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.
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."
I've never been so disgusted by a live recording as by Radiohead's I Might Be Wrong. I wasn't expecting much from it - mostly just a chance to hear how they translated music from their last two albums into a live setting, probably with more 'rock band playing live' overtones. That's basically what I got, and it's about as interesting as I was afraid it would be (read: not especially). Oh well. The bad part, though. God. The fucking crowd. Now, I understand that for lots of live recordings, especially those of rock bands which don't do much different to their music when playing live, having some crowd noise on the record is standard. Here, though, it disrupts everything. Destroys it. It's bad enough that Radiohead threaten the fundamentally internal character of the songs from Kid A and Amnesiac, by losing the subtle, sensual textures, replacing them with guitars or organs or just ditching them (like THE FUCKING BASS LINES where was this thing recorded anyway?!?), or by amping them up a bit, for some of the songs (that criticism maybe doesn't apply to songs like "Idioteque"). Far worse: the crowd hoots and yells at all of the rockstar moments, like when they congratulate themselves for recognizing the beginnings of songs they like, or at the big climaxes or the parts where the sounds die down, or, presumably, when one of the guitarists makes a "this is very intense" face. They yelp in pitiful displays of their inability to control their reactions to the music. They reveal their utter lack of understanding of the character of these last two records, treating them like the anthemic arena fodder that they wish they had been. Just shut. The. Fuck. Up.