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Posts Tagged ‘Heavy Metal

“Full Metal Jacket”*…

 

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Heavy metal is a vast and complex subculture, with supremely elitist followers and heavily codified attire, impenetrable to those outside of its fanbase. As heavy metal’s influence continues to spread throughout culture, from Justin Bieber’s Purpose Tour imitation of Pentagram’s logo to Tommy Genesis wearing Toxic Holocaust merch,  Melchior Tersen’s timely and impressive book, Killing Technology [here], documents the frontline of its symbolism: patches and patch jackets, DIY garments that fans build up themselves, sometimes over many years. Patches are bought at festivals, on merch tables at gigs and from record shops and online distros. Sites like T-Shirt Slayer exist both to trade in rare items and, more importantly, to show off collections of rare items. The breadth of the genre is overwhelming, but most true metal fans would be able to size you up immediately by the patches you wear on your jacket…

metallica

Metal style was a fashion in the 90s. Now we are in an era that’s more based on reblogging than pure avant-garde creation.  Still, metal visuals fascinate a public that’s not necessarily into metal as music. A consideration of the form– and more photos– at Paper Journal‘s interview with Tersen: “Killing Technology.”

* (the title of a Stanley Kubrick film)

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As we get loud, we might recall that it was on this date in 1958 that Elvis Presley’s “Jailhouse Rock” become that first single to enter the U.K. pop charts at #!.  The record (the B-side “treat Me Nice”) would stayed on top for three weeks.

220px-jailhouse_rock source

 

 

Written by LW

January 25, 2019 at 1:01 am

“Why would heavy metal ever go away?”*…

 

Metalheads all the world over can agree on one thing: its culture, just like its music, eschews pretense. Nowhere is this better reflected than in Dumisani Matiha, lead singer and rhythm guitarist of Metal Orizon, one of Botswana’s heaviest outfits.

On an unseasonably warm afternoon, the 41-year-old is taking time out of his day job as a farmer to explain what distinguishes this metal movement from other scenes spread out across the globe.

“We see ourselves as warriors and poets,” says Dumisani. “This is a calling. We use metal to speak to our social conditions as Africans: the struggles, the climate we operate in… It might be cheesy to you but, to us, metal is just another way of speaking about romance. To us, love is hardcore, yo!”…

Botswana is 70 per cent desert and most of its metalheads dress in old-school biker gear – made even heavier with studs, chains and all kinds of trinkets – topped off with leather cowboy hats. They are a throwback to a purer time, an era when no heavy metal fan would have dreamed of Metallica and Lou Reed making an album together, let alone calling it Lulu.

Musically speaking, the metal scene in Botswana is neither heavy nor metal. It’s a combination that sounds impossible when articulated: a mix of African hard riddims, mid-70s Manchester punk, cacophonous dub, psychedelic swamp music, free-wheelin’ progjazz and some sped-up Ohio funk thrown in for good measure…

Far beyond driven: “The hell bangers of Botswana’s underground metal scene.”

* Scott Ian (founding member and lyricist of Anthrax)

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As we celebrate the shred, we might recall that it was on this date in 1966 that the Beatles said “thank you, and goodnight” for the last time– at the end of their last public concert, at Candlestick Park in San Francisco. (This is, of course, not counting the 1969 impromptu performance on the roof of Apple Records headquarters in London — the Beatles’ last public appearance together.)

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Written by LW

August 29, 2017 at 1:01 am

“If heavy metal bands ruled the world, we’d be a lot better off”*…

 

Go ahead, try it.

* Bruce Dickinson

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As we turn it up to 11, we might recall that it was on this date in 1971, after a concert at Central Oregon Community College (in Bend), that Iron Butterfly called it quits… until 1974, when they re-formed (with a slightly different line-up).  The band’s seminal 1968 album In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida is among the world’s 40 best-selling albums, moving more than 30 million copies.

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Written by LW

May 23, 2015 at 1:01 am

“We better keep an eye on this one. She’s tricky”*…

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From Endless Noise, “Mary Poppins Sings Death Metal

* “Michael Barker” (Matthew Garber),to his sister on meeting Mary Poppins, in Mary Poppins

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As we prepare to shred, we might recall that it was on this date in 1970, that Janis Joplin was fined $200 by authorities in Tampa, Florida– thus ending an episode that began with her arrest the prior November for shouting obscenities at the police from the stage of Curtis Hixon Hall, where she was performing.

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Written by LW

March 4, 2015 at 1:01 am

That Viking Spirit!…

From Reddit user depo_ (via Flowing Data), this map showing metal bands per capita around the world.  Crank it up- all the way up to the 60th parallel!

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As we turn our amps to 11, we might recall that it was on this date in 1993 that Tommy premiered on Broadway.  The Peter Townsend-Des McAnuff collaboration got mixed reviews; indeed, the Times’ theater critic Frank Rich liked it, while music critic John Pareles suggested that “their (Townshend’s and McAnuff’s) changes turn a blast of spiritual yearning, confusion and rebellion into a pat on the head for nesters and couch potatoes.”  Still, the production ran for 899 performances.

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Dude!…

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A request for submissions from the venerable academic publisher Blackwell:

Black Sabbath and Philosophy

Edited by William Irwin

The Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture Series

Abstracts and subsequent essays should be philosophically substantial but accessible, written to engage the intelligent lay reader. Contributors of accepted essays will receive an honorarium.

Possible themes and topics might include, but are not limited to, the following: “Am I Going Insane?”: Madness in Sabbath and Foucault; Purging Fear and Pity with Sabbath and Aristotle; “War Pigs” and Pacifism; Gods who can Dance: Nietzsche, Sabbath, and Dionysus; Sabbath’s Sonic Meaning and the Devil’s Interval; “Fairies Wear Boots”: Drugs and Transcendence; “Push the Needle In”: The “Hand of Doom” and Addiction; “Solitude”: Existential Alienation and Despair; Working Class Heroes: Sabbath’s Politics; Spiral Architects and Rock Poets; “My name is Lucifer, please take my hand”: The Occult and the Virtues of Blasphemy; Sweet Leaf and Snow Blind: The Epistemology of Addiction; Is it still Sabbath without Ozzy?: The Metaphysics of Band Identity through Time; The Godfathers of Metal: Genre and Influence; Iron Man and The Wizard: Sabbath’s Mythology; “Tomorrow’s Dream”: Existential Freedom and Rebellion; Johnny Blade and Hypermasculinity; Why Scary Music Makes Us Feel Good: Sabbath and the Paradox of Horror; “Dirty Women”: Gender and Sexuality in Black Sabbath; The Fifth Member in “Creativity and Performance: Is Sabbath more than the Sum of its Parts?; “Lord of this World” and the Problem of Evil.

More (including, for interested readers, submission guidelines and a link to the series’ site) at Christopher Shea’s “The Philosophy of Heavy Metal.”

Ozzy Osbourne (in his pre-reality show days) and mates: Black Sabbath c.1970

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As we search tirelessly for meaning, we might send homey birthday wishes to the second daughter of Amos Bronson Alcott, teacher and transcendentalist philosopher, and Abigail May, social worker and reformer: Louisa May Alcott was born on this date in 1832.

While Louisa May was largely schooled by her father, she received instruction from Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Margaret Fuller– all family friends.  She worked as a seamstress. a governess, and a domestic, then as a Union nurse during the Civil War, before her writing was successful enough to support her.  A committed abolitionist and feminist, she was the first woman to register to vote in Concord, Massachusetts.

Success– and lasting fame– came to her with the publication of Little Women…. the heroine of which, Jo March, was, like her creator, born in the “difficult month” on November.

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News you can lose!…

From PR Gnus, an illustration of what one can do with the digital equivalent of scissors and some tape:  NPR News, remixed:

They’re all amusing, but one might start with, say, #90…  (TotH to our friends at Laughing Squid)

As we choose our thank-you gifts, we might recall that it was on this date in 1970 that the first true Heavy Metal rock album appeared– the eponymously-titled Black Sabbath.  (The band– which introduced the world to Ozzy Osbourne– had originally been called Earth, but changed it’s name to avoid confusion with another band playing under that name; they chose “Black Sabbath” in homage to a Boris Karloff horror film.)

“the worst of the counterculture on a plastic platter”
– Robert Christgau, Village Voice

Your correspondent is off to realms currently under a communications-inhibiting blanket of snow and ice.  Thus these missives may be sporadic for the next week or so… with apologies in advance for any interruptions in service, he notes that readers will have curling (and the rest of the Olympics) to amuse them during any such interstice.

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