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Friday, 26 November 2010

Being a mentalist

One of my favourite television programmes is Criminal Minds. For those of you not familiar with the wondrous American product, it's about a group of criminal profilers in the FBI who study human behaviour to solve crimes whilst all being painfully good looking and with an inexplicable ability to endanger themselves at the end of every series. The one beef I have with the phenomenal televisual treat is that they really fucking hate metal.

From Twisted Sister to Marilyn Manson, society (specifically those in the USA who watch Fox News) has blamed metal music for ritualistic killings, high school massacres, suicides; I'm surprised Limp Bizkit's Break Stuff hasn't been blamed for inciting the attack on the Twin Towers. We as the metal community have come to expect it. But watching season three of Criminal Minds was just extraordinary.

Case in point 1: A child in one episode has a penchant for violent video games (which are of course the other cause of all rapes and acts of grand larceny) and at aged 13, is suspected of getting an inappropriate hold of his 8-year-old female cousin. When surly profiler asks soon-to-be-found-out-paedo dad what his son does, he replies "I don't know; he just sits in his room listening to that 'metal' music all day", before throwing his hands up in despair. At 13, I was listening to a lot of punk and heavy rock, the likes of Therapy? and Faith No More and to my knowledge, never got my fiddle on with any younglings.

Case in point 2: Some nutter on a gun-toting rampage has his room searched by our voluptuous protagonists and hang on, what's that? A Metallica poster on the wall? And he's got long hair? Of COURSE he has! Because after all, if you haven't listened to Kill 'Em All and proceeded to stab your granny you simply ain't metulz. And the miscellaneous hardcore/power violence playing in the background when they capture him? Inspired.

There is aggression within metal, that's indisputable. The intensely heavy, crushing power of a Dimebag riff will set most metallers on a rampage BUT 99% of us keep it in the pit. We'll all had a massive tear up with a bloke three times our size in a circle pit, only to cast arms around each other and engage in a massively heteromosexual embrace as soon as the song ends. Personally, I'd be more likely to brutally murder a tramp with a staplegun if I was forced to listen to the Westlife back catalogue than if I had Slayer on the ol' earphones.

It's fair to say I wouldn't play any Cannibal Corpse if my three-year old niece was round but It's not because I think it would make her smash my face in with her In The Night Garden rucksack. I also wouldn't play 2Pac's Hit 'Em Up or Scooter's Move Your Ass. It's simply because I don't think she'd like it. I wouldn't let her look at the Tomb Of The Mutilated album cover but I also wouldn't let her watch Zoo Vets (operations and things, you see). I also wouldn't watch Hostel with my parents, This Is Spinal Tapp with my trendy Ralph Lauren-wearing mates or lesbian porn with the wife.

I would love, just once, to see a serial killer in a film dressed like Russell Brand with a bedroom covered in Lady Gaga posters. I've been listening to heavy music in some form or other for a couple of decades now, as have numerous friends of mine. None of us are fucked up, as much as we'd like to think we are to be cool, none of us have killed a prostitute and none of us masturbate into a bucket of our own shit before setting fire to pigeons. Quite simply, listening to metal isn't just for crazies.

So Criminal Minds, ease off us lot and go for the indie kids in season 6, yes?

I'm off to cry in the darkness.


Friday, 12 November 2010

Getting Creative. Or not.

I don't have an iPod. Not for any particular anti-Apple agenda; in fact, it's fair to say it's one of the most important technology organisations of our generation. I just happen to have a Creative Zen instead which to me, is a perfectly adequate bit of kit. Until this week, when the fucking bastarding shitter decided to format itself and delete 28Gb of musical wonderment. 6,000-odd tunes down the pan. And being a special type of spastic, nothing had been backed up. Yes, yes, I know. Just leave it.

There is one small reason as to why I haven't gone on some kind of murderous rampage yet, and that's mainly due to the fact that I'm an old fashioned motherfucker so still have all my CDs, and thanks to the awesome nature of Metal Blade and Earache's distribution channels, still have access to a boat load of their material. I've lost some absolute beauties but it could be a lot worse. Now if someone would care to donate anything to the Get MADman A 160Gb iPod Fund I would greatly appreciate it.

Anyway, shit happens. What happens that isn't shit is Devildriver working on their new album Beast, which is coming our way in February (or thereabouts). I get as excited about new Devildriver album releases as I do about birthdays (not quite old enough to dread birthdays yet) and I'm hoping they continue to build on the monumentally huge Pray For Villains and The Last Kind Words. I'm going to miss their tour with 36 Crazyfists this year but the prospect of a new album tour in 2011 gives me a heroic pants missile.

The countdown to the Top Ten of 2011 is well underway so watch out for that in December - I'm not sure of the exact date as I tend to spend around 85% of the month drunk so bear with me...

Love you long time