Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Metal hairspray and things your way

    It seems fitting that at this juncture (goodbe 2007, hello 2008) I find my musical tastes bending towards the old and the new. In my own weird way.

    First off: Hear N' Aid - Stars. Youtube the darn thing. I have the vid below, if you're too lazy to check it out.

    If you're not a fan of 80's heavy metal (or heavy metal in general) you won't appreciate this video. This is THE video. Dokken, Blue Oyster Cult, Queensrÿche, Yngwie, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, I'm running out of space, et cetera, et cetera. All the greats were there. It seems like a dream, witnessing a spectacle of the era's most formidable metal bands, massive hair and all, banding together for a worthy cause. Band Aid and USA For Africa might have been more popular, and would have ultimately earned more money (it IS a popularity contest, with stuff like this), I find this video to be ultimately more groundbreaking. Getting all these people together, with idiosyncrasies and mood swings more unstable than most high-strung celebrity performers, is nothing short of a miracle. My favorite parts are the ones with Halford (Judas Priest), Tate (Queensrÿche), Gillis (Night Ranger) and Lynch (Dokken). Halford and Tate's voices soar above everyone else's, and you can't help but feel the power their screams evoke (true to their style). Gillis' solo is absolutely amazing, and of course Lynch's was nothing short of the classic shredding he's known for. True greats, all of them.

    On the other side of the fence, I'm also listening to really, really new stuff. What's the twist? They're all from Jamendo, a music site where indie acts allow people to download their album, offer reviews, and even give reviews. All for free. If you like the band, you can give a donation to them, and Jamendo will make sure it gets to them. It's an amazing site, and I actually feel bad for not having discovered it sooner. The amount of talent in the indie scene can never be underestimated. Even Metallica went underground before they became famous (to their detriment). I'm not abandoning the sea that is mainstream, but I'm certainly keeping an eye out in these Jamendo waters for some pure unadulterated talent.

Links and video: