This is the second post of the day, which we don’t do very often. As the title says, this is mainly a sappy thank-you post. Of course it is, because “sappy” is my middle name. Well, it comes right after my other middle names, i.e., “wordy” and “half-assed.”
For many months after we started this blog, no one posted any comments on what we wrote. Okay, to be honest, for many months no one read what we wrote. But even after the reading started, our words were greeted by silence. Figuratively, the sound of crickets.
Not all bad, because I’ve missed the sound of crickets ever since moving to Seattle from Texas years ago. I don’t miss the appearance of crickets, just the sound of them, on warm nights, when you can’t see them. Kind of a dreamy, hypnotic sound. The sound of nature around us, undisturbed.
Where was I? Oh yeah: No one posted any comments at NCS for a long time. But now that has changed, and it’s been an exhilarating change for us. We look forward every day to seeing what readers write, even when someone calls us retarded, and we feel kinda empty on the days when none come. That’s mainly because the comments are usually better than the posts we write.
Yesterday was a classic example, certainly one of the best comment days ever. We did a half-baked riff on band names and got a slew of comments that were smart and funny and creative and educational and took the discussion off in unexpected directions, which is part of what’s so much fun about the comments we’re getting.
And did I say the comments are educational? They’re really educational! Of course, when, like us, you start in a state of embarrassing ignorance, it may not take much to be educational in our eyes, but still. After the jump, I’ll tell you the things I learned yesterday, and one thing in particular that drew me back to an album I haven’t listened to in a while, and it was just a perfect end to a beautiful Indian summer day in Seattle.
But first: Thank you to the people who commented yesterday — to Dan, and ElvisShotJFK, and Brian, and Andy, and byrd36 — and to everyone else who has taken the time to add something to this site since we started. And we don’t mean to slight those who simply read and don’t write (which is mainly what I do on other sites). We are sappily grateful to all of you, too. But if you usually don’t write and are are tempted to write something someday, don’t worry — we won’t bite! (more sappiness, plus some music, after the jump . . .)
As a result of yesterday’s comments, I learned where Arsis got its name (you’ll never guess in a million years if you don’t already know), how to pronounce Sepultura and Naglfar, that a band called Leprous has a song called “Tall Poppy Syndrome”, and that “Death” is also the name of three black R&B musicians in Detroit who moved on to punk after seeing Alice Cooper in concert.
I learned that Gwar can actually write inspired lyrics, what “Between the Buried and Me” really means (or should mean) and where the name came from, that “Testament” wasn’t that band’s first name, that Lamb of God first called themselves “Burn the Priest”, and that there’s a band called Nagelfar, in addition to Naglfar.
Not too fucking shabby for one day’s installment of comments, is it? And I learned one more thing.
I learned what “Naglfar” means, even if it’s a mouthful to pronounce. According to The Font of All Human Knowledge (via a link provided by byrd36), in Norse mythology it’s “a boat made entirely from the fingernails and toenails of the dead.” “During the events of Ragnarök, Naglfar is foretold to sail to Vígríðr, ferrying hordes that will there battle with the gods.” Seriously, if that’s not metal, what is?
I gained a whole new appreciation for Naglfar, even if there is a defunct German black-metal band called Nagelfar. But I appreciated them a lot even before knowing, for the first time, what their name meant.
They epitomize the unique contribution of black metal done right — the conjoining of bestiality and beauty, the union of headbanging catharsis and the sublimity (is that a word?) of melody, the fusion of human emotion and technological power. Oh hell, just listen, as I did again last night after reading the comments about the band — and thanks again to all of you for making our efforts here entirely worthwhile.