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 Feb '03 04:58:20 AM

Or is it? It's repeated on the inside but then spelled correctly in a record title in the credits.

17 Feb '03 04:52:15 AM

"Metro Area" is misspelled on the back of Digital Disco.

17 Feb '03 12:19:07 AM

The buying itself, I meant, as I barely listened to them.

16 Feb '03 09:12:02 AM

I have a cold, yet today was probably the consistently best day I've had in months. The records I bought surely had something to do with this:

Louis Armstrong - Complete Hot Fives and Sevens (on JSP)
Orchestra Baobab - Specialist in All Styles
V/A - Digital Disco (on Force Tracks)
Raekwon - Only Built 4 Cuban Linx...
Prince - Sign 'o' the Times
Matthew Herbert - Let's All Make Mistakes
Trojan Singles Box Set

16 Feb '03 09:05:09 AM

Georg Lichtenberg cutting close to home in C47:

A principal rule for writers, and especially those who want to describe their own sensations, is not to believe that their doing so indicates they possess a special disposition of nature in this respect. Others can perhaps do it just as well as you can. Only they do not make a business of it, because it seems to them silly to publicize such things.

Jeff and Matt, tonight, commenting on this blog: "it's like pornography".

16 Feb '03 09:01:59 AM

As I made my way home from Uptown on the 21 tonight at a quarter to one, there was an extremely drunken man with a pimp hat and a pimp stick impersonating Ja Rule (once he woke up out of his stupor, that is). It was a pretty good impersonation. In fact, I'm not so sure he wasn't Ja Rule. Though if he was I'm not sure what he was doing getting off in the middle of nowhere on Lake at one in the morning, much less riding metro transit in Minneapolis. Surely Murder, Inc. can afford at least a taxi.

14 Feb '03 09:47:07 AM

Unlikely, that is, because psychologizing paper-thin characters never really seems that profitable to me.

(Though I am reminded of something I heard somewhere once about Dickens, which I will attribute to Tom, about the characters being nothing more than a collection of nervous tics which are brought to life by vibrating at high speed. Something like that might be said of the personas like Pusha T and Malice - or plenty of MCs with flashier character traits and tics - though I certainly wouldn't want to imply that they sound excited or anything ("tics", "vibrating").)

14 Feb '03 09:36:26 AM

Matos is right about Clipse's attitude - the way they're so matter of fact, professional, remorseless. That makes Pusha T's "wow" in Let's Talk About It stand out. It's even a little bit surprising to me, maybe: the lesbian sex he refers to is enough to disrupt the facade when most everything else on the album is not. I'm not sure whether to take this to say more about Pusha T (unlikely) or about the big careening wobbling system of stuff that makes up gangsta rap (and by extension, because of its audience, the whole of America oh yeah that's right I said it thinking big tonight here yup).

13 Feb '03 09:37:44 AM

And some comments on individual albums and singles (some of these opinions have changed or developed already!):

1. Sonic Youth - Murray Street - 20 (DGC)
I asked a friend if he wanted to go see Sonic Youth. No, he said, they're old. I put my headphones back on. I put my headphones back on a lot last year. It was that kind of year.

4. Jay-Z - The Blueprint 2: The Gift and the Curse - 5 (Roc-A-Fella)
"A Dream" cuts "World Trade" from Biggie's sampled "Juicy" verse -- "time to get paid / blow up like the" -- and it does it audibly and awkwardly. So it's my favorite 9/11 song. I know everyone has emotions and shit, but what I really want to hear is the stutter, the confused lapse of speech and moment of silence that comes from knowing something fucked up has happened, but not knowing what's ok to say and what's not ok. (Jay blows it later on the title track, but that's not really a surprise.) [The parenthetical was dropped - I think that was a good idea.]

7. No Doubt - Rock Steady - 10 (Interscope)
I'm glad teenagers have this to listen to. I wonder if the boys avoided it as assiduously as my friends and I avoided the first No Doubt album. Hopefully teenage boys are smarter now. (Oh, wait.)

1. No Doubt feat. Lady Saw - "Underneath It All" (Interscope)
I think this might be perfect.

2. Eminem - "Without Me" (Aftermath)
I heard two songs in 2002 where it seemed like everyone in the room knew all the words: "Baby Got Back", at a party, and "Without Me", in a bar. I don't think the same thing will be happening with Em at parties in 2012, but then again, who cares?

3. No Doubt - "Hella Good" (Interscope)
I would like an 80s revival this way, please (see also: Cee-Lo).

5. Cee-Lo - "Gettin' Grown" (Arista)
I would like an 80s revival this way, please (see also: No Doubt).

6. Nappy Roots - "Po' Folks" (Atlantic)
Lazy in more than one sense of the word, but one of those senses makes up for the other one.

7. LL Cool J - "Lollipop" (Def Jam)
I liked this but I really just put it on my list because it has that Neptunes sound from the future on it (beeow beeow) and I want more records with that sound on them. I want it everywhere. I am totally serious about this.

8. Nelly feat. Kelly Rowland - "Dilemma" (Universal)
Usually I harbor some lingering resentment for songs that I come to like when they annoy the hell out of me but won't stay out of my head, or off my radio. This is too sweet to resent.

9. Clipse feat. Sean Paul, Bless & Kardinal Offishall - "Grindin' (Selector Remix)" (Star Trak)
Will you understand what I mean if I just say that I think Pumalicesha-T is a good MC but "he" doesn't seem very exciting to listen to? That's probably part of the point, I know, but that doesn't mean I have to like it. The two remixes on the album improve on "Grindin'" in this regard, but are also unfortunately slightly more torturous. So on most days I choose the Selector remix as a "happy" medium, because it has toasters and toasters make me happy. (I'm not sure if I am supposed to be happy here, though. I'm also not sure if I want to keep listening to this a lot, or if it matters.) I hope Kardi's next album has more woozy, swoony multitracked harmonies like the ones that start his verse here.