Friday, December 19, 2008

The Hiatus Ends!

Yeah, I guess it's been a while since I last updated The Dark Stuff. No real reason why, other than I just didn't feel like saying anything. I was meaning to take a break after the election, but it really started around Thanksgiving time. Rather than try to psychoanalyze why I was gone, let's just celebrate my return, shall we?

In my absence, the current season of Dexter ended. How fucking great was this season?! Jimmy Smits was excellent (as he usually is), but as with all of Dexter's close connections, the friendship didn't last too long. Dexter is, without a doubt, the best show currently on television. Certainly the most original and compelling. I recommend it to everyone. It's a little dark, but if you didn't like darkness, what are you doing here?

Also in my absence came the release of Guns N' Roses' Chinese Democracy album. About freakin' time! Not sure if this means anything to you or not, but apparently Dexter is also Axl Rose's favorite show, and he has named his new cat Dexter. While I find that pretty impressive, it still doesn't make up for the mostly weak new album from Axl and Co. The record has its moments ("Better" is one of them), but by and large, it sounds just what you'd think an album would sound like if it was tinkered with for a decade and a half. The production overwhelms and suffocates the songs. It's just too much. And being someone who likes simple and straightforward music to begin with, I find it nearly impossible to get into a song with 50 different guitar and vocal parts. But, you know something, I thought the Use Your Illusion albums were overdone also, so maybe I'm not the right guy to follow on this one. There are certainly worse albums out there....

The last two weeks on my radio show were dedicated to the Top 50 albums of 2008. You can see the lists here (50-26 and 25-1). For those too lazy to click over, here was the Top 10:

10. R.E.M. - Accelerate
09. The Black Keys - Attack and Release
08. Conor Oberst - Conor Oberst
07. Johnny Foreigner - Waited Up Til It Was Light
06. Be Your Own Pet - Get Awkward / Get Damaged
05. The Hold Steady - Stay Positive
04. TV On the Radio - Dear Science
03. Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks - Real Emotional Trash
02. Okkervil River - The Stand Ins
01. Jenny Lewis - Acid Tongue

I think 2008 was a banner year for music, despite the industry's sales problems. Maybe if it spent less time trying to revive Britney Spears' career and more time nurturing new bands, they might see an upturn. Maybe it's just me...

The Faint are playing two nights in a row at Sokol Auditorium here in Omaha (Fri and Sat), but I think I'm skipping them this time around. I'm sure someday their newest record will grow on me, but it hasn't yet. I've seen them so many times already that missing this time won't hurt anything. Besides, I think they are both sold out anyway.

But I will have to make it a point to see the Neva Dinova show next Saturday the 27th at Slowdown. According to Lazy-I, it will either be the band's last show ever or last for a very long time. Neva has always been spotty live, but last time I saw them, they were uncharacteristically excellent. They have been an Omaha gem for a really long time and were finally getting some national attention. Too bad it may all be over...

I'll write more when I have more. Stay warm.

4 comments:

J. Marquis said...

I totally agree on the Guns and Roses album. There might be some good stuff on there but it's buried under ten layers of overproduction.

Pico in FL said...

Welcome back. You deserved the break. Always checking your site.

Snave said...

Glad you are back!

I will post my less-detailed lists of "best of 2008" in a week or so, but for now have posted about recently-discovered stuff I should have discovered years ago. I mentioned your blog in my current post. Feel free to check out what I have up, and make some clarifying comments or remarks! Cheers!

Snave said...

Glad you are back!

I will post my less-detailed lists of "best of 2008" in a week or so, but for now have posted about recently-discovered stuff I should have discovered years ago. I mentioned your blog in my current post. Feel free to check out what I have up, and make some clarifying comments or remarks! Cheers!