Wednesday, December 1, 2010

War Is Heavy Metal

That's the working title of an essay I'm writing for what looks to be a really interesting anthology devoted to popular music in the post-9/11 era. Not my usual topic, insofar as I tend not to write about things so current as the past decade, but it's given me the occasion to read up on some of the really interesting literature that's appeared concerning the cultural politics of the "War on Terror."

I'll be writing on the recurrence of heavy metal music in the soundtracks to a variety of Iraq War-related films. Earlier today I watched the first half-hour of Soundtrack to War, a fairly obscure documentary (far as I know, at least) dedicated to the place of music in the experiences of the soldiers stationed in Iraq. Michael Moore used footage from this film in his own documentary, Fahrenheit 9/11. It's pretty fascinating, and has a great sequence about 20 minutes in revolving around a soldier who's into "gore metal," and is playing guitar while explaining how the music he likes is so suited to being at war. I'm taking the title of my essay from this scene, where after playing through a riff on his guitar, the guy says "War is heavy metal" and flashes the devil horns. \m/ (Is that how it goes? I'm not much for emoticons...)

Below is the link to the whole film, which is available through Google video. Definitely worth a look:

(I tried to embed the video but somehow it didn't work; the link will do for the curious though.)

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