Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Any more music blogs Matt? (no more metal criticism from me and why)

Frank Zappa once said "writing about music is like farting about architecture"..In it that, there are incongrous aspects about criticism in which whether or not to regard music as an "subjective" entity. Its thoughts like these that lead me to not to review music anymore, and also have a near disdain for music criticism. It doesn't rule out possible music criticism in the future, but being who I am now means I have less of an urge to do so. Pretty much a 180 from a person that used to live to read both Rolling Stone and Metal Maniacs in his youth. Criticism and having 200 or so reviews on Amazon.com and a metal blog (Mattowarrior's Metal Madness) used to be an outlet for thoughts I have about music. But now they feel like a step backwards in my evolution. I don't feel like it serves people to put things into boxes, generalizations and classifications. Whether or not me liking some Bon Jovi songs for example, makes me "any less metal" than your average denim vested beer swilling longhair seems to me a trivial and pointless pursuit. There are more important things in the world for one! Fighting over things like how commercial one band is over an other seems to kind of get away from the point of listening to music, enjoyment. Not to take away from the passion or some of the lifestyle associated with genres and subgenres of music. But the self imposed subcultural pseudo tribalism which goes hand in hand with such things as metal have really come to a head in my life. 7 years ago I decided to cut my hair short, and to dress a bit differently than I was. It was damned if I do damned if I don't. I still wear metal shirts somewhat and have huge mutton chops which still makes me stand out amongst the abercrombie crowd. I still go to metal shows and play in a "metal" band. The pendulum at one time had swung to the other direction, where I had near hatred for being defined as metal, and I really wanted to venture out of it for good. I had had it with the negativity, elitism, and defensive pretentiousness associated with metal. Defensive pretentiousness meaning things like "the general masses don't like metal but oh, its influenced by classical music so its better than their shit" among other examples. And I was the one who was once screaming from the pulpit the most about these things. I have no need to convince people of why I like something anymore. If they're curious or if there is a need to enlighten them, then I do..but I only do it normally when asked. I don't need to push some agenda of defending Heavy Metal music anymore on people. Let people be ignorant, and let people who are overly defensive be so. I will be somewhere in the middle. But back to the pendulum, after a certain point (and this has happened at other points in my life as well) it swings back towards the middle. I start falling in love with metal again. I accept people for who they are and try to embrace more of what I do like about a lifelong passion of mine. I sing with fellow metalheads, or go wild at shows.. That said,I will never be your "stereotypical" metalhead or even your stereotypical "prog" metalhead though I'm far closer to that than the former. There are honestly things that bother me about the stereotypical "metalhead". That puts me more towards the "prog metalhead" side of the spectrum. The reason they differentiate themselves is because they aren't the image of the constantly drunk guy working on his camaro in his front yard, listening to Judas Priest on a ghetto blaster. Old stereotypes die hard of course, but of course there is a different level of pretentiousness by aliging yourself with ANY movement, classification or label. I choose to define myself by who I am as an individual now, and that happens to be very associated with Heavy Metal. But I don't wish to classify myself as ANYTHING. I don't consciously try to rebel against being labelled anything at any given time anymore, I just BE and that's enough for me. The time (like my early twenties) where I said I would never date anyone not into metal, or mainly associate with people into metal are long over. I'm who I am, and I let other people classify me if they choose to do so, but let them waste their time. I have my time to spend on better things nowadays.

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