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.
It snowed all day, Wednesday; things got buried.
I helped a Hasid in black push a car out of the snow. He was standing next to a telephone pole, bird chest heaving, holding a shovel. An older man was forcing the gas on a white Chevrolet, a car like my grandfather used to have, twisting the tires every which way. It skidded and slipped on the snow. I said, "Can I help push?" The younger looked at me. His eyes flashed from surprise to happiness to eagerness, like film passing in front of a projector. I lowered my hood. I kneeled into the curb. "Go," we said together. He had a yiddish accent; it made him sound German. He sounded so young. I thought: I'm young too. We pushed. It didn't work. The car slipped in the slush. We straightened. We tried again. We straightened. Before we strained a third time, two more people came over. They squinted in the flurries. One was a swaggery guy in a leather jacket, looked Greek or Turkish. He gave orders to the driver. The other was a girl, a young girl, French. She smiled at me like we had both stumbled across something, an amazing icicle maybe, in the woods. "One, two, three," we said together. We pushed. We straightened. "One, two, three," we said. The car moved, it moved and it was away, and the young Hasid said "Thanks; thanks so much," but we were away too, all of us with hoods raised, away from each other, down the white-packed street, bent into the blizzard. None of us said goodbye.
I know I should have said goodbye.
I could rattle off some shit about stepping through mirrors and the steam of a kettle, but all I really want to say is: you wonder if all it takes is choice to make something easier. You decide: ok, and then it is; you shed your skin like you're just taking off a shirt.
Here's a song in shades of hope and loss. The organ and guitars are just struts for the singers to stand on, things to cast shadows upon their faces. They sing different kind of songs. They sing separate and together. But they are not singing for each other. (Unless they choose to be.)
Maybe if you step through the mirror, you can hold your face right up against the steam.
My People Sleeping do not sound anything like Fleetwood Mac, but this is the picture their press release paints, these days: a gang of former lovers, and fireflies flying. I am excited to see what their band is, these days, when they play the CD release for Feye this Friday. It is in Montreal, at Sala Rossa, and they will be accompanied by three great opening acts: Adam & the Amethysts (with new band, new songs), Mountain Man Pat Jordache (Patrick from Sister Suvi), and North, My Love (Katherine Peacock, of Mussaver, Coal Choir, Dorien Hatchet, and formerly My People Sleeping). It costs just $8 ($7 more gets you the album) and if you live here, you should go.
(There's another fine concert on Saturday night, with Jane Vain, Mixylodian and Mountain Man Pat Jordache again. It's at Green Room.)
Do listen to: Gorilla vs Bear's favourite songs of 2009.
(original photo source unknown, thanks sirhc)Posted by Sean at December 10, 2009 12:53 AM
This is great! I am an independent singer songwriter and I learn a lot from reading blogs like this - thanks so much for sharing.Posted by Jade Leonard at December 10, 2009 2:09 AM
killer imagePosted by jonis at December 10, 2009 2:34 PM
holy shit.Posted by j. at December 11, 2009 12:36 AM
The story of the car stuck in the snow made me well up. Thank you Sean.Posted by Cory at December 11, 2009 2:03 PM
Yeah, I'm welling up too. People in Montreal sometimes act so antagonistic towards one another, so it's nice to read a story about people from different communities divided by language coming together to help someone in need. Thank you.Posted by Henry at December 18, 2009 5:32 PM
Yeah, I'm welling up too. People in Montreal sometimes act so antagonistic towards one another, so it's nice to read a story about people from different communities divided by language coming together to help someone in need. Thank you.Posted by Henry at December 18, 2009 5:33 PM
"Rainy" is beautiful, and so is your story.Posted by Adina at December 19, 2009 5:36 PM
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 week or two of posting.
said the gramophone launched in march 2003, and added songs in november of that year. it was one of the world's very first mp3blogs.
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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
Sean Michaels lives in Montreal. His debut novel, Us Conductors, will be published by Random House Canada/Tin House Books in spring 2014. His work also occasionally appears at McSweeney's. Follow him on Twitter or reach him here.
Dan Beirne is an actor and writer living in Toronto. Any claim he makes about his life on here is probably untrue. Email him here
Jordan Himelfarb lives in Toronto. He is an opinion editor at the Toronto Star. Jordan's posts appear at Said the Gramophone only on the last Wednesday of every month. Email him here.
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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
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