Desertfest Oslo 2024 Completes Lineup and Announces Day Splits

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 6th, 2024 by JJ Koczan

Over the last several weeks, the inaugural Desertfest Oslo has piece-by-piece announced the remainder of the lineup for May 10 and 11, and the list is substantial. Wolves in the Throne Room, Weedpecker, Kadabra, Steak, Crippled Black Phoenix, Earth Tongue, Apostle of Solitude, Orsak:Oslo, Margarita Witch Cult, REZN, Bongzilla and Slomosa joined the bill one at a time, broadening the scope exponentially in terms of style from searing black metal thrust to sad post-goth to stoner rock of progressive and willfully unprogressive strains and outright ambience, older and newer bands, and geographical range. It’s kind of stunning how commonplace this standard has become for the Desertfest brand over the last decade-plus.

Tickets for each day are also on sale now — in case, what you want to see Acid King and not REZN? it’s okay, I’m not judging; I know people have lives and things to do — but it’s pretty clear looking at the full roster of who’ll play that Desertfest Oslo 2024 is all-in on the thing. And with KadavarMonolordCrippled Black Phoenix and Eyehategod headlining, they’ll rely on a multifaceted draw from the top down through the entire lineup. This feels both like a festival brand reaching into new territory and new collaborations — which it is, absolutely — and a righteous start to what could become a staple of the Spring touring circuit. Do I really need to go on about Norway’s underground boom? Probably not when a hand-picked selection of those responsible are present below to remind you.

Bottom line here is I look forward to seeing how this unfolds even from a distance, but whatever Desertfest Oslo does in the longer term, this is a monster. Behold:

desertfest oslo 2024 final poster

Finally the day splits are here!

As well as day splits we’ve also made single day tickets available from february 29th.

See you may!

Find single day tickets and festivaltickets here:

Full lineup:

Wolves In The Throne Room
Acid King
Earth Tongue

Brant Bjork
The Devil And The Almighty Blues
Full Earth
Margarita Witch Cult
Saint Karloff
Apostle of Solitude

Slomosa, “Rice”

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Dispatch from SonicBlast 2023: Day Two

Posted in Features, Reviews on August 12th, 2023 by JJ Koczan

SonicBlast Fest 2023 day 2

08.11.23 – Fri. – Press trailer

Before show

Hot one in Âncora today. I walked over via the beach, crossing from one boardwalk to the other on the sand instead of going by the river as I did yesterday. No regrets. Waves crashing in, a humid haze in the air reminding of home, summer, that feeling where you want to swim instead of walk. Swimming sounds pretty good, actually. I may have to settle for soaking myself in one of the sinks I’ve been using to refill my water bottle.

Rolled in like I knew where I was going. Day one down, I’m an expert now. Ha. I ran into the Temple Fang dudes and Jack from Elder, saw Weedpecker setting up to open the day on the third stage, said a quick hi to Ricardo. It’s that kind of thing. See people, say hi, and then I usually feel that pull to go sit by myself somewhere and write. The press shack is air conditioned. It is a mercy. Actually cooler here than in New Jersey, where I live, but I’ve got more resources at home to stay cool, and I’m not running back and forth all day taking pictures and writing. Not usually, anyhow. Sometimes we all have those days.

Got to bed a little after three, woke up at 9AM, showered first, coffee second. Sorted pictures to go with the review of day one, which considering how much I saw took some time, quick check-in with the family — everybody’s fine; they said don’t come home (no, not really) — and had an hour left over to sneak in a nap before getting heading over here from the crash spot.

By the course of my history with festivals today will be the hardest day. Tired from a late night last night with the prospect of another full day tomorrow, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. I’m doing a lot of slow breathing. Too bad I haven’t run into anyone running an impromptu yoga class. Maybe I’ll start one later if I have 10 minutes to spare and am feeling like making a spectacle of myself, which is how you know it won’t happen.

A lot of water, coffee until I get the jitters, which I’m approaching with the usual lack of caution like I’m trying to burn a hole in my stomach, and food somehow some way. The latter is my only real goal today beyond survival. And a big part of that, I suppose. It’s gonna be a good one. You can see the lineup above. I don’t need to tell you.

I don’t know if you’ve been keeping up or what — that review of day one was a beast; I don’t imagine anyone reading it front to back, and if they do, I’m sorry about the typos; more to come! — but what a time this is, and what a place. Maybe I’ll be invited back and maybe not — not sure what I add except jamming the backstage espresso maker — but if this is actually a once-in-a-lifetime experience, I’m lucky it’s my life it’s happening in.

Conan, Clutch and Stoned Jesus over the P.A. Thinking of you, Igor, and the war on the other side of this continent. Stay safe.

Here’s the day:


Weedpecker (Photo by JJ Koczan)

Clearly SonicBlast knows how to pick its leadoff acts. The fest is three-for-three with Plastic Woods, Desert’Smoke and now Weedpecker coming all the way from Poland. Stratospheric in lush and proggy three-part harmonies at the start, a calming entry to the day that will unfold in its wake, and solidified from there around a few more terrestrial riffs and big finishes. Immediate vibe, well received. The growth this band has undertaken throughout the last 10-plus years shouldn’t be discounted, and if I was going to see them at any point, I’m glad to do so after their late-late 2021 album, IV: The Stream of Forgotten Thoughts (review here), which as you might expect is the pinnacle of their evolution to-date. But the thing about the trajectory they’ve had that I want necessarily expecting was how fluidly their heavier rock stuff fit with the ’70s melodies and the echo in the guitar that it’s hard to imagine can’t be heard in Spain from here. Not a band I expected to see, but they packed the third stage like it was much later in the day and closed with “Nothingness” from their second LP, II (review here) with one more engaging mellow-heavy flow that I watched from a little spot on a bench in the shade. That was pretty much perfect.


Monarch (Photo by JJ Koczan)

Heavy, progressive, and not laid back but not forced in its push, Monarch were more rooted in original-era heavy than Weedpecker just prior, but on a different wavelength. Big early ’70s vibes, but modernized, and they’ve been through a few lineup changes, but if there were hiccups, I didn’t hear them, and I watched the full set while writing, which I also take as a sign of genuinely enjoying a thing as well as appreciating where it’s coming from. I’d love a new record from these guys, after 2019’s Beyond the Blue Sky (review here) — issued through no less than Causa Sui’s label, El Paraiso Records — and I have to feel like if Mondo Drag can do it, so can they. Keyboards complementing a bassline that had the earplugs vibrating in my head, they were remarkably well suited to the atmosphere here, with the beach over that way, sometimes languid but not lazy, melodic and drifty but filled out with a heft and the keyboards that make them even more their own thing. SoCal and Portugal seem to mesh well. Sun and breeze, beach and the ocean. Complementary West Coast vibes. Hey man, it doesn’t even snow anymore where I live. I can get down.


Naxatras (Photo by JJ Koczan)

Speaking of bands I never thought I’d see who’ve made strikingly proggy turns, here come Naxatras heralding 2022’s modus redirect, IV (review here). The Greek outfit made an impact in Europe almost from their very beginning, or so it seemed to me across an ocean, and the chemistry of their jammier early work provides an easy explanation why. They mixed instrumentals and vocalized pieces, and were serene in a manner that was their own, creating the space while also inhabiting it. Like I said, this is my first time watching them play, so I can’t speak to how the presence of the keyboard on stage has affected their live show one way or the other, but they were hypnotic, and I found myself standing out front in the crowd for a few minutes, near the sound booth, just kind of drinking it in, because that’s what Naxatras’ music does to me. Those times when you feel like your blood is moving too fast — that’s what they’re there for, to put you back in a place that feels less combustible. It wasn’t a surprise that their sound was so gracefully enveloping, but it was a pleasure to experience in-person, and their subdued space ambience and subtle push of bass were more than I might reasonably have asked for. Bonus extra trippy, lightly funked, smoothly grooved.

Temple Fang

Temple Fang (Photo by JJ Koczan)

You never quite know what’s coming with Temple Fang, and they seem to like it that way. They’ve replaced their drummer I think since I saw them at Freak Valley last year (review here), and the single-song set they played there was put together as a last-minute change from their original plan that worked so well they ended up releasing it as a live record (review here). The kind of band who don’t think twice about playing a full show comprised solely of new material, and a treasure for that as well as for the soul they bring to their expansive heavy psychedelia. They opened with “Gemini” and set themselves on a course of ultra-patient ebbs and flows, proffering the kind of cosmic rock that reminds you that the universe is so big human brains lack the capacity to fathom it. Guitarist/vocalist Jevin de Groot and bassist/vocalist Dennis Duijnhouwer have a creative partnership that goes back more than a decade, and Temple Fang is more its own thing with time. I couldn’t find a shady spot anywhere, so meandered a bit, digging the jam as it unfolded. Whatever these guys do next — live-recorded studio LP with a solidified lineup? — just count me in already. Their songs build worlds. Vast, heavy, soulful, spontaneous, immersive, always with the chance of a freakout looming. They’ve got a thing, to be sure, but the thing is everything.


Greenleaf (Photo by JJ Koczan)

Fuuuuuuuuck. Greeeeeeeeenleaf. They light fires, fortunately not literally, with the sheer physicality of their delivery. And I’m dying to hear what they do after 2021’s Echoes From a Mass (review here), since the longer they proceed with the current lineup of founding guitarist Tommi Holappa (also Dozer), vocalist Arvid Hällagård, bassist Hans Frölich (“everybody say hi to Hans, it’s his first time here”) and drummer Sebastian Olsson becomes more established with each passing LP and subsequent touring cycle, the latest album rife with emotive heavy blues that was neither culturally appropriated from Black American culture nor masculine caricature. As someone who’s heard a decent amount of heavy blues, this is a feat to be appreciated. They played “Bury Me My Son,” which made me feel ways, and hard-boogied from there into the stomp of “Good Ol’ Goat” followed by “Needle in My Eye,” also from the latest record and one I had kind of forgotten about. “Bound to Be Machines” from 2014’s Trails and Passes (review here), ignited a sing-along, and they jammed on it a bit, emphasizing how very badly they need to put out a live record. I stood up front for their whole set, planted my feet and ignored my aging back (I tried to write ‘aching’ there, but my phone autocorrected, and really, that’s more honest, so I’m leaving it) as they built up the start of “Tides” — Arvid noting that he’s an astronaut in the video; dude’s between-song banter was on point in a sarcasm that might’ve been too dry for some of the crowd but was twice as hilarious for that — playing that song through like the condensed epic it is and then pushing right into the finale, which was “Let it Out” from 2018’s Hear the Rivers (review here). I’d been trying not to get my hopes up for a new song in the set. That didn’t happen, but if you think I’m sad about it, you severely underestimate how much of a dork I am for this band. Hands in the air, the day’s first crowd surfer that I saw — hold onto that phone, guy — and the convincing shove from the band that made it all happen. Great fucking band.

Mondo Generator

Mondo Generator (Photo by JJ Koczan)

I haven’t heard their new record yet — it’s out in Oct. 13 and called We Stand Against You — but they played some stuff from it, and it sure does have that brain-collapsing punk-born intensity one should expect from the Nick Oliveri-fronted three-piece, with Mike Pygmie on guitar and Mike Amster (who wore a Saint Vitus Bar shirt) drumming. I saw them last summer, so knew to expect selections from the Oliveri back catalog — “13th Floor” by Queens of the Stone Age, Kyuss’ “Green Machine,” and so on — and there’s little debating he’s contributed to, not just played on, some of the most crucial heavy albums of all-time. More than two, which is not something a lot of people can say. I paused to grab a quick bite to eat — meat and cheese as I’m in survival mode and they didn’t have any spinach or other salad stuff that I saw — and to do battle once more with one of the backstage coffee makers, which I’ve now jammed twice. Because incompetence. So Oliveri, Pygmie and Amster are on stage tearing whatever track from the new record a second (or first, as it were) asshole, and I’m trying to pick which button to push and trying not to be in the way, not really successful at either. By the time that coffee was gone, I realized just how much my ears were ringing despite the plugs, so clearly SonicBlast meets whatever ‘loud enough’ quota you’ve got. “Allen’s Wrench” led into Queens’ “Millionaire,” and that was it. Where the hell would you go after that anyway?


Bombino (Photo by JJ Koczan)

Led by the group’s namesake, Nigerian guitarist and songwriter Omara “Bombino” Moctar, they might not have been the first Tuareg jammers on the SonicBlast bill this year, but they were perhaps even more danceable, and the crowd was ready for it. Onstage as a three-piece, guitar, bass, drums, they took that nothing-too-fancy approach and unfurled sweet desert grooves without a care in the world for what heavy means or to whom. But coming through the SonicBlast P.A., the bass couldn’t help but add weight, smooth as those lines were, and when Moctar took a solo, well, you knew it. He’s had Hendrix comparisons, which is a very nice thing to say about somebody who plays guitar, and I guess in some of the held-out solo notes and brash sweeps it’s there, but the namedrop isn’t really adequate to describe what Bombino does or how it relates to the musical and political history of Niger and the rock and roll therefrom, never mind the West African roots of rock music more broadly, or reggae, jazz, blues, etc. Bombino put out a record earlier this year called Nomad that was produced by Dan Auerbach from The Black Keys, so I guess that’s something. He could shred or bounce or vibe out make the guitar run in dizzying circles, sometimes in succession, and was clearly a master of his craft. There was one sing-along early in the set that didn’t take I think mostly because of the language barrier, but they did try it twice, and they got a better result the second time, as well as again later on. I think maybe I missed it happening, but when they were done it was nighttime.


Scowl (Photo by JJ Koczan)

A few firsts here. First Negative Approach hat I’ve seen. First cover of “99 Red Ballons.” First bit of onstage skanking. Second blacklight-responsive hair, as it happens. Scowl, from Santa Cruz, California, did OFF! proud in terms of hardcore punk, but would occasionally break into cleaner, more rock-based parts too, making them unpredictable as well as sonically volatile. I won’t pretend to be familiar, but they’ve got one record that came out before the end of the world and they accomplished the energy-change that the punkier side of SonicBlast has pulled off a couple times in the last two days, and vocalist Kat Moss shouted out Bombino from stage, which was cool, but from the noise assault before they even started, it was clear that Scowl’s would be an entirely different kind of dance party. A very fast, very angry, stomping and gnashing song was dedicated to those who feel like they don’t fit in, so while I didn’t come into their set knowing much about them, I got to learn a bit, including that stuff about their album, the singer’s name, and that they seem like nice kids who mean well. Go get ’em, you wholesome hardcore slaughterers.

Thurston Moore Group

Thurston Moore Group (Photo by JJ Koczan)

I saw Sonic Youth I’m pretty sure on the Sonic Nurse tour, and duh, they were Sonic Youth. And when it comes to Thurston Moore solo, I still have my Psychic Hearts CD from 1995 or whenever it was, and so yeah, I’m down for Thurston Moore Group’s lightly noisy, floating cosmic shoegaze exploding into blastbeats from its otherwise peaceful beginnings in “Hashish” from his 2020 album By the Fire and the subsequent “Hypno Brain.” I’m not sure what else one might expect. Between the two guitars, bass and keys, that assault was significant, but “Siren,” the 12-minute By the Fire track from whence that blast comes, has a sweet comedown on the other side of that, a subdued indie sway no more afraid to be pretty than caustic. Feedback and noise rang out as it started misting, and Moore and company dropped hints of space rock and psych fuzz along with all that ready scorch, and it seemed like by that point the band was warmed up, drumstick at the ready for guitar manipulation shenanigans that helped make Moore the kind of figure who might headline a festival like this, creating a kind of wave of noise and riding its crest to see where they might end up. The answer there os more noise, and that’s just fine. They were in and out of it for the duration, and the mist held too, never really becoming rain, thankfully, but ambient droplets on the breeze were refreshing as evening became night and the Thurston Moore Group wrapped with one more dive into noise and feedback, no less at home there than the verse they left behind. Fun moment: when I was getting food in back, I went to sit down at a table outside the trailer where you get the food and when I asked, “mind if I sit here?,” I looked up and sure enough, Thurston Moore Group band meal. I can’t confirm or deny, but the words “ah shit you’re Thurston Moore” may have left my mouth.

Frankie and the Witch Fingers

Frankie and the Witch Fingers (Photo by JJ Koczan)

Okay, so it turns out that the bassist of L.A.’s Frankie and the Witch Fingers, Nikki Pickle, was sitting in last night with Death Valley Girls, whose singer was stuck in California, and of whom she is a former member. Learning new things every day here. With guitarist/vocalists — Josh Menashe and Dylan Sizemore — flanking either side of the stage and an urgency born of mathier punk but which is most definitely not that thing, Frankie and the Witch Fingers translated some of the intensity of the hardcore acts who’ve played this far into a heavy rock context. They had some keyboard going, the occasional slowdown into a funkier groove, and they were loved by the SonicBlast crowd (it’s not their first time here), but by and large their trade was forward thrust, and while it may have appeared otherwise, they weren’t screwing around. I’ve had no fewer than eight espressos today. The one I had after dinner could’ve been nine. At their fastest, in the frenetic first part of their set, I felt like maybe that wasn’t enough. So I grabbed another and went back out front. By then the mist was becoming genuine rain. Less convenient. Frankie and the Witch Fingers shuffled back into speedier fare and I started thinking about my camera getting wet, or my phone, even, which I’ve been writing on all weekend. Might end up leaving earlier than planned, which, since it’s 12:30, is still not actually all that early, at least for me. Portugal goes late. Rock and roll. I still got to see Frankie and the Witch Fingers close with a cover of “Now I Wanna Be Your Dog,” which was fun and made sense in a mathematically extracted way.


Elder (Photo by JJ Koczan)

This is the first time I’m seeing them since they put out Innate Passage (review here) late last year, so it was a particular joy when they followed “Compendium” from 2015’s Lore (review here) with “Merged in Dreams/Ne Plus Ultra” from the new album. The space in front of both stages was full, and even though it was raining, it didn’t look like folks were in a hurry to seek shelter. Thousands of people. Jack doing backing vocals with Nick on the new stuff, Mike swapping guitar for keys, then back, that kind of groove that so much of progressive heavy has tried to emulate in the last 10 years or so but that no one’s gotten quite right or at least not at the level Elder to it. Maybe the rain lightened up. Maybe it didn’t, but standing there watching perhaps the foremost heavy band of their generation still exploring after 15 years and continuing to outdo themselves; it wasn’t the kind of thing you easily walk away from. Or walk away at all. They are exceptional. Another level. And then another. And another. And everything they do has heart, sincerity and a sense of evolution from where they’ve been in the past. It was humbling to witness. This is the biggest crowd I’ve seen them play for, and there’s not a doubt in my mind they can still push further, grow broader in sound, keep chasing whatever ideal version of their approach they’re after. At least I hope they do. I don’t have enough hyperbole for it. Closing out as they will with “Gemini,” it’s like they were up there inventing colors.

After show/next morning

I had already apologized to one of the dudes from Acid Mammoth for not seeing his set, and I’ll extend those apologies to Black Bombaim, who at least I’ve seen before. I guess next time I’m buying a camera bag it’ll be made of rubber? I don’t know. I felt bad leaving, but it was coming on 2AM and I had no trouble hearing Black Bombaim jam from my room, so at least there was that. Sounded cool from a distance.

For what I expected to be a rough day — the middle of three days is always a little adrenaline comedown as compared to the first or last — it wasn’t. I put my head down, worked, and pushed ahead, which is what you do. I was haggard by the end, but a video chat with The Patient Mrs., some sleep, a shower, some more coffee and almond butter for breakfast and I feel like a new person… who’s spent 24 of the last 48 hours having his ears blown out by the coast in Portugal. Sometimes it’s weird to realize these things.

One more day to go, and it’s a big one, as I might be prone to say about Jupiter or this or that blue supergiant star (the scale of those being completely different, both are nonetheless unfathomably huge). I’ll be ready. Thank you for reading.

Click ‘read more’ for pics, and thanks again.

Read more »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Obelisk Show on Gimme Metal Playlist: Episode 104

Posted in Radio on February 17th, 2023 by JJ Koczan

the obelisk show banner

I was sitting on the couch earlier this week, in the usual spot, putting this playlist together and, knowing that I wanted to start with the title-track of the new Mansion album — something about Alma crooning that second death is upon you felt just right — I was immediately stuck. How on earth do you follow that? I was glad that I remembered Samán and could use them to transition to a kind of riffier take, but yeah, in terms of vibe, the severity of that Mansion record is a tough one to answer immediately with something else. Where do you go from there beyond an actual dungeon?

This show kind of divides in half. The first hour is new music. The second hour is a look at some Polish heavy, which if you’ve been paying attention to the last few Friday Full-Lengths (including today’s, which isn’t posted yet), you know has been on my mind. Dopelord, Major Kong, Belzebong, Sunnata and Weedpecker represent Poland well, I thought — Spaceslug are the obvious name left out, but I’m keeping them in reserve for later — and after that I wanted to close with SubRosa just because “Black Majesty” is long, brilliant, not a jam, and something that was in my head. It’s been an up and down couple of weeks, I guess, as regards general well-being.

If you’re unfamiliar, keep an ear out for Moodoom early, plus the tracks from The Machine, Swan Valley Heights, Stoned Jesus and Troll Teeth. The 1782 track isn’t my favorite off their new record — anything about lady-demons is kind of a turnoff for me at this point — but the band is cool and that’s the single from the album, so I wasn’t about to be a jerk and pick something else. And if you didn’t hear the L’Ira del Baccano earlier this week when it premiered, that’s time well spent in instrumental immersion, and makes a great leadoff for that extended block of tunes, I think.

As always, I hope you enjoy the show if you listen. Thanks for reading.

The Obelisk Show airs 5PM Eastern today on the Gimme app or at:

Full playlist:

The Obelisk Show – 02.17.23 (VT = voice track)

Mansion Second Death Second Death
Samán A las puertas II. Monta​ñ​a Roja
1782 Succubus Clamor Luciferi
Moodoom Las maravillas de estar loco Desde el Bosque
L’Ira del Baccano The Strange Dream of My Old Sun Cosmic Evoked Potentials
The Machine Reversion Wave Cannon
Swan Valley Heights The Hunger Terminal Forest
Stoned Jesus Get What You Deserve Father Light
Troll Teeth Garden of Pillars Underground Vol. 1
Dopelord Doom Bastards Sign of the Devil (2020)
Major Kong Fading Memory of the Planet Earth Off the Scale (2020)
Belzebong Roached Earth Light the Dankness (2018)
Sunnata A Million Lives Burning in Heaven, Melting on Earth (2021)
Weedpecker Big Brain Monsters IV: The Stream of Forgotten Thoughts (2021)
SubRosa Black Majesty For This We Fought the Battle of Ages (2016)

The Obelisk Show on Gimme Metal airs every Friday 5PM Eastern, with replays Sunday at 7PM Eastern. Next new episode is March 3 (subject to change). Thanks for listening if you do.

Gimme Metal website

The Obelisk on Facebook

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Weedpecker Announce April & May Tour Dates

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 25th, 2023 by JJ Koczan

Weedpecker‘s page on Facebook got hacked. First of all, that that happens to anyone in 2023 is emblematic of how much the tech model of “continuous improvement” — executed most often in a situation where something done mostly right the first time is gradually made worse over a period of however long until eventually it’s so awful everyone moves onto something else — is bullshit. The band issued their righteously proggy IV: The Stream of Forgotten Thoughts (review here) album through Stickman Records in late 2021 and are not letting the social media woes get in their way as they announce a Spring 2023 tour to support the album that will include slots at Heavy Psych Sounds Fest in Bologna, Italy, a stop at Echoes of Erebus in Wien, and a swing through the UK that’s got them dropping by Desertfest London 2023 on May 7, adding to the already epic lineup there.

I honestly don’t know if giving them a follow on Facebook helps their cause or not — I’m waiting for my turn to be hacked; everybody seems to get there — but the band asked people to share the dates and doing so seems reasonable enough. There are a couple shows open — unless that’s another fest already confirmed but not yet announced — and of course, if you happen to have a venue handy for them to play, can provide a meal and so on, I’m sure they’d love to hear from you, whichever platform you might use to get in touch.

Tour looks like this:

Weedpecker tour

“Hello everyone, we are happy to announce Weedpecker’s spring tour. We can’t wait to see you all! As some of you may know, our FB page was hacked 2 weeks ago and we still have no access to it. Every share, likes and comments would help us a lot to spread the message. Thank you all for your help and support.”

28.04 Brno Kabinet Muz CZ
29.04 Vienna Echoes of Erebus Fest AT
30.04 Bologna Heavy Psych Sounds Fest IT
01.05 Basel Hirscheneck CH
02.05 TBC
03.05 TBC
04.05 Manchester Rebellion UK
05.05 Glasgow Ivory Blacks UK
07.05 Desertfest London UK
08.05 Nantes Decadanse FR
09.05 Gent Trefpunt BE
10.05 Tilburg Little Devil NL
11.05 Rotterdam Baroeg NL
12.05 Cologne MTC DE
13.05 Jena Klub Kuba DE
14.05 Dresden Club Novitas DE

Weedpecker is:
Walczak (Tankograd, ex-Dopelord) – drums
Wyro – guitar/vox
Seru (BelzebonG) – keyboards
Piotr Kuks – bass

Weedpecker, IV: The Stream of Forgotten Thoughts (2021)

Tags: , , , , ,

SonicBlast Fest 2023 Makes First Lineup Announcement

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 16th, 2022 by JJ Koczan

Portugal’s SonicBlast Fest will mark its 11th go in 2023 with a massive, still-more-to-be-announced lineup that spans styles and geographies, from Norway to Greece to Japan and New Orleans to San Diego, Poland and Los Angeles and New York and sludge to psych-jazz and on from there into however many ethers of prog and rock. It’s easy to admire even from across an ocean what SonicBlast has built over its years, and the photos that emerge from each edition — just a bunch of awesome bands playing in paradise, no big deal — are enviable to say the least, and while I don’t want to be engaging too deeply in promo speak or trying to tap anyone’s FOMO, if you’re thinking of making the trip, however far it may or may not be, it’ll probably sell out.

Check out OFF! hitting the heavy fests, huh? Not quite what I’d expect there, but cool to see Acid King getting out, and good to know Naxatras will be back on the road as well next summer along with a host of others. Over the last couple weeks, a lot of the Spring and Summer 2023 festival season in Europe has taken shape, and with the promise of so much more to come, it looks like it’s gonna be a good one. Call it revelry well earned, and let’s all appreciate it whether or not we can actually be there.

To wit:

sonicblast fest 2023 cassette poster

We’re so psyched to announce the first bands to join us at SonicBlast Fest’s 11th edition: OFF!, Acid King, A Place To Bury Strangers, Earthless, KADAVAR, Elder, EYEHATEGOD, Death Valley Girls, Church of Misery, Frankie and the Witch Fingers, Weedpecker, Mondo Generator, Naxatras, Kanaan, BLACK RAINBOWS, Acid Mammoth, Monarch, Spirit Mother and El Altar Del Holocausto!

*** many more to be announced soon ***

Full festival tickets are already on sale at BOL ( and at

Artwork by Branca Studio

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Desertfest London 2023 Adds More Than 40 Bands; Yes, for Real.

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 2nd, 2022 by JJ Koczan

I mean, what can you say to this other than ‘can I come?’ I’ve known this festival was capable of some real-deal shit over the last decade, but this is absolutely epic, which is a word I do my best to avoid. And they end it by saying there’s more to come. God damn. Really. God damn.




Desertfest London announce over 40 bands for 2023

Friday 5th May – Sunday 7th May 2023 | Weekend Tickets on sale now


Desertfest London is rounding off the year with an ear-shattering bang, announcing a mammoth 43 artists to their 2023 line-up. Joining the likes of Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats, Graveyard, Kadavar and Church of Misery, the Camden-based festival also welcomes back Corrosion of Conformity as headliners.

Pioneers of a groove-laden sound that is undeniably their own, Corrosion of Conformity have not been back on UK soil since 2018 so expect big, loud and memorable things from their appearance at Desertfest next year. Corrosion of Conformity have been due to play the event since 2020 – making their return one of the most widely requested in the event’s history.

Japan’s own avant-garde maestros of down-tuned psychedelia Boris leap over to London alongside the crushingly loud tones of NOLA’s own Crowbar. One of the most exciting bands in recent memory King Buffalo, make their long-awaited debut plus Desertfest favourites, Weedeater are back after five long years of chugging whiskey lord-knows-where.

The pace moves up a notch with New York City’s noise-rock guru’s Unsane and British punk-legends Discharge, all of whom bring a detour from the slow’n’low sounds the festival is best recognised for. Montreal’s Big | Brave will play the festival for the first time showcasing their experimental and minimalist take on the notion of ‘heavy’, whilst the doors to the Church of The Cosmic Skull are open, as they ask Desertfest revellers to join them in a union unlike any other.

Desertfest also warmly welcomes noise from STAKE, British anti-fascist black metallers Dawn Ray’d and London’s loudest duo Tuskar as well as some of the best recent stoner acts in the form of Telekinetic Yeti, Weedpecker & Great Electric Quest. Elsewhere the weekend will also see Wren, The Necromancers, Dommengang, Samavayo, Morass of Molasses, Sum of R & GNOB offer up unique live performances.

Rounding off this beast of an announcement are Acid Mammoth, Deatchant, Zetra, Trevor’s Head, Our Man in The Bronze Age, Wyatt E., Iron Jinn, Mr Bison, Troy The Band, Oreyeon, Warren Schoenbright, Early Moods, Longheads, Terror Cosmico, Thunder Horse, TONS, Vinnum Sabbathi, Bloodswamp, The Age of Truth, Earl of Hell and Black Groove.

Weekend Tickets for Desertfest London 2023 are on-sale now via
with more acts still to be announced.

Day splits and day tickets will be on sale from January.

Full Line-Up for Desertfest London 2023:

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Desertfest Belgium 2022: Antwerp Lineup Complete; Weedpecker, Incantation, Slomatics, and More Added

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 31st, 2022 by JJ Koczan

desertfest belgium 2022 dates banner

Yo, not for nothing, but you could go see Incantation and Bongripper and Naxatras on the same lineup if you go to Antwerp. Or how about AlunahGozu and SumaCities of Mars and Stygian BoughSlomatics and Somali Yacht Club and PolymoonSasquatch and Weedpecker? God damn.

If I had cash and time, I — well, I’d do a lot of things — but I’d be at this one. I know sometimes in the grand scheme of things looking at a bunch of names on a poster your eyes can glaze over, but if you can stop that from happening here, it’s worth looking at the stylistic sprawl that’ll take place over the course of the weekend. It is far more in terms of aural landscaping than simply desert, which has been true of the various Desertfest-branded events over the last, I don’t know, six years-plus, but is only emphasized here.

Plus, just about anytime Slomatics do anything it makes me happy. Those guys are great.

From the PR wire:

desertfest belgium 2022 antwerp final poster


This is the final batch of names that completes the DF Antwerp line-up, and we’ve definitely saved up some fine morsels for last. All sizes and shapes is the name of the game, so get hyped and dig in.

For those of you who like their stoner music to truly widen the senses, WEEDPECKER and SOMALI YACHT CLUB definitely fit the bill. Both incorporate many psychedelic influences in their jams, taking you on a killer trip.

On the more brutal side of things, we welcome New York’s death metal pioneers INCANTATION who come to celebrate their ‘Tricennial of Blasphemy’. With SLOMATICS, we present you with the heaviest of heavy in sludge doom. No messing about – just pummelling wall-to-wall riffage.

WUCAN and ROSY FINCH enrich our line-up with two kick-ass women that deal in idiosyncratic and highly original rock. Wucan’s Francis Tobolsky still rocks a flute like nobody’s business, and speaking of unconventional instruments in stoner bands: meet MY DILIGENCE who traded their bass player for a Moog keyboard!

As an unfortunate side-note: we have been mercifully spared of cancellations this year.. until now. We are sad to let you know that MOTHERSHIP will not be appearing at this year’s Desertfest Belgium. Their slot has already been filled in above, but still… it’s a bummer.

But hey! We’re still looking at one seriously sumofagun line-up for three days of delicious fuzztastic wreckage… So if it wasn’t before NOW is the time to secure your tickets. Especially because those Reduced Price Combi Tickets are going fast and be gone before you know it.. Don’t let it happen! Don’t do it! By which we mean: do it!

(valid 4 days: 14-16/10 – Antwerp & 30/10 – Ghent)

(valid 3 days: 14-16/10 – Antwerp)

(valid 1 day: 14, 15 or 16/10 – Antwerp)

(valid 1 day: 30/10 – Ghent)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

The Obelisk Show on Gimme Metal Playlist: Episode 76

Posted in Radio on January 21st, 2022 by JJ Koczan

the obelisk show banner

Yeah, this is a good one. A lot of this comes from stuff that’s been and is being covered around here over the last couple weeks, and suffice it to say I’ve got no regrets about choosing any of these tracks. I was worried about White Manna getting lost in the Quarterly Review shuffle, so consider this an extra nod to check that out, and celebrating the new Big Scenic Nowhere, Lamp of the Universe, Weedpecker and Pia Isa records feels about right, as well as the Electric Moon collection, Phase, which put “The Loop” right back in my head like it had never left.

Upcoming stuff from Seremonia, Obsidian Sea, Fostermother, and SÖNUS give a glimpse of things to be released over the next month-plus, and the hardest part about including an Author & Punisher track is not rambling incoherently for 20 minutes about how great the rest of the record from which it comes is. I suppose there will be time for such things.

For now, I thank you for listening as always if you do and I’m grateful you see these words either way.

The Obelisk Show airs 5PM Eastern today on the Gimme app or at:

Full playlist:

The Obelisk Show – 01.21.22

Pia Isa Follow the Sun Distorted Chants
SÖNUS Pay Me Your Mind Usurper of the Universe
Weedpecker Endless Extensions of Good Vibrations IV: The Stream of Forgotten Thoughts
Fostermother Hedonist The Ocean
Frozen Planet….1969 Diamond Dust Not From 1969
Author & Punisher Drone Carrying Dread Kruller
Wormsand Carrions Shapeless Mass
Dream Unending In Cipher I Weep Tide Turns Eternal
Obsidian Sea Mythos Pathos
Lamp of the Universe Descendants The Akashic Field
Electric Moon The Loop Phase
Papir 7.2 7
Seremonia Unohduksen Kidassa Neonlusifer
White Manna Monogamous Casanova First Welcome
Big Scenic Nowhere The Long Morrow The Long Morrow

The Obelisk Show on Gimme Metal airs every Friday 5PM Eastern, with replays Sunday at 7PM Eastern. Next new episode is Feb. 4 (subject to change). Thanks for listening if you do.

Gimme Metal website

The Obelisk on Facebook

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,