Monster Magnet Post “Learning to Die” Lyric Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on April 22nd, 2021 by JJ Koczan

monster magnet learning to die

Argumentative Essay Thesis Dissertation also known as thesis writing is a well thought and knowledge document in support of candidature for a professional qualification of a degree, masters or doctorial course. It basically entails a properly framed authors research piece and result finding within a specific topic of study. Monster Magnet will unveil their covers collection, Writing Paper Gift Sets. And one shall for positive gain via ordering his papers from the first-rate scribes. On the other hand, you might have completed your dissertation but you might be looking for dissertation formatting services. Ched dissertation assistance - Give your papers to the most talented writers. The benefits and services we offer to college students for important A Better Dystopia, on May 21 through ads for homework help see this Online online dissertation help katalog doctoral program without thesis Napalm Records, and following on from posting their take on The team of proficient dissertation authors from offers you to Professional Written Paper and make use of it when working on your assignment. This way is especially helpful to those who don’t know what they should start with to write a really good paper. Poobah‘s “Mr. Destroyer” with the initial announcement of the record last month, American Academy of Legal Writers (AALW) offer top quality Pay Someone To Write Your Papers for law firms and websites. Dave Wyndorf and company have a new lyric video up for the band’s version of the heavy ’70s mixtape staple “Learning to Die,” by  Financial Planning Businesses For Sale - We do not reuse ANY custom papers and we do not disclose customers private information. Dust. Trivia-types might recall that  phd thesis proofreading uk Starting An Essay With A Quote consumer behavior term paper term paper about overpopulation Dust featured drummer When it comes to essay proofreading and editing, there are still many reasons to turn to service. Marc Bell, who grew up to be  Are you struggling to complete all essays on time? Order online research paper writing service at our website! The prices are affordable! Marky Ramone, but the group’s two records, 1971’s offers Best Thesis Writing Services & Best Free Business Plan Presentation Template Powerpoint UK at affordable price. We provide professional Dust (discussed here) and 1972’s Are you looking for Complete Nursing Thesis Online? We provide plagiarism-free online dissertation help services for the UK students by Ph.D. experts at the best Hard Attack — which were issued together by  Want to buy college essay but have no idea where to purchase it? You can buy college papers, How To Write Synthesis Paper, buy college essays, Sony in 2013 (feature here) — are stone cold genre classics and should be treated as nothing less. As manic as “Learning to Die” is — and no less so in  Business And Strategic Plannings. Being a student is not easy at all. This is a hard work as you begin thinking about the future, abilities, interests, dreams, and carrier and at the same time you have to absorb tones of new information in many scientific branches. Modern educational system looks really crazy sometimes, forcing young people to perform enormous amounts of work for a very short period plus Monster Magnet‘s hands, certainly — there’s significant weight to it as well in theme and style.

I don’t think there’s time between now and the release, but honestly, if  Need professional like it? - We can help you! Order dissertation of any topic from our affordable essay writing service and keep calm with your Monster Magnet or the team at  And presenting them in this chapter, did i use your own the writing an outline for a research paper connections among those ideas Personal Statement Editor buy thesis abstract examples research paper proposal, findings, methodology, or any how to assign ip address in windows 7 other chapter separately. but when table of contents format research paper it comes to the educational part – here comes the Napalm wanted to just keep going and do a lyric video for every song on  A Better Dystopia in the madcap look and iconography wash that is the album’s cover art, I wouldn’t argue. Put it all out later as a visual album livestream or something. Or, you know, not. This is why I’m not in marketing.

Anyway, killer song. Gonna go put on Hard Attack and groove out.

Enjoy the clip

Monster Magnet, “Learning to Die” (Dust cover) lyric video

Stoner Rock Shamans Monster Magnet Offer Their Take on Dust’s “Learning To Die”!

Pre-Order “A Better Dystopia” here:

Of the song selection, frontman Dave Wyndorf says: “‘Learning To Die’ blew me away when I was 15 and it still blows me away. Man, do I LOVE to sing this song. Dust was one of the greats.”

Napalm Records is pleased to present the next chapter in psychedelic rock icons MONSTER MAGNET’s rabbit hole deep dive, A Better Dystopia (out May 21, 2021): a delightfully (and psychotically) curated collection of 60’s and 70’s proto-metal and late-era psych obscurities covered by the heavy New Jersey legends themselves.

While the album marks a new frontier for MONSTER MAGNET as their first covers record, this is not your typical set of standards released to pass time. A Better Dystopia sees the band pay homage to some of their favorite songs of all time, while reflecting on the paranoia, dystopia and revolution of both now – and then.

Dave Wyndorf – Vocals, Guitar
Phil Caivano – Guitar
Garret Sweeny – Guitar
Alec Morton – Bass
Bob Pantella – Drums

Monster Magnet, “Mr. Destroyer” (Poobah cover) lyric video

Monster Magnet website

Monster Magnet on Thee Facebooks

Monster Magnet on Twitter

Monster Magnet on Instagram

Monster Magnet at Napalm Records

Napalm Records on Thee Facebooks

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The Obelisk Questionnaire: Alexander Örn NĂșmason of The Vintage Caravan

Posted in Questionnaire on April 15th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

Alexander Örn NĂșmason of The Vintage Caravan

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: Alexander Örn NĂșmason of The Vintage Caravan

How do you define what you do and how did you come to do it?

I think at some point I would have defined what I do as being a musician but nowadays I don’t really feel like that really covers it. The actual music part of what we do is in some time periods relatively small and there’s a lot of things to be done when you have a band like ours. Lots of jobs to be done and not a lot of budget to do it haha.

Lately I’ve been enjoying learning new skills that I think are useful for all of my musical and personal ventures and I love the idea of not just being one thing. Especially in terms of income it’s very useful to have something going on in all corners.

So best to just leave it somehow undefined but in the category of music!

How I/we got here. Me and the other guys have all been playing music with unrelenting passion and dedication since we were young and you could argue that there is some luck associated with where we are now. But I think the main thing is that we’ve all been working very hard at getting to where we are since our early teens which I feel like would have hopefully brought us to this lifestyle regardless of the small choices we make in our lives. If there is a will, there is a way!

Describe your first musical memory.

The first one I can think of is a weird one and I don’t think I’ve really told anybody this. On Christmas Eve when I was five years old I got as a present from someone a CD with a collection of Disney songs. I was very excited to put it on so later in the evening I went into my room, put it into the stereo and started going through the songs. Track number five was one of the songs from the Aladdin movie and something in this song made my body and mind just resonate in the wildest way. I then learned that the stereo had a repeat button.

The song kept playing again and again and I danced, alone, to the same song, for hours. Afterwards I couldn’t really put my finger on what had happened but this was really a moment that foreshadowed my obsession with music which I still have to this day.

Describe your best musical memory to date.

So many great moments and yet I draw almost a complete blank when asked this. One of the more powerful moments I have experienced was when we did a one-off tribute show for the album Lifun by Icelandic ’70s prog act TrĂșbrot with one of the original members. We assembled a seven- or eight-piece band and did a festival show. The album is universally loved in Iceland and lot of people in the crowd had grown up with this album. So many beautiful moments which brought members of the band and audience to tears even.

When was a time when a firmly held belief was tested?

I’m not big on beliefs honestly! I think it’s important to not be stuck in a certain way of thinking and to be able to adapt when situations change. Too many times I’ve fallen on my ass when a thing I thought I “needed” to be part of my life was in all reality just killing me like. I prefer keeping an open mind and always be searching for ways to improve as a person.

Where do you feel artistic progression leads?

That’s the thing about artistic progression, it leads where it wants to lead. As soon you start to want it to lead somewhere it inhibits creativity. At least for me!

How do you define success?

By individual happiness. I consider a happy individual successful. If you want to think of success, in the music business especially, in terms of money or fame you could go crazy by always trying to compare yourself to the next bigger fish in the pond. Best thing to do is just to be happy for everyone else’s success and focus on what makes you tick!

What is something you have seen that you wish you hadn’t?

Too many disgusting online videos growing up!

Describe something you haven’t created yet that you’d like to create.

More different kinds of music! Recently I’ve been writing music for another project which I’m excited about. Also every now and then I get to do a session with some big name pop/hip-hop artists in Iceland. That’s always a breath of fresh air when all you do is rock and roll haha!

What do you believe is the most essential function of art?

To invoke deep seated feelings in people and bring people together in celebration of life!

Something non-musical that you’re looking forward to?

I recently started studying electronics in school. A bit outside the box for me so looking forward to many hours of tinkering and soldering. Especially for audio equipment!

The Vintage Caravan, “Can’t Get You Off My Mind” official video

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Tortuga Sign to Napalm Records

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 26th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

Promising ‘heavy rock ‘n’ cock,’ and I suppose delivering that in their burly riffing, Poland’s Tortuga have inked a deal to release their next album through Napalm Records. I’m always fascinated when Napalm picks up a heavy band, whether it’s Tortuga, Villagers of Ioannina City or The Midnight Ghost Train a few years back. The label had a heavy rock spinoff for a while called Spinning Goblin that was subsumed into the mothership, but among all the various types of metal it seems like there are probably one or two heads in Napalm‘s offices that dig riffs. That’s usually how metal labels end up signing heavy rock bands, frankly. See also: Melvins on Atlantic, Clutch on Columbia, and so on.

With Napalm though, I’m never able to predict who or what next, and more often than not, I’m surprised. Sure, Napalm would release Monster Magnet and Greenleaf. Those are bigger bands. Established. Tortuga have two records out and another reportedly coming in 2022. Their sound is huge, as you can hear in the stream of last year’s Deities, below, so maybe it’s just that and the right combination of plans, perspective, accumulated YouTube streams and groove. Kudos to the band either way. The tacit hat-tip here from the Austrian label to the vibrant Polish underground isn’t to be overlooked.

From the PR wire:


Psychedelic Stoner/Doom Metal Upstarts TORTUGA Sign Worldwide Record Deal with Napalm Records

The four piece from Poland is working on new music for 2022

Napalm Records is proud to announce the signing of Psychedelic Stoner and Doom Metal outfit TORTUGA from Poland! After making a giant impact on the scene in 2017 with their self-titled EP, followed by their H.P. Lovecraft inspired album Deities (2020) that gathered hundreds of thousands of streams across all streaming platforms, TORTUGA is ready to dive into the next chapter of their career!

TORTUGA are currently working on new music, set for release via Napalm Records in 2022.

TORTUGA about signing to Napalm Records:
“We weren’t very respectful towards the Lovecraftian Deities on our second LP, so they punished mankind with a pandemic and made it impossible for us to tour with our album. Gladly, they are merciful, and they gave us a second chance in the form of a pretty awesome collaboration with Napalm Records. We are already working on our third album and rest assured that this time we won’t mock any deities. We learned our lesson.”

Marmur – Drums
Heszu – Bass
Pablo – Guitars, Vocals
K?osu – Guitars, Synths, Vocals

Tortuga, Deities (2020)

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Album Review: Greenleaf, Echoes From a Mass

Posted in Reviews on March 25th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

greenleaf echoes from a mass

Behold Greenleaf in their element. The Swedish heavy rockers date back to the turn of the century with their someday-I-will-own-that-vinyl self-titled EP, and Echoes From a Mass is their eighth album and third for Napalm Records. It arrives some 20 years on from their 2001 debut, Revolution Rock (discussed here), and finds them a more stable band than perhaps founding guitarist Tommi Holappa, also of Dozer, ever expected them to be.

Crucially, this is the fourth offering since Arvid HĂ€llagĂ„rd came aboard as vocalist, and like each of its predecessors, it finds the Holappa/HĂ€llagĂ„rd dynamic growing in exciting ways that are only bolstered by the rhythm section of bassist Hans Frölich and drummer Sebastian Olsson. Holappa has always been a songwriter as the catalogs of Greenleaf and Dozer both demonstrate, but with Echoes From a Mass even more than 2018’s Hear the Rivers (review here), the guitar parts sound as though they were constructed with the vocal accompaniment in mind.

From opener “Tides” onward through the 10-track/46-minute release, Greenleaf and longtime-associate/producer Karl Daniel LidĂ©n create a world with these songs that is at once contemplative as the boldly-chosen leadoff is, and also decidedly blues-based, as cuts like “Good God I Better Run Away,” “Bury Me My Son” and “Hang On” demonstrate. Hear the Rivers and 2016’s Rise Above the Meadow (review here) before it seemed to reach for the same kind of spaciousness in sound — HĂ€llagĂ„rd‘s first record with the band, 2014’s Trails and Passes (review here), was somewhat more earthbound in its production — and Echoes From a Mass pushes further in inhabiting that space, with melodies floating in vocals echoes above even what in other contexts might be a driving straightforward riff on “Love Undone” or a hook conjured by lead guitar in early cut “Needle in My Eye.”

As one would expect, it’s not all atmospherics and moody sounds, with Olsson leading the way into “Good God I Better Run Away” and the title-line there making for one of the album’s most memorable impressions — there’s stiff competition — or (presumed) side B opener “A Hand of Might” with its classic and signature Holappa boogie, each riff cycle seeming to try to push the one before it out of its way en route to the listener. The tradeoffs throughout between loud and quiet, faster and subdued, etc., bring to light the chemistry in the band at this point.

This is Frölich‘s second long-player with Greenleaf, Olsson‘s fourth, and, as noted, HĂ€llagĂ„rd‘s fourth. For a band who throughout the last 20 years has seen players come and go, come and go and come and go, the solidified lineup feels like a novelty, but it’s one that allows for a new kind of development in the band’s sound and purpose. It’s not just about Holappa paying homage to classic ’70s rock anymore — in fact it hasn’t been for some time — but about what this whole group brings to the material.

To wit, the near-proggy rhythmic tension coinciding with the chug of “Needle in My Eye” and the thickened stomp in the penultimate “On Wings of Gold,” which suitably enough seems to take flight ahead of closer “What Have We Become,” that quieter, purposefully understated finish a key-laced showpiece for HĂ€llagĂ„rd and an occasion to which he every bit rises.

greenleaf (Photo by Peder Bergstrand)

The same could be said of everyone throughout, and though one doesn’t necessarily go to ‘album number eight’ as a landmark happening in the tenure of a given group, Greenleaf engage a somewhat fraught emotional perspective — see titles like “Good God I Better Run Away,” “Needle in My Eye,” “Love Undone” and “Bury Me My Son” — early on and answer with a bit of hope in “Hang On” and “On Wings of Gold” before finally looking back to ask “What Have We Become” at the end. The answer to that question is, at least as far as the album is concerned, that Greenleaf have become a full band with an increasingly complex perspective and a greater depth of sound than they’ve ever had before.

Considering the places Greenleaf have gone stylistically in their time — still under an umbrella of heavy rock, but ever more characteristically so — that’s not saying nothing, but to hear even the downer sway in “Bury Me My Son” as it moves into the bell-of-the-ride hits that start the creeping-into-surge intro of “A Hand of Might,” the subtle turn of defeat to persistence isn’t lost, and the rush of that track helps the band build momentum as they move through Echoes From a Mass‘ second half, with “March on Higher Grounds” arriving not with fanfare but as a melodic highlight nonetheless. Its riff careens deceptively forward and and where one might expect HĂ€llagĂ„rd to belt it out in the hook Ă  la “Bury Me My Son,” the decision otherwise speaks to how able Greenleaf are at this point to see the bigger picture of what the album needs at any given point.

The flow continues through “Hang On” and “On Wings of Gold” as one would hope, with the latter the longest track at 6:28 and the crescendo for the LP as a whole, bringing together the blues and the heft and the space and putting everything in its proper place without losing the emotional force behind it — that force only getting further prevalence on “What Have We Become,” which seems to call back to “Tides” even as it refuses the temptation to hit into the same kind of largesse. Or maybe that’s just me going back to the start and playing the record again.

Either way, as a fan of Greenleaf, Echoes From a Mass excites not only in the continued quality of its songwriting — Holappa is name-brand as far as that goes — but in the increasing cohesion of its performance and how the production seems to highlight the band simply melting together as a single unit. It is immersive and progressive in a way Greenleaf have not always sought to be, and that too stands as testament to just how special they are, to be trying and achieving new things and building on their past in this manner some 21 years on. One of 2021’s best in heavy rock, no question.

Greenleaf, “Love Undone” lyric video

Greenleaf, “Tides” official video

Greenleaf on Thee Facebooks

Greenleaf on Instagram

Greenleaf at Napalm Records

Napalm Records website

Napalm Records on Thee Facebooks

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Monster Magnet Announce A Better Dystopia Covers LP out May 21

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

This announcement has been a while in the making and if you happen to follow Poobah on Facebook you already knew some of the info. Confirmation, however, is certainly welcome. And so it is that Napalm Records brings official word of A Better Dystopia, a new covers record from Monster Magnet.

You’ll note in the below info that joining founder/weirdo legend Dave Wyndorf in the group are regulars Phil Caivano and Garrett Sweeney on guitar as well as longtime drummer Bob Pantella and new bassist Alec Morton. The latter is a veteran of Raging Slab (so is Pantella) and takes the spot previously held by Chris Kosnik of The Atomic Bitchwax (which, again, features Pantella). The lesson? Bob Pantella knows a few good bassists.

Also I guess the lesson is Wyndorf knows his classic heavy, as picks from Jerusalem, Poobah, Macabre (what’s the matter, no Stonebunny?), the recently-active Josefus and the inevitable Hawkwind demonstrate. But if you needed to learn that, all you’d really have to do is listen to the band at any point ever to find out.

You can hear Monster Magnet‘s take on Poobahs “Mr. Destroyer” at the bottom of the post and preorders are up for A Better Dystopia through Napalm as of today. More info follows here:

monster magnet a better dystopia

Psych Rock Icons MONSTER MAGNET to Release Delightfully Psychotic Covers Album A Better Dystopia

Out May 21, 2021 via Napalm Records

Pre-Order HERE:

When psychedelic rock icons MONSTER MAGNET got off the plane in the USA after their Powertrip tour of Europe in February 2020, they already realized that they’d dodged a bullet. The band members were all healthy, despite having spent the last week of the month-long excursion gigging overseas, and at that point, many of those countries were in total lockdown. Part two of that tour, North America, was scheduled to begin three weeks later, but the rest is history… no live music, anywhere. So, what’s a band that’s been touring regularly for 30 years to do with this newfound downtime?

Frontman Dave Wyndorf tells the inspired tale below, but without further ado – Napalm Records is pleased to present the next chapter of MONSTER MAGNET’s rabbit hole deep dive, A Better Dystopia (out May 21, 2021): a delightfully (and psychotically) curated collection of 60’s and 70’s proto-metal and late-era psych obscurities covered by the heavy New Jersey legends themselves.

While the album marks a new frontier for MONSTER MAGNET as their first covers record, this is not your typical set of standards released to pass time. A Better Dystopia sees the band pay homage to some of their favorite songs of all time, while reflecting on the paranoia, dystopia and revolution of both now – and then.

Fans can experience a first taste of A Better Dystopia via the swaggering riffs and swirling vocals on album’s first single, “Mr. Destroyer” (originally by Poo-Bah), today via a new video.

Dave Wyndorf says about the birth of A Better Dystopia:
“We all agreed that we would be bored out of our minds within a month of lockdown. MONSTER MAGNET loves the road. It’s a lifestyle. So, I considered our options. Rather than panhandle on the internet, hawking masks and Zoom-rocking practice sessions for dollars, I suggested we record a “bunker record”. A total DIY affair (band only) recorded and mixed in Bob Pantella’s small but potent Freak Shop Studios/rehearsal space right here in New Jersey. But what to record?

I didn’t feel much like writing, but working on anything was better than watching the news as hospitals filled up, people died, and American politics went bat-shit crazy. The world roared “Dystopia! Apocalypse! Revolution!”. I’d heard those words before, and they brought to mind my childhood in the late 60’s/early 70’s… and the music… and short playlist of songs (just one of many) that I’d been carrying around with me on my whatever device to listen to before shows. Of course, these tunes have also been in my head for more or less my whole life. These were not the popular hits of the time. This was like a playlist from the 4th dimension… strange bits of musical obscurity, mostly dredged up from that inglorious and freaky “twilight zone” time that preceded Arena Rock, Heavy Metal, Reggae and Disco. A no-man’s land of hard rock that still had remnants of psychedelia and garage punk but had abandoned any notion of “flower power” or frat house fun. And of course, they rocked.

Yeah, these songs were it.”

Wyndorf is at the top of his game on A Better Dystopia, delivering each lyric in his own inimitable style, and musicians Phil Caivano, Bob Pantella, Garrett Sweeney and Alec Morton own the sound – vintage and old school, dense and heavy, with searing fuzz leads and pounding bass and drums all played in a deft style that’s almost been lost in modern music. The album opens with “The Diamond Mine”, as Dave Wyndorf recites a classic monologue by Dave Diamond, an American radio DJ whose programs in the late 60’s and early 70’s helped popularize many psychedelic and acid rock bands. At this point the real trip begins, as the opening chords of the Hawkwind classic “Born To Go” gear up for launch. Tracks like standout “Mr. Destroyer” (Poo-Bah) spur visions of some untold Freak revolution – or perhaps dinosaurs battling on a burning planet at the end of time – creating a perfect blend of hard rock and psychedelia. Feverish “Motorcycle (Straight To Hell)” (Table Scraps) is pure punk fury of the old school tradition, evoking a cross between Iggy Pop and Motörhead as Wyndorf wails “I’m gonna drive it straight to HELL!” Falling even further down the mind-bending rabbit hole, Magnet offers their stunning, whirlwind take on the often-overlooked hard rock classic “Learning To Die” (Dust) and a masterful version the Stooges meets Goth epic, “Solid Gold Hell” (The Scientists). The album closes with a bonus nuclear cover of Morgen’s “Welcome To The Void”, inviting you to restart the ride again and again.

Wyndorf concludes:
“The great bands whose music we lovingly interpret here were (and some still are) on the fringe, underrated, and in our opinion, really, really cool. I think that’s reason enough for us to do this album. Furthermore, A Better Dystopia is a collection of songs that I think reflect (knowingly or unknowingly) a paranoid time in history, but also deflect that same paranoia by owning it, fully. And of course, it ROCKS.”

Pre-Order A Better Dystopia HERE:

A Better Dystopia tracklisting:
1. The Diamond Mine (Dave Diamond)
2. Born to Go (Hawkwind)
3. Epitaph for a Head (JD Blackfoot)
4. Solid Gold Hell (The Scientists)
5. Be Forewarned (Macabre)
6. Mr. Destroyer (Poobah)
7. When the Wolf Sits (Jerusalem)
8. Death (The Pretty Things)
9. Situation (Josefus)
10. It’s Trash (The Cave Men)
11. Motorcycle (Straight to Hell) (Table Scraps)
12. Learning to Die (Dust)
13. Welcome to the Void – Bonus Track (Morgen)

A Better Dystopia will be available in North America in the following formats:
– 4 page CD Digipack
– 4 page CD Digipack + Patch (Napalm mailorder only)
– 2LP Gatefold Black
– 2LP Gatefold Pink Transparent (Napalm mailorder only – limited to 300)
– 2LP Gatefold Glow In The Dark (Napalm mailorder only – limited to 200)
– Limited Die Hard Edition: 2LP Gatefold Neon Green/Black Splatter + Slipmat (Napalm mailorder only – limited to 200)
– Digital Album

Dave Wyndorf – Vocals, Guitar
Phil Caivano – Guitar
Garret Sweeny – Guitar
Alec Morton – Bass
Bob Pantella – Drums

Monster Magnet, “Mr. Destroyer” official video

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Friday Full-Length: Monster Magnet, Milking the Stars: A Re-Imagining of Last Patrol

Posted in Bootleg Theater on March 12th, 2021 by JJ Koczan


monster magnet milking the stars

Well that was some week. I’m not gonna do the usual review-in-hindsight/then-blather thing today, but the basics about the above real quick: New Jersey’s true rock and roll treasure, Monster Magnet, released Milking the Stars: A Re-Imagining of Last Patrol (review here) through Napalm Records in 2014 as a follow-up companion-piece to 2013’s Last Patrol (review here), taking tracks from that record and reworking them in various ways. A Hammond here, a long winding space jam there. It’s one of two such releases the band did, the other being 2015’s Cobras and Fire: The Mastermind Redux (review here), which did took on 2010’s Mastermind (review here). To be honest, if we’re going on a level of basic preference, what I might reach for any given day, I’ll take Cobras and Fire over Milking the Stars, the former bolstered by the cover of “Ball of Confusion” and “Watch Me Fade,” and so on. But “The Duke (Full on Drums ‘n’ Wah)” and “I Live Behind the Clouds (Roughed Up and Slightly Spaced)” from the 2014 outing were kicking around my head, so I rolled with the impulse. Turns out it was “No Paradise for Me” my brain was seeking.

What I admire about Milking the Stars and Cobras and Fire both, though, is the willingness to fuck with what’s been done before. The extension of irreverence to one’s own work, even as it maintains reference for aesthetic itself. The flexibility to look at a batch of songs already ostensibly finished, recorded, pressed, released, and to say, “Well, maybe I can screw around with those some more.” The playful fuckall of it.

Monster Magnet have a cool announcement on the way I think later this month. If you’ve seen some of the band Poobah‘s social media posts, you already know Dave Wyndorf and company recorded a cover of one of their songs. They were also the first band I would’ve seen whose show got canceled when the Tri-State Area (NY, NJ, CT) went into lockdown. March 18, 2020. Brooklyn. Monster Magnet celebrating Powertrip with support from Nebula. Almost a year now. Somewhere in the great expanse of multiple universes, there’s one where that show happened and I went and had a real good time.

In this universe, my kid fractured his skull this week. We were going down to the basement to change over the laundry. I walk in front of him so that if he falls, he falls on me — he’s three and very active; he falls constantly and 99 percent of the time gets right back up and ignores it — so my back was turned, but I heard the crash. He must’ve slipped on the stair and falling in the space between the railing and the stairs themselves, from about five or six steps high, onto the concrete basement floor, through a pane of glass that just happened to be leaning on the staircase the way things end up leaning on other things in basements. When I heard the crash, I turned and saw him flat on his back surrounded by broken glass. He looked immediately in shock. Me too, probably.

I yelled “Jesus!” in that way that I do when something is actually wrong and my wife heard. No cuts on the kid, which is more fortunate than I can say. I’m extra paranoid with him and glass — unresolved trauma on my part; when I was seven-ish, I sliced open the inside of my right thigh by sitting on a large glass fishbowl and received no less than some 300-odd stitches for my trouble, more inside than out. My father saved my life that night. I did eventually get to thank him for that before he died.

I didn’t have to apply pressure to any gaping wound in the back of our son’s head the way my father did to the open folds of flesh in my thigh while we waited for the ambulance to come. There was no ambulance. We stripped the kid to get his glassy clothes off, then went upstairs to assess. When he started to nod off — something he’d never do in a million years under normal circumstances; he fights sleep like Batman fights the Joker — we took him to Morristown Memorial Hospital, to the pediatric ER. They admitted him so he could get a CAT scan.

It’s a short process in text, but it all took hours. This was Tuesday after dinner, near bedtime. He fell at 5:45. We went to the hospital at 6:15 or thereabouts. It was 10PM before the three of us went upstairs. Only one parent could stay overnight because of COVID restrictions, so I stayed and sent my wife home. They’d done the CAT scan by then, showed us the crack in his skull, said there didn’t seem to be a bleed, but they were admitting him to keep watch and to do an MRI in the morning to be sure. We were terrified. Asking about brain damage to your three year old. Sit with that and wait overnight for who knows what answer.

Blah blah MRI. I went down with him to imaging. They put him under general anesthesia. I was holding him, caught him when he conked out. I ran home to shower while The Patient Mrs. stayed in case he woke up in the next hour and a half or so. I got back before he was up, then we went back up to his room for more waiting. Results came in: no significant bleed, we could go home once he could hold food down.

We gave him a couple fruit pouches that he likes and he puked it all back up. Effect either of the concussion or the general. Doesn’t matter which. That bought us more hours at the hospital. In the meantime, shift change brought in Dr. Escobar — and yes, that’s the real name because fuck it — who was the nighttime attending and who told us that we couldn’t leave. When we pushed back on that saying the MRI was fine, she told us a “final read” vs. the “preliminary read” of the MRI showed a more significant bleed happening.

This turned out to be a lie. Just a lie. Simply not true. Dr. Escobar said that she talked to the pediatric neuroradiologist and the pediatric neurosurgeon and they said we needed to stay because there was a chance he might throw a clot and stroke out.

Again, just not true.

At the time, we were furious because we’d then been misinformed that he was out of such danger. I asked what the hell “preliminary” and “final” meant and why would we have been informed if someone hadn’t all-the-way examined the test results. I did curse. Dr. Escobar excused herself and did not come back. The nurse was duly apologetic and understanding. The pediatric neurosurgeon would be in in the morning to check on The Pecan and make sure everything was okay. He needed more neurological check-ins — which he already hadn’t had since the morning — overnight.

If the doctor had said, “Looking at the imaging, we think your son should stay. Better safe than sorry,” we would’ve stayed of course. That’s not what was said.

The pediatric neurosurgeon in the morning told us she was surprised to find we were still there. Others coming back on for the dayshift were too, until we told them what had happened with Dr. Escobar. A few more people came and went, The Pecan threw up again, so that was a delay, and we went home sometime later in the morning yesterday. Follow-up next Friday, back to school on Tuesday probably. He and The Patient Mrs. took a long nap in the afternoon and he kept dinner — which was ice cream cake — in his stomach before bed. He was up later than he should’ve been, but I expect that’s a combination of had-a-nap and the back of his head being sore.

Take your left hand and put the pinky line — the flat part of your hand, not your palm — about halfway between the middle and the side of the back of your head, and that’s where the crack in his skull is and about the proportion of it as well. It was a significant fall. His grandmother came down from Connecticut to help us out, got him a nightlight, more Daniel Tiger books — all of which we read in the hospital bed — and other such and sundry. My mother and sister got him balloons and a bear. Child Life Services — the woman’s name was Meaghan; she was incredible — gave him a new garbage truck and a truck from the movie Cars with the racecars in it. He’s never seen the movie, but likes the racecars with faces and knows Lightning McQueen by name. He got to ride in a red cart on the way out of the hospital as well, and was stoked on that.

He’s less tired and headachy this morning than he was last night, but still whiny and hair-trigger. I’m sitting with him now. He’s in the tub taking a bath and lost his shit when we were out of bubbles to the point that The Patient Mrs. ran down the road to the grocery store and got some. She’s playing with bath foam now, making letters on the wall for him to do the alphabet. He’s started to spell words — “stop,” “go,” “on,” “zoo,” “yes,” “no,” as well as his name — and knows the alphabet by heart. He can sight-read various words as well — “love,” “cat,” “go,” “yes,” “no,” etc. We’re getting there.

We’ll move forward. I’m still angry at being lied to and have set about composing the email in my head to send to the hospital administrator. Nothing to sue over, obviously, but if I was in charge of a group of medical professionals, I would want to know that one of them decided to be House M.D. to the parents of a toddler patient. Shit ain’t ethical.

That’s where I’ve been at today is an eight-post day to catch up. Back to whatever is normal on Monday.

And if you reached out on any form of social media in response to one of my posts on there about this situation, please know you have my deepest thanks and appreciation. It was incredibly humbling and touching to hear from so many people around the globe wishing well and being happy for us when we got to go home. Sharing that adventure, which is the word we’ve been using, helped keep me grounded to the extent I was through the whole thing. And thanks to my family as well for their constant support.

I hope you have a great and safe weekend. Stay hydrated. Watch your head. All the best.


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Conan Announce July UK Tour Dates

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 4th, 2021 by JJ Koczan


Go boldly, gentlemen. If anyone might be tapped to charge axe-first into the barren post-touring wasteland, well, at least Conan have plenty of history as regards conquering. The UK trio will hit the road supporting their recent Live at Freak Valley (discussed here) offering through Napalm Records. It’s something of a stopgap, maybe, but fits smoothly in a take-what-you-can-get kind of scenario, this altered timeline in which we exist and they’ve yet to unveil their follow-up to 2018’s Existential Void Guardian (review here) as they otherwise might have done last year.

Forgive the speculation, but I’m wondering if Conan won’t be looking to release their next full-length sometime this summer, either before or following this tour. It doesn’t seem unreasonable to think they’ll be getting their feet back under them here as they head out for what will be the first time in more than a year — certainly the longest break they’ve had since they started touring — and between pandemic regulations and Britain leaving the European Union, I have no idea what further tours this might lead to, if it even happens at all — they’ve been confirmed for a fest in Sweden in August, if that helps — but since they are pushing to hit the road, doing so to support a new album makes even more sense to me, though nothing has yet been announced in that regard and as ever, I’ve zero info to share.

Maybe wishful thinking on my part, then, but it’s nice to think wishfully for a change. Conan posted the tour dates on their social medias with the appropriate event links:

conan uk tour july 2021


!!!UK TOUR – JULY 2021!!!
15.07 London –
16.07 Sheffield –
17.07 Nottingham –
18.07 Edinburgh –
19.07 Southampton –
20.07 Bristol –
21.07 Glasgow –
22.07 Swansea –
23.07 Birmingham –
24.07 Huddersfield –
25.07 Preston –

Jon Davis – vocals, guitar (2006-present)
Chris Fielding – bass (2013-present)
Johnny King – drums (2017-present)

Conan, “Satsumo” live at Freak Valley Festival 2019

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The Obelisk Questionnaire: Arvid HÀllagÄrd of Greenleaf & Pools

Posted in Questionnaire on March 3rd, 2021 by JJ Koczan

arvid hallagard greenleaf

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: Arvid HÀllagÄrd

How do you define what you do and how did you come to do it?

Well I sing and I write melodies and lyrics. And I think I have been doing it since I was around 10 years old. I started by impersonating singers that I liked. Vocalists like Jim Morrison, Otis Redding, Joe Cooker and many more. Songs just got stuck in my head and I walked around humming for hours without an end. Trying to figure out how and why they sounded so cool. I didn’t even know English back then I just faked the sounds sort of. My dad had a really cool record collection and that’s how I found all that good stuff. Just going through all of his vinyls and CDs.

Describe your first musical memory.

Well there is this Swedish jazz song called “Visa FrĂ„n Utanmyra.” It’s a hybrid between old Swedish folk music and jazz. I recall my mom singing it when I was a kid. It’s a really beautiful melody. And think that’s my first memory of music.

Describe your best musical memory to date.

Oh wow! Hard question, I think maybe it was one of the earlier tours just when Trails & Passes came out. We had been doing alright with around a 100 people per show and then we played Berlin for the second time and 500 suddenly showed up. They knew my lyrics from the first riff and on. That was amazing. Just hearing the crowd call out: “Open up your eyes, don’t trust their lies.” I still smile when I think of that moment.

When was a time when a firmly held belief was tested?

All the time, when you’re touring a lot. And at the end you always think: OK this is it. But then you’re home again for a couple of weeks haha. The rush is just too good. I can’t live without it I think.

Where do you feel artistic progression leads?

Hard to say. With Greenleaf it’s sort of like a solid old steam train. It rolls on as long as you put enough coal in it. And it always takes a new path, but slowly. My way of progressing is by listening to new stuff all the time that necessarily does not come from the genre we are playing. I try to find stuff outside the box that inspires me. And in the end that stuff that got down on tape rarely sounds the way you imagined it in your head. But hopefully good enough haha.

How do you define success?

I guess for me a really successful person for me isn’t necessarily someone that’s rich or famous. More a person that is truly happy with what they’re doing and how they live. I dream of having a small house in the countryside, a small but functional studio, tour now and then when you feel the urge. And for the rest of the time just spending time with the family and being creative. That’s maybe my definition of success. Really I’m just happy people dig the stuff we are doing. It’s a rare thing and I feel very humble about it.

What is something you have seen that you wish you hadn’t?

Nothing really if you mean concert wise. It’s always an experience. Even if it sounds like dogshit.

Describe something you haven’t created yet that you’d like to create.

At some point I’d really like to record an old sounding soul record. With horns and everything. Preferably in the US somewhere. On holy land haha. Just for my own personal pleasure. It doesn’t even have to be released, it’s just something that I’ve always wanted to do. Moan my way through the songs, singing my heart out.

What do you believe is the most essential function of art?

Well I think you have to at some degree be happy with what you created. If you are it’s all good. At the end you do it for yourself. Other people enjoying it should be seen as a bonus.

Something non-musical that you’re looking forward to?

The summer here in Sweden, it’s been dark and cold for a long time now. Especially with this isolation. I want to be able to jump in the lake and bike through a summer breeze.

Greenleaf, “Love Undone” official lyric video

Pools, “Looking for Trouble” official video

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