A blog title like this one is virtually guaranteed to go viral. OK, maybe not.
But it turns out there’s some amazing Heavy Metal news from this past week guaranteed to make you the hit of this weekend’s soccer game, the life of the cocktail party, or a great storyteller during the trip to the farmer’s market to buy that pumpkin.
Here’s our metallic three-fer:
1. This is your brain on Heavy Metal
If you thought professional football was the scourge of healthy brains, think again. A paper published last month by a group of neuroscientists claims fans of Heavy Metal music show “disorders of behavioral and emotional cognition.”
A blog in Discover magazine by someone called Neuroskeptic, explains how the study scanned the brains of 40 metal heads and compared them to the cerebra of classical music devotees.
The study points to an area of the brain known as PreCG. It turns out it’s more active in people who grew up listening to Iron Maiden, Anthrax, and Pantera – leading to a willingness to sing as well as move their tongues. (Are you thinking Gene Simmons?)
Elsewhere in the brain, there’s the SFGmed which is a cognition center. And yes, metal fans show less activity in this zone than their classical music lover counterparts. Somehow, Mahler appears to be a healthier musical choice than Motorhead.
My very non-scientific theory is that lower functioning brains may be attributable to all that head-banging. That strikes me as a more logical explanation of decreased brain function.
The good news is that teams of neurologists are very likely studying the relationship of music to brain operation as I write this. I for one am wondering about disco and EDM, but that’s me.
Stay tuned for more questionable scientific findings.
2. Nikki Sixx to sign off
This is virtually BREAKING NEWS, as they say. Nikki has been hosting a night show – “Sixx Sense” – syndicated by Premiere and airing on 130+ stations over the last several years.
If you somehow don’t know, Nikki Sixx is not only one of the founding members of the iconic Motley Crüe, but he’s an also an author, a clothing designer, a photographer, and a guy who gets behind numerous causes, including opioid addiction.
I first met him back in 2008 when he was a special guest at our Jacobs Media Summit in Austin. Keith Cunningham had just read “The Heroin Diaries” and though Nikki would be a great guest to discuss multi-platform branding, radio, and other topics.
And he was right. Nikki was a great guest, and not long after that appearance, he was signed by Premiere to host the radio show. Its last broadcast is slated for December 31st.
In this video segment, Nikki shows off his vision and his smarts. Remember, this was 9 years ago, and Nikki lays out a compelling case why radio needs to pay attention to its audience, and learn about the gadgets, outlets, and options in front of them. If you’re wondering how Nikki was able to make a successful transition to the airwaves with his various syndicated shows, it’s all right here:
One of my memories of Nikki is that he was gracious, savvy, and very mindful of his fans. His management team originally wanted to get the word out about this interview beyond radio programmers. That worked a little too well, as a large number of them showed up at this Summit for this rare glimpse of a rock icon talking about his life and his craft. After the interview, Nikki hung around for the better part of an hour, signing autographs for everyone patiently waiting in line. He embodied his own “listen to the audience” philosophy.
We wish him the best in his next ventures.
3. Beyoncé fans shocked by Heavy Metal version of “Lemonade”
In a bizarre twist, a special yellow vinyl edition of Beyoncé’s “Lemonade” got mixed up at a German pressing plant…with ZEX, a Canadian heavy metal band. What was supposed to be Side A of “Lemonade” turned out to actually be Side A of ZEX’s “Uphill Battle.”
Interestingly, ZEX has a female lead singer (Gretchen Steel), so it’s theoretically possible that some buyers of this “Lemonade” misprint actually thought they were listening to Beyoncé.
But probably not.
Columbia promises to refund buyers of these misprinted albums, but given that some are already being put up for sale on eBay for far more than their face value, that may not be necessary. You’d think most buyers of the metal-esque version of “Lemonade” would be smart to hang on to these limited copies.
Wonder what Jay-Z thinks of all this.
To put you in the weekend mood, here’s what you would have heard if you dropped the tone arm on Side A of the “Lemonade” misprint. This little diddy is called “No Sacrifice.”
I promise if you watch it, you will absolutely not damage your brain.
Thanks to Alan Cross who stimulated that brainstorm about brains. His always entertaining blog, “A Journal of Musical Things” is accessible here.
Jacobs Media has consistently walked the walk in the digital space, providing insights and guidance through its well-read national Techsurveys.
In 2008, jacapps was launched - a mobile apps company that has designed and built more than 1,000 apps for both the Apple and Android platforms. In 2013, the DASH Conference was created - a mashup of radio and automotive, designed to foster better understanding of the "connected car" and its impact.
Along with providing the creative and intellectual direction for the company, Fred consults many of Jacobs Media's commercial and public radio clients, in addition to media brands looking to thrive in the rapidly changing tech environment.