X - "Suck Suck"
X - "Police"
My cat makes noises in the morning. She squeaks and yowls and worst of all scratches the wicker basket on the other side of the room. Sometimes she jumps up on the bed and punches me in the face with her giant paw.
"Why do I love you?" I ask as I get up and step into my flannel-lined slippers.
Every morning it's the same - she demands to be fed.
I always make her wait though. I pull down my stovetop espresso maker from the top of the fridge, fill it with coffee and water, screw on the top and put it on the burner.
I am filled with joy and gratitude every morning. Thank you O durable stainless steel coffee maker. You cost me $24 at Milano and I've had you for eight years of mornings and you've never let me down.
"Meow?" my cat asks. "Meow meow?"
I open the fridge door. "Meow meow meow meowmeowmeowmeowmeow!"
"Get a grip," I tell her. I get out the can of food and slap some of it onto her dish and she's on it like she's never eaten before.
I leave the cat, go into the bathroom and notice some truly ghastly bedhead in the mirror. I can hear my cat scampering down the hall, her feast ended, as I pick up my toothbrush squeeze on the toothpaste, run it under the tap for a second, and then begin to brush.
[I was not prepared for the powerful churning bass and perfect hollering vocals on X (Australia)'s first LP when I picked it up at the mighty Birdman Sound last week. Recorded in five hours in 1979, the ingredients of this raging foot-long from the first wave of Australian punk are equal parts piss, vinegar, snot, and spunk. Toronto's Ugly Pop Records wins the gold medal for reissuing Aspirations and X Spurts, a collection of the band's 1977 demos. Get them before they're gone! / buy]
This was written in a writing exercise that I lead in Anna Leventhal's class "How to Write Good: The Aesthetics and Practice of Creative Writing" at Dawson College New School last month. Thanks to Anna for inviting me in and thanks to her students for listening and sharing their own writing.
Gaps & Spaces - "Oration". Gaps & Spaces call this an oration, which is to say a speech. There is no speech in it. Instead, the piece begins with a strain of plain violin, dipping and persuading like the opening sentences of a-- well, a speech. There are already signs of discontentment: crackles and drones, electroncis that bring to mind the flecks on an old photograph, the sepia melt of antique film. But then all of a sudden the drums are coming, a mob of drums that crashes into the strings' weak speech and overwhelms it, tumult everywhere. It's the sound of furious progress, and as soon as there's a pause some new voices cast out from it: saxophones singing, hooting, cheering, and finally simply fading, while only the dumb mob lives on.
[On Synoptic Optiks, Gaps & Spaces' Caleb Willitz and Greg Ward are joined by Jeff Parker, Dave Miller, Fred Lonberg-Holm on cello, Makaya McCraven and Dominic Johnson. / buy]
In case you missed it, I've begun writing about songs in a weekly column for the Globe & Mail newspaper. You can see my recent articles here: 2/20, 2/27, 3/6, 3/13, 3/20, 3/28, 4/3. I also recently wrote a profile of national treasure Michael Feuerstack.
If you're interested, I also have a few appearances coming up where I'll be talking about Us Conductors (full dates always on the website):
Would love to meet any readers of the blog.
(kanye photo source)
Bill Callahan - "Spring"
Fiona Apple - "Anything We Want"
Patterned glass. Thick mist. Grey everything still, a cold so your fingers dissolve like static at the tips. Cigarettes blooming up from the gutter. Dusk that bleeds into everything, dusk you breathe in until your eyes swim with it, until you find yourself mouthing words that aren't quite your own. On the way home you'll watch an airplane cut through the fog, but it looks more like a car with a busted headlight towing the whole sky behind it. Dragging the day over. You'll dream like a skipped record about being the last person on earth and then when you wake up it'll be true. That swift forward pull in your stomach like you've hit turbulence - you'll walk around carrying that feeling in your throat for a day, for a week, for until you find someone to take it back from you.
[Buy Dream River / The Idler Wheel...]
(photo's just my own)
Safe Home - "Leda". I have been meaning to write about this song since 2006. Nine years it's been sitting like a neglected letter in the folder called blogpost mp3s. Luckily it is exactly the kind of song that does OK amongst the dusty hours, waiting and waiting. It's well-crafted, Dutch-made, with ambitions as humble as Young Marble Giants' Colossal Youth. It's twinned voices, clean claps, guitar run forwards and in reverse. There's the whirr of a synthesizer or of an old film projector. There's a sing-song story like a fallen kite. I imagine this song like a present sitting wrapped upon a table; beside a green potted plant, under a Danish modern fixture, from someone long-loved and distant. Nine years to get here, but the song's not gone stale. It's still good. [buy]
Pheromoans - "Trusthouse Blues" [buy]
Cave - "Ravens Hash" [buy]
Nanimal - "Mother Father" [buy]
"Oh man! It's so cold today! Never ending winter is killing my vibe!" It was 685944 years ago today, Uggo said it to his friend Roko, who was still asleep over by the leftover wild boar corpse they hunted and ate last night. "That was such a feast! Well done! no pun intended, hahah." Roko was still sleeping but Uggo laughed alone anyways, which woke Roko up. "Did you like the Kale salad I made? Did you like it? Apparently, it's good if you make it crispy. Everyone in my cave is into it. I'm thinking about adding dairy and gluten into my diet. What do you think? Anyway, get up! We have to get going!" It was already late afternoon, Uggo and Roko, who were in their mid teens, had told their parents that they were going hunting a couple of days ago, but they were actually just going to this music event called, Mammoth festival. Roko's cousin organized it and Roko asked for a V.I.P.(very important paleolithic) pass, but he didn't get a reply so Uggo had to ask for one from his friend's band, Primal Skream, who were playing the fest, for guestlist spots. He sent a smoke signal asking for guestlist, but he also didn't get a reply. So they were not sure if they would get in, but they didn't want to miss the chance to see their favorite drum circle group, Dinasour Sr, reuniting. "Dude! I can't wait to see them hit the drums! Apparently, they are super loud even though their are only three members!" They only had about 63 more days of walking ahead to get to the Mammoth fest. "Oh man, I'm so excited!" Uggo said as he walked proudly decked out in his new mammoth skin jacket made by a local designer, which he had traded for with an artisan spear that he had crafted from saber tooth tiger canines, and teak.
They walked and walked and were getting close when, Uggo pointed at the sky with a look in his face like he saw a T-rex. "Oh shxt....do you see that smoke?!" Uggo asked Roko. "I think it's my friend, Bobu from Primal Skream......"
They both realized at the same time the smoke signal saying, "Sorry dudes, we don't have any more spots left......."
".................Mammoth fest is so full of lame people anyways."
"Ya true, kids these days, they just go to party. they don't appreciate real musicians, fxck them."
"I'm gonna send another smoke signal to my friends to find out where the after party is before it gets dark."
Neo Boys - "Cheap Labor"
Neo Boys - "Nothing to Fear"
It was the twenty-first day of the blackout and George was sick of it.
The grocery store where he worked had been closed during the first few days while the city revelled together. Every night there was a party in front of one of the apartment buildings near George's parents' house and he'd skateboard over and hang out.
A week in, a sub-manager in the canned goods section came up with the solution - headlamps - he managed to get in hundreds of them. They were distributed to workers on the first day back. "Business as usual," the manager announced and everyone switched on their headlamps and got to work. Outside the store, a small table was set up and headlamps were loaned to customers who left their drivers licences as collateral.
Didn't anyone find it weird to be shopping for vegetables in the dark George wondered as he misted the lettuce with a spray bottle. Only a few weeks ago electricity was a given, a constant source of light and fun. But now it was talked about as unreliable, even untrustworthy. The cause of the blackout was still a mystery and some people speculated that it might be a year before it was turned on again.
A big part of why George took this job was so he could save up for a DoubleFun console and now what was the point? It had been twenty-one days since he had played a video game and he was starting to lose it. He thought about KillerRealm 3: The Revenge of Pradesh. Today was the release date, but instead of going to the store after work to pick it up he would most likely sit in his dark room reading his dad's old sci-fi paperbacks with his headlamp. Was the game even coming out now? George had followed its development online. He watched the teaser of the teaser and then the teaser trailer, followed by the making of the teaser. Then the actual trailer, which was just wow.
Mitch, the produce manager, noticed him sulking. "You alright buddy?"
"I'm FINE." George didn't mean to snap, but he heard the tone in his voice. "It's just DARK in here."
"I hear you. But we're up here in produce, one of the brightest sections of the store. Think of those poor guys back in the stock room. There's no windows in there. It's like a cave."
"Look George, This is hard on everyone."
"I knooow," he whined. "I just really don't understand why there's no power anymore."
"Well, maybe that's a good thing."
"What do you mean?"
Mitch glanced around. The closest customer headlamp was all the way over in the bakery section. "Do you really want to know why there's no power?"
George thought "Of course" but what he said was "I . . . think so."
Jim Sullivan - "Plain As Your Eyes Can See". The question of this song is whether Sullivan is faking his rollickingness. Yes, the music has some melancholy, but mostly it bounces, rollicks, romps. This is a little odd: he's singing brokenhearted lyrics; he's "doubtful that I'll ever be someone that you love". And yet: bounce, rollick, romp. Drums from the first summer's day.
Here is the question: Is Jim Sullivan sincere, gamely grappling with unrequited love? Or is he a passive-aggressive faker, the worst kind of valentine? Is this healthy emotional dealing or a bullshit, guilt-seeking woe-is-me?
Let's hope it's the former. Let's hope Sullivan's OK, processing, using this song to mark the mileage of his heart. And though there's still sorrow in him, in the ends of lines and the drift of that guitar solo, that he knows the right place to keep it; that he's kind to the person who refused him, that he understands the way all this sometimes goes.
about said the gramophone
This is a daily sampler of really good songs
. All tracks are posted out of love
. Please go out and buy the records
To hear a song in your browser, click the
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All songs are removed within a few weeks of posting.
Said the Gramophone
launched in March 2003, and added songs in November of that year. It was one of the world's first mp3blogs.
If you would like to say hello, find out our mailing addresses or invite us to shows, please get in touch:
Montreal, Canada: Sean
Toronto, Canada: Emma
Montreal, Canada: Jeff
Montreal, Canada: Mitz
Please don't send us emails with tons of huge attachments; if emailing a bunch of mp3s etc, send us a link to download them. We are not interested in streaming widgets like soundcloud: Said the Gramophone posts are always accompanied by MP3s.
If you are the copyright holder of any song posted here, please contact us
if you would like the song taken down early. Please do not direct link
to any of these tracks. Please love and wonder.
"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
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.
writes poems and essays in Toronto. She joined Said the Gramophone in 2015. This
is her website and email her here
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
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
Site design and header typography by Neale McDavitt-Van Fleet
. The header graphic is randomized: this one is by Daria Tessler
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
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
our favourite blogs
(◊ means they write about music)
Back to the World
A Grammar (Nitsuh Abebe)
A London Salmagundi
Words and Music
Gorilla vs Bear
Clouds of Evil
The Dolby Apposition
Awesome Tapes from Africa
Pitchfork Reviews Reviews
i like you [podcast]
Wattled Smoky Honeyeater
The Clear-Minded Creative
Passion of the Weiss
Juan and Only
Then Play Long (Marcello Carlin)
Coming Up For Air (Matt Forsythe)
my love for you is a stampede of horses
It's Nice That
Song, by Toad
In FocusAMASS BLOG
The Rest is Noise (Alex Ross)
My Daguerreotype Boyfriend
The Hood Internet
things we like in Montreal
le pick up
au pied de cochon
vices & versa
+ paltoquet, cocoa locale, idée fixe, patati patata, the sparrow, pho tay ho, qin hua dumplings, café italia, hung phat banh mi, caffé san simeon, meu-meu, pho lien, romodos, patisserie guillaume, patisserie rhubarbe, kazu, lallouz, maison du nord, cuisine szechuan &c
drawn + quarterly
+ bottines &c
casa + sala + the hotel
blue skies turn black
montreal improv theatre
cinema du parc
yoga teacher Thea Metcalfe
The Morning News