V/A | Female Fronted Heavy Metal: 1976-1989

femalemetalcover-valilisa

So I wrote a few reviews of internet mixtapes some of which after they weren’t available for download anymore. Who knows why I do things? Well, here is a massive multi-volume offering that as of this writing you can actually hear for yourself.

I argue this project is actually more essential than the one that inspired it: Kangnave’s Reference of Female Fronted Punk. (Also amazingly still available, but get on it quick if you haven’t.) Punk is hardly gender-balanced performer-wise, but much more so than Metal, and besides, there’s nothing conceptually about Punk to exclude women, where Metal is commonly seen as realm of the Manly Man and/or the Womanly Man. Often the female voice, when present, is in the form of a backup singer who isn’t even in the band. Recently, we’ve seen Female-led Metal bands like Arch Enemy become hugely successful (in Europe), but it’s important to remember they’ve existed almost since the birth of the genre.

Over a period of a few years (2010-13) the Female Fronted Heavy Metal blogspot added volume after volume to the series, reaching 15 in all. It seems safe to say the project is complete. I’m not sure if it’s fully exhausted every single example because I’m not prepared to do dig further than guy has (it was a guy), but looking for full albums by some of these bands I really like will be work enough for me.

I’m tempted to run down all my favorites but I’ll be here all night. And what’s the point? You’ll find a lot to like yourself, if what you like is Metal. I’m mostly interested in the Japanese bands, I think none of which I had heard of before. Guy’s crawling all-Japanese message boards to find these. There’s even a Korean band. (Only a handful of the American bands were familiar to me: Leather, Bitch, Crisis, 45 Grave, Warlock/Doro, Girlschool, and of course, Heart.) I have mostly gone for stuff from the 90s and later in my general Metal listening (except for the big obvious bands), but the genre gets murky or extreme (if you go for the latter, highly recommend the Hymns to the Dead Goddess podcast). A lot of this old stuff is pretty good. If you’re a fan of the Fenriz mixes, or you’re just…old, you know there’s a lot of good, obscure stuff from the era. (There may even be some overlap.) But some of these bands are really forgotten. Some of the people in these bands probably forgot. This is a public service right here.

The sound quality is decent until disc 8. It’s not all lo-fi after that, but there’s some deep, deep cuts. Vinyl and cassette rips, some warped, some live bootlegs of bands probably formerly only rumored to have existed. Rehearsal tapes? There really should be a book.

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Numerical Notation: A Minor Threat

Minor_Threat_-_Out_of_Step Hoo boy. Year of the Sheep, right? Some people only seem to notice when it’s a “cool” animal like a dragon or a snake. We have a name for these people: DILETTANTES. There’s nothing cool about sheep, except this Minor Threat cover, so get used to seeing that I guess. But wait, it’s the Year of the Ram, isn’t it? Rams are cool. What with the head-butting and…that’s it. It’s enough. Give rams a chance. Or goats, who cares.

But I’m not here to review Minor Threat. Or talk about astrology. I’ve listened to enough Minor Threat for a lifetime (since I bought the Complete Discography on CD, in 2006) and it’s unlikely to make it back in rotation, unlike the Chinese Zodiac which repeats every twelve years…of course.

Forget all this happened.

Shit, that’s still the title isn’t it. Look, I’m gonna explain.

I’ve made a system of numerical notation. I call it Numerical Notation. The notes of the chromatic scale are given the number 0-11, starting with A.

In this system, if you care about the Modes (which you should, if you care about why there is a lettered system) the Aeolian mode, or A Minor, is the base scale, not C Major(the Ionian). It’s debatable that A Minor was historically, originally the more important. I think it sounds better. That’s not important. The important thing is to make this a non-vague point. Because I have noticed some other examples using notes for numbers starting with C as 0. I even said in earlier posts that you might as well do this if it makes more sense, but it doesn’t, in the big picture, and I’m gonna make the case that this is not some kind of arbitrary nerd bullshit dicking-around.

Here we are then with example one:

The sharp/flat system has been primarily designed for use in the major/minor system; when speaking modally, it’s a lotta look, to quote a famous fashion designer. All the flats and sharps tend to obscure the simplicity […] We need a different system of talking about melody. If C is assigned the number 0, C# the number 1, all the way up to B = 11, we can study the system numerically, and also universally, as any tonic can be assumed. Zero can just as easily be G#, or E. Also, since the tonic can never change by our definition, it’s not necessary to include it. Here’s an example to show what I’m talking about.

C Mixolydian is C D E F G A Bb C. If we assume that C = 0, and continue from there, then C Mixolydian can also be described as 0 2 4 5 7 9 10 12.

This post is excellent and you should read the whole thing. I should read the whole thing. The point is that here is someone making essentially the same point as me, naming the notes 0-11 (12=0), but starting with C. (Note that is doesn’t predate my initial posts.) Not saying he stole it, but I also said it was an “open source” idea, which is a pretty dumb way to talk because it is not a computer program. But I guess that can be interpreted as “feel free to steal this idea”. I was drinking a lot at the time. It’s not like you can patent this kind of thing anyway.

But let’s run with the open source concept and say he explained the idea better. I’m gonna bring it back around and explain why it’s easier for everyone if A=0.

But first(second), example two:

0-11_terpstravid

This is from a video that goes on to explain a new type of keyboard layout for an experimental instrument called a Terpestra. Now this is the kind of thing you can patent and even sell. Good luck to him. Again, not saying he stole the idea. Even if he did, can you really expect drop-in citations in a video like this? It’s not relevant who came up with each idea in this kind of presentation. It’s also kind of an obvious idea once it’s out there. Not as obvious as starting with 1 tho.

But it’s about to get even more obvious. Check this out:

A a# B C c# D d# E F f# G g#

 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

C c# D d# E F f# G g# A a# B

Which one of these makes more sense? You might still pick C if you are already trained in music, but how would you explain that to a student? The letters and numbers should be going in the same direction. It’s intuitive.

If you never start, you can never branch out into other things, like the higher concepts these other guys are talking about and the simplest way is the best way to start.

So while you are thinking about all this, here’s a video of GWAR covering the Pet Shop Boys:

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Recent Projects

My 2014 Year End post did not really cut it as far as things I’ve been working on. It also included about a dozen things I plan on not doing again: running jokes that have stopped running, and were barely jokes to begin with; injokes that I am the only one in on; unreferrable references. And so forth.

Why don’t I not be an asshole for a minute and clue you in on some stuff. Because I forgot myself. So how are you supposed to remember these very important things?

This blog

Only four of the six categories on this blog are really active.

The current category you are reading is dead, but it dies a lot.

J-pop vs. Metal

Has it’s own site. It has always been an intermittent project. The major development this year in J-pop and Metal (perhaps) has been the rise of groups which do J-pop/Metal Fusion. I don’t have anything to do with that and I’m not really into it. There’s possibly a common ancestor to both these things, a mashup artist or group called Evil Morning. I posted one of their videos to MySpace back whenever when I was posting random stuff and I got a really positive response but it wasn’t what I was looking for, and I wasn’t trolling, I just thought it was cool and well-done, but the general feeling was, “wow someone took the two worst kinds of music and put it together to make something hilarious.” So I started pairing the original Morning Musume videos with Metal videos I thought complemented them because I thought it was good music and it also made a funnier joke. This wildly unpopular series of bulletins expanded into what it is now: a wildly unpopular website.

RECORDS.

I just noticed I put the few reviews I did this under the wrong category, so I guess it’s good I checked.

[the list one]

Really, the year end list is the only thing I really need to do on this whole site.

[the music theory one]


Still going. Just noticed I’ve been working on this idea for 5 years. Almost coherent.

[the translation one]


Should get better.

Other blogs?

I am still (or should be) on lang-8, but spend most days on japaneseclass.jp, which has a blog feature I don’t use. Add me on both then never use them, why not.

The tumblrs

I pretty much only post to the the main one and the sidebar anymore. But in 2014, I ended one and started another (that never took off):

為替ダンピLング

This was created literally as a dumping ground for an enormous queue backlog, but intentionally created and ended on John Cage’s bday, Sept. 5th. and with 6 posts to a page for the sides of a die. The maddening associations (design or theme-wise) between posts on each page were meant to come about (or not) by chance operation. At some point I learned to predict and plan where each post would show up, which took a lot of time and defeated the dual purpose of eliminating the absurd queue and having more freedom to post whatever and see what happens. But in the end I could only control the top page for each day and since it ended finally, all of the posts after the first page are arranged due to chance process after all.

GIANT ROBOT LOUNGE APPRECIATION SOCIETY

This is actually a group blog that no one else has posted to. The posting link is only in the facebook recovery group for ex-Loungers, which is a real thing you should maybe be in already.

Also,


[Shonen Knife Wrote A Song About That]

Only a few recent posts when I could find something. Shonen Knife has written a lot of songs, but not so many to keep a tumblr of only reblogs going after 3 years. But they haven’t broken up yet.

Instagram

Has been my only photographic outlet lately which should be remedied. Only using an iPod Touch for everything has its pros and cons. Most of the pics, esp w/ filters look so bad blown up it’s almost funny.

Music

I recorded a few improv pieces but didn’t put anything out except this one for George Korein’s One Finger Piano project. Didn’t get enough people to make it an album, but maybe in the future. It was an interesting idea. Unlike recording under the name “Hakujin”.

I think I’m gonna not use italics anymore.

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