Monday, November 27, 2006

For those about to rock

I was never a metal girl. The closest I ever got was having a friend in year 9 who was a self proclaimed metal chick. She wore a lot of black, not that that means anything - I wore a lot of black too. Though, she also wore leather cuffs with studs on them and black lipstick. She also drew the tattoos she was going to get when she was 18 in pen up her arm. Bingo. She was really nice but I have no idea why she was friends with me. We were very different - friendship clique wise. I mean, I think I wore a scunchie in my hair back then and maybe I chewed gum in class once in a while but that was IT.

Anyway, the point is that when I went to see Metal: A Headbanger's Journey at The Kino the other night I was not quite expecting to be as enthralled as I was. It was the music fandom that drew me in. If you are a fan of music of any genre you must see this documentary. I insist. Probably the closest idea of metal I have is watching Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure a million times as a teen, but despite this shortcoming I almost wet my pants in glee while watching the doco - I just got it.

Basically the movie takes an anthropological and sociological approach to the history of Heavy Metal music: Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, Death Metal, Thrash Metal etc. If it had guitars in it and one of the lead singers had scraggly hair, then you can bet it was mentioned in this documentary. Sam Dunn, the writer and director was something that only a true fan could be thorough and passionate. I loved the charts and the interviews and the journey he took the audience on - from the UK to the US and of course to Norway - home of the most outrageous and threatening brand of death metal.

The whole thing got me thinking about where I stood on the metal family tree. I like and have liked many songs by bands that could be constituted as metal - Kittie, ACDC, Poison, Guns and Roses, Twisted Sister, Led Zeppelin, Alice Cooper, Black Sabbath, but somehow I have totally escaped being part of the subculture and being totally drawn in by the bands themselves. I mean, I was a Led Zep fan but that had nothing to do with metal..not for me anyway (and it's a matter for a later MM anyway, so I won't go on about that). Sam Dunn brings up the idea that if metal fever hasn't got you yet, you won't ever get it. I guess my interest in most of these bands were fleeting or superficial. Another thing Sam Dunn brought up was that the world of Heavy Metal is a twisted and complex web with many styles of music interacting with the genre of metal and creating new and interesting genres.

The part of metal that actually does interest me from a fan perspective is arguably not even metal anyway, and more 'hard rock'. Funnily enough I spent my teen years hating this band - unlike the rest of the population I might add. They did nothing for me at all. In fact I only started taking them remotely seriously only about 6 or 7 years ago. They are an Australian institution - legend...bogans. I'm talking ACDC. I was talking about the boys with bro a couple of weeks ago. Do you think that ACDC are bogans? I asked. Bro answered in true bro style Yeah, but they do bogan with style. I'm not quite sure what that means but there's something in it. Perhaps the difference between a hardcore bogan and a stylish bogan is talent. I don't know.

My choice for today's Musical Monday is a wonder. When I finally stopped hating ACDC I wondered what the hell took me so long to love them? And truly, it was this song that did it. I can't even remember what made me take notice in the first place but when I did, I felt it somewhere in the styled bogan part of me that might have been repressed for far too long or maybe it was a case of I was blind and now I see. Whatever it was, if you haven't sipped from the ACDC goblet yet I hope your cup overfloweth today and if you've already had your share then you'll already know what a goodie this is.

Back in Black - ACDC

And also, because I just can't resist. Here's one for any Aussies who were ever in school in the 70s/80s. It may be a long way to the top if you want to rock and roll, but if you're in school and in the know then it's obviously a long way to the shop if you want a sausage roll (or chiko roll - depending on what side of the tracks you were from).

It's a Long Way to the Top (if you want to Rock and Roll) - ACDC