Posted in Questionnaire on December 12th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster
Ohio fuzz rockers Lo-Pan have been among the underground’s hardest touring bands for the last several years. In 2011, they reissued their 2009 sophomore outing, Sasquanaut (review here), through Small Stone, and followed it with Salvador(review here), a progressive and soulful look at the shape of riff to come. Last Fall, touring alongside High on Fire and Goatwhore showed increasing profile in the public eye for the four-piece, and stints alongside Torche and Weedeater have continued their momentum in 2013. Though he’s generally found positioned behind drummer Jesse Bartz on stage, vocalist Jeff Martin‘s powerful voice has been essential in pushing Lo-Pan beyond the confines of genre.
Last weekend, the band’s practice space in Columbus was robbed and they, among many others, lost gear in the burglary (info here). Prior to that, Martin answered The Obelisk Questionnaire as follows:
The Obelisk Questionnaire: Jeff Martin
How did you come to do what you do?
I often wonder that myself. If someone told me at 17 that this would be where I was at nearly 35, I wouldn’t have believed them. I look back and I wonder how it all happened, sometimes. I met this person who introduced me to this person who left me and another person came into my life and whamo… Here I am. Life flies by and you sometimes just have to marvel at it later.
Describe your first musical memory.
My mother was a music teacher and choir director when I was growing up, so music was just always around during my childhood. She gave piano lessons and voice lessons at our house, so the halls were always filled with the sound. Probably my earliest memory would be my mom singing me to sleep. In particular I recall that she would sing “O’ Danny Boy” to me while sitting on the edge of my bed. It always did the trick. My mom has a beautiful singing voice.
Describe your best musical memory to date.
The high point thus far would have to be December 22, 2012. My band played in San Francisco at Slim’s with High on Fire and Goatwhore. It was the end of a 45 day tour for us and it was a sold-out show in one of the best clubs in the country. We played really well for a packed house and it just felt fantastic. That was a special night.
When was a time when a firmly held belief was tested?
When I was in high school I believed that the government had the best interest of its citizens at heart. Does that answer your question?
Where do you feel artistic progression leads?
I suppose it depends on the person. With someone like David Bowie I would imagine it leads to free expression and artistic respect that puts him in the upper echelon of musicians that have ever walked the earth. For someone like me it can lead to despair and total frustration. Progression does not always denote growth. Serial killers progress and their crimes become even more horrid. Artistic progression can lead to unfocused blather if it isn’t tempered by rational argument at some point of the process.
How do you define success?
If you attempt something and it goes as you hoped… that’s success. In any field, any size project. Did you accomplish your goals? Yes? Then you are successful. There are many rungs on that ladder, though. Incremental success is something most people have to come to terms with. Measured success, as opposed to complete success must sometimes be enough.
What is something you have seen that you wish you hadn’t?
One time I came in contact with a musician that I have idolized for many years and he was a total mess. It was gross. He was rude and awful. It changed my opinion of him and of his music. A total bummer.
Describe something you haven’t created yet that you’d like to create.
I would like to learn more tools and fabrication of different materials. I would like to have a talent for building furniture, or other items.
Something non-musical that you’re looking forward to?
I’m looking forward to finishing and actually performing a comedy routine that I have been working on for some time.
Posted in Reviews on December 10th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster
Birthed in a not-at-all cosmic reality known as Columbus, Ohio, the four-piece space rock outfit EYE nonetheless execute their sound with classical majesty on their sophomore full-length, Second Sight. Their first outing, 2011′s Center of the Sun(discussed here and here), was gorgeous enough to get the attention of Kemado Records, who issued it on vinyl in 2012, and the still-quick follow-up comes preceded by a 7″ single (discussed here) and a live tape (review here). Clearly, EYE – who also self-recorded the new long-player — aren’t ones for sitting still, and that sense of movement extends to the music on Second Sightas well, beginning in the gong hits and synth waves that patiently establish the psychedelic course of 21-minute opener “Lost are the Years.” Here EYE begin to unfold not just the first side, but the LP as a whole, and though it’s only been about a year and a half since Center of the Sunwas released, the sense is that something ancient has awakened. There is a near-immediate sense of texture to “Lost are the Years,” also the longest track on the 45-minute outing (bonus points), and that comes in large part from the wash of Moog and analog synth effects created by Adam Smith. Guitarist/vocalist Matt Auxier has no shortage of effects on his guitar either, and even drummer Brandon Smith gets in on the ambience with chimes, congas, the aforementioned gong and other percussion in addition to regular old rock drums, so while bassist Matt Bailey would seem to be the one charged with holding the five tracks of Second Sighttogether, actually it works out more that the four-piece never really lose control. As spaced-out as they go — and they go plenty spaced out — the record keeps a mood that’s calm-ing if not calm-ed, and when they want to, EYE drift with futuristic efficiency into atmospherics that even the first record only seemed to hint at, a song like “Wooden Nickels” retaining some human element through harmonized vocals from Auxier and both Smiths.
Vocals are never really the complete focal point (Amy Michelle Hoffman and Anthony Jacobs contribute as well), but they’re gorgeous anyway and make the band that much richer and more lush-sounding. It is nearly five minutes of build-up before they arrive over bass and acoustic guitar on “Lost are the Years,” signaling the start of the song’s peaceful second movement. Tension is minimal, melody is rampant, and EYE are immediately the masters of the universe they’re exploring. Auxier takes a bluesy, echoing solo over acoustic strum and Bailey‘s bassline, and Adam keeps the texture varied while Brandon seems to rest until about the seven-minute mark a fill leads to the next progression, a more upbeat, distorted and somewhat foreboding swirl. The vocals are deeper in the mix, part of that swirl, not above it, and the swaying riff that backs the subsequent guitar solo calls to mind some of Hypnos 69‘s more recent progressive triumphs. The course of “Lost are the Years” is winding as the third movement builds to a crashing finish and the acoustic strum of the second movement returns, backed by subtle percussion and bathed in mellotron sunshine. It is even more graceful in its Floydian sprawl than when it first appeared, and it shifts fluidly into more exploratory acoustic guitars, a thunder sample signaling the change impending before a full stop brings back the heavier swirl, all channels full and vibrant as they transition into a shuffle led by Brandon‘s drums and soon joined by Adam‘s keys, rising, cresting and receding. They’ve departed the back and forth of one part to another that they’d previously established in favor of an extended jam, the guitars, bass, drums and keys all serving to further the atmosphere, layers of lead and rhythm guitars coming forward for a King Crimson-style push after 16 minutes in even as Auxier is in mid-rip on another solo. A series of hits ensues and backed by a jazzy snare roll, the guitars lead down a psych rock rabbit hole, ending up in a winding line that brings a return of vocals and precedes the key-driven push into the final payoff. It would need to be sizable to answer for all the twists and turns of “Lost are the Years” so far, and it is, but not necessarily any more grandiose than is warranted. Guitar is still are the fore, trading off lead lines and heavy riffing, and they cap with a return to the hits that led the way into the last movement, ending a song that, if you try to consciously keep pace with each of its changes, you’re going to wind up exhausted in the best way possible.
Posted in Whathaveyou on December 9th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster
Though in the past I’ve advocated its use in everything from cases of sexual assault to murder to someone cutting me off in traffic, I don’t actually believe in the death penalty. Among the strongest arguments in capital punishment’s favor, however, are people who steal from bands. Seriously, I don’t know how many times I’ve said it. Steal from corporations. They have money, and the tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of shit like the below is nothing to them. To take equipment from people who actually either broke their asses playing out to earn the money to buy it or who balance a dayjob existence with their insatiable need to create something is fucking disgusting. I hope when the cops find whoever did this, they’ve been hit by a bus.
Along with a slew of others robbed early this past Saturday morning in a Columbus, Ohio, rehearsal space, Lo-Pan lost equipment and sent out the following updates via Thee Facebook. Goes without saying that if you’re in that part of the world and you see any of this stuff, do whatever you can to help the bands get it back.
Bummer note to start a week on, but imagine how the bands feel:
Our hearts go out to friends from Brujas Del Sol, Ride to Ruin, Fevernest/Struck By Lightening, Prosanctus Inferi, and others that had gear stolen in the break-in at our rehearsal facility. We also lost items but our lost gear pales in comparison to that of some others.
Be on the lookout for lists of stolen gear from these bands and others and let’s try to help them find their stuff. Mostly lots of guitars were taken and a couple of larger items.
Stealing a bands gear is one of the most low-bottom things you can do. Don’t do that. Just don’t.
A big thank to everyone for the outpouring of interest following the theft of our rehearsal space Friday night/Saturday morning. We had over 240 shares of our status with the gear list in 15 hours…that is amazing. Word has spread far and wide and we thank all of our friends for your assistance.
Let’s keep up the good work and get this equipment back where it belongs. The police are working hard and progress is happening. You may not see specifics regarding leads or suspects in the interest of preserving the investigation but rest assured that work is being done.
Special thanks to the amazing Columbus Arts Community, which has come together in a manor seldom seen. Respect.
Here is an up to date list of all things taken from our rehearsal space last night. PLEASE REPOST THIS EVERYWHERE.
A. Yakuza Heart Attack Brat Curse – white Japanese Fender Mustang B. Struck By Lightning/ Earthburner/ 200? Gibson Les Paul Custom – Black w/ Gold hardware Lace drop and gain pick ups installed. Dimarzio strap locks. Oversized string gauge set up. 1978 Gibson RD Artist – Vintage Burst w/ Gold hardware Lace drop and gain pick ups installed Chris Krump engraved on the trus rod cover Schaller strap locks Oversized string gauge set up. 60th Anniversary eddition American Fender Telecaster – Tri Burst w/ Black pick guard. Oversized string gauge set up. Jackson Rhodes – Black. String through body. 1979 Gibson G3 Bass Guitar – Vintage Burst. Missing bridge cover. Oversized string gauge set up. 200? Gibson Les Paul Studio – Black w/ Gold hardware. Neck repair. Dimarzio strap locks. 200? Gibson SG Special – Ebony w/ Chrome hardware. Dimarzio x2n bridge pick up. Dimarzio Air Norton neck pick up. Dimarzio strap locks. 198? Peavy Dyna Bass Guitar – Black Dimarzio strap locks. Mexican Fender P Bass – Black w/ Black pick guard. EMG active pick ups. Chip on top horn. Dimarzio strap locks. 2 198? Peavy Mark IV Bass Amps. Electrical tape on the front. Roadrunner RRMBGABS Molded bass guitar case – Black. Monster cables and Mogami cables inside.
C. Bummers/Tight Bros Fender Telecaster (made in mexico, 3 saddle bridge, brown sunburst with paint chipped off the entire back) Fender Stratocaster Standard (made in Mexico, black with white pickguard, large amount of sticker residue on body)
D. Lo-Pan 1 off brand custom stratocaster in case…pieced together not really traceable 2 – JBL PA towers 2×15 1- Shure SM 57
E. Brujas del Sol 2002-4 LAKE PLACID BLUE (white pickguard) crafted in japan Fender Jaguar 2009/10 TWO TONE SUNBURST (black pickguard) American Special Fender Stratocaster 2003/04 ALL BLACK Made in Mexico Telecaster 2002-5 Ibanez Omar Rodriguez Pro Model. White with Red tortoise guard. 1988/89 MIJ White Jazz Bass Warmoth Custom P/Jazz Bass Surf green/Black pickguard. (one of a kind) 2012 Fender Pawn shop Bass XI. Black. Tortoise guard.
F. Magnumb Opus Fender Deluxe Reverb 1×12 22W Amp (serial on request) – black casing with silver face A second Fender Deluxe Reverb 1X12X22W Amp (serial on request) (Bypass switch is missing on this amp on the back panel) Ibanez AF 55 Art Core Hollow Body Guitar Red – Valued at 450.00
G. Little Professors 1 Fender Deluxe Jazz Bass(most likely Mexican made) Cream body w/ Tortoise pick guard 1 Maroon Hollow body Silvertone Guitar 1959 Danelectro Reissue guitar, black body w/ white pickguard
H. Smoking Guns/Matt Monta untouched
I. Weight of Whales Fender Modern Player Telecaster Thinline Deluxe Fender Frontman 212R with a bunch of local stickers on top Behringer XENYX X1622USB USB Mixer with Effects Dell Inspiron XPS Laptop Ibanez 1977 Acoustic Guitar Wood Fender Ukulele Black Rogue Mandolin Black Mexican Fender Stratocaster
J. ROEVY Pioneer DJM 900 Nexus Odyssey Black Flight Case
K. RIde to Ruin Black Gibson Les Paul with three pickups (two gold and one pearl) in an epiphany hardshell case with lots of stickers White 60′s Gibson Melody maker with a neck repair, one hum bucker in the bridge and one single coil in the neck in a gibson hardshell case (the serial number is painted over) Green Lotus double cutaway with two humbuckers in a heavy duty flight case with a billy preston stencil on it Black Epiphone Les Paul with two pickups and very heavy gauge strings in a soft-shell case. Black Samic Strat copy in soft shell case
L. Deadsea Modulus Quantum 5 5-string bass with graphite neck- dark green/black (serial number available upon request) Ibanez Professional Model 2681 blonde guitar with pearl inlay on body and neck (serial number available upon request) B.C Rich NJ Warbest Deluxe Ibanez Xiphos XPT700
Posted in Features on July 23rd, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster
This Saturday, Lo-Pan will take the stage as headliners at The Eye of the Stoned Goat 3 in Brooklyn, New York. Sharing the bill with the stalwart Ohio road dogs is a litany of heavy rockers worthy of repute, some labelmates on Small Stone, others up and comers playing with a similarly fuzzed, riff-minded style. All told, The Acheron plays host to one of the sickest lineups of the year on July 27, with Lo-Pan at the top alongside Gozu, Supermachine, Black Black Black, Borracho, Wizard Eye, Lord Fowl, Geezer and Wasted Theory, whose own drummer, Brendan Burns (interview here), is responsible for booking the fest.
The Stoned Goat gig comes as the latest in a series of righteous happenings for Lo-Pan, whose considerable touring is beginning to pay off with — what else? — more touring. Making their way into Brooklyn as the final in a set of four dates with Gozu, Lo-Pan have been using July as a vehicle for long weekenders, first with Indianapolis-based rockers Devil to Pay, then a handful of shows including last weekend at StaVentfest in Pennsylvania with D.C.’s Borracho — also playing in Brooklyn — following a couple weeks off after spending the first half of June on tour with Torche and KENmode. All this is ostensibly to support a vinyl reissue through Small Stone of Lo-Pan‘s landmark 2009 sophomore outing, Sasquanaut, which also got a CD revisit in 2011 (review here), but really, it’s just Lo-Pan continuing to do what they do best, and that’s hand-deliver some of the finest fuzz being produced in the US, or anywhere else for that matter.
Since this is all going down even as the band continues to write and road test new material for a follow-up to 2011′s will-still-put-you-on-your-ass-two-years-later third album, Salvador(review here), it seemed to me a prime time to get on the phone with drummer Jesse Bartz (not for the first time) for a brief check-in about the band’s latest doings, how they see the effort and time they’ve put in starting to result in shows like those with Torche or with High on Fire last fall, the timing on when they’ll look to put the next record to tape, and much more. Bartz – joined in the band by guitarist Brian Fristoe, vocalist Jeff Martin and bassist Scott Thompson — was forthcoming and realistic as ever about the work Lo-Pan has done to this point and the work they still have ahead of them.
So, with The Eye of the Stoned Goat 3 this weekend, a tour with Weedeater next month, the Sasquanautvinyl out now and their focus geared toward a European tour in support of their next album in 2014, you’ll find my quick Q&A with Jesse Bartz after the jump.
Posted in Features on July 9th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster
Lo-Pan‘s touring adventures continue. In our last installment, the Ohio heavy rock four-piece stomped their way through Dayton, Ohio, and Chicago, and having covered that ground, this time around they’ve moved on to Madison, Wisconsin, and Indianapolis on their tour with Indy-based Devil to Pay.
Please enjoy, and note that the lead photo here was taken by Devil to Pay‘s own Steve Jankiak:
July 6th and 7th — “Eat a Sandwich”
Did you know Otis Redding was from Madison, Wisconsin? Well, he was. So was Chris Farley. This auspicious town was the locale for our next tour adventure.
We woke up early in Chicago in order to get to Madison by the early afternoon. About a year ago a friend of ours took us to this amazing deli in Madison and hooked us up on some great sandwiches so we always like to revisit that spot when we are in town. Hospitality on tour is like a full tank of gas, or a clean load of laundry — it kind of sets everything back to zero and allows you to start fresh. In my experience, when you go on tour you start out with a plan. I’ve got so many so-and-so’s for so many days and this do-hickey goes in this pocket and that’s where it will be forever. Well, after about eight days, things start to become a little less concrete. Pockets of things change. Things break or get lost. You get hot and tired and you just plain stop caring about those things. After around 15 days you start to degrade into an animal state of instinct and muscle memory. 30 days in, you don’t even remember what home feels like. 40 days and wherever you are is your home. Then, when you go home, it takes a while to adjust. All of this is to illustrate that when you find hospitality — a welcome smile, a great plate of food, a person who lets you enter their home and use it as your own for a little while — all of these things serve to reset the dials, and get you centered to carry on. Madison is such a place for us because it is home to some very hospitable and kind people. It’s one of those places that when you are a few days away you start to hear the mantra, “If we can just make it to Madison, everything will be ok.” So we made it to Madison, our Midwest oasis.
The show was at a bar called Mr. Roberts. We had never played there before so we didn’t know what to expect. We were set to play with a band called The Garza. They are a three piece featuring our friend Nate Bush on bass. We made Nate’s acquaintance a couple of years ago when he was playing bass for Madison band Droids Attack. In addition, the drummer for The Garza [Mike "Magma" Henry] is also in Bongzilla. Hopefully for your sake, Bongzilla need no introduction. The last time we played in Madison was on tour with High on Fire. The show that time was at High Noon Saloon. This was certainly a different situation, but we did see quite a few people at this show that remembered us from the last show. It’s good to see that our travels and work are paying off.
Devil to Pay started off the evening with a killer set. DTP are one of those bands that seem to nail their recorded sound in a live setting, and do it with ease. We played second out of three bands and we decided to change up our set tonight. We were playing Sasquanaut start to finish but on the drive to Madison we decided we would rather play our newer material and that people would just have to deal with it. Whatever! We do what we want! The Garza closed out the night and after some drinks and laughs we packed up and headed to our accommodations for the evening.
Brian is a friend of ours and he owns a tattoo shop in Madison. He let us stay in his posh tattoo studio for the evening. I had an honest-to-goodness couch to sleep on. Jesse slept on his air mattress and Fristoe took up residence on an amazingly adjustable tattoo chair. Skot, however decided to sleep on the floor despite the availability of other tattoo chairs. Skot Thompson is a floor-sleeping sumbitch. He loves it. Got a hardwood, concrete, or tile floor? Skot will sleep on it. Got a dining room table? Skot will sleep under it. And he will sleep well.
We woke up around 9:30AM and tattoo Brian came to take us to breakfast. Nice guy, that Brian. We said our goodbyes and headed off towards Indianapolis.
Indianapolis, Indiana. Indy’s Jukebox Live. Devil to Pay is from Indianapolis. Do you know what else is from Indianapolis? I’m asking because I don’t know. Or maybe I just don’t care. If you have ever driven through Indiana, then you know what a wholly depressing place it can be. Unless you are into extremely flat, corn covered vistas, there is not much outside of DTP to lure you to the Hoosier State. Actually, President William Henry Harrison was from there. I stand corrected.
On the bill for this show were Death Trap and Stealing Volume. Death Trap seemed to be having some technical difficulties during their set. They got off to a rocky start but finally got it dialed in towards the end. It sucks when you are just trying to play some music but you end up wrestling your gear into submission the whole time instead. Stealing Volume was a surprise to me. They had a punchy punk sound and they were very tight. Really good stage presence and delivery. I liked Stealing Volume very much. We played what felt like a good set to a sparse but engrossed audience and Devil to Pay headlined for the home town. After the show we packed up rather quickly and headed for home. Real life loomed large on the horizon, at least for a few days until we pick back up with the DTP boys in Detroit.
Posted in Whathaveyou on July 2nd, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster
This week, Ohio fuzz rockers Lo-Pan kick off a round of tour dates with Devil to Pay that will begin roughly a month and a half of gigs. Before they even get to that, however, the foursome are marking the first time that 2009′s Sasquanaut– a classic of modern heavy rock if e’er there was one — is released on vinyl.
Previously issued through Small Stone in remixed/remastered fashion in 2011 on CD, Sasquanautmakes its debut on LP today, July 2, in a variety of colors and in a limited edition first 100 copies that come with a signed poster and much more.
Here’s the latest on all of the above:
LIMITED EDITION 180gr VINYL – Deluxe Version – First 100 Only!
Small Stone Records is proud to announce the release of Lo-Pan’s highly acclaimed album “Sasquanaut” for the first time on limited edition 180g vinyl. Remastered for vinyl release, this limited edition LP will be available for pre-order July 2, 2013. The release will be available in five distinct color variations (silver, solid light green, translucent red, translucent green, and classic black). Additionally, each copy of the LP release will come with a download card, redeemable for a digital copy of the album.
Get it while you can. Sasquanaut finally on vinyl. When it’s gone, it’s gone. Help us out. Tell anyone you think might be interested. We are trying to sell 100 of these today!
180 gram vinyl, deluxe jacket and poly-lined sleeves. Limited to 100 Black, 100 Trans Red, 100 Light Green, 100 Silver, 100 Trans Green.
This package includes: – you choice of color variation – 12” x 18.7” full color poster signed by the band – limited edition patch – lo-pan sticker
Vinyl track listing:
Side Alpha: Dragline Savage Henry Kurtz Callahan
Side Beta: Kramer Vega Wade Garrett
Catch Lo-Pan live at the following upcoming tour stops: Jul 4, 2013 Dayton, OH Blind Bob’s w/ Devil To Pay, Neon Warship Jul 5, 2013 Chicago, IL Cobra Lounge w/ Devil To Pay Jul 6, 2013. Madison, WI Mr. Roberts w/ Devil To Pay, The Garza Jul 7, 2013 Indianapolis, IN Indy’s Jukebox w/ Devil To Pay Jul 11, 2013 Detroit, MI PJ’s Lager House w/ Devil To Pay Jul 12, 2013 Cleveland, OH The Temple w/ Devil To Pay, Venomin James Jul 13, 2013. Columbus, OH Kobo w/ Devil To Pay, Barely Eagle, the Girls! Jul 18, 2013 Pittsburgh, PA Howler’s w/ Borracho, Sistered, Supervoid Jul 19, 2013 Washington DC Rock N Roll Hotel w/ Borracho, Kingsnake, King Giant Jul 20, 2013 Stroudsburgh, PA The Sherman Theater w/ Borracho, Kingsnake Jul 21, 2013 York, PA The Depot w/ Borracho Jul 24, 2013 Worcester, MA Ralph’s Rock Diner w/ Gozu, Birch Hill Dam Jul 25, 2013 Manchester, NH The Shaskeen Pub w/Gozu, Birch Hill Dam Jul 26, 2013 Boston, MA O’Brien’s w/Gozu, Black Thai Jul 27, 2013 Brooklyn, NY The Acheron *The Eye of the Stoned Goat 3 w/Gozu, Supermachine, Black Black Black, Borracho, Wizard Eye, Lord Fowl, Geezer, Wasted Theory Aug 01 2013 Chicago, IL Ultra Lounge w/Weedeater Aug 03 2013 Nashville, TN Exit/In w/Weedeater Aug 04 2013 Johnson City, TN Hideaway w/Weedeater Aug 06 2013 Asheville, NC Broadways w/Weedeater Aug 07 2013 Charlotte, NC Chop Shop w/Weedeater Aug 08 2013 Richmond, VA Strange Matter w/Weedeater Aug 09 2013 Raleigh, NC The Maywood w/Weedeater Aug 10 2013 Wilmington, NC Soapbox w/Weedeater Aug 24 2013 Kent, OH The Outpost w/Rebreather, Mockingbird, The Unclean, The Ravenna Arsenal, Vulture, Deathcrawl, Fully Consumed, Venomin James, Super Predator, Showboy
Posted in Whathaveyou on June 19th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster
At this point, I don’t even know what I’d do if a week went by and I didn’t have some news to post about Ohio four-piece Lo-Pan, who just wrapped a tour alongside Torche and KENmode and will head out over the course of July and August with the likes of Borracho, Devil toPay, Gozuand Weedeater. Their second album, 2009′s Sasquanaut, is about to receive the vinyl treatment for the first time, so along with that and an excuse to put all their upcoming gigs in one place at the same time — at least those that have been to this point announced — there was no way I could resist.
Plus, all the whatnot about pre-orders and that gives me an excuse to post the stream of the album, which is an automatic win:
Lo-Pan Sasquanaut Vinyl + Tour Info
Small Stone Records is proud to announce the release of Lo-Pan’s highly acclaimed album “Sasquanaut” for the first time on limited edition 180g vinyl. Remastered for vinyl release, this limited edition LP will be available for pre-order July 2, 2013. The release will be available in five distinct color variations (silver, solid light green, translucent red, translucent green, and classic black). Additionally, each copy of the LP release will come with a download card, redeemable for a digital copy of the album.
Priced at $30, the first 100 deluxe pre-order packages will receive: – choice of color variation – 12” x 18.7” full color poster signed by the band – limited edition patch – lo-pan sticker
The tracklist for the “Sasquanaut” LP is:
Side Alpha Dragline Savage Henry Kurtz Callahan
Side Beta Kramer Vega Wade Garrett
Catch Lo-Pan live at the following upcoming tour stops:
Jul 4, 2013 Dayton, OH Blind Bob’s w/ Devil To Pay, Neon Warship Jul 5, 2013 Chicago, IL Cobra Lounge w/ Devil To Pay Jul 6, 2013. Madison, WI Mr. Roberts w/ Devil To Pay, The Garza Jul 7, 2013 Indianapolis, IN Indy’s Jukebox w/ Devil To Pay Jul 11, 2013 Detroit, MI PJ’s Lager House w/ Devil To Pay Jul 12, 2013 Cleveland, OH The Temple w/ Devil To Pay, Venomin James Jul 13, 2013. Columbus, OH Kobo w/ Devil To Pay, Barely Eagle, the Girls! Jul 18, 2013 Pittsburgh, PA Howler’s w/ Borracho, Sistered, Supervoid Jul 19, 2013 Washington DC Rock N Roll Hotel w/ Borracho, Kingsnake, King Giant Jul 20, 2013 Stroudsburgh, PA The Sherman Theater w/ Borracho, Kingsnake Jul 21, 2013 York, PA The Depot w/ Borracho Jul 24, 2013 Worcester, MA Ralph’s Rock Diner w/ Gozu, Birch Hill Dam Jul 25, 2013 Manchester, NH The Shaskeen Pub w/Gozu, Birch Hill Dam Jul 26, 2013 Boston, MA O’Brien’s w/Gozu, Black Thai Jul 27, 2013 Brooklyn, NY The Acheron *The Eye of the Stoned Goat 3 w/Gozu, Supermachine, Black Black Black, Borracho, Wizard Eye, Lord Fowl, Geezer, Wasted Theory Aug 01 2013 Chicago, IL Ultra Lounge w/Weedeater Aug 03 2013 Nashville, TN Exit/In w/Weedeater Aug 04 2013 Johnson City, TN Hideaway w/Weedeater Aug 06 2013 Asheville, NC Broadways w/Weedeater Aug 07 2013 Charlotte, NC Chop Shop w/Weedeater Aug 08 2013 Richmond, VA Strange Matter w/Weedeater Aug 09 2013 Raleigh, NC The Maywood w/Weedeater Aug 10 2013 Wilmington, NC Soapbox w/Weedeater Aug 24 2013 Kent, OH The Outpost w/Rebreather, Mockingbird, The Unclean, The Ravenna Arsenal, Vulture, Deathcrawl, Fully Consumed, Venomin James, Super Predator, Showboy
Under normal circumstances, I probably wouldn’t do two Visual Evidence posts on consecutive days, but this is obviously an exceptional case. As Lo-Pan continue to unveil their summer roadwork, more dates alongside Indianapolis’ Devil to Pay have emerged, and the poster for said trek is… well, it’s something special.
In fact, I haven’t seen a poster that hits quite so close to home in some time. First of all, it’s Spock — and not this newfangled reboot Spock either — we’re talking the real deal, Nimoy Spock. Second, it’s an octopus. Third, they’re combined. The portmanteau ‘Spocktopus’ pretty much writes itself.
Kudos to artist Trevor Patton for the Spocktopus itself and Devil to Pay‘s Steve Janiak for the layout. This thing is great:
Oh yeah, and the bands rule as well. I don’t think I could go a week at this point without posting Lo-Pan tour news even if I wanted to, and as they wrap up their run with Torche and KENmode, it’s cool to see they’ll shortly be reunited with their longtime buds in Devil to Pay, with whom I’ll be running an interview in the coming weeks.
Lo-Pan & Devil to Pay tour dates: Jul 4, 2013 Dayton, OH Blind Bob’s w/ Neon Warship Jul 5, 2013 Chicago, IL Cobra Lounge Jul 6, 2013. Madison, WI Mr. Roberts w/ The Garza Jul 7, 2013 Indianapolis, IN Indy’s Jukebox w/ Stealing Volume & Death Trap Jul 11, 2013 Detroit, MI PJ’s Lager House Jul 12, 2013 Cleveland, OH The Foundry w/ Venomin James Jul 13, 2013. Columbus, OH Kobo w/ Barely Eagle, the Girls!
In semi-related news, Small Stone (Lo-Pan‘s label) is having a 25 percent off sale at its online store, and I figured that’s worthy of a plug for anyone looking to pick up some quality rock on the cheap. Link in banner below:
Posted in Whathaveyou on May 17th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster
If Lo-Pan do anything at all, they keep busy. The Ohio-based fuzz frontrunners — do I need to call them the best American heavy rock band going right now again what I do well okay they’re the best American heavy rock band going — will partner with Capital City riffers Borracho for what I’ve no doubt will be a long weekender of bro downs and fuzz outs. Pennsylvania seems to be the lucky state playing host to most of these shows, but fear not, rest of the country, as I seriously doubt this’ll be the last time Lo-Pan and Borracho pair up. They’re like stoner rock Superfriends.
I wrote this press release, so here’s me quoting myself:
LO-PAN: Ohio Rockers Announce Tour Dates With Borracho
They’re the hardest working band in fuzz, and on July 18, Columbus, Ohio’s LO-PAN will continue their mission to obliterate eardrums nationwide. Late in 2012, the foursome took to stages across the land with High on Fire and Goatwhore, and in June, they joined forces with Torche and KENmode.
As they prepare to headline the Eye of the Stoned Goat 3 fest in Brooklyn on July 27 at The Acheron, LO-PAN be taking Washington D.C. up-and-coming heavy trio Borracho along for a few dates along the Eastern Seaboard. Both bands have new material in the works and will be showcasing material from forthcoming releases.
LO-PAN will share the stage not only with Borracho, but also with Philly riff-slingers Kingsnake, Pittsburgh metallers Sistered and Supervoid and Virginia-based Southern metallers King Giant.
LO-PAN AND BORRACHO ON TOUR: Jul 18, 2013 Pittsburgh, PA Howler’s w/ Borracho, Sistered, Supervoid Jul 19, 2013 Washington D.C. Rock N Roll Hotel w/ Borracho, Kingsnake, King Giant Jul 20, 2013 Stroudsburgh, PA The Sherman Theater w/ Borracho, Kingsnake Jul 21, 2013 York, PA The Depot w/ Borracho
Posted in Reviews on May 9th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster
The self-released, self-titled debut full-length from Columbus, Ohio’s Before the Eyewall is the kind of record that’s going to surprise a lot of people who hear it in a very positive way, and by that I mean it’s really fucking heavy. An instrumental guitar, synth, bass and drums three-piece, the band formed early in 2010 after drummer Aaron O’Brien-Eichman and guitarist Garrett LoConti (both also provide synth) split from the post-metal outfit Kenoma (one might recall their 2006 split with Mouth of the Architect) and issued an ambitious 25-minute single-track demo in 2011 and joined forces with engineer Brian Whitten to capture the sonic largesse of the four-song, 43-minute Before the Eyewall, an album whose intricacy is telegraphed by its artwork. Featuring bassist Scott Hyatt alongside O’Brien-Eichman and LoConti, the band runs through three extended tracks and a concluding section of ambience across the course of “Skyrises” (9:18), “Path of Ash and Desperation” (15:52), “Tome of the Concentric Eye” (14:24) and “Skyfalls” (3:28), finding symmetry in its first and last titles and no shortage of tectonic aural crush in between. There are elements of post-metal lurking about in some of the ambient/heavy switchoffs and tidal riffy plod, but even at their most atmospheric, Before the Eyewall don’t succumb to the trap of redundancy in which so much latter-day post-metal is caught, “Skyrises” leading off with a fitting build of feedback hum and cymbal wash before LoConti announces the start of the lurching, angular progression with guitar howl and deep Sunn-amped tonality counteracted by the airier lead work that ensues. Smoothly and patiently, they unfold the interwoven heavy and ambient changes and tempo shifts that will mark the bulk of the next three tracks, repeating parts but never really announcing any singular movement as the chorus or leaving anything unchanged. Still, the flow they create over the course of the nine minutes of “Skyrises” is remarkable and the quiet intro to “Path of Ash and Desperation” suitably hypnotic, giving a sense of tension even at its stillest points.
With the extended runtimes of “Path of Ash and Desperation” and “Tome of the Concentric Eye” and the bookending effect of the titles “Skyrises” and “Skyfalls,” it’s hard not to think of the half-hour plus the middle two tracks represent as the “meat” of Before the Eyewall’s Before the Eyewall, though neither the opener nor the closer lack substance. Still, it you’re going to get lost anywhere within the full-length, it’s probably somewhere in the two longest cuts, the first of which launches after the two-minute mark into a heavy-stomping lumber of a groove that persists and introduces a kind of post-Mastodon (though played much slower) sense of weight before coming to a head and transitioning into a more ambient movement as it makes its way past eight minutes. The atmosphere remains dark without being cartoonish, and the stage is set for an increasingly noisy build that plays out over the course of the second half of the song, Hyatt’s bass rumble at the fore while LoConti’s guitar tosses out atmospheric notes prior to a stop and then resurgence of the full-bore crashing, one more shift into psychedelic ambience and then a faster, concluding push that winds up one of the album’s most memorable riffs, given its due over the course of the last two minutes before stopping cold to make way for “Tome of the Concentric Eye,” which resets the band’s position and essentially starts the build over from scratch. Here too, Before the Eyewall take their time in unfurling the complete heft of the song, but in the meantime, the interplay of LoConti’s guitar and Hyatt’s bass is the best of the record and O’Brien-Eichman does well in holding the progression together with a slow march, ride cymbal flourish and a tension that finds its answer in a slowly chugging riff contrasted by bass melody (yes, it exists) and guitar echoes reminiscent of some of Leviathan’s glorious noodling. There’s a break, as expected, and though the shift isn’t as smooth as the cut before, the effect remains strong thanks to O’Brien-Eichman’s ability to keep the piece in motion with rich cymbal work excellently captured and mixed and a structure to the following build reminiscent of “Path of Ash and Desperation” that remains distinct from it.
Posted in Whathaveyou on April 17th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster
I was wondering the other day what Ohio-based fuzz rockers Lo-Pan might have up their always-busy sleeves to follow their tour with High on Fire, and then all of a sudden, here’s an announcement that they’re hitting the road for two weeks in June with Torche and KENmode. That’s a pretty badass bill, three distinctly different takes on heavy that should make for a decent complement to each other as Lo-Pan continues to refine new material like the song “Colossus,” which you can check out footage of below.
JUST ANNOUNCED! Lo-Pan will be hitting the road with our buddies Torche and KEN mode for a couple of weeks in June. All current dates listed below.
Sat/06-01 Milwaukee – The Cactus Club Sun/06-02 St. Louis, MO – The Firebird Mon/06-03 Cincinnati, OH – The Taft Tue/06-04 Columbus, OH – Ace of Cups Wed/06-05 Cleveland, OH – The Grog Shop Thu/06-06 Detroit, MI – The Magic Stick Fri/06-07 Grand Rapids, MI – The Pyramid Scheme Sat/06-08 Toronto, Canada – Lee’s Palace Sun/06-09 Syracuse, NY – Lost Horizon Mon/06-10 Boston, MA – Sinclair Wed/06-12 Providence, RI – AS220 Thu/06-13 West Chester, PA – The Note Fri/06-14 – TBA Sat/06-15 Washington, DC – Rock and Roll
Pictured above with the badass package in which it and the new Backdoor Jane/Wooden Nickels 7″ (listen/see here) arrived, the Live at Relaylimited cassette from Ohio space rocking progressives EYE is a wonder of antiquated technology. Not so much the tape itself, but the cosmic expanse that the Columbus four-piece managed to fit thereupon, awash in Moog, synth, Hammond and even a bit of mellotron on side two. The band filmed a session for DonewaitingTV last June, comprised of three jams — “Usurpers” and “Restorers,” both of which appeared on EYE‘s Center of the Sun (review here, track stream here), along with the 19:36 dronedelica soundscape “Dream,” aptly-titled for its otherworldly vibing.
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before, but if you like your Hawks windy and your Floyds a little less than red, more on the Pink side, then EYE is a band to whom you should commence grooving forthwith. Presented in the only-100-copies tape version, the rich bass of Matt Bailey comes through stellar on “Usurpers,” holding down a thick, natural groove while drummerBrandon Smith, Moog/synth/organist Adam Smith and guitarist Matt Auxier combine vocals to add to the progged-out trippery, and while one might think an aesthetic as lush as theirs would suffer on what’s widely regarded as a limited format, the effect the tape has is just making the material sound even more classic than it otherwise might.
Particularly considering this material was captured live — hence Live at Relay– the balance between the patient aspects of EYE‘s sound and their the-space-shuttle-has-just-taken-off-and-you’re-riding-shotgun rush is striking, and with continuous play on, it’s even easier to get lost from one side to the next. Both sides are also almost exactly the same length, right around 19:30, so that helps as well in that there isn’t much delay between them. All told, for about 39 minutes of live EYE, the Live at Relaytape has about everything a would-be sonic cosmonaut could ask of it. Even on “Dream,” when the ground is so far gone you can’t even see the people standing there, the band keeps a sense of someone standing behind the controls, which — as you probably guessed — are set for the heart of the sun.
The aforementioned 7″ is sold out already, but there are still copies of Live at Relayavailable for a whopping seven dollars at EYE‘s Bigcartel store, and consider it an advisable purchase. If you need further convincing, the video of “Usurpers/Restorers” culled from the same session is the way to go:
EYE, “Usurpers/Restorers” Live at Relay Recording Studio
Columbus, Ohio-based space rockers EYE continue to impress with their latest 7″ single. The two-track outing, featuring the songs “Wooden Nickels” and “Backdoor Jane,” has arrived via Lost Weekend Records and is more diverse in six-plus minutes than most full-length albums. “Wooden Nickels” centers around a lush psychedelic vocal melody backed by sweet synth and gracefully introduced mellotron, while “Backdoor Jane” — true to its title — is a classically rocking jam through and through. Completely instrumental, it works in direct opposition to “Wooden Nickels,” which is so much about the vocal harmonies.
EYE reportedly have a live cassette on the way this month too. If the gig I saw in Philly was anything to go by, their stage show should translate pretty well. Stay tuned for more on that and dig these in the meantime:
Posted in Whathaveyou on December 7th, 2012 by H.P. Taskmaster
Cleveland doomers Venomin James announced today that vocalist Jim Meador is out of the band. In the press release below, they cite a desire for a new direction, and considering they had more or less nailed down their sound before, I can’t help but wonder what that might mean. Could be 2013 has a surprise in store from these guys.
While we speculate, here’s the official word from the band regarding Meador‘s exit:
Cleveland doom metal band Venomin James parts ways with vocalist Jim Meador
Cleveland-based doom rockers Venomin James are parting ways with original vocalist Jim Meador. The band cites a change in vocal direction and Meador’s availability as the reasons, and will continue to record and perform live as an instrumental group until a replacement is found. Venomin James’ third album “Unholy Mountain”, which was completed this fall, will be released Q1 2013 on Auburn Records with Meador’s last vocal contributions, marking the end of his tenure in the band.
“We felt like a new direction was needed”, said Joe Fortunato, guitarist and founding member. “There is no ill-will towards Jim, he’s a natural talent and a genuinely good guy. It’s not an easy thing to make this big of a change after 6 years, but we feel like this is the right thing for Venomin James at this point in time. This decision wasn’t taken lightly”
The band completed their third full length album, “Unholy Mountain”, in the fall of 2012, after more than two years of tracking and mixing. This new release is also the last album to feature the drum tracks of original drummer, Jared Koston, who succumbed to cancer in June 2010.
In the near future, the band plans to continue to play instrumental live shows, after overwhelming positive response to a series of instrumental shows performed throughout 2012. Booking will continue as normal until a new vocalist is named. Writing for their fourth album has been underway since Summer 2012, and the band has been performing the material at recent shows.
Meador plans to continue making music, and will be seeking or forming a new project in the near future.
“The last six years have been a very positive and exciting experience with Venomin James, but sometimes good things must come to an end,” said Jim Meador. “ I treasure the memories, relationships and experiences I have shared with Joe, Tom, Erin, Jared, Bill, and most recently Eric. We created three rocking albums to be very proud of, most recently “Unholy Mountain”. I will be moving on, writing songs and exploring new opportunities. Thank you to everyone, family and friends that have supported myself and Venomin James through the years, I am very grateful. The guys will move on and I wish them success in achieving their goals, I will remain one of their biggest fans.”
Venomin James, founded in 2006, is a doom metal band, known for heavy riffs and intricate musical arrangements in the vein of Black Sabbath and “desert rock” bands like Kyuss and Unida. They have released 2 full length albums, and are currently signed to Auburn Records, owned and operated by legendary college radio DJ, Bill Peters.
Posted in Reviews on December 3rd, 2012 by H.P. Taskmaster
Here’s a quick metaphor for how I feel about the city of Philadelphia. I was on my way down to Philly from my office, wanting to get to Union Transfer early to see High on Fire, Goatwhore, Primate and Lo-Pan. And I’m doing my usual not-there-yet stress thing. I’d never been to Union Transfer before, so what if there’s no parking anywhere, what if I can’t find it, what if I drive off the edge of a cliff — all that ultra-reasonable anxiety that sometimes is enough to keep me at home but generally accompanies me one way or another everywhere I go.
Parking space right outside the venue. Maybe 50 feet from the door. Street parking, free because it was after 6:30PM. Once more, Philly, your hospitality astonishes.
It was chilly waiting for the door to open, but I’d listened to enough NPR en route and the cold did me some good. My understanding is UnionTransfer is a relatively recent advent, show-wise, and if it was actually a train station at one point, it makes a decent club. The room was sizable and the stage can be moved either forward or back to allow for more space on the floor. It was pretty far up. Apparently advance sales for the Thursday night show weren’t great, so the balcony was also closed, which was a bummer because that’s probably where I’d have been otherwise.
I grabbed a beer early (it would be my only one of the night) and waited about an hour for Lo-Pan to go on, sitting at one of the side tables killing time to the best of my ability. Gradually I made my way toward the floor and then up front. Though the room wasn’t nearly as full as it would be later, there were already a bunch of people there and I figured better safe than taking pictures of the back of some dude’s head.
Of the four bands on the bill, I really only had more than nominal interest in two: Lo-Pan and High on Fire, the bookends on the bill. That said, I hardly suffered through either Primate or Goatwhore‘s sets. It went down like so:
I was especially looking forward to seeing Lo-Pan on this tour, it being the hardworking Columbus, Ohio, natives’ biggest yet. They lined up toward the front of the stage, all in a row, from bassist Scott Thompson on down through drummer Jesse Bartz, vocalist Jeff Martin and guitarist Brian Fristoe. Martin, who’s usually in the back while Bartz is out front — at least that’s how it’s been at every Lo-Pan show I’ve seen and I don’t mind saying I’ve seen a few at this point — was up there with everyone else and held his position well, projecting his powerful, soulful voice upward into the mic in front of him. Pipes for days. They played “Colossus” and “Eastern Seas,” the two new songs they had included in their set at the Small Stone Records showcase in Boston at the start of the month (review here), and though the one right after the other threw me for a bit, the driving “Chichen Itza” from Salvadorwas a highlight and “Dragline” from 2009′s Sasquanautwas something of a surprise. They intended to close with it but were granted some extra time and made the most of it with one more song. It wasn’t the most comfortable I’ve ever seen them, but as the openers, I imagine they’ve made a positive first impression on a lot of heads throughout this tour. They were more than worth showing up early for, and I hope they continue to tour at this level, because they’ve proven that they’re more than ready to carry the flag for heavy rock to a wider audience that won’t know what hit it.
Seems like the appeal of Atlanta-based grinders Primate was rooted in the fact that the band features Brutal Truth vocalist Kevin Sharp and Mastodon guitarist Bill Kelliher in the lineup. For a more Philly-specific angle, second guitarist Mike Brennan once slung for Philly dirt thrashers Javelina. Whatever the status of that band, his contributions to Primate were in line with the band’s general modus: Play fast, be angry. The barefoot Sharp has nothing to prove as a frontman, and his vocals remained consistently intense throughout the tightly-delivered set. Likewise, Kelliher‘s resume doesn’t exactly need padding at this point either. He made playing fast look like playing slow, hardly breaking a sweat as they went on. A straight-up hardcore punk persisted, and Primate only confirmed their intent with a cover of Black Flag‘s “Rise Above,” which the young dude standing next to me went — pun most definitely intended — apeshit for. He was not alone by any means. Theirs was a different kind of heavy from what I’m used to seeing, but hell man, I’ve done my time with extremity of sound and I can get down with that if need be. Their stuff was pummeling and precise in kind, and when that’s the case, even if it’s not what I’m interested in hearing on a given night, I have a hard time not appreciating it on its own level.
I’d have to go back and check the archives to be sure, but I think Goatwhore might be the fastest band I’ve ever taken pictures of. Maybe that’s not saying much, considering the context, but still, it was a new experience for me. It’s been more than half a decade since I even really vaguely paid attention to what they had going on, but it didn’t seem at Union Transfer that I’d missed all that much. Frontman Ben Falgoust still had his strangely effective hand gestures and every time I looked at guitarist Sammy Duet, I still just thought to myself, “Wow, he’s the dude from Acid Bath.” So it went. They were pro, though, and made the fine line between metal and capital-h Heavy seem much thicker than it has at other times. Duet spit on the stage at one point and I caught some ricochet, but other than that, it wasn’t unpleasant in the slightest. Despite all the time that’s passed since I heard one of their records, I recognized the breakdown in “Alchemy of the Black Sun Cult,” and that was as much landmark as I really needed. The crowd I guess wasn’t as into it as Falgoust was hoping for, since at one point he reminded from the stage that, “It’s cool to like metal again.” I didn’t know it was ever cool to like metal. Someone better tell Shakira to get on that shit, lest she lose her pop relevance. Either way, when they were done, they broke down their own gear, and for a band who’ve been around as long as they have and toured as much as they have, I found that admirable.
High on Fire
Near as I can tell from the small sample I’ve seen, here’s the difference between watching Matt Pike sober now and Matt Pike not at all sober before: Earlier in his career, he came out on stage like he was swinging a double-sided battle axe and conquered the stage, claiming the heads of any and all who opposed him as though anyone would be foolish enough to attempt such a thing. He was a shirtless madman. That’s enjoyable but hardly sustainable for a career. Now when Matt Pike comes out on stage, it’s not even a question whose stage it is. The battle axe need not apply. He just owns it. That’s not to say High on Fire were in any way lacking their trademark sonic fury, just that it had direction, knew where it was headed and the band — Pike, bassist Jeff Matz and drummer Des Kensell — were smarter with the tools of their trade. They fucking killed. Most of the set came from this year’s De Vermiis Mysteriis (review here), set opener “Serums of Laio” even more riotous on stage than it is starting off the record. “Last” and especially “10,000 Years” from the recently-reissued The Art of Self-Defense were highlights, and the moments of slower groove on “DII” or “Madness of an Architect” came as welcome changes of pace from the ripping likes of “Spiritual Rites,” “Fury Whip” or “Devilution.” High on Fire have a catalog of five strong albums to draw from — “Speedwolf” represented 2002′s Surrounded by Thieves — but it was the title-track to 2010′s Snakes for the Divinethat did the closing duties, and with its grandiose lead work, it seemed suited to the task. By then I’d long since moved to the back of Union Transfer to extricate myself from the violence up front, but wherever you were, there was no getting away from the fact that High on Fire have pushed themselves forward and that watching them now, there’s no doubt who the headliners are. Pike was more subdued in his stage persona, as one would have to expect, but he still played to the crowd, as did Matz, and Kensell was so buried in his kit you could only really see the top of his head, so if High on Fire have a rock star aura about them, it’s certainly one cast in their own image. However derailed they may have seemed or whatever hit their momentum may have taken earlier this year by their ducking out on the commercial exposure Mayhem fest would’ve brought, they’re back rolling hard and they seem clear-headed and ready for whatever could be coming their way. The stage looked small around them.
I’d taken Friday off from work, but a drive to Boston awaited in the morning and I had a two-hour trip home to my humble river valley, so I was out of there pretty quick once the house lights came on. Of course, it was Philly, so I had no trouble getting to where I was going, hit no traffic and made it home in record time. God damn I love that city.