HOT AND ABRACADABRA
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.

 
flowers

Kasai Allstars - "Quick As White". I like magic. I have always liked magic. I like the magic of wardrobes, opals, old groves, secret passages. I remember the disappointment I felt one morning, age 7 or 8, realising I would never touch a magic sword. There's even some magic in the book I'm writing (and there's magic in most of the favourite books I've read). The magic of my childhood, the magic I still listen for at the trunks of willows or in the cries of birds, was a northerly magic. I was born in Scotland and came of age in Canada; of course it was a northerly magic. I did not dream of wizards in Africa, of their spells under stars. And yet, so strangely -- this is the sound of magic. This song, here: the most fiercely magic sound I have ever heard.

There are drums and voices, and electric guitars in shades of fizzy starlight; there are thumb-pianos like light in lamps; there are bells, sticks, shakes, slips, and a hundred kinds of glimmers. Though the Kasai Allstars are from Kinshasa, Congo, and this is the third in Crammed's Congotronics series, the Kasai Allstars are not some mere Konono no. 2. They are sorcerers, wonder-workers, enchanters pulling hopes from throats and making me wonder, here in Montreal sun, if maybe one day I will touch a magic sword.

"Quick as White" is from an album titled In the 7th moon, the chief turned into a swimming fish and ate the head of his enemy by magic.

[info/buy]

---

My friend, hip-hop head Jay Smooth, will be talking in New York tomorrow along with Ze Frank and the Sound of Young America's Jesse Thorn. It would be a wonderful way to spend a late afternoon.

[photo source]

Posted by Sean at June 13, 2008 12:31 PM
Comments

This has nothing to do with this post, but I just wanted to thank you for putting up "Keep Yourself Warm" by Frightened Rabbit several weeks ago. I bought their EP today and it is beautiful.
Your writing and your music make my day.

Posted by Sarah at June 13, 2008 12:43 PM

Careful, Sean! All this talk of touching magic swords may give people the wrong *cough* impression...

Posted by Amy at June 13, 2008 1:11 PM

point taken, amy. one of the things i most regret about growing up is that i can't talk freely of touching magic swords or um grabbin' rubies.

Posted by sean at June 13, 2008 1:14 PM

that NY Times article is completely jaw-dropping - thank you!

Posted by jez at June 15, 2008 9:30 AM

If I let you touch my magic sword, will you refrain from writing any more of your dreadfully overwrought blog entries? Maybe even just for a week or so? I'm willing to negotiate.

Posted by Please Sir at June 17, 2008 10:41 PM

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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.

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