Days of Rona: Scott “Dr. Space” Heller of Øresund Space Collective

Posted in Features on April 9th, 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. To read all the Days of Rona coverage, click here. — JJ Koczan

scott dr space heller

Days of Rona: Scott “Dr. Space” Heller of Øresund Space Collective, Aural Hallucinations, Space Rock Productions, etc. (Portugal)

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?

Well, at the moment our concerts in May are in doubt and we might have to postpone them till late summer or fall. Looks like Høstsabbat for Oct 1st will still happen though so that might be one of the few shows we do. As far as I know all the members of the band are healthy and staying at home, probably making or mixing music!!!

What are the quarantine/isolation rules where you are?

Portugal has taken this very seriously as has Denmark, where a lot of the members live. Schools are closed, bars, restaurants, pretty much everything except small local businesses, grocery stores, gas stations… Where we live there are still no cases reported yet. Denmark is shut down for three;, months. Oddly, where some of the members are in Sweden, it is business as usual. They have not shut down anything much. They also have the most cases of all of Scandinavia. We will see how it goes.

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

We have a huge view of the valley where we live and you just don’t see many people out or cars, so I think people around here are being vigilant. I go to the post office every week to mail packages and they only let two people in at a time and you can’t get close to the workers, they have a large plastic window with a gap. As for music, there is no live music at the moment but I am making a lot of music and improving my skills, mixing new tracks, recording for new collaborations (a secret at the moment). My fourth Dr Space’s Alien Planet Trip LP –  Space with Bass is still coming out in May. My collaboration with Matt (Ex-Elder, Kind, Queen Elephantine) called Aural Hallucinations will be out on LP, CD and tape around May 1st. A new subscriber-only release of Øresund Space Collective is supposed to arrive this week… So lots still happening..

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

We are pretty safe and unlikely to get this virus if we just stay at home since we live so isolated and all my music projects will continue but live concerts will be fewer this year for sure. I wish everyone the best and hope you all ride this crazy virus wave to a safe place and we can all be together again later this year. Thanks to everyone who has bought our music. Peace…

http://oresundspacecollective.com
http://oresundspacecollective.bandcamp.com
http://doctorsofspace.bandcamp.com
http://writingaboutmusic.blogspot.com
http://www.spacerockproductions.com
http://blackmooncircle.bandcamp.com
http://auralhallucinations.bandcamp.com

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Days of Rona: Douglas Sherman of Gozu

Posted in Features on April 7th, 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. To read all the Days of Rona coverage, click here. — JJ Koczan

gozu douglas sherman

Days of Rona: Douglas Sherman of Gozu (Boston, Massachusetts)

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?

Everyone in Gozu is doing great considering the unique situation we are in. We were actually in the middle of writing a new album when this all blew up. So now Gaff and I are exchanging ideas daily through text and have accrued an enormous stockpile of riffs. We are also scheduled to go in the studio late summer depending on what happens in the next month or two.

What are the quarantine/isolation rules where you are?

In Boston we have a stay-at-home advisory in place: all non-essential business are closed and everyone is asked to stay at home unless for an emergency. Practice social distancing!

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

We are in uncharted territory so I see lots of frightened friends. I also see lots of artists trying to focus as much as they can at home on their craft and making efforts to connect with each other through technology. Human interaction is a basic need and can quell fears.

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

We need to breathe, listen and know that in the end we will all get through together. I also think you will see a totally different and more empathetic humanity when this is said and done.

Much love to everyone.

https://www.facebook.com/GOZU666
http://gozu.bandcamp.com
instagram.com/gozu666

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Days of Rona: Scott O’Dowd of Cortez

Posted in Features on April 6th, 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. To read all the Days of Rona coverage, click here. — JJ Koczan

cortez scott odowd

Days of Rona: Scott O’Dowd of Cortez (Boston, Massachusetts)

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?

We have been finishing up artwork for our new album that we recorded in the fall with Benny Grotto at Mad Oak Studios. As far as playing shows, we’ve definitely had to cancel a few, and likely more as this pandemic continues. Cortez as a band has decided to suspend rehearsal for the time being as well, three of the members have children, and it just doesn’t seem like a good idea to risk getting together to rehearse in light of the current situation. Everyone is healthy at the current moment.

What are the quarantine/isolation rules where you are?

In Massachusetts, the governor issued a stay-at-home advisory for non-essential personnel as well as limiting public gatherings to groups of 10 or less. The have also closed bars/restaurants except for take out. It’s pretty eerie exactly how quiet the city of Boston and surrounding areas have been, compared to normal.

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

As for the community, most people seem to be taking this seriously as expected. Most seem to be following the social distancing guidelines and wearing masks and/or gloves in grocery stores, etc. It has obviously affected the ability to be social but people seem to be finding ways to adapt. Whether through FaceTime, or phone calls, or video chats.

Locally there have been Facebook groups / pages where local musicians have been doing live streams from their homes or rehearsal spaces.

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

We as a band, are approaching this like most folks, waiting it out and trying to stay safe. It’s going to feel really nice to get together in a room and play some music when this is all over! I have a sneaking suspicion that we will have a ton of new albums to listen to once this passes as everyone suddenly has a lot of time on their hands.

http://www.cortezboston.com
http://www.instagram.com/cortezboston
http://www.facebook.com/cortezboston
http://cortezboston.bandcamp.com

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Aural Hallucinations Stream Debut LP Alucinações Auditivas in Full; Preorders up Now

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on April 1st, 2020 by JJ Koczan

aural hallucinations

Aural Hallucinations will release their debut album, Alucinações Auditivas, through Space Rock Productions on May 1. The ocean-spanning experimentalist duo brings together Massachusetts-based Matt Couto — best known as the now-former drummer for Elder, and also currently of Kind — with Scott “Dr. Space” Heller, who, though currently residing in Portugal, nonetheless continues to work as the prolific synthesist and bandleader of Øresund Space Collective and also, so far as I know, still hold a place in the otherwise-Norwegian Black Moon Circle and a few other projects as well.

The semi-self-titled Alucinações Auditivas is their first release of any sort as well as being their first album — though they led up to it by unveiling “Brain Stimulator” and “Fly Free, Furry Friend” as singles — and in its vinyl-ready form it runs seven tracks and 41 minutes of way-far-gone mostly-instrumental collaboration. Pieces like “Hills White, House Blue” become a kind of miasma of synthesizer sounds, and from the leadoff cut “Formigas,” on which the applied “vocals” would seem to be recorded and manipulated breathing, onward, the prevailing sentiment is that anything is welcome noise-wise so far as the vibe is maintained.

To wit, the underlying low end synth progression behind the penultimate “Don’t Take the Granite Acid” follows an eerily similar rhythm to that of my basement washing machine when heard through the floor of my living room. There are eerie whispers there as well (not in my basement, fortunately), and “Spore Cloud Dispersion” offers a drum progression and bassline that echoes the space rock at its most frenetic, while closer “Surreal InhiVisions” finds its anchor in acoustic guitar almost in a manner reminiscent of Lamp of the Universe were that outfit more given to conjuring a total wash AURAL HALLUCINATIONS ALUCINACOES AUDITIVASof effects rather than sticking to some semblance of structural traditionalism.

Despite all the far-out-itude of Alucinações Auditivas and the piercing high-pitched frequency that makes its way into “Brain Stimulator,” the project is consistent with elements of both Couto‘s and Heller‘s past work. Certainly the latter has been no stranger to improvised-seeming experimentation — that’s Øresund Space Collective‘s wheelhouse — and the former has handled modular synth and other noisemaking whatnots in Kind as well, so it’s not that Aural Hallucinations comes out of nowhere in terms of their approach, just that the two parties involved have very clearly made a conscious decision to highlight this aspect of their creativity together.

The mission and resulting LP are likewise admirable though both by their very nature are not necessarily widely accessible. Still, the wide open range that Alucinações Auditivas establishes nearly immediately and only continues to push into broader spaces is a closed-eyes-headphones-on escape that one can easily imagine as a ready foundation for future such expeditions. With their driving principle seeming to be just building pieces from the ground up and seeing what works, they show an awareness of that and a corresponding awareness of when a piece is done or might not need anything else going on in it.

This makes Aural Hallucinations dynamic as well as varied in their approach, and from minimal to maximal, Alucinações Auditivas demonstrates a dimensionality that goes beyond the depth of its mix. Actually, its dimensionality kind of goes outside of this dimension altogether, but I suppose that’s a different matter.

Also it’s not made of matter.

You get the point.

With preorders open as of today ahead of the release next month, Aural Hallucinations have opened the floodgates and are letting the noise drift through with a full album stream of Alucinações Auditivas below. Should you choose to plunge in, I most certainly hope you enjoy:

This is the debut album by Matt Couto (Kind, ex-Elder) and Dr Space (Øresund Space Collective, Black Moon Circle). It features a number of tracks to have Aural Hallucinations to. Luis Antero has kindly provided us with several field recordings that have been mixed into a few of the tracks.

Matthew Couto- Moog Opus III, Moog Werkstatt, VRL Modular Synthesizer, Drums, Bass, Acoustic guitar, Electric Guitar, Vocal

Dr Space- Yamaha CS10, Custom Modular Synthesizer, KORG SQ-10, Nord Lead 2, ARP Odessey, Vocal

Artwork by Matt. Logo and cassette/CD layouts by Josh Yelle.

Mixing and mastering at Éstudio Paraíso nas Nuvems, Central Portugal by Dr Space.

Aural Hallucinations on Bandcamp

Space Rock Productions website

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Days of Rona: John Brookhouse of Worshipper

Posted in Features on April 1st, 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

worshipper john brookhouse

Days of Rona: John Brookhouse of Worshipper (Salem, Massachusetts)

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?

We’re somewhat lucky in that we just did a tour with Weedeater that ended right about when everything got shut down, but NONE of the dates we did were cancelled (they were for Weedeater the day after we left). Toward the end there, it was a little stressful wondering if we should even be out there, seeing shows get cancelled left and right back home, but somehow our train kept a’rollin. So, we were able to do our shows and go home, unlike a lot of bands who just had to pack it up and go home.

Now that we’re back, I think we are all just trying to figure out what the hell is happening and how to adapt to this new reality. We really need to write a new record, and with all of this time on our hands, it seems like a great time to be creative… but, you know, it’s not just “free time.” I’m working from home (I design billboards, which, are more effective if people can leave their house) and am dealing with that adjustment. We’re dealing with something we’ve never dealt with before. Everyone is trying to figure out how to get by right now. It’s pretty stressful and not totally conducive to being creative, but, I did write one new tune so far, and I’ve played tons of guitar. We’re tossing some ideas around online. I pulled out my old lap steel and have been trying to actually learn some proper techniques and tunings with it. (I put up a couple one-minute Instagram vids of it.) It’s a diversion, mostly, but I’m hoping it will end up inspiring something for the next batch of tunes we do.

So far, we’ve only had one show on the horizon postponed (New England Stoner & Doom Fest 3). Beyond that, we have some stuff lined up in June that we are kind of waiting to see how things pan out for…

Health-wise, we’re all doing okay. When we left for the tour, I felt like I was fighting a cold, but managed to kick it by the second date. Bob and Jarvis had or contracted colds during the run. I can’t speak for them, but coming down with an illness on tour is bad enough, but getting sick during the early days of the shit hitting the fan with COVID had to be stressful. It was the kind of thing where you’d hear people cough or sniffle at clubs and you’d be on edge.

What are the quarantine/isolation rules where you are?

In Boston, pretty much everything is shut down and people are being told to stay home until April 7, but as we all know, it changes every day. I feel like it will end up being longer. I’m in Salem, and it’s weird how it seems like there are more people out walking than usual. Not necessarily being irresponsible with social distancing, but I definitely encounter more people walking around town now than I usually do, which is starting to stress me out a little, to be honest. We all need to get a little exercise and air right now, but, seriously, stay away from me.

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

It’s pretty heartbreaking to see the people and businesses immediately financially impacted by this. Especially music venues and my friends in the retail and service industries. I have seen a bunch of people rally and do online shows trying to raise money for the venues and places that have supported them, so in some ways, there are some great things happening now. Selfishly, I really miss just going record shopping and hitting Notch Brewing (my favorite local brewery) and not being afraid of getting within six feet of someone I see on the sidewalk. I think we all feel like there is just a giant gaping hole in our lives without being able to play shows or even just get together. BUT, we all need to do our part to slow the spread of this. Hopefully, we can all help get the scene back on its feet when we can get back to normal life, or whatever the new normal ends up being.

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

I don’t really think my situation, personally, is more unique than anyone else’s at the moment. I am doing okay, considering, and I really just want to try and help others or help shine a light on others who may need help right now. Worshipper just got to actually FINISH our tour, and we played to more people than any of our other tours, so we are thankful and lucky for that. So, we’re just going to regroup, write some songs, and try to help out our friends right now.

https://www.facebook.com/worshipperband/
https://www.instagram/worshipperband
https://worshipper.bandcamp.com/
http://teepeerecords.com

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Days of Rona: Nick DiSalvo of Elder

Posted in Features on March 30th, 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

elder nick disalvo

Days of Rona: Nick DiSalvo of Elder (Germany)

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?

I don’t think a pandemic would ever come at a “convenient” time, but since we’re releasing a new album at the end of April and had tours lined up for the next half-year following that, it’s causing some problems. We’re rescheduling the concerts coming up soonest and taking the rest on a wait-and-see basis. Thankfully, that’s our biggest problem and everyone is healthy. Jack continues to work in a very public space, being an ‘essential worker’, but so far so good.

What are the quarantine/isolation rules where you are?

In Germany, currently we’re allowed to move freely but with a few restrictions. Groups of over two people aren’t allowed in public or private, nonessential businesses are closed and everyone is predictably advised to stay in unless absolutely necessary. In Massachusetts, I believe it’s similar.

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

There’s a general sense of unwellbeing in the city. Supermarkets are eerie, streets are mostly empty. Needless to say the clubs and bands here are facing the same crises as elsewhere, but there is at least funding being freed up for artists by the state. I’ve seen an uptick in kind messages and bits of support in the way of merch sales and downloads, which is heartening. People are helping out where they can – I mean, except for the super-rich and corporations, etc.

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

Well, we’re fine. Things like this put your problems into perspective, even as they are creating them. We might have to cancel tours and lose money/momentum as a band, but people are suffering and dying by the thousands and it will only get worse.

http://facebook.com/elderofficial
https://www.instagram.com/elderband/
http://armageddonshop.com
https://www.stickman-records.com/

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Come to Grief Announce June Weekender; Welcome New Bassist

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 17th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

come to grief

Holding down low end for a band as heavy as Come to Grief is no minor task, and it has been taken on by Randy Larsen of Connecticut-based sludge rockers Cable, who’ll join the extreme-sludge offshoot of Grief for their set weekender in Brooklyn, Connecticut and New Hampshire at the end of June and then head into the studio with them later in the summer to track a new album which, if it comes out as we head into winter 2021 can only be an appropriate soundtrack to the lifeless wasteland society is sure to be by that point. Can’t wait. Look forward to it.

Come to Grief issued their latest EP, Pray for the End, last month, and, well, it’s got all the disdain for humanity as a whole that one could possibly ask, plus riffs. If you choose to take it on, you won’t hear anything else today more scathing, I assure you.

Good luck to us all:

come to grief shows

COME TO GRIEF – 2020

We are very pleased to announce the addition of our new bassist Randy Larsen (Cable/Slow Death)! We’ve been hard at work the past few weeks rehearsing the set, as well as making great progress on the new album, which we will be recording in August! More good news, the new line up will be hitting the road with our friends BARISHI on a short, three day run to get a few shows in with Randy prior to returning to the studio. We won’t be playing many shows this year, so we’re looking forward to seeing you all for these! We hope to see you all there!

Terry, Jonathan, Chuck, Randy, and Carl!

Come to Grief live:
June 25 – Come to Grief & Barishi at Saint Vitus Bar
June 26 – Come to Grief & Barishi in New Haven at the State House
June 27 – Come to Grief & Barishi at the Stone Church

Come to Grief are:
Terry Savastano – Guitars / Backing vocals
Jonathan Hébert – Vocals / Guitars
Chuck Conlon – Drums
Randy Larsen – Bass

https://www.facebook.com/extremesludge/
https://cometogrief.bandcamp.com/

Come to Grief, Pray for the End (2020)

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Elder Post Omens Cover Art; Preorders Available

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 24th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

Well, preorders are up for Elder‘s new album, Omens. I’m not going to tell you I’ve heard the record or anything, but I am going to tell you that it’s the most progressive thing they’ve ever done, and it sets in motion a new stage of the band’s ongoing evolution. They approach and execute it like the veterans they’ve become, and construct their songs with a masterful hand. I’m not telling you I’ve heard it, but I am telling you it’s probably going to be a consensus album of the year for 2020 when December comes.

Cover art has been unveiled today along with the title-track, which is representative of course of the album as a whole and a pretty damn fine way to spend the next 10 minutes of your life.

Dig in:

elder omens

Elder have set an April 24 release date for one of the year’s most eagerly-awaited rock releases… Their 5th full length album: “Omens”.

US preorder link: https://armageddonlabel.bigcartel.com/

EU preorder link: https://www.stickman-records.com/shop/elder-omens/

“To me, Omens is our most complete work to date: a set of songs that express the breadth of the band’s collective influences,” explains singer/guitar player Nick DiSalvo. “After recording The Gold & Silver Sessions EP, it felt like we fully scratched the itch to explore our minimalist side, taking a step back from the proggy song structures and heavy guitar work of our previous records and just letting the music drift along. When beginning to work on Omens, the goal was to integrate these two tendencies in the band – to make a modern day progressive rock record, but also to take time to jam and float when need be. Most importantly, I feel the spirit of adventure in our music is alive and well, and we missed no opportunity to bring in a whole new arsenal of sounds to the record.”

The five song, 54-minute album is a concept album that mimics the lifespan of a civilization, and also reads as a commentary on our own society hell-bent on profitability at the expense of our own lives and environment.

Omens was produced by Peter Deimel (Anna Calvi, The Kills, The Wedding Present) and recorded at Studio Black Box in Noyant-La-Gravoyêre, France. Deimel and DiSalvo mixed the collection.

Elder is Nick DiSalvo (guitar, vocals, keyboards), Jack Donvan (bass), Michael Risberg (guitars, keyboards) and Georg Edert (drums). The New Bedford, Mass. born band have released five full-length studio albums: Elder (2008), Dead Roots Stirring (2011), Lore (2015) and Reflections of a Floating World (2017).

1. Omens
2. In Procession
3. Halcyon
4. Embers
5. One Light Retreating

Elder US 2020 Tour:
May 6 Brooklyn, NY Elsewhere
May 7 Philadelphia, PA Underground Arts
May 8 Richmond, VA Richmond Music Hall
May 9 Asheville, NC Mothlight
May 10 Atlanta, GA The Earl
May 12 Lexington, KY Cosmic Charlies
May 13 Nashville, TN Mercy Lounge
May 14 New Orleans, LA One Eyed Jacks
May 15 Houston, TX Secret Group
May 16 Austin, TX Barracuda
May 17 Dallas, TX Blue Light
May 19 Albuquerque, NM Sister Bar
May 20 Denver, CO Hi Dive
May 22 St. Paul, MN Turf Club
May 23 Chicago, IL Reggie’s
May 24 Cleveland, OH Grog Shop
May 26 Detroit, MI Sanctuary
May 27 Toronto, ON Lee’s Palace
May 28 Montreal, QC Café Campus
May 29 Boston, MA ONCE Ballroom

Tickets are on-sale now. Bask opens on all dates.

http://facebook.com/elderofficial
https://www.instagram.com/elderband/
http://armageddonshop.com
https://www.stickman-records.com/

Elder, “Omens”

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