Meet The Community Blogger: Rock

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My name is Jamie, but most people know me as HardRockChick.

I've been listening to rock and metal for as long as I can remember. I "see" other genres, but those two have always been my main squeeze. There's something about the heaviness and the drama of it that makes me feel; it helps me express my emotions in some sort of cathartic experience. Headbanging in front of a loud, screaming guitar is where I belong.

In my opinion, it all comes back to Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and the Rolling Stones. The DNA of these bands can be found in numerous riffs, lyrics, melodies, and band names. That's why these are three of my favorite bands.

Rock music has manifested itself into a definable lifestyle, one that has leaked into others genres of music today. We hear rappers talking about living like rock stars, we read about pop stars such as Ke$ha trashing her hotel room, the latter a rock star move of days past. Rock riffs are often sampled in hip-hop, and lyrics weave their way into pop songs. Simply, to live like a rock star remains one of the most coveted things in life.

I would say that rock music has taken a hard hit due to the challenges facing today's music industry. Some bands are hesitant to adopt new technology and business models. But there are some rock and metal bands that have shown marked efforts to innovate. I'd say a prime example is Nine Inch Nails, who, alongside perpetuating the "freemium" model of music distribution and upselling limited-edition items to hardcore fans, utilized technology to engage fans, with standout efforts such as a robust iPhone app, an alternate reality game and a crowdsourced concert DVD. And this is in addition to crafting new sounds in the subgenre of industrial metal.

In the past five years, we've seen a revival in both the rock and metal genres. There are a lot of throwback sounds echoing the classic rock and thrash metal of decades past, as well as new sounds in psychedelic and extreme metal.

Quite a few contemporary and up-and-coming artists are helping take rock and metal to the next level. I think that Mastodon, the Dillinger Escape Plan and Opeth lead in the metal genre; and bands such as Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, A Place To Bury Strangers, the Horrors, and Rival Sons are making killer rock music. And the newest band in rock and metal to turn my head is the mysterious Ghost.

As a rock fan, I look forward to what will have me banging my head in the future.

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