Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Heavy Metal Thunder...

I've learned from my sons that heavy metal isn't just your ordinary heavy metal anymore. There are numerous varieties of heavy metal:  death metal, doom metal, black metal, speed metal, power metal, glam metal, thrash metal and progressive metal...and these are only a slight listing.  Apparently in heavy metal music, the electric guitar's sonic power is heavily amplified, giving it the "metal" sound that is craved.  The vocals in this style of music is described as harsh screams and death growls which are supposed to be way more important than the lyrics.......

On page 172 through 174 of Recipe Records we discuss the different flavors of "heavy metal":  thrash, death, and black and we tossed out some examples of those band styles. I took my boys to see metal bands Mastodon and Dethklok at the Pageant in St. Louis a few years ago and it was quite an eye opener.... actually, there's NO WAY I could've CLOSED my eyes during the explosive performances...

The mystery surrounding this heavy metal business has really intrigued me, so much that I was sucked into one of those website quizzes today that promised to "give me" my Heavy Metal Nickname based upon my answers to some intricate questions .... Needless to say, after wasting 10 minutes that I do not have, they required my CELL PHONE NUMBER in order to give me a nickname.  I refused to share my number and I left in sad wonder of what my heavy metal nickname could possibly be.....

My hard rock days began somewhere around 1976 with the emergence of KISS (I was instantly drawn in by their mainstream ballad "Beth" & the "Rock & Roll All Nite" anthem). I was a fairly big fan, attending 7-8 concerts during my life and I will forever be loyal.  KISS wasn't quite heavy metal and it took me some years before I really appreciated the genre.  I'm not sure if it's accurate or not, but my gut tells me that heavy metal began with Led Zeppelin. I do remember seeing one of those VH-1 specials and they considered John Kay & Steppenwolf's song "Born To Be Wild" as the first heavy metal song. The lyric "heavy metal thunder" may have led to the serious metallic vibe & undertone that would be respected and tweaked by many such as Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and Motorhead.

I'd like to mention that there are a couple of terrific recipes in the book for you metalheads--or non-metalheads. My friend Marla gave me the recipe for Marla's Metal Trifle - which is a popular recipe with my crowd. You can make it in a large trifle dish or individually in ice cream glasses. I created a recipe for my son, Elliott, who is a chocolate lover and major metalhead and it's titled Metalhead Bangers; they are delicious mini-brownies...

Marla has taken our sons to the craziest of metal shows - Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Behemoth, Cannibal Corpse, Trivium, Slayer, Killswitch Engage, The Black Dahlia, Megadeth, Machinehead, All Share Perish..and many, many more ...... I've been struck by the exquisite taste our sons have in music, recognizing that it might not be the stuff I want to listen to often, but I remember the day when adults thought KISS was devil music... and look how cool KISS is today ! So I'll give these guys the benefit that their music is okay by me.

That being said, I'd like to mention an Evansville band named Exempt.  I was asked to write an article a couple of years ago for a local magazine on a band named Exesion.  Exesion won a national contest sponsored by Guitar Center, which gave them inclusion on a nationally distributed CD showcasing the best bands of the year. The band isn't performing now, but Exesion member David Ford went back to his original group, Exempt, and they are now turning heads in the national music arena.  The Exempt band contacted me recently to help with some publicity for their upcoming shows & I told them I'd try to help.

I've definitely mellowed in my musical tastes, however, I can recognize when any genre of music just plain sounds good. And Exempt is one of those bands that I consider worthy of a listen. I can see great potential in these kids and my prediction is that they have terrific opportunities lying ahead of them. They are considered progressive metal and do not have vocals (no death rasps or growls that is). The band consists of David Ford (bass), Drew Schneider (guitar) and Jason Rager (drums) and these guys are seriously talented musicians.   The band has played some major gigs in Louisville and St. Louis and are appearing in Evansville on Saturday, February 4th for a metalhead dream show.  Two bands from St. Louis' Archfront Media will be appearing on the bill as well:   Deliver Us from Evil and Quaere Verum.  I hope that lots of folks head over to the Duck Inn to take in this intense instrumental explosion.   Check them out at!/exemptrocks

and on Facebook.
David also told me about a couple of unique sponsors for their shows and these entrepreneurs are climbing up the ladder in the music world as well. Kick Ass Cables, is owned by Newburgh's Jack Hamaker, whose years of experience with guitars & cables drove him to produce a high quality product which is being noticed by today's hottest guitarists.  For more info find at
Also sponsoring Exempt is rock show photographer, Seth Phillips of Seth Phillips Photography, Newburgh, IN. Phillips specializes in photographing live shows and band portraits.  Find Phillips at


Don't miss Exempt, Deliver Us from Evil & Quaere Verum
Saturday, February 4th - 8:00 p.m.
The Duck Inn, 4100 Pollack Ave
Evansville, IN 47714
Tickets will be on sale at the door - for more ticket info, call The Duck Inn 812-479-8050.

Roadtrip to St. Louis to see the Evansville's Exempt on March 24 at Fubar
If you are a first time reader to my blog - thanks for checking it out. Add the site address to your favorites & "tune in" every week for another new & lively topic that will pay homage to music and/or food. This platform allows me to talk more about Recipe Records which was written by my best friend, Maggie McHugh and myself. Maggie passed away in October and I know she would LOVE these writings and she'd LOVE hearing from readers & music/food lovers. Contact me with any questions or comments and hey, if you know what my heavy metal nickname should be .... leave me a comment (Kath, you know you will)!

Peace & Rock & Roll,

Lanea Stagg
Recipe Records
Evansville, Indiana

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Spirit of Contribution ....

It's not a new concept for musicians to use their music to raise cash for humanitarian crises or to raise awareness for specific causes. I read recently that after Mozart died, his family needed financial assistance which led prominent musicians of the day to perform his music in a concert to benefit the Mozart family. Some memorable charity fundraisers of our time have been popular artists during the 80's forming Band Aid to release the single record "Do They Know It's Christmas" which benefited Ethiopian famine, Farm Aid to assist struggling Midwestern farmers, the Hurricane Katrina disaster fund and numerous others.

Perhaps my favorite concert for charity is George Harrison's Concert for Bangladesh which is an incredible show that was held in August of 1971.... which was shortly after the Beatles broke up and I believe this might've been the first performance of "Beatle royalty" since the split.  George Harrison says in the C for B video that he was simply "helping a friend"  (Ravi Shankar) whose countrymen were in trouble.  George didn't think twice about putting together a star-studded concert in Madison Square Garden, playing to over 40,000 people and raising in the neighborhood of $230,000 for Bangladesh.  You can rent this video at your local library, but if you purchase it, monies still go to UNICEF to benefit the country.  The show contains great performances by Harrison, Eric Clapton, Billy Preston, Ringo Starr, Leon Russell, Bob Dylan and Badfinger.

During the summer of 2010 Abby, Annie & I attended a concert of the most awesome Jack Johnson.  I was floored to learn that he donated 100% of the proceeds from tour profits to the Johnson Ohana Charitable Foundation to Support Environmental, Art & Music Education Around the World.  Annie gave me a Jack Johnson album for Christmas and I noticed on the cover that 100% of the proceeds from album sales go to the foundation as well.  Well...I'm here to tell you, you just don't see that kind of generosity very often.  Check out more at .   I really like their motto:   An individual action, multiplied by millions, creates global change.

Recipe Records is pretty small time in comparison to major rock artists such as Jack Johnson or George Harrison.  But the spirit of contribution is the same.  I would like to lend a hand to a cause in my city, Evansville, Indiana:  Holly's House which is a child and adult advocacy center for victims of intimate crimes.  It is a safe location where victims can be interviewed in a more private manner than a public hospital or police station. Victims are assisted through a network of public agencies working as a team to make sure victims are assisted properly and receive refuge and counsel. The professionals associated with this home are great visionaries who have organized this center and funded it completely from donations of time, talent and money.  I repeat... it runs completely on donations folks.

The co-founder of the home, Holly Dunn Pendleton, a native of Evansville is the only known survivor of the Railroad Serial Killer.  This brave young woman survived an attack that nearly took her life and she rose from the experience to create a center which has quickly benefited hundreds of abuse victims.  I toured the center and was very moved by the innovative methods used to comfort victims and allow them to retain their dignity and pride during a situation that can rob them of innocence.  My ultimate wish is that centers like this would never be necessary for children or women, but if they must exist.... then Holly's House is setting the bar for how victims should be assisted.

I'd like to recommend that you purchase Recipe Records, which will proudly contribute 50% of book sales to Holly's House.  The books can be purchased at the Holly's House location or on my website.  I will eventually have a spot on the website to order the book for Holly's House, but until then, just mention in the shipping instructions Holly's House and I'll make sure a donate of $10 for each book goes to the center.  My website is   books retail for $19.95 - and I have plenty of them .... !

Peace & Rock & Roll,

Lanea Stagg
Recipe Records
Evansville, Indiana


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Women in Rock...

Legence Bank, based in Eldorado, Illinois has a branch in Evansville and every other month they host a Women in Business evening where they invite business women to mingle and enjoy food & beverages. It's a really great networking evening that is professional, yet laid back and welcoming. The first time I attended I was very apprehensive and uncertain about meeting new people and chatting about our book. Mags had encouraged me to take this step and I'm really happy that she did. Tonight I will be there to give a short talk about Recipe Records and I'm bringing delicious foods made from the recipes in our book. 

What I am proud of in this business climate is to see a local business going out of its way to promote & encourage women in the business world. Granted, I'm new to this networking world and I'm not familiar with all of the programs available, but I find this outlet refreshing and encouraging. My mom always told me that women can be the best for each other ... but they can be the worst as well. Mags and I noticed in our book business dealings that women do tend to be more supportive of each other and more likely to help another woman pursue a business direction and contact. I've had some great opportunities arise from the foundation the women at Legence Bank have laid in this business climate.

That being said, I have to mention the importance of women in the world of rock and roll.  That topic is far too great for me to begin to discuss, but I'd like to share my random thoughts about the influence women have had on rock and roll.  While men offer great talent and direction in the world of rock, women have pushed the envelope and given the world a softer, yet edgy twist in music. 
The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame has an outstanding Women Who Rock exhibit that I visited last summer and I believe it ends in February - so hurry & get there.  This outstanding exhibit begins with the first ladies who breathed life into rock & roll, juke-joint "mamas" Ma Rainey, Bessie Smith & Maybelle Carter.  I doubt these ladies had any idea they were breaking ground for decades of progress for women, they were merely pouring out their souls into some beautiful music.  The exhibit displays clothing, instruments, memorabilia, music scores and the like.  I was skeptical that the exhibit could really pay homage to women stemming from the 1950's, but I was definitely impressed at the incredible display of history.  You'll see Madonna's famous bustier, Meg White's (The White Stripe's) peppermint bass drum and Janet Jackson's notebook containing lyrics such as "Rhythm Nation" .
I get tremendous enjoyment from researching musicians and listening to "fresh old music" .... For some people a new gadget, toy, book, etc. is their hobby, but for me it's learning & researching musicians and their music.  One female artist that I don't know anything about is Wanda Jackson who is called the Queen of Rockabilly and some call her the Queen of Rock.  Wanda was a teenager in the 50's & learned how to play the guitar with her father's support and she started playing music which was labeled "rockabilly" - a mixture of country and rock.  She soon met Elvis Presley and had a "friendship" with the King who was turning the music biz upside down and he encouraged her to jump into the mix. She was a teenage girl singing new music that adults considered wild and she was breaking new ground with her sound and her fringy dresses.  Wanda recently recorded a new CD (produced by Jack White) and she said that she is finally reaping the rewards of her breakthrough in the 50's.
The 74-year old Wanda says that "to see women still knocking down these barriers, not only in music but in business and all the arts, I'm quite proud of them. I don't care for everything that's happening in every respect but I'm very proud of the strong women-the way they've come to the forefront."
Amen Sista.
Check out or on Facebook for more information on their Women in Business networking events!
Don't compromise yourself. It's all you've got."
- Janis Joplin

Oh yeah -- here's my "Women in Rock" songlist for today:

God Bless the Child - Billie Holiday
Let's Have a Party - Wanda Jackson
Save Me - Aretha Franklin
My Boyfriend's Back - The Angels
Reflections - The Supremes
Take a Little Piece of My Heart - Janis Joplin
Preacher Man - Dusty Springfield
You're So Vain - Carly Simon
No More Tears (Enough is Enough) - Donna Summer & Barbara Streisand (otherwise known as Kath & Lane)
Heart of Glass - Blondie
You Better Be Good to Me - Tina Turner
The Shoop Shoop Song - Cher
Material Girl - Madonna
Strong Enough - Sheryl Crow & Stevie Nicks version
Oops...I Did it Again - Britney Spears
Work That - Mary J. Blige
The Deep - Adele

Lanea Stagg
Recipe Records