Thursday, February 26, 2015

Postmodern Musics: Paralogy and Punk Rock and Economics and...who knows what all else

So PoMo on Monday was quite a ride. We talked about all kinds of things and the conversation kept swirling around and I'm not quite sure that I totally have a handle on what happened, and I kinda felt like that was the point? All I know is that I was more vocal and vehement in class than I normally am, and as I left I was rather uncomfortable with that. I dunno. It was a weird day. I feel like it was an important day, and a cool one, but a strange one all the same. Mostly, I just came away feeling like this:

Wide-eyed, a little bewildered, but also having rather enjoyed myself, I think. (Quick note, the baby in that picture has "blepharitis" which is why his right eye is a little swollen. I did not have blepharitis on Monday.)

Music played an extremely important role in class on Monday since one of the articles we read expressly talked about punk music and its relationship to our subject material. As such, there were a whole lot of musics that were expressly referenced in class. I made a big long list of them all, but I decided that rather than include here on this blog all the songs that were listened to, played, or directly discussed in class, I would instead only include the songs that fit the mold of what I've been listing up to now. Which is to say, I'm only listing here the songs that occurred to me because a word or phrase that someone in class said was similar enough to a song lyric to hit the play button on ghetto blaster in my mind. 

And with that, on to the musics:

"American Pie" - Don McLean
"The day that grades go live my phone rings."

"The Humans Are Dead" - Flight of the Conchords
"the humans are resilient"

"Agony" from Into the Woods - Stephen Sondheim
"Agonism, he calls it agonism." (This song actually came to mind about a dozen times because the word "agonism" was said at least that many times.)

"My Body" - Young the Giant 
"Do I rebel against my body?"

"Communication Breakdown" - Led Zeppelin (I actually started singing this song when it popped in)
"Something communication, communication something"

"Suddenly I See" - KT Tunstall
"Suddenly there is diversity"

"The End" - The Doors
"We are at the end"

Bonus - Free Jazz

Several times in class now this tune has come to my head. Not because of any specific words or phrases, but because the subject material we talk about reminds me of it. I nearly just started playing it in class while John was talking to illustrate a point, but I didn't. Though now I wish I had. It's also a propos because this week Greg Clark, one of my BYU professors and a highly influential figure in getting me to where I am today, published his new book Civic Jazz: American Music and Kenneth Burke on the Art of Getting Along. Anyway, I linked to the tune in an earlier post because I referenced it in my last paper day paper, but it keeps coming to my mind so I've decided to include it again. It's actually an album-length song by Ornette Coleman entitled "Free Jazz."

Monday, February 23, 2015

Postmodern Musics: Authors?

Man last week was crazy and I didn't get around to posting my postmodern musics from last Monday's class. Since I'm about to go into class in like 20 minutes I wanted to get this posted before another round of musics start swimming their way through my thoughts on postmodern rhetorical thought. Unfortunately time constraints preclude me from giving much context beyond saying we talked about authors. 

Since we were talking about authors, and since over the weekend I reread parts of one of my favorite books of ever, Old Man and the Sea, here's a picture of Hemingway:

So here's last week's musics.

"Acknowledgement" from A Love Supreme - John Coltrane
"Do we acknowledge..."

"Beast of Burden" - The Rolling Stones
"It can't be the beast that bears their burden..." 

"Dem Bones" - Delta River Boys
"I guess they're in the business of printing houses now...and bones."

"Here Comes My Baby" - Cat Stevens
"Does a baby actually exist?"

"What's Up" - 4 Non Blondes
"What's going on?

"I've Heard It Both Ways" - James Roday and Timothy Omundson (from Psych: The Musical)
"I wanna have it both ways?"

"Pure Energy" - Information Society
"I wanna know if...?

Bonus - Postmodern movie clip:

Some in class said something about a mechanism, and my connection-drawing mind immediately jumped to this scene from For Love of the Game. I've always thought this was a pretty corny way of talking about pitchers and their "stuff" (man I love that the pitcher's craft is referred to as "stuff"), but there you go. 

Friday, February 13, 2015

Postmodern Musics: Paper Day

This week in PoMo we all wrote and read and discussed "papers" about various thoughts and themes and ideas that have arisen from our readings and musings and conversings thus far in the semester. It was a highly enjoyable couple of hours made only slightly less enjoyable by the fact that my cold really picked up steam as the class progressed.

At this point I want to discuss briefly something that I've noticed as I've gone about this project for about a month now. My goal at the outset was not to actively look for connections between the things people say and musical associations, but I've found that the more I make note of these associations, the more readily they come to mind. And not just in PoMo. I'm drawing connections between music and the world around me so often that it's almost like my life has a soundtrack, but the DJ who's controlling it can't listen to more than a few bars of a given song before it switches to something else. My life has become an expansive play of musical intertextuality and I rather enjoy it. As I go about my life I feel rather like this:

and it's great. Anyway, on to the musics.

First, let me say that because I've been tracking music in this class I decided it was fitting that I talk about music in the paper that I wrote. The 2 songs I used were:

"Come Together" - The Beatles

and "Free Jazz" - Ornette Coleman

As I wrote the paper I listened to "Free Jazz" a couple of times and I feel like I gained a greater appreciation for that subgenre of jazz music that I ever have before.

And the musical associations from the day's discussion:

"Let It Go" - Idina Menzel, from the Frozen soundtrack
"like a fractal"

"Disturbia" - Rihanna
"Utopias that are actually disturbias" (Jenny actually said "dystopias" not "disturbias," but my cold-addled brain heard "disturbias" so, yep.)

"(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" - The Rolling Stones
"And yet the satisfaction..." 

"I Wanna Talk About Me" - Toby Keith
"I like that you talk about...time" 

"So What" - Miles Davis
"So what."

"Cotton Eye Joe" - Rednex
"Where it was going was..." 

"The Impression That I Get" - The Might Mighty Bosstones
"like the feeling that I get when I'm reading poetry"

"Wannabe" - Spice Girls
"Tell me what you want"

Additional musics mentioned or brought up by others in the class:

"Heavy Metal Drummer" - Wilco
Michael mentioned that this song popped into his head during a part of our discussion. I wasn't familiar with it myself, but I'm glad he brought it up because me gusta.

"All the Small Things" - Blink 182
This was the title of Jenny's paper.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Postmodern Musics: Walking On Broken Glass

So this week we were talking about social construction and we read some Judith Butler and some Richard Rorty and some Kenneth Bruffee. We talked about a lot of things like taxonomies and the need to ask the question "why is what you just said persuasive to you" and heteronormativity and the social construction of gender and the body and warring factions of librarians, and so on. And we had chili and rice pudding and banana bread to boot. It was all very exciting.

Before class started something happened, I wasn't paying close attention to that side of the room so I missed it, and Beth's mug ended up on the ground in shattered bits. Immediately everyone jumped up and starting running about getting paper towels and a broom to soak up the spilled liquids and I just sat in my chair doing nothing. The reason for my inaction was twofold: 1) everyone was doing already everything I might have thought to do, 2) the sound of the glass shattering was beautiful and it kept replaying in my mind. So that was the first "music" to come to mind yesterday. I didn't think to take a picture at the time, so here's an artsy picture of shattered glass that I found on the internet:

This leads us to our musics, with the inciting contexts in italics/quotation marks:

 "Walking on Broken Glass" - Annie Lennox
the context was, well, the broken glass on the floor of the classroom

"Meat is Murder" – The Smiths  
"Meat is murder"

"Be Still My Heart" – Postal Service 
"Richard Powers?!?" - Amelia, as she clutched her hands over her heart

"From Russia with Love" - Matt Monro
"from Russia"

"My Body is a Cage" – Arcade Fire
“What about my body?”

"Because We Can" - Fatboy Slim 
"Because we can"

Collide – Howie Day (This one was surprising. I haven't thought of this song in a long time.)
...I don't remember the context. Someone must've said the word collide.

"Peace Like a River" – Paul Simon
“why can’t your identity be like a cloud or a river?”

"Anything Goes" –  Ella Fitzgerald 
"Anything goes"