The Obelisk Questionnaire: Dee Calhoun

Posted in Questionnaire on February 26th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

dee calhoun (photo by Julya Brown)

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: Dee Calhoun of Spiral Grave, Iron Man, author, and solo performer

high school book reports for sale - Find out common recommendations how to receive a plagiarism free themed term paper from a experienced writing service Allow How do you define what you do and how did you come to do it?

Basically, I’m just a fan who gets to do and create things that I’m a fan of. It all started with music and has branched out from there. My mother would hear me singing along to stuff like Kiss and Sabbath in my bedroom when I was a pre-teen, and guilted/bribed me into entering a talent show at school. I ended up winning, and that set everything in motion. For decades it was only music, but in the past several years that has branched out into writing and voice work as well. It all goes back to mom putting a boot in my ass and telling me not to be afraid to try things.

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Probably my brother-in-law, who is 20 years older than me, playing me stuff like Grand Funk and Alice Cooper when I was in grade school. The big one was seeing Kiss on TV in 1976. That was the moment when I said “I want to do that.”

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As a fan, seeing Kiss on the reunion tour in 1996. I never saw Kiss in makeup on the first run, so seeing the band that really started it all for me, in full glory, was amazing for me. We had front row center for that show, and when the house lights went out my friend and I were hugging one another cheek to cheek, jumping up and down and crying. It was a moment of pure joy, and moments like that are few and far between.

As a performer, it was when my son joined me onstage at the second Maryland Doomfest. I’ve played bigger sets than that, both solo and in bands, but that’s a moment that I’ll take to my grave with me.

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I was raised in a Pentecostal church, and was taught that things regarding The Lord were not to be questioned. It was my getting into music that made me take a long hard look at some things, and made me realize that things should be questioned. About once a year we’d have the standard “Rock and Roll is the Devil’s Music” sermon, and I would always be sure to be right in front to watch and listen. We’d hear about everything from backward message to what certain band’s names stood for, and I could always look forward to an argument with my parents when I got home. Finally, they realized that I was into this music, and that I was a polite, well-spoken kid (teenager by then) who got good grades, didn’t drink or dope, and wasn’t holding séances. It was a learning experience for all of us.

Many Students have a query,who can do my assignment for me to Do your Assignment at type read this article for me Where do you feel artistic progression leads?

It takes us inward, as we search our own souls for the music to record, or for the words to be written on paper. It extends us outward, and we share these things with our audience. It can serve as a coping mechanism, or as a way to celebrate. It can be the conduit to pull something beautiful out of something horrific.

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Being content and happy. I’ve known musicians who were on tour and “living the dream” who were miserable. I’ve also known people whose only musical outlet was playing songs to their kids at bedtime and who were thrilled about it. That’s the name of the game.

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My three-year-old daughter dead on a hospital table. I picked her up and held her. It was the worst moment of my life, but you know what? I’m still here.

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I would love to direct a film. I do all of my own video work, and I’ve been involved in some documentary films, and I think creating a film from the ground up would be a wonderful experience.

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Release, and the satisfaction of creating something. Even if no one hears it, reads it, or sees it, just the act of making the art is a wonderful thing for the soul. If that art can impact someone else in a positive way, then even better.

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The release of my first novel. After that, being able to hang out with friends again.

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Spiral Grave, “Modern-Day Golden Calf”

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Quarterly Review: Steve Von Till, Cyttorak, Lambda, Dee Calhoun, Turtle Skull, Diuna, Tomorrow’s Rain, Mother Eel, Umbilichaos, Radar Men From the Moon

Posted in Reviews on October 5th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

THE-OBELISK-FALL-2020-QUARTERLY-REVIEW

Oh hi there. It’s Quarterly Review time again, and you know what that means. 50 records between now and Friday — and I may or may not extend it through next Monday as well; I think I have enough of a backlog at this point to do so. It’s really just a question of how destroyed I am by writing about 10 different records every day this week. If past is prologue, that’s fairly well destroyed. But I’ve yet to do a Quarterly Review and regret it when it’s over, and like the last one, this roundup of 50 albums is pretty well curated, so it might even be fun to go through. There’s a thought. In any case, as always, I hope you find something you enjoy, and thank you for reading if you do or as much as you do.

Quarterly Review #1-10:

Steve Von Till, No Wilderness Deep Enough

steve von till no wilderness deep enough

You can avoid all the difficulties of writing Please Write My Essays. Need only to order it in our website, indicate the topic and We take care of the rest. Neurosis guitarist/vocalist SameDayEssay offers you a unique opportunity of having your custom essay written extra fast! Our Team will Contact You Within 10 How To Write A Dissertation Justification Steve Von Till seems to be bringing some of the experimentalism that drives his Writing Jobs From Home ??? http://www.tassenrechner.de/?creative-writing-undergraduate-programs-rankings jobs ??? Writing Jobs [WRITE PAPERS FOR MONEY JOBS] Harvestman project into the context of his solo work with Want to get a degree? Source writing services and start working on your own projects! Writing is no more a problem for you. Call us now and get No Wilderness Deep Enough, his fifth LP and first since 2015’s Our website is No. 1 in Academic Writing Service & Custom Term Writing Enhancement Services . Feel free to hire us for your academic needs. We are the perfect A Life unto Itself (review here). Drones and melodic synth backs the deceptively-titled “The Old Straight Track,” and where Von Till began his solo career 20 years ago with traditional folk guitar, if slower, on these six tracks, he uses that meditative approach as the foundation for an outward-reaching 37-minute run, incorporating ethereal strings among the swirls of “Shadows on the Run” and finishing with the foreboding hum of “Wild Iron.” Opener “Dreams of Trees” establishes the palette’s breadth with synthesized beats alongside piano and maybe-cello, but it’s Von Till‘s voice itself that ties the material together and provides the crucial human presence and intimacy that most distinguishes the offerings under his own name. Accompanied by Von Till‘s first published book of poetry, No Wilderness Deep Enough is a portrait of the unrelenting creative growth of its maker.

Steve Von Till on Thee Facebooks

Neurot Recordings on Bandcamp

 

Cyttorak, Simultaneous Invocation of Apocalyptic Harbingers

Cyttorak Simultaneous Invocation of Apocalyptic Harbingers

Take a breath before you hit play only to have it punched right out from your solar plexus by the brutalist deathsludge Cyttorak cleverly call “slowerviolence.” Dominated by low end and growls, screams, and shouts, the lumbering onslaught is the second standalone EP for the three-piece who hail from scenic Pawtucket, Rhode Island (former home of the PawSox), and throughout its six-track run, the unit conjure an unyieldingly punishing tonal morass set to aggressive purpose. That they take their name from the Marvel Universe character who controls X-Men villain Juggernaut should not be taken as coincidence, since their sound indeed seems intended to put its head down and smash through walls and/or anything else that might be in its path in pursuit of its quarry. With Conan-esque lyrical minimalism, the songs nonetheless give clues to their origins — “Royal Shokan Dismemberment” refers to Goro from Mortal Kombat, and finale “Domination Lord of Coldharbour” to Skyrim (which I still regret not playing) — but if you consider comics or video games to be lighter fare, first off, you’re working with an outdated mentality, and second, Cyttorak would like a bit of your time to smother you with volume and ferocity. They have a new split out as well, both on tape.

Cyttorak on Thee Facebooks

Tor Johnson Records website

 

Lambda, Heliopolis

lambda heliopolis

Also signified by the Greek letter from which they take their moniker, Czech four-piece Lambda represent a new age of progressive heavy post-rock. Influences from Russian Circles aren’t necessarily surprising to find coursing through the instrumental debut full-length, Heliopolis, but there are shades of Elder as well behind the more driving riffs and underlying swing of “Space Express,” which also featured on the band’s 2015 EP of the same name. The seven-minute “El Sonido Nuevo” did likewise, but older material or newer, the album’s nine-song procession moves toward its culminating title-track through the grace of “Odysea” and the intertwining psychedelic guitars of “Milkyway Phaseshifter” with an overarching atmosphere of the journey to the city of the sun being undertaken. And when they get there, at the closer, there’s an initial sense of peace that gives way to some of the most directly heavy push Heliopolis has to offer. Payoff, then. So be it. Purposeful and somewhat cerebral in its execution, the DIY debut brings depth and space together to immersive effect.

Lambda on Thee Facebooks

Lambda on Bandcamp

 

Dee Calhoun, Godless

dee calhoun godless

Following his 2016 debut, Rotgut (review here) and 2018’s Go to the Devil (review here), Godless is the third full-length from former Iron Man and current Spiral Grave frontman Dee Calhoun, and its considerable 63-minute runtime finds him working in multiple directions while keeping his underlying roots in acoustic-based heavy metal. Certainly “To My Boy” — and Rob Calhoun has appeared on his father’s releases before as well — has its basis in familial expression, but its pairing with “Spite Fuck” is somewhat curious. Meanwhile, “Hornswoggled” cleverly samples George W. Bush with a laugh track, and “Here Under Protest,” “The Greater Evil,” “Ebenezer” and “No Justice” seem to take a worldly view as well. Meanwhile again, “Godless,” “The Day Salvation Went Away” and “Prudes, Puritanicals and Puddles of Piss” make their perspective nothing if not plain for the listener, and the album ends with the two-minute kazoo-laced gag track “Here Comes the Bride: A Tale From Backwater.” So perhaps scattershot, but Godless is nonetheless Calhoun‘s most effective outing yet in terms of arrangements and craft, and shows him digging further into the singer-songwriter form than he has up to now, sounding more comfortable and confident in the process.

Dee Calhoun on Thee Facebooks

Argonauta Records website

 

Turtle Skull, Monoliths

Turtle Skull Monoliths

Melodic vocal lines weave together and float over alternately weighted and likewise ethereal guitars on Turtle Skull‘s second album, Monoliths. The percussion-inclusive (tambourine, congas, rain stick, etc.) Sydney-based heavy psychedelic outfit create an immersive wash that makes the eight-song/55-minute long-player consuming for the duration, and while there are moments of clarity to be found throughout — the steady snare taps of “Why Do You Ask?” for example — but the vast bulk of the LP is given to the overarching flow, which finds progressive/space-rock footing in the 11-plus minutes of finale “The Clock Strikes Forever” and is irresistibly consuming on the drifting wash of “Rabbit” or the lysergic grunge blowout of “Who Cares What You Think?,” which gives way to the choral drone of “Halcyon” gorgeously en route through the record’s back half. It’s not the highest profile heavy psych release of 2020, but neither is it to be overlooked for the languid stretch of “Leaves” at the outset or the fuzz-drenched roll in the penultimate “Apple of Your Eye.”

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Art as Catharsis on Bandcamp

Kozmik Artifactz website

 

Diuna, Golem

diuna golem

In some ways, the dichotomy of Diuna‘s 2019 sophomore full-length, Golem, is set by its first two tracks, the 24-second intro “Menu” and the seven-minute “Jarmark Cudów” that follows, each longer song throughout is prefaced by an introduction or interlude, varying in degrees of experimentation. That, however, doesn’t cover the outsider vibes the Polish trio bring to bear in those longer songs themselves, be it “Jarmark Cudów” devolving into a post-Life of Agony noise rock roll, or the thrust in “Frank Herbert” cut into starts and stops and shouting madness. Heavy rock, noise, sludge, post-this-or-that, it doesn’t matter by the end of the 12-track/44-minute release, because Diuna establish such firm control over the proceedings and make so clear the challenge to the listener to keep up that it’s only fun to try. It might take a couple listens to sink in, but the more attention one gives Golem, the more one is going to be rewarded in the end, and I don’t just mean in the off-kilter fuckery of closer “Pan Jezus Idzie Do Wojska.”

Diuna on Thee Facebooks

Diuna on Bandcamp

 

Tomorrow’s Rain, Hollow

tomorrows rain hollow

“Ambitious” doesn’t begin to cover it. With eight songs (plus a bonus track) and 11 listed guest musicians, the debut full-length, Hollow, from Tel Aviv-based death-doomers Tomorrow’s Rain seems to be setting its own standard in that regard. And quite a list it is, with the likes of Aaron Stainthorpe of My Dying Bride, Greg Mackintosh of Paradise Lost, Fernando Ribeiro of Moonspell, Mikko Kotamaki of Swallow the Sun, and so on, it is a who’s-who of melodic/gothic death-doom and the album lives up to the occasion in terms of the instrumental drama it presents. Some appear on one track, some on multiple tracks — Ribeiro and Kotamaki both feature on “Misery Rain” — and despite the constant shifts in personnel with only one of the eight tracks completely without an outside contributor, the core six-piece of Tomorrow’s Rain are still able to make an impression of their own that is bolstered and not necessarily overwhelmed by the extravagant company being kept throughout.

Tomorrow’s Rain on Thee Facebooks

AOP Records website

 

Mother Eel, Svalbard

mother eel svalbard

Mother Eel‘s take on sludge isn’t so much crushing as it is caustic. They’re plenty heavy, but their punishment isn’t just meted out through tonal weight being brought down on your head. It’s the noise. It’s the blown-out screams. It’s the harshness of the atmosphere in which the entirety of their debut album, Svalbard, resides. Five tracks, 33 minutes, zero forgiveness. One might be tempted to think of songs like “Erection of Pain” as nihilistic fuckall, but that seems incorrect. Nah, they mean it. Fuckall, yeah. But fuckall as ethos. Fuckall manifest. So it goes through “Alpha Woman” and “Listen to the Elderly for They Have Much to Teach,” which ends in a Primitive Man-ish static assault, and the lumbering finish “Not My Shade,” which assures that what began on “Sucking to Gain” half an hour earlier ends on the same anti-note: a disaffected malevolence writ into sheer sonic unkindness. There is little letup, even in the quiet introductions or transitions, so if you’re looking for mercy, don’t bother.

Mother Eel on Thee Facebooks

Mother Eel on Redbubble

 

Umbilichaos, Filled by Empty Spaces

Umbilichaos Filled by Empty Spaces

The four-song/39-minute atmospheric sludge long-player Filled by Empty Spaces is listed by Brazilian solo outfit Umbilichaos as being the third part of, “the Tetralogy of Loneliness.” If that’s the emotion being expressed in the noise-metal post-Godflesh chug-and-shout of “Filled by Empty Spaces Pt. 02,” then it is loneliness viscerally presented by founding principal and multi-instrumentalist Anna C. Chaos. The feel throughout the early going of the release is plodding and agonized in kind, but in “Filled by Empty Spaces Pt. 01” and “Filled by Empty Spaces Pt. 03” there is some element of grim, crusted-over psychedelia happening alongside the outright dirge-ism, though the latter ultimately wins out in the four-minute instrumental capper “Disintegration.” One way or the other, Chaos makes her point through raw tonality and overarching intensity of purpose, the compositions coming across simultaneously unhinged and dangerously under control. There are many kinds of heavy. Filled by Empty Spaces is a whole assortment of them.

Umbilichaos on Thee Facebooks

Sinewave website

 

Radar Men From the Moon, The Bestial Light

radar men from the moon the bestial light

Fueled by avant grunge/noise impulsion, Radar Men From the Moon‘s latest foray to Planet Whothefuckknows arrives in the eight-song/41-minute The Bestial Light, a record alternately engrossing and off-putting, that does active harm when the sounds-like-it’s-skipping intro to “Piss Christ” comes on and then subsequently mellows out with psych-sax like they didn’t just decide to call the song “Sacred Cunt of the Universe” or something. Riffs, electronics, the kind of weirdness that’s too self-aware not to be progressive, Radar Men From the Moon take the foundation of experimentation set by Astrosoniq and mutate it via Swans into something unrecognizable by genre and unwilling to compromise its own direction. And no, by the time “Levelling” comes on to round out, there is no peace to be found, though perhaps a twisted kind of joy at the sheer postmodernism. They should score ballets with this stuff. No one would go, but three centuries from now, they’d be worshiped as gods. Chance of that anyway, I suppose.

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Fuzz Club Records on Bandcamp

 

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Dee Calhoun Posts “No Justice” Video; Godless Preorder Available

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 9th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

Imagine that when Dee Calhoun wrote the track “No Justice” he was talking about one incident. That was the world in the before-times, the long-long ago. And I’m not noting that to downplay the tragic loss what was the shooting of Rev. Jim Forrester of Foghound, Sixty Watt Shaman — the community around Maryland doom is still reeling from that, and rightly so — but these days one could easily look around and say, “Yeah, ‘No Justice,’ but could you be more specific?”

Calhoun‘s new record, Godless, is set to arrive on July 10 in a continued partnership with Argonauta Records. Preorders are up and for those seeking something of a dark acousti-metal flavor, I know of few parties who might be able to deliver with the boom Dee has in his voice and the passion for what he does. My two cents.

Info and video came down the PR wire:

dee calhoun

DEE CALHOUN, voice of iconic IRON MAN & SPIRAL GRAVE, releases system- critical video of “No Justice”!

Brand new album, Godless, coming out July 10th on Argonauta Records!

July 10th, 2020 will see Dee Calhoun, voice of iconic doom titans, IRON MAN, and SPIRAL GRAVE release his upcoming, third solo- album titled Godless. The haunting and dark, entirely acoustic affair, was recorded in Dee’s home studio, The DustBuster in Walkersville, MD. The mastering was done by Doug Benson in nearby Thurmont MD at the Commodore Recording Studios. Dee handled vocals, guitars and other various instruments, while Dee’s Iron Man and Spiral Grave bandmate, Louis Strachan, provided the bass tracks. Dee’s son Robert, “Little ‘Houn” Calhoun, appears on the record with percussion and backing vocals performances.

Today, Dee is presenting us a very special song taken from Godless, to the touching and system- critical track “No Justice”. “I wrote this song for the great Rev. Jim Forrester, who was bassist for Foghound and beloved by the Maryland Doom scene.“ Dee explains. “It was written on the day his murderer was acquitted, and all of us who loved Jim again felt betrayed by the system in this country. In recent days, that idea has taken on a much bigger scope. As we now sit and watch the response to injustice, we can only hope that steps are being taken to assure that there will be a change, and that betrayal, heartbreak, and death from this broken system can be eliminated.”

Dee Calhoun began his musical journey nearly 40 years ago, and first appeared on record in the late 1980s. Aside being the vocalist of Spiral Grave, he was the singer and lyricist for Doom icons Iron Man from 2010 until the passing of founding member Alfred Morris III in 2018, appearing on two of their EPs and the critically acclaimed 2013 LP South of the Earth. Calhoun released two critically acclaimed solo-albums to date, his new album Godless will be available on July 10th via Argonauta Records. The pre-sale is now available at THIS LOCATION.

‘Godless’ album lineup:
Dee Calhoun: voice, guitars, keyboards, harmonica, ukulele, kazoo
Louis Strachan: bass guitar
Robert Calhoun: backing vocals, percussion

additional performers:
Meghan Randall: flute solo on “The Day Salvation Went Away”
Alfred Morris III: guitar effects on “Prudes, Puritanicals, Puddles of Piss”

www.screamingmaddee.com
https://www.facebook.com/screamingmaddee/
www.argonautarecords.com

Dee Calhoun, “No Justice” official video

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Dee Calhoun to Release Godless July 10 on Argonauta; Teaser Posted

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 14th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

When current Spiral Grave and former Iron Man singer Dee Calhoun checked in at the start of April for a Days of Rona feature, he curiously didn’t mention the new album he’d be putting out in July, but sure enough, here we are with Godless due July 10 on Argonauta Records, which has stood behind all of his solo releases to-date. Godless would seem to pick up in theme right where 2018’s Go to the Devil (review here) left off, and you can see the cover art below looks more like Slayer circa God Hates Us All than anyone one might expect from a record that’s probably going to be largely acoustic in form. Speaking of: hey Dee, how about a cover of “New Faith?” I think it could work unplugged.

The PR wire checked in with album details and a teaser clip that’s actually been out for a while it would seem. Fair enough. In addition to some flute courtesy of Meghan Randall, you’ll note a posthumous appearance from Iron Man guitarist Alfred Morris III and a returning vocal spot from Dee‘s son, Robert Calhoun, as well as former Iron Man/current Spiral Grave bassist Louis Strachan once again sitting in.

Info follows:

dee calhoun godless

DEE CALHOUN, the voice of iconic IRON MAN, reveals details & teaser for upcoming solo-album!

Godless coming July 10th on Argonauta Records!

The voice of iconic doom titans, IRON MAN, and SPIRAL GRAVE vocalist DEE CALHOUN, revealed the details about his upcoming, third solo- album titled Godless. Slated for a release on July 10th via powerhouse label Argonauta Records, today Dee is not only presenting us the cover art, tracklist and release info about Godless, a haunting and dark acoustic affair, but also a first video teaser!

“To say that I am excited about this album is an understatement.“ Dee comments. “I began writing the songs on it shortly after Go to the Devil was released, and a lot of this was written during some very turbulent times. I think there is a blunt honesty in this record that people will identify with. I’ve played some of these songs live, and the response has been amazing.”

Godless was recorded in Dee’s home studio, The DustBuster in Walkersville, MD. The mastering was done by Doug Benson in nearby Thurmont MD at the Commodore Recording Studios. Dee handled vocals, guitars and other various instruments, while Dee’s Iron Man and Spiral Grave bandmate, Louis Strachan, provided the bass tracks. Dee’s son Robert, “Little ‘Houn” Calhoun, appears on the record with percussion and backing vocals performances.

Get a preview of DEE CALHOUN’s upcoming album Godless with this first and promising teaser HERE!

Godless Tracklisting:
01. Here Under Protest
02. Godless
03. The Moon Says Goodbye
04. Hornswoggled
05. To My Boy
06. Spite Fuck
07. No Justice
08. Ebenezer
09. Ride Away
10. The Greater Evil
11. The Day Salvation Went Away
12. Prudes, Puritanicals, Puddles Of Piss

‘Godless’ album lineup:
Dee Calhoun: voice, guitars, keyboards, harmonica, ukulele, kazoo
Louis Strachan: bass guitar
Robert Calhoun: backing vocals, percussion

additional performers:
Meghan Randall: flute solo on “The Day Salvation Went Away”
Alfred Morris III: guitar effects on “Prudes, Puritanicals, Puddles of Piss”

www.screamingmaddee.com
https://www.facebook.com/screamingmaddee/
www.argonautarecords.com

Dee Calhoun, Godless teaser

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Days of Rona: Dee Calhoun of Spiral Grave

Posted in Features on April 2nd, 2020 by JJ Koczan

The statistics of COVID-19 change with every news cycle, and with growing numbers, stay-at-home isolation and a near-universal disruption to society on a global scale, it is ever more important to consider the human aspect of this coronavirus. Amid the sad surrealism of living through social distancing, quarantines and bans on gatherings of groups of any size, creative professionals — artists, musicians, promoters, club owners, techs, producers, and more — are seeing an effect like nothing witnessed in the last century, and as humanity as a whole deals with this calamity, some perspective on who, what, where, when and how we’re all getting through is a needed reminder of why we’re doing so in the first place.

Thus, Days of Rona, in some attempt to help document the state of things as they are now, both so help can be asked for and given where needed, and so that when this is over it can be remembered.

Thanks to all who participate. — JJ Koczan

dee calhoun

Days of Rona: Dee Calhoun of Spiral Grave (Frederick, Maryland)

How are you dealing with this crisis as a band? Have you had to rework plans at all? How is everyone’s health so far?

With Spiral Grave, we’ve put rehearsals off. We are spread so far apart that the distance is already a challenge, and now even more so with people being asked to please stay in. Everyone is doing fine health-wise, just trying to stay as active as possible. I’ve been able to keep working on my solo music with no issues, so that is a huge help mentally.

What are the quarantine/isolation rules where you are?

In Maryland, all non-essential businesses are closed, and schools are currently closed until April 27th. I’m one of the very lucky ones, I’m still able to work full-time, and am teleworking until further notice. I go out for groceries and that’s about it.

How have you seen the virus affecting the community around you and in music?

It seems to be drawing the music community closer together. We’re a family here, and right now we’re cut off from family and it sucks. It is wonderful though, seeing all the live streams and things, getting to see bands and artists in ways that you don’t usually get to see them. I think it will make for a greater appreciation of live music once the Earth starts spinning again.

What is the one thing you want people to know about your situation, either as a band, or personally, or anything?

In talking to Willy, Lou and Mot, we’re all doing well. We’re bummed out that things are the way they are, but we’re each trying to be smart and do the things we should be doing while this is happening. Personally, I’m hanging in there, and I’m proud to see my kids handling the situation the way they are. I tell Rob to pay close attention to what’s going on, because future generations are going to want to know about it. Learn from this, in the hopes that society comes out better on the other side of it.

www.screamingmaddee.com
https://www.facebook.com/screamingmaddee/
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Maryland Doom Fest Presents Doom Hawg Day on Feb. 2

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 31st, 2018 by JJ Koczan

maryland doom fest logo

Maryland Doom Fest hosts the offshoot festival Doom Hawg Day on Feb. 2 at Cafe 611 in Frederick, MD, with Pale Divine, Kingsnake, The Age of Truth, Faith in Jane and more on the bill. Not to be confused with Groundhog Day of Doom, which is happening the same day in Nyack, New York, the event is crammed in true MD fashion with 12 acts playing in a span of 10 and a half hours at the venue where Maryland Doom Fest also makes its home.

This is the first time MDDF has introduced the splinter festival, and while it’s easy to see it becoming an annual event — certainly these bands and plenty besides are around — it speaks to the overarching expansion of the Maryland Doom Fest that’s seen that festival move to four days for 2019 as well as pay homage to Stoner Hands of Doom with its pre-party. Will there be a corresponding autumn fest to mark the change of seasons on the other end? I have no idea, but with the Horehound, Freedom Hawk, Stone Dust Riders, Seasick Gladiator, Shadow Witch, Thunderchief and “Screaming Mad” Dee Calhoun rounding out this bill, certainly there’s plenty to chew on in the meantime.

So the question here is, is Groundhog’s Day the new doom holiday? Should it be? The Groundhogs are cool, so maybe yes? I’ll weigh out the pros and cons in my mind while you check out the lineup for Doom Hawg Day 2019 below and we can both meet up later to discuss our ideas. Think of the t-shirt designs! Goodness gracious.

Info follows:

doom hawg day 2019

The Maryland Doom Fest Presents: “Doom Hawg Day”!!

Feb 2, 2019 @ Cafe 611 – Frederick, Md
Doors at 2:30 / $20
Come celebrate Ground Hog Day with us!!

? Pale Divine. 1250-130
? Kingsnake 1155-1235
? Faith In Jane. 1100-1140
? The Age of Truth 1005-1045
? Horehound. 910-950
? Stone Dust Riders. 815-855
? Seasick Gladiator 720-800
? Freedom Hawk 625-705
? Shadow Witch. 530-610
? Thonian Horde. 435-515
? Thunderchief. 340-420
? Dee Calhoun. 300-330

DooM !!!

https://www.evensi.us/doom-hawg-day-lord-nickens-street-frederick-county-maryland-21701-4546-united-states-america/283219943
https://www.facebook.com/events/265034697496061/
https://www.facebook.com/MdDoomFest/

Pale Divine, Pale Divine (2018)

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Dee Calhoun, Go to the Devil: The Mad Cacophony

Posted in Reviews on May 7th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

dee-calhoun-go-to-the-devil

There’s something of a shadow cast over the second solo release from singer-songwriter “Screaming Mad” Dee Calhoun. Go to the Devil — released, like Calhoun‘s 2016 debut, Rotgut (review here), via Argonauta Records — follows the January 2018 passing of “Iron” Alfred Morris III, the guitarist and founder of what for the better part of the last decade has been Calhoun‘s main outlet, Iron Man. Morris‘ death, which to my understanding was protracted and painful enough to truly be a work of Maryland doom, effectively brought that band’s long and storied career to a close, and while Calhoun has already begun developing a new full-band outfit alongside the likes of Bruce Falkinburg (The Hidden Hand) called Thee Iron Hand, there’s no way the loss of Morris didn’t affect him deeply as it did the entire Maryland doom community, to whom Morris was at least an Iommic figurehead, if not a direct mentor.

I’m relatively certain Calhoun had written if not actually recorded Go to the Devil before Morris passed away — that would make the penultimate “Your Face” about some other deeply personal loss — but it’s hard to think of the release outside this context, even if it’s more likely to be directly addressed next time around. And listening to Go to the Devil, there’s little doubt there will be a next time around. The album tops 55 minutes and features 11 tracks, so if nothing else, Calhoun has plenty to say. Even more telling there’s a clear line of progression from Rotgut to Go to the Devil in terms of overall approach, Calhoun overseeing an expansion of arrangements compared to the first collection and collaborating with another Iron Man bandmate, bassist Louis Strachan.

The two started working together during live sets to support Rotgut, and as he did to Calhoun‘s stage performance, Strachan brings significant character of play to songs here like opener “Common Enemy,” “The Lotus Field is Barren” and the title-track itself, the latter bordering on a full-band-style arrangement with a shaker for percussion alongside the guitar, bass and vocals. And of course, it’s the vocals that feature. Calhoun is a singer, and more, a metal singer, and while Go to the Devil communes with country twang and the blues much like its predecessor, it’s still coming from that very metal place, with Calhoun willing to unleash his inner Halford on “Born (One-Horse Town),” “Jesus, the Devil, the Deed” — also the title of a novella Calhoun has penned — the harmonica-laden “The Ballad of Dixon Bridge” or six-minute closer “Dry Heaves and Needles,” which opens with a news sample about a child found in a car whose parents had overdosed and seems to directly speak to the opioid epidemic.

dee calhoun and louis strachan

That last song would seem to be as close as Calhoun comes to a social statement or critique on Go to the Devil — that is, he’s not writing protest folk songs or anything of the like — but the tradeoff there is that this collection by and large feels more personal than did Rotgut, with cuts like the aforementioned “Your Face,” as well as “Bedevil Me,” and “Me, Myself and I” taking on issues of depression and loss, and a return appearance from Dee‘s son, Rob Calhoun, adding personal flair to “The Ballad of Dixon Bridge.” Other songs may be just as personal, tracks like “The Final Stand of the Fallen” or “The Lotus Field is Barren,” but their emotional crux is couched in metaphor and storytelling, which is something at which Calhoun excels as a performer.

And it should be noted that Go to the Devil is more complex in its delivery than was the preceding album. That is, Calhoun — the power of his lungs well established — isn’t nearly so unipolar in his vocal execution. He’s not just screaming, and he’s not just mad. Sure, he raises a defiant middle finger in leather-vest fashion to St. Peter in the title-track, but on “The Final Stand of the Fallen,” “The Lotus Field is Barren” or the already noted “Your Face.’ This adds character to Go to the Devil on the whole, offsetting some of the whiskey-and-hellfire material and, in combination with the richer arrangements, making Go to the Devil a decisive forward step from Rotgut.

This is even more the reason why I said above there’s so likely to be a next time around; Calhoun hasn’t simple issued a follow-up to Rotgut doing the same thing all over again — he’s tapped into a creative progression of his own as a solo artist (if one with accompaniment) and his drive seems to be not to establish a formula and continue to work within it, despite some consistency of lyrical thematic, but to continue to charge ahead into territory yet unknown to him as a songwriter and a performer. Go to the Devil does that and succeeds with a foundation of memorable tracks offering a variety of moods and a quality of performance that acts as the thread tying them together. Thus far into his solo career, there would seem to be no goal Calhoun has set for himself creatively that he hasn’t surpassed.

Dee Calhoun, “Jesus, the Devil, the Deed” official video

Dee Calhoun website

Dee Calhoun on Thee Facebooks

Argonauta Records website

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Dee Calhoun Confirms European Tour Dates; Posts “Dry Heaves and Needles” Video

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 19th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Following the March 30 release of his second solo album, Go to the Devil, the man who might possibly have Maryland’s most powerful set of pipes,
Dee Calhoun — seriously, I can’t listen to the new Judas Priest record without thinking about Dee singing on those tracks — will embark on a European tour with his (former) Iron Man bandmate/regular accompaniment Louis Strachan along for the trip. To my knowledge, it’s the first time Calhoun has toured in Europe, though he went to the UK with Iron Man a few years back to play a Rise Above anniversary party. Still, no minor happening either way to do it essentially as a solo heavy metal singer-songwriter.

To herald the record’s March 30 arrival via Argonauta, the new video “Dry Heaves and Needles” has been posted. You probably don’t have to work too hard to guess what it’s about, what with he opioid crisis and all — though I hear meth is making a comeback too. In any case, there’s a good chance that if you’re reading this, you know someone affected by addiction (I know I do) and it fucking sucks, but the song’s right on anyway, so dig in and enjoy.

From the PR wire:

dee calhoun and louis strachan

DEE CALHOUN new single + European tour dates

DEE CALHOUN, voice of legendary doomers IRON MAN, releases the second single from his highly anticipated second solo album “Go to the Devil”.

“My ode to what has happened in the city of my birth, as well as countless other places across the USA.” – Dee Calhoun

“Go to the Devil” will be released by ARGONAUTA Records and available from March 30th, 2018. Preorders run here: http://bit.ly/2rvQDz9

Dee Calhoun and Louis Strachan will tour Europe from April 19th to April 29th.

“THE DEVIL OVER EUROPE – Spring Tour” tour dates:
April 19, Aalborg, Denmark, 1000FRYD
April 20, TBA, Netherlands/North West Germany
April 21, Freiburg, Germany, WHITE RABBIT CLUB
April 22, Prague, Czech Rep., MODRA VOPICE
April 23, Budapest, Hungary, S8 UNDERGROUND
April 24, Maribor, Slovenia, DVORANA GUSTAF PEKARNA
April 25, Saint-Maurice, Switzerland, MANOIR PUB
April 26, Milan, Italy, BLUE ROSE SALOON
April 27, Turin, Italy, TBA
April 28, Nancy, France, THE RIVETER
April 29, TBA, North Germany/Denmark

Dee Calhoun – voice, guitar, percussion, keyboards
Louis Strachan – bass

www.screamingmaddee.com
https://www.facebook.com/screamingmaddee/
www.argonautarecords.com

Dee Calhoun, “Dry Heaves and Needles” official video

Dee Calhoun, Go to the Devil album teaser

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