Explore music that makes you feel good

MADISON JACKSON | Evergreen music columnist

With so many different types of music, it’s alarming that so few styles make their way to radio stations. It can be hard to find something else, especially in a rural college town with little other than country and the top 40.

However, every once in a while, the drive back to Pullman begins later than expected. On a whim, turn the radio dial to different stations to try to stay awake. Strangely enough, it’s playing the kind of music that none of your friends know or like.

So keep listening. Write down the station on a napkin hidden in the glove box. Remember the time and the names of the DJs. This treasure is one in who knows how many.

I may be one of the few that do this, but if I like a radio show, I’ll seek it out. It’s something different, out of the norm. For me, this is KNDD Seattle 107.7 The End Unplugged. From 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. every Sunday, they play live acoustic sessions of some of my favorite bands.

Some of these were recorded in The End’s studio, called Endsessions. Some were recorded for MTV, like Nirvana’s “The Man Who Sold the World.”

Large radio stations aren’t the only ones who do weekly shows either. Last year, a friend of mine planned his entire Friday evening around one radio show.

That show, Radio in America on KRFP 90.3 Radio Free Moscow, played various types of metal, punk and occasionally local music. According to the Radio Free Moscow website, “Danny Boy and Big Tony play metal, punk and indie.”

Sometimes I would listen with my friend. At first, listening to heavy metal was strange, but I started seeking it out on my own.

When I listened last year, they mostly played black metal, characterized by fast, distorted guitar, screeching vocals and fast blasting beats on the drums. This is not the kind of music to play in a toddler’s crib.

A week ago, on the first day of school, I attended a Skeletonwitch concert with that same friend who introduced me to metal. It was my first metal concert and I had no idea what to expect.

Technically melodic death blackened thrash metal, my friend stressed, Skeletonwitch is touring with a brand new singer, Adam Clemans, and a new four-song Extended Play (EP) called “The Apothic Gloom.”

Parking outside of the venue, we saw a mob of people clad in black beside a bouncer on a stool. Needless to say, I did not fit in with the crowd in my borrowed oversized long-sleeved Skeletonwitch shirt and blue jeans, but looks can be deceiving.

We walked pass the bouncer, up a flight of stairs to a bored-looking woman who drew a black X on the top of each hand to signify that we were under 21.

This was the smallest venue I have ever been to. The stage, standing area, bar and sitting area combined is the size of the junior ballroom.

And it was empty. The stage was elevated three feet off of the floor and no one was near the stage. They were either in line at the bar, sitting off to the side or at the tables in the back of the room with the stage.

There were two opening acts. The first, Reason for Existence, a punky traditional heavy metal band, played most music they had just written so it was mostly instrumental, as they hadn’t written lyrics yet.

The second, Wolfsmouth, was a five-piece death metal band with a singer that could scream higher and longer than most girls in horror movies can. More and more people started trickling onto the floor to see the band perform.

When Skeletonwitch came on, most of the crowd got out of their seats and got into the music. There were people throwing each other into other people, people standing and head banging as the new singer screamed into the microphone.

I, however, was exhausted; at a couple points in Skeletonwitch’s set, I started dozing off standing up. Yeah, my friend couldn’t believe it either.

Around 11 p.m. Skeletonwitch played their encore and said goodnight, because even metal heads need their sleep. So, my friend and I left the bar for Pullman after buying Skeletonwitch’s new EP and a T-shirt.

Believe it or not, heavy metal used to be popular. Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and Black Sabbath each contributed to the success and development of metal. These recognizable band names are still relevant, regardless if you can name even one song of theirs.

The point is, listen to the music that makes you feel good. Stay up into the wee hours of the morning. Experience new music that speaks to you, even if it doesn’t speak to anyone else.