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.
A comment I submitted to Pazz and Jop that didn't make it:
In the fall I asked each of my undergraduate students to list, along with other stuff that was supposed to help me tell them apart, five records - all time favorites, current favorites, albums, songs, whatever. Of about sixty students (only two of whom said "I don't really listen to music"), five mentioned a Weezer album. Five. There were three blue albums, one Pinkerton, and one green album (and, happily, no Maladroits). This means something, but what exactly is unclear to me.
Django's song-ending chord twang = Neptunes bwoo bwoo bwoo sound ca. 1935
List of things thought (by my roommate) to be required upon hearing Django Reinhardt (it is a short list):
1. dancing mouse
The 2002 Pazz and Jop poll is now up. My ballot is here (with singles and albums autoaccidentally alphabetized, see here for the ordered version), and the one comment I got in is on here. Interestingly that's the one comment I thought would get in, the one I wrote which was especially topical and meaningful and stuff while also being about something high-profile enough to be mentioned by others this year (holy shit can you believe it three is the loneliest number oh wait), just barely. The other ones, I don't know. They were forced because I didn't have any jokes at hand and didn't really feel like saying anything and so made some stuff up. We'll see in a minute here if I think I should post any of them now.
So, Wilco. Rock critics are so lame.
Three records I have been enjoying thinking about playing lately: Nirvana - In Utero, Kraftwerk - Trans-Europe Express, Miles Davis - Bitches Brew.
Soon I hope to be able to enjoy thinking about playing records I have never before heard.
Next to the other records I mixed it with tonight (Ella and Louis, Bodily Functions, part of a Sinatra comp, and Getz/Gilberto), 69 Love Songs starts to sound totally unaccomplished and slipshod melodically, especially in the melody as made by the singing: contours of the line, phrasing, diction, intonation, basically anything you can think of.
Whether it's because she actually possesses some singerly control over her voice, or it's just further idiosyncracy, the fine, subtle variations in Astrud Gilberto's singing make it apparently impossible for me to sing along when coupled with her constantly flat tone - I can't consistently sing it off-key, even if my own singing isn't pitch-perfect (far from it ha). Yet: this is exactly her charm, because when I don't try to sing along, the texture of her voice and the way it moves around make her pitch sound more alluring, fascinating, slightly hypnotic. When I do try to sing along, my failure to keep up with the one aspect of the singing helps bring the other into prominence by itself, which can only be harmful to it.
On "The Nearness of You", while Ella sings, Louis is obviously playing his horn from farther away in the studio. I thought I might be able to say that I appreciated that little detail, but I can't really tell if the contrast was intentional, since Louis plays his horn from a distance on other tracks - it's just a device for reducing his volume, or maybe just getting a sound generally more appropriate for playing under a singer. Oh well.
"you'd be surprised / at my degree of uncertainty"