May 192014

Barring some truly unfortunate and unexpected mishap, I will be leaving Seattle on Wednesday morning at the ass crack of dawn to attend my first-ever Maryland Deathfest. I have to add that “mishap” caveat because two members of our original contingent of five Seattle travelers have already had to bail out, the most recent one due to a wrist fracture over the weekend that necessitates surgery tomorrow. So I’m not counting on anything until my butt (and the plane carrying it) lands on the East Coast.

Assuming I make it to Baltimore, there will likely be fewer posts the rest of this week than usual. I don’t plan on spending as much time scouring the web for new music or patiently listening to new releases for review purposes. Also, one of my NCS colleagues — BadWolf — will be at MDF, too, so I’m not expecting much out of him either. Correction: I do expect him to keep me out of jail and out of hospital emergency rooms.

We might have some photos, we might not. We might have some interviews, we might not. We might write some show reviews, but we might not. In other words, this really isn’t a blog-related project, and if the burden of writing about what we’re seeing and hearing interferes with the enjoyment of the moment (or with sleep), you can guess what’s going to take priority.

I have given some thought to writing a short daily travelogue. Nothing fancy, mind you, just some random descriptions of the event and personal encounters with people on site (including such miscreants as NCS contributors KevinP and SurgicalBrute), since I’ll be experiencing everything for the first time. But since my observations may not necessarily include anything approaching reviews of the music, I’m not sure how interesting it would be, so I’m still mulling it over. We’ll see.

I confess that I’m somewhat nervous, in addition to being tremendously excited. Being immersed in big crowds of people isn’t my favorite thing. Neither is standing in line. I’m also old and decrepit and I’m wondering whether my body and energy levels are going to hold up for 5 very late nights and 4 afternoons of this festival and everything happening around it. But I’m going to do my damnedest to make the most of it.

For my little Seattle contingent plus BadWolf, everything begins happening on Wednesday night — we’ve got tickets to the pre-fest party at the Ottobar that night, with performances on tap by Noisem, Seattle’s own Black Breath, Misery Index, and Immolation. And, shit, that’s not even part of the main festival. Here’s the poster for that beast:



I’d be tempted to fly across the country just for this show, but what comes after it is even more mind-blowing — 100 bands in all, if you include the Sidebar shows, and among them are many I thought I’d never get to see (and may never get to see again).

Anyway, wish me luck. And if any of you past guest contributors out there (or potential new ones) feel like writing anything to take up the expected slack this week, shoot me an email (it’s on the Contact page). Even if I can’t manage to write much myself, I should still have time to pretty-up and post what others may send me.


  48 Responses to “M D EFFING”

  1. What..Im like an independent contractor then?

    That hurts man…

  2. What am I chump change? Badwolf gets a “shout out” but I don’t ?


  3. Dammit, I am incredibly envious! A couple of my friends are attending, but I cannot for a few different reasons.

    • Well, I’ve had reasons for the last 10 years. This just happens to be the one time when it looks like everything will finally work out.

      Crap, I shouldn’t have said that. Not that I believe in jinxes or anything, but still, I’m not there yet.

  4. Hell ya, have fun!!!! I was in Seattle a couple of years ago and saw a female fronted Candlemassacre,that’s as close to seeing Candlemass as I’ve come.

  5. hope you have an awesome time!! 🙂

  6. Definitely envious of you for seeing this. But on another note, I should really get off my ass and write something. I never anticipated that senioritis would extend to all corners of life, even non-academic ones (though I have also just had a lot of stuff to do on top of that).

  7. Have fun, be safe (ish). My brother will be there. Look for the long-haired guy with a mountain-man beard and obscure metal shirts…
    Actually he might be wearing a Hannah Montana shirt on a dare, so he should be easy to spot!

  8. Barring mishaps, I’ll be there too. Looking forward to it, though I’m also a bit nervous – this is my first big festival, and I’m not sure how I’m going to marshall my energy to make it all the way through Sunday night!

    • When are we going to see a Kickstarter campaign for human batteries? I would back.

    • Oh come on guys..this is like my 6th or 7th MDF..its not that bad.

      Yes, you’ll get tired and have sore feet and maybe a sore back, but there are a few ways to help with that. Get up by the rail (off to the side to avoid the pit) as much as possible.. so you can lean on it and rest your feet on the bar even during the sets. You’ll be surprised how much that helps.

      ..and take breaks, youre not going to be able to catch every band anyway, and trust me when I say there will come a point when you start weighing how much you like a band against how tired you are..just go with it. Certain bands seem to come back every few years anyway, so sometimes its worth it to skip them just to rest up for a bit

      At least the temperatures seem to be on our side this year, so the heat shouldnt be a major factor

      • Do they have human porters available? People who will carry you around from place to place and let you sit on their backs when you get tired standing? I heard that and it was a big reason why I bought the tickets.


          …but I’ll be happy to lay you on your side and roll you from one stage to the next if that helps

          • That’s very generous of you. Will you be bringing the comfy carpet that I can be rolled upon? There may be unpleasant substances on the bare ground between the venues.

      • Yeah, I know it’ll be fine – though I appreciate the advice. Still, I gotta worry about something, and worrying about keeping my energy up seems more productive than worrying about whether my plane flight will be on time or whether I’ll get mugged in Baltimore.

  9. Missing out on Dark Angel, Solstafir, Mgla,Inquisition, at the gates, Taake and all the other ones also, just for some silly wrist surgery? Slap some duct tape on that motherfucker you’re good to go! im sure it would survive (mostly) in one piece.

    • HaHa! The silly surgeon thought putting in a plate with screws would be more effective than duct tape for some reason, and that the swelling that would occur on a cross-country plane flight the day after surgery wouldn’t be ideal for recovery. Not to mention being jostled by packed crowds of hooligans for 4 days. Imagine that!

      • Silly surgeon! the only thing better than duct tape is MORE duct tape.
        Trust me, I’m an engineer.

        • If you made this so called surgeon listen to some solstafir, im sure he would adjust his risk/benefit analysis, prescribe a few yard or feet or hands (or whatever you use over there) of shiny tape, and send your friend on his way!

          But yeah, if its bad enough to need surgery and screwbs, i guess it is bad enough to be missing a few days of

          • Both the victim and the surgeon are women. The surgeon didn’t say not to fly, just said it would increase the post-operative pain. She also didn’t know what kind of music festival we were going to. If she had, I suspect she would have been more adamant about avoiding the trip.

  10. I was planning to have this year be my first MDF, but a move across the country is occurring at the same time. While I’m looking forward to moving, I hate that I can’t make it to Baltimore as well, have a great time Islander!

  11. I’m listed before ‘Brute. Haha, SCORE!

  12. See you there Islander! or not… 😛

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