The Chills and Genesis
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.
Just after these songs were recorded, the Los Angeles Dodgers, led by the rookie pitcher Fernando Valenzuala, won the World Series. A month later I was born. It was 1981 and it had been an exhilarating but ultimately troubling year for my brother. For most of his life, my brother believed that there was a direct correlation between the Montreal Expos' fortunes and his own. (Given my brother's occasional happiness and success, the theory was dubious from the start, and it would finally be disproved in 2004 when the Expos were given a name-change and moved to Washington and he was not.) In 1981, the Expos made the playoffs for the first and only time in franchise history, but were defeated by the Dodgers in the National League Championship Series. The final game, which was played on a drizzly Monday and was decided by a late-game home-run by Rick Monday, would come to be known by Expos fans as Blue Monday.
My sister was never a sports fan. She preferred art to athletics and my earliest memories of her are my earliest musical memories: "Blue Monday" or the Happy Mondays or The Chills emanating muffled through the closed door of her room - music that has persistently shaped my understanding of how the world sounded at the time I came into it.
Ten years after Blue Monday, I cared a lot more about Fernando Valenzuala than I did about The Chills. Ten years after that, baseball had lost its appeal and music had replaced it in the forefront of my mind. Nearly ten years hence, I think about music less than I used to and baseball almost not at all, though I still derive great pleasure from The Chills and can't help but think of Fernando Valenzuala as I listen.
[Buy]Posted by Jordan at August 31, 2011 7:46 PM
Love.Posted by Andy at September 1, 2011 6:05 PM
Good, interesting essay.Posted by MJD at September 2, 2011 12:57 AM
I like you Jordan, please post more often. This entry, especially, is wonderful to read and listen to.Posted by Michael at September 2, 2011 2:47 AM
Ever since your post with the Willy DeVille song and the thinly veiled references to John Hughes films I've been a huge fan. This post was no disappointmentPosted by Keegan at September 3, 2011 1:32 AM
Nice piece, although I'm sure that Fernando Valenzuela would prefer to see his named spelled correctly.Posted by RGA at September 3, 2011 2:16 PM
Thanks, RGA. I've changed it, although my understanding is that Fernando prefers that his name be spelled incorrectly.Posted by Jordan at September 3, 2011 4:18 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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"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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