The Obelisk is 13 Years Old Today

The Obelisk is 13 Years Old Today

Thank you.

Might as well say what I want to say first and in bold. That’s what it boils down to, really. Thank you.

It was 13 years ago this past weekend (I always celebrate the last weekend in January) that the esteemed Slevin, a good person and friend of long-standing even then, laid out the back end of this site in WordPress, installed the theme, registered the domain and all that. Left to my own devices, The Obelisk probably never would’ve happened. I get a lot of ideas. Very few of them ever come to fruition. Let me tell you about wanting to sell homemade specialty nut butters at the Denville Farm Market. Anyhow, 13 years after the fact, I still consider The Obelisk a work in progress, but it’s humbling to think of all it’s brought into my life. Music, people, experience.

The Obelisk colors everything I do. It’s a part of me. If I write a review and I don’t feel like I said what I wanted to say, or if there’s something I need to get caught up on, I’m intolerable. Just ask The Patient Mrs., who has watched over the last 13 years as this thing has become such a monumental piece of my everyday. I get out of bed for it. I did this morning. Even beat the alarm. It’s not always easy, and it’s not always fun — what is? — but the satisfaction I get from it is existential. I need it.

Thank you for reading. I promise you that without your support I’d probably have dropped the thread a long time ago, whereas last month I felt pretty guilty not getting posts up for a couple days before Xmas while I was doing my year-end coverage behind the scenes (gotta remember to put up a placeholder post if the same thing happens this year; a couple people mentioned the post-less days). Seeing folks on social media wearing Obelisk merch, or just liking posts and commenting, commenting here — there are comments here, you know! — sharing stuff, talking about music in the FB group, all of it is astounding. I break my ass working on it, but a lot of people work hard for a lot of things. I recognize that I am deeply, deeply fortunate to have the community support I do. It means everything.

This is important to me. If it’s important to you too, even a little as a part of your day of thumbing through the internet, or if you stumbled on it because of a track premiere at some point, or whatever, any of it, thank you. It’s a small thing — a niche within a niche within a niche; a microgenre of music that just happens to also be a microcosm of sounds — but it’s become my own place where I go as much as I can, and honestly, if I told you how much time of the day I spend thinking about The Obelisk, you’d laugh.

I’ll stop soon, but bottom line is the same as the top one. Thank you.

Behrang, Slevin, Wendy, Pamela, Joseph, Suze, Cate, Vadim, all the labels and PR and everyone who sees these words. Please know your time is much appreciated.

More to come.

JJ Koczan


26 Responses to “The Obelisk is 13 Years Old Today”

  1. Congratulations JJ, and many many thanks for all these 13 years

    • Craig Campbell says:

      Awesome, JJ!
      Well done on 13 years of fantastic music coverage. This site is my go to site, always top of the list each day.
      Now tell me more about this nut butter….

  2. David says:

    Congratulations, JJ! May you continue to find satisfaction and gratification and enjoyment from this awesome endeavor.

  3. J. says:

    Thank YOU. Congratulations!

  4. StevhanTI says:

    Been here since, maybe not day one but quite sure it must have been year one and I keep coming back so: good job JJ don’t berate yourself too much.

  5. Shawn says:

    Cheers and congrats! Thanks for all you do!

  6. Dave says:

    Congrats, I discover so much music from you, especially look forward to the quarterly review. I also really enjoy the alt text you always add to the images (it’s the first thing I check in a post).

  7. Matt says:

    Congrats and thank you JJ! But also, Obselisk branded nut butters???? I think that needs to happen.

  8. SG-ATX says:

    Thanks JJ – you do an incredible job with this site. I always check to see what you have to say – the new reviews are essential and the Friday Full Length is a constant source of stuff I’ve missed over the years. My days would not be the same without Greenlung and the Mystick Krewe of Clearlight to name just two (of hundreds) this site has introduced me to.

  9. Ea Gregory says:

    There’s not many good sites out there for the coverage we need of good people out there making damn good tunes. Keep it up and remember there are a bunch of us who respect you and look forward to reading the site, listening to a previously unknown band and generally having a better day because of it! Thanks.

  10. Lord Straxus says:

    Congrats on anniversary JJ and thanks a lot for your passion for music and dedication to running this site. I have to admit that probably most of the stuff that is posted here is not my cup of tea, but without The Obelisk I would not discover a handful of hidden musical gems (Man, Dome Runner from your last quarterly review teleported me to happy school days of mid 90s :) – such an unexpected find) and bands that became a soundtrack to recent couple years of my life (Elder!!!). Needless to say, I check this webpage everyday and will be coming back as long as it exists (hope that you will never move everything to social media platforms).

    Hope that one day we’ll meet at some European festival and I will get a chance to thank you in person. Keep up the good work! Thanks!

  11. SabbathJeff says:

    Happy 13th, JJ! What an achievement; most bands don’t last that long! Thank you for your tireless effort and boundless riff appreciation. My collection would be a lot thinner/tinnier without the daily heft of the light you shine on particular amps pushing particular air. Thank you for making the riff winds blow this way, all day, day in, day out. Your dedication means everything to those of us who give a shit about non-shitty music.

  12. Miss Lava says:

    Congrats! Wanna thank you for reviewing our music since our first release and for premiering some our videos. Your work is truly differentiated. Hope you’ll be here for many years more.

  13. Kingmelech X says:

    Amazing, and Thank u, the blog is my morning day ritual

  14. Walter says:

    Thanks for doing it

  15. Sven S says:

    I stumbled upon the Obelisk when searching the internet for a review of a Colour Haze album (can‘t remember which) and the site has been a constant in my daily surfing routine ever since.

    Thanks to your work I was introduced to so many great bands and albums I might otherwise never have heard of.

    So thank you! May the Obelisk keep on standing tall for many years to come.

  16. jose humberto says:


  17. Daan says:

    Thanks for all the reviews. I got to know some great bands because of you. Keep ‘m coming!

  18. Rick says:

    I’m late to the party.
    13 years of laying it all out there on the web for us to read.
    It’s not just a review site. At all.
    Takes a lot of effort, and guts.
    Commendable. Very.
    Keep the train rolling, here’s to 13 more.

  19. Wombat60 says:

    Keep it going JJ. We love You!

  20. Corey says:

    JJ, thank you SO MUCH for The Obelisk. I stumbled on here in 2010, when my girlfriend (now wife) urged me to look beyond Black Sabbath and Alice in Chains to discvoer the awesome world of underground metal. I’ve tried a dozen other heavy music blogs/sites, but none of them has ever spoken to me like The Obelisk. Maybe it’s because you’re so open to sharing your life with us, but Rick above is right: this is so much more than a review site, and your voice is really compelling.

    I can’t imagine my life without the bands that I’ve discovered here. You make our days better, so keep crushing it!

  21. Jake Dyer says:

    I truly appreciate your efforts. This one right here got to me: “I get out of bed for it. I did this morning. Even beat the alarm. It’s not always easy, and it’s not always fun — what is? — but the satisfaction I get from it is existential. I need it.” I am right there with you! Keep on keepin’ on!

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