Friday, April 14, 2006

Heavy Metal, Prog, Disco, Glam

Here in NYC, we have been without a Rock radio station since January and I'm starting to think it's just part of some bizarre movement to get the hippies off the air. I just can't believe we have no Rock station. I don't count Oldies and I can't even count Popunk ala Killers which our Pop station will play next to Rap and the new Country Pop showtunes of Disney fame. The sudden mainstream fascination with all things late '70s Punk ala The Ramones says to me, "anti-disco and hippies" as well. I wish more people knew that all of these forms of music share the same roots.

Let's talk about my rigid classical upbringing again, because it explains why I hear music in the ways that I do. It occured to me recently that the reason I can relate to Metal so well is because it's music that showcases musical proficiency, particularly on the guitar which is one of my favorite instruments (which I don't play). It seems natural that technical brilliance would lead to a form of Rock in which I get to hear an array of lofty musical ideas such as passing chords, common tones and for lack of a better term, "good" voice leadings. I also like aggression and loudness in music, all the things that I could get out of Punk except with a heavier sound. Punk is actually airy compared to Metal.

To me, Prog is just a less aggressive or jazzier form of the same musical head, although it scares me now to read in music magazines that Punk is merging with Prog, and the industry seems to prefer the Prog sound of Rush, not Peter Gabriel. Last I remember, Tom Sawyer, as much as I appreciate everything Neil Peart played on, was nowhere near as cool a song as In Your Eyes, but what say do I have against the whims of musical fashion? I guess Peter Gabriel is just too FUNKY for people who want those pesky hippie-disco elements out of the scene.

Disco is Funky Dance music. Ain't nothing wrong with that in my book--just don't call it Rock even though Disco Came Out of Rock. Disco Rock--OK, that actually exists, folks.

Glam then I guess is basically the element that helps bring Punk and Metal (or Punk Metal ala Anthrax, a band I love) into a form of rock that becomes more mainstream (Pop--that which Anthrax never did become). Thus, New Wave is the Pop version of Punk, and Glam Rock the Pop version of Metal. Do I like Glam? I do and I don't. Any time there's a downgrade in musical proficiency for the sake of the band's looks, I will have a hard time accepting, but if I have some time to digest what's going on, I might learn to like, even love it for what it is (and there's always RATT, an excellent glam metal band). But in the case of New Wave coming out of Punk, it was (generally) an upgrade, at least proficiency-wise (but not always - I mean, as much as I love New Order...).

I have no point with this post. I just like Metal and hope I stop getting reviews on Broadjam saying that my guitar sounds are too heavy. Too heavy--is that like perfumes being too sexy? Bring Rock back, damnit!!!