BREAKING: Night, house quiet; creatures idle; mouse unavailable for comment

christmas square

When it comes to the internet, I am not merely a surfer but a scavenger, though where a good percentage of my fellow travelers find themselves overly caught up in social media, I try to use it (only) a bit more judiciously. I’m committed to tending to and maintaining my various pulpits (my friend-facing facebook*, a more expansive and inclusive twitter profile, plus a plucky tumblr account that never really got off the ground), but I find I don’t post a lot anymore. Eh. I’ve found facebook’s posting structure constricting for as long as I’ve used it. Even when the 400+ character limit was lifted many moons ago, I still felt something was missing. I naturally prefer speaking in paragraphs when others might argue I should be speaking in sentences (or less). I actually used to be quite the fiend when it came to facebook posting, holding forth twice or thrice daily sometimes on whatever miscellaneous geekery I felt was compelling. It never did take much to compel me, of course. Then, as now, I can’t speak for how the audience might’ve felt. Continue reading “BREAKING: Night, house quiet; creatures idle; mouse unavailable for comment”

“Foo Fighters – Sonic Highways”: an uneven soundtrack to a killer roadtrip

box of records

Fearless independent filmmaker Werner Herzog is a passionate believer in what he has called the “voodoo of location”*, the notion that specific location filming not only naturally informs the look of a movie but also can appreciably influence how it feels, that history is so inextricably tied to a given place that it almost can’t help, on some level, but be absorbed into the production. Though he’s never spoken the exact words, lead Foo Fighter Dave Grohl is obviously at least a sympathetic mind. His 2013 documentary Sound City was a full blown love letter, equal parts celebratory and wistful, to the titular Los Angeles studio, which served over the course of multiple decades as home base for the recording of Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours, Tom Petty’s Damn the Torpedoes, and Nirvana’s Nevermind, among others. Grohl is the kind of music aficionado who turns amateur historian via happy accident, a product of deep-seated enthusiasm and wide-ranging experience, with no traditional academic reinforcement required. Continue reading ““Foo Fighters – Sonic Highways”: an uneven soundtrack to a killer roadtrip”

“Dimebag” Darrell Abbott: An Appreciation

Pantera 1994

Even in a genre where the distance – emotional, physical, metaphorical – separating player from fan is so paper thin, in a style of music where, above all others, total commitment onstage is a baseline requirement, I find it hard to imagine a metal musician who took such inspiring, unquenchable, childlike pleasure in his craft and so thrilled to find himself in what some might’ve imagined an unlikely spotlight, as did former Pantera guitarist “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott. His tragic shooting death ten years ago tonight at the hands of an unbalanced fan on stage at a rock club in my adopted hometown of Columbus, Ohio, is, for the millions worldwide who loved his band and his playing, a wound that sometimes seems as if it will never fully close, let alone heal, the kind of premature and pointlessly cruel removal of a kind man and loving presence from the larger metal community that brings to mind not journeymen but giants – Cliff Burton, Ronnie James Dio, Chuck Schuldiner – the kind of singular artists who did one thing as well as or better than just about anyone who lived, or, failing those lofty heights, did it in a way so innovative and brilliantly different that it redefined the way an instrument was considered and played for years after. Nobody sounded quite like Dimebag Darrell. For a while, though, just about everyone tried. Continue reading ““Dimebag” Darrell Abbott: An Appreciation”

Steelers Thoughts #6 (12/1/14): Garbage Time

steely

The various quirks and conventions of this blog have taken root and grown in a highly organic, practically accidental way. Because I was particularly taken with a certain swatch of dialogue and decided, apropos of nothing, to quote it at the beginning of my first ever movie review – for the 2013 Superman reboot Man of Steel – the introductory dialogue capture went on to become a feature of my subsequent reviews. Because I happened to be in a serious, self-reflective and analytical headspace, with no traditional subject matter in mind, when the time came to write the blog’s twenty-fifth post, it became an instant (and self-evident) tradition for each twenty-fifth post to focus on personal matters rather than my normal geek and pop culture ephemera. I knew from the moment that I launched DAE that I would periodically write about the Pittsburgh Steelers, who have been my unquestioned favorite sports team since I first “discovered” them at the age of five. I always figured that I would write whenever the spirit moved me, although in my heartiest moments I still never imagined I could stomach analyzing sixteen games per year, not including playoffs. Continue reading “Steelers Thoughts #6 (12/1/14): Garbage Time”