My Top 20 Albums of 2017 + supplemental lists

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In what has become something of an unfortunate tradition inside a tradition, once again it takes me until February to officially close up business for the prior year (though the Valentine’s Day publishing date was an unexpected coincidence). I don’t know what to tell you. There’s not a lot to recommend researching, compiling, writing up, and releasing a comprehensive top twenty music countdown without fellow contributors to help shoulder the workload. I write professionally in addition to running this little backwater, and I can tell you that there are days when the last possible thing on my mind is trying to fill yet another blank page with pop culture ephemera. There’s also a level on which I was probably too consistently consumed with national and world events in 2017 to let the year’s roster of music go about its transporting and soothing work to the degree it was needed. Lord knows I could’ve used the break. Continue reading “My Top 20 Albums of 2017 + supplemental lists”

Concert review: Decapitated/Misery Index

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Alrosa Villa, Columbus, OH – November 15, 2014

The heavy metal genre is the most cloistered and insular in all of modern music. This is by design. Metal, with all its shadowy, subjectively evil trappings and edgy, objectively antisocial output, is predicated not only on the idea of distressing and offending parents, authority figures, moral arbiters, et al, but also on separating the wheat from the chaff on a larger societal level. Every aspect of this music and the surrounding/supporting culture is engineered to serve a dual purpose, nourishing and buttressing its serious listeners and scene adherents – so many of them loners, outcasts or “nerds” in a lifelong search for connection – while simultaneously repelling everyone else Continue reading “Concert review: Decapitated/Misery Index”