detroit: MC5 / The Stooges /Alice Cooper ...
On Friday, February 19, 2016, 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]>
> 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
>> perhaps billions, of people in this world who feel alienated, disempowered
>> to varying degrees and chaffed if not enraged by it. Some music soothes
>> 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]