks to you for reading. Most of all, thanks to The Patient Mrs., who made my being there possible, and who makes pretty much everything that’s possible possible.

Now off to bed.

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Caustic Casanova Premiere “Fancy English”; God How I Envy the Deaf out Oct. 18

Posted in audiObelisk, Whathaveyou on September 13th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

caustic casanova

Washington D.C. heavy prog noise rockers — that’s right — Caustic Casanova will release their new album, God How I Envy the Deaf, through Magnetic Eye Records on Oct. 18. On Nov. 2, they’ll also play the label’s Day of Doom label showcase at Brooklyn’s famed Saint Vitus Bar, and thereafter take off on the latest their ongoing string of tours. That tour follows, wait for it, several others the now-four-piece have conducted thus far this year, and the album goes in some way toward explaining the intangible aspects of their sound.

To wit, just about no one who listens to Caustic Casanova knows what to make of them. Right? Did you see the part above when I called them “heavy prog noise rockers?” What the hell does that even mean? Are they that? Are they heavy college rock indie? Are they hard alternative? Semi-grown-up punk? Depends which song you listen to, really — and their sound encompasses all of it — but with God How I Envy the Deaf, it becomes a little clearer why. It’s the D.C. in them. This is the town that produced Funkadelic and Minor Threat. It’s not a place where artists have felt compelled to follow the rules about where genre lines are meant to reside, and so if Caustic Casanova sound just as comfortable in the psychedelic post-thrash of “Memory King” as they do balancing crunch riffs against dual-vocals and airy post-rock leads in “Truth Syrup,” it seems only appropriate to look at where they’re coming from as part of the reason behind that.

Well, that and they’re obviously a buncha weirdos.

Go get ’em, weirdos!

Comprising nine tracks in 50 gonna-be-reviewed-by-me-sooner-or-later minutes, God How I Envy the Deaf is led off by “Fancy English,” the premiere of which you can stream below. Take a second, get your brain in order, and dig in:

Caustic Casanova God How I Envy the Deaf

CAUSTIC CASANOVA Return with Exultant New Album GOD HOW I ENVY THE DEAF

New album of angular heavy rock anthems from hard-touring D.C. genre-benders arrives October 18th

Relentless road-dogs CAUSTIC CASANOVA will release their new album, God How I Envy The Deaf, this October via Magnetic Eye Records. The record lands after a nearly two-month cross-country tour and only weeks prior to another trek in support of the confident collection of singable riff-punk anthems, establishing yet again that this band won’t be held to any sort of predictable musical path nor many nights sleeping in their own beds.

Since forming as teenagers at the College of William & Mary in 2005, Caustic Casanova have weathered lineup changes and life-threatening injuries while maintaining an aggressive DIY touring ethic, and their eclectic sound has made them a favorite in a crowded scene.

Following drummer/vocalist Stefanie Zaenker’s recovery from wrist injuries that nearly ended her ability to play, the band the band released the critically acclaimed LP Breaks in 2015 on Kylesa’s Retro Futurist Records, as well as a trio of EPs between 2013 and 2018 that paired original songs with classics from Pentagram, the Melvins and Weedeater. This hard work led to nominations for multiple Washington Area Music Awards in 2019, as well as a deal with Magnetic Eye Records to release the much-anticipated new album.

Looking to the future, the band (Zaenker, along with bassist/vocalist Francis Beringer, guitarist Jake Kimberley and guitarist Andrew Yonki) have already begun work on material for their next album. First, though, the road-hardened unit will be showcasing the genre-mashing twists and alchemies of God How I Envy the Deaf across the world, including a slot at Magnetic Eye’s upcoming Day of Doom label showcase this November, with lots more live dates to come.

God How I Envy The Deaf will be released on digital, CD and LP from Magnetic Eye Records on October 18th.

Current Caustic Casanova Live Dates:
9/13 – Shepherstown, WV at Domestic
9/14 – Winooski, VT at Monkey Bar (Ghastly Sound album release)
9/15 – Montreal, QC at Piranha Bar
9/23 – Louisville, KY at Highland Tap Room (w/ Howling Giant)
9/24 – Indianapolis, IN at Healer (w/ Howling Giant)
9/25 – Columbus, OH at Dirty Dungaree’s (w/ Howling Giant)
9/27 – Brooklyn, NY at Gold Sounds (Husbandry album release)
10/19 – Washington DC at Atlas Brew Works (Caustic Casanova album release)
11/2 – Brooklyn, NY at Saint Vitus Bar (Magnetic Eye Records Day of Doom Label Showcase)
11/8 – Richmond, VA
11/9 – Greensboro, NC
11/10 – Wilmington, NC
11/12 – Charleston, SC
11/14 – St. Augustine, FL
11/15 – Gainesville, FL
11/16 – Tampa, FL
11/17 – Miami, FL
11/18 – Orlando, FL
11/20 – New Orleans, LA
11/21 – San Antonio, TX
11/22 – Denton, TX
11/23 – Fort Worth, TX

http://causticcasanova.com/
https://www.facebook.com/CausticCasanova
https://www.instagram.com/CausticCasanova/
http://store.merhq.com
http://magneticeyerecords.com/
https://www.facebook.com/MagneticEyeRecords

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Magnetic Eye Records Announces Label Showcase with Horsehunter, Elephant Tree, Domkraft, Summoner & More

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 12th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

Clearly, Magnetic Eye Records is not into half-measures. Any label can put together a tribute. When Magnetic Eye does it, it’s two sprawling collections of bands playing homage to landmark albums and artists’ greatest hits. Any label can put together a showcase. When Magnetic Eye does it, they fly in three international acts, from Australia, the UK and Sweden, to round out the bill. Do you have any idea how insane that is?

It’s quite insane.

They’ve got a Kickstarter up now, as they will, and as rewards for backers they’re letting you preorder which set you’d like to have the recorded version of, because of course they’re also recording the sets. Seriously?

To do otherwise would be a half-measure.

They’re calling it ‘The Day of Doom,’ and in addition to HorsehunterElephant Tree, and Domkraft, they’ll have SummonerLeather LungGhastly SoundHigh PriestCaustic Casanova and These Beasts on the bill. Nine bands at the Saint Vitus Bar in Brooklyn on Nov. 2.

Quite insane. Just enough to work:

magnetic eye showcase banner

MAGNETIC EYE RECORDS presents its first ever live label showcase at the legendary Saint Vitus Bar in Brooklyn this November 2nd!

Check out the Kickstarter to help us make the Day of Doom truly epic and get in on the exclusive live album releases from MER’s flagship bands.

Sure, it’s summer right now, but have you looked around? Seas are rising, animal populations are shrinking, Scott Stapp has a new album, dogs and cats are living together… it’s mass hysteria.

Not the types to fly in the face of impending Armageddon, Magnetic Eye thought we’d expedite the end times by officially declaring our own DAY OF DOOM on November 2nd of this year as the date of our first-ever live label showcase.

Where?

The Saint Vitus Bar in Brooklyn, New York. Where the hell else?

Who?

No less than nine crushing Magnetic Eye roster bands, headlined by our four flagship acts that have helped shape and define the core of the MER sound:

Summoner
Horsehunter
Domkraft
Elephant Tree

What does this mean for you?

Two things:

1. If you’re anywhere near the New York area (or even if you’re not), you’re going to want to make the pilgrimage to this show. With our biggest and heaviest acts flying in from all over the world, it’s probably no stretch to say we have no idea when or if this will ever happen again. Tickets will be on sale soon directly via the Saint Vitus Bar, and we’ll of course let you know where to get them.

2. Whether you can make this incredible convergence in person or not, you can share in the experience. Magnetic Eye will be recording the four headline bands at Day of Doom for an exclusive set of live album releases, and you can support helping get the bands here for the event and reserve your live records now by jumping on board the Kickstarter for the project at this location.

Look, we’d love to have all of you there with us. But we know it’s not possible for some to make the trip, and we understand. Hell, it wasn’t possible for most of us to attend Woodstock, but at least we have the soundtrack, right?

Check out our Kickstarter now to lock down your exclusive editions of Elephant Tree, Domkraft, Summoner and Horsehunter Live at the Day of Doom New York. It’s going to be absolutely unforgettable. And thanks to these records, you’ll always remember.

http://store.merhq.com
http://magneticeyerecords.com/
https://www.facebook.com/MagneticEyeRecords

Leather Lung, Lonesome, On’ry & Evil (2019)

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Caustic Casanova to Start Summer Tour on Aug. 7; New Album Due This Fall

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 25th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

caustic casanova

Recently signed to Magnetic Eye Records and even more recently shifted from a trio to a four-piece lineup, Caustic Casanova will do like they do and hit the road on Aug. 7. They’ll be out for a month straight and then head out again later in September, all ahead of the release of their new album, God How I Envy the Deaf, which will mark their debut through Magnetic Eye and is due out in October. I would expect that by the time the album arrives, if Caustic Casanova haven’t yet announced a foll0w-up tour for this one, one won’t be far behind, as they rarely sit still one way or the other and they tend to do long-ish stints when they go.

All the touring in September makes me wonder if there maybe wasn’t some delay in the record coming out, but one way or the other, there will be touring, there will be an album, and Caustic Casanova will do that whole rocking-in-the-free-world thing I keep hearing so much about. And that’s good news.

Here are the dates from the PR wire:

caustic casanova summer tour

CAUSTIC CASANOVA TO EMBARK ON US TOUR

Washington, DC heavy rockers Caustic Casanova are preparing for a late summer tour that will take them across the United States. Says the band, “We’re so excited to hit the road for our longest North American tour since 2016 (and our new guitarist Jake Kimberley’s first coast-to-coast run). We’ll be bringing you all the prog, stoner metal, psych, and noise rock you can handle, at irresponsible volumes each night, for nearly 2 months. We’ll be playing very new songs, an old song or two, plus tunes off our forthcoming Magnetic Eye Records debut God How I Envy The Deaf, out this October.”

Tour Dates:
8-7 Chapel Hill, NC at Local 506
8-8 Greenville, SC at Radio Room
8-9 Johnson City, TN at The Hideaway
8-10 Lexington, KY at Best Friend Bar
8-11 Nashville, TN at Springwater
8-12 Memphis, TN at Pagan Mom House
8-13 Wichita, KS at Kirby’s
8-14 Saint Louis, MO at The Sinkhole
8-15 Lawrence, KS at Replay Lounge
8-16 Denver, CO at Tennyson’s Tap
8-17 El Paso, TX at Neon Rose
8-20 San Diego, CA at Tower Bar
8-21 Long Beach, CA at Que Sera
8-22 Oakland, CA at Elbo Room
8-23 Pacifica, CA at Winters Tavern
8-24 Sacramento, CA at Cafe Colonial
8-27 Portland, OR at Tonic Lounge
8-28 Seattle, WA at High Dive
8-29 Post Falls, ID at Cruisers
8-30 Great Falls, MT at The Back Alley Pub
8-31 Kalispell, MT at Old School Records
9-2 Rapid City, SD at The Cave Collective
9-4 Milwaukee, WI at Walkers Point Music Hall
9-5 Chicago, IL at Livewire Lounge
9-6 Youngstown, OH at Westside Bowl (Black Out Cook Out Festival with Inter Arma, Big Business, Child Bite, Brain Tentacles, Ken Mode, Lo-Pan and more)
9-13 Shepherdstown, WV at Shepherd University
9-14 Winooski, VT at Monkey House
9-15 Montreal, QC at Piranha Bar
9-20 Bloomington, IN at TBA
9-21 Dubuque, IA at The Blu Room
9-23 Louisville, KY at Highlands Tap Room
9-24 Indianapolis, IN at Healer
9-25 Columbus, OH at Dirty Dungarees
9-27 Brooklyn, NY at Gold Sounds Bar

http://causticcasanova.com/
https://www.facebook.com/CausticCasanova
https://www.instagram.com/CausticCasanova/
http://store.merhq.com
http://magneticeyerecords.com/
https://www.facebook.com/MagneticEyeRecords

Caustic Casanova, The Pantheon Collection Vol. 1-3 (2018)

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Blackout Cookout 10 Confirms Full Lineup; It’s Pretty Insane

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 3rd, 2019 by JJ Koczan

the blackout cookout 10 art

Congrats to Ohio’s The Blackout Cookout on making it to their Xth edition. That’s 10, in case you were wondering. Doing anything for 10 years in a row these days is pretty admirable. And I’m not just saying that because this site also started in 2009, but because it’s true, and whether it’s something that’s a passion project like putting on this festival — because I imagine nobody’s yet gotten rich off basically hosting an annual barbecue with friends and other cool bands — or just staying at the same job, a decade is a long time. Most people get high and wander off somewhere long before that mark is reached.

Blackout Cookout X however has a badass celebratory lineup, with Inter Arma and Big Business in headlining spots for its two-day run, and Ohio-based regular-types like Bridesmaid and Lo-Pan and the reactivated Rebreather slated to appear. Look out for Caustic CasanovaBrujas del SolAlbum and of course KENmode as well. Bottom line is it’ll be a good time, and it’s a party, and I guarantee there will be people there who’ve been to all 10 Blackout Cookouts, but if you’ve never been before and you show up and, like, don’t know where the bathroom is or something, I bet they wouldn’t be a dick about it. They’d just be like, “Yeah, it’s over there” and point you on your way. People helping people. The stuff of life.

Here’s the full lineup, as seen on the social medias:

the blackout cookout 10 poster

The Blackout Cookout 10 – Sept. 6 & 7

Westside Bowl
2617 Mahoning Avenue, Youngstown, Ohio 44509

The Blackout Cookout is an annual celebration of heavy music, friends and BBQ at Westside Bowl in Youngstown, Ohio.

Friday Sept. 6
INTER ARMA
Brain Tentacles
Homewrecker
ALBUM
Bridesmaid
Something Is Waiting
Caustic Casanova
Wallcreeper
DAGGRS
Modem

Saturday Sept. 7
Big Business
KEN mode
Lo-Pan
Rebreather
Fully Consumed
Microwaves
Brujas del Sol
Goosed
Persistent Aggressor
Matter of Planets
Lake Lake
Black Spirit Crown
Cheap Heat

Poster by Chris Smith.

https://www.facebook.com/events/324565261529821/
https://www.facebook.com/theblackoutcookout/

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