Archive | December 2013

Daily Prompt: You’re a Winner!

Well if I won a billion tax free dollars in the lottery I of course would go on a spending spree. I would buy a corvette and a house with a garage. I would invest my money so it is just not collecting dust. As a billionaire I would definitely help in my community. I would start with those close to me and where I work. Every one I know with kids would get 20,000 for each kid to go to college. I would give my friends and coworkers 10,000 to help them with bills. I would buy houses to rent out to select friends at a minimal cost to cover taxes. I would open my own retirement community and treat my employees fairly, offering decent wages and benefits. I would support my husbands business by getting the equipment and music he needs to have a successful radio show and website. I would donate a million dollars or more to the public schools in my community to purchase equipment and supplies for the kids. I would donate to La Clinica to provide free health care to poor kids. I would donate a good portion to helping in my community for parks and recreation, emergency help for displaced families, to schools, and other youth centered organizations. There is so much you can do with a billion dollars.


What is Heavy Metal?

After reading several articles on heavy metal music, starting with Wikipedia of course. My poking around the internet lead me to others who created whole websites like hardradio, nolifetilmetal and metalinjection. Someone from Princeton University even wrote a paper on it. I was amazed at the plethora of information out there from history to psychology to science and math. I was interested in how and why did this kind of music was created. What exactly constitutes heavy metal and what bands made it popular. Do I like any of those bands? Actually there are a lot of them that I know, and have always liked I just did not class them as heavy metal. Maybe hard rock, but not that obnoxious noise. Which is a completely different genre of heavy metal. Who’s playing today and is heavy metal still popular or is it just a dying breed? I found the answers to these questions and more. . . . . .

Heavy metal music was not at first embraced by Americans. Society and the media did not know what to make of the fast pasted electric guitar riffs that were being played. You all know Jimmie Hendrix, some one who definitely thought outside the box, brought this new sound to Woodstock. It was over in the UK that this kind of music was really taking hold. From an article I read called the Cultural Influences of British Heavy Metal, life was particularly hard and heavy metal was played in working mans clubs. It was a more aggressive and serious sound with lyrics expressing the feeling of the time. Black Sabbath was born and spawned the evolution of heavy metal in Britain and then in America. Many other bands also emerged spread across Europe. Political pressure, dissatisfaction with government and the Vietnam War influenced the direction of heavy metal. America’s younger generation was influenced by this music because they could relate to it. The music expressed similar dissatisfaction and unrest in society.

So What exactly constitutes heavy metal? My first thought is really loud music with screaming lyrics, lots of guitars and lots of drums. That does sum it up but there is more to it that. There is electric guitars that use distortion and feedback, heavy riffs and power chords. Drums have heavy fast beats called slam beats and vocals are gritty with everyone amplified. Heavy metal can trace its family tree to blues and psychedelic rock married together with the invention of the electric guitar and amplifier. Musicians experimented with feedback, distortion and studio effects to enhance their music. (This is where science and math comes in). The next challenge was to play as fast as possible with more complex song structures. That is something I can appreciate about heavy metal music.  

Why Heavy Metal? Isn’t It Just a Bunch of Noise?

 Music has a long and rich history that reaches back to the beginning of humanity. That is thousands of years worth of sounds and rhythms that has evolved into the music of today. For each era, musicians use, build upon the current music, and then add in their own ideas to create a new music style, or genre, is born. Heavy metal is one such genre that was born from blues rock and psychedelic rock, experimenting with these sounds and amplification. It has been one of the longest lasting genre. First known to most as hard blues rock, heavy metal has grown more distinct and influenced the emergence of new sub-genres and sub-cultures across the world. Heavy metal is often misunderstood due to the extra loud amplification, distorted sounds and dramatic vocals with dark and angry lyrics. I myself have judged heavy metal for years as just obnoxious screaming played way too loud. It is far from anything I normally listen to.

Why then would I choose to study the history of heavy metal? When I myself don’t like the music. Isn’t it just a bunch of noise. I prefer songs I can understand otherwise I cannot connect to the music. In this case it is not the music I want to connect with, There is some one more important that I want to connect with and that is my husband. He has a radio show featuring what else. . . . heavy metal. I have been supportive of his dream but felt no real connection to what he was doing. I hope by understanding the history, technical development and cultural influences world wide, that I may find something about heavy metal to like. Perhaps even grow to appreciate the music my husband loves and that I have been tuning out for years. I love him and our son very much.

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