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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17 Jan '02 07:17:21 AM

Today I listened to Laika very loud, and The Dismemberment Plan is Terrified, and the things for finishing Murph's tape, and later disc two of Bitches Brew. Now I am listening to Emergency & I. I feel very sad for no apparent reason (or at least none of the reasons I can find seem to add up enough), like a lot in the past month. So I'm listening to Emergency &; I because it's the record that makes me the happiest and I don't want to fuck around about it. Tonight I am going to sit down and finally read Dostoevsky's Notes from Underground until I finish it.

16 Jan '02 09:54:56 AM

Oh, and in case you're wondering, my month-long break from classes ends next week. I can't say for sure but I suspect that will mean a slight drop in josh blog entries again, since it usually does (even though technically there is no reason why there should be).

I'll be teaching discussion sections for a moral problems course, and taking seminars in modern (read: old) philosophy and aesthetics, and maybe a thing on democracy and education. And starting an aesthetics reading group, woo hoo.

16 Jan '02 09:41:18 AM

ALSO: I sympathize with Tim in two ways. I think Closer Musik's "Departures" is absolutely riveting. But it seems so simple (especially because the main thing I seem to be drawn by is the up-down-up-down/left-right-left-right synth burble) that I feel hard-pressed to explain why I'm riveted. It seems awfully close to describing why someone playing those singing dishes (the kind you rub around the rim to make them vibrate - no, I don't know why this came to mind) is playing something really great and simultaneously really simple. So I sympathize with Tim's recent frustrating (if it's that) at not writing enough about the sounds and such, and with his tendency to write about the music on a higher level (relationships between styles and such).

Also, come to think of it (also also also), a remark he made once about how deciding whether he likes a dance track or not is a lot easier and more immediate than the same for some other genres, because of something to do with how... uh. I forget it exactly. Tim?

16 Jan '02 08:54:00 AM

Also there's something so slightly ominous about the way the beats make time seem to shift around on "Teaser" (oho) that I almost don't want to call it "ominous", but I don't know what else to call it.

16 Jan '02 08:51:41 AM

Also I think I am in love with the singer on Lawrence's "Teaser" just as I am in love with the vocalist on Jaxx's "Kissalude". The German one is probably singing something stupid, but what do I care?

16 Jan '02 08:47:18 AM

Another one of my favorite CDs of 2001 was the Total 3 experimental tech-house compilation for the Kompakt label.

Like I said earlier, some of my reasons for liking this are similar to my reasons for liking Rooty. This record didn't really present a potential challenge like Rooty did, though. To put it simplistically, Rooty has a lot more pop, and a lot more sex, than I'm used to. So the fact that those things come in the form of dance music maybe made the dance music harder to get used to (although, as I said, it wasn't really hard). On the other hand, Total 3 is like the dance album I've always wanted to buy.

It's got neat sounds all over it. I could listen to just the bassline to Michael Mayer's "Hush Hush Baby" all day, I bet (and in fact for part of the track everything else drops out, and it sounds sublime). The sound just has so much dimension to it that it delights me to hear the figure repeated again and again. And the texture: kind of farty and burbly, but with some clickiness too.

It's trance-inducing without being annoying. The good kind of trance. I suspect this has a lot to do with the entire combinations of rhythms, synth sounds, production, and notes repeated. They all seem kind of distant to me. And gentle at the same time, though that makes no sense. I would even say it's mantric, though most of the music is instrumental. But the vocal tracks are literally mantric, including my favorite, "Tomorrow". "Tomorrow... I will be happy."

It's moody, brooding, atmospheric, spacious, watery, all that jazz. You know I dig that. I'm reminded of a less desolate Consumed, or some other Plastikman junk.

Uh. Yeah. I'm feeling a little inarticulate, so this is where I stop.

16 Jan '02 07:49:15 AM

I think this shall be side B of Murph's tape:

I am deviating even further from what I thought I should shoot for on this side, because the most successful choices on side A were the ones I put there more for me than him. Ha.

Also, I didn't want to use the same band twice but it works.

14 Jan '02 03:14:43 PM
14 Jan '02 09:00:30 AM

Kelly asked me once whether I listen to what I write about while I'm writing. I think I said something like, I tend to write about more conceptual things when not listening, or things that have less to do with 'the music proper', and I need to listen to actually write much about the music.

I've been meaning to write about Kompakt Total 3 next, because I think that it follows nicely after what I said about Rooty, with the important difference that the former seems to suit my otherwise existing tastes much more easily - because of its mood, because of the sparse arrangements. I want to say more about it, though, so I haven't written anything yet because I haven't felt like replacing anything I've been listening to with that CD. And I'm realizing (re-realizing) that I really do need to have the CD on. What I usually do is listen to something, figure out that I have something to say, and then figure out how to say it. The last part involves lots of finding exactly (???) the right thing to say abou what I'm hearing right then. I need to be hearing it then because I can't come up with the words without the music, even if I can sort of remember the spirit of what I want to say.