Look, no matter how hard I try and no matter the fact that a “proper” end of year post is coming up next week, I can’t not have an introspective/retrospective mood when writing this intro. We are, after all, already in December and the end of year looms large. However,…
Having had a direct involvement with America’s first post-rock dedicated festival, dunk!usa, I know first hand how hard it is to mount a successful event featuring largely fringe artists. When you live in my bubble and you book Russian Circles and Pelican to headline a two-day event with 20 more high-quality artists in a town neither of them has ever played before, you can become lulled into the mindset that all you have to do is hang out and watch the tickets sell themselves. When you discover how wrong you are, that location is massively important, that timing is a key factor, that even though a band like Russian Circles seems huge to a nerd like you, the reality is that probably one out of every forty people has even heard of them, it can be kind of a bummer. dunk!usa was an amazing event that not a ton of people had the privilege of enjoying. So when Nason Frizzell of the band PILLARS approached me with the idea of doing Post. Festival – essentially a dunk!usa without the post-rock name value, the first two things I felt were (a) excitement, because obviously I was 100% ready to get back at trying to grow this scene and (b) cynicism, because I knew how my expectations of fan dedication had been flattened somewhat by my previous experiences. As it turns out, I’m feeling a bit better about the state of “post” music in America as of this moment.
In case you missed it, we announced a couple of months ago that Heavy Blog will be sponsoring Post. Festival, the US’s only (and thus also premier) major post-rock/metal/whatever festival on October 19th and 20th at Indiana City Brewery Co. in Indianapolis, IN. The festival is shaping up to be an incredible event, featuring the likes of The Appleseed Cast, Outrun the Sunlight, Heron, This Patch of Sky, and far more. I wanted to talk to the festival organizers about what fans can expect from the weekend, about what makes holding a post-rock festival in the US a more daunting challenge than in Europe, and about why they believe the genre of post-rock is as strong as it’s ever been and only getting stronger.
I guess we’ve hit the doldrums of summer for new music, though you certainly wouldn’t be able to tell that by a look at our most recent Editors’ Picks and Death’s Door columns, which were positively overflowing with good new material. So I’ll revise that: I guess we’ve hit the doldrums of summer for new post-rock. I’m not sure what it is, but July proved to be a struggle to find many releases of note, though what did manage to rise to the top was pretty exceptional. Slower times like these though offer a perfect opportunity to take a look back at some of the bands making waves in the scene in the past year or so and remember why they’re so great, as well as catch up on some things you missed the first time around. And there’s no better vehicle for that than the compilation, which is what makes the timing of the latest edition of one of the best post-rock/metal compilations around from our friends and merch partners at A Thousand Arms impeccable!
Hello, I have returned! All the thanks to my brother from across the world, Eden, for taking ownership of this place for the past couple of months while I experienced multiple large life events (honeymoon, moving to a new state/metro area, getting a new job). I am back though to deliver you all the best in all things post-rock and metal. And I am doing so at an excellent time because I come bearing an awesome announcement!
A few months ago, I received an email about a post-rock compilation. Naturally intrigued, I started to dig deeper. Apparently this compilation was focused on the idea of “global” music, featuring bands from all across the world. As I kept digging, I soon came across A Thousand Arms, the label behind the compilation but also a repository for merch and other album releases from some of my favorite bands including We Lost the Sea among others. Naturally, I was intrigued and I started speaking with C.J who manages the label alongside another partner. What exactly was the motivation for this compilation? What is A Thousand Arms exactly, if not a label in the traditional sense?
These questions led me to finally sending C.J. a few questions over email as an interview, to try and get some answers. His answers are posted below, unedited, and represent an interesting look into a part of the music industry fans might not always get a glimpse of. Read on for musings on post rock, post metal, global communities, live music and much, much more!
It’s been a while since we mentioned Boston instrumental post-rock group Pray For Sound here. Originally we told you to listen to their 2014 album Dreamer, which Eden complimented for its open, cinematic sounds calling to mind the likes of sleepmakeswaves, Explosions in the Sky, and plenty more. True to form, after telling you all to listen to that album over half a year after its release, we somehow managed to let these guys slip through our fingers again as they released their truly excellent follow-up Everything Is Beautiful last fall. Don’t ask us how it happened because we don’t have a good answer other than us being fools. Certainly don’t think it has anything to do with the quality of the album because Everything Is Beautiful is undoubtedly the most fully-realized and expansive record Pray For Sound have put out. It’s sweeping, cinematic post-rock at its finest that knows how and when to hit heavy and add plenty of interesting knots throughout while maintaining its general feel of open, pastoral beauty.
Man, time flies, doesn’t it? I honestly could have sworn it had only been maybe 3 months since I wrote up this post about the excellent blog post-engineering’s first ever Bandcamp compilation. That mammoth endeavor included over 4 hours of brilliant music covering a very wide variety of post-rock, post-metal, and other heavily post-influenced sounds. It introduced me to a ton of fantastic bands (one of which even wound up on my year-end list!). It’s in fact been half a year since that was released though, and now post-engineering is back with a brand new comp spanning a whopping 42 tracks over nearly five hours. And just like the last one, it’s 100% free!