The Obelisk is 14 Years Old Today

14 years

I have to admit, I feel a little silly. This post should have been written to go up yesterday. In my defense, I’ll note that it was an extraordinarily busy weekend, involving monster trucks and family birthdays and a brunch and everything. But either way, yeah, I let it slip, and it wasn’t until I was tagged in a post in The Obelisk Collective on Facebook that I even realized, egads, Michael Jones was right! It is The Obelisk’s birthday, as of this past weekend. To think, I even hung out with Slevin — who built the site those 14 years ago — on Sunday. He was the brunch. Go figure.

To tell you the truth I’ve been pretty disoriented generally. Just kind of one-day-at-a-timing it, and I completely lost track of what the date was. I know, it’s right in the corner of my laptop screen, but I also got an email yesterday canceling jury duty that I wasn’t even thinking about yet because it wasn’t until something like Feb. 2 and that was eons from now. So I got to realize what week it was and not have to go to jury duty, and it’s The Obelisk’s birthday. The wins just keep coming.

The point of this post is to say thank you for your support of The Obelisk. Whether that’s commenting on a post (mostly it isn’t, I know) or sharing something on this or that social, being in the above-linked group, buying merch or sending music or even just reading once, forgetting the site exists for like three weeks, then reading again. Or reading every day. Or not. I don’t know. Thank you.

I don’t have any grand plans to reveal. More work? I know the Sandrider and REZN albums are killer if you want to do a top two of 2023 so far list, which I honestly thought about doing just as a joke making fun of basically my own lists let alone those of anyone else. But beyond that and what’s in my notes for the rest of this week and down the line in the calendar, I don’t know. I hope to travel this year. I’ll be at Freak Valley in June and Høstsabbat in Oslo in October. I’ve got my eyes on Heavy Psych Sounds Fest in March in Joshua Tree, but we’ll see. Monolith on the Mesa this year is a maybe if I can make it happen. Always love to be at Maryland Doom Fest when I can.

There have been a couple other invites — one to Iceland for Doomcember, which I was stoked on but couldn’t go this past December; one to Bear Stone in Croatia which I would fucking LOVE to do but for the camping because the bands are good, the people seem awesome and the vibe is right, but I’m no camper — that are kind of nebulous, and I suppose on some level driving the two hours with traffic to New York is supposed to be more convenient than flying to Germany, but I’ve sat at the Holland Tunnel in my life and legitimately been convinced otherwise, never mind actually driving in the city, which I’ve never particularly enjoyed. Gonna get my ass there for Desertfest though, I’ll tell you that.

That kind of travel will probably be the bulk of the shows I see this year, which is odd but just kind of how my life is organized at this point. Speaking of organized, I’ve got 175 emails waiting in my inbox, and, well, not everybody’s gonna get an answer. I hope you understand that even if I don’t go to every show, or review every record, post every press release and Bandcamp or social media update, or interview every band — or any bands beyond Questionnaires — that I’m doing my best. I’m trying to make this site a thing worth coming back to — for me, every day. For you, once if I’m lucky?

I won’t dismiss the amount of effort it is doing this. It takes up a significant portion of my time and brain capacity. My life would be easier without it, in many ways. Not trying to play Johnny Martyrblog, but I think it’s fair for me to say that running The Obelisk takes a lot of work. I’m doing my best to do as much as I can, all the time.

14 is cool. 15 will be cooler. We’ll get there. I’ll set a reminder in the calendar so I don’t let it slip, and hope to thank you again then.

All the best in the meantime,

JJ Koczan


25 Responses to “The Obelisk is 14 Years Old Today”

  1. Shayne Dey says:

    Thanks so much for the work you put into this site. You’ve put me onto so much great music I would’ve otherwise missed.
    Also can’t wait to rock my new Obelisk tee at an upcoming 1000Mods show.

    • Lloyd Dieser says:

      I would also like to say thanks for sharing you struggles . It takes courage to share are fears and weaknesses. I have battled demons and addiction for years and music is a lifeline. As much as i look forward to the music i also look forward to hear about you and your family and know you are not alone.

  2. Sanford Gordon says:

    I’m really bad about posting – it’s not just you, I don’t post anywhere. It’s not my thing. BUT, damn it, I do read this site every day and you’ve put me on to (easily) 20 bands that I’d never heard and really love now. Hell, you’re the only reason I still have a discogs account. How else I was going to buy stuff like The Mystick Krewe Of Clearlight (still my all time “holy shit” moment from this site). The Friday Full-Length is a must. What I’m trying to say is, this site is excellent and I always stop by. Thanks for doing this for 14 years!

  3. Leif Sagaas says:

    THANK YOU!!!!

  4. Wombat60 says:

    JJ this site means so much to those of us lifers, you’ll never know, but cheers to another 14

  5. william miller says:

    Happy Birthday to The Obelisk dot net!

    Love you JJ and thank you for everything you do for this beloved corner of our world!

  6. Toby says:

    Since first stumbling upon the obelisk around 7 years ago my music game has not been the same. Thank you for sharing your penchant for only the best grooves and riffs; and I’m sure I can say a vicarious ‘thank you’ from those that have overheard the music I’ve played and enquired as to where on earth those funky rhythms were found – the answer will forever and always be four simple words: The Obelisk, my friend.

    Thank you.

  7. Stu says:

    JJ, you are a true legend! Thank you for all the hard work for 14 years. Amazing stuff. Love it.

  8. Rada says:

    I read this site every day since almost the beginning. Thank you for all the interviews, reviews, and moreover, for the great music I had the pleasure to discover thanks to you. Cheers from Switzerland.

  9. SabbathJeff says:

    Another belated Happiest Of Birthdays to this monument to riffs you’ve built and continue steadfastly to attract my addicted-ears to on a daily basis. How many bands I’ve seen live, I found here? CDs or records I’ve bought? Do you know where I’ve driven and how much I’ve spent? I’ve no calculator, but for sure it’s egregious. Missed them the 1st time around, but discogs aided me in procuring both …And The Rest Will Surely Perish and I Vs The Glacier on CD. Picked up …And The Rest…on vinyl direct from Kings Destroy at a gig. Do you know where I found out about these awesome bands? And like 4,756 other ones? Yeah you do! Right the fuck here, man. Right the fuck here.

    THANK YOU. The gratitude is incomprehensible. My life has been changed, and bettered, by this big, heavy thing. From hearing Into The Void at the embryonic age of 13 to right now today 26 years later, you’ve been a massive part of my last decade-ish of riff-finding.

    In Search Of a great sounding authentic, creative and purely-tonally worshipping group of people to brighten your listening moments? Look no further. This is where you’ll find what you’re seeking.

  10. Len van der Wolf says:

    Thanks for all your hard work! I’m loving this place more and more with each visit ;-)

  11. Sven S says:

    Happy Birthday to The Obelisk & a big “Thank You!” to JJ Koczan for your hard work. :)

  12. Gabriel says:

    Thanks for the work you put into this. As many have said, we’ve “discovered” a lot of interesting new bands thanks to you! Congratulations, and let’s hope for many more years of Obelisking. Saludos desde el sur de Argentina.

  13. Frank says:

    I check The Obelisk daily, I enjoy your writing style and foremost the concert or festival reviews.
    And without your “Friday Full-Length” the weekend is missing something.
    So, keep on doing what you are doing !!!!

  14. Legend indeed! My life is richer because of The Obelisk

    Happy Birthday!

  15. Mike M aka @demoffola says:

    I think I found my way here about 9 or 10 years ago and its been a pretty daily constant since then. No one writes in as much detail as JJ except maybe Lee Dorian on Insta posts. Discovered so much new stuff on the site and via the Radio Show. Happy Birthday to The Obelisk and JJ may there be many happy returns.

  16. Chris says:

    This website is one of very few that is essential to my daily routine. The amount of music I’ve discovered here is beyond measure, as is the amount of money I’ve gladly spent supporting the artist you feature via Bandcamp, live shows, merch, etc.

    Keep up the excellent work JJ! The heavy underground is as vital as it is in no small part because of your presence!

    Long live The Obelisk!

  17. arno says:

    Hey happy birthday te Obelisk! And most of all thank you JJ for your dedication to the cause.

  18. Matt SJ says:

    Your hard work and dedication are very much appreciated!
    I check the site every day, and have discovered numerous bands I never would have otherwise.
    Like others have said, sharing your struggles and family life experiences is brave and admirable. You’re not alone bud! The world sucks, but at least the tunes are good.

  19. Dave says:

    I was just looking at some old posts, some random pages (it goes past 1900!)…and realized what a great library you created of music, news and ART of these heavy bands! A lot of these posters, for example, may get lost in time but not here! Thank you for all you do!

    • JJ Koczan says:

      I never even thought about the art archive, but you’re right. Now I know why I’ve been letting it take up space on the server this whole time. Thank you.

  20. Harked B says:

    Great work you do here JJ. Thanks so much!

  21. GT says:

    Thanks for all you do here, congratulations on the milestone!

  22. Paul says:

    Thanks Brother! Been there for most of those 14 and you’ve turned me on to countless cool shit – keep it up!

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