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)”

Concert review: All Them Witches

ATW

Ace of Cups, Columbus, Ohio – November 14, 2017

This never happens.

Every city has its big-ticket and mid-sized concert venues, and they seem fairly immune to the ravages of either recession or technology-aided obsolescence. The artists that play there have a level of prominence that sells itself, and it’s a good thing I despise a majority of them, since I’m generally loath to contribute any more money to the 1% than I have to. Thank heavens then for the musical proletariat – those touring bands eeking out a living, hand to mouth and a mile at a time, but inarguably living their dream. At a time when it feels like DIY publications and beloved businesses at the local level are folding at an alarming rate, I also hold particular affection, and not a little bit of awe, for the boutique music space, the small downtown club that embraces and enables a potpourri of these varied and varying artists, whether independent, underground, or otherwise obscure. Continue reading “Concert review: All Them Witches”

Concert review: Wolf Alice

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A&R Music Bar, Columbus, OH – April 8, 2016

I always knew the line-blurring London indie rock quartet Wolf Alice, who I’ve seen billed more than once in the trades as a beguiling sort of cross between folk and grunge, was the real deal, but I also often found the band too reverential (or, if you like, referential) to the past to be able to endorse its present wholeheartedly, or at least without including that minor complaint as a caveat. My recent cross-genre year-end top twenty albums post, which tagged Alice’s insinuating full-length debut My Love is Cool as the #4 “non-metal” album of 2015, and its #10 longplayer overall, nevertheless damned it with more than a touch of faint praise, mostly for the frequency and dexterity with which the band overtly reminded me of someone else. Time passes, however, whether spent in light reflection or serious rumination, and so often renders such high-minded certainty an elastic, equivocal thing, and its wielder a fool. Continue reading “Concert review: Wolf Alice”

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”

Concert review: Dark Tranquillity

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also appearing:  Omnium Gatherum, Exmortus                                                                              Skully’s Music Diner, Columbus, Ohio – February 11, 2014

Columbus, Ohio is a pretty great town for concertgoing. I’m living, breathing, blabbering proof of it. There is ample opportunity here for both culture and comfort food of all kinds, and a veritable legion of concert venues of varying class, charm and capacity in which to make it all happen. For all the Katy Perry and Michael Buble invasions we periodically endure, the town also has a wonderful, fully independent radio station, CD102.5, that sees its mission, at least in part, to import as many indie rock and alternative bands as possible and put them in front of enthusiastic, relatively adventurous and discerning potential new fans, occasionally at a discounted price. Columbus also has a surprisingly consistent, if not by universal acclaim vibrant, underground metal scene. Continue reading “Concert review: Dark Tranquillity”