The Deviant Collective: Two-Night Event in Baltimore Announced for August

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 24th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

Outdoors all ages! Take your children to see Caustic Casanova and then put them to bed before Yatra or Solace go on. Ah, but that’s just night two of The Deviant Collective, a two-dayer scheduled for Aug. 13 and 14 in Baltimore, Maryland. Looking to leave lockdown in style? For those of us on the Eastern Seaboard, this might be the way to do it, as Blackseed Services out of Pittsburgh and Zentagram — soon to be formerly of MD — will present a monster lineup in The Depot and outside Oliver Brewing that boasts not only the aforementioned, but Horseburner, Foghound, Howling Giant, Spiral Grave and more and more and more.

The indoor portion (night one) has limited capacity, so if you’re feeling tentative about rejoining such togetherness-minded settings, wear your mask and consider this a way to test the waters. Both nights look stellar, as does the Bill Kole artwork that even with the cat I can’t help but think of as a dogwhistle to Man’s Ruin Records in a righteous update of Frank Kozik‘s once-upon-a-time label logo. Badass either way.

And that applies all around, not just to the art. Here’s the info:

the-deviant-collective

The Deviant Collective – Baltimore Maryland

Fuzz-filled riffs and thick-toned grooves will fill the mid-August Baltimore air as Blackseed Services and Zentagram present THE DEVIANT COLLECTIVE: An assembly of Stoner, Psych, Doom and things of a Heavy Prog nature. This is a one-time event and the last Zentagram production this side of the Mississippi and you won’t want to miss it!

Night One
Friday, August 13th Live at The Depot (Club Show 19+)
Horseburner, Cavern, Foghound, and THUNDERCHIEF
Doors at 6 PM/Bands at 7 PM
1228 N Charles Street, Baltimore, MD
$10, First come, first in (limited capacity)

Night Two
Saturday, August 14th Live at Oliver Brewing Co.
(Outdoor All Ages)
SOLACE, YATRA, Howling Giant, Jakethehawk, Brimstone Coven, Hot Blood, I am The Liquor, Stonecutters, Caustic Casanova, Atomic Motel, and Spiral Grave
Gates at 2 PM/ Bands at 3 PM
4216 Shannon Drive, Baltimore, MD

Rain or Shine $25, tickets available for Saturday only.

Check out event pages and blackseedservices.com/DEVIANT-FEST/

DAY ONE: https://www.facebook.com/events/312842907028651
DAY TWO: https://www.facebook.com/events/768990963805667

https://www.facebook.com/blackseedservices
https://blackseedservices.com/DEVIANT-FEST/
https://www.facebook.com/Zentagram-476632783139949

Horseburner, The Thief (2019)

Solace, The Brink (2019)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Obelisk Questionnaire: Zak Suleri of Et Mors, Cerulean Room, Torvus, Seasick Gladiator, Etc.

Posted in Questionnaire on April 23rd, 2021 by JJ Koczan

zak suleri et mors

The Obelisk Questionnaire is a series of open questions intended to give the answerer an opportunity to explore these ideas and stories from their life as deeply as they choose. Answers can be short or long, and that reveals something in itself, but the most important factor is honesty.

Based on the Proust Questionnaire, the goal over time is to show a diverse range of perspectives as those who take part bring their own points of view to answering the same questions. To see all The Obelisk Questionnaire posts, click here.

Thank you for reading and thanks to all who participate.

The Obelisk Questionnaire: Zak Suleri of Et Mors, Torvus, Cerulean Room, Seasick Gladiator, what lies below…, Desolate Cemetery, Blodleten & Guard

How do you define what you do and how did you come to do it?

Since I can remember, I’ve always wanted to be some sort of entertainer. I never felt like I fit in, even with friends and family, so I was always acting out and finding ways to express my individuality. Poetry, music, and art helped me relate to the world and became increasingly important as I grew older.

Describe your first musical memory.

I was riding in the backseat of my mother’s car, around the age of four. We were living in Boston at the time, and she had the radio station on which was playing Jazz. I remember being absolutely fascinated by the notes and sounds I was hearing, and then disappointed when it was replaced with Classical music!

Describe your best musical memory to date.

There’s been a bunch, but the most memorable to me was one time jamming with Albert, the other half of Et Mors. We had just transitioned from being a four-piece band to a two-piece, and I was going through a lot at the time in addition to having doubts on whether to even continue as a band. We indulged in our usual warm-up routine, then improvised for 45 minutes. Towards the end of that session, it became intense. Tears started streaming down my face. I was just screaming, crying, and letting everything out I was feeling. It was pure catharsis. That session was later reworked to become the Tombswayer EP.

When was a time when a firmly held belief was tested?

I never really thought of anything as definite or certain, as my life was always subject to constant change. However, it was certainly disappointing to meet some of the musicians I looked up to who don’t practice what they preach.

Where do you feel artistic progression leads?

I feel artistic progression leads to learning more about one’s true self. Art is deeply personal. Even if we intentionally try to make it the opposite, the very idea and initiative must come from within. Artistic progression from an artist’s perspective will lead to them finding out their own nature and developing ways to accurately capture the feelings and ideas they’re experiencing at the time. As a society, artistic progression should lead to a more compassionate world.

How do you define success?

There is no success. Only you can decide when you look back on your life whether you stayed true to yourself within these very limited years we’re allowed.

What is something you have seen that you wish you hadn’t?

Being 22, I grew up in the age of the internet. I had one partner who particularly enjoyed real shock and gore footage she found in the depths of the web. In real life, I’ve seen some friends go down some very dark paths.

Describe something you haven’t created yet that you’d like to create.

I’ve been dreaming about creating a series of films. I have some rough plots and an old camcorder, so I suppose I’m halfway ready then! The soundtrack will most likely be done by Et Mors or what lies below… (my experimental/ambient project).

I have the first demo for my new slowcore/indie project coming out in two days (4/25/21) It’s called ‘Parting Lullabies’ and the project name is Cerulean Room. https://ceruleanroom.bandcamp.com/.

What do you believe is the most essential function of art?

Art serves to provide understanding to that part of the human experience that will never be fully explainable by any logic or science.

Something non-musical that you’re looking forward to?

I’ve recently been getting into film photography, so I’m looking forward to more late nights alone with a camera. Oh, and reuniting with the people I haven’t seen in over a year once the pandemic is over.

https://www.facebook.com/EtMors/
https://etmors.bandcamp.com/
https://ceruleanroom.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/torvusband/
https://www.instagram.com/_torvus_
https://torvus.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/SeasickGladiator
https://seasickgladiator.bandcamp.com/
https://whatliesbel0w.bandcamp.com/
https://desolatecemetery.bandcamp.com/
https://blodleten.bandcamp.com/

Torvus, The Innate Disease (2021)

Et Mors, Tombswayer (2019)

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Mangog Announce June 25 Release for Economic Violence; New Song Streaming

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 23rd, 2021 by JJ Koczan

mangog

Baltimore’s Mangog give a righteous showing in the first single from their upcoming second album, Economic Violence, with the hooky riff and push of “Suicide Donkey.” The full-length follow-up to early 2017’s Mangog Awakens (review here) will be the culmination of years of work — it was first announced in 2018 — and their first outing with Russell Hayward III on drums alongside the returning parties of vocalist Myke Wells, bassist Darby Cox and guitarist Bert Hall, Jr., formerly of Beelzefuzz as well as Revelation/Against Nature, etc. You might recall they had an EP out in 2019 as well called The Ghost in the Room (discussed here), and with the last year aside, they’ve been playing shows all the while in the Chesapeake region.

I’m specifically interested to check out the lyrics to the record when the time comes, certainly those of “Suicide Donkey,” which you can stream below, speak to the sociopolitical take that’s reportedly present in the album as a whole. The title Economic Violence would seem to refer to systematic oppression — as with nearly everything in American history, it’s a story about white-on-Black racism — and with ‘Baltimore’ and ‘now’ as their settings, Mangog have plenty to explore. Looking forward to that, as well as the riffs.

The PR wire has details and the always-crucial preorder link:

mangog economic violence

Maryland Doom Metal Powerhouse MANGOG Unleashes Details & First Track From Upcoming Album

Baltimore, Maryland, doom metal act MANGOG has revealed the first details about their upcoming, sophomore album entitled Economic Violence, which is slated for a release on June 25, 2021 through Argonauta Records! Following on the critically acclaimed debut, Mangog Awakens, the four-piece continues to unleash their blend of classic doom metal while adding a speedier, metalizzed bridge to cross the grounds of an enjoyable hardrock sound, yet with some sensitive, important issues the record deals about. MANGOG have something to say, their new album is more pissed-off, more versatile, and more doom! Deep and passionate vocals, these pounding, big riffs and a fast- paced metal vibe give the band’s new album such a rich and commanding presence you can’t help but to immerge into the Economic Violence.

“Like Birmingham, England was to Black Sabbath all those years ago, Baltimore, Maryland served as the backdrop of MANGOG’s latest collection of songs.” Guitarist and vocalist Bert Hall comments. “This time out, we explored the themes of political manipulation, over aggressive police, systemic racism and life beyond inevitable death. We are surrounded by multiple choice fates of true economic violence. We decided to put those to music.”

MANGOG was formed by Bert Hall, Jr (Revelation/ Against Nature/ Righteous Bloom/Beelzefuzz), bassist Darby Cox and vocalist Myke Wells. The band debuted at the 2015 Maryland Doom Festival and spent the next months quickly gaining steam in the prestigious Maryland doom scene. In 2016, they joined the Argonauta Records roster and released their first album, Mangog Awakens, in early 2017. While playing shows and festivals in many states, the band prepared a follow up EP , The Ghost In The Room, which was released exclusively on Bandcamp. Ultimately joined by drummer Russell Hayward III, MANGOG stands ready to release its sophomore album, Economic Violence, as CD and Digital formats on June 25th.

The pre-sale has just started at THIS LOCATION: https://www.argonautarecords.com/shop/

Album Tracklist:
01. Of Infinity
02. Suicide Donkey
03. Shadow Pictures
04. Economic Violence
05. Propaganda
06. Adrift
07. As The Stars Fall
08. The Killing Fields
09. Secret War
10. Invisible Chains

www.facebook.com/MangogOfficial
www.instagram.com/mangog_official
www.mangog.bandcamp.com
www.mangog-usa.com
www.argonautarecords.com
www.facebook.com/argonautarecords

Mangog, “Suicide Donkey”

Tags: , , , , ,

Foghound Release New Benefit Single “Burn Slow”

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 15th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

It’s hard to know in listening which came first, the title “Burn Slow” or the guitar solo featured in the song itself. In any case, if the other is the namesake of the one, it would only be too fitting, since, indeed, it’s a slow burner. The track was recorded by Foghound in the same session with Noel Mueller of Grimoire Records (what up Towson? you guys ever get down to Sparks?) that resulted in the Baltimorean outfit’s 2020 benefit single “Turn off the World” (discussed here). As it happens, “Burn Slow” is also a benefit release, this one intended to help out John Anthony Metichecchia, for whom there’s also a benefit show happening at Cafe 611 in Frederick, MD, on May 1. Foghound and a bunch of other cool bands are playing, as you can see from the list below.

And the track rules and the cause is just. Whatever more you’d ask, I don’t know.

Listen, support. Do the thing:

foghound burn slow

Foghound – Burn Slow

*Who/ Where/ When- Foghound recorded the single with Noel Mueller in Baltimore back in January 2020, at the same pre-pandemic time as the last single ” Turn Off The World” before ALL the shit hit the fan…

* What/ Why/ How – ” Burn Slow” will be released as a benefit ” Name Your Price” download alongside t-shirts and hoodies featuring the kickass artwork of Bill Kole.

All profits from the single and shirt sales will go directly towards the Johnny M. Benefit GoFundMe as well as the benefit show in Frederick MD. Saturday May 1st at Cafe 611: https://www.facebook.com/events/4184916461527869/

May 1 Benefit Lineup:
Thousand Vision Mist
Mangog
Foghound
Severed Satellites
Dee Calhoun
Bailjack

“Pay What You Want Single” to Benefit our MD DOOM Brother
John Anthony Metichecchia and Family

Downloadable track with purchase of “Burn Slow” shirt/ hoodie
Art by Bill Kole

released April 12, 2021
Recorded at Tiny Castle Studio by Noel Mueller:
engineering, mixing, mastering
Towson, Maryland
January 2020

Foghound are:
Adam Heinzmann- bass
Bob Sipes- guitar
Chuck Dukehart- drums & vox
Dee Settar- guitar & vox

https://www.facebook.com/foghoundbaltimore
http://foghound.net/
https://ripplemusic.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/theripplemusic
http://www.ripple-music.com/

Foghound, “Burn Slow”

Tags: , , , , ,

The Obelisk Questionnaire: Brian Daniloski of Darsombra

Posted in Questionnaire on April 9th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

Brian Daniloski darsombra

The Obelisk Questionnaire is a series of open questions intended to give the answerer an opportunity to explore these ideas and stories from their life as deeply as they choose. Answers can be short or long, and that reveals something in itself, but the most important factor is honesty.

Based on the Proust Questionnaire, the goal over time is to show a diverse range of perspectives as those who take part bring their own points of view to answering the same questions. To see all The Obelisk Questionnaire posts, click here.

Thank you for reading and thanks to all who participate.

The Obelisk Questionnaire: Brian Daniloski of Darsombra

How do you define what you do and how did you come to do it?

I define myself as Brian Daniloski, and life is what I do, all the time, until I die. If I had to give a bio to the world of what I would like to be remembered for, I would describe myself as an artist. My primary artistic practices are music composition, playing music, and performing music (which to me is different than, but also involves, playing music), among other artistic practices, like decorating my home, making breakfast, gardening, etc. Beyond that, I am also a yoga teacher and student, bicycle-riding, hiking, nature-loving, peace-loving, kind of a person, and I do a whole bunch of other not very exciting things too.

As to how I came to do the bio-to-the-world stuff, I dreamed of being a musician when I was about 9, soon after getting the (at that time) new KISS album, Rock and Roll Over. KISS changed my life. I started plunking around on a guitar shortly after that. My first guitar was a very shitty acoustic guitar that I picked up at a yard sale. I’m pretty sure it didn’t even have all six strings. It was the kind of guitar that would discourage most people from playing guitar, but I would pick out stuff like “Smoke on the Water” or the Twilight Zone theme by ear, and do pick slides and funny glissando runs up and down the strings all day to amuse myself and anyone nearby.

About a year or two after that, I got my first electric guitar and started taking guitar lessons from a music store in town. I learned several basic chords and some Beatles songs, but never learned to read music very efficiently. Although I could read a chord chart (if the chords weren’t too technically intense, and then eventually there was guitar tablature, which is much easier to read than traditional music notation), I pretty much taught myself to play music by ear, and sometimes, whenever I had the rare opportunity in those days, by watching another guitarist. At some point a neighborhood friend showed me how to play a barre chord, and that was a major revelation. I did the whole jam-by-myself-in-my-teenage-bedroom thing for many years before I felt confident enough in my abilities to play with others.

During the last years of high school, I started performing in some not-so-serious bands with friends, and did that sort of thing on and off for the next few years. We only ever played a couple of shows. I tried writing a tune here or there, but it wasn’t until I bought a four-track cassette recorder that I started really getting into composing.

Around that time, I also started going to underground shows. Before this, I was just going to a lot of arena rock shows, but those musicians were like untouchable gods to me. The chasm between playing in my bedroom or jamming with some friends in a garage, and actually playing a show on a stage to an audience seemed intimidatingly immense. It wasn’t until I saw the Butthole Surfers perform an awesome mind-bending show for a sold-out enthusiastic audience in this small shithole basement punk rock club in Baltimore, that I started to think that perhaps that chasm wasn’t as big as I’d imagined.

Soon after that, now in my early twenties, I started a band with my younger brother. That was in the late ’80s. Very quickly, we started getting serious with it. By serious, I mean we started writing songs, making and releasing recordings, and playing live shows. Within a few years, it went from just playing shows around Baltimore, Maryland, to playing shows that were within a 4-6 hour driving radius from Baltimore, to touring pretty regularly all over the US.

I haven’t stopped doing that sort of thing since. Only the cast of characters that I’ve done it with, and how far away we’ve been able to tour, has changed over the years. Over 30 years in, and I still spend a good chunk of every year as a wandering musician exploring the globe (2020 not so much — although we did get to perform our first show in Mexico before the pandemic shut everything down), and pretty much every day of my life I am involved in music, or some artistic creative process, and thankful of that.

I feel especially fortunate and grateful to have found a partner in crime to do this with. I’m not so sure that I would still be doing this the way I do it at this age, had the circumstances been different. Leaving behind significant others to go driving around in a van full of dudes for chunks of time, like I used to, doesn’t have as much appeal for me these days. I still do the same thing, driving around in a van to play shows, but the atmosphere is much more agreeable with my partner and bestest buddy along for the adventure.

Describe your first musical memory.

I remember deriving a great deal of joy from this enormous record-player-stereo-console-furniture-thing that my parents had. It must have been about the size of a refrigerator lying on its side. This would have been the early ’70s. They would play vinyl LP records on it like The Beatles Abbey Road, Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones, soundtracks to popular musicals of the time, Smothers Brothers comedy albums, and childrens records. There was a lot of music and dancing in the living room. I instantly loved music.

Describe your best musical memory to date.

“Best” is a really hard word for me, but one of my favorite musical moments was playing music outside by the side of the highway in rural Wyoming during a total solar eclipse. The high from the performance was incredible even though there were only two people in attendance — two tourists from Germany just happened to show up to watch the eclipse right as we were getting ready to start playing, a father and his son. The dad seemed to dig it okay; the son, not so much, as he seemed more interested in whatever he was doing on his smartphone. We were so charged from playing the show that we drove four hours to the Badlands of South Dakota, set up our gear again at the top of a mesa, and played over the Badlands as the sun went down that same day. There aren’t a lot of days like that.

When was a time when a firmly held belief was tested?

I feel like my beliefs are questioned and tested all the time, so I try not to hold them too firmly. I’m always questioning everything, even myself. I think it was .38 Special that said “Hold on loosely, but don’t let go. If you cling too tightly, you’re gonna lose control.” I can go along with that sentiment, even if I’m not too crazy about the band or the song.

But seriously, reality is not real, or it is at least highly subjective, and therefore malleable. Once one accepts this, then it’s kind of hard to have too firm of a hold on a belief or idea. I think it’s good to have one’s beliefs tested. If your beliefs can’t withstand a test or two, maybe it’s time for a reassessment of that belief.

Where do you feel artistic progression leads?

Down the rabbit hole, hopefully!

How do you define success?

My personal definition of success is being able to spend most of one’s time doing what one wants. I’ve always aimed at that, to varying degrees of success. ;)

What is something you have seen that you wish you hadn’t?

Well, it’s nothing horrible like being in a war, but on my way home from work one day, I saw two kittens run into a busy intersection and get run over by some cars right in front of me. That was something I wish I hadn’t seen. Other than that, I’m sure there’s a long list of bad movies that would fit the bill.

Describe something you haven’t created yet that you’d like to create.

We haven’t created the next Darsombra album yet, but we’re working on it, and having a blast! One day I’d like to create an all-synth album, but it’s really hard to put the guitar down, it’s like a third arm. Perhaps a time machine. That might be fun.

What do you believe is the most essential function of art?

Self-expression. Then after that, I’d say inspiration and/or evocation.

Something non-musical that you’re looking forward to?

I look forward to socializing like we used to before the pandemic, being able to hug family and friends (instead of acting under the assumption that we’re all lepers), and not having to wear a mask as much.

http://facebook.com/darsombra
https://www.instagram.com/darsombra/
http://www.darsombra.com/

Darsombra, Call the Doctor / Nightgarden (2021)

Tags: , , , , , ,

The Obelisk Questionnaire: Ann Everton of Darsombra

Posted in Questionnaire on April 8th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

Darsombra Ann Everton

The Obelisk Questionnaire is a series of open questions intended to give the answerer an opportunity to explore these ideas and stories from their life as deeply as they choose. Answers can be short or long, and that reveals something in itself, but the most important factor is honesty.

Based on the Proust Questionnaire, the goal over time is to show a diverse range of perspectives as those who take part bring their own points of view to answering the same questions. To see all The Obelisk Questionnaire posts, click here.

Thank you for reading and thanks to all who participate.

The Obelisk Questionnaire: Ann Everton of Darsombra

How do you define what you do and how did you come to do it?

I am a filmmaker, a musician, and above all, an artist. Making video art was my first creative path after exploring all sorts of art forms in my youth (graffiti, printmaking, oil painting, sculpture, performance art) — I had three days of education in Final Cut Pro 4 when I was in college, concentrating on Visual Arts, writing, and language. From those three little days of learning how to edit videos, I began working in video almost exclusively (save for photographic and graphic design work), from 2003 until now — but in 2013, I started to play music as well.

But I skipped the important part, which is that I met Brian Daniloski in 2009, and began collaborating with him in Darsombra in 2010. Initially, we’d just project my video work on Brian when he played (Darsombra was a solo act before August 2010) — that quickly evolved into me making video work specifically composed to Brian’s music. In 2012, we released our first album together (not including the DVD-album, Mega-Void, released a little earlier in 2012), Climax Community, on German label Exile on Mainstream. I composed, shot, and edited video work to the entire album, as well as doing the album art and graphic design, and Brian composed, played, and recorded all the music (though he was gracious enough to ask my opinion on different parts of the songs!). And then, in 2013, we changed it up again and I started to learn how to play music after we purchased a synthesizer.

I had had some musical background as a kid, playing violin, and singing at school and in church choirs, but music had always been a passion for me more as a listener than a player, performer, or singer. I was shy and didn’t like to practice — and I grew up in all-female educational environments for most of my youth, so I actually didn’t like the sound of the female voice (or my own voice, even). In 2013, I felt the call to perform on stage with Brian — previously our shows looked like him on stage and me in the audience, being the projectionist. With my background in photography and video work, I figured synth would be easiest for me — it’s a lot of little knobs and levers to change your parameters to your desire, like a camera. Also… it’s hard to make a synth sound really bad! My first (and only, so far) synth was the Roland Gaia — many folks take umbrage to it, but I love the sounds it makes.

I also sing (at last), and play percussion — singing was hard for me, even though the idea of using your body as an instrument was appealing to me as well. I had no faith in my voice, and it was not until one of my yoga teachers, Anjali Sunita (who was trained extensively in North Indian classical music), explained to me how you could sing from different parts of your body, and sing as a devotional act, the same way you practice yoga — a yoking of the individual to the ultimate. A touch to the universe, a touch of the infinite — that’s when I got past my prejudices against the female voice and began to really enjoy singing again. Also, singing with Darsombra is fun — we hardly ever sing lyrics, and we play with our voices a lot. We test our abilities and use our breath and posture to reach for the next level — it’s a practice, like yoga, that involves my entire body. Plus it’s a great way to convey feeling to strangers — even (or especially) without the use of language.

Percussion’s just great fun to get that stress or anger or nervousness out — I mostly play the gong, but I’ve been using bells a lot too. The challenge is timing — but that is why I love playing music, it’s so much like yoga. I never appreciated practicing until I started practicing yoga, in 2008—that’s part of the reason why my childhood attempts at being a musician were fruitless. I didn’t have the drive, so I didn’t have the discipline. Yoga changed that for me, initially as a physical practice — now as a subtle practice. I guess you could say I have a lot of creative outlets — I didn’t even mention writing, which I still (clearly) enjoy! And, of course filmmaking—my first love, and still my deepest.

Describe your first musical memory.

I was a very small child, in a church choir of fellow very-small-children, set to sing “Good Morning, Starshine” from Hair with all the other littles for a variety show. Though we had rehearsed the song, right before the performance the choir leader stressed to us how important it was to sing as loud as we possibly could… I took this quite literally and screamed my head off, making the little girl next to me burst into tears… I believe my folks have a VHS of the fateful performance somewheres!

Describe your best musical memory to date.

See above. Just kidding… I don’t have a best. Absolutely every one of the hundreds of shows we’ve played has been memorable, for better or worse, and almost every show of the thousands I’ve chosen to attend as an audience member has been memorable, usually for better… though seeing Magma in a small club in Quebec City was life-affirming. We had incredible seats, I shot so much video (one day it will make its way online), and they even gave a shout out to the folks “who came all the way up from Baltimore” to enjoy this rare, beautiful performance. I especially remember the lighting — Magma’s music tells a story without familiar words, and whoever was doing those lights was in on the narrative. So much narrative with just sound and light, no language (but Kobaïan, which not a lot of people speak).

When was a time when a firmly held belief was tested?

These are really good questions! This is a tough one for me… but I feel called to kinda take ahold of this train and drive it down the sexuality track. Ok… this may be a little obtuse.

Dear loves of Brian and I just broke up — a couple, together for 15 years, our lovers for the past four. I thought they would be together forever — so, in a very literal way, that belief was tested and scrapped — but it taught me something about myself, to believe my loves were so solid in their own relationship — I was projecting. And I see it so, so much as a performer — people see Brian and I on stage and project their fantasies of what our relationship must be like, how they wish they had a relationship like ours, etc., etc. I know this because people tell me this all the time, thinking they’re paying me a compliment, but they have no idea — what we call love and fidelity and sexual freedom may be completely different from what they’ve projected on us. They never project “queer poly pansexual freaks on a hunt for an orgy”… they often project “monogamous heterosexual.” My gears don’t turn that way. So test them beliefs… reality is so much more nuanced, thank goddesxxx…

Where do you feel artistic progression leads?

I’m trying to find out! My grandmother was an artist, a painter, accomplished in the regions in which she worked, fairly unknown outside of them. She painted images of Black people and communities in Birmingham in the 1950s, images of rural Alabama, moody landscapes, moody still-lifes. . . my life is haunted by her work, and her legacy. I only knew her until I was 13, and the last eight years of her life could not be called living. She stopped making art when I was quite young, and I never really got to know her. I have some very strange memories of her, though.

She has left my family (which is very small) with hundreds of paintings, water colors, oils, pastels… I love them, they are so moody and haunting and beautiful, pictures of another world you’d drift in and out of like an episode of The Twilight Zone. Her work is her legacy, and her progress as an artist led to… ? Misery? Obscurity? I never saw her live to see true reward for her work—and yet, she had a lifetime’s worth of it carried with her, and then with my father and auntie, and now, to me and the rest of my family. So I’m not really sure where artistic progression leads—does it lead to poverty, obscurity, dementia, people around you thinking you’re nuts, a haunted house crammed floor to ceiling with junk? Artists are weird birds. We float up there in the loft of reality, especially if we don’t get grounded by expanding our families. (Grounding’s not a bad thing, by the way.) We dream deep, but we can flake on reality hard. Or, at least, sometimes I do.

In my own life as an artist, I have been cheered to see one thing hold true for the artist who keeps making art—the longer you stay at it, the better it gets, the more people are familiar with your work, enjoy it, get it, the more opportunities you get. . . the trick is, you’ve gotta keep doing it. In 2007, I did a short artist residency in rural Hungary, on lake Balaton. There was a Hungarian artist there that my 25-year-old self had such a crush on. So, of course, I was all ears to his very good advice, which was, “Keep making art. See where it goes. Never stop making art.” Very simple, so right—the world will give you a million-and-one reasons to stop being an artist, but if you just sort of keep doing it… I agree with his beautiful Hungarian ass! Keep making art and see where it goes!

How do you define success?

Ideas made manifest through action.

What is something you have seen that you wish you hadn’t?

At the suggestion of my dear Zoom writing group, I will answer this challenging and intriguing question by reflecting on touring life in general… you will never take your own bathroom for granted again. When we’re on the road, particularly in North America, we travel in a van equipped with a place to sleep and a place to prepare food, but no plumbing… so I will just sort of describe a scenario to you, dear reader:

You wake up in a van, in August — it’s hot, it’s about 10:30am (you went to bed at 4 after working at the venue till 2 and then enjoying a post-show hang with friends from the bill), and you’re mostly comfortable because your van is conveniently parked under a tree in a driveway at a friend’s place. Said friend also sleeps in a mobile unit, which is quite clean, but they rent the unit from another friend who has a small house — to which the driveway is attached. The home is made from scraps of other homes and houses another musician, who is devoted to his craft but struggles with hygiene and household chores, as well as his health and alcohol addiction. He is a kind, gracious man, so you can’t refuse his hospitality when he offers you the use of his facilities (i.e. driveway, toilet, shower) — plus, his tenants are your friends and fellow performers from the night before, so that’s where the fun is.

So yes, you wake up at 10:30 — nature calls. Not the sort of nature which is easy to heed the call of in a plumbing-less van or in the bushes. You decide to hazard the toilet. The screen door of the trailer slams behind you as you enter, seeing the space for the first time in the daylight, wet, gray-green carpet squishing underfoot. You pass a small, economically-sized kitchen, covered in dried food and piled with dirty dishes in the sink and on the counter. Also on the counter is a gelatinous savory food item (like potato salad?) in a large bowl with plastic cling wrap on top, slightly puffed outwards, a halo of fruit flies alighting up in a vortex above the bowl as you walk by and feel the creaky, gritty floor shake the counter and disturb the bowled substance’s equipoise. The small cloud of flies eventually settles back down onto the engorged plastic wrap as you pass and enter the bathroom, pulling the thin plastic door closed behind you, and the toilet appears clean enough — yes, you can certainly do your business here. But wait! What’s that on the bathroom sink? It sort of looks like something from a deranged scientist’s lab — vials and jars and tubes of liquid await their next worldly purpose, whatever it may be, and all the liquid is yellow. You ask yourself… will I relax in this environment, surrounded by jars of urine?

I sincerely hope I did not incur some bogus vibes from recounting this memory… you asked!

Describe something you haven’t created yet that you’d like to create.

Well, I am in the midst of composing and shooting the video art/music videos for this new single we’re about to release… I am soooooooo excited to share it, as well as the album it’ll be on (though that will probably come later in 2021 — the single first, hopefully by spring). So, technically, that counts!

I love composing video art to the music we make — it’s always such a surprise what comes up when I’m in the right frame of mind and listening deep. Sometimes I see scenes I don’t want to film, or to make real — that happened a lot during the first half of Transmission, composing the video. This time around, we have two songs, one 15 minutes in length, and the other 10 minutes — for us, pop songs! Well, one is more of a dance track, of all things, and the other is a lullaby waltz/spacewalk (with brief but significant hand-of-doom shenanigans) — so I’ve got some fun ideas I’ll be shooting and editing soon. Lots of dancing, lots of play, lots of space and sci-fi. But I’m curious to see what comes up in future deep listens…

I often see color schemes for the songs before any sort of theme or narrative comes up — for example, the color scheme for “From Insects… to Aliens (The Worms Turn)” was blue, cyan, black, and white (and maybe bright green too) — for the first half of “Transmission” it was black, red, and white; for the second half, yellow, blue, magenta, green, cyan… basically, rainbow! For these new songs on the single, one is yellow, blue, and white (and black); the other, black, blue, cyan, green… purple? Like the colors of a ’70s fantasy landscape painted on the side of a van… That’s what the deep listen is for — to figure that out, and if there’s a story, like how “Insects…” tells a story about insects out-evolving humans, becoming sentient and developing methods of space travel and colonization. Actually, the “Thunder Thighs” video is about space colonization too… I sense a theme here…

What do you believe is the most essential function of art?

Transcendence. Level up!

Something non-musical that you’re looking forward to?

As of 2020 quarantine, I have become a HUGE fan of Star Trek: The Original Series (and The Animated Series, too — which I may like as much or even more than The Original Series). Neither Brian nor I had seen any Star Trek, so we decided to start from scratch — at first, I was a little turned-off by the old-school sexism of the show, though it was clearly of its time. . however, then I fell into the world of Star Trek fanfiction, and I’ve, ahem, never looked at Kirk or Spock the same since! So, I’m looking forward to publishing my own Star Trek fanfiction online, very soon… bet ya didn’t know I’m such a big nerd!!!

http://facebook.com/darsombra
https://www.instagram.com/darsombra/
http://www.darsombra.com/

Darsombra, Call the Doctor / Nightgarden (2021)

Tags: , , , ,

Black Lung Post “Demons” Live Video; Begin Recording New Album

Posted in Bootleg Theater on March 26th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

black lung

Dig this vibe. Baltimore’s Black Lung are currently in the Magpie Cage with producer J. Robbins working on their fourth full-length for release (hopefully) later this year. It is not at all the first time the two parties have collaborated, and the trio have their work cut out for them in following-up 2019’s third album, Ancients (review here), which was consistent in its black-and-white aesthetics and heavy blues with their past offerings while still reaching toward new ground in songwriting and style. They’ve apparently been sitting on at least some of the material for a while as well — not shocking, considering the state of the world — as the video below for the new song “Demons” was recorded live at Wright Way Studios with Steve Wright engineering late in 2019, intended, as noted below, as a promo for a European tour that was subsequently canceled.

So it goes. You’ll hear guitarist Dave Cavalier pushing some almost Witchcraft-style fragility in the vocals of “Demons,” and that’s cool too, but as someone who’s never seen the band live despite their having three albums out, I’ll take what I can get in terms of watching them play. Guitarist Dave FullertonCavalier and drummer Elias Schutzman (the latter also of Revvnant) have a classic and organic seeming dynamic, which isn’t particularly shocking to find out given that’s how they come across on record as well, but hey, confirmation is always nice.

And whatever final version of “Demons” surfaces on their yet-untitled next full-length, the album will invariably find the band shifting that chemistry between the two guitars and the drums as well, since for the first time they’ll be working with a live bassist in Charles Walsh. As of yesterday, they were done with rhythm tracks (bass and drums, maybe also guitar?), so proceedings are proceeding.

I’ll hope to have more on the next Black Lung as they get closer to the release. Until then, a substantive teaser follows.

Enjoy:

Black Lung, “Demons” live at Wright Way Studios

Elias Schutzman on “Demons”:

“Demons” was the first song we wrote with Dave Fullerton in the band (our new guitarist). We actually recorded and filmed this video in late 2019 as promo for our 2020 European tour, which obviously never happened due to Covid. I think we play the song even better now, but this video captures the early stages of the new lineup. We’re now in the studio with producer J. Robbins tracking our next album which will definitely feature this song…

Recorded live at Wright Way Studios
Engineered and mixed by Steve Wright
Filmed by Matt Kelley

Black Lung is:
Dave Cavalier- Vocals, Guitar
Dave Fullerton- Guitar
Elias Schutzman- Drums

Black Lung on Thee Facebooks

Black Lung on Instagram

Black Lung on Bandcamp

Tags: , , , ,

The Obelisk Questionnaire: Adam Heinzmann

Posted in Questionnaire on March 9th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

adam heinzmann

The Obelisk Questionnaire is a series of open questions intended to give the answerer an opportunity to explore these ideas and stories from their life as deeply as they choose. Answers can be short or long, and that reveals something in itself, but the most important factor is honesty.

Based on the Proust Questionnaire, the goal over time is to show a diverse range of perspectives as those who take part bring their own points of view to answering the same questions. To see all The Obelisk Questionnaire posts, click here.

Thank you for reading and thanks to all who participate.

The Obelisk Questionnaire: Adam Heinzmann of Foghound, Internal Void, and More

How do you define what you do and how did you come to do it?

What I do. Interesting question. I suppose at the heart of it, I play music for the possibilities. To make myself happy, of course. If it makes other people happy, well that’s a huge bonus. But it’s the connection. That part that you can’t put into words. Because words can’t describe it. With bandmates, that first time you make eye contact and you KNOW they’re in the same space as you. With fellow musicians, kinda the same thing. Whether I’m playing or watching the band or we’re both watching the band. That look. It’s priceless.

How it came about?

My best friend, to this day, told me to buy a guitar. I was 15. Maybe a year later my best friend and two other good dudes got together a needed a bass player. So, we had some smoke and the three of them said ‘sell all your guitar stuff and buy a bass’. Damnation was formed and, here I am.

Describe your first musical memory.

There are so many. Which I don’t take for granted. And while not my first memory it’s certainly the one that truly kickstarted the journey I’m on. December 8th, 1980. Or rather first thing December 9th. I had just turned 10. The Beatles were one of my first loves, still are. I had already been listening to KISS and Queen and had just discovered Neil Young. I didn’t understand at the time why I felt the way I felt. I get it now. And I still feel the same sadness I felt that day.

Describe your best musical memory to date.

Hmmm… This one is tough. So many. But the two that pop into my head oddly enough happened in the same club. Different years. 2016 Internal Void at the MD Doom Fest. Our farewell show. It was everything I had hoped our finale would be. I miss that band.
Second. Foghound at the 2018 MD Doom Fest. Man. Honestly don’t know where to start. Still not sure I can.

When was a time when a firmly held belief was tested?

This one has too many to choose from. I’ll go with this one. Got into a heated argument with a then old friend. It was about the reason I play music. He was insistent on stating that the only reason I don’t care for most ‘big bands’ is because I’m jealous of their fame and fortune. Metallica was his constant reference. I tried my best to correct him. The reason I play is for the love of the music and all that comes with it. If fame and fortune are part of that? Well awesome. I’m tired of having a day job LOL. But he wouldn’t back down. And he got increasingly hostile about ‘proving’ his point. While I don’t like conflict, I also won’t hesitate to tell someone to Fuck Off if it’s the right thing to do. I told him to Fuck Off. Haven’t seen or talked to him since. And that’s not a bad thing.

Where do you feel artistic progression leads?

It leads you on the path you are making for yourself. If that path starts with your heart. You’ll love everything you create.

How do you define success?

Peace of mind. When you lay your head on the pillow, are you at peace? If you’re not, that’s ok. As long as your plan is to fix what is keeping you from your peace. It’s not always easy.

What is something you have seen that you wish you hadn’t?

My Grandma Rosemary a few weeks before she passed. It devastated me. Stuck with me for a long time. Her funeral was the catalyst for my dislike of open casket funerals. I’m getting cremated.

Describe something you haven’t created yet that you’d like to create.

A huge sanctuary. It would be fully staffed and fully funded. And it would take in all of the homeless dogs and cats in this country.

What do you believe is the most essential function of art?

To make someone say ‘WOW’ out loud. Think about it. Those moments stay with you. Not that grade on a test. Not that ‘atta boy’ you get from a boss. Art is meant to move you. And if it doesn’t move you, well it may move someone else. And that’s the beauty of art. One piece. One song. One poem. One of so many forms of artistic expression. If it makes just one person say ‘WOW!’ out loud. That’s all that matters.

Something non-musical that you’re looking forward to?

Non-musical?

Attending the 105th Indianapolis 500 with my family and closest of friends. It’ll be my 35th 500.

Lastly. Setting myself up for the next 15 years. It involves a lot, obviously. But I’ve got a plan.

And finally. Thank you for this opportunity. I tend to go on a rant. I had to keep myself in check at times while answering these questions. Which is great. Good exercise for my brain and heart

https://www.facebook.com/foghoundbaltimore
http://foghound.net/
https://ripplemusic.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/theripplemusic
http://www.ripple-music.com/

Foghound, “Turn Off the World”

Tags: , , , ,