By Ian Liberman
INFERNO OF ROCK NEWS
The Beatles Guru
George Martin, known as “the fifth Beatle,” died on March 8, 2016. Looking at this death from a hard rock perspective, he was responsible for the raunchy Beatles’ song, “Helter Skelter,” which paid homage to the cult family serial killer, Charles Manson. Martin also had a lot respect for hard rock, and commented quite positively about the genre while producing UFO`s record, No Place To Run.
A Progressive Loss
Keith Emerson of Emerson, Lake and Palmer was a creative innovator of progressive rock who managed to integrate various styles of jazz, classical, hard rock and folk music into a unique mix of progressive styles that influenced many of the rock heroes that we all enjoy and respect today. He died on March 10, 2016 at the age of 71 as a result of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Here’s hoping that the “In Memoriam” section doesn’t become a regular occurrence in the column.
Instant Rock History
Ithaca Audio has put together a history of rock that features what they believe to be the best songs of several decades. This amazing 15-minute edited footage includes: Black Sabbath, Metallica, Rage Against The Machine and Foo Fighters.
Corey’s Bedtime Stories
Corey Taylor (Slipknot, Stone Sour) has been busy promoting his new book, America 51, which is a highly critical book about America’s obsession with “politicians” like Donald Trump, and its lack of separation between church and state. Being that Taylor is an atheist, nothing goes unchallenged.
An alternative version of Nirvana’s “Marigold” has surfaced online. Posted by an obsessive fan (RareNirvana), the song features Kurt Cobain vocally harmonizing with Dave Grohl. Nirvana fans will definitely appreciate this version of the song.
Take a Date to the Opera
If you liked Avatar’s Hail the Apocalypse, you’ll be happy to hear that they are finished their next album, which is going to be a hard rock opera in the same vein as The Who’s Tommy. The album, entitled Feathers and Flesh, will be released in May.
Record Store Day
Record Store Day ambassadors, Metallica, will be performing live this year in Berkeley, CA at Rasputin Records on April 16th.
Some of the more notable releases this year include a digitally re-mastered release of Jimi Hendrix’s Smash Hits and a limited edition of Iron Maiden’s Empire Of The Clouds, which includes a beautifully illustrated booklet.
TRENDS / OPINIONS
The Best Streaming Choices for Hard Rock and Metal are…
It was just announced last week that, for the first time ever, streaming music sales eclipsed downloads. Despite the protest of some big-name pop and hip-hop artists, streaming music is here to stay and will only continue to grow. What does this mean for fans of hard rock and metal?
My quest to find the perfect streaming service began over a year ago when I subscribed to all of the free services. From there, I decided to pay for the services that I thought were the best.
I am not going to indulge myself (and you) by writing a complex criteria and suggestion list for each company, but I am going to give you recommendations as to which are the best free and paid streaming solutions.
TOP FREE STREAMING SERVICES
CRITERIA: Good sound, wide variety of rock/metal, limited advertising, access to top artists and new material upon release.
Best Free Internet Radio Station – Slacker Radio
Slacker has limited commercials and an enormous variety of rock, new rock, new metal, etc. An added bonus is that you can create your own personal stations.
Runner-up – Pandora
Pandora is also a great free station with all of the hard rock and metal that you could ever want, but it’s just a little too heavy with commercials, which kept them from coming in first place.
TOP PAID STREAMING SERVICES
CRITERIA: Large variety of rock, hard rock and metal, the ability to download all songs and albums to a device, information about the artist, the ability to create your own artist-driven radio stations, prompt availability of new releases, access to top artists, good sound, curated playlists, cost less than $10/month (US).
Best Paid Streaming Service – Google & Apple (tie)
I personally could not make up my mind when I went to purchase, and ended up with both Apple and Google, both of which check all the boxes.
Runner-up – Spotify
Spotify is having problems licensing new metal albums. For example, Spotify could not offer a copy of Anthrax’s top-rated album, For All Kings, until four weeks after Google and Apple (which both had full copies available upon release). Now that they have signed a new deal with music companies and artists, it’s possible that their status will improve in the future.
INFERNO OF ROCK TRIVIA QUESTIONS:
April-2016 Trivia Questions
 What was the highest-selling album in the last twenty-five years?
 What Hammer Films horror actor had a successful metal music career until his death in 2015?
 Which late night comedy talk show marked the first television appearance by The Who in North America?
 Disturbed’s video for “Land of Confusion” was animated by a famous artist. Who was he or she?
 Who was the famous artist that created the album cover for Emerson, Lake and Palmer’s Brain Salad Surgery?
A. Keith Thompson
B . R. Giger
NOTE: Answers to April trivia questions will appear in the May Inferno of Rock Report. If you think that you know the answers, e-mail us at email@example.com. You may just win something pretty cool!
March-2016 Trivia Question Answers
- As a tribute to Lemmy Kilmister’s love for computer games, which 2009 video game character was based on him? Lenny Koopa
- What is Lemmium? [c]
[a] A book of heavy metal philosophy.
[b] A strange type of bird.
[c] A new chemical element that a scientist named after Lemmy.
- Which Metallica album did David Bowie call “genius?” Lou Reed and Metallica’s “Lulu.”
- What was the name of David Bowie’s band that marked his entry into hard rock music with the son of comedian Soupy Sales? Tin Machine
- Which band is Metallica inducting into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2016? Deep Purple
Next month, I am going to look into why there is a consensus amongst a few studies that metalheads are quite intelligent. Is there real scientific evidence to back up this outrageous claim? I will reach into science world to see whether this is truth or fantasy.
In May, I will also examine meditation from the perspective of the “metal for meditation movement.” I will discuss how you can get curated metal sets by the top yogis for meditation, so get ready to rock your mindfulness!