Said the Gramophone - image by Danny Zabbal
by Sean

Kehlani ft Coucheron - "Alive". Here's a secret. This right here: a secret, the kind that doesn't long stay so. Many pop songs start this way - as secrets, clutched, treasured, strung around your neck or hung across your room. But then of course they get out, spread, the way wishes do, blowing across a birthday cake. And that's good, because everyone's enjoying them, the secret in the commons. Everyone's rerecording them onto mixtapes, rerecording them as hard-drives' bits and bytes. Kehlani's voice, her bandmate's guitar, her chorus-catchy, radio-friendly R&B - they're all going kaleidoscopic, copied in a thousand places by a thousand people in a thousand ways, one secret becoming ten, three minutes become a year. [buy]

by Emma

Sam Cooke - "(What A) Wonderful World"

Hey. Open your windows. We made it. Remember? We did it. Breathe in.


I'm going out of town for a couple of weeks for a weird, hilarious, very nice trip. While I'm gone, one of my favourite writers of all time is going to fill in for me here. Leave her lots of comments.

[buy everything Sam Cooke has ever done, sit out on a balcony, a front porch, a park, lie back and just float for a minute.]

by Mitz

(photo source)

Sheer Agony - "Pet Crow" [buy]

Lindsey Buckingham - "Trouble" [buy]

Man Woman Child - "I know a man" [buy]

Jim had lost everything. He opened a vape shop two years ago with his soon-to-be-ex wife, Sharon. At the beginning, his vape store, Vapes of Wrath, did really well but soon the neighbourhood was filled with vape stores and they killed each others business. It got stressful and he started drinking again, which made him and Sharon fight all the time. They fought over stupid little things like misplacing the TV remote, Sharon clipping her toenails in bed, how many parking tickets they each got, or whether Reese WItherspoon was funny in Legally Blonde etc. etc.
Eventually Sharon left Jim. Just like that, one night Jim came home from the bar and she was gone. She even took their dog, Reese, a 4 year old golden retriever. Jim and Sharon didn't have kids so they doted on Reese even though she couldn't catch food in the air like other dogs.

After all that, Jim was sitting in a park vaping on a sunny afternoon. The park is full of people having a good time with each other. "What kind of a dumb sport is that?" he thought, looking at some guys trying to walk on a rope tied between two trees. "No one wants to hear you sing your stupid songs." he whispered to himself looking at a young guy playing guitar. "Oh god, selfie sticks!" he actually said out loud. As he said it, a teenage couple on the next bench stopped putting their tongues in and out of each others mouths to look over at him, the people who were walking on the tight rope fell off and stared at him, some other people who were sword fighting had a ceasefire for 3 seconds and looked over. Jim was already so upset he didn't care. Then after a moment everyone went back to what they were already doing.

"I know how you feel" Jim heard someone say. He looked around but there was no one close by. Just a crow. Then the crow said "That's right, I'm a crow who can talk." Jim heard it and looked at the crow. "I can talk like the cats in the Murakami book, Kafka on the Shore." The crow continued. ".....what? Murakami...? what are you talking about?" Jim was confused. "Just kidding! look over at that camera! It's a Just for Laughs gag!" Just then a guy came out from behind a bush and pointed at a hidden camera. Jim laughed and waved at the camera.

by Jeff

Farmers market in disarray

Big Youth - "Solomon a Gunday"

Every few months in the city of Montreal there is a big wind that changes everything. It blows through and makes people listen to yacht rock instead of noise rock, Kate Bush instead of Manu Chao. It pushes them inside to hide for six months or scatters them across the park grass.

Yesterday there was a wind like that. It blew through the city and tore up the Marché Jean-Talon. Or maybe it just seemed that way. The temporary walls that surround the market through the winter were down and returned to storage, nowhere to be seen. Under the tall concrete roofs everything was suddenly exposed to the elements. The few remaining pieces of pink insulation were stacked in wheelbarrows waiting to be carried off to the dumpsters. The main thoroughfare, where the stalls selling local potatoes, garlic, arugula, apples, eggs, honey will soon be packed tight with produce, green, red, orange, yellow, were empty. The painted wooden pieces that will make up those stalls were stacked in haphazard piles in the corners and yellow caution tape was hung across the entry keeping the people out. The market was quickly expanding from its constrained winter self into its summer glory in one or two days of frantic activity, forklifts buzzing around at full speed. I bought some fiddleheads for supper. Seasons change.

[buy Screaming Target]

(photo by Spike)

by Sean

Loosestrife - "job hunt". The word is this: gamely. Loosestrife's Claire Lyke and Shaun Weadick gamely toil, gamely work their shitty dead-end jobs, gamely clatter and riff, gamely harmonize, gamely yip and ooh, gamely shout out the woe of the workaday. They gamely sing their compact, sing-song punk-rock, abetted by drums and guitars. So gamely! And yet maybe not. Maybe this is only as gamely as a game of throwing knives. Maybe it is only gamely until the revolution comes. Loosestrife will participate in this sorry system for exactly as long as they need to. And when one day the bosses stop paying, or when one day finally the workers have had enough, the stuttered first syllable of the chorus, p-p-p-pay me, will be the sound of the popguns going off.



The Passovah Festival is the precocious pint-sized maven of Montreal's indie rock scene, a young institution that manifests the whole spirit of what this place and thing is all about. Every summer, amazing shows by a wild gang of artists; energy and kindness and community racket. This year, though, they're growing up a bit - staging a fundraiser so they can pay their bands a bit better. Donate here. If you can afford it, throw some bucks their way. If you love Passovah or the Montreal scene, do it. If you plan to attend the festival, buy a pass right now. If you plan to attend SappyFest, or to go see Nicki Minaj or Shamir or Purity Ring or Omar Souleyman, pick up yr tickets by giving pledges to this campaign. And if you're a Montreal-based business which wants to earn big love from a loving scene, make a mark by giving big to this small great thing.

by Emma

Ty Segall Band - "Slaughterhouse"
Tyvek - "Scaling"

Some songs make you feel like you're being pushed down a flight of stairs. Some songs make you feel like you're the one doing the pushing. But some songs do exactly both, and it's those ones you gotta keep in the back of your throat, hide hard in your dumb skinny fists, keep real close around you the next time you walk around town pulling trouble right out of the coarse city air.

[buy Slaughterhouse / On Triple Beams]

by Sean

Man by lake

Colin Stetson and Sarah Neufeld - "Won't be a thing to become". It is possible to be so stuck in your own story, so mired in it, that you do not notice the most obvious thing: that there are others here too. In sorrow, in bliss, in pain or fury - there are others on their own paths, before their own windows, beside their own lakes. We are not in it together but we are all in it, and almost always within shouting distance from one another. If you are not shouting then cock an ear. If you hear shouting, go there, help. If you are stuck in your own story, mired in it, try to remember that it is so; for three seconds; for two bars; for the time it takes a violin bow to pass across the strings; for the time it takes two lovers to take their separate breaths. [buy / I also write about this song in Saturday's Globe & Mail]

(photo source)