Apr 032014

(NCS guest contributor Leperkahn decided that for a school project he was going to spend a week without metal. He received a lot of suggestions from our readers, and this is his report on Day 3 of his experiment.)

This third post is going to be a bit light on music, as was my day, for the first time in a very long time.

Like most NCS readers, I tend to fill my earholes with music on a semi-constant basis, in both appropriate and inappropriate social contexts. For the first time in a long time, I really didn’t listen to much music. In fact, I didn’t listen to anything besides a bit of random radio garble while driving various places, at least not until a little before 7 o’clock at night.

Part of this might have been that, unlike yesterday, I had no plan at all as to what I was going to theme my day with. My brain racked for a bit in search of an idea, but for most of the day nothing came to mind that seemed fitting. Part of it was also definitely a lack of opportunities to listen, since I had a calc test and part one of my two-part final essay in a Literature class. This, combined with a lack of sleep from studying the previous night, left me in a rather crabby mood, and not particularly receptive to music.

However, I eventually came around. I started by checking out a band recommended in the Day 2 post, The Goat Rodeo Sessions.

They’re quite the supergroup, with cellist Yo-Yo Ma, acclaimed mandolinist Chris Thile, bluegrass fiddle player Stuart Duncan, and upright bassist/banjoist Edgar Meyer. They were described to me by commenter TGLumberjack as “an original blend of bluegrass folk and classical, with some other styles and influences leaked in”. That description seems pretty apt, though it may not hint at just how well they weave differing melodies around each other, like some of the best Opeth songs do.

One thing that I’ve been missing in my metal hiatus is that swirling of complementary melodies around each other, layering the composition and giving it a denser feel that makes it ripe for relistening. With The Goat Rodeo Sessions, I finally got that.


The final album I listened to (also suggested in the comments of the Day 2 post) was an album of bluegrass, by Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder. This seemed to hit a pretty traditional bluegrass sound, fitting the stereotypes one might have about it. Though I knew that playing bluegrass required some serious dexterity, I didn’t realize just how good and how fast they end up playing. Hell, the banjoist was making Yngwie Malmsteen look like a doom guitarist, shredding along like the devil was lighting a fire under his arse.

The album gave me a pretty favorable first impression (at least first conscious impression) of bluegrass, and has convinced me that I should check it out further, and not dismiss it as another breed of country (most of which I find repulsive).



That’s all I have for this day of listening. I’m gonna go for a rap day tomorrow, my first active foray into the genre since I eschewed it as an eight(?)-year-old in favor of classic rock. My sister has decreed/suggested that I must/should listen to Kendrick Lamar’s album. I might as well. I’m also hoping to delve a bit into ‘90s gangster rap, as well as a few of the more intelligent projects suggested by Professor D. Grover the XIIIth. If you fine folks have other suggestions (or ire) to share with me, feel free to do so in the comments below.

  18 Responses to “METAL FASTING: DAY 3”

  1. I generally don’t listen to rap much, either, but I have developed an affinity for Outkast over the past few years. “Stankonia” is the only album I’ve really listened to backwards and forwards, and I absolutely love it. It’s got quite a few of their major hits on it, like “Bombs Over Baghdad” and “So Fresh, So Clean” so you should be able to recognize some of it.

    If you’re looking for something a bit more bizarre, I also have an unhealthy obsession with English garage act The Streets first album “Original Pirate Material”. Yes, British rap. I think I like it so much partly just because I find it amusing. As an American, hearing someone lay down verses with an English accent is strange, at the very least. But something about the words Mike Skinner chooses to employ and the rhythms and samples he uses just fascinates me. This album seems to paint a really vivid picture of the average working class “street geez”, which is another reason I think I like it so much. I just seems so real and genuine. Oi oi oi oi.

    • The first Streets album is the only one I ever really liked either, to be honest.

      Then again, when it comes to British rap, I always preferred Goldie Lookin’ Chain. (Okay, they’re actually Welsh. Close enough.) They’re a joke group, really, but I find them mostly hilarious.I mean, they’ve got a song called ‘Your Mother’s Got A Penis’. It’s quite entertaining.

    • My sister also implored me to listen to some Outkast.

  2. I listen to almost as much rap as I do instrumental albums made entirely with the oud. However, I would recommend an old school rap group named ONYX. They have something new out in 2014 that I like (I’ll look for it), but you ought to watch this video of them performing with Biohazard:


    • Here’s the new Onyx song and video I was thinking of:


    • You mean you don’t listen to Turkish folk music religiously?? Some of my favorite oud players (oudists?) are Afif Taian, Samer Totah, Antranig Kzirian, Naseer Shama, Riyad al-Sunbati, Munir Bashir, Farid al-Atrach, and Mohamed el-Qasabgi. Namedrop central!

      • As a somewhat classical guitarist (as in, I used to play but hardly ever now), I’m keen as fuck to get hold of an oud after seeing Acyl play one, and even been trying to source one but they’re scarce things in little NZ. I’m going to travel to Europe in the near future so I imagine I’ll have some luck there.

  3. Errr FYI, as an english person, I should inform you that Mike Skinner is neither real nor genuine, and is infact regarded as a knob by most english people. There are much better english bands to listen to.

    For something a bit different, I’d suggest Nathan Lee (known as Flutebox), who makes some really interesting beatbox/flute/traditional Indian combinations, and maybe Bedouin Soundclash, some easy listening catchy reggae/ska.

    • Ahh, that’s disappointing. Although, I pretty much hate everything I’ve heard by him besides the album I mentioned. I will check out that stuff you mentioned, though!

    • What about him makes him such a poseur?

  4. If you want to try some real hip hop, check out Jurassic 5. It has as much in common with popular hop as opeth does with metalcore.. It’s made out of the same building blocks but instead of cheesy commercial bullshit it’s tightly syncopated barbershop quartet style rap with four immensely talented rappers and two outstanding djs.

  5. Schoolboy Q: Oxymoron. Kendrick Lamar calls him a lyrical genius. It’s good, but different. I’d probably do Kendrick Lamar’s Section 80 before good kid m.a.a.d city.
    I like Yo Gotti, Plies, Alley Boy, Waka Flocka, Travis Porter, and even YG.
    You can’t go wrong with any Jay Z Blueprint (i.e.3).
    I like the Ludacris: Battle of the Sexes.
    I’ve got all the Rick Ross albums except the new Mastermind. Check out Port of Miami or Trilla.
    While there check out Meek Mill, Wale, and Future.
    The early T.I. Stuff is good. The last album I got was Paper Trail.
    The 50 Cent Get Rich or Die Tryin is classic.
    I do listen to Old School on Backspin more than new Hip Hop Nation. I know radio only plays what’s on their playlist, but I prefer Old School despite my small list above.
    My favorites are Run DMC, Public Enemy, and Geto Boys Grip It! on that other level. I also like Eazy E, Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube, and Dr. Dre.
    I’m leaving out a ton. The street albums, mixtapes, are almost always better than studio albums for the new stuff.

  6. I second Jurassic 5. Power in numbers in a great album
    also, Busdriver is a good rap artist to look into, tends to delve into more experimental and avant-garde styles (that be my thing)

  7. My knowledge of rap and hiphop isn’t very big, but one artist that has always delivered great stuff is Immortal technigue. Great lyrics, good flow and very catchy music. I suggest anything from “Revolutionary vol 2”, in particular “Peruvian cocaine” http://youtu.be/EYCdHLNkNEk

    Also, I think you can’t go wrong with old Public enemy and gangstarap like Ice cube, Dr Dre and Snoop dog. Although that shit is likely overplayed as fuck.

    Speaking of which, I’ve recently realised that I really dig Eminem. He’s verbal as hell and with lot’s of funny/clever twists in his rhymes. He’s also fast as a motherfuck, just listen to Rapgod.

    If you don’t mind hip hop in foreign languages there’s a couple of Swedish artists that I also like.

    Gonza-Ra. Very laid back young guy from the inland of northern Sweden, complete with accent.

    Promoe. Swedens nastiest dreads?

    Kartellen. Swedish gangstarap. The main rapper Sebbe Staxx has a strange lisp or something but I still find the music enjoyable.

    Petter. Swedens most succesful rapper, very mainstream. I dig the basline in this song, and the guestrap from Lilla Namo

    • I didn’t even think of foreign rap. Anything by the Tunisian-French group akhneton is worth listening to. Also “La palais d’justice” by Freeman. French language 90s gangstarap smooth and menacing as an AK.

      • French must be tailor-made for rap, it’s so smooth and fast-flowing even when just spoken. Similarily, I’d expect spanish/portugese rap to be lightning fast. 🙂

  8. well it might be too late for newgrass bluegrass suggestions but one band I just recently heard which I really liked is three ring circle ,along the lines of bela fleck,tony rice ,mark o connor,jerry douglas ,amazing musicianship on par with tech metal

  9. It’s GOAT – greatest of all time.

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