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Lions Roar : March 2013
Early in the decade, the Muslim artist formerly known as Cat Stevens found him- self on a plane with a Buddha in one hand, and a box of chocolates in the other. He was so vexed by the seeming duality of his desires that he named his new album for the incident: Buddha and the Chocolate Box. THE 70s People: Ceremony, Buddha Meet Rock (1971); The Band, Rock of Ages (1972) Outside of Howard Beale from the classic film Network, few things say “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!” like the famous photograph of Vietnamese monk Thich Quang Duc immolating himself in protest of his govern- ment’s oppression of his religion. So maybe it’s fitting that Rage Against the Machine, a band whose music would embody large-scale protest done on the corporation’s dime—just how Beale did it!—would employ the image for its eponymous debut. THE 80s and 90s Starship: Greatest Hits: Ten Years and Change (1979-1991); Earth: Sunn Amps and Smashed Guitars (1995) Yes, this is a real cover for a real album (Karma. Bloody. Karma.), by a real band. It depicts a six-armed, knife-wielding, bull-headed figure—a nod to the wrathful dei- ties of tantric Buddhism (and also some of the gods of Hinduism). With a band name like Cattle Decapitation, some might guess that these guys, who play metal in the death-metal/grindcore vein, are insensitive, bloodthirsty goons. But nope. They’re actually quite concerned with animal rights, vegetarianism, and the environment. 2000– Uriah Heep: Wake the Sleeper (2008); Xzibit: “Concentrate” single (2006) As mass-culture has become more pervasive and extreme, so too has the use of Buddhism-inspired imagery in the musical marketplace. SHAMBHALA SUN MARCH 2013 67