Lemonheads - "Mallo Cup"
Lemonheads - "Luka"
When I was fourteen I sent away for a t-shirt. When it came all the way from California I took it out of the package and looked at it. Was this the one I had ordered from the tiny picture in the catalog? It was hard to remember, it had been six weeks or more. On it was a photo of someone licking a bald head. Above the photo was the word Lemonheads and below was the word LICK. It all seemed mildly licentious - could I wear such a thing? Yes, I could. I did, a lot. (There's a hilarious photo my mother took of me and my brother standing in front of a birch tree in Algonquin Park. I'm wearing that shirt and ripped jeans and my brother's wearing a shirt that says Canada. My mom liked it so much she blew it up. It's still hanging on the wall in the den.)
When I got the shirt I hadn't heard the album Lick yet. Actually, I'm not sure I even knew it was a record - band t-shirts were so mysterious. But It's a Shame About Ray was a classic for me, and still is, really. And I knew they had a past, a prehistory before they got big, records I couldn't find at Music World.
Weirdly, considering how much I wore that shirt, if I ever did listen to Lick back then I don't really remember it. But I just listened to it this week. It sounds a lot like The Replacements, even a bit like Husker Du in parts. There's a brilliant cover of eighties mega-hit "Luka" by Suzanne Vega on it. Evan Dando's voice is golden to me, poppy and smooth, but with just the right amount of rasp. I love it.
Shearwater - "Stray Light at Clouds Hill". Sometimes you take strength from something you are not expected to take strength from. It is as if you are reaching into the sky and taking hold of the sunbeams, bringing them with you. Something powerless lies upon the ground, or inside your heart; something impotent flickers in the water; and you pick it up. It is yours now, an amulet or a weapon. In this way I think of King Arthur's sword in the stone: here is a hilt, what is it worth, what is it good for, until the right person lifts it? Look at your life. There are hilts everywhere.
"I rode in the crosswinds," Jonathan Meiburg sings. "I sleep in the open / I slide through the fences." He is a bodiless singer, invisible and armoured, glitter in his eye. "I move in starlight," he says, over echo and echo, over a bed of shining darkness. We are weak until we are no longer weak. We are passed through and over until abruptly that passing-through, that passing-over, becomes our greatest strength. We are no longer weak ghosts; we are comrades, walking through walls.
[buy Jet Plane and Oxbow]
Rihanna (feat. Drake) - "Work"
There is a lot of good pop music out there in the world right now, and that means we all get to do the most pleasurable kind of work that exists in this life - sifting the firework-songs from the ones with a steadier, stranger fluorescence, finding new angles in our selves for all these sounds to press against. So much persona to sift through! So many synthesizers reaching their glowing tendrils out toward you from the darkness! So many invisible pulses of wanting and having and having to sing their way through you, wash across the lattice of your smaller bones.
One of the greatest delights of listening to the radio lately is that people are finally getting the hang of repetition again - appropriately (and maybe necessarily), this is an instinct that crests and recedes through pop music in decade(ish)-long increments. Something we all know instinctively for a while, that laces every single lovely song, and then somehow we all manage to forget it again, over and over and over. You can see it creeping in and out of the charts in time-lapse, songs that know how to work magic with it and then a new wave of songs that forget, in a round, forever and ever. I'm not wrong about this. In dry years, you will hear a chorus or a hook and feel very distinctly as though you are just watching some guy suck the air out of a kiddie pool, like someone is poking you in the same spot on your upper arm with the business end of a paperclip for an hour-long three minutes. In these times you still grit your teeth and party through, because what else is there? But it's joyless. No undertow, no float.
In lush years, when we all remember what it really means to repeat yourself, pop music gets good again. You get to give yourself up to its enchantments without hesitation or reserve. These are the times when we remember the difference between a list and an incantation - how every word has a new dimension hidden inside of it, one that you unlock by saying it enough, with the right melody threaded through. That's what a dream is. That's how you call it.
Lantern - "We Are Here" [Pre-Order]
I saw a skunk last night around 3AM when I was walking home from my studio. I love it when everyone is asleep and there are just alley cats and occasional animals like that skunk and myself. I just falked(verb; fart and walk. example, My brother falked into the reception of his wedding with his wife. No one noticed but me.) and I didn't have to worry about offending anyone behind me.
If it's weekend, after 3AM, I encounter so many obnoxious drunk people. I think I mentioned before but drunk bros scare me so I never make eye-contacts with them. But if I see some cats on the street, I say hi to them. I know there are cat cafes around but they should make cat bar. maybe not. I'm not sure.
Anyways, back to last night 3AM, I saw skunk and I falked almost all the way home but I just wanted to listen to this song before I get home. So I pulled my earphone but as usual, it was tangled up and I have no idea how it was like that. Almost same feeling as watching True Detective Season 2. So I started to untangled while gently falking on the water like Jesus or Moses or whichever the dude walked on water. Then, I got home.
The end. Good night.
Yusef Lateef - "Sister Mamie"
She looked out her window into the dark night, the lit-up convenience store and the old park with its stone fence posts. She couldn't sleep so she turned on the radio. It was set to the oldies station, songs she knew too well. She was sick of them and the ads and the DJ voices, so she turned the dial. The DJ on the college station knew not to interrupt the late night thoughts of their listeners. And so she lay in bed listening to music from different times and places. Some heavy-bottom funk with Portuguese voices, mournful mountainside music, slow-burning soul ballads, and some high screaming instrument in a hard-swinging jazz band. She listened through the night, and the DJ never said a word. They were out there, somewhere in the city, awake, playing records, keeping a watch on the night. Dawn was breaking by the time she finally drifted off. She didn't hear the DJ, when she finally said "That's it for me everyone, thanks for listening. I'm off to Dusty's for breakfast."
We/Or/Me - "Always/Sometimes". We/Or/Me's Bahhaj Taherzadeh is a man who is comfortable with slashes. He is able to meditate on two possibilities at the same time. He is fond of the either/or. (I suspect he is also fond of Either/Or.)
This is a quiet/seeking song - content, settled; but searching at the same time.
It is patient/impatient.
When quoting poems or song-lyrics you place slashes between each line, to indicate a line-break or a pause. This is a strangeness. Why do we not use periods? Why not semicolons? Commas? No: slashes. "Lately / I find / years disappear in the blink of an eye." With the slash it is as if the line-break or the pause can mean "or this". Lately or I find or years disappear in the blink of an eye.
And perhaps this is true. Slippage happens in a song's pauses. There are moments when you forget the syllables that have just been sung and you are ready to consider a new thing. The lyrics are slashed apart in the same way clouds get slashed by sky. Or this...
And always / and sometimes," Tazerdeh sings, always and sometimes / I can leave them behind.
The lyrics in a song like this are a sort of broken-up sentence, sentences that aren't sentences, slashed next to each other. Each is a moment waiting to begin and then, once it has begun, it's waiting to begin again. You can play the same chords over and again; you can play the same song on repeat. They're all there, the chords and their songs, always and sometimes; and the more they're there, the more always, the more sometimes, the more the always and the sometimes start to feel like the same thing. Constancy feels intermittent, or the intermittency constant; and then a finger across guitar strings and the lullaby begins again.
[buy Everything Behind Us Is A Dream / see We/Or/Me at London, England's The Harrison on February 17]
Lambchop - "Steve McQueen" [Buy]
I wish I had a really deep deep voice. I can say anything and sound awesome.
"Would you like porkchop or lambchop?"
"E.A. Sports. It's in the game."
"I'm sorry baby. I farted." it sounds like a gentleman!
"Trump for president!" that would sound dumb.
about said the gramophone
This is a daily sampler of really good songs
. All tracks are posted out of love
. Please go out and buy the records
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All songs are removed within a few weeks of posting.
Said the Gramophone
launched in March 2003, and added songs in November of that year. It was one of the world's first mp3blogs.
If you would like to say hello, find out our mailing addresses or invite us to shows, please get in touch:
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Please don't send us emails with tons of huge attachments; if emailing a bunch of mp3s etc, send us a link to download them. We are not interested in streaming widgets like soundcloud: Said the Gramophone posts are always accompanied by MP3s.
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"And I shall watch the ferry-boats / and they'll get high on a bluer ocean / against tomorrow's sky / and I will never grow so old again."
about the authors
is the founder of Said the Gramophone. He is a writer, critic and author of the theremin novel Us Conductors
. Follow him on Twitter
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to browse his posts.
writes poems and essays in Toronto. She joined Said the Gramophone in 2015. This
is her website and email her here
is a Montreal-based writer and zinemaker. He is the author of Ghost Pine: All Stories True
and a bunch of other stories. He joined Said the Gramophone in 2015. Say hello on Twitter
is originally from Osaka, Japan who now lives and works as a furniture designer/maker
in Montreal. English is not his first language so please forgive his glamour grammar mistakes. He is trying. He joined Said the Gramophone in 2015. Reach him by email here
Site design and header typography by Neale McDavitt-Van Fleet
. The header graphic is randomized: this one is by Daria Tessler
wrote regularly for Said the Gramophone from August 2004 to December 2014. He is an actor and writer living in Toronto. Any claim he makes about his life on here is probably untrue. Click here
to browse his posts. Email him here
wrote for Said the Gramophone from November 2004 to March 2012. He lives in Toronto. He is an opinion editor at the Toronto Star
. Click here
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our favourite blogs
(◊ means they write about music)
Back to the World
A Grammar (Nitsuh Abebe)
A London Salmagundi
Words and Music
Gorilla vs Bear
Clouds of Evil
The Dolby Apposition
Awesome Tapes from Africa
Pitchfork Reviews Reviews
i like you [podcast]
Wattled Smoky Honeyeater
The Clear-Minded Creative
Passion of the Weiss
Juan and Only
Then Play Long (Marcello Carlin)
Coming Up For Air (Matt Forsythe)
my love for you is a stampede of horses
It's Nice That
Song, by Toad
In FocusAMASS BLOG
The Rest is Noise (Alex Ross)
My Daguerreotype Boyfriend
The Hood Internet
things we like in Montreal
le pick up
au pied de cochon
vices & versa
+ paltoquet, cocoa locale, idée fixe, patati patata, the sparrow, pho tay ho, qin hua dumplings, café italia, hung phat banh mi, caffé san simeon, meu-meu, pho lien, romodos, patisserie guillaume, patisserie rhubarbe, kazu, lallouz, maison du nord, cuisine szechuan &c
drawn + quarterly
+ bottines &c
casa + sala + the hotel
blue skies turn black
montreal improv theatre
cinema du parc
yoga teacher Thea Metcalfe
The Morning News