Nine* Circles ov…What “Didn’t” Make My 2019 End of Year List (But Should Have)

Best of 2019

* Hey it’s Thursday!  And it’s more than 9!  What else is new?  I hereby fully (don’t) apologize for the late entry that clearly doesn’t at all conform to the format.  Suck it….

I tried to keep my 2019 End of Year list(s) brief…I really did.  But like last year simply too much happens in the span of 365 days to limit advocating and championing the things one comes to love.  And I’m not talking about the release of records.  I’m speaking to the way we change and grow and mutate with every experience, the way what we hold dear or take comfort in stands as a totem or ward against the hate and pain of a world gone mad, a world that grinds away at our compassion, our love, and our fortitude to stand against it while maintaining the core of who we are.  Continue reading

Nine Circles ov… “Special” EOY Awards (2017 Edition)

9C 2017 EOY Header Image

2017 turned out to be a strange year for me musically.  In my first full year writing for Nine Circles I had the opportunity to explore different genres and bands I never would have discovered on my own, and taking in so much music (even when I didn’t want to, in all honesty) not only broadened my horizons and (hopefully) improved my critical thinking on music, but also helped me to understand better what it was I needed from music.

Next week I’ll be unveiling my personal Top 25 albums for 2017, along with a second post of 15 honorable mentions.  But there was so much that impacted me, and so for this final 2017 edition of Nine Circles ov… I wanted to give out a few of my own personal awards to some bands and albums that left their marks on me.  So without further ado, let’s dive in…   Continue reading

Video Premier: Monophonic Shooting Spree – “Launch”

MSS - another soylant green world

When we think of “extreme” music we tend to focus on things that are distinctly metallic:  the faster and louder and more abrasive it is, the more extreme is it.  Erik Highter has for years made a habit of exploring the other, less covered sides of extreme music: whether in dialog with Craig Hayes in their sporadic but always engaging Outré Monde series, or by way of his experimental musical persona The Monophonic Shooting Spree.  Often using his own body in conjunction with pedals, natural recordings, and other effects to construct layered soundscapes, a similar methodology in the use of public domain footage is employed in his first video experiment.

Check out the premier of “Launch” from Another Soylant Green World below…   Continue reading

Nine Circles ov…My Metal “Retreat”

beach-guitar

Man cannot live on metal alone.

“Blasphemy!” you may cry, but true…at least in this dude’s case.  The last few weeks have been a whirlwind of stress and activity as I turned another year older, paid another bill, worked another late night, blah blah blah.  It gets to a point sometimes when you just need to clear your head and take a little time for yourself.  Not to mention that after a while when you’re digesting promo after promo you run the danger of not giving the music the attention it warrants.  And you start to look for shortcuts.  “Well,” you tell yourself, “I heard the first four songs, I don’t think there’s anything that’s going to really change my mind about this thing.” Or worse, you start just leaning more and more on the materials in the press release: “Oh! A cross of Joan Baez and Incantation?  But with drone elements?  I’ll say a mix of Joni Mitchell and Malevolent Creation with, uh….fuck it, drone elements.”

You know what I’m taking about.  For me, it’s a matter of disconnecting in order to reconnect.  And there’s been plenty of music I’ve been discovering over the past few months that have helped me to reconnect with what it is I love about loud noises.  So for this edition of Nine Circles ov… I want to share a few of the records that have been recharging the batteries and re-calibrating the heavy sensors.  Let’s dig in.   Continue reading