BY UNDERGROUND WIRES
Please note: MP3s are only kept online for a short time, and if this entry is from more than a couple of weeks ago, the music probably won't be available to download any more.
Of Montreal - "The Past is a Grotesque Animal". These days we at Gramophone are very nervous about posting songs without permission ahead of album releases. Labels v often collaborate and collude with blogs when it comes to promoting releases, but advance leaks are still a touchy subject. So we're cautious; we try to do it only when we're really, really excited, and can't help but share that excitement with you. (See, most recently, Joanna Newsom.)
(Can I also say that two more of my favourite albums of the year aren't going to be out, I don't think, until 2007? And although they're unknowns and the artists are in touch with me, the labels don't want anything leaked early? So I won't? And how one of these artists was told explicitly not to send me anything, because I am a sneaky criminal music pirate, but they did anyway? And yet still I can't tell you about it? Just sometimes maybe drop hints? Argh.)
Ok ok ok but I'm getting distracted by talk of piracy (arr) from the matter at hand. The matter at hand is a set of synth scales that have been built like an Escher staircase, rising over-and-over-and-over-and-over. If I knew my music theory I'd be able to tell you how Of Montreal do this, the name of the cheap Godpseed You! Black Emperor trick they're using. (Anyone out there want to help?) But since I don't know music theory I just have to listen slack-jawed, feeling the song reformulate my spinal fluid.
Because seriously, this is a twelve minute Of Montreal song that leaves me feeling something close to awe. Until Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer? leaked to the internet (it's due out on Polyvinyl in late winter 2007), I was only the most ambivalent of Of Montreal listeners. I liked that depressing, uncharacteristic song actually about Montreal. I liked to hear their stuff, occasionally, at indie dance clubs. I liked to hear of them from a friend who talks about this one line about wizards, and I kept meaning to listen again. But yeah - largely ambivalent. And now? Like I said: awe.
Hissing Fauna has many excellent tracks, but "The Past is a Grotesque Animal" is what forced my hand and made me write about the record tonight, months too early, risking fines and jail-time and being added to some indie-rock No Fly list. I do this not for your sake, not for Of Montreal's sake; just because there's some stuff I need to get down:
Death Vessel - "Later in Life Lift". Recipe for finding friends:
I noticed a few days ago that you can buy a print of the image that Keith Andrew Shore did for Said the Gramophone (illustrating Leonard Cohen's "The Old Revolution"). Only $35 - and it looks beautiful. Many months ago Keith also did a new banner for this here site, which we're implementing just as soon as Neale figures out the code.
At Giant Robot there is also an array of astonishing new works by another of our guestbloggers, artist Rachell Sumpter. It's honestly among the most exciting stuff I've seen this year. I've already ordered the print, but if anyone wants to get me a present...Posted by Sean at October 9, 2006 3:00 AM
Just found this place, one word . Awesome ! Great quality writing, something I wish I had time [& ahem, patience to do at my blog!] .... I've added you to the blogroll and give The gramophone a shout out @ RetroBabe! ......Posted by IanB at October 9, 2006 5:14 AM
Holy wow on the Of Montreal track. Teach me to try and avoid them for all the hype. Ta much.Posted by Simon at October 9, 2006 6:48 AM
I never thought you were writing metaphors, you're writing about what actually happens in a song.Posted by david at October 9, 2006 8:33 AM
this OM song. god. it kills me.
when i first heard the album - i was all "what the fuck?" this is 12 minutes long? this is in the middle of all these awesome dance-pop tunes? seriously, what the fuck?"
it quickly became my favorite song on the record and maybe one of my top 3 favorite OM songs ever created. brilliant.Posted by tim at October 9, 2006 1:03 PM
This says alot about StG style and the outofbody genius of sean, dan and jordan.Posted by david b at October 9, 2006 1:19 PM
Thanks, Of Montreal track is awesome !
i think i know who one of those artists/bands you can't mention until their record comes out in 2007 is... :)
and, if i'm right, i'm in the exact same boat. it's super frustrating.Posted by chad at October 9, 2006 3:30 PM
hope for mankind, assembledPosted by jerimee at October 9, 2006 4:46 PM
Help is here:
Today's post is highwater mark for an always great blog. I'm tempted to torrent the last sixmonths of STG as a set piece: The soundtrack to my life, and I suspect I'm not alone. Of Montreal, the dark horse of the E6 crowd, continues to astound me: this is Joy Division meets "Blood on the Tracks." Best of all, your post (as usual) matches the music. Thanks!Posted by Slothrop at October 10, 2006 2:09 AM
excellent, excellent, post!Posted by silasdreamed at October 10, 2006 4:05 AM
Next up: metaphors vs. the dully descriptive. I think I'd prefer the metaphors, though the dully descriptive is infinitely easier.
That Of Montreal track is great.Posted by Tuwa at October 10, 2006 6:27 PM
my goodness. i can't believe ppl "bitch" about the writing on yr blog. this is the only blog i read, and only b/c of the brilliant writing.
(o wait, is brilliant too much of a metaphor here? should i use another more straight forward word to describe what your writing does to me?
-stephaniePosted by stephanie lee at October 10, 2006 10:28 PM
this song can definetly be said to be krautrock-like. More Can than Neu!, but definetly bearing more of a resemblance to "Krautrock" off of Faust IV. i agree with your Flaming Lips statement! if only they could go a lil more in this direction..
indeed "late in life" is quite a wonderful song.Posted by ak1848 at October 16, 2006 11:02 PM
this is one of my favourite tracks of yeah so far. Georges Bataille reference! omg. and the "mousy girl screams "Violence! Violence!" is an Edward Albee reference.Posted by papat at November 26, 2006 4:47 AM
I'm so obsessed with Of Montreal right now man!?!?!? I understand how you felt when you listened to that song. I still feel the same when I pay attention. Kevin Barnes is really rising the bar.
Great writing btw.Posted by Eduardo at March 17, 2007 1:06 AM
This is a daily sampler of really good songs. All tracks are posted out of love. Please go out and buy the records.
To hear a song in your browser, click the and it will begin playing. All songs are also available to download: just right-click the link and choose 'Save as...'
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:
Montreal, Canada: Sean
Toronto, Canada: Emma
Montreal, Canada: Jeff
Montreal, Canada: Mitz
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.
If you are the copyright holder of any song posted here, please contact us if you would like the song taken down early. Please do not direct link to any of these tracks. Please love and wonder.
"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
Sean Michaels is the founder of Said the Gramophone. He is a writer, critic and author of the theremin novel Us Conductors. Follow him on Twitter or reach him by email here. Click here to browse his posts.
Emma Healey writes poems and essays in Toronto. She joined Said the Gramophone in 2015. This is her website and email her here.
Jeff Miller 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 or email.
Mitz Takahashi 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 .
Dan Beirne 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.
Jordan Himelfarb 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 to browse his posts. Email him here.
Said the Gramophone does not take advertising. We are supported by the incredible generosity of our readers. These were our donors in 2013.
our favourite blogs
(◊ means they write about music)
Back to the World
La Blogothèque ◊
Weird Canada ◊
Destination: Out ◊
A Grammar (Nitsuh Abebe) ◊
Ill Doctrine ◊
A London Salmagundi
Words and Music ◊
Petites planétes ◊
Gorilla vs Bear ◊
Silent Shout ◊
Clouds of Evil ◊
The Dolby Apposition ◊
Awesome Tapes from Africa ◊
Matana Roberts ◊
Pitchfork Reviews Reviews ◊
i like you [podcast]
Nicola Meighan ◊
CKUT Music ◊
Wattled Smoky Honeyeater ◊
The Clear-Minded Creative
Torture Garden ◊
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 ◊
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, caffé 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