The Obelisk Presents: Argonauta Fest in Italy with Jex Thoth and More

Posted in The Obelisk Presents on March 28th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

ARGONAUTA FEST BANNER

I do a pretty fair amount of coverage for the doings of Italian imprint Argonauta Records. Helps that there’s a lot to cover. For the last couple years, the label has been on a spree of picking up bands, releasing new records, hosting showcases and so on. The work ethic of Gero, who heads the company, is second to none and because I admire the crap out of the work he does, I’m all the more thrilled to have The Obelisk among the presenters for Argonauta Fest 2018.

The lineup is set for the one-night event on Saturday, May 12, and Jex Thoth — who isn’t actually on Argonauta Records (yet, I guess; one never knows) — will headline along with label representatives Rancho BizarroDi’Aul and Sator.

Tickets are available now and are dirt cheap, so all the better. In addition, all the Argonauta bands will be playing special sets, the details of which you’ll find below. Check it out, and special thanks to Gero and Argonauta for having The Obelisk on board for this event:

Argonauta Fest: JEX THOTH + more!

Saturday, May 12

Officine Sonore
Via caduti sul lavoro 13, 13100 Vercelli

Behold the latest edition of the ARGONAUTA Fest, which celebrates the label’s first five years and features as a special guest and headliner JEX THOTH, the charismatic American singer and author of a high-class psychedelic doom based on occult and mythological themes.

And from the ARGONAUTA RECORDS roster: DI’AUL (Doom / Stoner), RANCHO BIZZARRO (Stoner Rock), SATOR (Sludge).

JEX THOTH will have two exclusive shows in Italy for their new tour, one is at argonauta fest. DI’AUL will present their new album “Nobody’s Heaven” out may 4th. SATOR will perform songs from the album ORDEAL. RANCHO BIZZARRO will present their new EP “Mondo Rancho” and extracts from their previous album.

ONLINE TICKET: € 12 + FREE CD http://hyperurl.co/ArgoFest2018
CASH TICKET: € 15

Argonauta Fest tickets

Argonauta Fest event page

Argonauta Fest on Thee Facebooks

Argonauta Records website

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Desertfest Berlin 2018 First Announcements: Monster Magnet, Nebula, Eyehategod, Jex Thoth, Planet of Zeus & The Necromancers

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 25th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Desertfest Berlin 2018 made its actual first announcement the other day when it unveiled that it was moving from its traditional home at Astra Kulturhaus to Arena Berlin. I’m not familiar with the space, but one assumes the move is at least in part to accommodate the gradual upping of scale that Desertfest as a whole has undertaken over the last few years.

As ever, Desertfest Berlin will apparently share a decent amount of lineup with the London incarnation of the fest, and fair enough — that’s kind of the idea — but in addition to headliners Monster Magnet and the confirmations for EyehategodNebulaJex Thoth and Planet of ZeusDesertfest Berlin 2018 will also feature The Necromancers, who’ve yet to be added to London if they will be at all, and so we see the German event beginning to cast its own shape as well.

More to come, of course. Here’s what came in on the PR wire so far:

DESERTFEST BERLIN ANNOUNCES FIRST BANDS & HEADLINER FOR 2018

Tickets On Sale Now!

Desert rockers! It’s about time to unveil the first bunch of bands for next year’s Desertfest Berlin, which will take place between May 4th – 6th 2018 at the ARENA BERLIN!

Ladies & gentlemen, breath in deep, as this first line-up news will come to revive your spirit: We’re more than thrilled to announce that the Spacelord, Dave Wyndorf will hit our main stage in 2018. MONSTER MAGNET comes as the first headliner we can proudly present to you today! With their hazed heavy sound on groundbreaking records such as ‘Tab’, ‘Spine Of God’, ‘Dopes To Infinity’ or ‘Powertrip’, MONSTER MAGNET transformed themselves into the Olympus of modern power rock and became the godfathers of psychedelic and stoner rock.

More big news are coming ahead, Desert Rockers! We are extremely happy that LA´s legendary psych stoner outfit NEBULA will celebrate their Re Union at our stages!!! Formed in 1997 by Fu Manchu member Eddie Glass, NEBULA have been on indefinite hiatus since early 2010 but have not broken up. We are much looking forward to welcome Eddy Glass and his gang at Desertfest Berlin 2018!

Oh and for all of you dear Sludge rockers, don’t worry we haven’t forgot about you. What about a heavy dose of mighty EYEHATEGOD in 2018? Yes, you have heard right. The kings of Sludge from New Orleans, who emerged from the Nola Metal scene since 1988 belong to the most influencing bands. Heavy, detuned, and bluesy guitar riffs, combined with walls of feedback and tortured vocals to create a harsh misantrophic vibe, EYEHATEGOD will make sure to take over our new home at the ARENA BERLIN!

Next on the bill we’re very proud to inform you, that the queen of darkness JEX THOTH will bring the Doom and Psychedelic Rock as its finest to Desertfest Berlin. Fronted by the eponymous Ms. Jessica Thoth, the Wisconsin- based 5 piece band delivers delicate tones that are soaked in mystery and aura as well as generate astounding depth atop a musical landscape of intelligently constructed Sabbath-ian blues vibes and fuzzy distortion.

Athen’s rumbling heavy rock machine PLANET OF ZEUS will set the stage on fire with their outstanding live performance. Last but not least in this announcement we are welcoming THE NECROMANCERS! This young band from France raised a lot of attention with the release of their outstanding debut album a few weeks ago.

We hope you all like this first bunch of bands and be sure there are many more exciting acts and news to follow soon! In 2018 we will break new grounds and preparing for an unforgettable Desertfest Berlin experience.

Join us in the capital of the almighty riff – DESERTFEST BERLIN 2018!!!

Limited amount of early birds avaialble now!
85 € ( + 7.-€ service fee)

Head over and make sure to get yours right HERE: https://www.desertfest-tickets.de/produkte/150

www.desertfest.de
www.facebook.com/desertfestberlin
www.facebook.com/events/128298847822160

Desertfest Berlin 2018 first announcements teaser

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Desertfest London 2018 First Announcements: Monster Magnet, Nebula Reunion, Eyehategod, Jex Thoth, Planet of Zeus, Black Moth and The Black Wizards

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 22nd, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Desertfest London 2018 comes out of the gate with some pretty huge confirmations for next Spring. The fest will feature Monster Magnet headlining and a return appearance from Eyehategod, as well as — just days after they announced their reunion lineup — the reformed heavy psych rockers Nebula. The set at Desertfest London 2018 is the first confirmation from Eddie Glass and company, and I’m thrilled to say I wrote the announcement for that one as well as for Monster Magnet, which I totally scammed myself into doing, citing the New Jersey connection in the process.

Also confirmed for the bill are the doomily delightful Jex Thoth, Greek burl-bringers Planet of Zeus and the also-worthy-of-alliteration-but-really-enough-is-enough Black Moth and The Black Wizards. All told it’s an immediately awesome and varied bill that sets up the fest — to be held from May 4-6 in Camden Town — with multiple avenues for further expansion. And no doubt it will expand, with more lineup announcements to come along with ticket info and all the rest over the coming months as we move into the end of 2017 and the arrival of the New Year.

But one way or another, the season has started. Check it out:

desertfest london 2018

MONSTER MAGNET, NEBULA AND MORE KICK OFF DESERTFEST 2018!

Desertfest aims to get bigger and better every year, and for our 7th edition it’s no different. Ladies and gentlemen, bow down to the Bullgod because Monster Magnet are headlining Desertfest 2018!

That’s right, New Jersey’s finest rock exports, Monster Magnet, are set to steamroll through Camden as headliners of Desertfest. The bona fide stoner psych living legends are approaching three decades of bringing the world acid freakouts and riff rock anthems; freakouts and anthems which, it’s no understatement to say, helped shape the stoner rock scene.

From their boundary breaking psych in early releases to the hard rock stomp through the noughties and their recent return to early influences, Monster Magnet have a knack for putting out iconic albums, before doing it all better live. We were always going to have Monster Magnet play eventually and 2018 is the year it happens. We can’t wait to be part of the biggest singalong in Desertfest history when Powertrip hits.

Joining them are the recently resurrected early stoner kings, Nebula, who return from an eight year hiatus in 2018. Steered by the riffs of Eddie Glass, Nebula tore through the turn of the millennium thanks to releases such as To The Center and Charged; must own LPs for anybody reading these words.

Also on the bill are barons of the Bayou, Eyehategod. Shaped by destruction, the sludge metal heroes have a life beaten coarseness that brings a next level of harshness to their sound. Pioneering sludge with their 1990 release, In the Name of Suffering, Eyehategod’s brutal assault through the nineties is something to behold. Then, after a decade away, the band came back stronger with 2014s self-titled, rawer, angrier and more driven than before. Having smashed The Electric Ballroom to pieces in 2015, Eyehategod are back at Desertfest.

We also have performances from High Priestess of occult rock Jex Thoth, stoner strut from champions of the Greek underground Planet of Zeus, the garage infused sound of Black Moth and the soulful proto-doom of The Black Wizards. Of course, that’s only the beginning. We have dozens of huge bands to announce over the next few months so keep your eyes open.

Alongside that mammoth announcement, tickets are now on sale for Desertfest 2018. As ever, we’re offering affordable hotel and hostel packages, which you can find out about here. Also, for the first time ever, we’re also offering a split payment plan. With our payment plan, you’ll pay half now and half early next year, making it easier to get your ticket for Desertfest 2018. For more info on our payment plan, click here.

It’s going to be another huge weekend in Camden. We can’t wait for you to see what we have in store for our 7th edition of Desertfest.

http://www.desertfest.co.uk/
https://www.facebook.com/DesertfestLondon
https://twitter.com/DesertFest
https://www.instagram.com/desertfest_london/

Monster Magnet, Live in Lakewood, NJ, Oct. 1, 2016

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Blues Pills, Truckfighters and Jex Thoth Announce Euro Tour Dates

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 21st, 2014 by JJ Koczan

blues pills

If you think the jump-up-and-down-and-run-in-circles fuzz of Truckfighters and the classic-minded heavy blues rock of Blues Pills don’t mix, the two Swedish acts have more in common than you might think, up to and including drummer André Kvarnström. Kvarnström was playing with Truckfighters after they parted ways with Oscar Johansson (who subsequently joined Witchcraft, just in case the scene didn’t seem incestuous enough yet), but has rotated into the lineup of Blues Pills following their split with Cory Berry, half-brother of Blues Pills bassist Zack Anderson and, like Anderson, an alum of Radio Moscow.

Got all that? Good. The takeaway is Blues Pills and Truckfighters are touring Europe together next March/April and they’ll be joined by Jex Thoth. They’re calling it the “Rock Revelation Tour” and the announcement goes like this:

blues pills truckfighters jex thoth tour

Blues Pills – Truckfighters – Jex Thoth

ROCK REVELATIONS TOUR

BLUES PILLS are back! After their successful first big headline-tour in October 2014 with 11 sold out shows in Germany, Belgium, Switzerland and Austria, the band is going to come back for 13 shows. BLUES PILLS´ singer Elin Larsson comments: “We´re very happy to announce that we´re going to come back to Germany and Switzerland to play some new places that we couldn´t do on our last tour. We´re looking forward to meeting you all in March and April 2015. Love / BP´s”

Next to Blues Pills their fellow countrymen TRUCKFIGHTERS are confirmed as well as US Doom/Psych Rock sensation JEX THOTH.

Get your tickets at www.hardticket.eu for BLUES PILLS and their 2 very special guests on this tour.

TOURDATES
20.03.2015 DE – Erfurt, Stadtgarten
21.03.2015 DE – Berlin, Astra
22.03.2015 DE – Dresden, Tante Ju
23.03.2015 DE – München, Backstage
25.03.2015 CH – Geneve, Usine
26.03.2015 DE – Lindau, Club Vaudeville
27.03.2015 DE – Cologne, Kantine
28.03.2015 DE – Olsberg, Konzerthalle
30.03.2015 DE – Saarbrücken, Garage
31.03.2015 DE – Karlsruhe, Substage
01.04.2015 DE – Wiesbaden, Schlachthof
04.04.2015 DE – Oberhausen, Turbinenhalle
05.04.2015 CH – Zürich, Komplex

TOURPRESENTER
Blast!, EMP, Eclipsed, Musix, Noizeletter, Rockhard, Rocks, Visions

TICKETS
www.hardticket.eu

https://www.facebook.com/BluesPills
https://www.facebook.com/truckfighters
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jex-Thoth-Official/360347127314661

Blues Pills, “No Hope Left for Me” official video

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Egypt and Jex Thoth Join Lineup for Days of the Doomed IV

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 13th, 2014 by JJ Koczan

With the additions of Jex Thoth and Egypt to the bill, I think it’s safe to say that Days of the Doomed IV is the biggest edition of the festival yet. Set for June 20-22 at The Metal Grill in Cudahy, Wisconsin, the lineup already boasted the likes of Blackfinger, The Mighty Nimbus, Age of Taurus, Stone Magnum, Orodruin and Devil to Pay, and it seems only to be kicking more ass as it goes along.

A witchy new logo/t-shirt design by Kathy Reeves has been unveiled as well, continuing to expand the Midwestern fest’s aesthetic reach.

Here’s the latest:

OK! You’ve seen it on the DOTD website, and I debuted this earlier on Facebook, and you all seem to dig it! So to answer your question… YES! This will be on a limited run of t-shirts available at Days Of The Doomed Fest IV! All bands will be listed on the back! Many thanks to Kathy Reeves for capturing that vintage occult/horror theme I was going for in our newest logo! Great job! Another announcement in 30 minutes!

There are certain bands that lock you in, taking you on a transcendental journey with each spin of their album. 2013’s “Blood Moon Rise” is one such album, delivering not only a collection of catchy doom ballads, but a flowing tapestry of cursed, psychedelic heavy metal. So it is with great pleasure and honor that I announce a rather rare stateside appearance at Days Of The Doomed Fest IV for… JEX THOTH!

Over the past 4 years, this band has been brought up in more than one conversation, and spoken very highly of! I am stoked that the time is finally right to bring all of you some doomed tunage from the great state of North Dakota! Days Of The Doomed Fest IV welcomes… EGYPT!

https://www.facebook.com/events/407651189366176/
http://www.daysofthedoomed.com
http://egypt1.bandcamp.com
https://www.facebook.com/JexThoth

Egypt, Become the Sun (2013)

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audiObelisk Presents: Live Roadburn 2010 Audio Streams from Eagle Twin (x2), Astra, Jex Thoth (x2), LongDistanceCalling and Sons of Otis

Posted in audiObelisk on June 22nd, 2010 by JJ Koczan

If you missed the last batch, check them out here. Of course, I’m stoked beyond belief that after all the kindness the festival showed in allowing me to show up, drink their beer, eat their food, rock out to their bands and basically pollute their beautiful country with my terrible presence, Roadburn is letting The Obelisk host these audio streams of the 2010 festival performances, which took place April 15-18, at the 013 Popcentrum in Tilburg, The Netherlands. Awesome.

Click the links below to listen:

Sons of Otis live at Roadburn 2010

Eagle Twin live at Roadburn 2010 (Thursday performance)

Eagle Twin live at Roadburn 2010 (Friday performance, featuring Greg Anderson)

LongDistanceCalling live at Roadburn 2010

Astra live at Roadburn 2010

Jex Thoth live at Roadburn 2010

Jex Thoth live at Roadburn Afterburner 2010

Once again, special thanks to Walter and Roadburn for letting me post these links. Please dig into the complete audio stream collection here.

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Roadburn 2010 Report Pt. XI: Feeling the Afterburn

Posted in Features on April 18th, 2010 by JJ Koczan

12:05AM: City Hotel, Tilburg, The Netherlands: You know, before the day started (and by day, I mean the show, which started at 4PM), I didn’t think it was too ambitious a plan to review all of the Afterburner special post-Roadburn event in one sitting. “Nah, I can handle it,” I said with confidence that only my first shots of caffeine since last Wednesday could have given me. “No problem.”

Well, the thing is that Afterburner, while not quite as intense to witness as Roadburn itself because it only runs on two, not four, stages at the 013, is still a great deal of show. Even in this allegedly more laid-back setting of just the Green Room and the Bat Cave, I found myself unable to see absolutely everything, leaving me once again to pick my battles. This is not a complaint. I want to make that perfectly clear. It’s like trying to choose what to see at the Met in New York. Pretty much whatever direction you head in, you’re gonna see some cool shit, but to do it all in one day can’t be done.

In other words, bear with me. This could be a while.

Jex Thoth opened in the Green Room at 4PM. For a nifty comparison, I’ll put their opening slot today in contrast with Death Row‘s yesterday in the main hall. You know those Windows 7 commercials where they take the already exceptionally good-looking people and they all start talking about how they thought of Windows 7, and then it cuts to a dream sequence of even more cartoonish exceptionally good-looking people? That’s like the jump from Death Row, who already ruled, to Jex Thoth, who were good at what they were doing, but a little silly at the same time.

It’s no real puzzle why the San Francisco five-piece got such a huge response from the crowd (which Death Row could have used some more of yesterday afternoon). Be-caped lead singer Jessica Thoth being some kind of ritualistic cult doom sex symbol certainly doesn’t hurt. Yeah guys, she’s the cute redhead who’s into Pentagram and plays with candles and incense on stage while wearing a cape and singing about serpents and flame vigils. Have fun living in the woods together after your pagan wedding, raising naked children of the forest.

Because that’s supposed to be the fantasy, right? I don’t know. I didn’t get into the set. The music was cool, I guess, but nothing really mind-boggling, and I just have a hard time taking that kind of band seriously. You know, if you were a fat bald dude hitting those same notes, playing with incense and wearing a cape, you wouldn’t be playing Roadburn. You’d be playing Dungeons & Dragons. No, Advanced Dungeons & Dragons. In your mother’s basement. Where you live. Oh, and you’re 47.

I think I’ve made my point. Looks matter. Even in doom, being the proverbial hot girl is helpful.

When they were done, Orange Sunshine‘s late-’60s obsessed garage psychedelic rock was a refreshing change of pace and a nod to the stoner rock purist set, who surely appreciated the lack of posturing. I know I did. I had to chuckle though at how much one of their riffs reminded me of Blue Cheer‘s version of “The Hunter,” but I’d soon learn just how honestly they come by it, since after an extended heavy jam on The Rolling Stones‘ “Gimme Shelter,” drummer/vocalist/Euro-Chong lookalike Guy Tavares shouted out their set to the memory of Dickie Peterson, then they closed with “Summertime Blues” and “Rock Me Baby,” in that order. There’s a word for that, and that word is “charm.”

And I’ll pause here for a quick side note. Nachtmystium played this fest. Where else in the world are you going to have the opportunity to see Nachtmystium and Orange Sunshine in the same building? These kinds of things only exist at Roadburn.

Church of Misery continued their assault on common decency with their set, playing mostly the same stuff as Friday when they were on the main stage, but killing nonetheless for the smaller capacity venue that is the Green Room. Hell, I’m relatively certain Walter could have had Church of Misery play the same songs every four days in a different room and people would have migrated from one stage to the other to see them again. It’s not a chance that comes up every day, and watching guitarist Tom Sutton do his stoner rock softshoe while vocalist Yoshiakki Negishi pretends to shoot people in the crowd — well shucks, my eyes get all misty just thinking about it.

Having seen them three times now over the last two years (all Roadburn performances), I can say they haven’t yet put out a studio record that captures just how heavy they actually are in a live setting. Houses of the Unholy came close, but the sheer volume they wield might be too powerful for modern recording technology. In this way, they are truly ahead of their time. As for their riffs, I think we all know they fall under the heading, “born too late,” which is just fine.

It was almost cruel to have to witness them do it, but Sweden‘s Graveyard followed in a sonic twist that came on like a big break between Church of Misery and Eyehategod. No complaints, it’s just not really my thing at this point. But hey, if you like skinny Swedish dudes with expensive equipment, vintage t-shirts and tight flannels, ’70s mustaches and hair looking like something off an Allman Brothers album cover, playing the rock and roll their dads probably listened to, then have I got a band for you.

To be fair, they were incredibly tight across the board, and the Green Room was so crowded that for most of the set, the only vantage point I had was through the doorway. It’s like there was a sign outside saying, “Must Be this Cool to Enter” with a line drawn under some guy with bellbottoms’ ‘stache as a measure. I’m nowhere near that cool, so I got some falafel and waited for Eyehategod. Things could have been worse.

I never fail to be surprised that I’m not the world’s biggest Eyehategod fan. According to my records, I own all of theirs (which isn’t saying much since they haven’t put out a full-length in a decade), but if you were to ask me to name six Eyehategod songs, I don’t think I could do it. Well, maybe six, but probably not 10. And I’ve dug it every time I’ve seen them, tonight included. They were fucking great, but in terms of what I listen to on a given afternoon, I’ll rarely reach for Eyehategod while sitting on the porch and sipping a beer.

A fun note; when bassist Gary Mader broke a string, vocalist Mike Williams, guitarist Brian Patton and drummer Joe LaCaze did a quick couple songs under the moniker of their “side-project,” Fuckmouth, and I managed to catch it on video, which you can see below.

Williams was good and fucked up tonight. When he came out on stage, I said to myself, “This looks like a guy who’s going to fall over at some point during his set,” and sure enough — toward the end, to his credit — he went backwards into LaCaze‘s drums. Where was Jimmy Bower in all this? Over up front on stage right, mostly in the dark, playing to the crowd. Kicking ass like he will.

Eyehategod was a good note to end Roadburn on. A slow, rung out, feedbacked note that seemed to last even after the amps were shut off. But being the greedy son of a bitch I am, I wanted to see what Dutch locals The Machine were doing in the Bat Cave, so I meandered in the middle of Eyehategod‘s set into the other room, only to find the young trio jamming out heavy Colour Haze style with vocalist/guitarist David Eering throwing in some “Stone Free” and not sounding like a complete jackass while doing it, which is nothing short of an astonishing feat for so junior and so caucasian a player.

Jamming is apparently their thing, but they do it well, and have two records out already with a third written and are looking for a label. I can’t imagine one of the sundry European heavy rock labels wouldn’t be interested given the opportunity. I know I would.

But alas, I only caught their last two songs — both jams — and they were done, so I went back to the Green Room to close out the night and the fest with Eyehategod. They slammed their way through an astonishing amount of material, and I’m pretty sure I heard Williams at one point start singing Pantera‘s “I’m Broken,” though it could have just been a coincidence of cadence. In any case, good times, and when it was done, I split out on the quick (no afterparties for my unfriendly ass) and came back here to write about it, stopping only for some pommes frites along the way.

This review is long enough, so I’ll save any grand reflections on Roadburn for another time under the consideration that even the most interested of Obelisk attendees has failed to make it this far (I don’t take it personally). My plan for tomorrow is to get up, be out of here by 11AM checkout and head — where else? — to Schiphol airport in Amsterdam to see when and if I can reschedule my flight. The Patient Mrs. says it might not be until next weekend, but I need to go in-person anyway since British Airways‘ sundry hotlines and website have proven useless in this volcanic clusterfuck. I expect to spend a good deal of time waiting on line only to find out nothing, but these are the things we have to do, aren’t they? That’s a small price to pay for the weekend I just had.

And I’ll tell you something else: If I am stuck in Europe for another week, you bet your ass I’m getting my francophile self to Paris tout de suite. I’m pretty sure I’d be the first displaced American ever to do that. Ever. In the history of the world. Ever.

Until then…

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