|Mood:||I’m a rocker. I’m rocking out.|
|Music:||The Runaways-Cherry Bomb|
My dearest Internets,
How are you? I am fine. Camp is a lot of fun and I am having the best summer!
Jk, but seriously, Internets, I am fine and most any summer camp (computer, horse, macramé knife-fighting)would be a lot of fun.
I have some links and commentary to share, but I wanted to catch up on those New Year’s resolutions we talked about last time. How are you doing with yours? Mine are off to a decent start. I actually exercised for the first time since surgery yesterday. It was a short, mega-freezing walk, but it felt good to be outside again. And I took the bus this morning! Hooray pub transpo sys! It was hard to wake up on time after so long, but I think this whole bus thing is going to work out, y’know? That’s about all I’ve got so far. I need to find some way to cata-blog all of these New Year’s achievements…perhaps a Blog, Sweet Blog achievement toteboard? Is that too much? Too crazy?
In other news, I seem to have arrived at a strange confluence of heavy music news and links and I want to share them with you all, of course.
-The Runaways are awesome (and will cut you if you don’t watch it) and they’re making a sort of borderline-horrible movie about them. I think it’s because I’m getting more old and crotchety by the hour, but I kind of hate the way they cut movie trailers these days. Like, either they make four different trailers that make a movie seem like it’s a wacky comedy, a crime thriller, a documentary on the British aristocracy, and an adorable romantic comedy. Or, in the case of this trailer, they make it seem like The Runaways invented polio and then cured it. They’re certainly important and awesome, but yeesh, enough with the “in a world” gravitas already.
-Yesterday, Little Big John John Johnny Cakes told me about Hideous Gnosis: A Black Metal Theory Symposium and I had thoughts about things. I replied to him, thusly…
I’m not really sure what to make of the Black Metal Symposium. My first impulse is, “if academics are studying it, it’s time to get out.” The academics could just be highly educated fans, but the idea of shining the light on a form of expression that, by its very nature, defies analysis and rejects exposure, seems kind of ridiculous. And why not other metal subgenres? There are thematic connections and a great deal of overlap between black metal and doom, death, viking/pagan, etc. I think the answer is that black metal is really popular right now and has become a shorthand buzzword for people to latch onto. Speaking of, there’s a documentary coming out about two of the major/most controversial BM artists from Norway. I heard an interview with the filmmakers, but it left me feeling like people are way too interested in black metal at the moment.
I do have one quick comment though. Phrases like, “Representing textual significance as a plenitude…” put me on the lookout for further academic douchebaggery. I’m not a liberal-arts academic, but I am somewhat familiar with academic papers on electrical/communications engineering. Maybe it’s a cultural difference, but it seems like I almost never encounter language like that in the scholarly papers of my field. It seems like we try to write as simply as possible and let the data and figures speak for themselves. It seems like I see a lot of overwrought, near-baroque word usage in artist’s statements too and they always make me feel like they’re just having a laugh. But, as I said, this could be a cultural difference and an encouraged form of academic expression within the liberal arts academic community.
Regardless of my eventual opinion on the merits of the symposium, I think it’s great that outsiders and metal fans are talking about music that I love.
–“Until the Light Takes Us’ is that documentary I was talking about above. It’s playing at Starz on January 29th, hooray! I listened to an interview with the filmmakers on The Sound of Young America podcast a while ago and, let’s just say, the filmmakers did not inspire me to see their film. They started off the interview by saying they weren’t fans of black metal and only got into it via the owner of Aquarius Records (a tiny wonder of an amazing record store in San Francisco). I think that’s +1 to the theory that black metal has attained some unexplained, hipster cachet these days.
That statement also gave me pause because I think the quality of documentaries has really gone down over the past five or ten years. It seems like I’ve seen a lot of pointless, haphazard documentaries over the past year (We Jam Econo, Helvetica, Beautiful Losers). I think there are too many documentary filmmakers flooding my movie screens with mediocrity. I’m going to see the movie, but it seems far from the documentary I was hoping for.
-Also, apparently, there are death metal roosters…
-Deathklok is still really funny/brutal…
Best wishes and etc., your biggest fan,