Wino Wednesday: “Adrift” Live in Frederick, MD, Feb. 2014

Posted in Bootleg Theater on April 15th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

wino wednesday

It’s been two weeks since the last Wino Wednesday, which I think is as long as I’ve gone in the more-than-three-years since the feature started. Between the Quarterly Review and traveling for Roadburn, time was pretty limited, but I didn’t want to let it go any longer than it already has, so here we are. Half a decade ago, in 2010, Scott “Wino” Weinrich, issued his first acoustic album, Adrift (review here), via Exile on Mainstream.

Having at that point already fronted the beginning stages of the Saint Vitus reunion, it was something of a side-step for the guitarist/vocalist, still just three years removed from the last The Hidden Hand album and also participating at that point in Shrinebuilder‘s 2009 offering and the subsequent shows, but for Wino fans, it made sense for him to dig to the roots of his songwriting process and unearth something like Adrift, which in turn led to his collaboration with Conny Ochs and a new style of performance he continues to refine today.

I wouldn’t call his first steps in that direction tentative. His first acoustic tour was with his Shrinebuilder bandmate Scott Kelly, also of Neurosis, and they released a split 7″ to mark the occasion, but with Adrift, we got to see a new side of Wino‘s personality, not necessarily separate from the ride-these-riffs grooves of Spirit Caravan or the foundational trad doom of The Obsessed, but more contemplative, more up front. An acoustic guitar provides little cover, and Adrift laid bare a lot of Wino‘s persona in a way that felt sincere in the listening and still managed to deliver in terms of songwriting and performance.

For this week’s Wino Wednesday, we have a clip of Wino playing the title-track of Adrift live at Guido’s Speakeasy, in Frederick, Maryland, which is arguably the epicenter of Wino‘s influence at this point. At the very heart of a Maryland doom he helped create, he stands with an acoustic guitar, a crappy stand that can’t seem to actually hold up the microphone, and someone with a shaky cellphone recording it vertically. It’s not the best quality clip I’ve ever posted for a Wino Wednesday, but worth it for the solo at the end.

Hope you enjoy:

Wino, “Adrift” Live at Guido’s Speakeasy, Frederick, MD, Feb. 1, 2014

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The Obsessed’s Ed Gulli to Drum for Spirit Caravan at Maryland Doom Fest

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 14th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

spirit caravan

If you ever find yourself in need of some Maryland doom cred, being able to say something like, “I played on the self-titled The Obsessed record” is bound to help out. Of course, there are only three dudes who can actually make that claim, and drummer Ed Gulli is one of them. The other two are guitarist/vocalist Scott “Wino” Weinrich and bassist Mark Laue, but as news comes out that current Spirit Caravan drummer Henry Vasquez will be on tour with Saint Vitus at the time, it’s Gulli who’s stepping in alongside Wino and bassist/vocalist Dave Sherman to play in Spirit Caravan for their headlining set at the first Maryland Doom Fest this June.

Now, to hear War Injun drummer and fest-organizer JB Matson tell it, as he does below, Mark Laue will also be on hand helping Gulli run sound all weekend, so basically what you’ve got is the potential — not saying it’s happening, not saying anything’s been confirmed — for a scenario where self-titled era The Obsessed maybe gets on stage and does a song or two at some point either during Spirit Caravan‘s set or maybe after or who knows. Even if that doesn’t happen, having Gulli up there with Sherm and Wino is something pretty special, and it seems like a one-time thing exclusive at this point to the Maryland Doom Fest. Given just how much of a blueprint The Obsessed‘s The Obsessed has been for what’s followed in Maryland doom — second perhaps only to Pentagram in its influence — even just the potential of seeing that lineup together is noteworthy.

Here’s how JB put it, along with the fest’s schedule as previously announced:

maryland doom fest 2015

Henry will be on tour with Vitus so Ed Gulli will be drumming for Spirit Caravan at The Maryland Doom Fest and they will be playing multiple Obsessed songs from the purple album…..yes, The Obsessed Caravan.

Mark Laue (purple album bassist) will also be present at the fest as Ed Gulli will be the stage manager and Mark is also helping keep things rolling. You never know what could happen having all three members present at the same festival.

The Maryland Doom Fest 1
June 26 – 28, 2015
Cafe 611, Frederick, MD

A weekend of doom metal in its purest form.

FRIDAY
The Skull 1225-130
Sixty Watt Shaman 1115-1210
Unorthodox 1005-11
Weed Is Weed 855-950
Into The Void 755-840
Banned From H.E.L.L. 655-740
Primer Grey 6-640

SATURDAY
Spirit Caravan 1215-130
Apostle of Solitude 1105-1200
Outside Truth 1010-1050
Valkyrie 910-955
Project Armageddon 815-855
Foghound 720-8
Balam 630-705
Slaves B.C. 540-615
Season of Arrows 445-525

SUNDAY
Iron Man 1045-1215
Foehammmer 945-1030
Lord 845-930
Mind’s Eye 745-830
Nagato 650-730
Serpent Witch 655-735
Mangog 6-640

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Spirit-Caravan-Official/684094061621546
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-maryland-doom-fest-tickets-15022390374
https://www.facebook.com/events/562627560540323/
https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-maryland-DOOM-Fest/815331421863100

The Obsessed, The Obsessed (1990)

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Maryland Doom Fest 1: Nagato Added; Final Schedule Announced

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 4th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

nagato (Photo by Rachel Ellen Morton)

It turns out Pull had to them-out (get it?) of the first-ever Maryland Doom Fest, but they’ve been replaced by reunited riffers Nagato, who got back together last year after a cessation of activity in 2012. Thick on vibe, they’ll add progressive atmospherics and gorgeous tone to the lineup of the fest, which takes place from June 26-28 at Cafe 611 in Frederick, Maryland. I’ve only been fortunate enough to see the four-piece once, at Stoner Hands of Doom XI in 2011 (review here), for which they also played on a Sunday, but that set left enough an impression that four years later I keep hoping I’ll hear some news about them putting out a record sooner or later.

They might get there. I know the members of Nagato are involved in a few other projects as well, so maybe their playing Maryland Doom Fest is enough for the moment. They’ve joined a killer lineup, for which the final schedule has just been announced.

And just so we have it all in one place, alphabetically, here’s the full lineup as of now (there are still a couple months to go, things can change) for the inaugural Maryland Doom Fest: Apostle of Solitude, Balam, Banned from H.E.L.L., Foehammer, Foghound, Into the Void, Iron Man, Lord, Mangog, Mind’s Eye, Nagato, Outside Truth, Primer Grey, Project Armageddon, Season of Arrows, Serpent Witch, Sixty Watt Shaman, Slaves B.C., Spirit Caravan, The Skull, Unorthodox, Valkyrie, Weed is Weed.

Poster by Audrey Mantel and running order follow, along with Nagato‘s return show last August:

md doom fest flyer

The Maryland Doom Fest 1

June 26 – 28, 2015
Cafe 611, Frederick, MD

A weekend of doom metal in its purest form.

FRIDAY
The Skull 1225-130
Sixty Watt Shaman 1115-1210
Unorthodox 1005-11
Weed Is Weed 855-950
Into The Void 755-840
Banned From H.E.L.L. 655-740
Primer Grey 6-640

SATURDAY
Spirit Caravan 1215-130
Apostle of Solitude 1105-1200
Outside Truth 1010-1050
Valkyrie 910-955
Project Armageddon 815-855
Foghound 720-8
Balam 630-705
Slaves B.C. 540-615
Season of Arrows 445-525

SUNDAY
Iron Man 1045-1215
Foehammmer 945-1030
Lord 845-930
Mind’s Eye 745-830
Nagato 650-730
Serpent Witch 655-735
Mangog 6-640

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-maryland-doom-fest-tickets-15022390374
https://www.facebook.com/events/562627560540323
https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-maryland-DOOM-Fest/815331421863100

Nagato, Live at Guido’s Speakeasy, Frederick, MD, Aug. 23, 2014

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Weed is Weed Stream Blunt Force Trauma in Full; Album Reissue out Today

Posted in audiObelisk on October 14th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

weed is weed

At one point or another, Weed is Weed members Dave Sherman (vocals/guitar), Gary Isom (guitar) and Rob “Cougin” Brannigan (drums) were members of the underrated Maryland doom act Wretched, but that’s just one of the lines of connection between them. Isom, who also played drums in Pentagram for a time, was Sherman‘s bandmate in the original lineup of Spirit Caravan, and it’s safe to say that these dudes, as well as guitarist Jason Fisher, bassist Darren Waters and guitarist Rob Portillo — yeah, that’s right, up to four guitars — have been kicking around the underbelly of MD’s fertile doom underground for a while. Today marks the Ripple Music issue of their 2013 debut album, Blunt Force Trauma (review here), initially self-released.

What do you get with Weed is Weed? Weed. A lot of it. Also riffs. Their multi-guitar attack provides some density to the album’s 10 tracks but much of what you need to know about Blunt Force Trauma you can get from looking at the cover. It’s raw stoner fuckery, riffs leading the way with punkish abandon and Sherman‘s distinctive weed is weed blunt force traumagravelly vocals tossing out simple but effective hooks on cuts like the opener “Weed is Weed,” the more Southern-styled “Alligator Crawl,” the shuffling “Goin’ Down to Harlem” and “Low to No,” which sleeks out a winding sort of groove while paying homage to SabbathOzzy and, of course, reefer. Most of the songs deal with or at least mention weed on one level or another — it’s a steady theme — but they change it up musically some along the way and by the time they get down to “One Hit Wonder” and “Blunt Force Trauma,” the riffs win out. I won’t say much for “Eat Pussy” — though it’s important in a relationship to be attentive to your partner’s needs, and I’ve certainly heard worse advice than “Eat that pussy don’t you be no jerk” — but its alternate lyric, “Eat Cookies,” rounds out as a bonus track with no shortage of smirking cleverness and charm.

It’s one for the converted, but between half the band’s pedigree and the nod-ready riffs the six-piece ride into smoked-out oblivion, Blunt Force Trauma outstones the stoners and is a mean boogie the whole way through. They had it up somewhere at some point, and I already said it came out last year and was available from the band on CD, so I wouldn’t exactly call this a premiere, but I’m happy to be able to feature Weed is Weed anyway on the day of the Ripple release, and you’ll find the album in its entirety on the player below.

Please enjoy:

Here is the Music Player. You need to installl flash player to show this cool thing!

Weed is Weed‘s Blunt Force Trauma is out now on Ripple Music. More info at the links.

Weed is Weed on Thee Facebooks

Weed is Weed at Ripple’s webstore

Ripple Music

 

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The Skull, Unorthodox and More to Play Vultures of Volume Fest this August

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 16th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Frederick, Maryland, has doubled as a secondary Doom Capitol for some time now. For several years the home of the Stoner Hands of Doom festival, is just happens to be in a place central enough to pull bands from near-enough-by Baltimore, Virginia, and Pennsylvania. It has kind of an out-of-the-way feel, but for years there was a genuine scene around Krug’s Place on the outskirts of the town that was strong and true to the roots of doom, which in the US more or less began in that region as well. The first Vultures of Volume will bring a doom fest back to the town after a couple years’ absence, and has assembled a lineup worthy of showing up for, with Trouble offshoot The Skull and a rare Unorthodox reunion headlining and backup on the bill from the likes of Nagato, GorgantherronBlack Manta, Beelzefuzz, Blizaro, Ogre and Pale Divine.

Of those, I think Ogre might be traveling furthest — from Maine — but Indiana to Maryland is no picnic either in terms of road time, so Gorgantherron will put some miles on as well. Between Unorthodox, Nagato, Beelzefuzz and Black Manta, Maryland is also well represented.

Vultures of Volume is set for Aug. 30, 2014 at Cafe 611 in Frederick. Poster art by Brad Moore and info follow:

“VULTURES OF VOLUME FEST” SET TO DEBUT IN FREDERICK, MD THIS AUGUST

Mark your calendars for Saturday, August 30, 2014 for the debut of “Vultures of Volume”, a new annual festival coming to Cafe 611 in Frederick, MD.

“Vultures of Volume” promises to shine the spotlight on local and national acts that bring it loud, hard, and above all else, heavy! This first installment of “VoV” proudly presents the return of Maryland legends UNORTHODOX, featuring the 1995 “Balance of Power” lineup of Ronnie Kalimon (drums), Josh Hart (bass) and the legendary Dale Flood (guitar/vocals) for this one time only reunion! Not to be missed!

Also joining in on the worship of the riff will be Chicago’s THE SKULL, featuring original Trouble members Eric Wagner and Jeff ‘Oly’ Olson, as well as fellow Trouble alumni Ron Holzner (rounded out by guitarists Matt Goldsborough, formerly of Pentagram, and Lothar Keller). THE SKULL will commemorate the 30th anniversary of their classic 1984 debut album “Psalm 9” by performing it in its entirety at the inaugural “Vultures of Volume” fest!

As if that wasn’t enough, also performing will be a strong supporting roster of local and national heavy weights: Nagato (MD), Gorgantherron (IN), Black Manta (MD), Beelzefuzz (MD), Blizaro (NY) Pale Divine (PA) and Ogre (ME).

For more info including door times, full schedule, ticket prices, and sale dates, please visit the official “Vultures of Volume” event page at: www.facebook/pages/Vultures-of-Volume-FEST/578873918893964

Cafe 611: 611 N Market St, Frederick, MD 21701 Ph: (301) 631-1460

Unorthodox, “Lost in Tomorrow” from Balance of Power (1995)

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Buried Treasure and What the Weed Is

Posted in Buried Treasure on August 5th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

The chorus of the eponymous opener of Weed is Weed‘s self-released Blunt Force Trauma full-length debut sums up the band’s mentality neatly. It goes:

Weed is weed
So plant the seed
Oh yes indeed.

If there was ever any doubt about what weed is, let it be answered: Weed is most definitely weed. Weed is Weed culls together some of Maryland’s favorite sons of doom, fronted by Dave Sherman of Earthride himself with his former Spirit Caravan bandmate Gary Isom on lead guitar. Jason Fisher plays guitar, Darren Waters plays bass — though Mark Ammen (Unorthodox, Pentagram) and Johnny Kotsioukis (Wretched) both also play on the album, and Rob “Cougin” Brannigan (Wretched) plays drums. As you’d have to expect, the songs on Blunt Force Trauma are stoner rock to the end of each leaf, led by the riffs and Sherman‘s inimitable growl, but there’s a rough edge to the production that gives each piece a rawer feel, whether it’s the low-end boogie of “Low to No” or the later percussion/bass-driven “Goin’ Down to Harlem.”

So far as I can tell, the only track that has no mention of reefer is the sixth cut, “Eat Pussy,” which charmingly gets a PG-rated reworking as the unlisted bonus track “Eat Cookies” — “Eat them cookies when you come home from work/Eat them cookies don’t you be no jerk,” and so on, with an “Oooh, snickerdoodle” thrown in for good measure. This kind of tongue-in-cheek shenanigans is to be found all over Blunt Force Trauma — the album’s name itself turned into a pun thanks to the pot leaf on the cover — but between the mega-chug of the riffs, Sherman‘s vicious vocals, which harness some of his roughest growls to date, and Isom‘s how-did-this-dude-wind-up-playing-drums lead work, there’s more to be had throughout than inside jokes about pot. Though of course there are plenty of those as well.

Prior to that aforementioned bonus cut, the album proper rounds out with its title-track, which is plenty raucous enough even before the six minutes of noise and feedback round out its full 10:49 stretch, but if you’ve not yet climbed into Weed is Weed‘s smoke-filled van, you’re probably gonna have to get your fix somewhere else anyway. More downer crash and heavy THC-addled dirt ensue, which has more or less been the course of the album, though not without some sense of changing things up in terms of tempo if not overall method. It’s a what-you-see-is-what-you-get kind of affair. They didn’t call is Weed is Something Else, did they?

Certainly not. As the group has been together since 2005 in one shape or another and since Blunt Force Trauma just came out this year, I won’t dare speculate on the timing of a follow-up, but whether you look at Weed is Weed as a sidebar to Sherman‘s work in Earthride or as a bunch of dudes from Maryland who’ve probably known each other for ages getting together to riff out and have a good time, the band makes no pretense about being anything more than just that. You might have to work to get a copy (and by “work” I mean send them a message on Thee Facebooks), but for those who can’t get enough of the grittier side of Maryland doom, Weed is Weed will be as welcome as cookies after work.

Weed is Weed, “One Hit Wonder”

Weed is Weed on Thee Facebooks

Weed is Weed on Reverbnation

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audiObelisk: Chowder Stream “Insidious” and “Custody” from Passion Rift Full-Length Debut

Posted in audiObelisk on July 5th, 2012 by H.P. Taskmaster

In listening to the long-in-the-making Passion Rift debut full-length from Frederick, Maryland, prog/doom instru-metallers Chowder (please note, that’s about as loose a genre designation as you can get), it was exceedingly hard to come up with one song that summarized the rest of the record. So, with the kind permission of guitarist Joshua Hart (also formerly of Unorthodox and Revelation and currently handling bass in Earthride), we’ll stream two.

We begin with “Insidious,” mostly because it appears first on the tracklist, but also because it’s shorter and starts with the sample of Fry from Futurama talking about his all-Rush mixtape. That Rush nod is apt, as Chowder soon embark on a surprisingly technical and intricate progressive instrumentalism. Thickened up with doom’s tonality, Passion Rift nonetheless makes no sacrifice of clarity, as bassist Doug Williams (also electric cello) and drummer Chad Rush join Hart, who also handles 12-string, mellotron, synth and theremin throughout the album.

“Custody” is longer and by its nature more spacious, but still not as far into ambience as Chowder go on tracks like “Mazuku” and “Mysterioid.” Beginning with a sample from what I’m pretty sure is the 1982 Conan: The Barbarian movie, the track gives some idea as to the band’s overall scope, setting prog complexity against hardcore rhythms and still coming across memorably in the process. As widely varied as Passion Rift is, it’s also remarkably cohesive, residing in a similar sphere as fellow Marylanders Admiral Browning, but perhaps even more given to its technical side.

Check out “Insidious” and “Custody” on the player below and please enjoy:

Here is the Music Player. You need to installl flash player to show this cool thing!

Chowder‘s Passion Rift is the follow-up to 2007’s self-titled EP and is available now through I, Voidhanger Records. For more info on the band and to read John Brenner from Revelation/Against Nature‘s bio, check out the label’s artist page. Special thanks to Hart for letting me host these tracks.

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Buried Treasure in the Graveyard

Posted in Buried Treasure on August 18th, 2011 by H.P. Taskmaster

I alluded to it the other day in the third SHoD post, but wanted to save the details for this. To briefly recap: I got to Krug’s early Sunday for the third day of Stoner Hands of Doom XI in Frederick, Maryland, and having an hour to kill, decided to go record shopping. Not the first time in my life I’ve made that decision.

Using my magic cellophone, I got directions to CD/Game Exchange on N. Market St., and while on my way there, passed a sign on E. Patrick with Rock & Roll Graveyard printed on it. With hopes that it wasn’t some shitty irono-fashion boutique with $50 torn up Iron Maiden t-shirts on sale for dumb hipster girls who’ve never heard Killers, I nonetheless parked my car and decided to investigate.

A fucking treasure trove, this place was. If I bought vinyl — which I don’t — I wouldn’t have gotten out of there without putting down at least $100, but as it was, I spent only one-tenth of that (or $10) and still got a host of goodies for the effort. From a brief perusal of the CD bin, it was apparent that the owner, whose name is Chris Wolfe, knows his heavy. There was a lot I already had, but I did manage to find the SPV digipak reissue of the self-titled album from Uriah Heep offshoot Weed. It’s another one of those lost heavy ’70s classics that five people in the world preach like gospel and no one else has ever heard of, but man, it’s a pretty killer record. A bit all over the place, but when it locks in, it locks in hard. Dig it.

So that accounts for $5 of the total $10 I blew. The next $4 went to Black Sabbath tapes. Yes, plural. I spent $4 and got four tapes: Master of Reality, Vol. 4, Sabotage and Heaven and Hell. At a buck each, I couldn’t really ask for more. The only one I haven’t played is Vol. 4, because it would require clever fast-forwarding to get past “Changes,” but it was awesome to hear the little differences in the sound on Master of Reality, or the live version of “Sweet Leaf” tacked onto Sabotage — and Heaven and Hell, well, I’ll pretty much take that record on any format I can get it. An all-time favorite for one measly dollar, no way I was leaving that.

Wolfe, who also plays bass in Fat Chick Meat Haul, is a genuine record hoarder and has had the store open for about three months. Most everything he was selling came from his personal collection, and that included the tapes and the lime green 8-track edition of Jethro Tull‘s Aqualung that accounts for the last of the $10 I spent at Rock & Roll Graveyard. Yeah, the tape’s ripped, but what the hell do I care? Jeebus save me, it’s Aqualung on 8-track! I don’t have a player anyway — for a buck, I’m happy just to look at the damn thing and sing “Wind-Up” to myself.

The best part? Well, all this stuff was pretty great, especially for the price, but the best part came in talking to Wolfe about old records and heavy rock and whatever else. He told me about an album from a band called Tin House he’d picked up not too long ago, and when I said it sounded cool (because it did), he went ahead and burned me a copy, right there on the spot, free of charge. And he was right, it’s rightout proto-proggy heavy blues, from the Beatles “oooh-la-la-la” on “30 Weight Blues” to the driving lead of “Silver Star” and the string arrangements on “Lady of the Silent Opera.” I think I might dig it more even than the Weed record.

I don’t know when I’ll be back in Frederick again, but whenever it is, you can bet your ass I’ll be checking in on Rock & Roll Graveyard. Until then, I’ve got the Sabbath tapes in my car, the Tull on my office shelf, and the Weed ready to go. I never made it to CD/Game Exchange, but finding a shop of the niche caliber I did, I’m hardly crying over it.

Find Rock & Roll Graveyard on Thee Facebooks here.

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