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: Napalm Death

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also appearing: The Black Dahlia Murder, Misery Index
Agora Ballroom, Cleveland, Ohio – November 11, 2016

Though it’s easy to imagine the opposing viewpoints, it is all but impossible to be of two minds regarding Napalm Death, the inimitable, uncompromising extreme music institution that sprung like a bio-weapon from the industrial grit of Birmingham, England over thirty years ago. In that disposition, the restless, resilient grindcore pioneer is, ironically, very much of a piece with its most recently identified natural enemy, semi-scrupulous billionaire real estate mogul Donald J. Trump Continue reading “Concert review: Napalm Death”