With the new year finally upon me, I can’t help but think about what lies ahead.  Though I personally enjoy the gloomy ambience of winter, the cold does tend to get me down. Anyone reading this who feels the same and may need a pick-me-up would do well to remember all the wonderful shows coming up in the very near future!  Currently at the forefront of my mind is Stardust VI – Dark Nights of the Soul.

This four-day event, to be held at Saint Vitus in Brooklyn, NY, has a very carefully curated selection for those in attendance.  It promises a blend of music and art featuring performers from various undergrounds, near and far.  It really doesn’t fit the mold of any festival that I’ve ever been to or heard of, which is part of the reason I’m so excited to attend. Below is the official press release from Stardust NYC, with many more details about said performers and the ideas behind the event, and we at SGM would encourage you to read up! We try hard to support unusual labors of love, and we sincerely hope to see some of you there.

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Stardust VI

From February 2nd to February 5th, 2017, Stardust VI – Dark Nights of the Soul will take place in Brooklyn, NY at Saint Vitus Bar. Although appearing on the surface to be a conventional “music festival,” Stardust VI – Dark Nights of the Soul is anything but “conventional.” Presented by the Stardust NYC collective, Stardust VI – Dark Nights of the Soul will not only feature music performances by the likes of Absu, Slagmaur, Aluk Todolo, Obliteration, Dispirit, Lluvia, Lycus, Blood Incantation, and Hail among others – 22 bands in all, with 23 total performances – but will also feature a special book presentation and lecture by acclaimed artist Metastazis.

FULL EVENT INFO, ALONG WITH TICKET INFORMATION, CAN BE FOUND HERE. For the past five years, Stardust NYC has endeavored with their Stardust series to present, simply, an artistic event for artists and art lovers. It is completely democratized from the bog-standard “copy/paste festival.” There are no “headliners” nor openers; every artist is considered equally amazing and important, part of a unique fabric binding together great art; and the curation itself – and its fluidity across each day’s performance, all carefully selected – is diverse, esoteric, and exotic. In essence, it’s for us.

“We started the Stardust Series five years ago with the genuine intention of creating an atypical platform that will help the underground music scene in its full diversity and splendor,” the collective write. “As part of that mission, we want to deliver a high-quality curation meant to support true artistry and passion. We believe that actions always speak louder than words, and we continue on our path of celebrating unknown Greatness.””More than anything, we envision Dark Nights Of The Soul to be a unique and genuinue event of discovery,” they continue, on the topic of the sixth installment. “We’d like to see people want to open new doors for themselves, to get out of their comfort zones and completely lose themselves in the Moment. To be utterly shaken from body to soul by something completely new is a blessing, and many times life-changing. This is the true live experience we aim for each and every time.”

Where else can you witness the first US performance of Norway’s singular Slagmaur – itself a rarity, on any continent – alongside America’s equally singular Absu? Or the occult krautrock of France’s Aluk Todolo alongside the gnarly death metal of Norway’s Obliteration? Or an event that gives equal footing to freak folk, black metal, and ambient drone?

Take Madison Mandrake, for example, a stunning freak rock/dark folk entity from Oakland, whom Stardust NYC discovered in the woods of Cascadia at this year’s Thirst For Light Festival. Here’s a band with just one EP out yet who will play after Absu, so they can take the audience even further away from this world. They represent the quintessential artist for Stardust VI – Dark Nights Of The Soul: completely unknown to the world, but utterly sublime, cathartic, and exotic. They are the Heroes; they are the perfect embodiment of the artists who have chosen to suffer and sacrifice all they have in order to bring things of awe, sorrow, beauty, and wonder into this often grey and banal world. Like many of you reading this and like every other artist on the bill, they have chosen this life of financial uncertainty, relationship instability, pinnacle highs and soul-crushing lows so that they can share their beauty with the world, with us. We should cherish them, embrace them, and learn how to show our gratitude for their sacrifice, because if we don’t, we’re going to ask ourselves one day what happened to our music?

Not only that, but Stardust VI – Dark Nights of the Soul will witness the book release of Metastazis’ Fire Work With Me. This nearly 300-page book presents a broad selection of many of the visual productions created by the graphic design studio Metastazis the past 15 years. And it goes way beyond the mere compilation of album covers: Fire Work With Me offers more than a decade of documents, studies, and often unpublished texts. Since the early 2000s, Metastazis leader Valnoir has worked with over 70 bands and artists, including the likes of Morbid Angel, Behemoth, Sunn O))), Laibach, Alcest, Watain, Blut Aus Nord, Paradise Lost, Arcturus, Ulver, Samael, and Amorphis among many others.

And yet, his work exceeds by far the limits of common musical illustration; Fire Work With Me hereby reveals a wide range of projects that flirt with contemporary arts and the fringes of legality, including cooperation with the North Korean state. Many leading figures in the worlds of design and music, such as David Vincent (Morbid Angel), Kristoffer Rygg (Ulver), Erik Danielsson (Watain), and MkM (Antaeus) as well as Steven Heller (honored by first lady Michelle Obama for the National US design award), Mirko Ilic, Miran Mohar (NSK), and Morten Traavik exclusively contributed to this publication by providing their own texts and articles. At Dark Nights of the Soul, in addition to the US premiere of the book, Valnoir will give a special lecture on the fourth and final day, February 5th.

As a leadup to the launch of Stardust VI – Dark Nights of the Soul, an exclusive full-album stream of Slagmaur’s forthcoming (and LONG-awaited) Thill Smitts Terror will be revealed in the weeks ahead. In the meantime, the full and final lineup is as follows:

Thursday, February 2nd
Dreadlords
Destroying Angel
Joy Shannon and the Beauty Marks
Scout Pare-Philips
tickets: http://www.ticketfly.com/event/1393627

Friday, February 3rd
Aluk Todolo
Uada
Dispirit
Blood Incantation
Sanguine Eagle
tickets: http://www.ticketfly.com/event/1393668

Saturday, February 4th
Lluvia
Obliteration
Young And In The Way
Reptilian
A God or an Other
Inculter
Insect Ark
tickets: http://www.ticketfly.com/event/1393729

Sunday, February 5th
Slagmaur
Madison Mandrake
Absu
Spectral Voice
Lycus
Aluk Todolo
Hail
Metastazis – Fire Work With Me US book premiere and lecture
tickets: http://www.ticketfly.com/event/1393745MORE INFO:
www.facebook.com/stardustnyc
www.saintvitusbar.com

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