also appearing: Lamb of God, Anthrax, Behemoth, Testament
Blossom Music Center, Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio – June 7, 2018
It can be distressingly easy to take Slayer for granted. Can be, has been, continues to be. The band is both force of nature and fact of life, and has stood a silent, menacing vigil as the unofficially understood gatekeeper of extreme metal for well over three decades. If ever a metal band this side of, let’s say, Black Sabbath, could be said to have projected a palpable aura, it was Slayer, though not quite in a way they probably ever intended, despite the over-the-top illustrated deviltry that, blaring from both their garish album artwork and overpriced t-shirts beyond count, is the hallmark of their image. I sometimes picture them – or, more to the point, bald, bearded, stern, stocky, tattooed and temperamental guitarist Kerry King – as bouncers at some dingy club, or as symbolic hired muscle working a neighborhood poker game made up of aspiring metal bands and fans – stentorian, intimidating, unbending – ensuring only the worthy are ever dealt in. Continue Reading
“You think everything sounds like a bad idea…”
The Star Wars saga’s very longevity has become, if you’ll forgive the slight Jedi inference, a double-edged sword, laser-honed, amazingly precise despite its innate power and massive destructive capability, and, therefore, deceptively difficult to wield. This was, of course, already the case when a single storyteller, flawed visionary/kindly internet punching bag George Lucas, held the franchise in his eccentric hands; You can bet the issue has only compounded and is now accelerating toward what promises to be a spectacular end since that control was usurped by The Walt Disney Company, a monolithic trillion dollar entertainment conglomerate focused almost exclusively on the generation through perhaps overly dedicated fan service of a veritable Matterhorn of filthy lucre. To wit: Opening weekend box office for Solo: A Star Wars Story – just north of $100 million domestically – was smashing by most any other rational measure, though pillow soft if not scandalous for such a priority representative of the Mouse That Roared. Continue Reading
“I hate when I feel like this, and I never…hated you.”
Looking back now, surveying the wreck, I can see, and concede, that I wasn’t quite ready to share four walls of any description with Scott Hutchison, and that my limited exposure to his work, intense and gratifying as it was – right up, at times, to the edge of transcendence – left me terribly ill-prepared to process the sad end to which he came. The self-effacing singer and oft-stunning lyricist of revered folk/indie rock thunderhead Frightened Rabbit died at some point last week, surely by his own hand, in the woods near a marina in his native Scotland, his body finally discovered at the end of a desperate, wide-ranging, communal search effort two days after he’d gone missing. If it appears I am unconcerned about the specifics in this case, you are correct. There’s nothing to be gained in any sense I value by trailing behind Scott Hutchison and somehow observing as he whittled away his life’s final hours in isolation. My heart’s broken enough already, thanks. Continue Reading
“All that for a single drop of blood…”
None of the a**holes showed up at my class reunion. Foiled yet again. Thus, my idle, childish daydreams of summarily nuking the place and spiriting off for reflective meditation to some scenic hillside with a four-pack of CBC Creeper Triple IPA and a phone full of Miles Davis, Rivers of Nihil, and Frightened Rabbit became, instantly, far more problematic. Thanos, dread purple bogeyman of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), suffers no such compunctions about ending life on an impossibly large or even planetary scale – it is both his modus operandi and, to hear him tell, destiny – and must therefore be stopped at every cost imaginable. Though it doesn’t come right out and state the obvious, Avengers: Infinity War is but the first of two chapters detailing that herculean struggle, and that’s a damned good thing for the hopeful. Continue Reading
Express Live! Columbus, Ohio – April 15, 2018
I had so much fun at my first ever Ring of Honor live event that I barely know where to start. So I guess I’ll begin with some context.
I have pretty much always been a professional wrestling fan, though there were times I was more loath than others to admit it, sometimes even to myself. It’s hard to pinpoint what exactly my problem was. I’ve always been fascinated with the storytelling prowess and superlative athleticism that go into the in-ring product, and discovering as a tween that the results were predetermined did little to deter my interest, actually deepening it in scope and intensity as the years passed. Perhaps it was simple seasonal boredom, or a zest to explore other arenas once I’d determined this one had grown stale. I did use my two self-imposed sabbaticals from conspicuous wrestling consumption semi-productively Continue Reading
“People come to The Oasis for all the things they can do, but they stay for all the things they can be.”
Having long since gracefully aged out of the demographic – and unwilling to do more than cursory supporting research – I have little knowledge or interest in whether Ernest Cline’s polarizing bestseller Ready Player One qualifies as a “Young Adult” novel along the lines of lucrative recent “plucky dystopian teens overturn the new world order” franchises The Hunger Games, Divergent, Maze Runner, and on past the horizon. In its broad strokes, Cline’s tome, with its laser focus on Eighties nostalgia, seems somehow even more cynically calculated than its fellows. This is arguably the property’s most noteworthy achievement, for all that implies, since broad strokes are what its filmed adaptation seems most keen to deliver. Continue Reading
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…
“Put down that chainsaw and listen to me / It’s time for us to join in the fight!
It’s time to let your babies grow up to be cowboys / It’s time to let the bedbugs bite!
You’d better put all your eggs in one basket / You’d better count your chickens before they hatch!
You’d better sell some wine before its time / You’d better find yourself an itch to scratch…”
What do you say at the moment you finally meet your idol?
This mile marker post snuck up me, I must admit. Normally, I start thinking about what personal aspect or chestnut or toy from the attic I might want to unpack and talk about several posts in advance. It’s a sort of game, occasionally even fun. This time, however, I cycled through a handful of disparate topics and even started writing up one in earnest before also deeming it unsatisfactory. These “25s” (“quarters”?) have been known to impede my progress otherwise before. I made it a rule early on that the mile marker always had to be dealt with, in its proper chronological spot, before other business could be attended to. Someone special died? Some awesome movie filled you to the brim with inspiration?* Too bad. Finish your “quarter” first. Luckily, the answer to this conundrum was staring me in the face the whole time. If I couldn’t quite make it out until the moment it represented was nigh, perhaps it was obscured by the clouds of my ongoing daydream. I come to you here a humble, relatively happy man. Continue Reading