josh blog

Ordinary language is all right.

One could divide humanity into two classes:
those who master a metaphor, and those who hold by a formula.
Those with a bent for both are too few, they do not comprise a class.

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23 Dec '04 06:21:21 AM

Best with cartoon wads of meat, of course.

23 Dec '04 06:20:51 AM

I will never tire of gags premised on arbitrary people spontaneously saying 'my anaconda don't want none'. Better with cartoon people, too. Of course.

21 Dec '04 11:10:52 AM

One way I know now that Sonic Youth might actually be one of my actual real-live favorite bands is that when say I go by their records on the shelf or my computer and think, oh, hey, I wanna listen to Sonic Youth, I'm then paralyzed with the indecision caused by not wanting to pass anything up. I don't think I would feel quite that way if I didn't also derive distinctly different (not much different) experiences of pleasure from each of their records - if the records felt at all interchangeable. I realize this is a dubious-sounding thing to say about Sonic Youth. And still I feel it more intensely than most of the judgments I care to voice about music.

I'm not saying I'm about to go out looking for a fight or anything, but, you know.

21 Dec '04 10:53:16 AM

I've just spent hours downloading the songs mentioned in Donald Larsson's companion to Weisenburger's companion to Gravity's Rainbow and yet I (1) still have a big list of things I couldn't find (some annoyingly so, like 'Lady of Spain' which you would think would pop up even if obscure British musichall numbers don't), and (2) have found little in the way of what I really sat down to look for, a list of songs that serve as the models for Pynchon's own songs. Sigh.

21 Dec '04 08:24:52 AM

The sounds on Call Me are surprisingly metallic for such an intimate-sounding record. Maybe that's why it doesn't always seem to stand being turned up that well. The balance comes undone.

21 Dec '04 07:35:48 AM

Clive on the Junior Boys.

21 Dec '04 12:53:53 AM

I'm still trying to figure out if there's something I'm missing that would redeem 'The Makings of a Perfect Bitch' - or is it really just as unreflectedly conflicted about the virtues of women as it sounds?

(Hey Maya Angelou and Angela Davis, you're really great and admirable, here, hold on, just gotta finish this suture. There, now I've stitched together a slutty obedient intellectual black woman that I can be happy with forever. What the fuck?)

21 Dec '04 12:44:15 AM

Hearing 'American Way' off of Street's Disciple feels a little weird because 'Atomic Dog' has already been so memorably reappropriated, but I wonder if it might not just be that; it seems like a sensation echoed by some of the other beats on the album, and just more loudly by this one: that by now some beats, some sounds, want to have more than one MC over them. I don't just mean more than one rapper with a verse, or with someone else on the chorus or the hook, but any sort of small sign that there are other people around. At times on this record Nas sounds unnaturally alone, like someone didn't show up for work that day and he had to run the store by himself; or maybe more like: he sent them all home early because he insisted on running it himself. I don't think it need have reflected poorly on his quest to be peerless, just to let the inevitable presence of the other people around him show up a bit more on the record.

(The fact that Kelis shows up on the chorus to 'American Way' only emphasizes this; since we know who she is and think of her as another person, another individual, instead of a chorus-voice, she reminds us that there are other individuals, and not just out there somewhere, but other individuals in Nas' life. There are obviously some exceptions, but even when there are other people things feel kind of lonely.)

20 Dec '04 09:29:26 AM

The lack of paragraph breaks probably helped, but the main reason I even looked through the book in advance to see how Broch used quotation marks later on was that there is an irritating extra amount of space after all of the left quote marks that's not after the right quote marks.