I wanted to take a moment away from the reviews to just talk a little about our site and the post-rock scene in general from my perspective as someone who runs what I think is a relatively successful music blog. I don’t think I’ve ever written a true “blog” post in my life, so this should be interesting and hopefully it will be well received enough that I can do it again sometime down the line. Rest assured that we’ll get back to regular postrockstar content with our next posting.
Usually I save these for last but before I get started I really want to thank a couple of people who have gone above and beyond what has been asked of them in helping supply the site with high quality posts. I’m thankful for all our writers who have contributed to the site but I especially want to recognize ShaneXedge and Shooter for their regular weekly contributions. Alone I could not produce the three or so weekly updates we’ve been publishing for nearly 9 months now and they have come through more times in the last couple months than I can even count. When I started Postrockstar I had all the free time in the world but that quickly changed as I transitioned from one career path to another. If you didn’t notice, Shane also created the term “Post-*” a couple of weeks, which is shorthand for post-everything. We’re really going to be championing this term hard in the upcoming months as I think it’s absolutely perfect to describe a lot of the music that comes through this site.
I got to see Maserati perform along with Joy Wants Eternity earlier this month and it was one of the better shows I’ve seen. Maserati brings so much energy to their music that their albums really don’t do them enough justice. Unfortunately I came down with a bad case of food poisoning the morning of the Caspian / Native / You May Die in the Desert concert I was slated to do photography at. To my knowledge this is the first time Caspian has played in Seattle in at least three years and I’m really hoping I won’t have to wait another three years to finally see them. A big thanks to Brian of You May Die in the Desert for securing a photo pass for me that I was never able to use.
It’s been a really good first three months for post-* (there it is again!). We’ve had a handful of really creative and amazing albums come through the site lately and it’s only going to be getting better in the upcoming months. My favorite album of the year so far is “Reanimation” by Lights and Motion . I really do believe that this is a timeless classic that is at the absolute peak of crescendo-core.
While we’re talking about Deep Elm artists, I’d like to bring up something about the label that I think has become sort of the elephant in the room. It’s no secret that their band lineup is chalked full of excellent bands. These bands music and track records of success really speaks for and sells itself, yet time and time again the label goes to extravagant lengths to endlessly promote their latest releases to the moon that it becomes overkill. At a certain point I think you have to just let the records speak for themselves without all the glitz and glamour of an All-Star PR team’s frenzied marketing strategies.Hopefully I’m not missing the mark too much here, but my opinion is reinforced by the fact that I’ve talked to more than a few people who have used the specific term “hype machine” when speaking about Deep Elm and their artists. I love Deep Elm to death and I think that they are by far and away the best post-rock label in the genre right now, but I just wish they would realize that the people they are marketing to are smarter than the average music listener.
Shifting gears, our site rarely gives unfavorable reviews, yet when we do there seems to always be backlash regarding them. Earlier this month Shane gave the new Long Distance Calling album “The Flood Inside” a rating of average. .While we’ve only gotten a couple negative comments back so far, I just wanted to take a quick moment to say I whole heartedly support Shane’s review of that album. I was extremely disappointed to see Long Distance Calling step away from their post-rock/metal roots and gravitate towards hard-rock. Maybe I was just expecting too much from the album or perhaps I should have known something was up when they added a vocalist to their lineup. But the album really does sound nothing like their previous work and is a far cry from their 2009 masterpiece “Avoid the Light”, which easily is a member of my top 5 post-rock albums of all time.
I think the biggest travesty on this album though is that they brought in one of my favorite vocalists of all time, Vincent Cavanagh of Anathema, yet his role in the track “Welcome Change” is incredibly underpowered and largely forgettable. This is a band that is just three years removed from releasing “The Nearing Grave” which saw the band collaborate with Katatonia frontman Jonas Renske to create the epic track “The Nearing Grave” in which Renske’s full talents and range were on display and meshed perfectly with the band’s talents. I’m not sure what went wrong this time around but I’m just not a very big fan of the direction they are headed.
In the “and now for something completely different” category, I discovered Tara Yost’s (Keyboardist of The End of the Ocean) blog last month and promptly read everything. If you’re not a fan of reading about the everyday life of talented musicians, you should at least check it out for her unique artwork. While we’re on The End of the Ocean, they are in the process of wrapping up a whirlwind month that included an eastcoast tour and a all-star super concert with the likes of Gifts From Enola, Sunlight Ascending and If These Trees Could Talk. If I didn’t love Seattle’s gray sky and overcast weather so much I’d move to the middle of the country in a heartbeat. Insert First world problems “I don’t live anywhere near where my favorite bands play” meme here.
In closing, I was really happy to see the community rally around El Ten Eleven after their gear was stolen by making their upcoming release ‘Transitions Remixed’ the number one seller on bandcamp. Those guys are two of the hardest working musicians I’ve ever had the opportunity to see perform and I’m really glad to see karma was on their side even through what I’m sure has been a stressful week for the guys. I’m really hoping my schedule allows me to see them when they’re back in town in a few weeks. I highly suggest you catch a show if they’re within an earshot of you. What they are capable of will blow your mind and leave you wondering just how the hell they were able to accomplish such a complex sound as just a two piece band.
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