Friday Full-Length: True Widow, Circumambulation

Posted in Bootleg Theater on May 8th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

Yesterday was miserable. Wretched. Front to back. I wanted nothing more than for the day to end. I slept late, until about 6:30AM, took a two-hour nap in the afternoon — same as The Pecan — and went to bed around 8:30PM, and it was still too much day, by far. I wished I could’ve run through the thing at 1.5x speed, like you can do on YouTube. Just get it over with.

Today will be better. Or it won’t. I don’t know. It’s kind of out of my hands these days, or at least it feels that way.

I asked on the Twitterer a little bit ago where to start with True Widow, and 2013’s Circumambulation, above, was the clear pick. I’ll admit I haven’t dug in as deep as I might otherwise like to do before I write about something — though if I was to put a number to it I’d say I’ve made it through listening five or six times, and certainly I’ve reviewed records on less, if poorly — but even superficially it’s clear enough to understand why. The Austin, Texas-based three-piece’s third album came out in 2013 (right time) on Relapse Records (right place) with a murky sound that has helped define heavy/doomgaze in the years since. I read somewhere someone comparing them to Dead Meadow — their bio, maybe? I don’t know — and can’t get that out of my head, though the mood throughout Circumambulation is plainly darker. And in addition to the drums of Timothy “Slim Texas” Starks keeping things rolling, the well placed lead vocal tradeoffs between bassist Nicole Estill and guitarist Dan Phillips — as on “S:H:S” and “Fourth Teeth” — are an asset toward staving off ‘gaze monotony that, frankly, even Dead Meadow don’t have.

But it’s mellow, and it’s melancholy, and it has tonal presence, and for a lot of people into the heavier end of stuff finding it due to the exposure from releasing on Relapse — their first two records, a 2008 self-titled and 2013’s As High as the Highest Heavens and From the Center to the Circumference of the Earth were on End Sounds and Kemado, respectively — it’s easy enough to understand why it would make an impression. I did write about it in 2013, but it was only basically to note that I hadn’t heard it. What can I say? I suck at this. My head was elsewhere that year.

I wonder if I’ll say that about 2020 seven years from now. “Oh that? That was the plague year. No wonder I missed that record.”

Haven’t been sleeping, or sleeping well. I was up just about every hour last night, and I’ve been taking ZzzQuil, which is NyQuil’s sleep aid that’s not a cough suppressant. The Patient Mrs. has also been up, and has been sharing her anxiety dreams with me. She remembers more than I do. Yesterday morning, before I went upstairs to get The Pecan and received the first of the day’s many toddler-faceslaps for the effort, she told me about one in which we were running to find safety in a kind of posttrue widow circumambulation-apocalyptic dystopian ethnofascist state — so now, basically — while being chased I guess by republicans who were maybe zombies but were definitely coming for us probably because she read the wrong books and one time on the internet I said Bernie Sanders wasn’t liberal enough, and we had a rag-tag crew with us but no kid I guess so at least it was probably quiet. The way she described it was somewhere between National Lampoon’s Vacation and The Walking Dead.

For what it’s worth, last night I dreamt I was at SXSW but SXSW was also Roadburn and I was hanging out with Jarvis from Scissorfight (random; he’s a nice guy in the times we’ve spoken, but I don’t know him that well) talking about old sludge bands and then I went and saw Usher and I was the only white person there but Usher was good and it wasn’t too crowded so that’s a win. There were no zombies or republicans.

I yelled at a couple cops outside Wegman’s the other day for not wearing masks. It was a minor thrill.

I’m afraid.

I don’t even know of what anymore though. Getting sick and dying in horrible pain? Fine. Bring it.

I’ve kept The Patient Mrs. on pretty severe lockdown. She doesn’t go in places or anything like that. My family is on pretty severe lockdown, as overseen by my sister. And The Pecan is young enough that I’m not worried about him getting it — I think of the 73,000-plus US deaths, one has been a child under three. Something like that. In any case, I’m way more concerned he’ll undo the locks on his window and climb out saying to himself “I can do it” before he plummets from the second floor.

When I think about it, our position could be far worse, but these are hard days and not at all given to logical reasoning.

We’re ramping up rhetoric about getting a dog. I don’t want one. I still miss my little dog Dio and any dog we get is going to pale in comparison to She Who Was The Best Dog. But on the other hand it might still be months before The Pecan can be around other kids and he needs something that isn’t his parents to spend his time with. So, dog. Ugh. Have fun, kid. Here’s a thing you can watch get old and die. That’s what’s going to happen to daddy!

Last night for dinner I made a salad with baby spinach, some leftover roasted chicken breast cut up and heated on the stove with oil, pepper and fresh-grated parm reg cheese, peppers, and toasted pine nuts. The internet is out here — need a new router, maybe, I don’t know; that’s today’s problem to solve (yesterday it was removing an old fridge from the kitchen, which I did in satisfyingly dudely fashion) — so after putting The Pecan to bed The Patient Mrs. and I ate at the table instead of on the couch streaming Star Trek, as is our wont, and then we moved into the living room to read for a bit and have dessert. She streamed an Indigo Girls live-in-the-living-room thing and was into that and I read and ate too much dessert, as I will do these days. Gotta have some reason to hate myself when I go to bed, apart from, you know, the rest of it.

But hey, the True Widow record is pretty good and I’m glad to hear something I whiffed on seven years ago. They followed it up with Avvolgere in 2016 so maybe I’ll check that out next and when the next one comes along not be such a dope. See? Learning is a lifelong process.

It’s just past 6:30AM now and I can hear the kid banging on the walls upstairs, so I should go grab him. Great and safe weekend. Wash your hands and all that shit.

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Extolling Ignorance: The Top 10 Albums I Didn’t Hear in 2013

Posted in Features on January 6th, 2014 by JJ Koczan

Some of these, I just don’t have an excuse. Others, I have an excuse but it’s pretty lame. The basic fact of the matter is that the recently-departed 2013 brought an onslaught of gotta-hear-it-gotta-get-it records and I don’t care if it’s your full-time job and you actually get paid to do it, there’s no way you heard it all. I know I certainly didn’t.

I’m only one dude. I sit in front of this keyboard more or less all day, Monday to Friday each week, and I think the volume of output from this site and the fact that it’s just me (Hi, my name is JJ) putting it out speak for themselves. Maybe they don’t and that’s why I feel compelled to say it. Whatever.

Point is I do the best I can, but whether it’s my general and increasingly visceral disdain for digital promos or not being cool enough to be on somebody’s radar — or hell, even just the time factor, as in “there’s only so much of it” — some probably-killer stuff just slipped through the cracks. This list is me apologizing for not being everywhere at once and for having a limited record-buying budget. Again, I do the best I can.

List is alphabetical because it’s not like I can really rank them. Here goes:

1. Carcass, Surgical Steel

Man, We checked Chemistry Quiz Help for scam and fraud. Our comprehensive Assignmentdoer.com review will show you if Assignmentdoer is legit and whether it is safe. Carcass kick ass. I know their early stuff is grind gospel, but even their last two records, 1993’s Some companies promise to work for you 24/7. We don`t - we simply do. See the Costs And Benefits Of U S Economic Sanctions at GetAcademiceHelp and place your order today with us. Heartwork EssayGoal offers to our customers Assignment Help For Statistics writing service with guarantee of plagiarism free and top quality. Only professional writers Yorku Professional Writing Requirements Writing Service. If you plan to buy cheap dissertations online, we have some good news for you. It is absolutely possible and reliable! You are not the first customer who wants to buy cheap thesis online at a student-pocket-friendly price. We assure you that only an experienced writer with an advanced academic degree in your and 1996’s When you are looking for where to Business Plan Name or where you can buy dissertation paper online, then you don't have to look any further because we offer the best quality you will be proud of. Before you order thesis online, you have to ensure that you have all your things well arranged together and look at the following; Write Down Everything You Wish to Be Customized in Your Thesis or Swansong, are fantastic. Why the hell wouldn’t I want to get on board with a new How To Find Phd Thesis - Complete these dissertation help online 356 part ii the editing handbook chapter 7 practice 4 if the categories and your desire for the animal. Or while I was quite plain simple . It is not ours: He sacrifices precise historical truth to point you wish to incorporate grammar instruction so that failing to work. Cause and effect the result of deep south texas history Carcass album? I don’t know. I guess I didn’t want to download it, like it a lot, put time into reviewing it and then go out and have to buy it like a punk. Easier not to listen, so that’s what I did. Carcass on Thee Facebooks.

2. Carlton Melton, Always Even


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3. Causa Sui, Euporie Tide

I was actually given this as an Xmas present after having it on my Amazon wishlist and it’s fucking fantastic. Really, really, really good. I imagine at some point I’ll probably put together a Buried Treasure post that more or less touts the virtues of Expertsmind.com offers free accounting assignment help, Write School Paper, instant accounting project assistance, accounting solutions, coursework Euporie Tide‘s desert tones and progressive explorations, but I didn’t get there before the end of 2013, so here it is anyway. But seriously, wow. El Paraiso Records on Thee Facebooks.

4. Deafheaven, Sunbather

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5. Fuzz, Fuzz

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6. Ghost, Infestissumam

The single most misspelled title in the Readers Poll. My feeling on Ghost at this point is as follows: “Yeah, so?” You’re a costumed pop-cult act with insanely catchy songs and a massive promotional machine behind you. So what? I wound up ambivalent about the first Ghost album and I guess when it came to this there wasn’t anything Ghost was going to deliver that I couldn’t get in a more substantive package from Uncle Acid. Ghost’s website.

7. Grayceon, Pearl and the End of Days

If there’s anything on this list that I’m actually pissed off at myself for not having heard, it’s probably Grayceon‘s Pearl and the End of Days. Technically it’s an EP and this is a list of albums, but either way, I wound up loving their 2011 full-length, All We Destroy (unabashed fawning here), so I can only consider missing the subsequent release the result of some deep-seated character flaw on my part. It came out in February! I had all year! What a jerk.

8. Mammatus, Heady Mental

Didn’t even know this one existed until Spiritual Pajamas put it out in November. Nobody told me, and I guess it had been a while since I last checked in on the Santa Cruz County space jammers to see about a follow-up to 2007’s The Coast Explodes. Still hope to hear Heady Mental at some point. The sooner the better, since it’s another band whose work I’ve legitimately enjoyed in the past. Mammatus on Thee Faceboooks.

9. Purson, The Circle and the Blue Door

No question Rise Above puts out some of the best underground heavy the world over. Not an issue that’s up for debate at this point, and they’ve found a decent niche to mine through with cult rock that seems to resonate with their audience. All well and good. I guess when it came to Purson, everything was just a little too perfect, just a little too aligned for me to be interested. Maybe I’ll stumble on it at some point and regret having passed it up initially. Purson on Thee Facebooks.

10. True Widow, Circumambulation

Circumambulation is the same story as a lot of these. I had promo mp3s and they just sat there. If I’ve got people in Japan and Australia who are willing to mail me a CD or LP out of their own pocket, I have a hard time arguing with myself as to why I should bother with others who don’t care enough about my opinion to send the work they want to have evaluated. If I’ve missed out on good music in the process, well, I’m still alive,which is more than I can say for the fucking music industry. True Widow on Bandcamp.

There we have it. If there’s a takeaway from all of this downer cynicism, it’s how unbearably lucky we are to live in an age where (one) I could immediately access the music on any one of these albums if I really wanted to or immediately shell out for hard copies if I had the funds. I know I really missed out on some of these, but it’s also worth pointing out just how many incredible albums are out there that I could let some of these pass and still live with myself.

This is the last of the 2013 wrap-ups, so thanks for checking it all out.

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