For what it's worth, I agree with her. Like I said, Vikings at the root source. However, I want to
see where this develops in Africa. There is potential for some unique musical and cultural spins on
-- Tom Fine
----- Original Message -----
From: "Marcia Segal" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Saturday, February 20, 2016 10:18 AM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Heavy metal as world music?
From a friend (off-list):
"I think he's basically right, though perhaps not as broadly as to call metal "world music."
Metal is absolutely a worldwide genre, and of course everyone puts their tone and spin on it. But
there is a very little that's "native" to metal outside its Euro-American roots. (Though the
Japanese can probably lay claim to having expanded its vocabulary in very important ways, unmatched
by other non-Anglo/Euro folks.) And the true core of metal, from Sabbath to Venom to the Norwegian
blast-beaters, has always been heavily flavored by a European mythos of occultism and tribalism."
She won’t be wading too deeply into the conversation; this will be her only response. One person’s 2
> On Feb 19, 2016, at 5:10 PM, Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Yes, please. And thanks, Marcia! Ask her if she wants to join ARSC List and stage-dive into the
> -- Tom Fine
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Marcia Segal" <[log in to unmask]>
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Friday, February 19, 2016 4:55 PM
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Heavy metal as world music?
> With your permission I’d like to forward your thoughts to a friend (not on-list), who has followed
> heavy metal music for 30+ years and, like you, has wide-ranging tastes in music. If she (and you)
> are interested, I could post her comments on-list, or to you directly. Either way, I think she
> might be able to respond in an informed way.
> Best wishes,
> Marcia Segal
> = = = = =
> My opinions are my own.
>> On Feb 19, 2016, at 1:16 PM, Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> One topic I'm interested in is the debate about the beginning of heavy metal. As I said, I peg it
>> to England, Birmingham, Black Sabbath. The change from hard rock such as was practiced by Led
>> Zeppelin to heavy metal was Tony Iommi's guitar tuning and tone, necessitated because he damaged
>> his fingers in a metal press (Spinal Tappish now, because things turned out alright, but sad at
>> the time). Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin both formed around the same time. Zeppelin was a
>> natural outgrowth of blues, rock 'n' roll and psychedelic rock, founded by experienced studio
>> musicians (Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones) who had evolved forward from skiffle music. Black
>> Sabbath was formed by younger, less experienced musicians, from poor working class backgrounds in
>> a grim industrial city. They definitely had blues-rock elements, but the darker tuning of the
>> guitar and the occult themes in their songs were a different thing at the time. In my opinion,
>> this was the beginning of heavy metal (which wasn't called that until several years later). The
>> Rhino box set pegs it to the U.S., with harder-rocking psychedelic and garage bands. I think this
>> is more the roots of punk music, which I believe sprang out of the industrial Midwest of the U.S.
>> in the late 60's and caught on very late in England, but is often associated with London in the
>> Thatcher era.
>> At the risk of getting too academic (and always keeping in mind the "mock-umentary" aspect of
>> waxing too seriously about any of this), some of the themes in heavy metal lyrics and its staging
>> harkens back to Viking culture and rituals. So, to my thinking, it's very natural that hotbeds of
>> metal would be the U.K., Scandinavia and Russia, all places where Vikings roamed. In the U.S.,
>> pure heavy metal bands happened later, and the biggest "contribution" was hair-metal in the early
>> days of MTV. Also in the U.S., there's an interesting blurring and broadening of the genre. For
>> instance, is Van Halen a heavy metal band? Due to a variety of musical elements, staging and
>> solo-playing mastery and flash, I'd argue yes. But David Lee Roth's lyrics, stage persona and
>> general outlook are somewhat Vaudeville, definitely not very occult or ominous. Probably the
>> purest metal forward-movers from the U.S. were Ronnie James Dio and then, a few years later,
>> Metallica (the members of which were heavily influenced by punk and garage rock rather than
>> older-school heavy metal). The other interesting thing to come out of the U.S. is the metal-rap
>> blurring, for instance Anthrax "I'm The Man," the collaboration between Aerosmith (another band
>> on the metal-hard rock borderline; I put early Aerosmith more in the metal camp than "Love In An
>> Elevator" Aerosmith) and Run-DMC, etc. And where does American glam-metal-rock stuff like Kiss
>> and Twisted Sister fit in? In the U.K., there are characters like the late great Lemmy, who
>> connect metal to punk. There, where does a band like Arctic Monkeys, early version, fit in? Was
>> it a metal band?
>> Caveat -- I'm not trying to pigeon-hole or categorize music for any sort of divisive reason, just
>> interested in drilling down to what musical, lyrical and cultural elements define heavy metal
>> music. Personally, I like a wide variety of music so how something is described or categorized
>> isn't going to effect whether I like it or not, so I don't want to put any great music out of the
>> earshot of any listener based on labels and categories.
>> -- Tom Fine
>> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Brandon Michael Fess" <[log in to unmask]>
>> To: <[log in to unmask]>
>> Sent: Friday, February 19, 2016 11:17 AM
>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Heavy metal as world music?
>> There's actually a growing musicological literature on metal, in all its forms. I've seen an
>> ever-growing number of journal articles being published in recent years, and there are now
>> several small conferences dedicated to the academic study of metal. Check out the "Metal Music
>> Librarians" Facebook page if you're interested in this topic - it does a great job of aggregating
>> information regarding metal in academia.
>> Brandon Fess
>> MLIS, Syracuse University 2015
>> (585) 703-0739
>> From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> on behalf of
>> Adam Jazairi <[log in to unmask]>
>> Sent: Friday, February 19, 2016 10:23 AM
>> To: [log in to unmask]
>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Heavy metal as world music?
>> Well put, Tom. In my view, metal music has endless potential as a subject
>> of ethnomusicological study. Folk metal, which the blog post touches on,
>> just scratches the surface.
>> On Fri, Feb 19, 2016 at 9:51 AM, Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>> Interesting blog post from the WSJ yesterday:
>>> Here is the related article:
>>> I don't find it "weird" that heavy metal music, attitude and culture have
>>> a global appeal today. Metal is related to punk, but probably more widely
>>> acceptable because it is less overtly political. Both deal with rage,
>>> alienation, injustice, the same theme of fighting a perceived "machine"
>>> that goes back to Bartleby the Scrivener and back. There are many millions,
>>> perhaps billions, of people in this world who feel alienated, disempowered
>>> to varying degrees and chaffed if not enraged by it. Some music soothes the
>>> soul, some stokes the fires. Metal is more the latter.
>>> -- Tom Fine
>> Adam Jazairi
>> Digital Collections & Preservation Librarian
>> Boston College University Libraries
>> (617) 552-1404
>> [log in to unmask]