Saturday 23 April 2016 | 1:00 pm | all ages | FREE
Good morning, everyone! For those Pittsburgh-area folks out there, the weather looks a bit gloomy and chilly at the moment, but on the news they’re saying it’s supposed to get sunnier and more pleasant as the day goes on — which is perfect, because this afternoon and evening will be the third annual installment of Heavy Metal Monessen, the FREE outdoor concert that includes a wide variety of local metal talent at the amphitheater in the heart of the city park in Monessen (Mon Valley, Westmoreland County, PA)!
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…
Solarburn rehearsal space (Allentown / Pittsburgh, PA), 05 May 2013
Solarburn and Pipewrench were playing another show together this evening. We were just on our way home from Ohio (from the Cleveland show the night before), but we’d been invited to go hand out with Solarburn before the show. At their practice space, we caught the following video of a brand new song they’d been working on…
“O.P.H.A.F.O.” (“Our Pets’ Heads are Falling Off”)
The Smiling Moose (South Side / Pittsburgh, PA), 05 May 2013
Cafe Bourbon Street and The Summit (Columbus, Ohio)
Red Sun were celebrating the tenth anniversary of their band’s formation, so they invited a whole bunch of their friends to come play with them at two neighboring venues in Columbus. Here are videos of most of the bands that were there.
Well folks, here we are on another lovely Monday morning. Another weekend has come and gone, and consequently, I find myself back at work once more. Even though I keep crossing my fingers and checking the results at lottery.net. I always see them reporting these huge dollar amounts followed by plenty of zeroes (and not just dollar amounts, either — jackpots in pounds and euros and stuff like that, for games all over the world that I’ve never even heard of). However, what I haven’t seen — yet — is any winning numbers that correspond with my numbers. I keep hoping, and thinking about how a few hundred million dollars (or whatever) would be pretty helpful in being able to live a more leisurely lifestyle; one in which my days are spent playing in a band, attending as many shows as I want to, listening to music. I’ll tell you one thing: I’d have a lot more time to get some writing done! And not having a job to go to would definitely mean I’d get the videos from shows edited and uploaded in a much more timely fashion.
But of course, I haven’t won any huge jackpots (yet), so I still do have to be back at work today. But following that incredibly awkward transition, speaking of going to shows and uploading videos to YouTube and stuff… we’re now halfway through this year, meaning I’ve now got six months worth of incredible bands’ performances available for your viewing pleasure! On reaching this milestone, I’ve decided to invite you to join you in taking a retrospective look at that vast collection.
So my next Person or Persons Unknown interview subject is someone I did not know very well before I decided to ask him for an interview, but I suppose that was the point of these: to shed some light on people not very many people knew much about. This one definitely qualifies. I first officially met Tree when his band Lycosa was having their Innervenus dual-release show with Grisly Amputation. Over the course of meeting all these new people, I would say that I am constantly surprised at how warm and friendly they are — which is a vast contrast to the mood and feel of the music that they play. No one surprised me quite as much as Tree — he’s sweet and kind and, just like my husband, you sometimes have a hard time hearing him because he really doesn’t talk all that loud (when he talks at all!). I have since gotten to know him slightly more speaking to him via Facebook messages and seeing him out at shows, and I am happy to now call him a friend. I hope you guys will find him as interesting as I do, and that you’ll check out Lycosa — maybe even venture out to Kent, Ohio, this weekend for a mini road trip to check them out. The band is great on CD, but even better live! Take it from me, it would be worth the drive from Pittsburgh.
The first step is admitting it, right? So here goes… “Hello, my name is Mrs. VOS, and I am addicted to Solarburn.” I have seen them numerous times, and will again soon; I had their CD in the CD changer in my car for a record 12 weeks straight, and for a long time it was the band that I would talk about every chance I got. It’s not as if I wish to be cured of my addiction or anything; in fact I’ve decided to just own it, and I am perfectly willing to help others get addicted too.
This pretty much is THE band for me, the band that opened up a whole new level of musical enjoyment in my life, and the band that I shamelessly promote every chance I get, quite like I am doing right now. Yes, if you haven’t seen them yet, you’re honestly missing (in my humble opinion) one of the BEST things about Pittsburgh! But you can fix that April 2nd when they open for Otep at the Altar Bar.
They are three of the nicest and most genuinely no-BS guys I have ever met in my life, and these dudes can shred like nobody’s business. So how did I just pick one of them for Person or Persons Unknown? As hard as it was (and honestly it WAS hard, because I am lucky enough to actually be friends with [guitarist] Mike [Stains], [drummer] Russ [Tompkins], and [bassist] Tony [Thomas]), I ended up choosing the person I connected with immediately in the beginning, at the first show at I ever saw Solarburn play — way back in August of last year. Immediately, I felt that Tony was more than just an awesome bass player, but that he also a had deep knowledge of music, which I respected and connected with. As you’ll see from this interview, that is definitely the case.