Shadow Woods Metal Fest V Makes First Lineup Announcement

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 7th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

Shadow Woods Metal Fest V banner

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Righteous in purpose and execution, fest organizer  Complete your Dissertation or Research on time with our expert PhD like it services. Get in touch with our expert Dissertation Consultants Mary Spiro sent the following down the PR wire:

Shadow Woods Metal Fest V poster

Panopticon to headline Shadow Woods Metal Fest V

The fifth edition of Shadow Woods Metal Fest (also sometimes simply SWMF or Shadow Woods Music Fest, since it’s not all metal music) will happen Aug 27-29, 2021 in White Hall, Maryland. Bands announced so far include Panopticon, Destroyer of Light, Borracho, Neolithic, Voarm, Witchcryer, Traitor, Altar and the Bull, and Queen Wolf with about 10 more acts to be confirmed.

Tickets may be found on Eventbrite:

Performance times will be Friday between 6 pm and 11 pm and Saturday between noon and 11 pm. There are no bands on Sunday. Although not officially announced, it is has been rumored that ticket sales will be cut off August 13 and no ticket will be sold at the gate. So, plan ahead.

The fest will take place at its traditional location, Camp Hidden Valley, a wooded, 200-acre property about 45 minutes north of Baltimore that hosts everything from weddings to children’s summer camps. There will be two covered stages – one outdoors and one inside the venue’s large, well-ventilated dining hall. This is the layout used during the 2018 fest – the last time the fest was held. Attendees may drive from home, camp, or stay in nearby hotels or private rentals. Most cabin options are already sold out.

Organizers are taking COVID-19 precautions seriously. There will be emergency medical techs and rapid COVID testing available throughout the weekend. They have issued this statement to attendees:

Masking, hand washing, and physical distancing protocols will be in effect during the fest. At this time, we are asking that every participant be fully vaccinated two weeks prior (by August 13) and show your vaccination card upon entry. We are working with an organization to have rapid COVID testing available onsite for a low fee at entry. If anyone tests positive for COVID or has any indicative symptoms such as a fever, coughing, chills, extreme fatigue, etc., we ask that you STAY HOME or leave the fest immediately, even if it is last minute. Everyone will be required to sign the typical camp liability waiver that we have used every year, but it will also include additional language related to COVID. We will be following all the federal and local recommended protocols and guidelines for COVID safety. All this is subject to change based on the current situation with the pandemic

Event organizer M. A. Spiro said that this really will be the last time she will do the fest, although she has admittedly said that before. “This last year without live music has been brutal on everyone and economically devastating,” she said. “I hope people come out for it. The bands need it. The fans need it. The production people need it. But one thing I learned after this last year is that I personally do not have to be the one to do these events any more. It’s a ton of work, a lot of risk financially and emotionally, and I am just not interested in carrying that mantle forward any longer. I would love it if someone created a new camping music fest nearby that I could go to and enjoy. But Shadow Woods as people have come to know it will be laid to rest after 2021. I might continue to do smaller shows in brick-and-mortar venues, but that remains to be seen since we really are not there yet with those locations.”

Panopticon, …And Again into the Light (2021)

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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

Hire industry leading cheap Opinion Essay Writings from most qualified and professional writers. We are recognized as top dissertation help company 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.

If you Professional Resume Writers Nyc, youll keep your invaluable time, and not only. You can embrace an author who will keep to all the circs of your professor. They worry about the quality of your labour, as for the opposite, they should return all the money which they could receive in case you will make an order. 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!

Our writers are capable of World War 1 2 Help With History Term Papers text of any complexity level. We deal with both scientific and academic dissertations. Only High Dissertation Editing Rates. Dissertation editing is the service aimed to proofread and edit your full text if needed. We will make it original and substantial. Our editors obey all rules to examine your papers. Here are some of the examples of our 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.

phd thesis poem like it Online homework help ratios dissertation philo conscience morale 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.

Write Essay On Love - Best HQ academic writings provided by top professionals. 100% non-plagiarism guarantee of custom essays & papers. 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.

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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.

'Pay' is one of the most searched terms. TFTH has been helping students with their assignments for years now thereby making us 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. - Write a timed custom research paper with our assistance and make your teachers startled No more fails with our reliable 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.

write my paper in apa format The Writers Thesis Statement Should Include masters of architecture thesis project write my paper today 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.

dig thiser, Austin, Texas. 21K likes. This page provides world class learning resources and high quality information in order to help those who need it. 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.

Torvus, The Innate Disease (2021)

Et Mors, Tombswayer (2019)

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

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


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:

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

Mangog, “Suicide Donkey”

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Maryland Doom Fest 2021 Announces Lineup

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 22nd, 2021 by JJ Koczan

Maryland Doom Fest 2021 is set for Halloween Weekend, Oct. 28-31, in Frederick, Maryland. Some of the acts on the newly announced bill are carryovers from the first-delayed-then-canceled 2020 edition — among them SasquatchWorshipper, and so on — but it’s worth noting that among those and others, the likes of The Age of Truth will have a new record out by this Fall, and pre-pandemic, Boozewa didn’t even exist. So yes, things have changed.

For further proof of the festival’s stylistic branching out — and with this many bands, they’d just have have to — you’ll note the departure in the poster art from the fest-standard purple toward a greater range of color. The music they’re pushing is likewise broader in palette, and to think of seeing the likes of Howling Giant and Revvnant alongside Arduini/BalichOmen Stones, and Place of Skulls is an encouraging thought indeed. This even was much-missed last year.

Expect a time-table sooner than later, as organizer JB Matson doesn’t screw around when it comes to that kind of thing. The lineup announcement — short and sweet, as ever — is further proof of same.

I don’t know what the world’s gonna look like come Halloween, but I know damn well this is one reason I’m glad I got that vaccine.

[UPDATE 04/30: Black Road and Vessel of Light can’t make it. Lo-Pan and When the Deadbolt Breaks have been added. If there are any further changes, I’ll probably just make a new post.]

To wit:

maryland doom fest 2021 new poster

Here is the Md Doom Fest 2021 roster folks!!!
Halloween weekend – Oct 28-31, 2021


Poobah, Sasquatch, Place of Skulls, Lo-Pan, Lost Breed, Cavern, Horseburner, Spiral Grave, The Age of Truth, Mangog, Wrath of Typhon, Helgamite, Almost Honest, Indus Valley Kings, VRSA, Monster God, Et Mors, Astral Void, Worshipper, Boozewa, Admiral Browning, Omen Stones, Formula 400, Molasses Barge, Arduini/Balich, Dirt Eater, Dyerwolf, Ol’ Time Moonshine, Shadow Witch, Revvnant, Bloodshot, Ritual Earth, Gardens of Nocturne, Conclave, Crow Hunter, Bailjack, Warmask, Akris, Alms, Thunderbird Divine, Strange Highways, Howling Giant, Yatra, Jaketehhawk, When the Deadbolt Breaks, Grave Huffer, Dust Prophet, Plague Wielder, Weed Coughin, Morganthus, Tines

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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:

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

“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

Foghound, “Burn Slow”

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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.

Darsombra, Call the Doctor / Nightgarden (2021)

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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!!!

Darsombra, Call the Doctor / Nightgarden (2021)

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Friday Full-Length: Beelzefuzz, Beelzefuzz

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

The self-titled debut album from Chesapeake Watershed progressive doomers Beelzefuzz (review here) was issued in 2013 through The Church Within Records. I remember it feeling like it was an excruciatingly long wait for the album to show up, both from their earlier demos and also just the record itself. The first time I’d seen them was Days of the Doomed II (review here) for a short set in June 2012, then again at Stoner Hands of Doom XII (review here) about two and a half months later. Comprised of guitarist/vocalist Dana Ortt, bassist Pug Kirby and drummer Darin McCloskey (also of Pale Divine), they made a formidably individualized impression on stage and on the demos they were giving away after that sampler set in Wisconsin (discussed here), Ortt‘s wide-eyed and effects-harmonized vocal conjurations, quirky style of riffing, and the guitar-as-organ sound that would become a Beelzefuzz trademark but never fully understood when it came to the eventual two albums they would release. If everyone could’ve seen them on stage, it all would have made a lot more sense.

I went back and looked over my review from when the eight-song/36-minute LP came out, and first of all, it was l-o-n-g. You think it takes me a long time to say what I’m trying to say now? Shit, right around 2012/2013, I apparently decided to take myself super-seriously and yeah. Wow. Anyway, digging through the verbiage, I at least acknowledged at the time that the album format inherently couldn’t capture the full impact of the band, since so much of the appeal was in watching Ortt‘s wizardry, backed as it was by the reliable and classic styling of McCloskey on drums, emphasizing the ’70s rock and prog elements of their doom. In 2013, I noted the album was full of promise, and I remember being particularly struck by how much heavier the guitar sounded than on the demos or live, that the chug in the final version of “All the Feeling Returns” carried more weight than it had initially, but fair enough. The album was full of promise. Listening to it now, I’m still a fan. I have a couple t-shirts somewhere.

It’s a shame on multiple levels that the band didn’t last, but among them is the fact that in this age of livestreaming and ready-made video-ness, they’d probably do pretty well playing “Reborn” or “Lotus Jam” or the seven-minute “Hypnotize” on whatever form of social media as a way to engage their fans. Ortt posts a solo track every now and again to Instagram and that’s cool, so maybe the band would’ve found a broader audience that way, but they also never really toured and didn’t seem inclined to do so, which is also fair. You’d probably have a hard time making a career out of Beelzefuzz. Silly name. Weird sound. Unless you’re ready to move to London, it’d be rough to make a go of it, and Beelzefuzz was well entrenched in Maryland doom. The fact that tBeelzefuzz Beelzefuzzhey stood out from so much of it was part of what made their debut so exciting. In a scene that prided itself on traditionalism and following in the riffy footsteps of WinoAl Morris III and others, Beelzefuzz represented a step aside from that in favor of something willfully fresh, still doom in its atmosphere and still plenty heavy — again, surprisingly so on this album — but ahead of its time in its proggier bent and standout songwriting.

A complicated series of events would eventually consume the band. You know all those killer ’70s heavy rock records that you listen to and think, “How was this band not huge?” Kind of the same thing here. Beelzefuzz fell first to a discord between Kirby and the other two players. I’ll spare you the links to all of this, but you should know they’re there. That split led to legal proceedings involving use of the name — imagine that for a second — and for a hot minute, that seemed like it was going to be the end of the band. Ortt and McCloskey regrouped as Righteous Bloom about a week later, and brought in Revelation/Against Nature bassist Bert Hall, Jr., and hell, that was exciting too. Hall is a low-end master and a rhythm section of him and McCloskey together was only going to result in warm, rolling groove excellently suited to Ortt‘s riffs. And it did.

Righteous Bloom began releasing tracks one at a time and eventually became Beelzefuzz again late in 2015. They brought in Greg DienerMcCloskey‘s bandmate in Pale Divine — and in 2016, released Beelzefuzz II: The Righteous Bloom (review here) through Candlelight imprint Restricted Release. Guess what? It was cool and didn’t get the attention it deserved. Maybe that fraught two years showed up a bit in their sound, the struggle and stress surrounding the band came through a bit in the songs, but not really. They showed a more progressive side of their songwriting and of course, solos from Diener were never going to hurt. Beelzefuzz simply rolled on.

They played here and there to support the album locally, in Maryland, Delaware, etc., and that was where their reputation was always based. I was fortunate enough to see their last show at Maryland Doom Fest 2019 (review here) and the love for them was palpable in that room in Cafe 611, Frederick, MD. A fitting sendoff if there had to be one.

The happy post-script to the 10-year run of Beelzefuzz is that Ortt wound up joining Diener and McCloskey in Pale Divine in time to contribute to last year’s Consequence of Time (review here), which was a doomly joy to behold, mixing the band’s longstanding traditionalist aspects with Ortt‘s quirk. That left Hall as the odd man out — Pale Divine already had an ace bassist/sometimes vocalist in Ron “Fezzy” McGinnis, late of Admiral Browning — but he’s apparently been working on solo material, as he’ll play April 10 at Cafe 611 with a bunch of others in a kind of early welcome-back-to-shows show. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t thinking about going.

Everyone’s alive, so there’s always a chance Beelzefuzz might decide to pick it back up and start anew, but even if that doesn’t happen, this record holds up easily to the eight years since it came out, and there’s nothing to make me think it won’t continue to do so as more time goes on.

As always, I hope you enjoy. Thanks for reading.

This week was a blur of email anxiety. I had notes to send to the Weirdo Canyon Dispatch staff for the Roadburn Redux thing — you’d be AMAZED at the people who flaked — and requests for interviews for that, and PostWax liner notes emails and then a couple people want to interview me as if I have anything interesting to say other than to complain, plus I wasn’t sleeping and everything had that the-universe-is-awful sheen from my glazed eyes. I managed to do two decent interviews though; the one that went up with Oryx yesterday and one yesterday morning I did with Domkraft that I’m going to try to get up next week.

Next week, also, is the Quarterly Review. I know. I’m stupid. But the week works and I’ll get through it. Honestly, with the big release day that today is — Greenleaf, Genghis Tron, Yawning Sons, Shiva the Destructor, Wheel, 1782, The Quill, and others if that’s not enough; was enough for me to just put those first two in my Amazon cart — it’s I’m hoping news chills out a bit next week and I can focus on the 10-albums-per-day thing. With my luck, festivals will probably come back.

Does it matter? Nah. I’m small potatoes. Low stakes to everyone except me if I don’t post whatever that thing is until tomorrow.

I need to remind myself of that.

Took a break just now to rearrange some furniture with The Patient Mrs. in our living. An old hangover lamp down to the basement, move the new rug, new shelves for The Pecan’s toys in, and so on. We’re having company for dinner — Slevin, in fact, who you’ll remember is the lovely chap who helped make this site go live in the first place some 12-plus years ago — and his Special Lady. It’ll be nice. We’re supposed to grill and slated to have high winds this afternoon. If that means I smell like meat for the rest of the evening, I’ll take the hit. Maybe change my shirt before bed. Maybe.

My family will return next week here. The room I’m in now — we’ve called it ‘the big room’ for at least as long as I’ve been alive; recall this house belonged to my grandmother/grandfather — is our dining room, a door out from the kitchen added on to the original house during a period of what I’ll assume was prosperity for my grandparents. Its wood paneling, circular red fireplace, vinyl floor and back bar are very much in line with my own aesthetic. We spend a lot of time out here. We lit fires all winter. Somehow that feels important to me, though I know all nostalgia and sense of ‘connection’ to a thing is pretend at best and damaging at worst. The more you cling to, the more you lose, and so on.

Oh, I also got pitched on a book project compiling I guess some of the best stuff from around here the last 12 years? Kind of a bizarre idea, but it might actually happen given who’s behind it. If you have any thoughts on what should be included, I’m happy to take requests. I have no clue where to start or end.

No Gimme show this week. Next week. So it’s that, QR, maybe Domkraft interview video and an announcement Monday that I need to confirm. Plus I’m recording interviews where I’m being interviewed I think on Sunday and Thursday, and I’m interviewing Steve Von Till of Neurosis tomorrow for a thing, and I need to set up a line with Tau from Tau and the Drones of Praise for another thing, plus find a time to talk with Mat Bethancourt about Josiah coming back asap and then I expect by the time I get through all that and 10 reviews a day by the end of next Friday, plus The Pecan — whose fractured skull is fine, by the way, genuine thanks to everyone who expressed concern — I will have burst an embolism in my own brain and I’ll just be dead. Fine. It’s how I always wanted to go: overwhelmed.

Great and safe weekend. If it’s Spring where you are, enjoy Spring. Don’t forget to hydrate and watch your head.


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