(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.