25 October 2006

Classifying song-lyrics by content

i think 'no scrubs' by TLC
was where i first noticed
the recent hiphop renaissance
of mostly-female songwriters
using black street speech rhythms
to broach novel themes
(is Beyonce the official
black Joni Mitchell yet?)

and i've been trying to imagine
what idiosyncratic themes in my own life
might be amenable
to proustian jonimitchelling

and then rereading
this old unpublished page (no real poll)
about how Sims spend their days
made me wonder if a
combinatorial inventory
of potential song-themes
is possible?

eg imagine a wiki
that tries to classify
all existing song-lyrics
this way

(or: what variables
would you have to add to The Sims
so your Sims could re-enact
each category?)

(or: how would
individualise each of these categories?)

indexed maybe by time of day:

evocations of dreams
analysis/criticism of dream themes/content
(joni: why do you dream flat tires?)

waking from a dream
being awoken by: un/familiar noise/person/animal
awakening in un/familiar place
feelings about this/these place/people/things/pets

awakening to worries/no-worries
remembering/adjusting to recent lifechange
(eg partner gone)

prepping for (unpleasant) duties
can't wait for something good coming (west side story)
household chores (mrs bartolozzi)

off to work
transition: home to vehicle to workplace
no vehicle/walking
going-to-work songs
not going to work, looking for job, no job wanted

observations of good/bad things in world, and their causes
interactions with strangers
interactions with vehicles
encounters with friends/enemies/acquaintances
(expressing feelings, un/friendly jiving)

workday songs-- bosses, coworkers, machines, customers, economy
daydreams, goofing off, sabotage, pilfering
breaks and lunch
end of workday, vacation

heading home (transition: workplace to vehicle to home)
stopping off for drink (bar cliches)

reunion with housemates (relationship problems: confront or escape)
no housemates (loneliness, pets)
getting nagged, nagging
being appreciated/respected/recharged or not

challenges of parenting (problem kids, problem parents)
politics (armchair qb, community activism)
family outings: park, movie, restaurant, shopping

dating (anxieties, fiascos, hopes)
drinking and drugs


getting ready for bed