Metal With Melody

My latest obsession is VH1 Classic’s   THAT METAL SHOW, in which three, New Yorker Metal Head Journalists and comedians, host a Metal talk show and banter about hard rock trivia. I like the show’s shaggy approach. The hosts are likable guys.

I get about eighty percent of what they’re talking about. I’ve always been a music buff. I like reading Rock Star biographies and books about rock culture. There are some bands I’ve only read about, but haven’t heard. I’m not so familiar with lots of the older Metal – Deep Purple, Saxon, Iron Maiden (though I loved all of their rock-horror Evil Eddie-the-head art), and even Judas Priest (though Breaking the Law managed to work its way into popular culture thanks to Beavis & Butthead). I’m good with Black Sabbath and AC/DC. Same with most of the hair Metal 80s stuff. Same with some of the subgenre stuff – industrial rock, death Metal.

(Ed The Head – Iconic Metal art.)

I don’t dig most of the atonal thrash stuff. Some guitar riffs really stand out, but musically things are focused on being heavy and the vocals suffer. Grunts and growls suffice. Melody is either accidental or perpetrated by true artistry, but not necessary. Most Metal heads don’t care. They lock into a heavy groove and rawk it. I understand, but thanks to those Beatles, the bar has been set. Some Metal just falls short.

Michelle and I have been to a number of hardcore concerts over the years, from when were young romantics in black up until just a couple of years ago. We’ve seen everything from Gwar to Marilyn Manson to Korn. We even saw Blue Oyster Cult (at a fair ground no less).

(Gwar – The Scumdogs of The Universe sound as good as they look!)

At some of these concerts (when we were young), we got pretty physical – shoved up against the stage, chaos erupting behind us in an explosion of mosh pits and leaning masses. Sweat mingles. Bruises develop. It was an exhilarating time, Loyal Reader.

We don’t go to live music much as of late. The last few shows we caught were mellow affairs. Martini bar type settings with table seating and say…I don’t know…someone like Matthew Sweet (we saw him in San Francisco at The Boom-Boom Room) rocking to the politely drinking room of thirty-something hipsters. A very different vibe, huh?

I prefer the grit and grime of a relentless punk show, but I’m too old for that stuff. Those bruises don’t heal so fast. I can’t shake off an accidental boot to the head like I used to.

But we have THAT METAL SHOW. We can relive our fiery youths through spirited conversation with the rockers who helped make it all possible. It’s interesting, it fuels my pop trivia fire. It’s cathartic.

Eddie Trunk, Jim Florentine, and Don Jamieson, are well-versed in the ways of Metal. Their inner fourteen-year-olds are strong. More importantly, they can carry a show. They make Metal sing.

I’m gonna watch tonight’s new episode right now…

Here’s Steven Adler on an earlier episode…


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