Said the Gramophone - image by Ella Plevin
by Mitz

Primal Scream - "Slip Inside This House" [Buy]
Primal Scream - "Autobahn 66" [Buy]

A week before I moved to Canada, One night, I was walking with my friend. We both had bikes but I was leaving Osaka, we just pushed our bikes and wanted to talk on our way home. We were 16 years old kids so we just talked about girls, music, and TV shows, Nothing important. Just dumb kids.

We used to break into school yard and play some basketball until the security chased us away. It was such a weird and exciting feeling to be at school at night. We never liked school but somehow we liked school at night. By the way, it was so hard to play basketball in dark. It's really hard to play any sports in dark. In fact, that should be Olympics, Dark Olympics, a.k.a. Olympics B-sides. We all the sports in dark. I imagine archery and tennis would be the hardest or maybe, gymnastics.

Anyways, we were walking home and I saw something under the street light.
"what is that? Is that someone's finger?" I said.
We had a long pause. we just stood there. Because in 1997, May, there was a this crazy 14 years old kid in Kobe(close to where I lived in Northern Osaka), killed 11 years old and put his head on the fence of his school. You can read here. It's crazy.

We were scared. We slowly approached what it looks like a human finger under the street light. I could hear my friend's heartbeat beating like drum n' bass and Im sure he could hear my heartbeat like House music pumping the full club. In fact, I really wished I was at my house or a club.
We gathered our courage and bent over to take a really really close look.
Our faces were almost 1 foot away from the finger.

and we both realized it was a dog poo that looked like a human finger.
We both just biked and LOLed all the way home in the dark.

by Jeff

Lily the goat on the deck

Mike Watt - "Mouse-Headed-Man"

The goat had been on the road for months now, going from town to village to hamlet, sampling the best each had to offer. She especially liked browsing on the low leaves of apple trees, but would settle for anything, sedges, ferns, tulips, dahlias.

A goat is guided through life primarily by appetite and rarely gives thought to social graces. Because of her unrestrained munching the goat was loathed by gardeners and arborists in three counties. For this reason she had become nocturnal. It was easier to travel by night than to spend the days facing the derision of the gardening classes.

One day she was feasting on some particularly scrumptious apple leaves when she heard a quiet voice.

"Excuse me. Hello. Excuse me, Madame Goat." In the dark the goat made out a small shape standing on a nearby log. "If you would be so considerate as to hear my appeal Madame Goat, I would be ever grateful."

"Who are you?"

"I am a shrew, a small nocturnal creature. Tiny in fact. Nevertheless I have my needs, and if you would be so kind as to not eat the leaves off that tree I would very much appreciate it."

The goat belched and then said, "I've never met a shrew before. Are you all so polite?"

"Oh yes, the very small must be courteous. We can't afford to ruffle any feathers. Speaking of which, my small request is that you leave the leaves of this tree untouched, if you would. My domestic partner is expecting shrewlets soon and the leaves of this tree perfectly shield the entryway from the owl's sight, you see. Also, they significantly increase the value of this property. But mainly I'd like my children not to become a meal for the owl if possible."

The goat was very affected by this small creature's plea. She had once had a kid, a jumping bundle of life, but it had been taken away from her. That was when her constant hunger took hold.

"I'm sorry," she said. "I should have asked first."

"Not at all," the shrew said. "Nearby is an old overgrown farm. There's lots to eat over there, perhaps if you work up a good resume they might take you on."

"I'll look into it," the goat said, and for the first time since she lost her kid she felt a hunger for something other than food.

On her way out of the forest an owl swooped onto a branch above her. "Hey lady," it hooted, "seen any shrews about?" But the goat pretended she didn't hear it and kept walking. The owl followed her. "Sorry if I came across as a little rude. I'm just trying to feed my kids. You should hear them shrieking. It gives me a headache!"

"That's alright madame." The goat was trying to live up to the shrew's example of politesse. "I wish you good luck, but can't say I've seen any shrews about." How could she betray the kind soul who changed her life path?

The next day the goat went to the town library, read some books about potential careers, wrote a well thought out CV and printed it off. She went off to the farm the shrew told her about and, after a short interview in which she upheld the shrew's standard of civility, she was hired on part-time as bookkeeper and granted access to a huge abandoned orchard of apple trees.

Years later she still thought of the little shrew who steered her on to a new path. After her early troubles she finally found a place for herself in the world.

[buy Hyphenated-Man]

(photo by Spike)

by Sean

Willie Thrasher - "Wolves Don't Live By The Rules".

So here's the thing about wolves: they don't live by the rules. Yes, despite what you may have heard. Despite what your parents may have told you about wolves. They simply do not live by the rules. It is not that they are selfish; it is not that they do as they please. It is simply that they are born to kill. Their lives are hard and they have to fight to stay alive. They are not your friends or your buds or your woes. They are themselves, wholly. They are themselves, howling. You, listening, may ask yourself: Could I do that? Could I live as freely? The answers are no. You are not a wolf. You reading this: you were not born to kill. You do not have to fight to stay alive. You are luckier than that. All of us are lucky in some way. We must measure this luck against the rhythm in our chests, the strum in our minds; we must do the arithmetic and sing the difference. [buy / Willie Thrasher's Spirit Child was first released in 1981; it was excerpted on the exquisite Native North America Vol 1]

by Emma

Times New Viking - "Move to California"

Like it's fall but not fall. A new season with trick walls, no floor, like we don't have a name for it yet. A new season lined with trip wires, sun buried in static, cold at 4pm still - cup of tea, cup of tea, cup of tea, whole trees shaken to the sidewalk - but the sun in clear sky too. The warm wind. False memory. Here: switch the radio on, tune it right between stations, hear the new song it makes, like this one but not this one. That's your name for it. That's your hymn. There.

[buy Born Again Revisited]

by Mitz
(photo source)

Hot Chocolate - "Every 1's a winner" [Buy]

I played a lot of sports growing up. Especially, basketball. When I moved to Canada, I joined my high school team. As I mentioned in other posts, I moved to a really small town which had only KFC and Chinese restaurant, so between 8 kids did "try-outs" for the team, I was named a captain of the junior team. Of course, all the 8 kids who "tried out" got on team. I couldn't speak very good English that time. As a captain, you shake hands of opponent team's captain and referees before the game. One referee who looked like Drew Carry meets Drew Barrymore said something to both of us. It was probably something like, "you guys play clean and have fun!" Usually, if I didn't understand I just smiled and walked away. and the coach and my teammates ask me what the refs said. I just shrug and tell them. "I don't know." During the game coach told me something for tactics but again, he was excited and spoke really fast so I didn't quite understand. I just nodded with deep thoughts look like Carl Sagan on my face. My teammates yelling something to everyone including me on the court but I didn't understand but gave a thumbs up like Roger Ebert. I was a captain that couldn't really communicate with my teammates.

This happened to me all my life but every time, I play sports, the team I'm on, always lose. This happens to me for anything, even drunken charades, bowling or card games. If it was just for one sport or a game, I gladly admit that I suck at it but it happens to me almost everything I play with friends and families. One game, we were up by 2 points and last shot of the game, opposing team scored buzzer beater 3-points just like a movie ending except I was in the opposite team as a captain. I saw them hugging and giving extreme high fives where they jump and miss their high fives but in their follow through, they just hug using that jumping momentum and keep hug and jumping, pointing at sky. I was just watching them celebrate in slow motion. I think I'm cursed for competition ever though I always gave "110%" or even "stepped up the plate and give all I've got"

Every time, I watch some youtube clips of a miracle shot or biggest comebacks, I only look at the team that just lost in a devastating way, they are always out of focus in the background of the winning team like a famous Big Foot photo. But for me, every 1's a winner.

by Jeff

yellow flowers against a brick wall

All Dogs - "That Kind of Girl"
All Dogs - "Your Mistakes"

Life is hard sometimes, and when it is you need songs that acknowledge it without pulling you deeper into the abyss. Enter Kicking Every Day by All Dogs. This record is hard melodic nouveau-nineties gold that perfectly balances catchy riffs with heavier bursts of fuzzy catharsis. Maryn Jones's voice is a versatile instrument, traveling from big poppy vocals to quieter moments of introspection. These are defiant tunes that kick the bad vibes to the curb. Their lyrics reflect on the hard times and good times with plainspoken honesty, the audio equivalent of a great zine or an unexpected letter from an old friend. This is the time of year to collect the songs that will get you through the coming season-which-will-not-be-named, just like the nut-crazed squirrels running wild in the streets. These are durable tunes to throw on the tape deck while you do the dishes, on headphones while changing trains in the Metro, or for sitting at your desk writing and hoping that all this will add up to something in the end.

Montreal: All Dogs play le Ritz next Friday!

[buy Kicking Every Day bandcamp / LP]

(photo by Spike)

by Sean

François Virot - "3". A hailstorm in sunshine, a mountain upside-down, I am in Colorado and it is all summer, radiant with fall colours, I'm confused and heightsick and drinking water til my throat is dry. François Virot makes his racket with the windows open and the curtains pulled, he's racket and tennis racket, he's cock and shuttle-cock. He fumbles everything, beautifully, gorgeously, tumbledown and tumble-up, falling uphill with the grin across his face. [buy]