The List of 2013 Year-End Lists

Photo Collage - 2013 Shows - by Asya Yanyo

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Hey folks — a very Happy (Belated) New Year to all of you! 2013 definitely turned out to be an interesting year for me, with lots of big changes, new projects, new responsibilities, etc., but an unfortunate side-effect of some of that was (as you’ve surely noticed) that the amount of time I’d been spending writing really tapered off as the year went on, to the point where I didn’t post
anything here for the last few months! Well, as you may have seen, I’ve started writing reviews of some new 2014 releases — and as time allows I promise I will also be sharing plenty of older stuff I’ve missed writing about, because believe me there has been a TON worth sharing!

But more on that later. As I started doing last year, I’ve once again put together a collection of various people’s “best of” lists from 2013. Admittedly I sort of got a late start on this (I didn’t even put out the open invitation until after most websites had already finished with publishing all their year-end stuff), but several people have answered the call and contributed some really interesting lists that you’ll want to check out…

 

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VOS Videography 2013: A Mid-Year Retrospective (Part 17)

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Mr. Smalls Theatre (Millvale, PA), 18 May 2013

 
Ghost!

 
“Infestissumam” & “Per Aspera ad Inferi”

 
“Prime Mover”

 
“Elizabeth”

 
“Stand By Him”

 
“Year Zero”

 
“Ritual”

 

Mr. Smalls Theatre (Millvale, PA), 27 May 2013

 
Melvins!

 
I got a few videos of their amazing double-set performance on Memorial Day in Pittsburgh. I just haven’t had a chance yet to get them edited and uploaded! (There are a few that are well over 20 minutes in length!) So keep an eye on this space; they will be coming soon!

 
NAVIGATION
 
Part 1 (28 December – 18 January)
Part 2 (01 – 09 February)
Part 3 (16 February)
Part 4 (22 February)
Part 5 (23 February)
Part 6 (02 – 09 March)
Part 7 (10 March)
Part 8 (14 March)
Part 9 (16 March)
Part 10 (22 – 24 March)
Part 11 (28 – 29 March)
Part 12 (02 – 11 April)
Part 13 (12 – 19 April)
Part 14 (20 – 26 April)
Part 15 (04 – 05 May)
Part 16 (11 – 17 May)
 
Part 18 (31 May – 20 June)
Part 19 (23 – 30 June)

Innervenus Music: Two New CDs Coming Next Month!

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Hello, friends. Regular visitors to this website have surely noticed that recently the volume of writing I am putting out there has significantly decreased. I apologize for that. But it hasn’t been the result of laziness, I assure you. I’ve been getting myself involved with a few other things — as I keep alluding to in several new posts over the past few weeks — and finally I want to let you know about one of those.

So, I have been asked to join the Pittsburgh-based record label The Innervenus Music Collective to help out with their PR and publicity. It’s a pretty exciting opportunty for me — first of all, as a writer I’ve been working with a variety of PR people and representatives from other labels, so I understand what’s involved, and it’s cool to be getting some experience from the other direction now. But even more than that, now I get to work directly with a group of people who do so much to support our local music scene — between planning shows and giving away the Iron Atrocity compilations, not to mention releasing albums from some really talented bands (Vulture, Invader, Fist Fight in the Parking Lot — just to name a few examples that I had written about last year)!

And so this new position has been using up a lot of my free time recently, mostly because we’re gearing up to put out two CDs in February: the debut full-length by grindcore/death dealers Grisly Amputation, and a self-titled EP by death-thrash-groove-sludge-core band Lycosa. I’ve been sending out promo materials to a whole slew of websites and magazines, so we should start seeing some reviews trickle in shortly, but I figure I wouldn’t really be doing my job (EITHER job – as a writer OR a publicist!) if I didn’t also inform you about the releases here on Valley of Steel!

 
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Just Released: Melvins – The Bulls & the Bees (Free Download!)

MelvinsThe Bulls & the Bees (13 March 2012, Scion A/V)

I’ve just got two things to say: first, there is a new Melvins EP, and second, it’s absolutely free to download. Really, that should be all you need to hear.

The generous people who run Scion A/V have done it again, putting out a handful of songs by an incredible band for no cost or obligation at all. I still don’t know what they get out of it (I’ve grabbed a copy of each one of their free releases so far, but I’d still never be caught dead behind the wheel of one of their ugly-ass cars!), but I sure am thankful they keep on doing what they’re doing.

This time, as you can see, they are featuring a five-song collection by the Melvins, who surely need no introduction to anybody reading this. But just in case you just immigrated to this planet from Pluto, or you have been in a coma since Ronald Reagan’s first term as U.S. president, let me bring you up to speed. These guys almost single-handedly invented sludge, grunge, and stoner metal. At the very least, they were highly influential in the genesis of each of those styles, and have been consistently churning out quality tunes for almost three whole decades.

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Coming Soon: Undersmile Debut Album Promises to be ‘Hideous’

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Oxonian sludge quartet Undersmile have announced some new details for their forthcoming debut album Narwhal

First, near the end of last week, it was revealed on their Facebook page that producer/engineer Billy Anderson (whose impressive resume includes work on albums by such luminaries as Eyehategod, Melvins, High on Fire, and many others) is currently mixing the record.

Then, earlier today, a press release from Future Noise gave a tentative release date of 9 April, 2012.

Hel Sterne, one of the band’s two vocalists and guitarists, personally has assured me that the new release will be “hideous”.  She was also kind enough to provide the following video as a preview of what you can expect in April:

Narwhal will be the band’s first official full-length release, but is coming on the heels of their recent EP Undertaker (a split between Undersmile and Caretaker) which is available for streaming, or for purchase via either digital download or CD, at Bandcamp.

Also available for streaming or digital download at Bandcamp is last year’s EP A Sea of Dead Snakes, although sadly I have learned that the limited-run CD copies (which, like the split EP above, had been made available by Blindsight Records) recently have sold out.

Stay tuned right here for further information as it becomes available, or even better, “like” Undersmile on Facebook for updates direct from the source!