The Obelisk Turns 10 Years Old Today

Posted in The Numbers on January 31st, 2019 by JJ Koczan

the-obelisk-10-years

So I went earlier this month and got a tattoo. I’m 37 years old and it’s my first one. It’s a design by Sean ‘Skillit’ McEleny with a purple octopus wrapped around an obelisk that’s been pulled out of the ground from its base, and the octopus is holding up a sign that says ‘Thanks for Reading.’

It was done by Kaitlin Butler at EvolvInk in Morristown, New Jersey — right near the train station on the M&E line — and it’s my way of literally marking the 10 years of my life that have gone into this site. I wanted Skillit to do the design because he so excellently captured the gleeful vibe of the All-Dayer poster in 2016 and that was the feeling I wanted. Something happy. He nailed it, as did Butler in bringing it to life on the inside of my right forearm.

I’ve named the octopus Petunia, by the way, like from Pete and Pete. I make it dance for The Pecan and he loves it.

Over the last couple months, I’ve thought long and hard about what I want to say in this post. Probably too long, and definitely too hard. It always comes back to thank you. That is primary. That’s everything. Thank you. If you want, you can stop reading now, because as long as you’ve seen that, I’m satisfied. Thank you. 10 years of this site would not have happened without your support. Thank you.

The first post here went up Jan. 31, 2009. Very clearly I had no idea what I was getting into, but over the last decade, The Obelisk has come to consume so much more of my identity than I ever could’ve known it would. I didn’t do the meme that was the 10-year challenge, but I’ve done a lot of reflecting on it and while there are some things I’d change — the site’s had the same theme for 10 years! 10 years! One theme! Come on! — I stand by everything here. The early snark, the fact that I spent all of 2013 being pissed off at the move to digital promos and all of 2014 being the wordiest bastard on the planet, all of it. It’s all me. The experiments that worked, the experiments that didn’t work. All the stuff that I did that reminded me just how much the only thing I’ve ever really wanted to do is write. It’s all here, and I know sometimes on the internet it’s hard to see words on a screen and imagine a person writing them, but to me, these words are mine. I own them. And I feel that way about everything here. For the last 10 years. And just for today, maybe just for this post, I’m going to let myself be proud of that.

the obelisk tattooI don’t expect that to last.

Thank you for reading.

Thank you to The Patient Mrs. for her seemingly unending support. I don’t think she’s always understood, but she’s certainly done more than her fair share of indulging, and this never would’ve happened without her. Thank you to Slevin for his ongoing technical expertise and get-your-ass-in-gear-ness. Changes are coming to the forum, though there’s something of a debate about what that looks like, but if Slevin didn’t give a crap, nothing would get done. Thanks to the incredible and strong women I’m lucky enough to call my family — Pamela, Suze, Cate, Sam, Sage — as well as to the gentlemen who make me aspire to be a better person — Andy, Walker, Emmett, Tyler, and especially the Pecan.

Thanks to the several good friends I’m fortunate enough to have. Thanks to Walter Hoeijmakers, who 10 years later continues to inspire with his passion and creativity. Thanks to Liz Ciavarella-Brenner for helping bring my own passion for music into focus. Thank you to Steve Murphy for the ongoing reality checks. Thanks to Scott Harrington, Scott Hamilton, Todd Severin, Niels Bartholdy, Stefan Koglek, and all the labels and PR people and companies who have helped bring new music here on a constant stream I couldn’t possibly hope to keep up with. Thanks to Gimme Radio for having me, to Dropout Merch and Made in Brooklyn for handling that end of things, to Maryland Doom Fest for welcoming me and to all the other fests I’ve been to over the years. And again, thanks to you for reading.

For as long as I’ve loved anything, I’ve loved music. I was an awkward fat kid and 30 years later I’m an awkward fat adult, but whatever. I can still put on some record and get out of my own head for half an hour like I could when I was seven years old. I don’t memorize lyrics as easily as I once did, and of course my relationship to listening has changed, but that experience continues to be central to who I am, and this site has become a key part of that. Put your head down, keep working. We also just passed 9,000 likes on Thee Facebooks this morning, and I put up the 11,000th post last week, which was for acting as a presenter for the upcoming 1000mods Australian tour, which is the kind of thing I feel stupid lucky to be involved in.

I could go on and on and on. Really. I’ve gone back and forth for months in my head about how I wanted to approach this. Because this is it. This is my celebration — well, this and the tattoo. But after this, I’m not gonna mention it again. There’s no show, no self-aggrandizing celebratory compilation, nothing like that. I love writing. So there’s writing. I’m gonna finish this post and do another, and tomorrow I’m gonna close out the week like nothing happened. I still need to pick a record for that. Ah jeez.

But the point is that as I’ve approached the actual making of this post, I’ve been filled with ideas for discussion. The notion of self as product in a social media sphere. The idea of becoming your work identity. The pieces of ourselves we show others and what we keep private. This site as the defining work of my life. It’s all come into my head over the last however long — I’d say at least since last October and probably well before that — but now that I’m here, I don’t want to talk about any of it. I just want to say thank you.

So thank you. Thanks for reading.

Like Petunia says.

It’s been 10 years, and I still don’t know what’ll happen tomorrow or the next day, but we’re here, so thank you. I am grateful for and humbled every day by your support.

Sincerely,
JJ Koczan

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This is the 10,000th Post on The Obelisk

Posted in The Numbers on March 26th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

the obelisk 10000th post

Well, here we are. It took some nine-plus years, but The Obelisk has finally hit its 10,000th post. This, as it happens, is it.

I told The Patient Mrs. the other day it was coming up and she very reasonably asked me what I was doing to celebrate. My answer: I’ll probably put up a post with a big number 10,000 at the top of it, maybe throw in a “thanks for reading” and then go about my business. That’s pretty much what I plan to do. Today’s a pretty busy day.

But before I dig into the rest of it, I just need to take a quick second and of course say thank you to everyone who has made this possible over this succession of years. The Patient Mrs. first and foremost. My family. To Slevin. My friends and the people in bands and readers who’ve become my friends. The label and PR folks. I’m crass and impatient and opinionated to a fault, and accordingly not the easiest person to get along with. To anyone who’s ever reached out to send me a record to review or even just to hear — “Hey man, I don’t even need a review, I just want you to listen if you have time” — thank you.

the obelisk art by maarten dondersAnd it’s kind of become a tagline at this point, but really, thank you for reading. I’m going to try to be merciful and keep this short, but it means so, so, so much to me to think that when I put something like this out there into the vast ether of the internet, it catches eyes. Maybe you don’t read every day. Maybe you think I suck at this and I’m a punk. Maybe you don’t even think about the fact that there’s a person behind this stuff, or you think there’s a staff of writers (nope: no staff), but please know how grateful I am for every comment, every share, every like, every retweet, every screenshot that shows up on Instagram. All of it. It’s everything to me at this point. As outlets go, it’s all I’ve got.

But rest assured, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. This past week, The Obelisk page on Thee Facebooks also passed 7,000 likes and my personal account, in addition to the 5,000 friends that’s the max they allow, also passed 2,000 followers. I’m over 3,000 on Instagram and coming up on that on Twitter too. Thank you for all of that as well.

Will there be another 10,000 posts? I don’t know. In nine years, I’ll be 45 years old. Not to say it couldn’t or wouldn’t happen, but I’ve said all along that I don’t know what the future will bring, and I still feel that way. This is still an ongoing project, and I guess it will be until it isn’t anymore. Whenever that is, I assume I’ll know.

Oh, and my only regret about the last 9,999 posts before this one? That more of them weren’t about how much Acid King kicks ass. Because, man oh man, Acid King kicks some ass.

Thanks so much for reading. We go onward. Head down, keep working.

All my best,
JJ Koczan

 

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This is the 9,000th Post on The Obelisk

Posted in The Numbers on June 21st, 2017 by JJ Koczan

9000th post

I’ve been trying to keep an eye over the last couple weeks so I didn’t miss this one. 9,000 posts. Let me spell that out: Nine. Thousand. Posts.

It is not a small amount of posts.

It’s taken me about eight and a half years to get to this point. Over that period, the pace of productivity has only increased — I feel bad about myself if I put up fewer than five posts in a day — and between reviews, interviews, news, videos, audio premieres, streams, the Radio, Quarterly Review roundups, the constant onslaught of bands with new releases, etc., etc., on and on, I’m still a long way from what I’d call “keeping up.” Still, I do the best I can, and as the site hits its 9,000th post, I just want to stop for a minute and thank you for being a part of this process.

Because it is a process. An ongoing one. In tone, content, execution and my own mindset, The Obelisk has become something completely different from what it set out to be. It’s something different than it was three years ago. I suspect, if I’m fortunate enough to keep it going for another three years, it’ll be something completely different then as well. But the consistent factor has been the level of support I’ve received for doing this. If you want to call it the heavy underground, or a community, or a scene, or whatever it is, it’s been very good to me and I deeply appreciate the level of interaction here and via social media — that’s not just me begging for comments, though they’re always welcome — and the conversation that has developed.

One time when I did an anniversary-type post like this I calculated how many posts per day was the average over the years. It may have been last year? I don’t know. I have neither the time nor the inclination nor the mathematical capacity to do so again either way, and more important than the quantity of the work to me is the fact that I stand by everything on this site. Opinions, facts, hell, even the choices of images and videos and audio to go with posts. All of it. I believe deeply in this — more deeply than I ever thought I would — and your participation in it has only made me treasure all the more what The Obelisk has become and is still becoming.

So as always, thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

On to the next thing,
JJ Koczan

The Obelisk Forum

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The Obelisk is Eight Years Old Today

Posted in The Numbers on January 30th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

the obelisk 8 years

The last weekend in January has become a very special occasion for me. It was the same weekend eight years ago in 2009 that The Obelisk first came together and went live. The first post was on a Saturday. I was in the process of losing my job and kind of in a panic about what to do next, needing an outlet for reviews. On a professional level, print was all I’d ever known.

This would be something completely different. By the time the first review went up a couple days later, I began to see the appeal of the open forum I had and the ability to make my own direction.

I’ve said numerous times over the years that I’m surprised at how much The Obelisk has come to take over my life and my waking consideration. I think about this site a lot. People say nice things about it to me and part of the reason I can never take the compliment is because I know that there’s no way anyone feels as strongly about it as I do. Over the last eight years, it’s become an extension of who I am as well as my lone creative outlet. If it’s just news and reviews to you, that’s cool, and if you’ve found good bands through it, that’s awesome too, but to me it’s become about something much more than that.

I look back on things I wrote years ago now and remember where I was that day. That time I reviewed the first Mars Red Sky record to get my head right after a hurricane tore through my area. Writing with my face down on a dining table on a Stena ferry ship in 2010 as I tried to make my way to Roadburn after the now-infamous Icelandic volcano eruption disrupted travel worldwide. This site is an essential part of those life experiences for me.

All the shows. My move from New Jersey to Massachusetts. Changing careers. I feel lucky to have been able to share these things around an ongoing discussion of music. Thank you so much for being a part of it. I don’t know where I’d be otherwise.

By nature, I’m a compulsive person, and that feeds a lot of what I do here. I want to review something every day in one way or another. I want to keep up with news of fests, album releases, tours, etc. I want to keep a respectful tone to my writing because I believe strongly that there is aesthetic value in critique as much as any other creative work.

My thinking on what The Obelisk is and does has changed over the last eight years — adding the forum, adding the radio stream, doing a label for a while, presenting shows, putting together the All-Dayer last year in Brooklyn, bringing in All That is Heavy as a sponsor, and so on — but I’ve tried very hard to bring a consistent level of quality to each aspect of it as much as possible. Because I care about this project. Very much.

Thank you foremost to Patrick Slevin, without whom The Obelisk would not exist. Slevin registered the domain, installed WordPress, and for the last eight years has been able and willing to take on — mostly uncomplaining, no less; or at very least complaining in a charming way — every technical glitch and weird customization request I’ve asked of him. We’ll get a mobile version going one of these days, I promise, but the dude is the reason you’re able to read this right now, an amazing, generous friend, and someone I’m deeply fortunate to have in my life.

Thank you to my wife, The Patient Mrs., for her understanding and support. I write for The Obelisk every single day. It takes hours out of my life — every single day — and hours out of our life as well and thus hours out of hers. Every single day. Even weekends at this point. There are times where she rolls her eyes and plenty of them when she’s absolutely correct to do so, but her unwavering love is the defining aspect of my life. It is what keeps me upright, and the foundation on which who I’ve become for the last two decades has been built. I cannot tell you how much I love her because it is a value that continues to increase exponentially with each passing day, week, year.

There are so many others. My mother, who likes all my Facebook posts, and my sister whose camera I’m still using since mine broke. Walter Roadburn. The list goes on and I don’t want to be Johnny Namedrop, but the support I’ve gotten for The Obelisk is worldwide and it is immensely humbling to even think about.

Again, thank you for reading. Thank you for commenting, liking posts, sharing, retweeting, posting screenshots on Instagram, sending me your band’s debut EP, whatever it is. Thank you. I’ve said all along that nothing lasts forever, but I’m going to keep doing this site for as long as I can, and I hope as it continues to evolve and change over time you’ll still be a part of it with me.

Here’s to year eight and onward.

All the best,
JJ Koczan

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This is the 8,000th Post on The Obelisk

Posted in The Numbers on October 4th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

8000th-post

This site passed its 7,000th post on Jan. 16, 2016. Today marks 8,000.

That is a span of eight months and 18 days, 37 weeks and three days, or 262 days total. Of those, if we take out an average of two days not-posting per week to account for weekends, that leaves 188 days on which posts went up between then and now. I’ve never been much for math, but 1,000 posts divided by 188 days is 5.3 posts per day, and that sounds about right. Easily the fastest pace I’ve ever gone with this site.

And in that span, I can only really begin to tell you the strange turns my existence has taken. I’ve dropped over 140 pounds. I’ve had surgery. I’ve released a book. I’ve changed jobs. I’m getting ready to potentially move again. I’ve hosted The Obelisk All-Dayer, been to fests in Arizona and the Netherlands, Maryland and Norway, and heard from and met more awesome people than I could ever hope to properly thank along the way. That’s this year. Not even done yet with it. To say the least, it’s been a time.

A question I get asked a lot when talking to people who know the site is where I find the hours to do it. I usually mumble out something about how it doesn’t take that long, but the truth of the matter is The Obelisk occupies a significant place in my life. Significant. It has become my only outlet for writing — acknowledging that makes me want to run a full-site backup immediately — and while I don’t at all regret the way it’s consumed my being, that doesn’t change the fact that those are hours I’m not spending with family, at shows, working, or doing the other stuff regular people who don’t do this manage to do.

When it comes to The Obelisk, I have no regrets. I’ve said all along this site is a work in progress and it will continue to be until it’s done. I’ve been so lucky to be able to connect with an international community of passionate, thoughtful people, and while others get hit with racist bullshit on the internet by the minute, the most I have to deal with is obnoxious show posters and album covers with cartoon boobs on them popping up in my Facebook feed. All things considered, that’s getting off pretty light. I’m extraordinarily fortunate, and hugely grateful.

Thank you for reading. On to 8,001.

All the best,
JJ Koczan

The Obelisk Forum

The Obelisk Radio

The Obelisk

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The Obelisk is Seven Years Old Today

Posted in The Numbers on January 29th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

the-obelisk-seven-years

Seven years. Seven years! That’s longer than any job I’ve ever had. When it came around on the calendar, I almost didn’t believe it, like there was no way 2009 could’ve been so long ago.

This one has been on my mind a while, I won’t lie. Seven years is not a short amount of time, and I’ve had to kind of sit with it, chew on it, think about what The Obelisk has come to mean to me and what I’ve gotten and continue to get out of doing this. Seven years ago, when I put up the first post, I had no idea what this thing would become, or how long it would go. I still don’t.

But a couple years ago, it really started to sink in to me that this is probably as far as I go in terms of any kind of meaningful contribution. For better or worse. I’m 34 years old. If I was going to wind up working for some big-time rock mag (or hell, a big-time rock site), it would’ve happened. If I was going to be in a band that made a lasting impact through touring or album releases, it would’ve happened. I’ll never own that bar I’ve spent so much time and effort daydreaming about. Not that I necessarily want to do anything else — except own that bar, which I definitely want to do — but what I’ve got is this site. It’s not perfect — it’s needed a redesign for at least the last two years, the radio breaks, and I’ve still got HeavyPink singles to get rid of — and I think for a lot of people who come here it’s just an obnoxiously wordy place to find the name of a band and then click off to their Facebook or Bandcamp page or whatever, but it’s all I have. I’m proud of what I’ve done here, it’s just bittersweet to see these things in the light of seven actual years of my life. If The Obelisk has been of some use to you, I’m exceedingly grateful. I’m going to keep it going for as long as I can.

I have a few ideas I want to kick around and a few things I want to say to mark this occasion. If you have any feedback on any of it, I’d love to hear it in the comments:

The Obelisk All-Dayer

I can’t tell you what a thrill it was to confirm Mars Red Sky as the first band for the first-ever The Obelisk All-Dayer, to be held Aug. 20, 2016, at Saint Vitus Bar in Brooklyn. I’ll probably announce another band in the next two or three weeks, but really, I want to stress that this isn’t a fest the way they normally go. I want it to be a party where everyone’s invited, everyone enjoys themselves, nobody gets harassed, nobody gets on anybody’s shit, everything’s chill. No drama, or at least as little drama as humanly possible. I want it to be a good time. If it’s a good time, I’ll be happy with it. If you haven’t bought one and/or want to support this site in any way, tickets are available here. The Facebook event page is here.

The Obelisk Presents

Next month I travel to Arizona for the Borderland Fuzz Fiesta. Way stoked on that. I’m helping present Heavy Metal Parking Lot 3 at SXSW. You may have noticed The Obelisk logos on posters for Maryland Doom Fest. I’ll be there as well hopefully come June, and of course April is Roadburn and not that I’m presenting it, but I have that warm going-home feeling knowing I’ll be back there. You might recall last month I presented a Kind show at the Vitus Bar. I’d like to start doing more of that kind of thing — and not just in New York. I mean around the world. I’ve hesitated in the past to associate The Obelisk with individual gigs, but if you’ve got a show and I think it’s cool, I’m all about it. I’d like to install a widget in the sidebar for upcoming gigs presented by the site, and I’d love to have that be as worldwide as humanly possible. How awesome would it be to have The Obelisk present a gig at Truckstop Alaska in Sweden? Or The Black Heart in London? Or some West Coast basement? I might not be able to be there, but I could post about the show in advance and at least give it a plug that way. Seems like it could be a really cool thing, and a kind of writing I haven’t done much of to-date.

Book Release

Speaking of writing, I’m happy to announce I have a book coming out. It’s called Electroprofen and the cover is by Adam Burke. Here it is, with the back on the left and the front on the right:

Electroprofen I-1400

It’s being pressed up through War Crime Recordings (with much thanks to Steve Murphy) and is a collection of short stories. Not music-related writing, fiction, but hopefully an otherworldly enough vibe one way or another that you get what I’m going for. The layout is being done now, hopefully it will be ready to go in Spring. So probably Summer. I’ll keep you posted either way. Preorders soon.

Merch

And speaking of preorders, thank you once again to everyone who put one in for a t-shirt or a hoodie from that sale in December. The last of the orders went out this past weekend and I’ve so far only heard from one person who probably should have his stuff who doesn’t, so yeah, that seems like a decent turnout. Merch wasn’t something I particularly wanted to do — frankly, if it’s not going to make me enough money to live on (and it’s not), I don’t see the point — but it turned out fine and I’ll probably do it again in another year or two. Not before. I’ve been hit up a couple times by people who missed the sale. Sorry. It wasn’t intended to be a permanent thing.

Interviews/Reviews/Etc.

I’ve been pretty happy over the last year with how the scope of how a review happens around here has broadened. Between the four Quarterly Reviews, track premieres, album streams and so on, I’ve enjoyed the challenge of not doing the same thing the same way all the time. I’d like to have more time for interviews. I’m doing the best I can in that regard, but it’s an area I hope to pick up and expand on in 2016. Haven’t yet — actually I got blown off last Friday for one, and sorry, but my new policy is I don’t call back. If you want me, I’m not exactly inaccessible between this site and social media. Time is short, which brings us to…

Time

Since last May, I’ve worked a full-time job in addition to doing this site. It hasn’t always been easy, particularly at the beginning and particularly for longer features — all the lists in December just about killed me — to find a balance between prioritizing the work I do for money and this site, which at this point I don’t think I could stop doing even if I wanted to. Which I don’t. But where I’ve felt the impact most is in my ability to go to shows. Not just that I have to get up in the morning to go to work, but I commute well over two hours driving every day and after that, I’ve got about zero energy left for going out, especially since any show, just about anywhere, requires another hour on the road. Most nights, I’m dragging ass up to bed, let alone rocking out at the club. I’d like to get to more shows, but please know that whether I do or I don’t, I’m doing as much as I can do with the life situation I’m currently in. I think it’s probably the same for a lot of people, and until someone wants to come along and give me $40k a year to run this site — not holding my breath — it’s the way it has to be. Thank you for your understanding.

THANK YOU

And thank you most of all for your continued support. I know there are people who’ve just found out about The Obelisk or who have come and gone. That’s fine. Nothing lasts forever. But at this point there are people who’ve stuck around for years and it absolutely amazes me that someone would do that. I’m humbled to think about it, and I appreciate it deeply. Thank you so much. This hasn’t been an easy year on any number of levels, and there are days where it’s this site carrying me through, so please know that I mean it when I say thanks.

I think I’ll leave it there for now. There’s a lot still to do today, and I wouldn’t want to be accused of lingering too long. Thank you again for supporting this site. Here’s to seven years and the next one already underway.

All the best,
JJ Koczan / H.P. Taskmaster

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This is the 7,000th Post on The Obelisk

Posted in The Numbers on January 13th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

7000th-post

I don’t want to dwell too long on it because there’s a lot to do today, but this is post is number 7,000 published on The Obelisk. Some people know, some people don’t, I doubt most care, but this site is run by one person — me; hi — and I’m responsible one way or another for all the content that’s been put here in those 7,000 posts, whether that’s news, a review, a guest column, an interview, whatever it is. To have done this long enough to hit a marker like that is, frankly, staggering.

We’re closing in on an anniversary as well, so I’ll save some of the state-of-the-site stuff for that, but I just wanted to take a second to express to anyone who sees this how incredibly grateful I am for all the support I’ve received as The Obelisk has continued to grow, change and ultimately become something much, much different (and much more time-consuming) than it was when it started those 6,999 posts ago. I try to say “thanks for reading” as much as I can, but please know that I mean it each and every time. At this point, there are people who’ve been reading this site for years and people who just found out about it a week ago, and I hope it will keep growing and keep expanding its reach, hopefully proving useful to those who check it out.

Because that’s the whole idea, right? As attached to this process, this weird ongoing thing, as I am, it’s not about me, or about writing. For the people reading it, it’s about music, and that’s how it should be. I’m gonna get back to all of that in a minute, but before I do, thank you again for your role in making this project special, to me and I hope to you as well. I wouldn’t be able to keep it going without your support.

Okay, back to work. More to come.

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The Obelisk is Six Years Old Today

Posted in The Numbers on January 30th, 2015 by JJ Koczan

the obelisk 6 years

A lot has changed in the last six years. Not so much my PhotoShop skills, but plenty of other stuff. The first post on this site went up on Jan. 31, 2009. It was a Saturday, like tomorrow. The better part of the few days prior had been spent sorting out a WordPress back end with Slevin, picking a theme, making a header and all that kind of stuff, so I usually just mark the last Friday of each January as the anniversary of the site’s launch. I’m sure there’s a way to figure out the exact time and date it happened, but I’m also sure I have neither any idea nor inclination to find out what it might be. We’ll all live.

My perspective, of course, is skewed, but to me it seems like this site has come to occupy a curious space in the weird, online version of the heavy underground. There are a lot of blogs out there now — more than when I started and there were plenty then as well — and what I think continues to set this one apart is that I have no staff. I doubt everyone who stops by to check out a track stream or whatever or read a press release knows that, but it’s true. Apart from a few tour diaries (and more to come) and a few short-lived columns by others, I’ve done all the writing on this site in the last six years and over 5,800 posts. I’ve been places I never thought I’d go, heard things I never thought I’d hear. It’s become my creative livelihood. If it’s a weekday and I’m not writing, I feel disconnected.

That’s about me, though. I’ve said thanks many times over the years, and I continue to do so without fear of redundancy because it’s important to me on a personal level that you understand how much I appreciate your role in all this nonsense. I’ve thanked readers, my wife, labels, PR firms, Slevin, and many others along the way, but the group I think I probably thank the least is the bands, the people who actually make the music. I’ve also said there are days when The Obelisk is what gets me out of bed in the morning, which is very true, but if the music wasn’t there to start with, if these wonderful people weren’t reaching out to me at a rate that I can in no way keep up with anymore, the impulse would’ve died long ago. Whether it’s your fifth album or your debut EP on Bandcamp, thank you.

And to the rest as well, of course. Readers, both brand new and old enough to be considered friends. EVERYBODY on the forum and EVERYBODY who listens to the radio. The Patient Mrs., who I don’t think really understands this project completely but knows I need it and accepts that, which to me is all the more beautiful. My family for their support, especially this last year. The labels and public relations folk who’ve stuck with me even as my career in print media evaporated one outlet at a time. Slevin for his unending willingness to hold my hand through what must seem like the easiest damn things in the world to him.

The list goes on and is full of names that by now feel pretty familiar, which makes me feel even luckier for the loyalty that implies. If I believed in blessings, I’d call myself blessed. I am instead incredibly fortunate, and this site reminds me of that every single day. Even the weekends.

To six years.

Thank you,
JJ Koczan

 

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