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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6 Feb '02 05:38:06 AM

Lately with a number of things I've been having the experience of hearing anew music that I had not listened to for a substantial time. It's been happening in the same way for everything, too: all the sounds are brighter, punchier, better defined. I notice parts that feel like they've never been there before. The last two records it happened with were The Blueprint and Rock Action, admittedly records I haven't been away from long. Tonight it's Spiritualized's first album, Lazer Guided Melodies. Though the surface experiences were similar for all three albums, it feels a lot different to hear new things with the Spiritualized record because I love the record so much and I have such a history with it, compared to the other two. Maybe it's kind of like being reminded of something, having a memory called to mind, only instead of having the faded aspect of a memory everything seems as it did the first tiem around. Only, intensified, because of the sense of newness that comes from hearing things in a new light.

Also, I had a flash of a related memory, walking down a hall somewhere (either upstairs or in the basement) in Carver Hall, the building at Iowa State where my math department was, listening to "Shine a Light". Nothing else though.

5 Feb '02 07:36:46 AM

Ooh I forgot I listened to the Wu-Tang today too. I wonder if they still do the thing where whoever likes a beat can rhyme over it, then the best rhymes get chosen to go on the track.

5 Feb '02 07:26:20 AM

Favorite josh blog word is obviously, by the way, 'seem'. Reasons should be apparent, making word count analysis a waste of time.

5 Feb '02 07:24:33 AM

Also, despite my absence not being that long, the time away from The Blueprint made me more conscious of how strong an emotional bond with the music I developed over the fall and earlier this winter. I certainly think the music did its part, but it feels more like something I did, by just playing it a lot and having my usual everyday feelings alongside it. The importance of these bonds should not be discounted. The fact that they developed for music that I'm traditionally less emotionally attached to (especially in the "emotional" usually applied to music, i.e. sadness, really passionate stuff, joy, etc.) cannot only be explained away in terms of frequent exposure. For this ignores how lots of otherwise more emotionally affective music gets an in, as it were, by being played a lot and just fitting the requisite mold I have prepared for it - music to have emotional bonds formed wit. (This is because, oho, where did that mold come from?)

5 Feb '02 07:18:40 AM

After not hearing The Blueprint for a while, and mostly Vol. 2: Hard Knock Life instead, the former sounds far more opulent. I think Fred said something about how lush the strings sound, somewhere on here. At the time I couldn't understand how he could think that. Everything seemed very... faded, I guess I want to say, though that's not quite right. Monochrome maybe. But now, after a bit of a break (hearing the different arrangements, perhaps more monochrome actually, on Unplugged may have had something to do with it too), there are all kinds of colors. Things seem placed more spaciously in the sound stage, and I'm noticing more parts of the samples standing out as separate parts, rather than all sounding like one monolithic sample.

A separate thing, but on the rap-and-jazz-similar tip (see below): I've noticed before but tonight the contrasts between Jay's flow and Eminem's flow on "Renegade" especially struck me. Eminem is uncharacteristically lyrical there, still, but since tonight I was already thinking more about the difficulty of Jay's rhymes, I thought that juxtaposition with Em's verses made his on that song seem even more syntactically and semantically obfuscated (but in a good sense) than usual; it also shed light on all of Jay's rhymes. He uses so much slang, and otherwise colorful language, yes. But also, more importantly, his rhymes sort of go wherever they want, or have to. Constant use of enjambments (like Outkast!), and that's probably just the start of it. Could it be that this has something to do with Eminem's success? His rhymes elsewhere are crazier but as I remember they're still a bit more linguistically tame, even if his flow is great (I don't want to detract from his accomplishment, is what I mean - he's just doing something different).

The opening string bit just hangs suspended for what feels like forever before the beat drops.

5 Feb '02 06:53:17 AM

Cannonball's playing just sounds so effortless!

5 Feb '02 06:52:39 AM

The experiences of listening to fast bebop and fast rapping feel very similar to me: the same sense of (me) trying to catch up, follow it, put everything together into a coherent whole.

5 Feb '02 06:36:35 AM

Today's listening: Talking Heads on the way in, them some Pan American at my desk, then Emergency & I, Jay-Z on the way home, and now Milestones.

5 Feb '02 12:58:58 AM

I'm happy to report that Badger is only temporarily away as a result of internet access problems and a new computer, and will be back again in a while.