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.
I think I may have only listened to the Orchestra Baobab album once since buying it. And it started out so well - sort of artlessly breezy-sounding, with clear, chiming guitar. It made me want to run off and write about how wonderful life was, or more specifically, how wonderful it was to sit on the couch and listen to records. (Remember, my life is somewhat limited.) But as the record went on I started feeling slightly uneasy, as if an NPR pledge agent would call me up any moment and remind me that unless I mailed in my check I couldn't get the lovely complimentary gift, a tasteful selection of real music from Ecuador or Ireland or Ethiopia or some other fucking country you can't be educated and feel culturally enlightened about by listening to those plebian commercial radio stations. And I know there's some important aspect of lots of African music that involves pan-African and pan-continental fusion of styles (like, check out that culturally undespoiled Cuban beat in the rhythm section there, dear! where's my "Car Talk" mug?), I think it just acted as a catalyst for my unease. The more I started feeling as if I were hearing a (self-consciously attained or "natural") mixture of styles, the more I started suspecting that the music was actually written at the request of Ira Glass or some other fucker, he's just the first one I could think of with a name.
P.S. Yo Ira, if you like Biggie then nevermind.
I find Invisible Adjunct depressing but I read it anyway.
The articles linked to in the sidebar are all well worth reading, particularly if you're in academia yourself.
Firewater - "So Long, Superman"
A Tribe Called Quest - "Scenario (Remix)"
Stereolab - "Percolator"
Sonic Youth - "Catholic Block"
Digable Planets f. Guru - "Borough Check"
Sean Paul f. Busta Rhymes - "Gimme the Light (Pass the Dro-voisier Remix)"
Killer Mike f. Big Boi - "A.D.I.D.A.S."
Nas - "N.Y. State of Mind"
James Brown - "Make It Funky, Parts 1, 2, 3 & 4"
Geto Boys - "Mind Playing Tricks On Me"
Mobb Deep - "Shook Ones Pt. II"
Pixies - "Debaser"
Einsturzende Neubauten - "Die Explosion im Festspielhaus"
David Bowie - "Breaking Glass"
Prince - "Starfish and Coffee"
The Feelies - "Paint It Black"
Ted Leo / Pharmacists - "Parallel or Together?"
Miles Davis - "Wili (Part 1)"
It had not previously occurred to me that the name and song titles on the Metro Area record look like spraypainted tags. I suppose this is meant to be significant.
"in some ways transparent" - for example say like a house beat. And yet there are different house beats, infinitely many. (This is a remarkable fact.)
MRI now, "Blue" (their "Try Again" mirroring Aaliyah tribute) and "Nightclubbing at Home". Something special about music that's synthetic, but carefully so, so that it sounds close to something made with "normal" instruments that "normal" music is made on ("normal" rather than "natural" as opposed to "synthetic", because artificially enhanced sounds like those of guitars and recorded voices and percussion and wind instruments, as well as synthesized instruments intended to resemble unsynthesized counterparts, have become naturalized so that they are in some ways transparent, the song or the figure or the structure or the rhythm brought to the foreground) - and yes, the genre and form (dubby house) helps distinguish it in that regard too - compare to say free jazz or Cageian noise, where in some sense sound qua sound is supposed to be foregrounded, but because of either too strong a reminder of the sound sources' typical homes (structured improvisation with a historical connection to song and human singing), or too faint a connection (skronk skronk buzzzzzz drift wshhhhh), there's something nagging, a tension, that requires of me more zenlike mindful mindfullessness than when I listen to MRI or say Luomo where it's easy like a slump out of tension to start hearing sound sound sound sound sound sound sound.
But really the main problem with every tape I've ever made has been: not enough hiphop.
Why leave off the Neubauten just because it's long? Because the track becomes a world unto itself, click whirr whirrrrr scrape blixa. When shorter the other songs make it easier, inside each song, to be aware of the song's relation to other songs on the tape, which is partly like the entire fucking idea on the tapes I usually make. Long tracks breed forgetfulness.
Which is why some of my choices for the tape-in-planning below are dangerous. The James Brown and Miles Davis are very long, and the Digable Planets track might be pretty long compared to some others. I also have in mind to put either "Love's in Need of Love Today" on, or "I Love Every Little Thing About You", and the former is pretty worldlike.
Judicious use of symmetry may help.