the aristophanes chirp
Is there such a thing as Oulipian disorder--wanting to put restrictions on everything one does to make it more interesting? To keep myself busy for a couple of hours last night, I decided to make a little (3-inch) mix CD. So far so good. I've been paying close attention (for, really, the first time) to Television thanks to those neat new reissues of their first two albums, so decided that it should include "Marquee Moon." But how to fill the rest? Why, says Oulipo-brain, with nothing but songs by bands whose names start with the letter T--and no songs you've ever put on a mix before, either. By the morning, I had a nice little mix that goes Tenores di Bitti/Teenage Jesus and the Jerks/Talulah Gosh/Tall Dwarfs/Thai schoolchildren/Team Dresch/Carla Thomas/Television/The Tower Recordings/Thinking Fellers Union Local 282. And what are you going to call it, Lisa asked? I looked up the alpha-bravo-charlie code, and decreed that it'd be "Tango."
At which point Oulipo-brain kicked in and said "you are going to do one for each letter of the alphabet, right? I mean, you can do them all, yes? Xerobot/X-Ray Eyes/X-Ray Spex/XTC/Xiu Xiu? Quasi/Quintron/Quickspace/Queen/Suzi Quatro? You could do that! Think of how impressed... um... somebody somewhere might be really impressed by that!"
If I could train Oulipo-brain to decrease its scope, I bet I could actually do good things with it.