Post-rock is dead! Post-rock is dying! Post-rock never happened! You’ve probably heard all three of these things (OK, probably not the last one) over the past few years. In a way, those are accurate statements but only if you have a very narrow definition of what post-rock is.
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.
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!
In a sense, trying to get my meaning across with these opening paragraphs is more akin to post rock than I’d thought. And that’s what I’d like to leave you with before we dive into this month’s picks: we don’t make this list just to showcase our taste or highlight great bands (although the latter is a big part of it, for sure). We also do it because we feel like post rock is an important genre with important things to say, things which relate to the basic human condition, our hopes, dreams, failures and expectations of the world us. So as you go deeper into this post, try asking yourself what emotions, modes of thoughts and perspectives is this mostly instrumental music trying to get across to me? What is being communicated by and underneath the music I am listening to?
Each month, we always seem to come to the same conclusion when it comes to our Editors’ Picks column: Friday release days open the floodgates and unleash a seemingly endless stream of quality new music. But while some of our Editors and Contributors sit down gleefully each week to dive into this newly stocked treasure…
For those who missed our last installment, We post biweekly updates covering what the staff at Heavy Blog have been spinning. Given the amount of time we spend on the site telling you about music that does not fall neatly into the confines of conventional “metal,” it should come as…
It’s hard to translate the meme of the Golden Age to post rock because post-rock’s Golden Age has come and gone. During my (Eden’s) end of year review, I’ll be exploring what 2017 has done to the narrative of the Golden Age in depth but suffice it to say, even…
You might be wondering why there have been so many of these lately. Some of it has to do with backlog; post rock is a notoriously hard genre to parse, sparse as it is, requiring more time from my ears to translate into words. But some of it is also to do with the sheer amount of interesting post rock that has been released this year. The true beauty of the volume of releases is its quality and variety. There have been great releases from more “classical” post rock bands, like Heron or Ranges, as well as releases doing new and interesting things with the formula, like Afformance or This Patch of Sky. Alongside these younger bands, we’ve also seen the successful return of massively important bands like sleepmakeswaves and Mogwai who have continued to grow their sound and solidify their legacy.
We’ll cover these trends more in depth as we near the year’s end but, for now, it’s safe to say that there’s a spirit of revival running through the oft-beleaguered genre. Adding to this revivification which, if we’re being honest, properly started last year or even a year before that, are Australian Echotide.
A while ago on the blog, we were acquainted with a label/printer/collective called A Thousand Arms. We heard of them via a compilation they released, containing post rock tracks from all over the world. That was then; this is now. Since that time, they’ve released another compilation, much heavier and more oriented towards post and black metal, collaborated with us to create our first run of blog t-shirts (more on that, hopefully, very soon) and geared up work with this year’s Dunk! Festival. Now, never seeming to rest for too long, A Thousand Arms have released Open Language Vol.II. The first part focuses on post-rock bands exclusively from the US, while the second brings you tracks and bands from all over the world. We thought we’d give you a little primer for this insane amount of free music. Oh yeah, didn’t we mention? It’s all completely free!