This was one of my favorite albums of (yikes!) 2011, but I haven’t listened in quite awhile. This song worked its way into my head, though, somehow in the last couple days. My introduction to Kelli Schaefer was at a house show that same year and she blew my mind. Her voice is gorgeous and intense and full of soul. Kelli caught me by the most pleasant surprise and I’ve been a fan ever since. This song, in particular, is fantastic. It pounds and reverberates through my whole body making me feel like the chase in the song is real. I recommend all of Ghost of the Beast highly, but at least take a moment and give this a listen.

"bones bleeding (if bones can bleed)/ sore and seething all in harmony"

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Through some series of internet rabbit holes, I became obsessed with a place called Mount Moriah Cemetery in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Although I do just like cemeteries in general because the culture surrounding death and burial fascinates me, but this one in particular because it had been abandoned. The idea that a hundred and fifty year old urban cemetery could just be left to nature and vandalism astounded me. I guess I thought that sort of thing was regulated- that people’s last wishes weren’t just going to decay in such a quick and brutal fashion. There is a group of volunteers who has taken on Mount Moriah in the last couple years, clearing paths and righting stones; a small force in the incredible destruction that has been allowed to take place.

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For months I read everything I could find on it- messageboards, blog entries, photography, etc… I eventually convinced a friend who often accompanies me on these crazy adventures to take a roadtrip. I had worked up Mount Moriah to be this magical place and was worried I would be disappointed, but it was everything I imagined and more. I felt like I was walking through a book- something I could only imagine. I know in part that that’s due to me coming from Colorado where nothing is very old and nothing is very green. The overgrowth was intense. It was like walking through a jungle for two girls from the high plains. We stumbled over gravesites from the 1800s, which volunteers had cleared a path to, otherwise it would’ve been impossible without some serious weaponry.

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I learned that there are quite a few famous burials at Mount Moriah- from actors to state senators to athletes - and a veteran section with graves dating back to the civil war. The remains of Betsy Ross were once at Mount Moriah, but were later relocated (although it’s said that nothing notable actually remained in the ancient grave, so she is still there). This is definitely not a place that should have been easily forgotten.

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In my research, I found out that Mount Moriah has been without direction since 2004. Although arrangements continued until 2011 under false pretenses, leaving more disarray and questions than before. The factors that seemed to have lead here started with the cemetery being in a bad area of town and ended with the controlling association dying out. I’ve read accounts of people who purchased plots that are now just out of luck and people who have struggled to locate their relatives beneath the dense overgrowth. I’ve read of people who have been chased out of the cemetery by a pack of wild dogs and fresh grave sightings. It’s a sad, strange, and scary place by all narratives.

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Visiting Mount Moriah was an intense experience. It made me think a lot about mortality and its monuments. I hope to go back soon because there are a ton of mysteries I didn’t even touch on my first visit. Big, big thanks to the Friends of Mount Moriah Cemetery and their restoration and preservation efforts. More pictures can be found here.

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The lighting/smoke/set up made photographing Creepoid difficult, but I got a couple good shots. This is from the show at the Black Sheep in Colorado Springs.

My photography of Say Anything, The Front Bottoms, The So So Glos, and You Blew It! at Summit Music Hall, Denver.

Andrew Jackson Jihad, Hard Girls, and Dogbreth at the Marquis Theater, Denver.

And here are some pictures of one of my favorite bands, Against Me! playing the Black Sheep in Colorado Springs.

Here is a little bit I wrote about my love for Cory Branan and his new album.

I’ve been doing some work for fortheloveofpunk lately, so make sure to follow me over there! I’ll try to be better about sharing the links here. For now, here’s Kitten and Dear Boy at the Marquis Theater.

Jonny Two Bags at The Gothic Theater, Denver

I’ve been eagerly following Kitten since 2010. They’ve just released their first full length album, Kitten on June 26th, which includes so many songs that I’ve fallen in love with over the years. In addition to the new record, Kitten are playing their first Denver headline show on July 19th at the Marquis. This will be a great venue for such a dynamic performer as Kitten frontwoman, Chloe Chaidez. Get your tickets here.

I wrote something last summer that traveled to some far corners of the internet and bonded me with some fellow human beings who’d had their lives shattered into pieces by a particularly brutal parting of ways with a very significant other. It was through sharing that horrific place I was in that a couple of really amazing things came to me, including this album. Thankfully, things are a lot better these days. I’m healthy and happy more often than not, which is something that I never thought I’d say again during the weeks and months where I existed in that vacuum of despair. It feels a little strange to be writing about my divorce yet again so much later, but Hollow played such a significant part during the darker times of my life that I couldn’t let its release pass by without note.

One of the people my words reached was Chris Stowe. We’d become acquainted mostly through me blogging about a song of his (which also appears on Hollow) back at the beginning of 2012 called, “Sometimes They Give Us Beer For Free.” This song ran in and out of 2012; it sound tracked road trips and long walks. I shared it with friends and know that it ingrained itself in a couple other hearts. A small light appeared in my life with this album in my inbox; it came with a note:

“… I just want you to have it and hope that it’ll bring you some joy. As a disclaimer, it’s still sad, like all my songs, but in a positive way if that makes any sense?”

It was incredibly touching, that someone who I didn’t know well and was more of a fan of, really, cared enough about my stupid life and my broken heart to reach out. I listened to Hollow ad nauseum last year, both because it’s a great soundtrack to getting your heart broken and to remember that someone cared about me enough for me to have this album.

There was a particular song I latched on to and it became a part of my infamous breakup playlist- the first song on the album, “Blood Drinkers.” It hits so close to home that I don’t think that I will ever be able to listen to it without crying. The courage that went into writing a song so honestly was both gut-wrenching and inspiring. It captured the ghost of the ex-lover who still wanders through your life- holding you at night, brushing their hand against yours, or the feel of their hair against your cheek.



“Longer Than It Should Have” specifically takes me through the pain of leaving a long-term relationship, bringing up the details that no one talks about or wants to remember: the shared bank accounts, the holidays; all of the fine and delicate points of making a life together permanent. And of course, how far and fast you have to run away when it ends and that person has seeped into every bit of your day to day existence.

Through the regrets and what-ifs of “Rain” and the self-deprecation of “Oh, Lonesome,” Chris Stowe became my compatriot in misery. There’s definitely the clichéd sense that you know a songwriter through listening to their work, but the way this one came to me, it truly felt like companionship. In the closing track, “I Only Miss Her When I’m Drinking,” there’s the slightest tinge of resolve: of nightmares fading to dreams, of knowing that I’ll be ok. Someday.

Now, that Hollow is seeing a release after all this time, I feel like I know this album like the back of my hand. It’s been a soundtrack and a friend to the last year of my life. We’ve had more than a few drinks together and some good long cries. I’m so glad to be able to share it with the rest of the world now, because as Chris Stowe knows, we all need a companion in despair from time to time.

[You can stream ‘Hollow’ in its entirety here as well as purchase digitally for only $5. If you’re a fan of physical media, vinyl is available here.]

One of my absolute favorite live bands, Andrew Jackson Jihad, is coming through Denver on Sunday (July 13th) to the Marquis Theater. As always, they’re bringing along great support with Hard Girls, whose recently released album A Thousand Surfaces kicks some serious ass (stream it here). Do not miss this show- get your tickets here.

Lemuria at the Marquis Theater, Denver

Here is the show I flew to New York to see- Antarctigo Vespucci (Chris Farren/Jeff Rosenstock). I am losing my mind over how happy I am that there is a live recording of this gig. Listen and relive with me, or just pretend you were there.