Month of April, 2011

26 THOUGHTS ON NINPHM: B

We use the term "high school journal" derisively, because high school is a time when we think we can translate ourselves into language. Then we give up, and listen, and demand of the professionals some special grace. We call the words of PHM bad, meaning embarrassing. Not just not good, but actively bad. Drunk, devils in beds. The word cringe comes to mind. It is onomatopoeia. We pull out heads back and scrunch our faces as we say it. Cringe. Still, we can't quite get the growl right, so we would never karaoke them. We feel the breath, know the stress, but the gesture isn't quite right for each word. And we have notebooks somewhere with phrases written out, or did we throw them away. When a lover hurts or hurts us, the thought take one line's frame. We laugh, decades later, about how much we know by heart. We don't know our best friend's phone numbers, but we rap the first verse of "Down In It" like an oath. Those bad lyrics. We love the album in spite of them. We are ashamed of our love, but it is no less.

 

26 THOUGHTS ON NINPHM: A

 desertThe desert is a wasteland. The desert is a home. The album was sparse, in contrast to later work, heard as without: texture, depth, treatment. The essence of funk is tense silence and release, an outpouring of sweat: all here, however measured. The space between the kick and snare: “..erable lie.….tck…..boom..tck.” Without is the Midnight sample, gone for taste, perhaps: in a reissue, it is a phantom limb. Can you hear the difference in the long loved, or only absence?