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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20 Oct '01 09:31:36 PM

Nothing else to say yet but if you like Fugazi you should get their new album, The Argument.

19 Oct '01 04:35:09 AM

Besides making lists when you've run out of things to talk about, as Andy says, you can also make them when you have things to talk about and can't get started. So I've been kicking around a list, to make myself write some things down. Roots Manuva and Kardinal Offishall are on it. So is Stereolab, to my slight surprise. But I keep forgetting to write down my list, and I get so stuck on one CD for a day or two that I forget what it was I was so entranced by three days ago.

In the meantime I put on Young Team. I wanted Rock Action because I wanted to feel like its second to last song makes me feel. But I couldn't find that record and didn't feel like looking. I did find the other one while I was looking for it, though, so it had to do.

So instead of making a list I'm listening to Mogwai again. Is anything new happening? I don't know. Maybe. Maybe not. I skipped track seven. I do that all the time now. I'm not sure if it tests my patience, or I don't like the loudness, or what. Sometimes I do. At the moment my stereo isn't even up loud. What good would it do? I guess I don't know what it would sound like that loud, right now, in my room, with the current me listening. But by the end of track six it's almost time for track eight so I skip it. I pretend to be an album purist but it's really more complicated than that.

I almost never think of Lisa when I listen to it, but sometimes when I think about "R U Still In 2 It?" I think of her. I don't know if I had the record before she talked to me about it or not, but I remember that she liked that song, and I don't remember taking much notice of it before that. Maybe I had just bought the record. I think perhaps that early association made me approach the song in a certain way. Knowing that Lisa liked it, and because of the title and the lyrics, I heard it more as being about the sort of decadent indifference that people, especially young people, turn to as some kind of reaction against a perhaps shallow kind of boredom. I'm trying to make sort of a sociological point with that, but I'm not sure how to say it in a less value-laden way - I certainly don't think badly of Lisa. But I think that hearing the song that way caused me to identify with it less - or nonidentify with it.

Somewhere along the way I found my own way into the song, and if the way I listen to it now is any indication, it had something to do with glazed-eyed misery, some kind of empty-inside feeling that I walked around with for most of the last two years I was in Ames, which perhaps not coincidentally were some of my most depressed. (Write something about Anna here too, but what? There is nothing important to write. The fact that I want to mostly stems from wondering what it would be like if I started writing more while keeping her in mind. Despite the fact that she is not in mind that frequently, and that I am not always sure she has any connection to what I'm writing. It's an experiment, you see.)

But then why did it make me happy? It's the classic question, and I'm not convinced catharsis is the answer. Or some kind of self-directed schadenfreude. Can just the feeling sad make a person happier? What if that's set not against feeling happy or content, but not-feeling? Blankness? I think that's worth something, distinct from catharsis.

15 Oct '01 06:48:35 AM

In the car this weekend we had a college radio station tuned in and were confused: is this the Velvets? This can't be the Velvets. What is this? It's almost like the Velvets but not quite. Some substandard indie rock ripoff, I said. The Strokes, the DJ said. So I guess the comparisons are well-founded after all.

Minnesota listens to much cooler music than Iowa State on their car trips. We heard "Play That Funky Music" three (count them three) times on different radio stations.

15 Oct '01 06:35:16 AM

It's about time!

14 Oct '01 08:17:01 PM

Old Kogan Voice piece which mentions that maybe all 'electronic' noises were once glitches.

12 Oct '01 03:51:34 AM

So I'm listening to the new Dylan, since Leah bought it after I harassed her about it for long enough (she was going to buy it anyway), since I wanted to be able to test it out proper-like before I bought it. Sure, people say it's really great. But people said Time Out of Mind was really great too, and Tom didn't, and I trust Tom's opinion some. So I am supicious of these people. So anyway aside from some isolated songs I haven't heard any Dylan past John Wesley Harding. He sounds older and older in what I have heard. He sounds frightfully old here. His voice is totally decrepit compared to even the brash-awful-singing-capitalized-upon of the young Dylan. It sort of leaves me aghast. Yet I still can hear how I would like it in n more listens. I am even liking it more four songs in. In this it's totally different from Billie Holiday on, say, Lady in Satin, where I'm not sure I can overcome the voice. Yet. But I have more history with Bob.

Dear god he sounds like an old man.

10 Oct '01 10:25:54 PM

Some more notes for my aesthetics class have gone up without notice (except from me). The notes on Walton may be of interest.

10 Oct '01 01:03:54 PM

Clive with a nice post on struggle.

10 Oct '01 05:15:01 AM

I have been listening a lot to the Pixies' BBC sessions disc, and am even more entranced by the sound than before. Now that I've gotten more used to the record, I've got a harder time describing the sound, though. Some of the guitar leads are louder, but more importantly, feel closer in the mix (near-far in a very radial sense this time), especially in contrast to the very very roomy drums and 'rhythm' guitar (or whatever it should be called). I'm never happy with the lack of bottom to Kim Deal's bass, but on this disc especially it has a kind of woody thud that seems to lack any kind of percussiveness, it's just so evenly played, those big dumb eighth notes that she sits on. But the 'woody' element of the sound is where it's most percussive, with sort of a thwacking sound that overlays the gentle thuds. And lots of the songs here sound more cut-off than normal. Are they played any differently than their album versions? Some are, but I suspect most are not. So why do they sound different? Is it just that they're next to different songs? The running order and pacing of Surfer Rosa seems to have a lot to do with the effectiveness of the elliptical little songs, for instance.


Been tryyyiiiinnnn to meetchoooo