By Tareq Adnan
Glam metal, also known as hair metal, took a long time before it finally took to its wings and started flying (along with all that hair). Starting in the early 70s, influenced by glam rock the genre flashed here and there with bands like AC/DC, Aerosmith, Alice Cooper, David Bowie, Led Zeppelin, Queen, Van Halen and Judas Priest among others.
The genre characterized by its heavy sound mixed with pop sounding styles was fronted my artists in tight leathers and sporting long hair and crazy make up. Known for the sleazy outlook and the lurid lifestyles of the artists the genre was a dominant for much of the 80s and the early 90s. With shredded guitar solos, distorted riffs and pop-melodic choruses the ruled the billboards before declining with the onslaught of grunge in the 90s.
In the early 70s a few bands experimented, trying to create something new by mixing glam rock and heavy metal, namely Angel, Starz and Legs Diamond. Met with little success, glam metal was restricted to a few artists who practiced the genre. Also in the mix was the prejudice of most metal listeners frowning upon the genre for its pop influences.
The first band to actually lay down the rules and take hair to new lengths (expending a lot of shampoo along the way) were the Hanoi Rocks. They influenced and set the stage for the next generation of glam to enter the scene in the early 80s. Mötley Crüe in the US is credited with heading the genre there. Also in the mix was Quiet Riots Metal Health album that made it into the top of the billboards.
Heavy metal had a lot of variants but in the 80s, glam metal would take the centre stage as the dominant genre of the era. Bands with sleazy gaudy make-up and crazy hair started topping the charts. In the earlier 80s, bands like Def Leppard, Dokken, W.A.S.P. released their respective albums that shaped the whole the genre and solidified its position in the industry. Such was the popularity of the genre that heavy metal bands of old that had influenced the genre started experimenting with glam. Aerosmith with their album Permanent Vacation, Whitesnake with their self titled record and Alice Cooper with Trash furthered the cause of glam.
By the mid 80s, the genre had become the main thing of the industry with bands like Bon Jovi emerging with huge success while in LA the more insular bands like London, Faster Pussycat kept garnering more and more attention, although those bands from the Sunset Strip were more insular in their music and less widely spread.
The more visual aspects of the genre, from the artists' hair to the videos and album covers became something of a fashion, with videos receiving constant airplay while the albums kept smashing the charts. In the latter 80s, the genre would enjoy its biggest successes but the criticism too rose in proportion with a part of the music industry and the media going against the debauched lifestyles of the musicians.
As the 80s progressed bands like Motley Crue with Girls, Girls, Girls and Dr. Feelgood, Def Leppard with Hysteria and Poison with Open Up and Say… Ah, sold millions of copies and made that glam went into history. Skid Row, with a more hard hitting sound would later release their debut album and become another band to enjoy multi-million success and they also brought forth into the equation sleaze rock which would later be founded on by bands like Guns 'N Roses, L.A. Guns and Dangerous Toys. Gun 'N Roses with their distinctive style would go on to enjoy momentous success spawning albums that sold millions worldwide. This offshoot that quickly became popular extended into the 90s known also as sleaze metal.
However as the early 90s progressed the newer bands would deride the 'hair farmers'. With grunge finally hitting the scene big time the glam style of music started to decline off the charts as the whole industry went through the whirlwind grunge years. With the unprecedented success that grunge enjoyed the newer bands that emerged started practicing the more simple style of music.
With glam bands splitting up and with new albums that followed the clichéd style of hard rock anthem followed by a power ballad the fans started moving to the more unpredictable and more experimental grunge. The genre however has enjoyed a revival with a reunited Motley Crue releasing Generation Swine. In the same span bands such as L.A. Guns and Ratt started touring with Motley Crue and Poison bringing some attention back to the genre.
In the 2000s, the genre has enjoyed some newer bands starting the practice again in one form or another, with the British band The Darkness being one that enjoyed success. Newer bands have emerged (some like Beautiful Creatures who were signed on Warner Bros.) that have borrowed elements from glam (not just the hair) and have created their own fan bases. New bands like Dirty Penny have been enjoying fast success with comparisons being made with the likes of Motley Crue. A new heavier, more updated sound has emerged and from recent evidence glam hasn't died yet and may yet rise again.
Reviewed by Gokhra
"Kingdom” is a slick thriller centering FBI teams attempt at solving a terrorist bombing in Saudi Arabia. A US base in Saudi Arabia has been bombed resulting in the deaths of US civilians and rescue personnel.
The country's ruling sheiks want to handle the investigation internally but the heroes have to do things their own way. The heroes are a group of FBI field agents led by Ronald Fleury (Foxx). You see, one of the dead from the bombing was an FBI colleague. It becomes a personal matter and internal investigation is thus out of the question.
The Saudi ambassador has given them only five days to investigate and a U.S. diplomat (Jeremy Piven) would rather they just back off.
Fleury's group comprising of forensics expert Janet Mayes (Garner) and bomb specialists Grant Sykes (Chris Cooper) and Adam Leavitt (Jason Bateman) go about hunting for facts on their own.
Fleury's group is provided a Saudi police escort Colonel Faris Al-Ghazi whose job is to stall the Americans.
He ends up being the character of such charm that you pretty much want to see throughout the movie.
The movie is violent, brutal and alluring. Lots of intense action keeps you on the edge of your seat at all times.
Combined with a relatively compelling storyline this makes for attention holding flick.
Whether you support the U.S. and its militaristic approaches or not, you end up cheering on the heroes because of the values they stand for.
"Fred Claus" is a holiday movie based on Christmas (wonder what gave that away). It's about Santa Claus and his brother who is hell bent on making Christmas a very corporate affair.
Santa's estranged brother in this case is Fred played by Vince Vaughn. So how does an estranged brother get back? It seems Santa (Paul Giamatti) needs him during a moment of crisis at the North Pole. Yes, even Santa's can face crises.
Fred has to leave Chicago where he resides to make $50,000 for a business venture. At the same time Fred turns up at the toy shop in the North Pole, an efficiency expert (Kevin Spacey) flies in to maximize toy production.
Demand for toys has skyrocketed and the elves are having a tough time keeping up with the requirements. Rumour has it that work might even be outsourced to the South Pole(which probably is cheaper than China).
Santa is worried sick and all Fred does is hold workshop dance parties that play havoc with efficiency.
The movie has stories of friendship and family values. Now you may be wondering how a movie involving Vince Vaugn can have such adjectives and no rated material. Well it happens.
The movie is hilarious with excellent performances by Rachel Weisz who plays Fred's British meter-maid girlfriend who has had it with his idiocy.
Fred slowly comes around though and makes friends with the elves. This in itself makes for some hilarious moments as Vaughn at 6 feet 5 inches is at odds with the tiny special effects applied elves. One of his friends is Willie with whom he shares a bunk tiny bunk.
Willie is in love with Charlene (Elizabeth Banks) who is Santa's human-size assistant. Fred helps Willie get noticed by learning how to dance. This in turn forms one of the highlights of the movie with towering man and elf hold each other and practice dancing.
It's not too sugary and smartly spoofs the corporate world in a polar setting.
Got a fast net connection and love to download? Here are a bunch of neat sites full of links to your favourite music, TV shows and cartoons.
Download TV shows and cartoons islifecorp.com.br
This site has links to all the TV shows out there, be cancelled or new. It has also got cartoons. Beware, it's not for the light-hearted. The entire site happens to be in Spanish (Use Google's handy translating tool here). And it really isn't organized very nicely, but if you can manage through, you'll be amazed at what it can offer you.
Finally a solution to you guys who can't use torrents or P2P. It's nicely updated everyday, and new episodes of shows are uploaded within a day or two after they are first shown. You won't find broken links either. For translating the page, use Google's handy translating tool at www.google.com/translate_t
Finally a site that actually lets you properly download music for free. As in, without being too much of a hassle. This site's got a huge collection and it's also the place to go to if you're looking for the songs from the latest top charts. It's basically a nifty search engine that works very nicely, and it gives you direct links to download the music you're looking for. The quality of the mp3s you get here are of pretty good quality, actually.
Download game OSTs
If you spend a lot of time on the PlayStation 2, you just can't help but be a fan of the beautiful music the nicest games and RPGs have for its soundtracks. Now you ever looked for those music, this site's for you.
Ever wanted to have all the music from all the Final Fantasy games? Ever wanted the music from Kingdom Hearts? It's all here. And the list of the games is huge. It's also got videos of cut scenes of the games. Download speeds are fast and no compromises on quality! This really is the best place for RPG based media in the internet.
I'll explain these sites in detail later, but these are the places where people all over the world gather to share the latest and hottest movies, games, music, books out there. Simply register the forums and you'll find out. Just about anything you could possibly want are available when you use the "Search" to look for them in the forums.