Albuquerque Mayor Wears Pantera Sweater at Bill Signing

Because nothing says progress like Pantera (seriously)

Albuquerque mayor Tim Keller at a local bill signing ceremony in his city last week

Albuquerque mayor Tim Keller at a local bill signing ceremony in his city last week

1/1/19, 2:47 pm EST

By John Corry, photo from Alternative Press

Albuquerque mayor Tim Keller signed a bill last week granting family paid parental leave to city employees, and at the signing wore a Pantera holiday sweater gifted to him by Pantera bassist Rex Brown. Brown, a current Albuquerque resident, has said that the mayor is his ‘buddy’ and a ‘helluva a guy’. Keller was elected mayor in 2017 and has never been shy about his love for the metal genre: he’s introduced shows of Anthrax, Trivium and Parkway Drive and even tagged Metal Injection, Loudwire and Blabber mouth in a tweet regarding the signing.

2019 could potentially be the biggest year for metal in some time, with promised releases from many of metal’s most interesting artists, including: Mastodon, Carcass, Tool, Slipknot, Deftones, Lamb of God, Gojira, Rammstien, Periphery, Megadeth, Korn, King Diamond and more. This coming off the heels of a year which saw releases from such legends as Sleep and A Perfect Circle and strong efforts from relative youngins like Cult Leader, Rivers of Nihil and Revocation (again: relative). Could 2019 be the year rock/metal make its ‘comeback’? The radio waves have been stagnant for some time and people could be craving something new. Not to say that what’s popular now is ‘old’ or ‘bad’ in any Absolute way, but when no one knows who Maynard is outside of ‘fringe’ circles (‘fringe’; i’m sorry, I meant ‘non-innovative’, Mr. Levine), yet Ariana Grande can write a song about how an apparently good dude like Pete Davidson is just another ‘notch on her belt’ (that is not her singing on those records, that’s a robot (like, literally: a computer; at least Taylor Swift has a sound fairly clearly distinguished from any other autotuned sex-bot (again: not that there’s anything wrong with it; it’s just not the whole story))) and everyone knows her name (Grande), it’s no wonder a guy like Slipknot’s Corey Taylor is so ready to start the beef.

Who couldn’t love that guy? (Steve Lars photos 2011)

Who couldn’t love that guy? (Steve Lars photos 2011)

Anyway: Pantera is one of the most celebrated metal bands of all time, and for good reason, if you’re into it: riffs, solos and total fun (*Total). Late guitarist (Dimebag) Darrell Abbott is considered by many to be one of the best the genre has to offer (which is a genre very much so full of great guitar players– let alone singers, bassists and drummers), and their 3rd record, 1994’s Far Beyond Driven, is arguably the most extreme record ever to debut at #1 on the Billboard charts. Here’s a live rendering of the that album’s Slaughtered at Monsters of Rock in ‘94.

Because, you see: Metal is played with real instruments (omg), and by real people (like: OMG (I’m not offended)). Innovation is supplied by those taking chances, and even Kendrick Lamar’s truly wildly innovative To Pimp a Butterfly seems to have been largely ignored by mainstream artists, as anything with any original merit has always been (TOTALLY NOT OFFENDED) ever since ‘make money, fuck bitches’ became the only thing worth doing anymore ($$$ (money is innovation (or: its only metric?))). Again, not to say that that doesn’t have its place, but if people are in need of something to get them to think, and not to just wallow in their self pity or their aggrandized visions of the world could run if only they were the ones running it (making money and fucking bitches), variety (or: ‘diversity’??) could be a workable start– if metal (or the people who make it? (definitely not offended)) is anything more than ‘those scary people’ whose singing I can’t understand.

We’re geniuses–

Then again, Taylor Swift just released a concert movie on Netflix yesterday, and I’ll be damned if that girl doesn’t have an innate, subconscious knowledge of what makes people go ‘ah!’, on either a thinking or a feeling level (depending on one’s mood at the time of listening??? (total genius I am)).

It’s connection (whoa…).

Natural, subconscious human connection precedes any ability to ‘change someone’s mind’ (including one’s own?), or to ‘change the world’ or the music industry or music itself or whatever the hell one wants to pretend her knowledge of is so absolute that she doesn’t have to consider the fact that she may have to do some soul searching to get anywhere with it.


Connection is innovation.