Volume 95, Issue 78

Wednesday, February 20, 2002
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Exotic and tasty eats at the Village Cafe

Plethora of influences creates distinct Blend

An ode to metal-heads

Willie one lonely Manchu at the Forever Cafe

Musicians against suicide

An ode to metal-heads

Molly Pop
Molly Duignan
A&E Editor

It's easy to jump on the popular music bandwagon when you're surrounded by popular music.

But, those who go against what is "popular" to find their own genre of music are the people I admire. Thus, I have the utmost respect for metal-heads.

It's hard to love something society hates. In virtually every public medium, we are encouraged to stick with the musical "norm" defined by television, radio and print media.

It isn't fair that the majority of music television and radio airtime is dedicated to re-broadcasting what is already popular, while entertainment sections in newspapers and magazines use their ink to inform the public of what they already know, instead of enlightening readers with alternatives.

Pop music is everywhere, but heavy metal is noticeably absent.

Oh metal-heads, where do you fit in among the pre-teen consumer culture? R&B, pop and even "alternative" rock can be seen and heard without complaint from metal fans, but what would happen if Slayer were slipped into the popular mix?

Though the metal-heads would surely be satisfied, chances are the rest of us would complain. While metal-heads constantly tolerate the interests of others, do "we" respect the interests of "them"?

Obviously not.

The fact that I can barely list available metal outlets available to the average Londoner other than Much LOUD or CHRW 94.7 FM's metal shows is proof there aren't many vehicles to promote metal music.

It would be unfair and ignorant to write metal music off as "better" or "worse" than other music. Instead, it is different. Hybrid metal fusions of rap-metal are cop-outs, an attempt to popularize metal by making it something else.

So why isn't metal "cool?"

That's the problem – metal is cool. Isn't it "cooler" to be an individual and to formulate one's own tastes and preferences? Perhaps metal-heads are just a step a head of the naive "popular" music audience. Maybe they are keeping their music out of the spotlight to protect the genre from the consequences of popularization.

What would the world be like if there was no "mainstream"? Perhaps then Ani would take Britney's place as the new poster girl for popular culture. Perhaps individuality would become a trend in itself.

In the end, my respect for metal-heads may just be my own sudden epiphany. Regardless, I finally understand what that old adage means – what's popular isn't always right and what's right isn't always popular.

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