SOMETIMES IT'S HARD
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.

 

Sleeping States - "Rivers". The guitar strings are drawn back and away. We do this with oars, too. The river Sleeping States summon is so gentle, so Saturday, that the whole world can go fuzzy. A handful of grass in the bottom of your boat - squint and it's Pavement, it's Grizzly Bear. Mistake your memories for voices, your appetites for electric guitar, bass, and drums. Sleeping States is led by a man named Markland Starkie, who lives in London. He's got the same bruised croon as Beirut's Zach Condon. And this song makes me think the Thames is much, much, much, much, much, much more lovely than I ever knew.

[MySpace/ buy a CD here, or by paypalling £4 to sleepingstates@hotmail.com / tape EP available here]

---

It's Ed of Grizzly Bear who first told me about the above song, and he's since written it up in a post at the band's blog. As many of you will have heard, Grizzly Beard were victims of a horrible robbery while on tour in Brussels. Stolen: cash, instruments, equipment, personal effects... close to everything. It's a massive, massive blow to them - as much psychologically as economically. The tour's now been cancelled and the band is praying that insurance will cover the losses. (It probably won't.)

I asked Ed the best way to help the band right now. And, shyly, he said something simple: buy their record. Yellow House is, as you should know by now, one of 2006's best albums. If you've enjoyed any of the songs we've posted, any samples you've heard, or if you're simply curious - buy it. You won't be disappointed.

(Emailing the band to wish them well probably wouldn't do any harm either.)

---

At Jagjaguwar there are two songs from Julie Doiron's upcoming new album, Woke Myself Up - one as mp3 and one as video. "No More" is shiny-sad, sounding more like her stuff with the Wooden Stars than the last album (where Herman Dune was backing band). And "Me and My Friend", for which there is a silly-tender video, well... we already wrote about it. And I think I'll let my words there- I think I'll let them be.

---

Rishi Hargovan has written a good piece for The McGill Daily on the subject of musicblogs. It's thoughtful and deliciously ambivalent. I feature (too?) prominently, but it's my and Jordan's alma mater after all. (Special StG bonus: hunt the Daily's archives and find my blistering rant against indie-kid elitism! read my undergraduate fiction! & read the first news article ever written on the arcade fire!)

Posted by Sean at November 22, 2006 3:00 AM
Comments

Yes, I was just going to book my ticket for the London gig, with trepidation, when came the reply: "cancelled, sorry!". I was disappointed but when I checked on their website, I was shocked by the terrible news! This sucks.
Maybe they should try:
http://www.stringsreunited.com/

Posted by Matthew in London at November 22, 2006 5:21 AM

I've already bought 2 copies of yellow house but I guess I could get another one for my brother who probably wont understand it, but it's worth a shot. The Sleeping States song is amazing.

Posted by opal at November 22, 2006 9:05 AM

I'm glad you like it, opal. And i bet if you turn the album up loud enough, it would be hard for your brother not to understand!

Posted by Sean at November 22, 2006 9:40 AM

I wonder if anyone else will notice you called them "grizzly beard."

Posted by danica at November 22, 2006 11:06 AM

While Hargovan's article is interesting, in a sense the phenomenon it describes is both inevitable and elusive. The inevitability is well-described in the article...but the elusiveness is simply that, the moment more and more media take notice of any particular music blog, the likelier it is that that blog has already begun to "normalize" itself...and that some other, more obscure blog (that the media hasn't even noticed yet) is going ahead and doing something new, or at least different, and at the very least not just thesaurusizing online press releases.

As for the "new Britney Spears" comment: who cares? The interesting stuff in the music industry almost always (especially these days, given marketing's focus on the largest potential numbers) occurs on the fringes.

Maybe the real flaw is the assumption that music blogs necessarily have to focus on new music (obviously, PR and record label folks who send info and postable mp3s to bloggers hope they will do so): some of the more interesting music blogs out there only occasionally or never post new material. Lots of very interesting old stuff around, too - which most people haven't heard.

Posted by 2fs at November 23, 2006 2:13 AM

i have TOTALLY read your archives -- without even needing to be asked. you were a little more silly back in 2003. but i like that too.

you compared a song to a toucan. that takes skill. :)

Posted by kirsten at November 23, 2006 9:22 PM

woah, kirsten, you just got awesome. April 2003, the entry "Loaded", that's where I first get mentioned! ah, the silly days...

Posted by dan at November 24, 2006 3:07 AM

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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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"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.

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PAST AUTHORS
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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