The Cave Olympics – Metal

metal-podium2

The Cave Olympics – Metal

Metal is not my thing, I like some of it but I am not in the club. I am not submerged in this murky subculture – I needed some help from metal heads I know in real life and in the blogging world.

To me- metal is a light and humorous distraction from my other music. I think of it as Van Halen and The Scorpions. (Cartoony with a flair for the over dramatic)

No!! To metal people this is not right.

Just like real drinkers like their liquor aged and neat. Real metal heads like their music black and evil with no touch of water …if you please and thank you.

There is the famous story of Robert Johnson selling his soul to the devil in order to play guitar like no one before him (the genesis of rock n roll). It may be myth but it fuels this whole thing. https://caveoffame.com/2013/02/20/the-devils-music/

On the other side we have stories of Black Sabbath painting rooms black and doing witchcraft…all while figuring out the small tonal shift on guitar that would forge a new evil sound.

They did not make just make a deal with the devil-they are invited over to the Lucifer Mansion for the Thursday night poker games!

Again-is this myth or reality-is this just for show or are we true believers-it really does not matter- it just matters that this “vibe of hell” is what the passionate of this genre like to blindly follow.

It is the zip in this trip.

So I give you my medal winners of this very scary genre of which I have a new found fear.

The Bronze- Opeth.Blackwater Park

Death Metal is to Sweden like those little funky knives with everything are to Switzerland. It is a factory for this music. And before a “speed metal” or “black metal” freak flames some angry comment about Opeth being really a “progressive metal band with a death metal start that kind of draw influences from everywhere.” Let me say that they are a “progressive metal band with a death metal start that kind of draw influences from everywhere.” And let me also say that the only thing scarier than metal music is any comment thread on a metal website-join in at your own risk!

The Silver-Metallica.Master of Puppets

The vocals are clean and the guitar is fast. You could call this a nice drinkable American blend. Thanks to http://1001albumsin10years.wordpress.com/ for this suggestion!

The Gold-Black Sabbath.Paranoid

There is no argument from metal lovers of all kinds that these guys are the original. I know the song Black Sabbath is considered the first example of the genre but I did want something a little lighter for the gold medal….you know something that is a hit and that the kids can dance to!

Thanks to :

http://mikeladano.com/

http://heavymetaloverload.com/

another couple of metal aficionadas that helped lead me to this gold.

And as always, Cheers from the cave!

Silversun Pickups.The Pit

Silversun Pickups with this song are psychotic-hypnotic-hipsterdisco-rock. Radiohead with a little sway; The Talking Heads from L.A instead of N.Y. This proves that Dave Letterman is still ice cool.

When I started doing this and all these great music bloggers were putting out a best of 2012 list-I had not listened to enough new music to join them- I am getting there and would throw this one on that list. (Yeah, a little late to the party but where are the plastic cups and I am good with whatever is in the keg, even if it is a little flat and warm by now, it still tastes great!)

5 perfect rock songs

"The moonlit knight" Genesis, Massey...
“The moonlit knight” Genesis, Massey Hall, Toronto, Oct. 1974 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you lived in some alien universe and happen to crash land your U.F.O in my back yard. I would make you a good cup of tea and play these 5 for you as prime examples of this thing called rock.

5. Yellow-Coldplay

Coldplay is like a quality lager….bright and satisfying. I don’t care if they have taken over the world; they are still producing a quality product that is very drinkable. This is a great song that music fans all over the world will crank up loud when it hits the radio or Pandora or iPod (whether they admit to it or not)

4. Cortez the Killer- Neil Young

My personal favorite is from “Live Rust” and this is a masterpiece. We know the story of Cortez and Montezuma. We know it as history but this track converts that historical angst to emotion. So many rock songs are about “women does man wrong” or “man does women wrong” – but this- Conquistador does a civilization wrong by removing it from the face of the earth is an elegant twist.

3. Go your own way- Fleetwood Mac

 Lindsey Buckingham is kind of underrated as a song writer and guitar player. Most songs about unrequited love are kind of depressing and bring you down. This one has a kick to it. Like soaking those cooked chicken wings of despair in a hot tangy buffalo sauce and taking a big bite.

 2. Smells like Teen Spirit- Nirvana

The timing on this makes it perfect.  In 1991 hip hop was taking over in a big way…Rock was stale- the charts were full of reheated leftovers and half-hearted efforts by big stars. Rock had lost its edge. This song was a kick to the balls that Rock Music needed in a big way. When you heard it…it knocked you over.

Just for fun kids-Let’s look at a couple reheats and stale artists from 1991 –

“Live and Let Die” Guns and Roses- really Axel and Slash? You had to cover this? You guys couldn’t find other ways to pay for all the hotel rooms you trashed…how about working at the hotel instead of this reheat?

Kiss- God gave Rock and Roll to you– Yes, he gave it to us to help us make sense of this world…he did not  mean for us to add water and boil a novelty song by Argent for a movie soundtrack so Gene Simmons could buy more jewelry for his girlfriends.

As far as the half hearted attempts go…Bryan Adams and Genesis (The “hey, let’s try to sound like Motown, only with weaker songs- Phil Collins version of Genesis…instead of the “hey, let’s be like Pink Floyd, only more theatrical and pretentious- Genesis with Peter Gabriel*”) both had multiple hits that year.

My apologies to Metallica as Enter Sandman was released this same year…I won’t call it perfect but I would not argue against it.

1. Hotel California- The Eagles

Is this about heaven or hell or drugs or being seduced by desert women? I don’t know- but book me a room here.  It’s full of references to some kind of unavoidable trap that we all fall for even though we should know better. This took the Eagles from country rock to cool as a fresh breaker from the Pacific Ocean. Joe Walsh added just enough to put this over the top. This is what a title track and an album cover should be. Rock songs should take you somewhere- give your brain a bit of a work over and let you find your own way back.  Perfect.

*Disclaimer- I love Peter Gabriel…The New Blood show of 2011 is the single best concert I ever attended!