Friday, August 4, 2017

The Great Repression Is Out Today

Hey space things!

Today is our album release day.  We are excited to share The Great Repression with you.  You can get it at any of the following places (and more)

Bandcamp

Spotify

iTunes/Apple Music

Amazon

Google Play


Also, we are going to try and do an event at 8p EST on Facebook.  If you are free, come on over and listen/watch a stream of the album and chat about nerdy stuff with us right here.


Talk soon!

Friday, July 28, 2017

One Week Until The Great Repression: New Video

This time next week, our new album will be out.  We decided it would be cool to go ahead and release another video for The Great Repression before the album comes out.  I (Mark) had an idea for a video companion to The Utterly Dismal Theorem and the Formation of a New Universe that I sent to my director friend, Sheridan Cleland.  I had this idea for a Noah's Ark vibe with some old Mel-O-Toons animation that I had been kind of obsessed with recently.  Sheridan took that and really ran with it in such a cool way.

Also, if you pre-ordered the album on Bandcamp, we are making that song available to you now too.  Bonus points if you can say "The Utterly Dismal Theorem and the Formation of a New Universe" three times fast.

Talk soon and here's the video!


Saturday, July 8, 2017

Release Date, Pre-Order Information, and Album Cover

We have a release date and are ready to go!  The Great Repression will be released on August 4th, 2017.  As we've said before, we are doing a physical release and a digital download for this album.  The physical CD will have a full color booklet and lyrics.  In the music community, some folks complain that physical albums don't sell.  That is partially true.  However, there's also the fact that lots of musicians don't put a lot of effort into album art anymore.  The Great Repression is not like that.  A lot of effort was spent working on our own and with other visual artists to create a physical release with some depth that is interesting to look at and read while you listen.

You can pre-order the album via our Bandcamp page.  In addition to the physical album, you get a digital download of the whole thing in a variety of formats.  If you pre-order, you'll also get an advanced download of our first single, 8-Bit Rage.  The Great Repression will also be available on Spotify, iTunes, Amazon, and several other outlets on the August 4th release date.

Since we're talking album art and release date stuff, how about a picture of the album cover by the super talented J. Hicks!


Friday, June 16, 2017

First Video and Single for The Great Repression

Hey!

I said we would be updating really soon, and I meant it.  We now have a video for 8-Bit Rage.  I hate to use the term "single", but since this is a song that a few radio stations have opted to start playing, it is appropriate.  If you've seen us live, you have definitely heard this song.  If you've caught it on terrestrial or internet radio, this is the new, final mix done by our friend, Terry.  We hope you dig the song and the video.  Here is a YouTube embed:



More to come!

Mark

Thursday, June 15, 2017

The Great Repression update and more

We are getting a bit closer to releasing The Great Repression. All of the album art is very close to completion and I (Mark) am doing the final layout before things go off for duplication. Since we are getting so close, we thought we would share the track listing for the album:

1. I Dream of Infinite Space
2. The Letdown
3. 8-Bit Rage
4. This Equation is Null
5. The Utterly Dismal Theorem and the Formation of a New Universe
6. All-American Violation
7. Secrets of Time Travel
8. Trapped in the Center of an Unstable Loop
9. Transdimensional Stellar Autopsy

We will also have videos for a few of the songs to release soon.

As I've written before, we are proud of this album and the effort we have put into it. Now that things are wrapping up, we are ready to start playing live again. We can now announce that we will be playing Shocka-Con 6 on Friday, September 8th, 2017 in Charleston, WV. Shocka-Con is West Virginia's premiere horror and sci-fi convention, so Black Hole Zion is obviously a great fit. You can learn more at http://wvshockacon.com/



OK, that's it for now.  Next update is coming soon though.


Wednesday, May 3, 2017

The Great Repression



We are almost ready to put out a new album, and I’m really excited about it for a lot of reasons.  One of those is that it will be the first album that every member of the live band has recorded something for.  That means Ryan playing guitar, George playing drums, me on vocals and a few other instruments, and Corey on some of the bass tracks.  That includes a really beautiful bass line that Corey added to the end of one track (that already had amazing guitar work from Ryan).  It was really important to me that every person in the live band play on this, and I am so glad that I stuck to that.  As you can probably guess from the title of this post, the album is called, The Great Repression.  I think I would rather let the lyrics speak for themselves at this point, but it definitely tells a story that is rooted in far-fetched science fiction and reality simultaneously.
 
Speaking of that, our plan right now is to do a physical release that includes a full booklet with lyrics and lots of art.  I know a lot of people don’t buy physical music right now, but I think it is important sometimes to have something to listen to and also look at that reinforce each other.  If you aren’t a physical release kind of person, it will be available on a lot of digital download and streaming services too.  We are working with a few artists and also doing some things ourselves to that end for album art.  All of the music is finished, so once the artwork is complete, we are ready to put this thing out.  I am looking forward to sharing some of that artwork from these folks soon too. 

I’d also like to take a moment to thank Terry from I Am the Liquor for finishing up all the mixing on this.  I had gotten to a point where everything was recorded, but I couldn’t quite let go for a variety of reasons.  Thankfully Terry is someone with lots of talent that I also trust. 

We anticipate a summer release for this, so check back as we share more stuff to see and hear.

Mark



Tuesday, January 12, 2016

The Loss of David Bowie

The loss of David Bowie.  Those are the words I keep hearing in my head and feeling in my guts.  This is difficult for me to write as I sit listening to his last album, Blackstar.  I don't normally get upset about celebrity deaths, but this one is so different and has shaken me.  I know a lot of people are writing about how David Bowie has impacted their lives.  Please permit me, another nobody in the vast universe, to do the same.  It is difficult to articulate the feeling of loss associated with someone you've never met when they have been so influential on your life. 

David Bowie showed me how powerful and diverse one artist could be.  Many instances before I actually considered myself a David Bowie fan, I would hear a song of his and think, "That's awesome!  Who is that?!".  When I investigated, I would find out that, again, it was Bowie.  Then one night when I was out with a college friend, I heard "Life on Mars?" and it flipped a switch in my head.  I felt like David Bowie was talking directly to me.  When he sang, "Is there life on Mars?” it summed up the same questions I had been asking and still ask myself.  Is there somewhere better out there than this place we've made on Earth?  Why do we act so horribly?  Why do I feel so different and alone?  After that night, I went out and bought each Bowie album that the closest retailer to me had in stock and dug in.  The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, Diamond Dogs, Low, etc...  I discovered how amazing and varied the music was.  I became a David Bowie fan.

I would not be in the amazing marriage I am in today without David Bowie.  When I started dating Natalie, the woman that I would one day marry, so much of our relationship was built on David Bowie's music.  When we drove around, we usually listened to a Bowie album together, sang along, or did some type of bizarre choreographed percussion.  She bought me books on David Bowie.  We watched any movie he was in that we could find, but my favorite was The Man Who Fell to Earth.  "Our song" was, and still is, Soul Love.  In May 2004, just two months before we were going to get married, we saw David Bowie in concert.  Before that concert, I even was silly enough to send an email to the contact section of David Bowie's website and request that he play a song dedicated to the woman I was marrying.  Of course that never happened.  I would be surprised if the message was ever even passed on to The Thin White Duke, but I had to ask it anyway.  David Bowie created the soundtrack to the early relationship with my wife and our marriage that extends today.  There are only a few artists that mean so much to both of us, and Bowie was the God-Emperor of the known universe they all existed in. 

It is even more difficult to describe the impact that Bowie had on me as a musician.  People use the term "literally" too often.  However, I can say that I literally woke to the news of the loss of David Bowie.  Very early on the morning of January 11th, I woke to the sound of messages from my Black Hole Zion friends and band mates, George, Ryan, and Corey about the news.  I also had messages from another friend and current band mate, Jamie Lee Renfield, and Nate, a friend and former band mate from Screw Worm.  These are all people that I've known for varying lengths of time.  They all knew how much David Bowie meant to me and he meant a lot to them too.  That's undoubtedly a reason why we have/had musical connections to each other.

I always had a tendency to write and play aggressive or darker types of music.  I have also felt frustrated or bored with the limitations that sometimes come along with those same styles of music both in sound and how one was "supposed" to look or act.  While I would never presume anything I wrote to be as good as David Bowie, he gave me a path to know that it was OK to be dissatisfied and to make something your own or do whatever you felt like.  If I wanted to write music for a play or a short film, record and produce other people's music regardless of the style, dress up as a hilarious "glampire" playing punk rock, or write and play anything from ambient right-brain music to heavy space metal with some of my best friends in Black Hole Zion, it was all OK.  Black Hole Zion, as a concept and an execution, would not exist without David Bowie.  I would not be the musician I am without David Bowie.  I would not be the person I am without David Bowie.  Thank you, David Bowie.

David Bowie left us a gift with Blackstar.  No matter how much we may fail to achieve his level of greatness, David Bowie made it OK to be weird and have fun.  The best thing we can do is keep trying.  His music and message are what keep me from feeling only sadness and loss.  When I hear the lyrics of the title track, I really think it's what he would have wanted.

"Something happened on the day he died
Spirit rose a metre and stepped aside
Somebody else took his place, and bravely cried
(I’m a blackstar, I’m a blackstar)"

Keep having fun, keep being weird, and keep going out into the stars.  Thanks, David Bowie, for falling to Earth and spending a little time with all of us nobodies floating around in space.