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 went to Madison this past weekend to play quizbowl. Things I chose to play on the van's CD player: Weezer and the Wu-Tang's first albums. (Latter was derided by one team member as "violence", I note with glee.) Things I chose to play on my headphones: Saint Etienne, Burning Airlines, Outkast. Other things I heard: Metallica, NIN, the Run Lola Run and Big Lebowski soundtracks, the Violent Femmes, and Swans (!).
Cool audio bonuses I answered or helped answer this weekend: a sound processing question where we had to identify the filter that had been applied to a sound; identify-the-artist-and-album with clips of Busta and Public Enemy; name-the-artist-from-spoken-clips with Kraftwerk and Pixies. There were some applied music theory sorta things too but they weren't asked of my team.
The stuff on the second disc of the William Parker-involved record Mayor of Punkville (as I remember it disc one is more planned-out sounding, but I've not heard it much yet) doesn't just sound like "big band doing free jazz", but "big band doing minimalist free jazz," "minimalist" in the repeating-a-lot-and-changing sense. At first it makes it seem pretty dumb compared to most jazz, because of the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication being stripped away, while it still sounds vaguely jazz-like. But - the builds! Especially on the last track. Once the band gets going, it's like an entire high school bandroom playing Philip Glass playing New Orleans jazz... or something like that. Which kicks ass and makes me smile.
Over Christmas I was at my parents' place; I stole away with my sister's old clarinet. So the other day I bought a book so I could learn how to play it proper-like. The book starts with pages full of stuff like:
whole note A, whole rest, whole note A, whole rest, whole note A, whole rest
OK, listening. I think I missed something. But probably more AAS, Nirvana's live (not unplugged) album, the Dismemberment Plan's Change, then the same thing again on the way home. Now, DBC233, one of 999 joy-inducing objects.
"Teenage Wasteland" is playing faintly behind the talk show on my alarm clock radio.
Last night I listened to Coltrane's Meditations a couple times, then some AAS to sleep to; this morning some more AAS (louder hah), then Pink Flag on the way to campus, and Roots Manuva in the afternoon and on the way home. Tonight, Low's Secret Name and now good ole American Analog Set again.
Listening to American Analog Set, but especially on From Our Living Room to Yours, and especially on "Two-Way Diamond", makes me want to give up. I don't know how to spin that in a good way while still keeping the sense of 'give up', but that's precisely what I mean. Give up, in a good way. Not really a sense of surrender, either. Just sort of... stopping. Open-endedly. Not to do anything else, but instead nothing at all. And, forever, too, since they have discovered one of the secret truths of the universe, an infinitely repeatable riff.
"Once you become aware of this force for unity in life," said Coltrane, "you can't ever forget it. It becomes part of everything you do. In that respect, this is an extension of A Love Supreme since my conception of that force keeps changing shape. My goal in meditating on this through music, however, remains the same. And that is to uplift people, as much as I can. To inspire them to realize more and more of their capacities for living meaningful lives. Because there certainly is meaning to life."