Concert review: Kiss

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Nationwide Arena, Columbus, OH – March 16, 2019

Some people are natural born rock stars. Paul Stanley is one of them, a strutting, preening, painted master of ceremonies with a (still) million dollar arena rock voice and potent if occasionally perplexing mixture of heart-on-sleeve earnestness and winking three ring-ready showmanship. The giant, black, eye-enveloping star that dominates his otherwise flat white facial makeup (minus the cheeky, fire engine red lipstick) as the frontman of Kiss might as well be a window into his soul. Gene Simmons, his business partner and bandmate of over 45 years, is not a natural born rock star – nor, some would assert, noticeably possessed of a soul – but built himself into one anyway via a combination of dogged persistence, shameless, in-your-face theatricality, indefinable, at times creepy, charisma, and blunt, dependably macho chutzpah. Offstage, Stanley seems a bit more person than persona, with Simmons the exact opposite. Onstage, they are a literal fireworks display. Continue reading “Concert review: Kiss”

Movie review: “Captain Marvel” (2019)

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“What is this?”

“It’s a S.H.I.E.L.D. logo.”

“Does announcing your identity, with branded clothing, help with the covert part of the job?”

“…Said the space soldier who’s wearing a rubber suit.”

Captain Marvel, the latest but hardly last in the current glut of attempts to shoehorn yet another theoretically resonant new standalone superhero into our already righteously taxed moviegoing consciousness – bookended at the box office by DC’s Aquaman and, gulp, Shazam! – arrives at a precarious moment for the formerly sturdy Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), whose equally hyped and hype-worthy Infinity War event saw an unprecedented, slightly ridiculous number of Avengers assemble across multiple worlds in a last ditch effort to beat back the intergalactic threat posed by jewelry enthusiast/genocidal sociologist/city planner run amok Thanos. Sorry, but I think we’ve evolved well past spoiler territory here. Continue reading “Movie review: “Captain Marvel” (2019)”

Post No. 200: Pay Attention to the Road

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Photo credit: “Full Moon Over Death Valley” by Donna Kennedy

Every 25th post, darkadaptedeye takes a planned break from normal business to plumb the shallow depths of its author’s psyche and/or overtly explore the locked attic of memories it only ever really dabbles in otherwise. You might think of it as a pit stop, or maybe a soft reboot. In “Danse Macabre”, Stephen King termed his own such digression “An Annoying Autobiographical Pause”, which I choose to think was kind of charming. Please know I take seriously the challenge of making patent self-indulgence interesting – actual results be damned – and I appreciate you being game. We’ll return to our irregularly scheduled programming shortly…

Professional musician, professional counselor, semi-professional cheerleader – it was my father who, long ago, instilled in me the central tenet by which, though so far removed now from the rolling hills where I spent my childhood, I have nevertheless carved out some semblance of a happy life as an adult: always have something to look forward to. Through repeated and jarring market fluctuations in both the professional and romantic sectors, I have intermittently thrived but stayed consistently afloat, clinging to that piece of advice like driftwood on the open sea. I’ve always been a solitary sort – introspective and dry, shy and goofy, practitioner of deadpan sarcasm and proponent of laid back empathy – more conversationalist as counterpuncher than raconteur. Continue reading “Post No. 200: Pay Attention to the Road”

Movie review: “They Shall Not Grow Old” (2018)

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“Mostly, they were just boys, as we were. They seemed to be glad to be captured. They were out of it.”

What struck me most as a viewer were the faces, the procession of almost invariably smiling faces – the assembled weight, minus any pretense of pageantry, of an entire generation of British youth girding themselves, steeling up their courage, gearing up for war. The images, seen faraway, largely lack distinguishing features yet are familiar, static black and white, grainy, jumpy, degraded in spots, over or underexposed in others, confined within a comparatively meager square occupying the dead center of a massive IMAX screen. In that square, smiling face after smiling face, looking around in a mixture of bemusement and anticipation, not entirely ignorant of the horrors they have yet to confront but, to a man, nevertheless outwardly unconcerned. Continue reading “Movie review: “They Shall Not Grow Old” (2018)”

My Top 20 Albums of 2018 + Supplemental Lists

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Of the twenty-five components that comprise my annual top twenty album list (there are actually twenty-nine if you count ordering/re-ordering the individual lists as I write about them), this intro section is, counterintuitively, the one I tend to care about the least. It’s usually written very late in what, having traditionally started in early December and ending heaven only knows when, has by that point been a lengthy and fairly exhausting process. For this 2018 list, it came in dead last, which I admit might seem an odd way of putting your best foot forward as a writer. To be fair, and by way of context, I finished six other posts in the two months flat it took me to bring the following countdown through to fruition, comprising an approximate (and puny!) combined total of 11,000 (additional) words. I also supervised the fifth anniversary relaunch of my/this beloved little backwater, including its long-threatened change of address to the theoretically easier to say/type/remember URL www.darkadaptedeye.org, and the criminally overdue renovation of its former offensively junior varsity digs. Continue reading “My Top 20 Albums of 2018 + Supplemental Lists”

DVR Hindsight #18 (1/16/19): Temptation Island Premiere

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“Temptation Island” – “Temptation Begins” – Season 4, Ep. 1 (USA)

In the continued interest of exploring the fascinating push/pull relationship between high cunning and low art, let us now figuratively hold our collective noses and deign to discuss/ dignify a television dating game show on which four attractive young heterosexual couples in theoretically committed relationships of between three and eight years are, of their own volition, whisked away to a ridiculously swanky tropical resort to mingle and/or cavort – again, on purpose – with a herd of photogenic and aggressively amorous singles and, in the process, stick pins in those aforementioned relationships as if they were an assortment of designer voodoo dolls. Continue reading “DVR Hindsight #18 (1/16/19): Temptation Island Premiere”

Ranking, Dissecting the “Friday the 13th” Series (Special Edition)

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Since its publication in October of 2014, “Ranking, Dissecting the ‘Friday the 13th’ Series” has been by far the most viewed post on Darkadaptedeye. In celebration of DAE’s fifth anniversary, that original piece has been revisited, expanded, and thoroughly updated, which is something its author both has wanted to do and, frankly, should have done years ago. Thank you for visiting and reading DAE. On behalf of blog/camp management, I hope you enjoy your time down at the lake! -EN

“He neglected to mention that, downtown, they call this place ‘Camp Blood’…”

John Carpenter’s Halloween is, without question, my favorite horror movie of all time – its prominence as recurring subject matter on this site, whether directly or as an invariably unfair comparison point, is conclusive proof – but its rough-hewn demon spawn, Friday the 13th, actually qualifies as my favorite horror series. I’ve been thinking a lot lately, in fact, about what a surprising little swath of my adolescence and teenage years was given over to fuzzy but fond memories of watching an unstoppable killer stalk nubile teenagers around the grounds of a New Jersey summer camp. Continue reading “Ranking, Dissecting the “Friday the 13th” Series (Special Edition)”