STRANGEWAVES
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.

 

Milk Teddy - "Come Around". 36-year-old Murray Schelm, MFA, sat in his panelled office, reading students' art school applications. A boy from Morocco who makes sculptures out of cocktail gherkins. A girl from Carolina who swallows paint and vomits it onto canvases. An old man from Timmins, ON, whose performance art consists of swallowing wedding rings. Murray yawned. He brushed muffin-crumbs off the next spiral-bound manuscript. NEW WAVE, read the title page, by R.E. Dudamel. Dudamel's thesis opened with a 50-page essay laying out the pretext, context and subtext of their work. Experiments in the imaginary, Murray read. Invented nostalgia within the jubilant absurd. Murray dozingly scanned the pages. More words began to catch his eye: The Raincoats. Hawaii. Surfboard. "Wait, wait, wait," Murray said, out loud. He leaned into the text. While the machinists worked on my 'mass surfboard' schematic, I began recruiting musicians from among the peninsula's surfers. Murray turned the page. 'Shark' promised that the only thing better than his Morrissey impression was his facility for 'catching waves' at the turn. "But it can't be serious, they didn't--" Murray said, flipping pages, but there, past the photocopied blueprints and pencil-sketches, the photographs begans. Photographs of men and women in swimsuits, crowded together, holding electric guitars, on a bizarre elongated surfboard. A drummer in a wetsuit. A sopping rock'n'roll band on a sunny raft. The man in front, biceps bulging, dripping forelock, was a dead ringer for Morrissey. Beside him tottered a woman who unerringly recalled Johnny Marr. A tall bro held a harmonica between his lips. There were photographs of the band at dawn, at dusk, on cresting waves under stormy skies. They had flown to Cali, to the Bahamas, to Miami's Art Basel. Dudamel's surfin' Smiths, pretexted and contexted and subtexted. Murray flipped and flipped and flipped. He was imagining this band like a clear fuzzy new old Polaroid memory. He was looking for a URL, a bandcamp or soundcloud, somewhere to hear the songs. "Who is R.E. Dudamel?" he wondered, "a man or a woman? A kid or a geezer?" He punched the name into Google. R.E. Dudamel was from Lufa, Minnesota. R.E. Dudamel was a little-known automotive corporation. R.E. Dudamel was a publicly-traded company. R.E. Dudamel was looking for investors. [buy this terrific record / thanks so much andy]

---

Again, I'm soliciting songs for my annual Best Songs of the Year list. What were the best things you heard? Please send me mp3s or links to bundles of mp3s, the very best things, any genre at all, from pop to fizz, rap to folk, jazz to pop. But uh please do a quick search on Said the Gramophone to make sure I haven't written about something from that album already. Thank you so much! I rely on your help!

Posted by Sean at November 26, 2012 11:47 AM
Comments

Can't wait for the Best Songs of the Year List

Posted by Keegan at November 27, 2012 6:12 PM

love it :p

Posted by lauren at November 30, 2012 12:14 AM
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Said the Gramophone's best songs of 2013


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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 lives in Montreal. He is a writer, critic and author of the theremin novel Us Conductors. Follow him on Twitter or reach him by email 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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