Chicago Sun-Times
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The great Tampa death metal, RNC (non)controversy

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Tampa is, it seems, the "cradle" of the hard-driving death metal genre. But you'll hear none of it at the Republican National Convention, reports Reuters. Hard to imagine why once you read their story:

Homegrown acts such as Hate Eternal and Morbid Angel are not booked for the plaza-filling concerts or high-dollar fundraisers that will keep conservative and evangelical Republicans occupied in the convention's off hours.

That is not surprising for a style of music in which "brutal" is a compliment. Drummers play at breakneck speed, guitarists peel off dense, atonal riffs, and vocalists sing lyrics about gore and Satan in a low-pitched growl.

So maybe Morbid Angel can just play at the bevy of strip clubs vying for the GOP small business support?

Yeah, that's yet another stereotype of the Tampa area the national media has latched on to writes John O'Connor for WUSFNews:

And do "some" really find it "ironic" that a metropolitan area of 4.2 million, according to the U.S. Census, might have some subcultures which don't live their life according to the Republican Party platform?

Is death metal to Tampa what corn is to Iowa? Of course not.

So no stripper polls or thrashing in the big tent this year. At least not on the official schedule. And the death metal community is not exactly up in arms over their non-inclusion in the RNC festivities, David Wagner writes for The Atlantic Wire:

It would be absurd for Republicans rallying around a devout Mormon to align with a genre that aims to sound as vile as possible, while exploring Satanic lyrical themes to boot. But the reverse situation Reuters implies in this story--that somehow a Democratic National Convention would welcome death metal bands with open arms--seems equally absurd. . . . And as for the death metal musicians in question, they shrug off politics altogether.

Then again. maybe it was Chicago and bands like Paul Speckmann's Master that lunched death metal on the American scene, the case for which is in this history compiled by Roger Riddell for the A.V. Club. The question is whether that is another Chicago development President Obama is blamed - or can take credit - for.

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