My Top 20 Albums of 2018 + Supplemental Lists

2018

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”

Concert review: Clutch (second opinion)

Clutch

also appearing: Devin Townsend Project, The Obsessed
Express Live! Columbus, Ohio – December 31, 2017

There was a time – a simpler time not terribly many backward miles removed from this one – when I could reliably count on any concert by the groove-slinging desperados in Clutch being attended by most everybody I knew. To me, a Clutch show has always been an event, equal parts party and performance, a saucy suaree chemically engineered to make both your butt wiggle and your head bang, and, as an uncut, undistilled, damned near undeniable example of rock and roll at its most simultaneously festive and combustive, perhaps the preeminent affable, affordable, bi-annual flame to which musical Midwestern moths like me might flock. Even if, beyond the surface, all those not-so-long-ago shows might not have ever been anything particularly special, they always felt singular to me Continue reading “Concert review: Clutch (second opinion)”

My Top 20 Albums of 2015 + supplemental lists

2015

Introduction

I have always had a procrastination problem. To hear my mother tell, it’s more like a birthright. My parents are both procrastinators and so I was hit with both barrels. I “never had a chance,” she’s told me more than once. At the conclusion of what I thought was a fairly banner second year, I closed up shop for DAE on December 18, 2015, leaving myself time off for all my various holiday travels and, in theory at least, building in enough room to comfortably finish my traditional year-end album countdown within the roughly three-week window. Or so I thought. Unlike last year, this vacation time did not especially cry out to be shared, plus I received a slew of unexpected bumps and priority adjustments that I did not experience in 2014. I still occasionally get annoyed that essentially taking the month of August 2014 off in order to write my “Iron Maiden Saved My Life” essay precluded me from reviewing Guardians of the Galaxy or paying my proper, bottomless respects to the late Robin Williams. Unless I have something at least under construction at all times, I can’t maintain the schedule I want for this blog, which is, roughly, to produce one reasonably thorough/polished piece per week. Continue reading “My Top 20 Albums of 2015 + supplemental lists”

Concert review: Clutch

clutch

also appearing: All That Remains                                                                                                Lifestyle Communities Pavilion, Columbus, Ohio – July 26, 2014

Clutch gets it. Clutch knows what rock & roll is, what it has been, what it’s supposed to be. They are a breath of pure, bracing oxygen in a smoggy, dire musical landscape. Whenever I hear internet denizens grumbling about the latest rap, folk or foundational country act elected to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, part of me is very sympathetic, no matter how much my musical palette might have expanded in the years since it was first forged. The music I love most dearly has always been Rock & Roll (capital R, capital R, for emphasis), which is to say the distorted, amplified blues of The Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin and Cream, the tasty licks and unshakeable groove of AC/DC and ZZ Top, the crowd-pleasing bombast of Queen and Kiss and Van Halen, the intensity of Hendrix and The Who, or the blue collar impact of Springsteen and Bob Seger and The Ramones. Continue reading “Concert review: Clutch”

My Top 20 Albums of 2013 + supplemental lists

2013

Intro/Disclaimer

This is a work of pure self-indulgence (this list and, now, this blog). I enjoyed writing it; I hope you enjoy reading it. I’m under no illusions either way. Also, I can’t think of a better, more representative way to kick off my new blog, a 2013 New Year’s Resolution brought to fruition a mere 12 months late. As ever, procrastination is my worst trait. What follows are individual lists of my favorite metal, non-metal music and stand-up comedy albums of 2013, followed by a fairly full write-up of my top 20 albums, independent of genre. It is long and it is far. Bring a snack and schedule sensible bathroom breaks. Caveat reador. Continue reading “My Top 20 Albums of 2013 + supplemental lists”