April 24, 2006

"We are not all the Nokia-wielding people the government would like you to think we are."

A national identity crisis:
"Finns nearly choked on their cereal when they realized we were the face Finland would be showing to the world."

IN THE COMMENTS: Are heavy metal fans nerdy?

32 comments:

Icepick said...

Okay, what little of that I read made me nostalgic for my heavy metal days. I'd love to see Lordi and Thor (the 80's era metal guy, not the Norse god) on a double bill: one band blows up slabs of meat on stage, the other guy has slabs of concrete put on his chest and then the slabs get pulverized by a sledge hammer-wielding maniac.

I need to check and see if GWAR is coming to town anytime soon.....

Jennifer said...

"If Lordi wins Eurovision, I am leaving the country."

I love it! This threat is so universal.

Hopefully no one from the press corps will threaten to kill themselves.

Troy said...

That reminds me of Conan O'Brien's visit to Finland this past winter -- a piece of television genius. Apparently every time Conan poked fun at the Finss they would inundate him with cards and letter and he is the spitting image of their 62-year old female President...

Conan story

CB said...

What is it about that part of the world? It's home to Bathory, Mayhem, Emperor, Darkthrone & the rest of the black metal bands--kind of like Florida is to the US.

I'm pretty sure nobody here (with the exception of icepick) has any idea what I'm talking about; see this Wikipedia entry

Uh oh, I see the article is disputed, and those folks don't usually settle disputes using words.

Jennifer said...

Heh, heh. You're right, CB. I have no idea what you're talking about. But, I love heavy metal fans. You mention a song or a band and they always say "No, no, that's speed metal." Mention another and it's "No, no, that's thrash metal."

The categories are so many and so precise. Such organization is so the antithesis of what you would associate with the heavy metal fan.

Tibore said...

"They have eight-foot retractable latex Satan wings, sing hits like "Chainsaw Buffet" and blow up slabs of smoking meat on stage."

Oh, man! I just found my new favorite band!

Word Verification: bungoy. No real joke there, it just sounds funny to me.

MadisonMan said...

Well, this band would certainly be interesting to watch. But what if the meat has prions in it?

Only one word can sum up my reaction to your posting this, Ann: kiitos

Art said...

Like the Finns haven't been laughing at us for "Queen" all these years.

Art said...

Correction to above post:
I meant to refer to "Kiss", not "Queen"

Icepick said...

CB, 15 or 20 years ago I would have known what you were talking about, but not these days. I just don't have the time or energy to keep up, so I stick with the old standards like Motorhead when I need my fix.

Jeremy said...

As he stuck out his tongue menacingly, his red demon eyes glaring, Lordi was surrounded by Kita, an alien-man-beast predator who plays flame-spitting drums inside a cage; Awa, a blood-splattered ghost who howls backup vocals; Ox, a zombie bull who plays bass; and Amen, a mummy in a rubber loincloth who plays guitar.

I like that the writer identifies the band as though they really were who they were pretending to be. e.g., as though Kita really was an alien-man-beast. Classic.

CB said...

Icepick,
Yeah, my musical knowledge ends about 8 or 10 years ago--it's way to hard to keep up. Your "15 or 20 years" comment made me do some calculating & I realized that, for example, Ride the Lightning came out twenty-two years ago--boy do I feel old.

Jennifer,
You're exactly right; heavy metal fans can be pretty nerdy.

Tibore said...

"The categories are so many and so precise. Such organization is so the antithesis of what you would associate with the heavy metal fan."

Yeah, I remember that too. Heck, I indulged in it myself, gotta admit. Then again, when you're deeply into it, classifying the varying "strains" (for lack of a better term) wasn't simply easy, it was practically reflexive. My friends back then could split hairs about a band's classification like that (snaps fingers)! To a (gosh, I hate to use this word when talking about Metal, but here goes) connoisseur, there's a gulf of difference between the classic early metal sound of a band like Black Sabbath, the blues-influenced sounds of Led Zeppelin, and the later, much heavier sounds of trash metal bands like Metallica and "progressive" metal groups like Queensryche (at least in the 80's, before Empire).It sounded obvious to us, to varying degrees, to separate them. After all, who (besides clueless music stores) would lump AC/DC, Van Halen, Scorpion, Slayer, Dio, and Kiss in the same category? To us, there were big differences.

That urge to classify also lead to some snobbery as well. Anyone remember Stewart from Beavis & Butthead? That Winger shirt said it all. (For the record, Winger is NOT metal. I don't care what anyone else says.)

Really, though, the uber-classification arguments were less the product of active intelligence, and more the result of random musing combined with pure stubborness (First guy: "Nuh uhhh, Metallica is sooo thrash metal". Second guy: "No way duude, they're totally speed metal". Stoner dude: "Aren't they the same thing?")

Besides, extreme classification is somewhat of a sport in all of music, not just metal. Go up to a fervent jazz fan and talk about "soft jazz" sometime. You may end up with a trumpet shoved up your (*****), but at least you'll see what I mean.

CB said...

OK, I was hoping it wouldn't come to this, but I have to set the record straight:

Fairly straightforward, but very heavy, metal from the 80s & early 90s, e.g., Metallica (at least up until Master of Puppets), Slayer, Megadeth, etc.: thrash metal

Very fast, very complex metal from the 90s, e.g., Carcass, Suffocation, Deicide, etc.: death metal

Scary satanic metal from Scandinavia: black metal.

Anything from the 70s & early 80s: dinosaur metal.

(just kidding about that last one. But, there is no such thing as "speed metal")

SippicanCottage said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kirk Parker said...

CB,

Regarding "that part of the world", have you ever heard of the Vikings, or Norse Mythology, or even Seasonal Affective Disorder. Me, I'd be surprised if they didn't lead the world in Death Metal et al. :-)

HaloJonesFan said...

Metal classification sounds like techno classification...er, excuse me, it's electronica. Or maybe "electronic".

Basically, thus: Every new artist has a distinctive style, but in this postmodern age the artist is unimportant--only the style matters. So you can't say "I like the stuff that Joe Jones does"; you say "I like post-euphoric coldwave candy-trance beatcore".

L. Ron Halfelven said...

This Is Spinal Lapp.

Elizabeth said...

What about when metal and electronica crossbreed? I'm still trying to pick out an iTunes genre for Frontline Assembly.

Halojonesfan--you have that right! Electronica is an eternally expanding set of genres.

SippicanCottage said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
CB said...

...You're so sadly neglected,
And often ignored,
A poor second to Belgium,
When going abroad.

Ann Althouse said...

Halo, Elizabeth: You need to have an encounter with Pandora.com.

Icepick said...

Priceless. I know they're thinking "dangerous," but all I can picture is Liberace.

Maybe they're trying to be dangerous, or maybe not. GWAR, who kind of pioneered this kind of over-the-top silliness (Yeah, they had many precursors, but none of them took it to the extreme that GWAR did), has complained about all of the bands that are doing this kind of show now. In the words of Oderus Orungus (lead vocals), "It's just making it that much harder for GWAR to look stupid."

CB said...

Elizabeth,
I would say F.L.A. is plain old industrial. It seems like "electronica" is a term that came up later.

Aspasia M. said...

My friend from Sweden says there is a whole subculture that's into country music.

The idea cracks me up: country music in Sweden.


Eventually you grow up, get tired of being in a big room filled with pimply little boys, and decide to put the rubber loincloth on Mrs Sippican instead. Big improvement. That's how she ended up a mummy too.

hmmm...I wonder what Mrs. Sippican has to say about this?
---

I love the scene from Spinal Tap with the Stonehenge decorations.

SippicanCottage said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Icepick said...

Speaking of Tap, did anyone else see them one tour supporting Break Like the Wind. Or did anyone see them when they played Carnegie Hall?

XWL said...

Speaking of Tap, did anyone else see them one tour supporting Break Like the Wind. Or did anyone see them when they played Carnegie Hall?

Yes, at a packed Universal Amphitheatre in Los Angeles.

Great Show.

So who's going to be downloading Eurovision highlights (lowlights more like) off the internet?

SippicanCottage said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Icepick said...

Somehow, X, I knew you would have seen Tap in concert. I guess it's just that we're of an age.

Jennifer said...

Ann - did you see that these guys won?

Ann Althouse said...

Yeah.