Said the Gramophone - image by Neale McDavitt-van Fleet

Archives : all posts by Dan

by Dan

Hello - "New York Groove"

Edmund out for New Year's. With no plans except to follow his pulse, he finds himself 43 in a bar and some lonely girl is growling into her drink. 10pm. The snow is thick outside, like walking through peanut butter, back to her apartment. The skin of his ass is like paper now, he knows she feels it, he's on top as usual. He thinks about watching other people parent, about drinking out of boredom, and overeating. He thinks about the way every year sinks into a kind of sludge of superstition and tension. The weight of tradition, the false hope of breaking tradition, they're what await every year as it takes its makeup off. Naked and shivering, like in the bathroom after stranger sex, every year stands hangdog in the mirror, squinting head tilted, pressing its skin, to test if it's there, as if to say "you haven't given up?"

Edmund puts on his shoes. And the way the snow falls on his shoulders as he heads out into the night, there is suddenly nothing wrong. These flakes chose me and I chose this life. Thank fucking God I at least got to choose this life.

And it's not even midnight yet.


This is my final entry as a regular writer on Said the Gramophone. It's been 10 years, and the weight of the work has finally become too much. As you may have noticed over the last six months I've been posting less, and now I have to stop altogether. And that is simply because this site is too important to me to work in half-measures. I love Said the Gramophone, I'm so appreciative of all the readers, and of all the things it's taught me. Thank you all for reading and commenting and following me on experiments with words and music. Sean will continue as normal, and I will now read avidly like all of you.

And I will leave you with the TV pilot for Dad Drives, a project that owes its life in large part to the readers of this blog. Thank you.

Dan Beirne

ps. Come what may, it's 2015 and The Best Show is back.

by Dan

Ghostface Killah - "Double Cross"

This has always existed, we just caught up to it on the timeline.

[Buy from Tommy Boy]

by Dan

Aphex Twin - "Aisatsana"

I watched my grandmother look out over the gulf and talk excitedly about birds. "You think you see a seagull, but there are dozens of types of gulls." The sunlight is somehow cold, everything is baked white. "I forgot my bird book," she said, smoking half of a slim cigarette, "and my binoculars." I set up Christmas decorations, anything that flashed and was made of plastic. I'm a sucker for these things. She's now unable to go for a walk on the beach at dawn because there is no overnight security in the building, she's unable to tell anyone where she's going, in case she falls. The shells on the beach are just shards, the full ones come in two days after a storm. I think to myself that when I get home I will find that bird book and mail it to her.


by Dan

Mica Levi - "Andrew Void"

The body sieve, with blood like dried glue. The sound that a thing makes is analogous to its name, in that a name is an alternate-dimension expression of that very thing. In one world a flower is a thing with pedals and a stem, in another simply the word 'flower' is the thing, and in another, the sound of two rubber hoses shifting along each other more slowly than the sun moves in the sky, that is the thing. This, today's song, is an expression of silence. In one world, silence is the absence of sound, but in another, this is an expression of that same thing. This is silence saying its own name.


by Dan

Elvis Depressedly - "Pepsi/Coke Suicide"

A memory of a writing made about the re-enactment of something like a movie that told a story similar to mine. Of near-misses and silence. Of the time before the wall. When the movie told it, things got timeless. When it was re-enacted, things became a pastiche, and there were all the flaws we didn't see before. When it was written about, there was space for detail, and working-through of the flaws, kneading them into decorative knots. And then the memory laid the veil, as on a bride, or a corpse.


by Dan

Nick Thorburn - "Bad Dream (theme)"

The lines of his face. The crest of his lip, the rise of his jaw back towards his ear, a stubbled lift that seems to hold the rest of his face on display. His eyes positioned perched in their place, as if on a branch or a ledge, prepared to let themselves fall off and fly. His eyebrows like thumbstrokes, like prints, like tribal markings. His forehead the weighty blankspace, that seems to tell the weather with its movements. The temples seem swathed in perfect concrete, as if covering some ancient passageway, some route that was once needed. His hair, of course, the flourish, the sky that seems to disappear as perfect and natural but if unpainted would render the whole thing meaningless.

[buy from Nick]

(music from Serial)

by Dan


Lowell - "The Bells"

Frank, 12, learns to text. And the eyes of his mind widen, this is a treasure. The way little love notes, and they are all love notes, pop up in just his cradled arms at 10:30, 10:41, 10:55. They could go forever, he can hold Lindsay from his class right in his bed and she lights up. Poof. Poof. Poof. He writes back anything, any combination of letters and spaces is enough to say i love you and it bounces over and back in their neighbourhood. Sometimes three in a row, they can say goodnight for an hour and a half. It seems like the air is helping them, like all of nature wants them to kiss their messages back and forth over their neighbourhood. [Buy from Insound]

Sparks - "The Rhythm Thief"

Alison is sitting up in bed and her arm is aching. THe light is jagged across her face, like a ripped letter .The curtains are too long. The eggs are going bad, they could be bad in the mornig. The door isn't locked. Showever showever showever showever.. That's a lackadaisical shower. Frank's joke book, with the genie coming out of the lamp wearig the naked man's clothes, that doesn't make any sense. Cancer . It shouldn't take that long to search on Apple TV. But also hopelessness for humanity. Slow Heat Death. 6:30: early enough? *scratch* "One Million Cases". How come women don't report their ebola to authorities? --Something seems to reach up through her crotch, right up through her cold stomach, and shake her rib cage like a fruit tree. Palm out, waiting for what falls. [Buy]

There's lots more in the archives:
  see some older posts