the big dave page MUSIC

 


Okay, so what are röckdöts? They're the little dots found over vowels, properly known as umlauts. For more info, I turn to a SPIN article on metal (from several years ago, when they were still, you know, relevant):

1971 - Umlaut first used by metal wags Blue Öyster Cult for that extra gothic twist. Usuaully a pronunciation mark over a German vowel, it has also been called the "diacritical mark of the beast." Later used by Motörhead because "it looks mean." Also see Florida grindcore band Assück.

Other examples include Mötley Crüe and Spinal Tap, who places the umlaut over the "n" for satirical purposes. Many people also use it in the phrase "nü-metal," a supposed musical genre that includes Korn and Limp Bizkit.

Because of it's adoption by metal bands, my friend Stephanie accordingly dubbed them "rock dots," which we both agree bands should use more often. And aside from being signs of rawk, they just look cool...which is probably why rock bands started using them.

Which brings us to the name of the site... It seems a little incongruous to name the site rockdots.com since I'm not much of a metalhead and don't own any albums from bands that use umlauts - except for one Motörhead album. But, just like those metal bands, I think the umlaut looks good and "rock dots" sounds good, so the same logic is at work in both cases. Besides, I still endorse the concept of rawk, even if I don't listen to it.

Oh, as a sidebar, I was pleased to find that SPIN, in the same metal issue quoted above, took the time to define "hessians":

HESHER: Visible participant in heavy metal culture. Known for feathered hair, comb in back pocket, rock jersey, six-pack, bong, revving engines, destroying religious icons, and a particular obsession with Teutonic metal - Scorpions, Accept, Dokken, etc. Derived from hessians, German mercenaries employed by England to fight American colonists.

Since it was the favorite term with which to tease Jim, one of my old Tower Records co-workers, I'm glad that someone's keeping the term in circulation- now that Hessian Obsession (hesher mag) is long gone...

Thanks to the following sites for the images i stole:
Blue Öyster Cult - Mötley Crüe - Spinal Tap


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