Ripplefest Texas 2024 Completes Lineup

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 8th, 2024 by JJ Koczan

This is one of the best lineups I’ve seen for a US-based heavy fest in the 15-plus years I’ve been running this site. I don’t know what else to say about it, honestly. For the fact that Ripplefest Texas is bringing Dozer over alone, let alone any of the other Euro acts involved who have, say, been to North America in the last 20-plus years, it’s astonishing. And not just bigger bands like Dozer and Truckfighters or Mars Red Sky and Belzebong, but Domkraft and Kal-El, bands you know if you’re into this thing but that haven’t been around as long and aren’t as ‘huge’ in the whatever sense that applies in underground music.

And it’s not like they’re skimping on within-US geography either. Of course the desert is well represented, and Texas has a significant presence as it invariably would, but with Gozu and Leather Lung headed out from Boston, Borracho traveling from D.C., Temple of the Fuzz Witch from Michigan, Robots of the Ancient World from Portland, Oregon, and so on, they’ve got all the corners and between pretty well covered. La Chinga coming from Canada. Demons My Friends giving Mexico a nod. It is extensive.

And quality. I don’t know that I’ll be there to see it, but I’d imagine that for most who get to be, it’ll be the stuff of legend. Congrats to Ryan Garney and Lick of My Spoon for bringing it into the world, and safe travels to all involved:

Ripplefest Texas 2024 poster sq

Here it is! The lineup for RippleFest Texas and the amazing art by Simon Berndt @1horsetown 🤘🔥❤️

We still have a few surprises left but this roster is stacked! Don’t miss your chance to see the world’s best heavy music at the largest family reunion of the year. Plus this is the ONLY premier festival that has absolutely ZERO OVERLAPPING so you can see every second of every band! Get your tickets now and we will see you in September!

Tier 2 tickets are almost sold out and the price increases on Monday so get your tickets now:



Plus the best light show in the business by @themadalchemistliquidliteshow

Mars Red Sky, Live at Rock in Bourlon 2023

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Desertfest New York 2024 Makes First Lineup Announcement Dozer, Acid King, Green Lung, Russian Circles & More to Play

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 21st, 2024 by JJ Koczan

desertfest nyc 2024 banner

The message here is clear: Desertfest is all-in on New York. Begun in 2019 and resurfacing in 2022 at a new venue, The Knockdown Center, somewhere in the nebulous border region between Brooklyn and Queens, and a corresponding pre-show at the Saint Vitus Bar, which one hopes will reopen well in advance of this September, Desertfest New York 2024 is vivid in taking it to the next level.

It’s nothing less than a generational event to bring Dozer from Sweden to NYC (they toured the US circa 2000, I’m pretty sure), and for that alone, Desertfest earns your weekend ticket price today. Never mind that at the same time they’re celebrating legends like Dozer and Acid King, they’re also extending their reach to up and coming bands. Green Lung will play — gotta be the main stage, right? isn’t their sound too big for anything else? maybe outside at night? — coming over from the UK to do so, and West Coast outfits KadabraAbrams, Deathchant (who at this point I count as a secret being a little too well kept) and Hippie Death Cult complement well Acid King near the top of the bill, where you’ll also find instrumentalists Russian Circles, presumably a headliner, and fair enough. Oh yeah, and Truckfighters just in case anyone gets tired and needs a bit of a cardio pick-me-up.

Guhts from New York, Domkraft from Sweden, Belzebong from Poland and an awaited appearance from Boston’s Gozu round out this initial announcement, with more to come. It’s on my calendar. You might think about putting it on yours as well:


Desertfest NYC announces Russian Circles, Acid King, Green Lung, Truckfighters, Dozer & more for its 2024 lineup.

For their return to the Knockdown Center this September, Desertfest NYC has unveiled its first artists set to take the stage for their fourth edition, announcing post-metal giants RUSSIAN CIRCLES as their first headliner. Joining them will be California stoner metal legends ACID KING and London occult metal sensations GREEN LUNG, making their US debut. After they were unable to perform at DF 2022, the festival is thrilled to finally be hosting them stateside.

Swedish rockers and long-time Desertfest friends TRUCKFIGHTERS will return for their first New York performance in four years, along with fellow countrymen and stoner devotees DOZER.

Joining the party will be Poland’s instrumental ‘dudes’ BELZEBONG, Swedish psychedelic hypnotizers DOMKRAFT, and a healthy dose of rock n roll arrives courtesy of Los Angeles quartet, DEATHCHANT and Boston mainstays GOZU.

Elsewhere we’ll be treated to some psychedelic swagger from Pacific Northwesterners KADABRA and HIPPE DEATH CULT, and some heavy gazin’ with Denver’s ABRAMS and NY locals GUHTS.

Desertfest New York 2024 will take place September 12th – 14th. 3-Day Festival Passes (incl. pre-party access) and 2-Day Festival passes are available now via &

Dozer, “Big Sky Theory” live in Adelaide, Australia, Nov. 2023

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Belzebong Announce North American Tour Dates with Greenbeard

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 31st, 2023 by JJ Koczan

Once they were announced for Burque Rock City Fest in March, The only real question was how long weed-worshiping Polish sludge metallers Belzebong would be on the road in the US, and now we know. That festival in Albuquerque will be the final stop on a string of dates that covers just about a month’s worth of touring — there’s a four-day break in there and some other days off, but it’s a good run — and they’ll set off from the Eastern Seaboard on July 7 for what they’re calling ‘Weedsommar,’ because, well, weed, and midsummer, and that movie, and subculture speaking to itself. You get the idea.

This is the part where I point out Belzebong‘s last record came out five years ago. Whatever. Good edibles take a while sometimes. Keeping company with Greenbeard — who play both rock and roll — Belzebong were in the US last year for a stop through Psycho Las Vegas (review here) where the two bands also featured on the same day, though whether that’s where they met or not I have no idea. But it’s a European act coming to the US, so maybe everybody stop shooting each other for five minutes so we can make a decent impression, hmm? A lot to ask these days, I know.

Dates follow, and if you’ve never seen Belzebong before, I’ll tell you outright they’re a blast. Fun fun fun, and fun. From social media:

Belzebong tour poster

BELZEBONG – Weedsommar

North American Tour 2023 with Greenbeard.
Tickets go on sale this Friday.

7/7 Cambridge, MA Sonia
7/8 Philadelphia, PA Kung Fu Necktie
7/9 Brooklyn, NY Saint Vitus Bar
7/11 Cleveland, OH No Class
7/12 Detroit, MI Sanctuary Detroit
7/13 Indianapolis, IN Black Circle
7/14 Chicago, IL Cobra Lounge
7/18 Dallas, TX Club Dada
7/19 Austin, TX The Lost Well
7/20 El Paso, TX Rockhouse Dive Bar Kitchen Venue
7/21 Tempe, AZ Yucca Tap Room
7/22 Los Angeles, CA Resident
7/25 Sacramento, CA Cafe Colonial
7/26 San Francisco, CA DNA Lounge
7/28 Eugene, OR John Henry’s
7/29 Vancouver, BC The Wise Hall & Lounge
7/30 Seattle, WA Funhouse Seattle
8/1 Portland, OR High Water Mark Lounge
8/3 Salt Lake City, UT Aces High Saloon
8/4 Denver, CO Hi-Dive Denver
8/5 Albuquerque, NM Burque Rock City Fest
poster: Rafał Łagowski

Belzebong, De Mysteriis Dope Sathanas – Live in Oslo (2019)

Belzebong, Light the Dankness (2018)

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Up in Smoke 2023 Makes First Lineup Announcement

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 31st, 2023 by JJ Koczan

Some pretty good inferences one might make looking at the first lineup announcement for Up in Smoke 2023, the annual Sound of Liberation festival held each year in Pratteln, Switzerland. It says The Obsessed will be on tour in Europe this Fall, which I’m pretty sure they’ve said anyway, but it might also be a clue as to the release of their next album. On the other hand, they might just be fucking touring because they’re The Obsessed and that’s what they do. Also it’s further expansion of Alabama Thunderpussy‘s reunion and since this festival is Sep. 29 to Oct. 1 and their prior confirmation was Keep it Low from Oct. 6 to 7, they’ll likely be on the road in Europe for the better part of at least two weeks. That’s not nothing.

Consider also Yawning Man heading abroad in Fall for their new album, announced yesterday. And did you hear that Dirty Sound Magnet record? I didn’t until now but it’s a ripper. New school oldschool blues heavy. Rad. And Eyehategod getting back at it too. It’s a cool bill, mix of newer acts and recognizable with Zeal & Ardor on top nothing to complain about.

Of course, there’s more to come here, but hell, I’d go to this. You? Festival in Switzerland in October? Why on earth would you say no to that?

Also note there’s a new Facebook page for the fest. From the PR wire:

Up in smoke 2023 first announcement second version


Hey Smokers, the long awaited day has come. We’re stoked to finally reveal the first names for our 2023 edition. We hope you like it as much as we do!

Get ready for three days of finest heavy rock music… this is just the beginning.

Artwork: Brookesia Estudio

Festival info:
Up In Smoke Festival
29. Sep – 01. Oct 2023
@ Konzertfabrik Z7 // Pratteln (CH)


Facebook Event:

Dirty Sound Magnet, DSM-III (2022)

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Burque Rock City Fest: Weedeater, Matt Pike, Belzebong, Early Moods & More to Play New Fest in Albuquerque, NM

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 20th, 2023 by JJ Koczan

If I’d had a soul, it would’ve wept bitter soul-tears last September at my being unable to attend Monolith on the Mesa 2022 (lineup here, if you’d like a refresher) in Taos, New Mexico. Now, I don’t know what Roman Barham, also of heavy trio Red Mesa, has in store for the first-and-maybe-only installment of Burque Rock City Fest, which moves the proceedings from Taos to Albuquerque and is set to have its inaugural edition take place in early August, but I’m more than willing to trust that by the time he and his crew have their shit together and know what they’re doing, based on past evidence as well as the already well-on-its-way lineup they’ve unveiled for Burque Rock City Fest 2023, highlighted by Belzebong coming over from Poland, Weedeater at the top of the bill (unclear if they’re headlining or just there for now), Matt Pike‘s solo-project, Early Moods, High Desert QueenSorcia and Thunder Horse alongside Prism Bitch and Coma Recovery.

It’s two days — Monolith was three last year — and will happen across two venues, neither of which I know anything about more than their name from lists of tour dates. But again, it’s a new fest but familiar parties behind it, so also not a worry. Barham notes in the quote below that Monolith on the Mesa will be back in Taos in 2024, so it’s unclear whether Burque Rock City Fest is a one-time-only placeholder or will be an ongoing second festival. I wouldn’t attempt to guess, but as it’s worth keeping an eye on, that’s what I’m doing. Will continue to do so as the lineup takes shape.

For now, the first announcement and early-bird ticket links, as per the PR wire:

Burque City Rock Fest

Monolith On The Mesa Presents: Burque Rock City Fest

August 4th & 5th 2023

The Historic El Rey Theater & Insideout Bar in Downtown Albuquerque, New Mexico.

The first round of bands has been announced…

Weedeater * Pike Vs The Automaton * Belzebong * Early Moods * High Desert Queen * ThunderHorse * Sorcia * Prism Bitch * Coma Recovery

Many More To be Announced!!

Early Bird Day Pass-$100:

Early Bird 2 Day Pass-$200:

Roman Barham, co-founder of Monolith on the Mesa has been quietly working on Burque Rock City Fest.

Barham says:

“Monolith On The Mesa crew would love to thank everyone who helped make Monolith 2022 an awesome fest. Huge thanks from The Taos Mesa Brewery crew, the Hotel Luna Mystica crew and to all the very respectful patrons that came out and made Monolith On The Mesa 2022 an amazing tribute to our fallen brother Dano Sanchez (deceased Monolith co-founder).

We have decided to take a year off from Monolith and bring it back in 2024 to Taos Mesa Brewery.

Branching south from the Monolith On The Mesa tree is Burque Rock City Fest in Albuquerque, NM At The Historic El Rey Theater & Insideout Bar On Friday August 4th & Saturday August 5th 2023.

More band announcements & more exciting info soon.


Weedeater, “Jason… the Dragon” live in Jacksonville, FL, March 1, 2023

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Keep it Low 2023 Makes First Lineup Announcement

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 21st, 2023 by JJ Koczan

The ninth edition of the of the Munich-based Keep it Low Festival will be held on Oct. 6 and 7 at Backstage, and it has unveiled the first five acts who will take part. At the top of the bill is hometown heroes Colour Haze, who’ve been a steady presence through the years and are as close to a given as Keep it Low gets. Belzebong, Thronehammer and Daily Thompson between them showcase a range of heavy styles within the genre sphere, none unwelcome on any of Europe’s many, many festival bills. The big surprise of the bunch is Alabama Thunderpussy, who join the lineup for Keep it Low 2023 after playing a reunion show in December of last year (review here) in their native Richmond, Virginia.

I don’t know whether the resurgent ATP will tour Europe or are flying over for this one show, but I wouldn’t be surprised either way. Keep it Low is early in announcing for the Fall season — though it’s not the first to do so; Høstsabbat in Norway has been unveiling its lineup and Desertfest Belgium has been moving toward doing so as well, as it and Switzerland’s Up in Smoke have their dates set — so we’ll see in probably the next two months or so how it’s all going to shake out, who’ll be on tour and when, and so on.

The start of that process is always exciting, though I’ll note that we as a species are moving closer toward a time when festival season doesn’t exist and there’s just something happening every weekend somewhere throughout Europe. I won’t complain when we get there.

Word from Sound of Liberation follows:

Keep it low 2023 first poster

Hey Keepers,

we are super excited to present you the first bands for this year’s edition of the Keep It Low festival!

Please welcome:

Colour Haze
Alabama Thunderpussy
Daily Thompson

& this is just a little glimpse of what we are cooking.

Get ready for a mighty 2023 line up!

Stay tuned!

Weekend tickets are available in our shop.

Keep It Low Festival
6. & 7. October 2023
Backstage Munich

Your Keep It Low Crew

Alabama Thunderpussy, Live in Richmond, VA, Dec. 3, 2022

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The Obelisk Show on Gimme Metal Playlist: Episode 104

Posted in Radio on February 17th, 2023 by JJ Koczan

the obelisk show banner

I was sitting on the couch earlier this week, in the usual spot, putting this playlist together and, knowing that I wanted to start with the title-track of the new Mansion album — something about Alma crooning that second death is upon you felt just right — I was immediately stuck. How on earth do you follow that? I was glad that I remembered Samán and could use them to transition to a kind of riffier take, but yeah, in terms of vibe, the severity of that Mansion record is a tough one to answer immediately with something else. Where do you go from there beyond an actual dungeon?

This show kind of divides in half. The first hour is new music. The second hour is a look at some Polish heavy, which if you’ve been paying attention to the last few Friday Full-Lengths (including today’s, which isn’t posted yet), you know has been on my mind. Dopelord, Major Kong, Belzebong, Sunnata and Weedpecker represent Poland well, I thought — Spaceslug are the obvious name left out, but I’m keeping them in reserve for later — and after that I wanted to close with SubRosa just because “Black Majesty” is long, brilliant, not a jam, and something that was in my head. It’s been an up and down couple of weeks, I guess, as regards general well-being.

If you’re unfamiliar, keep an ear out for Moodoom early, plus the tracks from The Machine, Swan Valley Heights, Stoned Jesus and Troll Teeth. The 1782 track isn’t my favorite off their new record — anything about lady-demons is kind of a turnoff for me at this point — but the band is cool and that’s the single from the album, so I wasn’t about to be a jerk and pick something else. And if you didn’t hear the L’Ira del Baccano earlier this week when it premiered, that’s time well spent in instrumental immersion, and makes a great leadoff for that extended block of tunes, I think.

As always, I hope you enjoy the show if you listen. Thanks for reading.

The Obelisk Show airs 5PM Eastern today on the Gimme app or at:

Full playlist:

The Obelisk Show – 02.17.23 (VT = voice track)

Mansion Second Death Second Death
Samán A las puertas II. Monta​ñ​a Roja
1782 Succubus Clamor Luciferi
Moodoom Las maravillas de estar loco Desde el Bosque
L’Ira del Baccano The Strange Dream of My Old Sun Cosmic Evoked Potentials
The Machine Reversion Wave Cannon
Swan Valley Heights The Hunger Terminal Forest
Stoned Jesus Get What You Deserve Father Light
Troll Teeth Garden of Pillars Underground Vol. 1
Dopelord Doom Bastards Sign of the Devil (2020)
Major Kong Fading Memory of the Planet Earth Off the Scale (2020)
Belzebong Roached Earth Light the Dankness (2018)
Sunnata A Million Lives Burning in Heaven, Melting on Earth (2021)
Weedpecker Big Brain Monsters IV: The Stream of Forgotten Thoughts (2021)
SubRosa Black Majesty For This We Fought the Battle of Ages (2016)

The Obelisk Show on Gimme Metal airs every Friday 5PM Eastern, with replays Sunday at 7PM Eastern. Next new episode is March 3 (subject to change). Thanks for listening if you do.

Gimme Metal website

The Obelisk on Facebook

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The Obelisk Show on Gimme Metal Playlist: Episode 101

Posted in Radio on January 6th, 2023 by JJ Koczan

the obelisk show banner

This gets pretty heavy, pretty nasty. Then it kind of gets pretty. What happened was I knew I wanted to start with Basalt Shrine because that’s just too killer a beginning to pass up. But I was barely two days into the Quarterly Review and I knew I didn’t want to do a whole show based on that, so I just kind of went from Basalt Shrine forward on a line of extreme sludge of varying kinds, and that was fun for a while. When I started stumbling coming up with inclusions off the top of my head, I decided to switch gears.

That’s where you see the second voice break. I was going to put it at the top of the second hour but figured screw it. I wanted to play Indian and Wren and KVLL, so I did. And then I jump on, announce the change happening, and jump off. I didn’t even really end the show, just “here’s something else” and done. That was a little liberating, if I’m honest. I feel like I have to say hi, thanks, thanks to Gimme, explain what The Obelisk is to anyone who doesn’t know (which I assume is everyone), then thanks again and see you in two weeks. Felt good to skip even a little of that formality/formula.

I don’t think I’ll be rewriting how I do the show entirely, but I apparently needed something different, and that’s what I got.

Thanks for listening if you make it. Thanks for reading if you see this.

The Obelisk Show airs 5PM Eastern today on the Gimme app or at:

Full playlist:

The Obelisk Show – 01.06.23 (VT = voice track)

Basalt Shrine In the Dirt’s Embrace From Fiery Tongues
Bongzilla Free the Weed Weedsconsin
Come to Grief Death Can’t Come Soon Enough When the World Dies
Seum Snowbird Snowbird
Grales All Things are Temporary Remember the Earth but Never Come Back
Gg:ull Hoisting Ruined Sails Ex Est
Nomadic Rituals The Burden Tides
Belzebong Pot Fiend Light the Dankness
Wren Chromed Groundswells
Indian Directional From All Purity
KVLL Suffocation Suffocation
DUNDDW VII Part 4 Flux
Aktopasa Agarthi Journey to the Pink Planet
Mister Earthbound Wicked John Shadow Work
Amon Acid Death on the Altar Cosmogony

The Obelisk Show on Gimme Metal airs every Friday 5PM Eastern, with replays Sunday at 7PM Eastern. Next new episode is Jan. 6 (subject to change). Thanks for listening if you do.

Gimme Metal website

The Obelisk on Facebook

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