UNCOMPLICATED COURTSHIP
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.

 

Girl with flowers

Omar Souleyman - "Li Raja Behawakom (I Beg You, Baby)". Tiny had worked up the nerve. With the stars still out, he borrowed Blacky's car and coasted the bumpy road into town. He stopped in front of Iufi's house. He watched the windows. The living-room light was on. He waited. The living-room light turned off. The bedroom light turned on, and then it turned off. In the car, Tiny waited. He stared at the empty windshield with a clarity of purpose he had not felt in many years. The street was empty. He looked back at the house. All was still dark. Tiny clicked his teeth and swung open the car's door.

He got the rake from the back. It caught the night's faint gleams. Tiny raked Iufi's front yard. This was always the first step, when courting. He cleared away the winter-wet old leaves. He pushed them toward the kerb and then packed them into paper bags. He put them aside for later. Next, he mowed the lawn. This was always the second step. He had to be quiet. He hoisted his hand-push mower from the trunk. It caught the night's faint gleams. He pushed it through the grass, through the overgrown winter grass. He felt like a man caring for an animal. The mower snicked and whispered in the night. When he had finished this, he raked the grass again. This was the third thing. Then he lifted the mower and the rake back into the trunk of Blacky's car.

Next, the pepper ivy. He had reels of this in the passenger seat. The ivy was light as cobweb, green with speckled leaves. He laid the reels against the front wall of Iufi's house. They began to come alive, unfurl, fronds lifting from the wreaths and climbing. Next, the lovers'-trees. Two of them. He set them in their pots on the centre of the lawn. He planted five firefly bushes, in the ceremonial V. He took out a blossom gun and fired this into the air. The seeds rose up like firework dust. They would not drift down for hours. It was dark now. In the gutter, Tiny lit the bags of leaves on fire. He stuck sticks of incense into the smoke. From the back seat he took his box of singing beetles. He placed them one by one at the base of the pepper ivy, on the trunks of the emerald trees, on leaves of the firefly bushes. The fireflies heard them and began to glow. The beetles were singing very softly. They would continue singing softly. Tiny knew this. He knew he would now go to sleep in the front seat of Black's car. He would doze until dawn woke him. Then, the lovers'-trees would be shaking and tilting. The gunblossoms would be falling. The fireflies would still be glowing, the leaves would still be burning, and the beetles would be singing more loudly. The sun would be a portent in the sky. Tiny would go to the door of Iufi's house and with all the strength in his heart he would push the button of her doorbell.

She would wake to a question on her lawn.

[buy / Omar Souleyman plays a free show in Montreal tonight.]


The-Dream - "Yamaha". If you could do this, you would. You would have to. It's like a kid skimmin' along on his bicycle, hops the sidewalk, finds himself on a ramp - and swish, swish, swish, he's done three 360s and a cherry-loop. That kid becomes a BMX star. That kid goes to the BMX Olympics. But The-Dream's not a kid with a bicycle. He's a man named Terius who can make songs like this, alone or (as here) with friends like Los Da Mystro. And when you can do this, you must. You must seduce as many people as you can. You must celebrate them. You must set their beauty to song, with glittering hooks, fluttering synths, undying drums. Terius sings, "I never seen a girl with an ass so fat". But do not be put off by the talk of bums. Terius is singing this to his ideal woman, his Beatrice, his love. Yes, she is callipygous. But this is a song of pure adoration, keen as light in eyes.

[buy, tomorrow; it's tremendous]


---

Elsewhere:

I spent much of last year researching and writing a long non-fiction article about the Parisian secret society called UX. It is now, finally, in print - in the summer issue of Brick. Please pick it up, if you live in a place with a good bookshop - there's such treasures as Carl Wilson on Kate McGarrigle, poetry by Steven Heighton, and Gísli Sigurðsson's wonderful tale of being an Icelander on the Irish national handball team.

I've also got a piece in the new issue of Maisonneuve magazine, which is dedicated in part to THE MUSIC WE HATE. I've written an article putting the slam-down on Sufjan Stevens. I've not got my hands on the issue yet, but there's a bevy of critics tackling sacred cows (eg, Michael Barclay on Animal Collective, Carl Wilson on Radiohead), plus a new theatre column by Sheila Heti, et cetera. To launch the issue, Maisonneuve is holding a concert on July 8, with covers of "songs they can't stand" by three acts, including two Said the Gramophone favourites - Pat Jordache and Carlo Spidla.

Land of Talk's gorgeous Take-Away Show is now online, shot in Montreal about a month ago. Wonderful, stupid, platful, heartbreaking sessions - with tree-climbing, underpasses, a censored song with kids. And, in the second (better) video, yr first taste of one of the best albums I've heard this year. (I will share some of it with you as soon as I can.)

Finally, my friend the producer Howard Bilerman (Arcade Fire, Wolf Parade, Silver Mt Zion, Basia Bulat) has written a fucking terrific piece for The Sound, It Resounds. He has written about one of his favourite albums, the Velvet Underground's Live at Max's Kansas City. But what makes it special is the elegance and poetry of his words, recalling his younger days bootlegging shows, the role of a producer, and just the hot sound of a band in a room. Definitely must-read. "From the ages of 15 to 17, I snuck a portable tape recorder into every show I went to, spending the following week eq-ing it and editing it to fit on a C-90. ... It was like the aural equivalent of going on safari, and bringing back an elephant tusk."


[photo source]

Posted by Sean at June 28, 2010 12:46 AM
Comments

That The Dream song is amazing!

Posted by Dylan at June 28, 2010 1:34 AM

Thanks, Sean!

Posted by Drew at June 28, 2010 3:39 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.

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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