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.
Maybe part of why 69 Love Songs works so well, despite what one could easily take to be insincerity, or gaps in its seemingly exhaustive catalog of love and love songs, is that when the songs you like hit you, and when you recognize its relative albeit limited voluminousness, the illusion of its capturing (mirroring, complementing, glossing, idealizing, pick your favorite) love is effectively maintained.
I can't tell if the opening notes to "Sad-Eyed Lady of the Lowlands" just sound like the song's going to go on forever, or if it's my knowledge of the song being transferred onto what I hear.
It seems I can never escape this question, "is it intrinsic or due to my past experiences?" And I think that's the way it ought to be.
Hmph... Ally should at least have a shot with the Dismemberment Plan, that 80sest of 90s indie darlings, not just because of their spiritual kinship with pop and post-punk but because I sent her a copy of Emergency & I! Oh well.
Even at the noisiest, most freaked-out parts of Interstellar Space Revisited, it sounds like they have a plan: things are directed, somehow. That sets it audibly apart from say a Sonic Youth noise freakout, or something (which I suspect many might be tempted to compare it to).
I'd like to say, uh, A Love Supreme? Hymns and spirituals? But I don't think they're quite what Sterling has in mind.
Megamix of the moment (i.e. the five CDs shuffling in Josh's CD player):
Magnetic Fields, 69 Love Songs, Vol. 3. Mobb Deep, Infamy. Bob Dylan, Blonde on Blonde. Beta Band, Hot Shots II. Nels Cline and Gregg Bendian, Interstellar Space Revisited.
So far all the discs have a strange way of taking over the changer, or at least taking over what I want it to do. The Cline/Bendian is most successful at this just because its songs are so much longer, but even the short songs on the Magnetic Fields disc do something similar because of their concentrated potency (and tendency to come up more frequently in the rotation because of the large number of short songs on the disc).
Most out-of-place: Dylan. Far more than the Magnetic Fields, interestingly enough, which seem to fit well with the others despite the obvious contrasts.
Ooh, also the first show started playing the Avalanches, the first two tracks from Since I Left You. I didn't get a chance to hear how long they continued on.