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Enjambement Charts

As a music collector, I try to find special things, things that divide, say, Milli Vanilli from Pink Floyd. Sometimes it’s something completely different. Take, for example, the concept of enjambement. A sentence is spread over several lines, would be the simple description. It can work like that in music. The artist often spans his sentence across many a measure. I here present to you my Top Three of Enjambement-Embracing Artists!

The Top Three Everyone’s Been Talking About

  1. On number three, we find the electro-pop indie idols of The Postal Service! It is no surprise that they ended up right here, as Jimmy Tamborello’s music has the tendency to bounce on itself, let alone when Ben Gibbard fills it in with his epitome-of-indie voice. A choice citation:

    I / am thinking it’s a sign / that the freckles
    in our eyes are mirror images … and … when
    we kiss they’re … perfectly aligned

    This kept The Flaming Lips out of the list, people, so mind that next time you listen to some Flaming Lips as well.

  2. Yes, next up, a runner-up I am ever so fond of, it’s the Canadian punk ensemble The Weakerthans! Nobody will be surprised to hear that John Samson is more of a poet, after having heard their (probably best) Left & Leaving. Samson and his crew forged a stunning piece right there, but what caught me ear was John’s voice, spreading his words over measures nearly beyond sensibility. At first, I was afraid he’d fly straight over the end of the stanza and keep singing! A citation, again:

    measure me in metered lines / in one decisive stare / the time it takes to get from here to there

    To note is that Samson writes rather well. I would suggest you check out their oeuvre.

  3. Number one may be the least well-known to people, but I’ll be damned if they didn’t deserve to be the number one; it’s the Radar Bros.! Who saw that one coming?

    With their poignant and often weirdly drowsy overall image, they left an impression on me anyhow, but some of their enjambement addiction really gets blatant. Pick up The Singing Hatchet to hear it in full action. The album bears a likeness to Pink Floyd’s More and Meddle, if you’re into that.

    tar the roofs / of the houses / that are leaking / the religions / of who lived there / and are leaving / their infidelities / at the door / when they come in

    That’s insane, huh? A well-deserved number one, once again. Check it out.

So that’s that. I hope you’ll check these artists out, and if you happen to know other great artists with great use of enjambement, do tell the world in the comments right here. I always love new stuff.

(This list is based entirely, solely, blatantly upon my own opinions, and can be taken with a grain of salt if that’s your kind of thing.)

Grabbing on

Personal posts are not for everyone, but there may be words in here that you could cherish, or you may just like reading my mind as it is being set to words right here. This post is personal1, but relates to all of us, I’m sure of it. Do with it whatever you want.

The rise (no fall) and how to relax (no stress)

I suppose it is not news to most of you that discipline is power. I suppose, however, that finding one’s right interpretation of discipline is rather hard. A few months ago, I made up my mind. I said to myself, “Rob, there’s two things you must do. The one, it is that you chillax the fuck down, the two, don’t slack, you bastard.” I seem to harass myself pretty easily, but it worked out for the best. Taking things lighter will make things lighter to bear. I wish I’d known earlier.

Basically, not slacking is pretty easy. The key is knowing exactly what you want to do. Then it almost comes naturally.

Concepts and living with crap

School is a great place to practice one’s tolerance regarding differing opinions. It doesn’t matter whether they are nonsensical. You will have to deal with them either way. That’s good. What this achieves, more than just sparking your ire, is making you realise what to ignore. I am convinced that ignoring things keeps you sane, to a certain degree2.

Of course it’s not always easy. It’s also not exclusive to mere opinions. People are complex and inane and that is the truth you will be accepting, are you to choose the path of the clear mind. Practice, it’s the tool of kings and gods alike!

What, pray tell, is the one true medicine to this pesky problem, you could ask me. I would kindly tell you to relax. Chill. Chillax. Take it lighter because it’s not all worth your time, and your time is valuable, now isn’t it.

  1. Well, I slightly strayed from that objective, but it should do no person any harm. I’m friendly like that.
  2. I’ll leave it up to you whether I mean to what degree you should ignore things or how sane it will “keep” you. Spark-spark! I’m sparkin’ your mind!

Web sense

Or why the web deserves your well-founded consideration1. I think that consideration often lacks. Give me a few paragraphs to expand on this.

The web is a different beast altogether. This should be evident by now, thanks to the several visionaries who eloquently put this concept to words: a great example is John Allsopp’s A Dao of Web Design, an article that has, it should be noted, made a huge impact on the way I work. I started treating the web as a different medium, or was at least more aware of it. It is pretty simple, this whole “medium concept”. Television broadcasts are (pretty much) strictly defined when it comes to the content. Radio content is pretty clearly restricted. Print is also fixed in terms of the content for the user. The internet is a medium in the sense that the concept of a newspaper is so too, i.e. it transports content. And then, like in an exhausting game of Whac-A-Mole, issues start popping up. Like rodents. Errr. So much for that comparison.

If we look at “medium” in a different way2, we see that the computer is the medium, because so is the physical television set, right? Well, that does change things! Analogue television sets these days deal with two big standards for outputting the content, PAL and NTSC. These standards differ in line count and frame rate. These are important things to keep in mind, these two differences. Now back to the moles in the computer story: restricting it to the internet alone, in a graphical web browser, a computer has to cope with typefaces, colours, screen resolution or window width, browser version, proxy-basedness, plug-ins that are either installed or missing… Need I go on? Almost everything is variable. This is where you come in.

There is an ongoing (often heated) discussion between designers for the web to either go fixed or liquid, this referring to the width of the content area. Fixed designs, so people argue, won’t break, and liquid designs, so they also argue, are hard to keep consistent over the range of popular platforms. Being a designer myself, I can understand this all, but I disagree. As a designer, you’re supposed to solve a problem. That’s your job. You solve problems. A problem could be the displaying of content (which would be true for, I’m ball-parkin’, 99.5% of the web?). Solving a problem is a responsibility. In this case, the responsibility means you’re supposed to let people enjoy the content. Keeping the whole different-computer-different-workings issue in mind, remember that those same people have their preferences. Very much so, I tell you. If one person just really likes MultiTorg Opera (okay, that is very unlikely), he’ll try and use that to see the content. You are responsible to let even these crazy people enjoy the content, in whatever sensible manner.

So you could see this as me simply saying you should take care of the audience, then dismissing that as “mere” good advice. It’s not about my advice here. It’s about treating users, people, treating them well. That sounds a bit emotional, but don’t dismiss it. Aim to please.

You may think the users should change, that the problem lies with them, not you, but all I’m saying is what I opened with: the web is a different beast altogether.

  1. Consideration: think about things and reason thyself. Rationalism exists for a reason (that pun was not intended, but I’m going to have to keep it here now!).
  2. My dictionary doesn’t seem to explain a lot of difference between the two approaches I take.