Said the Gramophone - image by Ella Plevin
by Jeff

print works by Mathieu Trudel including drawings of mom and pop storefronts in Ottawa and two issues of Hulltramar zine

Union of Uranus - "Circumstance"

I'm a slow writer. It takes me ages of mulling things over before I can express how I feel. Nights like tonight I wish I was quicker and could just write some magical words that would adequately honour or even do justice to the amazing Mathieu Trudel, my friend for twenty years.

I'm sure the first time we met was out on the sidewalk in front of an all ages hardcore show when we were both teenagers in Ottawa. Mat and I were never involved in each other's day to day lives, but we had an amazing twenty year conversation. We loved punk, and art, and zines. As we got older we hung out at garage shows at the Dominion Tavern when the room was thick with blue cigarette smoke. He was always a fucking joy to talk to, so full of excitement.

I loved his illustrations and his amazing Hulltramar zine about place and community, and ... I don't know. This isn't an obituary, or even a eulogy, just some thoughts after a long day under a dark cloud.

For a few years I worked as a night watchman overnight in Strathcona Park and Mat worked the same shift at the parking garage in the Byward Market. Sitting in my security trailer writing all night I loved knowing that fifteen blocks away Mat was in the booth of the parking garage, working on his drawings. We were in different parts of the city, but somehow together.

Much love to everyone who knew and loved Mat.

(image: works by Mathieu Trudel)

by Sean

New Dog - "Here All Days".

I have a son now. I don't have the time here, now, to tell you all about it. He's sleeping; he'll be up soon. His eyelids are shiny, like someone's daubed them with wax. His eyes, under those lids, are blue.

Having a kid changes a great many things. I'm only just uncovering all the things it changes. It changes my sense of myself, my vision of other people. It changes my itinerary. When my partner puts on Serge Gainsbourg or Bach or Super Ape, and our little boy is listening, it changes the way I hear that music.

But having a child also changes the music he isn't listening to. He's sleeping now, he hasn't heard "Here All Days", not yet. Yet this is a song I listened to many times before he was born. Lonely and contemplative, silver with dusky light. What I heard before was its melancholy, its rearward reflection, Anar Badalov's poetry like the unspooling footage of a previous evening. All the people that I love / I can count you on one hand / the other one I keep in my pocket. It was a story of letdowns, foreshadowings.

Now I hear it differently. My dad / he taught me never to run, Badalov sings. I hear that word, "dad", and it lands differently. Some trust the moon they've known since birth / Some hang onto their mothers' words. My home, these days, is filled with mothers' words. I remember when my mother-in-law printed out this little boy's horoscope, for fun. We read it. We imagined him.

"Here All Days" is the same song it was. A song of rearward reflection, lonely and contemplative. But now I find that it is also pointing toward tomorrow. It is a person's possible future - not an ugly future, just a dusky one, a little sad, a little true. I can't hear it without thinking of M listening to it, on some long-distant night, wherever he is. My dad / he taught me / never to run. Is that what I will teach him? When will I decide?

[buy the beautiful Teeth Marks]

by Mitz

(photo source)

Ride - "Sight of You(pale Saints cover)" [Buy]

I got a new hobby.

Window Dining.

That is when you go to your corner store and buy a bag of chips and on your way home, you stop by the window of the restaurant and stare at people eating dinner while you snack on your chips. It's like window shopping but dining. You can even join the conversation if it's patio season.

It's gloriously awkward and fun. I recommend it instead of cross fit or hot yoga.

by Jeff

a band playing in a half-empty hall

Uranium Club - "The Collector"

Minneapolis's Uranium Club have ants in their pants. I imagine them writing this song in a tight basement room on the hottest day of the year, playing it over and over until they're collapsing. Their roughshod debut record Human Exploration must be fueled by caffeine, cheap beer, insomnia, and thrift store shirts. Boil those things down to their essence you get some fast, fucked-up garage rock that sounds nothing like Destroy-Oh-Boy!! or Blood Visions or Primary Colours, but carries the same live wire of pure undiluted electricity as those pocket masterpieces.


(image: Jeff Wall, "Band & crowd")

by Emma

Drake - "Feel No Ways"
Drake - "Controlla"
Drake - "One Dance (feat. Wizkid & Kyla)"
(03/05/2016: Removed at RIAA demand.)

Fuck, you guys, I just love Drake so much. I can't help it! I don't want to help it, and also I can't. Even when he does things I don't necessarily like I still love them, and when he does things I love they take me apart cell by cell. That's family, I guess, or the place you came from and can't escape, or pop music when it's done right, or the kind of crush that's not really a crush but something that lives deeper inside your marrow and has nothing to do with the crush-object at all, really, when you get right down to it.

My favourite thing about this music is the way the pieces never quite fit together, not on first listen and not in theory: everything's coming from opposite poles, surface-skipping beats and deep high-drama heartbreak, damp cold and blinding sunshine, goofy and straight-faced and how he means all of it the same way, with exactly the same amount of power, every time. With Drake no matter what he's saying there is no apology for meaning it as much as he means. You just let yourself be pulled in different directions by all of it - the smooth beats and the sharp edges and the simmering slow burn of just how much he wants - until you can't help feeling a way about it that's exactly as sincere as he is. That's the magic. Other people have better bravado, flows that are loopier and lovelier to trace, other people do better at playing vulnerable for views. But Drake is the best in the game at letting it all rush in.

I have no hot takes about this new album; I do not begrudge the boy his hubris or his lyrically lopsided approach to romance. I am just grateful for the silvery rush and low kick of "Feel No Ways" (that BEAT!) the warm waver of "Controlla" ("Jodeci Cry For You"!) and literally every single thing about "One Dance" (the perfect little handclap trip-up in the first two seconds! The simple magic of his voice against those chords!). All of these songs sound like springtime in Toronto, and they will sound like summer too, wherever it is that you live - the stark skittering cold melting into something brighter, newer, fuller, lush. Dissolve of one season into another, neon blooming into nighttime, something lifting while something else settles, a new charge in your bloodstream, a new way to see the city. Yes yes yes.


by Mitz
(photo source)

Jim noir - "Look Around You" [Buy]
I broke my glasses last night at soccer. I care barely see my screen right now. ISo Im writing this as a test and even without spellcheck. I
Im expoxying my glass frame right now. its 5mins set epoxy so I will soon find out.

I remember first time I got eye exam and bought glasses. I was 16 and grungy. I hated the world like my friend, Kurt. I thought no one understood my deep thoughts like how birds always shit on me. I just hated everything.

Then, I put my glasses on and I could see everything clearly. I remember "clearly" I thought "wow what a wonderful world! the mountains, birds, river! people smiling! old man faxing documents!" everything was beautiful!!!

Ok now my epoxy has dried and my glasses are good. I can only see a couple of mistakes I made. Oh well, same thing as my teenage years. A couple of mistakes.

the end

by Jeff

The pond at Centrepoint Library in Ottawa, at night

Fucked Up - "The Other Shoe"

Walking behind mini-malls, past the dumpster full of carpet rolls, through holes in fences. Every suburban teen has their own geography; a favourite convenience store, an abandoned park at night to sit in and look up at the sky. Walls to throw balls against and shortcuts. Penned in by the big streets rumbling with traffic. Walking down empty streets lined with houses, windows painted TV blue. The stars come out and the moon, their radiance dimmed by the porchlights and lit signs of big box stores.

As you get older you venture through the college parking lots and past the bus station, along a path that doesn't always feel safe. The library is open late and you drift in, looking for you don't know what. Down the aisles, reading the spines, that's how you'll find the weird books you'll think about for the rest of your life. You collect a stack and read the first page of each in a comfy chair overlooking another parking lot. And stay that way until the ding over the PA and the warnings: thirty minutes, fifteen minutes, ten minutes, five. Take your picks to check out. How many nights did you sit in the library until close? Finding words deposited there like silt over time, slowly settling into the rich soil of your life.


(image source)