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”

The tics, twists, and Pavlovian bells of “Rock Band 4”

rockband41

So it’s come to this. In a week literally bookended for me by two concerts in two states (one of which you’ll hear tell eventually and the other of which was perfectly awesome, but too short and sweet to fit this format), a mere four days removed from a month that is essentially a rolling, 31-day horror film festival, with my childhood favorite baseball team having just been brutally, decisively removed from World Series contention (Thank you so much for this year, Mets!) and my childhood favorite football team dealing with critically uneven play from its franchise QB fresh off the disabled list even as its league best RB goes down to a heartrending, season-ending injury, have I somehow run out of things to talk about? Nah. It’s just that I’ve found this new thing, this one time. Continue reading “The tics, twists, and Pavlovian bells of “Rock Band 4””

Post No. 75: Unlimited Mileage

mileage

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…

I traveled to my first ever concert, even if that only involved driving twenty minutes to a neighboring town. I was twelve at the time, eyes wide and overwhelmed, senses primed for meltdown, attention seemingly focused everywhere at once and dutifully lip-synching along to the “hits” even as I struggled to pick words out of the all-encompassing sonic wash. The act in question – whose identity, assuming you don’t already know it, you will only learn from my deathbed – hardly warranted such excitement, but I was content with what I had to work with. That wouldn’t always be the case. Continue reading “Post No. 75: Unlimited Mileage”

Post No. 50: Iron Maiden saved my life.

band with trooper

AUTHOR’S NOTE – Tradition for this blog, informal until now, has been for every 25th post to eschew the usual route of reviews and features and speak to something personal. What follows does all that and much more. In rereading and editing it, I realized immediately that its protagonist doesn’t come off particularly well. I hope much of that can be chalked up to these being remembrances (fairly accurate, I’m forced to concede) of how I felt, and what I was, at the ages of 11-13, a shy, lonely kid trying and failing to navigate the choppy social waters of junior high/middle school. What I was and how I felt were pretty much one thing and the same: lost. I try to always write from a passionate point of view, in part because it’s comfortable and inspiring, but also because I worry I’m not particularly interesting and hope that subject matter for which I feel a particular affinity will help make up the difference. When I’m the subject matter I’m writing about, well, the intensity is necessarily compounded.

What you’re about to read is a long and winding journey, cathartic (I found) in addition to being self-indulgent, meticulous in detail and overreaching in scope. Some of the details were particularly uncomfortable for me to excavate and inhabit, and I apologize if they’re upsetting, or if the journey becomes wearying. I thought it proper and necessary to describe both the heights and depths in full. This was a very hard piece for me to write, or at least half of it was. When things later shifted abruptly to far happier subject matter, I predictably found it difficult to stop writing. Continue reading “Post No. 50: Iron Maiden saved my life.”