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“Bang your head! Metal health’ll drive you mad”

Quiet Riot, Bang Your Head (Metal Health) (1983)

The University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, has just finished a study that was initially determined to confirm probably what most of us thought; that listening to heavy metal and punk rock leads to aggressive and sometimes violent behavior.  However, surprise surprise.  What the study really found was the opposite; that listening to such music dissipates such behavior, it does not cause it.

hard_heavy_bang_your_head

The study involved 39 people between the ages of 18 and 34 who regularly listened to “extreme” music which is defined as including heavy metal, hardcore, and punk.  The subjects were put through 16 minutes of “anger induction,” during which they talked about such irritating things as relationships, money, and work.  After getting the subjects agitated they either sat in silence for 10 minutes or listened to 10 minutes of songs from their own playlists. What researchers learned was that those listening to the aggressive music were just as calmed as those sitting in silence.   You can read the study here.

“This study found that extreme music fans listen to music when angry to match their anger, and to feel more active and inspired. They also listen to music to regulate sadness and to enhance positive emotions. The results refute the notion that extreme music causes anger….”

By the researchers’ own admission, the study was limited since it was conducted in a controlled environment and not in a “realistic social setting,” therefore, they called for further study.  However, despite these limitations, the study’s main conclusion still stands: “extreme music matches and helps to process anger” rather than causing it.

Interesting thoughts.  Do you agree with this study’s conclusions?

KEN “K BO” BIEDZYNSKI, Editor

 

As famous venues go, the former nightclub known as CBGB was as popular as it gets. Stationed in New York City in Manhattan’s East Village, it opened in 1973. This infamous establishment–started by Hilly Kristal–eventually became the home for well known and popular punk and new wave bands such as The Ramones, the Patti Smith Group, Blondie and, The Talking Heads. RamonesFor a variety of reasons CBGB ran into hard times after 2000 and the club’s final show took place on October 15, 2006, when Patti Smith performed there. (Kristal also died in 2007). The club was later featured in a 2009 documentary entitled Burning Down the House.

Editor’s Note: As a point of interest, the letters “CBGB” actually stood for “country, bluegrass, and blues” which was the original vision for the club.

So, why is this famous and historical club back in the news? Well, if you can believe this CBGB is back but it’s not as you think. CBGB is slated to return….as a restaurant. Oh, and one more thing. The “restaurant” will be located at Newark Airport in Newark, New Jersey.

The skinny is that the “restaurant” will be up and running by year’s end however, putting all that aside one has to wonder how this could be happening at all. What happened at CBGB’s–in terms of musical history–is nothing short of legendary and what The Ramones, the Patti Smith Group, Blondie and, The Talking Heads have done for music is iconic and it all started at CBGB’s.

Blondie (l.) and The Talking Heads (r.) performing at CBGB's
Blondie (l.) and The Talking Heads (r.) performing at CBGB’s

And also remember, the 70s and 80s were legendary in NYC and not just because of CBGB but also because of another famous venue known as Studio 54 (1977-1981). Indeed, that time period, and those venues, represented music and art at its finest never to be repeated again.

However, to quote The Monkees; “that was then this is now.” So to bring CBGB’s “back” (if that’s what you call it)–in the form of a restaurant at a major metropolitan airport–would be akin to trying to reopen Studio 54 as a juice bar for seniors. It just doesn’t work.

Regardless of the outcome of this story we just hope that people don’t forget the history that CBGB helped spawn. The real CBGB can never be recreated nor should it be confused with meal specials and frequent flyer miles.

Ken “K Bo” Biedzynski, Editor

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