I wrote an article about A389 Records, Dom who runs it, and their annual music fest in Baltimore. Read it here.
The second installment of my Baltimore City Paper heavy music column is up. Read it right here.
The Baltimore City Paper asked me to take over their heavy music column, Bangers & Thrash. It’s basically a “what’s going on with metal, hardcore & punk” overview column. I’ve never been much of a writer, but thought I shouldn’t say no to a challenge. Here’s the first installment.
This month’s Decibel magazine has a 3 page spread with five of my photos (Electric Wizard, Napalm Death, Godflesh, Brujeria, & GODFLESH) from this year’s fest. Check it out, it’s the one with Testament on the cover.
A few weeks back, I was lucky enough to sit in the studio with my friends, grindcore band Pig Destroyer as they were recording their new album, their first with new drummer Adam Jarvis. It was, as expected, AWESOME! And Adam sounds great… everything I heard is making me really look forward to the new record, whatever it may be called. See more shots of Adam (and others from Pig Destroyer history) here.
For the last near-decade, Maryland Death Fest has been a Baltimore Institution, bringing the best current and historic extreme metal bands to Sonar in Baltimore to play for thousands of fans. It’s literally the best and most interesting metal related event in the US. Spanning over several days (4 this year), dozens of bands play to a crowd of thousands, who travel from all over the world to be there. Because of it’s prominence, many bands choose to reunite to play it, or have their last show there, or play for the first/last/only time in the US there. Basically, it’s an amazing event. And this year’s, the TENTH Annual, starts thursday and last til sunday. For a list of bands and set times, click here. Here are some of my favorite shots from the last several years: Continue reading
Saturday was something I thought I would never see… the reunion of Baltimore band Daybreak. They were a late 90s/early 2000s power violence band who put out records on Reptilian Records and Robodog Records (now Robotic Empire). I never saw them, but their records made their way to Baton Rouge by way of Page 99’s distro table and the Robodog’s Geocities-era website. Me and my friends appreciated the music, extreme but approachable and with musicianship, and even more, we appreciated the humorous piss-takes at “the scene” and the feeling of a crew of punks that we got from their record art and inserts… I thought it was cool that there was enough people who liked this music there to even HAVE a crew!
Anyway, somehow, someway, 10+ years later and I am friends with alot of the people involved with the making of these records, and they are all great and I am thankful they decided to do this reunion show so me and others had the chance to finally see this band! It was a fun night, and for a good cause – to help pay for a friend of the band’s cancer-related medical bills.
Caught one of my favorite metal bands, Thou, the other day at the Talking Head Club. They played later than I thought, but always great and they ended with a cover of Black Sabbath’s
Sabotage Into The Void, which was really, really awesome. Great to see some old friends too.
I got out of there as fast as possible and made my way to the Unregistered Nurse show at the Golden West, just in time to catch the last couple of songs by new baltimore band Tremors 2. Amazingly bad/good/bad/unsure name, but they were really good and lively to watch. I managed to get a few snaps. Then Natural Child played, who are a slowed down southern garage/punk band who are really catchy and fun, most of their songs have more than a hint of humor about them and the dudes in the band are really chill as well. Go check them out, they seem to always be on tour.
I caught two cool shows in the same building this Sunday, Premonition 13 (the new band of doom metal legend Scott “Wino” Weinreich), and Philadelphia’s Purling Hiss. Sadly, neither show was especially well attended, but it was great to see two really incredible musicians at work… Wino is, of course, a much-heralded guitar player, and his seminal bands St Vitus and the Obsessed (along with The Hidden Hand, and his solo albums) have won him countless fans in the metal underground… but Purling Hiss’ Mike Polizze, who I don’t know much about, is also an incredible guitar player. Dana Murphy from Unregistered Nurse Booking first turned me on to this band, check them out if they play near you… really excellent.
Tonight Baton Rouge doom metal band THOU is playing at Sonar/the Talking Head, along with Black Tusk and (members of Torche) Monstro. You should go, if you even have a passing interest in metal. Thou is one of the most interesting underground metal bands right now – their music is really dark yet not theatrically so, and they are very accomplished musicians that manage to make doom metal seem very fresh without adding disparate elements into it… they have consistently toured (at generally very affordable prices), made most (all?) of their music available for free on their web site, and strive to make sure all of their physical media is up to high standards of audio quality and visual fidelity. They have released albums both diy and on larger labels like Southern Lord. And tonight, they are in Baltimore! Come out!
I have been a fan for some time, above are some photos I have taken of them over the years…
This weekend, I saw one of my favorite metal bands, THOU, who are on Southern Lord and a myriad of other labels, and who hail from my hometown of Baton Rouge, Louisiana (minus the singer Bryan Funck, who is from New Orleans). I have known Bryan for years and he is a stellar dude in the world of diy booking, touring, and all around everything… and the band is pretty incredible. Challenging modern doom that doesn’t fall into the familiar cliches of the genre… recommended. You can find out more about them, and download songs and whatnot, at their website.
I hadn’t seen Darkest Hour in years… seeing them at the 9:30 Club on the Summer Slaughter tour was a far cry from seeing them play on a friend’s driveway in 99, which was the first time I saw them, but it was still alot of fun. Definitely one of the highlights of the Summer Slaughter 2011, the other of which was Dying Fetus, of which I will post photos in a few days…
- See all the Darkest Hour photos on flickr.
- Read the Washington Post review.
- BUY PRINTS from this show.
Dillinger Escape Plan played a not-quite-secret-but-unpromoted show at the Talking Head, a very small venue behind Sonar after their recent two days opening at Sonar for the Deftones. It was pretty crazy! Everyone that showed up was a devout fan and there was alot of diving, surfing, moshing and other shenanigans. By the end of the show, the ceiling air duct was destroyed and the guitarist’s face was covered in blood. Wild times.
Finally! The last MDF 2011 post… so many photos to dig through! This final day was pretty fun, though I was dead tired. The surprise of the day for me was probably Skinless’ last show, which was ridiculous, with the singer stagediving and jumping into the crowd constantly. Malignent Tumor, who I’d never heard before, had a circle pit like no other, full of inflatable penises and other assorted insanity. Most fun crowd experience of the fest. Also, Nuclear Assault invited the crowd on stage with them, which was really really fun.
Other notable things were the dude from Exhumed playing in ANOTHER band (Gravehill), Cthulhu showing up for a visit, me saying I’d believe that Ted Leo was going to be playing with Citizens Arrest when I saw it… then realizing I was standing next to Ted Leo.
Another big deal for me was managing to make (with the help of my friend Dustin) this happen:
Yes, that’s Marel, the woman from the Deathfest City Paper cover, posing with Jason, the security guy in the photo, both standing in the same spot that picture was taken last year. I had tried to connect with her for several days, we finally managed to make it happen on Sunday. She was really nice, and said that she started getting texts about the City Paper cover as soon as her plane landed at BWI and thought people were joking! Too funny. Glad we could get this shot.
Over the halfway mark with my MDF photos! Day 3 was a little more relaxing for me, the highlight was getting to see Exhorder, a New Orleans thrash metal band that I grew up on and hearing about, but never was able to see live (a little before my time), as well as seeing Voivod again… they were excellent and the crowd seemed super stoked. Many people told me their set was their high point of the whole show. My favorite discovery of this day was Acid Witch, who I had never heard before but who I thought were excellent live. Cretin was also good live, playing with Matt Harvey from Exhumed (he seemed to be guesting in at least one band a day at this MDF).
Day 2 was pretty epic. I saw several bands that I had never seen before, the standout of which was Exhumed… amazing live, totally over the top, with chainsaws and severed heads and fake blood… just really fun. Marduk were great live, too… but seeing Corrosion of Conformity with the classic line-up was really great, as was meeting Woody from CoC and Steve Von Till of Neurosis. Right before Neurosis played, an epic rain storm loomed which threatened to end or severely delay their show… but hundreds of fans stood in the rain to wait it out, and they cheered and pumped their fists every time there was a flash of lightning. Pretty awesome and totally metal. When they finally came on, they were great and played a barely abridged set. It was slightly less epic on an outdoor stage than the last time I saw them, at the Masonic Temple in Brooklyn, but they were still great live and actually played some older songs (Souls At Zero and Through Silver In Blood), which surprised me. This was a great second night of the fest.
MDF this year was a great success… so many amazing bands, so many good times. Pretty much every aspect was incredible and it went off with only a few small bumps, at least as far as I could tell. I am gonna be posting photos from it over the next few days, with a big megapost scheduled to go out on monday. Click on the link below to see more photos from the first day!
For the last near-decade, Maryland Death Fest has been a Baltimore Institution, bringing the best current and historic extreme metal bands to Sonar in Baltimore to play for thousands of fans. It’s literally the best and most interesting metal related event in the US. Spanning over several days (4 this year), dozens of bands play to a crowd of thousands, who travel from all over the world to be there. Because of it’s prominence, many bands choose to reunite to play it, or have their last show there, or play for the first/last/only time in the US there. Basically, it’s an amazing event. And this year’s, the Ninth Annual, starts today and last til sunday. For a list of bands and set times, click here. Chris from DC HeavyMetal posted a great Death Fest Survival Guide here.
Below are some of the favorite photos I have taken at previous Death Fests: