“The road to hell is paved with nice people who all meant well!” Alice Cooper (It’s Much Too Late). Matter of the corporeal, Heavy Metal, has always been said to be a dangerous conspiracy between music and evil. The consequences of this alliance should be reflected in the brutalization and depreciation of Western youth. What is only a harmless conversation for one, on the other hand creates discomfort or even fear and calls its opponents on the plan. Be it Christian groups, or the Parents Music Resource Center (PMRC) founded in 1985, the ranks of all those who have made it their goal to openly denounce Rock and Metal music and take action against them are long. Consequences of the supposedly moral crusade were more or less scientific treatises on forms of modern popular culture, modern witch trials against artists and public burnings of records or censorship.
The author Reto Wehrli gives in his work “Dummy Heavy Metal” a sound and far-reaching insight into this topic. The first part of the book discusses the basics and history. In doing so, a fundus is drawn in which constantly allows comparisons and makes clear that the opposition to music and art occupies a wide radius. Be it the historical digression to “degenerate music” under National Socialism, or the current censorship of films.
It also shows the mechanisms of the Federal Republic of Germany, the indexing and confiscation of media. The insight into the psychology of Christian fundamentalism leads the chapter “Satan Comes from Behind: Backward Maskings” and addresses the backward messages on sound carriers. From page 145 follows a list of books such as “Pop Music and Christian Lifestyle” or “The Occult Side of Rock”, which are subjected to a critical and scientific discourse. In the second part of the book follow countless case presentations such as Slayer, Ozzy Osbourne, Twisted Sister or WASP, in addition to heavy metal artists and bands can be found here again, in terms of censorship, relevant performers of rock and pop, such as Chuck Berry, Prince or Michael Jackson. This book is rounded off by numerous pictures of artists or plate motifs. The picture on the cover of the book is also very successful, an interpretation of the “Holy Diver” cover by Ronnie James Dio. The book itself is very worth reading and gives a critical insight, without transfiguring things, it also lists the dark side of Metal, such as NS Black Metal or social Darwinist positions of some bands.
Music – Culture – Memory (CfP, Deadline: 30.11.2017)
Posted on 18/09/2017 by Christofer Jost
Music is an important socio-cultural expression across all cultures. As a “meaningful connection without reference to a conceptual scheme” (Alfred Schütz), their definition changes with the respective cultural contexts. The variety of musical phenomena, however, are based on a number of similarities: on the one hand, music has a close connection to the emotional-emotional, and on the other hand, music and time are connected in several ways: a) the respective musical performance or reproduction is a temporal process and as such organized as a memory (b) musical performances are contemporary presentist forms, each based on the difference between work and interpretation, and dependent on memory forms; and (c) each piece of music is in specific (inter- / trans-) cultural traditions that it updates become. Continue reading →
Posted in calls / actualités, german | Tagged history of memory, contemporary history, cultural memory, cultural history, material culture, media history, memory studies, music history, pop musicology, reception research, sensory studies, sensory history, social memory | Leave a reply
Workshop: Spaces, Markets, Scenes – New Work on Pop History (Berlin, 15.4.2016)
Posted on 17/03/2016 by Bodo Mrozek
PopWorkshop Party PosterPop and historical research went their separate ways for a long time. On the one hand, this was due to the programmatic claim to the present interpretation of the pop-discourse fixed on the latest trends,  and on the other hand to the cultural deficit of historiography (defiantly maintained by the concept of struggle of “culturalism”). With the growing interest in contemporary history in the seventies to the eighties, mass and aesthetic aspects of globalized media and information societies are increasingly becoming the focus of attention. Meanwhile, there are first attempts of systematization and bundling.  Pop history is not understood as a set of methods or even as a school education, but rather as a relevant topic of the history of the 20th century, on which different historiographical methods are used.
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Posted in calls / actualités, dates, german | Tagged heavy metal, youth cultures, cultural history, music history, pop history, punk, urban history, subcultural studies, urban history, economic history, contemporary history | 1 reply
CfP: Workshop: When the Fashion of the Music Changes: The contemporary history of music, revolt and utopia on both sides of the Iron Curtain 1956-1989
Posted on 29/06/2015 by Michael G. Esch
Since the pioneering work of Detlef Siegfried, Ute Poiger and others, much has been written about popular musical styles from jazz to rock’n’roll to punk, their perception and embedding in (youthful) subcultures. As a rule, however, the relevant work remains in a narrow framework: they usually examine only one genre of music in a country, the transnationality of the perspective is limited to the statement that everything in the US began and then began a global triumphant march who, as it were, seems to be eating alone from the artistic-emotional quality of music. However, this one-dimensionality of transfer – which, for example, remains unclear as to what the cross-border and cross-block appeal of music and the meanings ascribed to it, and which common features the most young audiences shared on both sides of the block boundary – ensures that a whole Ignored or contextualized, according to the hypothesis underlying the conference, in a false or incomplete way. Continue reading →
When the four most important bands in heavy metal meet, the sparks fly: Metallica, Slayer, Anthrax and Megadeth arrive at a former military airfield near Prague and fight hard.
If the Big Five are promised on a safari, elephant, lion, rhino, leopard and black buffalo, then you can be happy when you actually see four of them. When a rock festival announces the “Big Four,” Metallica, Slayer, Anthrax, and Megadeth, it behaves similarly. The “Big Four of Thrash Metal,” the four American expedition troopers that took off in the early eighties to race for the poles of speed, anger, and precision, these four that forever set the world of heavy metal What has changed for the better, once to see on a stage: this is something that those who are only happy when their blood runs out of their ears have been waiting for a quarter of a century.
That would not even compare to the appearance of the “Three Tenors” if they had previously crushed each other’s throats for twenty-five years. Entire music magazines have lived at this time describing the epic conflicts, both between the bands and within, teasing (such as when Dave Lombardo of Slayer publicly offered drumming lessons to his colleague Lars Ulrich of Metallica) or the Saga of the Humiliated and To continue insulting. It was wonderful.
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The Eastern Bloc is a grateful anvil for this hammer
Just the story of Dave Mustaine, who flew out of Metallica drug addicts when they wanted to become “more professional,” then founded his own band, Megadeth, where Kerry King played for a short while, before he went back to Slayer. All on one stage, and certainly not next to each other, because the friendship does not go that far either. But how then? Who to whom? And how will they react to each other? These are the questions on the way to this former military airfield Milovice near Prague, because there are only a few concerts that the four put together, and almost all in the former Eastern bloc, which has always been a grateful anvil for such a hammer.
The pacemaker on the electric guitar: Kerry King by Slayer
The pacemaker on the electric guitar: Kerry King of Slayer: Image: AFP
But that also means: around one hundred thousand cars from almost as many countries in the tough traffic jam through the military area. Ironically Anthrax will then be the victim of this promise. The New Yorkers, who were always a bit offside with their dissident good mood, their colorful tourist-look and their – after Rauswurf now again set – singer Joey Belladonna, who always looked more like a jubilant Gondolier next to his rabid colleagues: They are just too early for most. You could call that “death in the afternoon,” but at Hemingway the whole thing does not start until five; Anthrax had to be at four. This is a music-historical judgment of its own kind, even if a specialist, who had come specially from Lyon, later praised the performance (singer Belladonna shaky, guitarist Scott Ian but outstanding, so at least the Frenchman).
The battle of the big four
Then gig Megadeth: They play with immaculate cleanliness. Dave Mustaine, wearing a metal-typical white penitential shirt since he was kicked off at that time, lets his blond angelic bells fly and bristles with health and discipline. In general, Megadeth is the band with the best hair. All in all, the men are well preserved. Are they really all three feet tall? Is there a weight bench in heaven? The guitars with which they produce a music that in the end must sound as if they had been blown off with the battle ax look almost fragile in their muscle arms. The discrepancy between the force of the sound and the fineness of its production, between the demanding artistry and the dull moisture of the audience: these are aesthetics of reception aesthetics, which can only be resolved halfway if one learns to understand the often impressive belly of the listener as a sound box who wants to be entertained with a lot of beer.
Also Slayer could have a say here, at least the two guitarists. Kerry King now has neck pleats that he can use as a CD shelf; Jeff Hanneman hides under tent-like sportswear. But that corresponds with her job, acid-solinating solos alternating with exactly the kind of beating that gave the genre its name. Of course, it’s always good when the rhythm section is in the hands of Latin Americans: What Chilean Tom Araya and Cuban Dave Lombardo do there is what you call “submit” to sports competitions to dupe the ensuing competition.
A greeting to the colleagues
So it happens that Lars Ulrich from the much more famous and richer band Metallica, which of course may play as the last and the longest, from the beginning behind jerked and his game comparatively sloppy. Slayer as pacemaker, as the standard of all others, which can not be surpassed because Lombardo is not a human in the narrower sense, but a multi-armed Indian deity. If that seduces Metallica to try to play their pieces not twice but three times as fast as on a record, then Slayers have won, but so have the listeners: almost all the tough exploits of the 80’s before Metallicas did so recently It all began when he was happy to catch a crash, which was even worse when he first looked like a rise, because now the bearers of rimless glasses also liked their ballads.
Even on such an evening you can not get around “Nothing Else Matters” or the popular lullaby “Enter Sandman” unfortunately. But this is just part of a punch line. The piece that Metallica dedicates to the three other bands in celebration of the event also comes from this unfortunate “Black Album”, which was used in 1991 to say goodbye to the thrashing fellows in the direction of commercial broad success, to now, a few crashes and reinventions later to stand in front of everyone else. It was called “Sad but true”. That sounds like an “Etch” when you take guitars for it.
Academic interest in subcultures and their laws has increased exponentially in recent years. There are various reasons for this: On the one hand, active participants in these subcultures study cultural studies and always introduce their own subcultural convictions in the seminars, on the other hand cultural studies have long since turned to everyday culture. Approaches of European ethnology (formerly known as folklore) also come into play – one could call the interest in heavy metal, its history and the infrastructures of the scene in question, in short as an anthropological approach.
The existing potential for conflict that accompanies research on these topics is an integral part of the methodology. Participants of the subculture sometimes respond with pique to attempts by the academic landscape to explore their staked territories. With clubs of self-sufficiency, they engage the curious sociologists and cultural scientists and point to the ‘law of the road’: if you are not one of our own, you have nothing to do with us. Metal Research takes on this challenge by carefully approaching this negative reaction and, above all, by addressing the link between subcultural participation and academic distance. In sociology one speaks of “participatory observation” and the action research offers some starting points, at the same time involved in a cognitive process and to be uninvolved. Of course, the best Metal songs make even more fun live at one of the many festivals, especially as many bands and artists get together there and the mood of the crowd is in a great mood. So if you are one of the headbangers and like listening to loud and rocking music, you will find a lot of classics and, also in this genre, some songs with rather soft tones, but thanks to the matching riffs and breaks they still belong to Metal, yes this one even expand decisively.
The British band was founded 40 years ago – because an entrepreneur invested money. They invented heavy metal and gave the world the most popular riff in rock history with “Smoke on the Water”. Now Deep Purple is still playing as a business model. Even for Russia’s president.
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Anyone who has not yet lost faith in rock music must now be very strong: on the night of February 12, 2008, “Smoke On The Water” shook the Moscow Kremlin, but this time at the express wish of the dignitaries present. With Deep Purple as a band, Gazprom celebrated its 15th anniversary. Most notable headbanger: Dmitiri Medvedev as head of the supervisory board and Crown Prince Vladimir Putin, he claims to have an extensive collection of classic hard rock records from Black Sabbath to Led Zeppelin.
In this noisy Trinity, Deep Purple is usually considered the mother of all metallurgist metallurgists. And even the founding myth, 40 years before the Gazprom gala, disenchanted itself. It was not that in a London cellar, a horde of untrue outsiders had met for riot, and that this would have been understood by like-minded people worldwide as music.
In the beginning they were called Roundabout
At some point in the legendary pop fiscal year of 1967, textile wholesaler Tony Edwards decided to invest in rock music. He first engaged the advertising specialist John Coletta. Then he commissioned the studied musician Jon Lord, together with Chris Curtis of the Searchers to form a band. Already in February 1968, the group reported roundabout execution.
How someone fell for a band name like “roundabout” in the pioneering days of rock music is no longer to be determined today. It is certain that on April 20, Roundabout in Tastrup, Denmark, rejected the honorable name Concrete God and stepped onto the stage as Deep Purple. The band later admitted to themselves that Deep Purple by no means refers to LSD. But on the hit “When The Deep Purple Falls”.
Shortly thereafter, “Shades Of Deep Purple” released a lighthearted version of the Joe South hit “Hush,” a rapturous “Help” by The Beatles, and “Hey Joe,” known in the Jimi Hendrix version, with a bolero organ , In October 1968, immediately refilled: “The Book Of Taliesyn” bribed in “exposure” by a Beatles Beethoven Deep Purple monotony and the fugato of a string quartet in “Anthem”. At that time it was still unclear whether pop songs, blues rock or so-called progressive rock could be sold better. Just released were The Nice “Ars Longa Vita Brevis”, and Led Zeppelin tried their luck in America.
Today Deep Purple owes the worship as the mother of all heavy metal to the happy fifth year after 1970. Although the members were due to their contractual obligations to the entrepreneur Tony Edwards never as wealthy as their former competitors. But the album trilogy “In Rock”, “Fireball” and “Machine Head” has established a reputation that today can be ruined by a concert in the Kremlin.
G, B, C and the reef is done
The impudence, not even 30 years old, to perpetuate in stone on “In Rock” carved in stone. The Guinness book entry as the loudest band. And the marriage of a band with a symphony orchestra, which does not even seem silly for a brief moment. Especially as Ian Gillan in “Concerto” equal to the critics chanted against: “What shall I do, when they stand smiling at me. Look at the floor, and oh so cool. Oh, so cool. “That was actually the subject of classical rock, in the sense of the time, done.
Classical rock today means neither Nu- nor Hair-Metal, but the radium of the 1970s that underlies this kind of music. In retrospect, Jon Lord, a distinguished academic, has lost the duel against Ritchie Blackmore, who came from rock ‘n’ roll. Hammond organ against Fender Stratocaster. The music heritage of Europe against a perceived as a cleansing thunderstorm. That’s why the band’s cultural performance, with all the virtuosity of “April” or “Highway Star,” is expressed in Ritchie Blackmore’s so uplifting, mind-numbing leitmotif for “Smoke On The Water.” In G, B, C! G, B, C sharp-C! G, B, C. B, G.
The most popular of all Rockriffs was recorded in December 1971. It had a working title, “Drrr, Drrr, Drrr”, but still no text for Ian Gillan. While the band struggled in side rooms of the casino of Montreux, Frank Zappa gave a concert in the hall. They still do not know why the fire broke out – in Deep Purples song someone shot someone with a signal pistol – at least the world owes the incident “Smoke On The Water”.
“Smoke On The Water” on the crumbhorn
Since then no Deep Purple evening takes place without the classic. There are explicit prohibitions in guitar stores to use the reef to test an instrument. Last summer, Gotthilf Fischer ensured that Deep Purple was once again included in the Guinness Book: 1802 guitarists under Fischer’s direction simultaneously played “Smoke On The Water” in Leinfelden-Echterdingen.
Ritchie Blackmore has left Deep Purple more often. In 1975 he founded Rainbow, in 1984 he returns and went again on 17 November 1993, probably final. Since then, he has been entertaining Blackmore’s Night with his avowed muse, Candice Night, a sort of Yoko Ono of guitar rock. A nostalgic project that devotes itself to the slope of heavy metal to the occult and obscure, making it sound like in the Middle Ages.
Even “Smoke On The Water” is occasionally blown on Krummhörnern. “An intro like this has something very majestic,” says Ritchie Blackmore. “Almost like a composition of the Renaissance”. And there’s no doubt that Blackmore is right.
The dispute is still there
For 23 years, Deep Purple seems somehow damned to travel around as a landmark. Maybe the casting-like start-up procedure from 1968 will take its revenge. Maybe they’ll enjoy it. It requires the whole specialist to list without gaps the changing occupations of the group. From Mark I to VII.
In Wikipedia, someone has constructed a bar chart of the 14 temporary members over the time coordinate. This is how Deep Purple looks today like a band that has come up with the “Focus”. And so the “Süddeutsche Zeitung” headlines ten years ago, on the 30th: “That’s when the pacemakers beat higher!”
After all, the productive quarrelsome attitude of the early years does not seem to have been lost in total harmony. Anyway, Steve Morse, the rock-solid representative of Ritchie Blackmore, recently said, “To drive a fast car, you need a dangerous fuel. But we now know that we can not smoke while refueling, otherwise the shop will be flying around our ears. “However, Gazprom has nothing to do with it.