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”

My Top 20 Albums of 2014 + supplemental lists

2014

Introduction

The (now officially) annual list of the prior year’s top 20 albums is, and will continue to be, a post that holds extra significance for me. After all, spending the better part of two months researching and writing the 2013 edition, only to find no acceptable place to post it, was the impetus for me to launch this blog in the first place. That was the best snap decision I’ve made in quite some time. Even though I fudged some of the housekeeping around it, for all intents and purposes that 2013 edition was the original centerpiece and first post ever for this blog, darkadaptedeye, 8000+ words long and self-indulgent to a fault. That was exactly one year and, now, seventy posts ago. Continue reading “My Top 20 Albums of 2014 + supplemental lists”

Concert review: Overkill

overkill

The Orpheum, Tampa, FL – September 13, 2014

Overkill is among the great craft breweries, so to speak, in the entire heavy metal genre. Think about it. Its music is singular, memorable, and tasty, and fills a niche no one else is quite able to. Its fans are brand loyal and highly devoted. The band does lack mainstream press and wide acclaim, but is able to compete in the marketplace, more or less under its own rules. Overkill has been making its peculiar brand of sardonic, high energy thrash metal for over thirty years now. In that time, it has muscled into the overall conversation on its own merits – equal parts quality and tenacity, with a healthy chaser of Jersey attitude – yet, compared to thrash’s long-established “Big Four” – Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, and Anthrax – the band is still relatively unsung. Through all those years, however – as Metallica famously sold out, cut its collective hair and eventually morphed into the metal version of the Walt Disney Co., as Slayer replaced its early peaks with foothills and mid-period plateaus with valleys, as Megadeth turned into some weird sideshow for which sustained musical excellence was the exception rather than the norm, and as Anthrax struggled variously to find its footing and reclaim its identity, or build any sort of new millennium momentum – Overkill has been constant, a steady, dependable, often outstanding force for metal good and an enduring DIY success story. Continue reading “Concert review: Overkill”