Concert review: The Dave Matthews Band (second opinion)

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Klipsch Music Center, Noblesville, IN – July 18, 2015

The Dave Matthews Band is among the great singular outliers in my personal musical landscape – itself a massive, loosely bound, often logic-optional continuum that, built up over the course of thirty years, was already surprisingly lousy with them. As a dyed-in-the-wool metal fan, my longstanding passion for this particular band has led, variously, to rounds of strident interrogation, sound condemnation, and, occasionally, clandestine approval*, from my peers, though that’s really nothing compared to the dismissive shade I’ve seen thrown from more respectable corners of the pop, rock and indie arenas. “Is Dave Matthews Band’s Under the Table and Dreaming any good 20 years later?” shouted the headline of, to me, a particularly provocative AVClub article on the occasion of the album’s inevitable anniversary reissue last fall. I read with bated breath. Continue reading “Concert review: The Dave Matthews Band (second opinion)”

Movie review: “The Babadook” (2014)

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“I’m sick, Sam. I need help. I just spoke with Mrs. Roach. We’re going to stay there tonight. You want that? I want to make it up to you, Sam. I want you to meet your dad. It’s beautiful there. You’ll be happy.”

A storybook ghoul looms just behind a terrified child, dark, claw-fingered arms outstretched to a seemingly impossible wingspan, rising and expanding like a phoenix from the ash, then hanging there, poised to descend, poised to strike, savoring the fear. Fierce, bulging eyes pierce the otherwise enveloping darkness, punctuating its lusty rictus grin of longsaw teeth, frozen on the crudely illustrated page, at least for the moment. The creature had been safely contained on the wrong side of the child’s bedroom door, but it knocked, insistently, some would say maniacally. “Let me in!” it bellowed in the little boy’s imagination, though in reality, all it could ever do was to say, “Ba-ba…dook! Dook! Doooook!” and bang on the door as he retreated under the covers. Heaven help you, little boy, if it ever got in. Heaven help you and your mother. Continue reading “Movie review: “The Babadook” (2014)”

Movie review: “Terminator Genisys” (2015)

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“That’s the kind of man your son was. (thinks) Is! Will be! Ugh…time travel gives me a headache.”

The original Terminator had the spark of genius. It was something altogether amazing and new. As a stand-alone sci-fi potboiler, and a model of low budget 1980s ingenuity, the story of a young woman under siege by an unstoppable robot assassin from the future is a stone classic. Just typing this sentence makes me want to drop everything and spontaneously rewatch it. Bleak and ruthless, consistently thrilling, pleasingly enigmatic, and, in the end, more than sufficient, The Terminator didn’t cry out for a sequel any more than the wellspring of any action franchise does. The sequel it received, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, was nevertheless a true rarity in the annals of effects-driven blockbuster action filmmaking, functioning as both a signpost along the road, indicating the exciting, innovative way forward for an oft-beleaguered art form, and a de facto destination, dynamic, fully-formed, crowd-pleasing, jaw-dropping. Continue reading “Movie review: “Terminator Genisys” (2015)”

Concert review: Flogging Molly

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Lifestyle Communities Pavilion, Columbus, OH – June 29, 2015

I first saw Celtic punk standard-bearers Flogging Molly, appropriately enough, a little over a decade ago, with a dear friend in a packed tent at Dublin, Ohio’s annual Irish Festival. Actually, that’s not entirely accurate. The Dublin Irish Fest is a fairly big deal in the outer ‘burbs of Columbus, having grown over the years into a sprawling operation now claiming seven separate music stages, many hundreds of scheduled performers and tens of thousands of expected attendees. In the late days of July, the Fest shuts down or redirects with extreme prejudice approximately 5-6 blocks of a lower upper-class neighborhood within whimsical, (just barely) figurative spitting distance of the building in which I used to work. Even in humbler days, whenever Molly headlined – or, let’s be honest, closed down – the Irish Fest, the resulting logistical clamor was sufficient to bring the rest of the operation to a standstill. Continue reading “Concert review: Flogging Molly”

Post No. 100: Centennial Homesick Blues

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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…

In retrospect, one of the smarter things I did when laying out the architecture and modus operandi of this blog was to build in a venue, with every 25th post, that allowed me tacit approval to traffic in explicitly personal matters. I knew from its inception that I wanted DAE’s focus to be on the music, movies, and assorted other passions that are such an integral part of my life, but I never imagined that meant I could keep the wolves of self-possession at bay indefinitely. The idea of a “personal” 25th post incentivizes me, at the very least, to keep track of how many I’ve published, which is a fun, purely self-serving benefit. I hear near constant tell of actors who proudly or sheepishly proclaim that they never, ever watch themselves on screen. I may be a tiny voice in the howling void, but I laugh at the notion such reasoning could possibly extend to authors. Continue reading “Post No. 100: Centennial Homesick Blues”