NOTE: What follows is a long, winding, bumpy, and circular road, even for this blog. Caveat reador.
My relationship with Ticketmaster – the nefarious online concert access cartel – has been a long and contentious one, though never particularly complicated. My feelings on the subject are not at all mixed but, rather, pure as the driven snow. Ticketmaster stands not just in mere ideological opposition to me. It vexes me, tweaks me with purpose and zeal, and does just about everything during our regular, uncomfortable interactions but spit in my eye. It is my rival, my enemy, my nemesis, and the bane of my concert going existence, which has otherwise brought me so much joy, both fleeting and lasting, and memories built for a lifetime’s contented recollection. Continue Reading
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
“It’s beginning to look like I’m not going to get The Tonight Show…”
Among a handful of standard, fallback jokes for the (temporarily) floundering late night talk show host – at least for as long as I’ve observed the form – is some variation of the following: any viewer who is still up and watching TV at this ungodly hour of the night has to have at least a little something wrong with him/her. It’s kind of a brilliant conceit, not to mention evergreen, not so much a blanket characterization as a sly, subtle method of bonding viewer to host via self-deprecating confession. There’s nothing more wrong with you than there is with me, the host is effectively saying. I’m the person you’re watching, after all. Why don’t we just be weird together! Continue Reading
WARNING: This post will discuss George R.R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” book series in varying degrees of detail, often in direct comparison with its TV adaptation, HBO’s “Game of Thrones”. I will endeavor to avoid spoiling events that have happened in the books but not yet on the show, nor to use prior knowledge gained from the books to speculate on the upcoming season of “GoT” in anything but the most general terms. Fair game for discussion will be any events occurring through the end of “GoT” season four, which roughly parallels the second half of “ASoIaF” book three (“A Storm of Swords”). FYI – Mentioning that something happened differently in the books than it did on TV does not, in my view, qualify as a bombshell anymore, merely a point of interest. I’m pretty sure there are no do-overs forthcoming. Valar spoilhaeris.
Now that its ubiquity in the popular mindset and conversation has marked it as not just a phenomenon, or an institution, but rather as cultural shorthand, it is tempting and altogether too easy, on the eve of its fifth season, to discount the intoxicating complexity and bottomless intrigue of HBO’s Game of Thrones. Both aspects are gifts passed down from its literary forebear (and, interestingly enough, contemporary…as we’ll get into later), George R.R. Martin’s towering A Song of Ice and Fire series, and though a great many fans of the HBO adaptation are not nearly so bewitched by the history and machinery behind Martin’s curtain as I am, the world of Westeros, in itself, remains a fairly breathtaking achievement. Continue Reading
Boxing is in the hyperbole business. The raison d’etre of the boxing promoter is to attract spectator eyeballs to an event, whether or not the former is separated from the latter by a television screen. Boxing commentators also benefit from having something of a hypeman element present in their genetic makeup. Once the viewer is on the couch, subtle encouragement or reinforcement can be necessary to prevent his/her mind from wandering. Sometimes, the in-ring combat practically oozes with explosive potential – animosity, history, complementary styles, unique skillsets – beyond the baseline interest inherent in watching two determined pugilists each attempt to separate the other from his senses. Corrales-Castillo II didn’t need hype when it had Corrales-Castillo I as a precedent, nor did Gatti-Ward II, or III, or Pacquiao-Marquez II-IV. Continue Reading
Obligatory disclaimer: What follows is my latest list of highly specific things I like, presented in the order I like them. This list makes no allowances for anyone’s taste but my own, nor for colossal, head-slappingly obvious omissions, of which, I’m sure, there are many. It’s pretty much as complete as it’s ever gonna get. By reading further, you absolve me, the author, from any liability related to your potentially scarred psyche – permanently furrowed brows, heart palpitations, etc. Feedback on your own favorites, or what I got wrong or right (or wrong), is both welcome and encouraged.
In a different time, under different circumstances, I might have been one of those outdoor kids so romanticized in fiction, parenting guides, and modern television commercials touting youth activity (in my day, the NFL sadly couldn’t be bothered to help motivate my butt off the couch). Ideally, I would’ve been off running through a field somewhere, or climbing trees, catching crawdads down at the creek bed or building forts with my little friends. Instead, I was the shy latchkey kid of a hardworking, divorced parent, often left to my own devices and largely bereft of friends. So I spent my childhood diligently making my own fun. I liked watching sports, but didn’t play any except youth soccer and backyard basketball. I loved to read and listen to music, and spent an awful lot of time formulating what would become lifelong passions at the feet of MTV and HBO. I never felt deprived. HBO in particular would prove to be a seminal influence, and among its specialties in the 1980s were movies, boxing, and stand-up comedy. I’ve already spoken a time or four here on the first two topics, but comedy proved no less influential on me growing up. Continue Reading
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