“What?!” I hear you ask, “Two episodes?! A finale? What the hell?”

Well, unfortunately, the time has come to wrap up Heavy Vanguard. Scott and I were planning on putting the series on hiatus due to some upcoming life events, but I’ve also decided to leave the Heavy Blog staff, and concentrate on other parts of my life. (Just to make clear: this was an amiable split; there’s no bad blood; I loved writing for this blog, and I still consider the staff to be great guys and awesome friends.) So, we’ve got two episodes today, because why the fuck not?

First off is our first (and, technically, only) guest, one Nick Cusworth—one of the big cheeses of Heavy Blog, and we talk about the second album of Colin Stetson‘s New History Warfare series of albums, Judges. A little primer on Mr. Colin Stetson—he’s a saxophone player known for his work with Arcade Fire, among other groups. He received some pretty serious acclaim a few years ago for his collaboration with violinist Sarah NeufeldNever Were The Way She Was, and actually was featured on the latest BADBADNOTGOOD album. His solo material, however, has a different flavor—something so distinct and, frankly, unusual, that we felt like we needed to cover this at some point. So, enjoy!

The Stetson Episode:

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The Stetson  Album:

And now, we’ve got our final episode. If you’ve been a fan of the podcast, you’ll probably have noticed that we try to do something special every ten episodes, talking about a subject personal to us with no time limit. Scott and I ended up dedicating the entire episode to the discography of The Mars Volta, one of our favorite bands, and one of the first experimental bands we ever listened to.

For those who don’t know (though I’m really not sure how you wouldn’t know), The Mars Volta was (is? you never know what may happen) a band essentially started from the ashes of post-hardcore legends At The Drive-In. Unlike ATD-I, though, Mars Volta goes into some seriously weird territory, incorporating heavy prog rock, jazz, Latin influences, and noise music into a bubbling cauldron of awesomeness. I personally consider their third and fourth releases (Amputechture and The Bedlam In Goliath, respectively) to be two my favorite albums ever.

Anyway, enjoy! And, before I sign off: thank you for your support of Heavy Vanguard. This whole experience has been nothing short of a blessing for me and Scott, and we truly cannot thank you enough for giving us a half-hour of your week to blather about the avant-garde.

The Mars Volta Special:

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