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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4 Sep '01 07:01:47 AM

"my shit's more deep than any tape from Enigma"

1 Sep '01 06:42:52 PM

Lots of information about liturgical worship and music in the Judeo-Christian tradition (with stuff about lots of Orthodox offshoots).

30 Aug '01 07:17:14 AM

Allergies bad. Sneezing, nose thing, itchy eyes. Deadened responses to music, everything else. Training meetings today. Schmoozing too. Ugh. Classes start Tuesday. Will likely be deadened to those too - but probably writing more.

29 Aug '01 04:10:50 AM

I'd like to hear The Biz with a lazy horn section.

28 Aug '01 06:39:41 PM

Listened to Kid A on my headphones last night, on the stereo, which makes it less bassy than my discman. Sound seemed disturbingly separated into "main instruments" and "floaty stuff higher up in the headphones" levels - division wasn't always kept, but it felt pretty rigid to me and so made the produciton seem a lot less enveloping. Needs room-space to smear those little details out more.

This made it all a lot less involving.

28 Aug '01 06:35:25 PM

Monk at the Jazz Workshop seems a lot lighter than the other Columbia era stuff I've heard. Monk's playing is more nimble. It highlights a similar kind of lightness that's in a lot of his other recordings - often his playing sounds a lot more gentle than you would expect from the way the music sounds, melodically, harmonically, rhythmically. In some places where it seems like huge crashing haphazardly swung chords would suit the music "best", Monk's a lot more subtle. Part of what makes him "difficult" maybe?

The sound on the Jazz Workshop album aids this: everything is more trebly from the live recording, the piano especially - and it's all kind of distant, while still being well-defined.

The band as a whole sounds a lot looser, as well; compare to the It Club stuff where they just seem kind of in-between somewhere (not quite sure), and Straight, No Chaser where they're much more dug in. Here the drum kit sounds more pliable, limber. The others follow suit.

25 Aug '01 11:16:50 PM

The scene: Murph and Josh, sitting in the living room, listening to James Brown Live at the Apollo. Mr. Brown is pleading for her not to go.

Murph: what's the difference between this and the Cardigans?

Josh: that's a very good question.

25 Aug '01 10:07:23 AM

"Fifteen" seems to be shifting on me.

25 Aug '01 09:56:29 AM

I have had a tiresome night. I put on Loveless and then after digging around all the wrong stacks for Isn't Anything I also found Tortoise's new album and some other stuff I've been wanting to listen to for a while. I don't like any of these three albums. So of course I decided to listen to them back-to-back.

Something about the My Bloody Valentine tomorrow, maybe. It left me bored and tired. The Tortoise did this as well, but with the added benefit of being cheesy. Some of this cheese comes from the 'music itself' (like, what the notes would look like on paper, in terms of time and pitch). Like the stop-start Zappaesque playing (and normally I would say 'and I like Zappa' here, but at the moment I'm not so sure and not really itching to go back to those records). Or most of the melodies and harmonies on the record. (Ugh.) Other cheese comes from the trashy 80s synths, bad fusion guitar tone, and so forth - the 'arrangements'. That's a lot of fucking cheese. The most disappointing thing about the album is that so much it seems to point the way toward an album similar to the previous ones in the appropriate ways, but which still mixed it up in some of the new ways they're apparently attempting.

What kind of similarity am I looking for? Mostly similarity in mood, maybe. I think part of what I found appealing about the earlier records, even when they came close to what some reviewers call 'futuristic lounge music', is that they avoided that through their drift - some kind of vague sense, in melody, rhythm, song construction, harmony, etc., that the whole thing was just drifting by. But when enough elements of that complex are moved around in slightly different directions, it starts sounding too much like, uh, futuristic lounge music. Goddammit.

Augh. Fucking Tortoise. Please don't turn into a band that's bad for all the reasons people give for why your not-bad albums are.