October 25, 2005



An email from Joshua got me thinking this morning. He pointed out a couplet from this song:

"Yeah, I love to see the neon dancin' on the gravel,
and I love to hear the pickup trucks as they come unraveled."

My first reaction was that fairly unattractive critical reflex, something like "Wait, that's my record. How did I miss that?" Of course, it's nobody's and everybody's record, though we both give Jon credit for spotting Miranda Lambert, so maybe that's his record. But what normal person would give a fuck, either about ownership or the rules of discovery? None more black.

Paisley's lyric—actually Guy Clark and Darrell Scott's—set off a brain chain: vernacular, everyday speech, interruption, popular poetics, how hard it is to transcribe an interview with Tego Calderon, Bun-B, vernacular poetics, Bun-B. Then there was an argument about who had been on the computer for ten minutes (or hadn't) and I wanted to kill everybody in the United States. (That feeling passed.) Then we engaged in some good "mathing" on the way to school. ("What if you had five potato chips, your friend had ten, and your other friend had two? How many would you have?" "No, don't do three friends—just do two friends, only two.")

On the train, the chain came back. In Ben Ratliff's excellent profile of Bobby Bare, there is a quote from Bare:

"I'm about half an introvert anyway."

So much better than "I'm sort of an introvert." There is something to be said about Southern speech, but this New York earhole isn't going to say it, because all I have is guesswork collated from novels and rap songs, and unchecked on-site observations. (I can say that the Houston accent is infectious, in part, because you feel inherently friendly if you start using it. And it's hard not to use it.)

And then, for the millionth time, this line from "Draped Up":

"'Cause we doin' it real big, in case you thinkin' we ain't."

This line succeeds largely on delivery, but also on the strength and delightfully simple logic of teeing up an assertion, suggesting it's false by suggesting that someone else thinks it false, while having the singer disagree. You get the traditional denotative narrator and the unreliable narrator all in twelve words. Bun also sounds really cool.

And one more:

"Quote of the Week

Jonathan wanted to spell the word 'earth.' He stretched it out, wrote 'rth' and then said 'Such a small word for such a big thing!'"

Posted by Sasha at October 25, 2005 09:18 AM | TrackBack