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Iraqi Heavy Metal Band Asks for Help as They Fight to Survive

September 21, 2007 11:17 AM ET

When Rock Daily reported on the stirring Spike Jonze-produced documentary Heavy Metal in Baghdad as part of our Toronto International Film Festival coverage, we were told the bandmembers' situation was dire. Now new information has emerged about Acrassicauda, Iraq's only heavy-metal band, and their fight to survive. The group, which formed in 2001 and was influenced by Metallica, Slayer and Slipknot, almost immediately began receiving death threats from fundamentalists who called their music Satantic -- playing in public became almost impossible, and even practicing was dangerous. Like approximately two million other Iraqis, they fled their home country and became war refugees in Syria, but as of October 10th, their visas expire -- if they return home, they will almost certainly die. Now the filmmakers who documented their struggle in the film are asking for help raising money to relocate the band someplace safer (they're not disclosing where for fear of endangering the band further). For more information and instructions on how to donate, check out the movie's Web site.

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Song Stories

“You Oughta Know”

Alanis Morissette | 1995

This blunt, bitter breakup song -- famous for its line "Would she go down on you in a theater?" -- was long rumored to be about Alanis Morissette getting dumped by Full House actor Dave Coulier. But while she never confirmed it was about him (Coulier himself says it is, however), she insisted the song wasn't all about scorn. "By no means is this record just a sexual, angry record," she told Rolling Stone. "The song wasn't written for the sake of revenge. It was written for the sake of release. I'm actually a pretty rational, calm person."

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