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Download Running with the Devil: Power, Gender, and Madness in Heavy Metal Music (Music / Culture) epub book
ISBN:0819552526
Author: Robert Walser
ISBN13: 978-0819552525
Title: Running with the Devil: Power, Gender, and Madness in Heavy Metal Music (Music / Culture)
Format: lrf mbr rtf lit
ePUB size: 1599 kb
FB2 size: 1517 kb
DJVU size: 1726 kb
Language: English
Category: Music
Publisher: Wesleyan University Press (May 1, 1993)
Pages: 254

Running with the Devil: Power, Gender, and Madness in Heavy Metal Music (Music / Culture) by Robert Walser



Running with the Devil takes musicology where it has never gone before; I once saw the chapter on metal guitarists and the classical tradition performed live in a lecture hall, but even on paper it smokes. Essential reading in all popular music (and cultural studies) courses. Fans of metal today can still learn a lot from this book, both about their roots and about the aspects of metal that are still present in today's sub-genres. 2 people found this helpful. Still his treatments of gender and madness as content of Heavy Metal lyrics are worthwhile. He covers music and some imagery; these tend to distract from his central ideas rather than add. Yet, this may be the academic reference book on HM that others are judged by, simply because it has primacy and is comprehensive.

Personal Name: Walser, Robert. xviii, 222 . p. of plates : ill ;, 24cm. Series Statement: Music/culture. Bibliography, etc. Note: Includes bibliographical references, discography, and index. Uniform Title: Music/culture. Rubrics: Heavy metal (Music) History and criticism. ISBN: 0521573688 (hb) Publication & Distribution: Cambridge, . Cambridge University Press, (c)1998.

Heavy metal music is a strange phenomenon. Despite derision from rock critics and bitter emnity from the establishment, it became one of the most popular subcultures of the eighties, when it and rap changed mainstream popular music indelibly. Such a phenomenon is clearly a gift to cultural studies. A little ironic touch is contained in the title: the difference between heavy metal culture and the academic culture for which the book is written is shown by the restoration of the final "g" to the first word of the title of Van Halen's song Runnin' With the Devil. Apr 15, 2015 Robb Bridson rated it it was amazing.

A Choice Outstanding Academic Book. A musicologist and cultural critic as well as a professional musician, Robert Walser offers a comprehensive musical, social, and cultural analysis of heavy metal in Running with the Devil. Dismissed by critics and academics, condemned by parents and politicians, fervently embraced by legions of fans, heavy metal music attracts and embodies cultural conflicts that are central to our society.

In Running with the Devil, Robert Walser explores how and why heavy metal works, both musically and socially, and at the same time uses metal to investigate contemporary formations of identity, community, gender, and power. Heavy metal music, one of the most significant musical influences of the 1980s, has received little serious attention by academics. This ethnographic study goes a long way toward counteracting the.

Topics Heavy metal (Music). Publisher Hanover, NH : University Press of New England. Collection inlibrary; printdisabled; ymusic; audio music; americana. Digitizing sponsor The Archive of Contemporary Music. Contributor The Archive of Contemporary Music. Wesleyan University Press. Metallurgies: genre, history, and the construction of heavy metal - Beyond the vocals: toward the analysis of popular musical discourses - Eruption: heavy metal appropriations of classical virtuosity - Forging masculinity: heavy metal sounds and images of gender - Can I play with madness? mysticism, horror, and postmodern politics.

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Reviews: 6
Duzshura
Very good Book!
Erienan
I love metal primarily for the music itself (rather than the lyrics, attitude, fan culture, etc.), so this book was refreshing in that it contains some valuable musicological studies of metal as a genre and of several specific songs. Walser discusses timbre, meter, modes, etc. and resonances with blues and European classical music (in particular Baroque music), using transcriptions of the music to make his case. He even suggests, quite intriguingly, that the fact that metal musicians are closer to Baroque composers like Bach than later composers such as Beethoven should tell us something about Bach and Beethoven, not just contemporary metal. A lot of the music theory was honestly over my head as a very amateur musician, but I understood enough of it to take away some valuable insights into the complexity of the music I love.

The cultural and historical parts of the book were interesting, but perhaps less novel. Be aware, you will need a basic proficiency in PoMo speak to understand parts of chapters two, four, and five, but it's not as bad as it could be considering Walser's use of social science and the humanities, where postmodern theory has, for better or for worse, become the basic assumption in recent decades (with the exception of philosophy). But the fancy PoMo stuff could be skipped (much like the fancy music theory parts) and you will still get a lot out of the book. The chapter on gender didn't break much ground (although the discussion of androgyny was interesting). The last chapter, "Can I Play with Madness?" had some great moments discussing Ozzy, Judas Priest and Iron Maiden.

Of course, this book is a bit dated (published in 1993), as other reviewers mentioned. If you didn't listen to metal in the 80's or early 90's, this book may make less sense, but I think the fact that bands like Poison, Bon Jovi and Van Halen hardly seem like metal to today's audience just underscores how mainstream metal became in the 80's and also how new most of today's sub-genres are. This isn't to say Walser's book is irrelevant. Fans of metal today can still learn a lot from this book, both about their roots and about the aspects of metal that are still present in today's sub-genres.
Iarim
Though obviously dated, this book may live up the grandiose subject line above. It has been many years since I've read it cover-to-cover, but I can generally sum up its strengths. It is comprehensive, sophisticated, and clear. Walser is an able academic but also a musician, and his detailed close reading of the music itself is breathtaking. And that is one element that distinguishes this book from most "canonical" rock criticism. Most rock critics of the early days (70s to early 90s) -- who lionize the punks and Bob Dylan -- were more students of culture than of music and really could tell very little about the details of how the music was composed and played. Any musician reading those critics could tell they knew little about actually playing or performing. This is not the case with Walser, an able student of culture AND music.

Walser also gains by taking a balanced approach. He is a confessed fan of metal (again, it helps that he knows how to play the guitar). This may at first seem to make him less objective, but it doesn't for two reasons. First, Walser does not flinch from making legitimate critiques of metal (for sexism, etc. -- and rightly notes that many critics of metal make the bald, stupid assumption that sexism is unique to metal rather than recognizing the truth that it is rampant in alternative music, academia, and business). Second, his openness to the music enables his close understanding of it. Dismissals of metal by other scholars of rock music are uninformed because they have not paid attention to its musical complexity and richness. Walser does pay attention. An old book by this point, but a great example both of sound critical analysis of music culture AND of how an able scholar can convincingly demonstrate the closed-mindedness and simply bad thinking practiced by other critics.
wanderpool
I'm currently taking a class on cultural anthropology right now, and as a huge music buff / budding musician, I found this gem while searching the racks at my university. Not only did it help me to realize the cultural biases surrounding a type of music that I am fond of, but also expand my mind in terms of musical application, song construction, and the true inspiration for some of Heavy Metal's greatest classics.

Walser knows exactly what he's talking about, from the perspectives of a particpant in the culture, a trained and educated musician, and a cultural anthropologist. Great reading, would make a great reference for any study on cultural misunderstandings about music, or even something interesting to give you a break from working through all those instructional books and tablature.
Nuadabandis
This is one of the best books about popular music I have read. First of all, Walser avoids cliches: he is good at interpretation, and like all people who are good at interpretation he checks his ideas against the ideas that people who make and listen to the music have. PMRC supporters watch out. Second, he knows what he is talking about: the analysis is grounded in a good understanding of musicology, social theory, literary theory and evidence. So when he tells us where heavy metal "fits," we can believe him. All this, of course, is aside from the question of the reader or anybody else "likes" the music or not. As a model of how to do context-informed analysis of a genre, it rocks.
Wat!?
Walser attempts to cover too much ground in this book. Still his treatments of gender and madness as content of Heavy Metal lyrics are worthwhile. He covers music and some imagery; these tend to distract from his central ideas rather than add. Yet, this may be the academic reference book on HM that others are judged by, simply because it has primacy and is comprehensive. It was a needed work in the field. A major criticism is that he does not adequately account for the various sub-genres of the music.