A beginner bassist's foray into the unknown

Posts tagged “heavy metal

Wifey’s extreme metal thesis and drum blog are here!

This isn’t totally bass-related, but it might be intriguing for some of you who are interested in extreme metal and in drumming (even separately).


My wife finished her 2nd masters degree this year. Apart from her MLS, she now has a masters in anthropology. Her thesis topic was centered on women’s participation in New York’s extreme metal scene – from musicians and fans to others in the industry like photographers, writers, women who run magazines and websites, women who host radio shows and more. We attended shows (quite a few were around the baby’s schedule), she met and interviewed women in the scene, conducted an online survey with dozens of respondents, and met and presented with incredible metal music scholars – a discipline that I didn’t even know existed until she started doing her thing. Many of them have written books and papers in academic journals and some have released video documentaries as well. Its a thriving and fascinating international community.

Anyway – for those interested, her thesis is finally available for public consumption via CUNY Academic Works. Here’s a link to the PDF (you can click the “download” button on CUNY’s site or read it online):

Here’s a link to her blog where she announced the release of the thesis as well:



Black Friday / Cyber Monday 2016

Consumerism – ahem – the holiday shopping season is upon us. I don’t usually go all-in, but this year, I grabbed two things that I plan to use with my bass, even if not in a direct manner.


On Black Friday, I grabbed a digital camcorder. I’ve wanted one for a while, and since attending the Metal in Strange Places conference this year with the wife, I decided to pull the trigger.

The problem I was looking to solve is this: the panelists and presenters are smart. They share interesting and enlightening information about metal that would never occur to me. Once they’ve had their say, that info is gone. Its resides somewhere between them and the memories of their audience. I hate that. I hate that once its been said, its done, and no one will be able to hear and learn from those moments again.

I videoed my wife‘s panel this year. She was part of “Looking for Metal: Rethinking Methodologies in Metal Studies” and spoke about netnographies in metal research, a new concept which are essentially online ethnographies. The quality from my little recorder wasn’t very good though, and the battery only lasts for an hour and 15 mins before needing a recharge – its not removable. I did a separate video for Maisie Kaiser, who presented “The Myth of ‘Genderblindness’ in Metal Culture“. I used her phone and it does seem to have come out better. She shared it online, and it looks and sounds good.

I wanted to record all of it though. I spent a while looking at different ways to do this and spoke with Nelson Varas-Diaz, a metal video documentarian who produced “The Distorted Island: Heavy Metal and Community in Puerto Rico” and “The Metal Islands: Culture, History and Politics in Caribbean Heavy Metal Music“. He suggested a DSLR camera, which we have, but research led me to rule it out. DSLRs can record video, but in order to avoid paying some kind of increase for their sales due to reclassification, they’re limited to 10-minute videos, which simply won’t work for panels that last more than an hour, and audience questions.


Helloween – Halloween (1987)


In the spirit of Halloween, here’s a fun song I’ve always loved. Its 80s metal in all its glory: Halloween, by Germany’s own Helloween (Keeper of the Seven Keys, Part 1, from 1987). The standout part of this group was, to me, drummer Ingo Schwichtenberg (RIP).

Helloween – Halloween (1987)

Those of you who watched anime in the 80s and 90s might recognize the name from the original run of Bastard! – which is loaded with 80s metal references. I think Dark Schneider invoked a spell named after the band somewhere in the first episode or two… but as I no longer have the VHS and all versions I’ve found since have had the metal references edited into similar-sounding, but different, words, I can’t bring myself to watch it without feeling robbed and stopping.


Parenthood and Ethnomusicology

Congrats to the wife for getting an article about parenting, librarianship and metal published on the Society for Ethnomusicology‘s blog. Take a gander – there are even some ugly pics of me with pretty pics of the baby and the ball-and-chain… I mean, better half!


Survey: Women in NY’s Extreme Metal Music Scene

As some of you know from previous posts, Wifey is working on her 2nd master’s. This one is in Cultural Anthropology. Her thesis is going to focus on women’s participation and experiences in the NY extreme metal scene (death metal, black metal, grindcore, etc.).

If you’re from around the NY metro-area and go to metal shows, are in an extreme metal band or work in the industry, feel free to take her survey. More info can be found on her blog:

MetalSurveyFlyer1_with QR code

Here’s a direct link to the survey itself: