Friday Full-Length: Amorphis, Am Universum

Posted in Bootleg Theater on June 18th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

I’m begging you, just listen to this record. Please. For me. For you. Just listen.

Online Research Paper On Media Influence On Eating Disorders Help in Auckland. New Zealand has always been one of the most preferred destinations for education. It is one of the most developed and stable economies in the world which has a lot to offer to students. One of the largest cities of New Zealand, Auckland has many institutions and universities where a large number of global students come for higher studies. It is quite Am Universum, the fifth album by Finland’s argumentative essay on death penalty visite site write college essay for me finance calculations homework help Amorphis, turns 20 this year. It was released through Having ordered an Recommended Site at the lowest price can result in the complete waste of money if the service is a scam. Points to Be Taken into Account to Detect a Fraudulent Company. There are a few points, which will help you to recognize a company to keep away from. Insecure Payment Process. The inherent part of purchasing of online essay help is online payment. A scammer needs just your card Relapse Records on April 3, 2001, so the date’s already passed. As the follow-up to 1999’s You tried to write a college essay? You will see that our Purchase A Research Paper will give you a reputation of a good student that is always well Tuonela (discussed here), it found the band progressing further into traditional rock melodies tinged with Finnish folk elements and drives inherited from their journey through death metal. Vocalist Gang Research Paper Services at affordable price Avail Here. Expert PhD level Dissertation Writers helps you for your Dissertation writing. Pasi Koskinen still throws in a couple growls if you listen for them, but from If you have decided to let Pool Service Business Plan us perform your Do My Algebra Homework request ďdo my algebra, math or physics homework for meĒ, let Santeri Kallio‘s keys to the guitar nuance from Cheap Essay Help Is the Break You Deserve! Finding essay writers cheap is a struggle. However, with our service, you can get all the luxuries at extremely low prices. As the Agree Or Disagree Essay can be delivered to you in a short time frame, you can get an intelligently written paper returned to you on an urgent basis! Eso Holopainen and Avail Thesis Custom Css Code @.99/Page from 90+ Native Phd Experts. Get 20% Discount on every assignment with 100% Guaranteed Ontime Delivery. 100% Tomi Koivusaari that unfurls in opener “Alone,” there’s no question that by this point what should i write my geography paper on How To Write An Effective Business Plan buy a resume online dissertation plagiarism checker mac Amorphis had largely left such extremity behind.

They did so organically, but boldly, over the course of their prior outings — 1992’s Before deciding whether to make use of an academic writing service, you must wonder what exactly Ethical Argument Essays do. When do they work? The Karelian¬†Isthmus, coupled with the 1993 The of Australia to order your assignments, essays and other academic papers. Read our reviews, see which companies you can trust! Privilege of Evil EP, 1994’s pivotal Home õ Forums õ General Basketball õ source link writer websites for school This topic contains 0 replies, has 1 voice, and was last updated by Tales From the Thousand Lakes, 1996’s even-more-pivotal Australian Essay Writing Services UK Offering Cheap Dissertation Writing Services. Get Cheap Dissertation Writing Services To Ensure Distinction Grades Guaranteed. Elegy, ’97’s Buy high quality assignments from the leading Help With Technology Homework service at cheap prices. We write custom assignment by following your instructions My Kantele EP and the aforementioned Where Essay About Online Dating - Instead of having trouble about research paper writing get the needed help here Benefit from our cheap custom Tuonela — their sense of progression never faltered, and it by no means stopped with¬† Am Universum either. But, 10 years out from their first demo,¬†Am Universum‘s 10-song/50-minute run marked a special moment in what was becoming the band’s signature blend of elements, and I don’t know that they’ve to-date ever written a stronger collection of tracks. Some songs are memorable. Once you get these into your head, they’re unforgettable.

Am Universum is a riding-a-bike album. Once you put it on, it’s like you never left. Multi-stage choruses in run rampant throughout, and as “Alone” introduces tones, melodies, the richness in Niclas Etel√§vuori‘s bass (he had replaced Olli-Pekka Laine, who’d soon come back) and the push of Pekka Kasari‘s drums (again, Jan Rechberger would return to the band in short order), the spectrum of colors offered only grows across cuts like “Goddess (of the Sad Man),” “The Night is Over” and “Shatters Within,” the band bringing structural variety along with a range of expression and an overarching flow that continues as the record progresses through the hard-riffed/well-organed “Crimson Wave,” “Drifting Memories” — one of several tracks to feature echo-lacedAmorphis Am Universum saxophone, but one on which it’s particularly well used — into the victory lap of “Forever More,” the gorgeous, melancholic semi-acoustic standout of “Veil of Sin,” and the closing duo, “Captured State,” which returns to some of the heavier hookmaking of the early cuts, and “Grieve Stricken Heart,” which is the first song since “Alone” to top six minutes and a beyond effective summation of the record’s many strengths in craft and aesthetic.

It’s hard with¬†Amorphis — even harder than spelling “isthmus” — because especially up to this point in their career, every album really was an era.¬†They had gone from raw death metal to the innovative use of instrumentation and themes from Finnish folk music, basing songs on the Kalevala, and so on, and they did so largely at a time before the internet really spread into people’s lives. So listeners¬†lived with these albums in a different way.¬†Even¬†Relapse wasn’t the metal-major, whatever that means, it is now circa 1994 — indeed records like those¬†Amorphis produced helped make them one. But the point is there are loyalists to each of those offerings listed above, and in that regard,¬†Am Universum doesn’t get nearly enough credit for what the band managed to accomplish across its span.

Please. Just listen to it. I wouldn’t ask you if I didn’t think it was something you should hear.

On its face, it’s kind of unassuming. Two six-minute tracks bookending a bunch of others around four and five minutes long, pretty consistent, and the art? 20 years later and I’m still not sure what’s going on there, but I can tell you that its muted colors don’t come close to representing either the vast soundscape or the emotional breadth that comes across in the listening experience. In context it makes sense. This was, ostensibly, a metal band putting out a melodic heavy prog rock record. There had to be a certain amount of, “what the hell do we do with this?” going on, because especially coming out of death metal, and especially walking the sonic path that¬†Amorphis were across genres, almost defining them as they went — folk metal is still a thing — it had never happened before.¬†Am Universum pushed across boundaries and challenged the band to become something almost entirely different than they were when they started, and even crazier, pulled it off. I never have, but I’d love to talk to¬†Matt Jacobson from¬†Relapse about this album, if only to say thanks for taking the chance on putting it out.

Amorphis, true to their name, would continue to change. In 2003/2004, they offered¬†Far From the Sun, as their first outing for Nuclear Blast, which stripped their songwriting down further into melodic heavy rock and would prove to be Koskinen‘s last album with the band; he has gone on to contribute to a number of outfits, among them Mannhai,¬†Shape of Despair, Ajattara and so on. His replacement,¬†Tomi Joutsen (also Hallatar and a bunch of others), made a distinguished first impression on 2006’s¬†Eclipse (I saw them at BB King’s in Manhattan on that tour; it was the day I got back from SXSW that year; I was tired, they were great) and has gone on to be a reliable frontman presence for the group across the better part of two decades’ worth of releases, the band ultimately finding a line between melody and harder hitting fare that is no less their own for the influence it’s had over European metal in general.

In 2021, the band released¬†Live at Helsinki Ice Hall, and¬†Holopainen has a solo-ish album out under the moniker Silver Lake by Esa Holopainen on which he collaborates with different singers, so there’s plenty more to dig into after this.¬†Amorphis‘ latest studio outing was 2018’s¬†Queen of Time¬†(review here), which demonstrated just how much the band’s sound has come to encompass over their now 30 years, and how distinctive their work is across the greater sphere of heavy music, metal or otherwise.

Please, just listen.

Thanks for reading. As always, I hope you enjoy.

Man, nobody’s gonna give a shit. I know it. Amorphis is one of those bands I write about because I love them and no one cares. Amorphis, Anathema, Swallow the Sun, etc. I’ve got a whole list. Let the record show I did it for me anyway, despite the begging aspect. That’s mostly me trying to convince Mike H. and a few others it’ll make their day better.

Lot going on this weekend, but somewhere in there I’m going to find time to review the Fatso Jetson/All Souls stream. I think that might be the last livestream review I do, at least of pandemic-era stuff. Shows are starting up again this Fall, it’s looking like, and barring disaster, it’ll be possible to see bands in-person rather than onscreen. I don’t think livestreams are going to completely disappear, so I’m not gonna say I’ll never do another one, period, but for now, unless something really amazing comes up — more ‘Live in the Mojave Desert’ etc. — I feel like maybe this is a good one to go out on.

Weird week. The Pecan is out of the boot post-legbreak, and that’s good. He’s still favoring the leg a bit, but it’s only been a few weeks. He’s running again, so that’s good, and I took him to the playground down the way yesterday and he played hard like a three year old who hasn’t been to the playground in the better part of a month, so that was good to see. He saw the moon while he was on the swings and got all excited: “It’s a crescent moon!” If I could live a thousand years, I’d hope never to forget it.

But the week is over, which is good, I think. No school next week, which is going to be a crunch. Summer break, huh? Okay. Camp starts after the July 4 holiday, so that’s about two and a half weeks he’s home. There you go. If you’re wondering, that’s why I didn’t answer your email. I’ll be lucky if I have time to shower twice.

I made Facebook group for The Obelisk this week. It’s here if you want to check it out:¬†

So far it’s a lot of people introducing themselves and their projects, but that’s to be expected, I think. And the whole point of the thing is to share music, so that’s reasonable. You could argue I did the same thing by starting it in the first place.

So yes, needless to say I’ll be phasing out this blog in the next couple weeks to focus on The Obelisk as a purely social media-based entity.

No. Of course not. Not that I’m so attached to WordPress — though apparently I am — but I’ve yet to find a social media interface that holds a candle to AOL 3.0. Or maybe I’m just nostalgic. I can still hear my 28k baud modem screeching in my head, about to get knocked offline when someone picks up the phone. Charged by the minute. Madness.

What a time to be alive.

But that’s enough whatnot. I plug along. I did some good reading this week, nothing too challenging, but it feels good for the brain. I hope you’re well and stay that way. Have fun, be safe, watch your head, hydrate. Gotta hydrate. So important.

No Gimme show today, but next week’s is the first part of a two-parter Neurosis deep-dive. It’s gonna be awesome.


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Solar Haze Premiere “The Solar Age” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on June 18th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

solar haze

Los Angeles-based trio¬†Solar Haze release their new EP, The Solar Age, on July 16 through¬†Metal Assault Records. I’ll be blunt: it’s a good time. They’re too far south to be a part of the whole Pacific Northwest party-rock thing in Portland, but they’re definitely all the way up for throwing down. Not as psyched out or malevolent as Mountain Tamer — whose sticker makes a cameo on a shovelhead in the video premiering below — but with a tonal crunch in the guitars of Stephen Falla and Ross Cowan that lets you understand where the two outfits would be friends. The Solar Age runs three tracks and 17 minutes and nine of those are dedicated to “Terror of the Deep,” which closes out. Side A, if you’re thinking of it as a 10″, brings the title-track and “Fortress Will Fall.” Both are a blast.

The title-track opens and arrives with immediately respectable chicanery. There’s fuzz being kicked around, but it’s also kind of hard to ignore that the central riff comes across like Slayer played at about 80 percent speed — if you have a moment, please let me tell solar haze the solar ageyou sometime about my concept cover band, Slowyer — which they liken to an Iron Maiden influence and I’m not inclined to argue. It’s a current of metal one way or the other, but the chug in the chorus brings to mind early aughts Small Stone Records-style drunken fuckall, and the energy that runs throughout is infectious. The song itself is about five minutes long, pushed forward with due force thanks to Ryan Michael Falla‘s drumming, and shifts into a more winding section to set up its guitar solo in the second half, but is never too far from the hook. That’s a fitting setup for “Fortress Will Fall,” which is even more straightforward, punkish in spirit and insistence. Again, they’re having fun so you’re having fun. And if you’re like me and you’re the kind of person who says things like, “Not really a big fan of fun,” give it a shot anyway. It’s important to try new things.

Of course, the proceedings slam headfirst into a bigtime tempo slowdown for “Terror of the Deep.” What, you thought Solar Haze were gonna write a nine-minute track about a monster under the ocean and not doom out the riff? Please. The methodical chug and aggro vocal reminds of earliest Sleep and also C.O.C. and a bunch of other raw mid-’90s stonerized punk, but there’s room for some psych in there, and the trio take advantage, mellowing the end and adding a sense of space earlier on as well, not to flesh it out needlessly, but to hint at their willingness to let complexity blossom in their sound over time. In following up their 2019 self-titled debut LP and last year’s “Burn the Light” single, they give a resonant sample of who they are as a group to anyone who might be looking to get on board. They make it easy to do so.

All the more with the video for “The Solar Age.” Note the Necronomicon making an appearance. Always nice to see. There’s beers, jams, sunshine. Loosen up for a couple minutes and enjoy yourself.

Some comment from the band follows below:

Solar Haze, “The Solar Age” video premiere

Solar Haze on “The Solar Age”:

We’re excited to release our first music video to coincide with the pre-order launch of our upcoming EP, The Solar Age. First impressions are everything and we couldn’t be happier with how this video captures the spirit and energy of Solar Haze.

This video channels the perfect blend of Iron Maiden / Red Fang with some Evil-Dead-inspired horror, ultimately creating an experience that blends heavy riffs with heavier humor. Thank you for checking out our music and we look forward to playing this song for you live!”

The official release date for The Solar Age EP is slated for July 16, 2021 on Metal Assault Records.

The Solar Age track listing:
1. The Solar Age (4:57)
2. Fortress Will Fall (3:50)
3. Terror Of The Deep (9:00)
Total Runtime: 17:47

In celebration of their new release, SOLAR HAZE will perform at “Blunt Force Trauma Fest,” a virtual mini festival experience presented by Ebony Jeanette PR & Metal Assault Records streaming July 16th via More information about the Blunt Force Trauma Fest can be found via Facebook:

Guitar/Vocals/Bass Guitar: Stephen Falla
Guitar: Ross Cowan
Drums/Percussion: Ryan Michael Falla

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Lamp of the Universe Premiere “Return as Light” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on June 17th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

lamp of the universe

New Zealand one-man psych outfit Lamp of the Universe are headed toward the release of a new album. Almost always. In this case, however, multi-instrumentalist Craig Williamson (see also: Arc of Ascent, ex-Datura) carries the marked ambition to, as he puts it, “cover pretty much everything” he’s ever done. Not a minor ambition. Consider that Lamp of the Universe has been active since the turn of the century, has over 10 full-lengths to its credit and, on its own, takes on an acid folk style that ranges from sunny West Coast acoustics to been-to-India sitar drones and percussion to all-out space rock, all the while basking in dream-echo vocal melodies and ethereal, mystical themes. That’s before you get into Williamson‘s band work, the cosmic grunge of Arc of Ascent or the late-’90s psych riffage of¬†Datura. One way or the other, it’s all fairly far out, but hell’s bells that “one way or the other” is covering a whole lot of ground.

One can hear the difference in intent immediately when taking on the new single “Return as Light.” Even as compares to 2020’s¬†Dead Shrine (review here), which continued a thread pushing¬†Lamp of the Universe in a more full-band-sounding direction — the big question is whether or not there are traditional rock-style drums, and for the most part there were — the vision in “Return as Light” is markedly clear-headed and the presentation resoundingly full in its production. A new studio situation has resulted in a depth of mix that indeed stands more in line with¬†Williamson‘s band output, and the straightforward structure isn’t necessarily something he’s never done before, but never quite this way in this context. Two decades on from¬†The Cosmic Union (discussed here),¬†Lamp of the Universe is still finding new corners of psychedelia to illuminate.

If this doesn’t make you stoked for that next record — whatever it’s called, whenever it’s coming — then I don’t know what to tell you. I’ll hope to have more on the LP as we get closer.

For now, enjoy:

Lamp of the Universe, “Return as Light” official video premiere

Craig Williamson on “Return as Light”:

Well this song is quite different, or the start of something different for LotU. A lot of firsts… first time in an actual recording studio by myself (recording drums), first time having a proper full recording setup, very first single and video I’ve ever released.

“Return as Light” is part of a new album that will be quite diverse and cover pretty much everything I’ve done solo and band-wise.

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Video Interview: Nick DiSalvo on New Project Delving, Elder Recording and More

Posted in Bootleg Theater on June 17th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

delving nick disalvo

Founding Elder guitarist/vocalist Nick DiSalvo released the debut album from his don’t-call-it-a-solo-project Delving last week. Titled Hirschbrunnen (review here) and issued through Stickman Records, it’s an excursion into stylistic and instrumental freedom that brings new textures of synth, electronics and layered guitar to some methods familiar and unfamiliar to the context of his prior work. Classically progressive in some ways, touching on heavy in others, it is a pandemic-era exploration that, DiSalvo notes, was born of the restlessness of being off tour but was a long-simmering back-burner concept. Always wanted to do a thing? No time like lockdown.

Immediately,¬†Delving is brought into coexistence with¬†DiSalvo‘s main outlet. Elder will hit the studio in Hamburg in August to begin their next LP even as Delving — which was recorded at¬†Big Snuff in Berlin — looks to do a kind of mini-tour this Fall, feeling out a process of playing live at least in Germany.¬†Hirschbrunnen, which takes its name from a statue in Rudolph Wilde Park near where¬†DiSalvo lives in Berlin, embraces its distinctions. Part of the point of the thing is to be a home for material that, to¬†DiSalvo‘s ear, is separate from¬†Elder in its form or fluidity.

I asked him outright if he was tired of writing heavy riffs. He didn’t prevaricate in saying no, but it’s likewise clear that pushing back on internal and external expectations of¬†Elder as a “heavy” band — which they are, even on last year’s¬†Omens (review here), which introduced a new drummer and an even more progressive sound — and being free to create outside of those expectations was refreshing in his work on¬†Delving. Though instrumental in its entirety, that sensibility comes through the songs without question. They go where they want, even if¬†Hirschbrunnen is presenting a nascent form of these ideas.

There will be more¬†Delving, and¬†Elder will have that new record as well, and return to touring when possible — they’ve already had a few confirmations for 2022. Those are things you’ll want to know. Beyond that, I hope you dive in here and enjoy.

We start off talking about yerba mate, as one will.

Thanks for reading and watching:

Delving Interview with Nick DiSalvo, June 15, 2021

Delving‘s Hirschbrunnen is out now on Stickman Records. You can hear it on the player below and get more info at the links.

Delving, Hirschbrunnen (2021)

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Friday Full-Length: Spirit Caravan, Jug Fulla Sun

Posted in Bootleg Theater on June 11th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

Perennial in a way few albums are, Spirit Caravan‘s Jug Fulla Sun was first issued by Tolotta Records in 1999. The same label, owned by Fugazi‘s Joe Lally, had released the debut 7″ from Shine in 1997, which was the band that would become Spirit Caravan — guitarist/vocalist Scott “Wino” Weinrich, bassist Dave Sherman and drummer Gary Isom. Shine came together after Weinrich‘s time in The Obsessed ended following 1994’s The Church Within, and while of course there were carryover elements in tone and songwriting approach,¬†Jug Fulla Sun retains an identity of its own because of the players involved and because of the spirit of the material itself.

Did ever a Maryland doom rhythm section sound so sleek as¬†Isom and¬†Sherman on do here on “Cosmic Artifact?” And “Powertime,” just a couple tracks later, is the quintessential MD doom riff, with the kind of crunch one could hear not only from¬†The Obsessed, but also in acts like Iron Man,¬†Unorthodox,¬†Internal Void, and so on. 22 years after the fact, there are still bands doing that thing. What continues to separate¬†Spirit Caravan from the bunch is the worship-worthy tone captured in the recording by¬†Chris Kozlowski and the warmth of the album overall.

Someone asks you the difference between doom and heavy rock. You could put on¬†The Obsessed and¬†Spirit Caravan to illustrate it. There are times where the line is fine, but even in “Courage” or the biker-rock-chugging “Chaw,” there’s a bounce to Spirit Caravan‘s groove that is, for me at least, pivotal in making Jug Fulla Sun the classic it is. And even the title is a positive image. A jug full of sun. Well, there are storms on the sun sometimes and yes, it’s a giant ball of turbulent atomic reaction that one day will swell to such a size as to obliterate the earth, but it’s also the reason there’s any life in this planetary system at all. And the jug is¬†full. It’s not half-full, or half-empty. It’s a spirit of positivity, and even “Melancholy Grey” picks up its tempo in its second half to get on board.

There are examples more through the earlier tracks than later, perhaps, but in looking to the lyrics for an example of¬†Jug Fulla Sun‘s overarching point of view and what makes it so special, the title-cut might say it best:

Say, hey! How you feelin’ now?
Have you come alive?
The golden rays of day will be clearin’ out
All your poison jive
It won’t be long before we’re all put to the test
To praise with song
Creation’s life we’re blessed


It’s not about blinding yourself to reality, but being willing to change the shape of the reality you see. “Dead Love/Jug Fulla Sun,” at eight minutes, is the longest inclusion on¬†Spirit Caravan‘s first LP, with a mellower unfolding in its initial stretch that leads to dead-on roll in the verses and the opening to that chorus above, singularly memorable as it is, and it’s followed by “Fang,” the chug and howl of which is immediately more severe, and which brings Sherman to the fore on vocals. “Prince of evil — that’s right” atop pure¬†Sabbath lumbering, loyal to that first chug and plodding despite an ultimately middling pace.

“Fang” is the centerpiece of the CD, with six songs on either side, and a standout in marking a turning point to the second half of the record, with “Chaw” picking up instrumentally as a kind of intro to the rest of what follows, quick at just two minutes long, but “Melancholy Grey” answers with a moodier first half and it’s not until the solo section near the end that it seems to come out of it. That’s still in time for “Sea Legs” to answer the bikerism of “Chaw” in its lyrics — that is to say, in actually be about riding; “I’ve got a two-wheeled sled of molten chrome/A well done iguana and a real heavy gnome,” etc., the iguana and gnome being references by Wino to¬†Isom and¬†Sherman, respectively — and for the punker blast of “Kill Ugly Naked,” originally by¬†The Obsessed.

That song dates back at least to¬†The Obsessed‘s 1985 demo, but is a fit nonetheless with what surrounds owing to the richness of its tonality. By the time it gives way to the penultimate “Lost Sun Dance,” that richness becomes lush and methodically grooved, a highlight buried down near the end of the 13-track progression, but welcome just the same ahead of the acoustic intro to “No Hope Goat Farm,” which continues to flesh out layered in among the familiar fuzz in the otherwise unassuming, leave-’em-wanting-more finish, backed by a few seconds of silence not unlike those that preceded the entry of “Healing Tongue” back at the outset.

At 54 minutes, it’s fair to call¬†Jug Fulla Sun a relic of the CD era. When¬†Exile on Mainstream did a 15th anniversary vinyl issue in 2014, it was three-sided, so yeah. But, in light of the fact that this, the subsequent 1999 Dreamwheel EP (discussed here), 2001’s¬†Elusive Truth and the 2002¬†So Mortal Be single were all the band put out in their time —¬†MeteorCity‘s 2003 compilation,¬†The Last Embrace, put it all together nicely — I’m more inclined to be grateful that the disc is packed than I am to think of it as a slog. The quality of the material helps there too.

Spirit Caravan were briefly revived in the middle of the last decade and I was fortunate enough to see them in 2015. That lineup, with¬†Weinrich,¬†Sherman and drummer¬†Brian Costantino, would rebrand as¬†The Obsessed for a time before bringing in bassist¬†Reid Raley in place of¬†Sherman, who by then was fronting¬†Weed is Weed in addition to¬†Earthride and who last year made a right on debut with¬†Galactic Cross‘ self-titled LP (review here).¬†The Obsessed, meanwhile, released¬†Sacred (review here) on¬†Relapse in 2017, and have continued to tour regularly, up to and including the co-headlining dates with¬†The Skull that were announced yesterday. How’s that for timing?

Maybe their unsustainability is part of what makes¬†Spirit Caravan so special, among the¬†Wino¬†oeuvre and otherwise. It’s a hard universe to live in and hard not to feel beaten down by it, but every now and again, the jug feels full.

This is must-have summer listening for me. As always, I hope you enjoy.

Thanks for reading.

I was done with this week by Tuesday. Not in terms of productivity — it’s Friday morning and I’m still writing — but emotionally, existentially done. The rest of it has been little more than slog through mediocre Crock Pot chicken leftovers and do-what-you-can parenting. We got two afternoon naps this week, which was something, though it only emphasized how much The Pecan is still healing. Still mostly in the boot. The orthopedist said on Monday to ween him off over the course of this week, so that’s what we’ve been doing. Still on for school, speech, etc.

Stress. The Patient Mrs. bought some THC gummies. They have sugar in them so I won’t have any, but I do feel like I’m missing out in that. Xanax instead isn’t exactly slumming it, when I feel the need. Yesterday, for example.

Laundry to do.

I don’t know what’s up for this weekend. I’m keeping it in the back of my head to maybe go to Connecticut tomorrow to see The Patient Mrs.’ family and come back in the afternoon to be here for Sunday morning, but honestly I’m so beat that all I really want to do is go to bed. Doing that won’t eat up the day in the same way, and it’ll never happen, but ideally I’d be in bed for like a week or 10 and then at some point emerge a new person. Probably with atrophied legs, but all the spirit in the world.

The Patient Mrs. and I were on the couch the other day and I had a good eating disorder joke. The Pecan was holding in his poop, had been for days, because he doesn’t want to go in his diaper but is still to scared to drop it in the toilet (we’ll get there, but we’re not there yet). Of course he was wailing about it, because that kind of thing gets uncomfortable after a while — like five minutes — and I said to her, “I never would’ve thought that bulimia wouldn’t be the most dramatic thing about shit in my life.” She laughed. It was probably my best line of the week.

He had a decent morning this morning before we sent him off to school. Hopefully he gives them an easy time there as well. Everyone’s tired.

Raising a kid is easily the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I worked hard at jobs, from retail through magazines through corporate. But this is a different level of investment in purpose. It’s everything. It’s up, it’s down, it’s all around in between, and you feel all of it. There’s no way to disconnect, to shut down the computer and go home. Work/life balance? Fuck you. Most days I get about 45 minutes a day watching Star Trek and even after that I usually run the dishwasher before going to bed so I can empty it in the morning. And the kid is not easy. He’s just not. This morning was like a gift. He’s been fighting me on everything. As soon as The Patient Mrs. comes in the room, he’s up her ass and any attempt to get him to do anything is countered by “mommy do it” or “daddy leave.” He won’t even sit on the toilet for me. I’m in the next room telling him good job while the two of them are in there sharing M&Ms. My experience as a father in a nutshell, or at very least a candy one that, contrary to marketing, indeed melts in your hands.

It’s been a rough few weeks. Months. I don’t see it getting easier anytime soon. I look at my nephews, who are 13, 10 and nine, and I know it’s only going to be harder. To think there will come a time when I’ll look back on his fractured skull and his broken leg and be like, “Ah, simpler days.” And at the end of it, what? Me dead? I don’t get it.

Absolute best case scenario for me as a parent is that I’m¬†still the source of his emotional baggage for his entire life. That’s just a result of my own infertility, let alone anything I might actually have control over, like teaching him how to cope with or express emotions, which, frankly, he might as well go live in the woods and try to learn from the squirrels. More likely, I’m someone’s asshole dad. He’ll go and tell stories about his crazy shithead father and blow me off and that’ll be my life and that’s what I get because somewhere in me is some trauma and self-loathing that I’ve never gotten past and I’m accordingly a broken wreck of a person. Failure is the best I can do.

Then I do this shit on top of that, and for what exactly?

So yes, if you’d like to invest in my sugar-free cannabis edibles company, hit me up.

Maybe I could make weed-infused nut-butter while I’m at it.

On the other side of things, I heard four records this week — Delving, Lammping, Judas Knife and one I can’t talk about yet — that will be on my year-end list, and since “does music still sound good?” is my metric for life being worthwhile, I guess it must still be.

And I’m going to review the Colour Haze¬†Los Sounds de Krauts¬†reissue on Monday as an act of self-care. Sometimes you need that.

New Gimme show today at 5PM. Takk for listening if you do.

You go ahead and have yourself a great and safe weekend. Thanks for letting me rant. Have fun, watch your head, hydrate, enjoy the weather if it’s nice.

And thanks too if you’ve bought or are planning to buy Obelisk merch. That shit helps me keep my head up, for real. Validation beyond the couple bucks per item.¬†So thanks.


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Or Anthony Premieres “Skin” Video From Layer Cake EP out Today

Posted in Bootleg Theater on June 11th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

or anthony

Starting today, if you’re feeling particularly adventurous, you can place an order for Or Anthony‘s Layer Cake EP. The independently-released, digital-only outing runs three tracks and all of eight minutes, so it’s not about asking too much of your time, and the experimental foundation on which the material is based might just be enough to make you want to wear the t-shirt that comes with the download. The solo-project would seem to prefer to remain nameless beyond being known as Or Anthony, and that’s fine, but if you want to know what’s up beyond the artsy weirdness and cake-digging you get in the video below for “Skin” — somewhere between sexualized gore and those recipe videos where you only see the down-view of someone’s hands — the outfit’s Soundcloud page is a trove of free thought and free listening. Open mind, dive in. If you prefer a bit more presentation, it’s also all laid out in semi-explanatory fashion on his website.

or anthony micOr Anthony sent the picture here of the modified Philips headphone he used as a mic to record the vocals and guitar on “Skin,” and I feel like that does a good amount of explaining the kind of mentality he’s working with — purposefully taking something that is receive-only and making it send. The flipping-upside-down of expectation, of structure, and I guess of sound itself depending on the manipulation happening at a given moment. The EP begins with the minute-plus “Wabi,” recognizing spiritual solitude in a fading drone and whispers before the time-keeping strums, pops or whatever they are of “Skin” take hold. Compared to “Wabi” before or “Grounded” after, “Skin” is arguably the most straightforward, since its rhythmic march is accessible enough to nod along, and even as it transitions from one stage to another at will, it doesn’t completely let go of that backing beat for more than a couple seconds until its duly ethereal finish.

“Grounded” follows the pattern of blending lo-fi electronics with guitar and maybe-voice, but is less tethered on the whole — and these are relative considerations, to be sure — and pushes further out before ultimately letting go with what feels like a willful lack of ceremony. There and gone. Hey man, it’s been a long pandemic for everybody. Millions of years.

I’ll leave you to it without further delay. Ordering info is under the video.

Please enjoy:

Or Anthony, “Skin” official video premiere

Hi, I’m Or Anthony

‘Skin’ [is] part of a 3 song collage called Layer Cake. This is an online release on Soundcloud and YouTube. It comes with a T-shirt and Button-pack, both with a download link included. Orders can be placed via on June 11 onwards.

Or Anthony on Facebook

Or Anthony on Soundcloud

Or Anthony website

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Cavern Deep Premiere “Deeper Grounds” Live Performance Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on June 10th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

cavern deep

Swedish trio Cavern Deep release their self-titled debut July 23 through Interstellar Smoke Records. The album begins on a ledge looking underground and ends simply in “The Dark Place,” so it’s safe to assume that the narrative happening across the eight-song/46-minute outing from the Ume√•-based three-piece doesn’t go well for the team of 50 explorers undertaking it. The band — guitarist/vocalist Kenny-Oswald Duvfenberg, bassist/vocalist Max Malmer and drummer/backup vocalist Dennis Sj√∂din (also keys), who introduces second cut “Abandoned Quarters” with duly ceremonial organ — use open space as well as tonal largesse to their aural advantage throughout Cavern Deep, with Duvfenberg‘s vocals echoing out in mournful fashion atop willful lumber, embodying the slog one might make in pursuit of unknown riches, and in spaces minimal and crushing, telling the story with duly grim and soulful perspective while remaining fluid in songcraft all the while.

From the shift out of the plodding stretch of “Staring Down” into its solo-topped apex, the instruments have their say in the narrative as well. Sj√∂din‘s drums march with a dutiful sensibility as “Abandoned Quarters” takes up the journey where the opener left off, and¬†Malmer‘s bassline later in the open, quiet portion of the second half helps to set up the¬†Candlemassian epic finish, rumbling into the cinematic-then-crushing back and forth of “Ominous Gardens,” and leading the way into the presumed side A finale, “Waterways,”¬† cavern deep cavern deepa highlight for the confidence of its vocal arrangement and the splendor-in-decay its riff conjures over the still-tense keys. This is not a debut lacking attention to detail, or patience, or complexity in its construction. It is not haphazard.¬†Cavern Deep are methodical both in their groove and in how these songs are built. In short, they are not fucking around.

There’s dissention in the ranks of our cavern-divers as “Leap of Faith” opens with the lines, “22 are stalling/Below is only void,” and the more active chug that accompanies. Like “Deeper Grounds,” which follows — and for which a live-in-studio performance video is premiering below — “Leap of Faith” strips down some of the lyrical impressionism of side A to add a sense of chaos to the ever-downward procession, but is one word and one central riff in “Deeper Grounds,” and “deeper” about covers it. Both songs are shorter than anything on the first half of¬†Cavern Deep, and they give way to the brooding lurch of “Fungal Realm,” the dark hallucinogenic crescendo of the record as a whole, answering back to the grandiosity of “Waterways” as a closer might, but still leaving room for the organ-laced “The Dark Place” to cap with a feeling of arrival.

If you’re worried about a spoiler for how it turns out, I guess it would be a jerk move for me to ruin the end of the tale, so I won’t do that, but yeah. They telegraph pretty well where the conclusion is headed. They kind of gave it away too when the album was announced, but in any case, there’s a reason it’s “The Dark Place” and not “The Friendly Place Where Everything’s Fine and Hey I Just Found Five Dollars Isn’t That Awesome.”

The performance video below for “Deeper Grounds” follows one for “Fungal Realm” the band posted in April, and they’ve been leaking tracks periodically through their Bandcamp page as well if you’d like to get even more of a sense where they’re coming from. The crash and hopelessness of “Deeper Grounds” are both well represented here and not to be discounted for their effect on the album that surrounds.

As always, I hope you enjoy.

Cavern Deep, “Deeper Grounds” live video premiere

Cavern Deep on “Deeper Grounds”:

Deeper Grounds is the 6th track of our upcoming concept album, the song is about the point where the expedition into the cavernous realm realize that there is no way to go except further down into the abyss. The lyrics are as follows:


This live recording was made at our bassist Max’s studio-rehersal in Ume√•. The hats is an artifact of the number of beers consumed prior to the recording of the song.”

Cavern Deeps debut concept album is about 50 adventurers that find the entrance to a lost underground civilization which they enter with the hopes of treasure.

The debut self-titled album is about one archeologist and his crew of ambitious henchmen and their descent into the cavernous realm below the crust of the earth. Learn about their fate and listen to some heavy, gloomy riffs along their slow path downwards.

The album will be released on all major platforms and vinyl via Interstellar Smoke Records on July 23rd.

Cavern Deep is:
Kenny-Oswald Duvfenberg ‚Äď Guitars and Vocals
Max Malmer ‚Äď Bass and Vocals
Dennis Sj√∂din ‚Äď Drums, Backup Vocals and Keys

Cavern Deep, “Funal Realm” live at Malmer Productions

Cavern Deep on Instagram

Cavern Deep on Facebook

Cavern Deep website

Cavern Deep on Bandcamp

Interstellar Smoke Records on Bandcamp

Interstellar Smoke Records webstore

Interstellar Smoke Records on Facebook

Interstellar Smoke Records on Instagram

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Rosy Finch Premiere Video for “Black Lodge”

Posted in Bootleg Theater on June 9th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

rosy finch

Tomorrow, June 10, marks the release of the first installment of Grados. Minutos. Segundos., a massive undertaking done at the apparently masochistic behest of Spinda Records. Four installments are being made, each comprising three split seven-inch records, two bands on each, and the releases happen between now and next March. Spinda is only making 240 of them, and they’re bringing in 24 of the best acts from the Spanish underground, including newcomers like Moura and the megagroup Mondo Infiel, as well as more established acts like Rosy Finch, Arenna and Atavismo.

Take a second and imagine the passion inevitably driving such an endeavor. It has e’er been¬†Spinda Records‘ project to capture the Iberian psych, prog, heavy scene in a bottle, but never all at once like this. Grados. Minutos. Segundos., a one-time-pressing box set being released over the course of nine months, is the very essence of a labor of love.

Grados. Minutos. Segundos.And the bands involved have been doing it up accordingly. To wit,¬†Rosy Finch today premiere their video for “Black Lodge,” which takes its visual and sonic theme from David Lynch’s¬†Twin Peaks¬†with frontwoman Mireia Porto in the role of Laura Palmer.¬†Porto here handles bass, guitar and vocals, while Llu√≠s Mas drums — this is contrary to the single they released in Feb., on which √ďscar Soler plays bass and J.F. Rojo drums; both were involved with the production here on one level or another — and the recording took place between 2018 and last year across three different cities, finally mixed together by J.F. Rojo in 2020.

True to Rosy Finch‘s aesthetic, “Black Lodge” brings together ’90s riot grrrl influences with modern atmospheric sludge. Some of the visuals and brooding-into-screams here remind distinctly of Hole, but that’s more a credit to the team behind the video for capturing the post-Lynch visual landscape that was rock on MTV in the 1990s. Porto warns at the outset that she’ll see us in 25 years. As the chugging, gleefully repetitive central riff meets with the foreboding melody and delivery of the lyrics, creating a world that song, video and idea all inhabit together cohesively, one can only hope it’s not actually that long.

More info on the clip and on Grados. Minutos. Segundos. follows here, courtesy of Spinda Records.


Rosy Finch, “Black Lodge” official video premiere

Rosy Finch on “Black Lodge”:

As a big fan of ‘Twin Peaks’ I’ve always had the idea of turning into Laura Palmer and living inside a dark song. In “Black Lodge” you can see many references and symbology of the Lynch’s universe. We try to reflect the anguish but also the seduction undertaken by the characters. Not only the video has been inspired in the TV Series, the lyrics describe some moments and iconic quotes but always through the Laura Palmer’s voice.”

Baja Fidelidad Producciones
Directed by Marcos Ba√Ī√≥ & Mireia Porto.
Filmed by Marcos Ba√Ī√≥ & Mireia Porto.
Edited by Marcos Ba√Ī√≥.
Produced by Monty Peiró & Mireia Porto.
Assistants: Rafa Fern√°ndez & √ďscar Soler.
Stylism & Makeup: Monty Peiró & Mireia Porto.
Starring: Sof√≠a Mart√≠nez as “Kitty Grrrl”, Clio Candela as “Bunny Grrrl” and Mireia Porto as “Laura Finch”.

Song performed by Rosy Finch, 2020
Recorded and mixed by J.F. Rojo at Red Records, San Isidro, Spain.
Mastered by Furinyaki Records Studio, Barcelona, Spain.

‘Grados. Minutos. Segundos.’ is a no-return trip around the four cardinal points of the deepest underground music scenes in Spain. Thanks to a boxset full of previously unreleased tracks of 24 indie Spanish bands you’ll have the chance to understand how’s the sound of this new generation of independent musicians. You don’t want to be told about it, you want to be part of it.

‘Grados. Minutos. Segundos.’ will be made of 12x 7″ vinyl records (to be released in 4 batches from June 2021 to March 2022), being each of them shared by 2 bands with apparently no connection at all.

‘Grados. Minutos. Segundos.’ works as a subscription, which means that music fans will get both digital and physical releases in 4 batches: June, September and December 2021; and March 2022. With the pre-order kicking-off on 5th May 2021, the boxset will be for sale as from 10th June 2021 exclusively at¬†¬†and¬†

The project is limited to 240 hand-numbered boxsets, designed by The Braves Church and including 12x 7″ vinyl records, booklet, download code and stickers, as well as a tee-shirt and tote bag on its¬†deluxe¬†and¬†freak¬†editions. There won’t be reissues, so when they’re gone, they’re gone!

But in this limited-edition boxset you won’t only find bands coming from Spinda Records roster as it is also open to others in order to get a solid project for the fans to enjoy. From the psychedelia of Acid Mess, Atavismo, Arenna or The Soulbreaker Company to the heavier sounds of Rosy Finch, Adrift, Domo or Santo Rostro; without forgetting the alternative rock of Medicina, Habitar La Mar, The Dry Mouths and Laverge; the hard rock of Part√≠cula, Saturna or Kabbalah; the progressive rock of Moura, Pyramidal, H√≠brido or Cr√≥!; as well as new bands such us Cem√ęnteri, Here The Captain Speaking The Captain Band, Battosai, M√≠a Turbia or Mondo Infiel. Fitting 24 bands in the same project can be tricky, and it is; but Spinda Records are here to have fun… Spinda Records is here for “fiesta”.

Rosy Finch on “Black Lodge” are:
Mireia Porto: voces, guitarras, bajo
Lluís Mas: batería

Rosy Finch on Facebook

Rosy Finch on Instagram

Rosy Finch on Bandcamp

Rosy Finch website

Spinda Records on Thee Facebooks

Spinda Records on Instagram

Spinda Records on Bandcamp

Spinda Records website

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