HOPING FOR A KINDNESS
by Sean
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.

 
glove.jpg

Let's Go Sailing - "Icicles". Straight from Los Angeles comes a song with jingle-bells and icicle-talk, a warming tone that's equal parts Winter, Spring and Summer (but definitely not Fall). Shana Levy sings sweet over jangling guitars, and me I imagine her in red shoes and red gloves, posing beside snowmen while icicles fall from red tile roofs.

[buy]

Alasdair Roberts - "River Rhine". There are madrigals, rounds, quatrains, sonnets, all sorts of names for songs and poems. And I want to add another name to this list: "a kindness". I'm not sure I can put into words what a "kindness" is, but for examples please look at the work that Alasdair Roberts has been recording for years. The Glaswegian sings traditional folk songs in a coaxing, asking, gentle voice - and he plays his guitar in colours gold and copper. This song is taken from his upcoming album The Amber Gatherers, which is very good, and one of the most special things therein is the use of drums. Brushes, claps, hits, hushes - a splash-and-slap undertone to the softness of the other sounds. "River Rhine" is no exception: the only thing better than the drums is the rest. It's one of the sweetest love-songs i can remember, hewn in rhymes and finger-picked guitar. When Alasdair says "...she sees The Clyde in mine," another guitar coming to life, my heart rolls over in my chest to stare wistfully up at clouds.

It's not even 2007 yet and I'm already my compiling my Best of Year list. "River Rhine" is near the top.

[The Amber Gatherers is released on Drag City later this winter. There's another mp3 bottom-left on the Drag City page.]

---

Elsewhere:

Marathonpacks' Best Albums of 2006 writeup is very, very thorough and very, very good.

The new Arcade Fire album has a title, a website and a phone number. Torture Garden has more.

And finally-

Callum Robbins, the baby son of Janet Morgan and J. Robbins (Jawbox, Burning Airlines, etc), was recently diagnosed with Type 1 SMA, a genetic motor neuron disease. "The disease affects the brain's ability to communicate with the voluntary muscles that are used for activities such as crawling, walking, head and neck control, breathing, and swallowing. Type 1 SMA is usually fatal; most Type 1 babies will die before their second birthday." This is very sad but by pursuing alternative treatments, Janet and J. hope that their little boy will have a long and happy life. (We hope so too.) DeSoto Records is working with the family to raise funds, as these expenditures could likely bankrupt them. Please consider donating.

(photo by lala ladcani)

Posted by Sean at December 15, 2006 8:18 AM
Comments

Very sad story about little Callum. Kind of puts in perspective my simultaneous discovery that Arcade Fire tickets had been on sale for 5 (5!) shows in London and that they were somehow all gone.

Posted by Matthew in London at December 15, 2006 9:31 AM

oh Sean, that A.Rob song is very sweet.

Posted by Brian Michael Roff at December 15, 2006 9:33 AM

Sean, have you heard the new Aereogramme album yet? It is all kinds of wonderful.

Posted by vivouk at December 15, 2006 10:18 PM

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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.

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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.

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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.
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