Kate Maki - "September Sun". A song like a closing eye, a stone rolling downhill, like the vanishing sun in September. Time is of the essence, Kate Maki has none to waste - go go go, roll roll roll, quick while you can, before it's dark. The guitar won't keep up with her voice, the drums won't keep up with the guitar, don't catch your breath just go on, while there's still light, while there's still light, until winter lands, like two hands, placed flat on the table. [buy]
Sinéad Harnett - "Say What You Mean". Her best glass, the most famous works, were made during earthquakes. She'd begin a piece during the first tremors, in spite of them - melting in the crucible, working the molten solid, blowing the glass into form. She worked through the wobbles; she didn't care; she could make the finest things even as the land leaped, as the ground leapt beneath her feet. [produced by Kaytranada / buy]
Godspeed You! Black Emperor - "Storm"
Montreal is music.
This week two great music festivals are happening - A Varning from Montreal, the festival of international DIY punk rock at the Katacombes, and Pop Montreal all over the city. And Godspeed You! Black Emperor are playing a four-night residency at Théâtre Paradoxe in Ville-Émard. So so so much great music!
I moved here seventeen years ago this month and the first show I went to was skinhead bands at Jailhouse Rock. I wanted to see Daddy's Hands, but I got the date wrong. I should have noticed the haircuts and Fred Perrys before I paid the cover, but I stuck around and got my five bucks worth, shouting oi! oi! oi! with everyone else in the pit.
My second show was at the old Hotel 2 Tango, where one of Rob Crow's bands was playing. I biked north with Moskos and we missed the turn for Van Horne and went under the underpass. We had to ask directions from the gas station attendant at the Canadian Tire. The opening band was two guys with contact mics in their mouths, chewing pieces of paper. I took a break and walked down to St. Viateur to get bagels, magical and steamy.
My third show as a Montrealer was Godspeed You! Black Emperor at l'Olympia.
Since those first shows I've seen music everywhere in this town from Aux Vivres to Zoobizarre and dozens of parks, lofts, pools, and living rooms along the way. Montreal loves live music, when it's good we freak out, we lose our shit, we yell, we swivel our hips and get down. This week is going to be full of discovery, circle-pits, excitement, bum-shaking, and humming tunes on the way home.
[buy Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas To Heaven]
(photo by Spike)
Yo La Tengo - The Fireside
These days I live with my friend Layne. Phrasing it like that kinda makes it sound like we were friends first, then lived together, but we didn't actually know each other at all until I moved into her house 2 years ago, sight-near-unseen, in a hasty decision made after a deep breakup that could have gone terribly awry. We barely knew each other then, but Layne still took me to IKEA when I moved in, and then helped me put together the bed I bought there once we got home. She's like that, equal parts capable and open - the kind of person who will drive you across the desert just because you thought it might be fun to go look at some art in Texas, and then while you are there, strike up a conversation with the local giving you a tour of the Judd sculptures, and then somehow next thing you know you will find yourselves at a party at the edge of town in an airstream trailer against the most beautiful sunset you've ever seen. I am not like this. I'm a shy person, a note-taker. I wait and see, stay quiet. When you're like I am, it's important to know people who are not like you. Who open doors and make things go.
For the past few months I have seen Layne less and less as she's spent more and more time putting together this big art festival, the most ambitious thing she's ever done. Before today, I knew a lot about it: that it was on the island that used to be Ontario Place, land of a thousand childhood daycare-field-trip memories; that it was full of site-specific art; that she was excited for it; that she was endlessly busy putting it together.
But today I actually went, and realized I hadn't really understood the magnitude of the whole project at all. Ontario Place, an amusement park on an island off Toronto's lakeshore, has been abandoned for 5 years. It feels a little grown-over, and now, thanks to this festival the whole island is covered in beautiful, weird art that feels both of the place and apart from it - just like all the buildings do against the landscape, just like the way nature and time have begun to encroach upon those same buildings at the edges. All through the park there are sculptures and sound pieces and videos, galleries built in abandoned pavilions, floating docks out on the water where artists perform, and somehow, all of it feels like it belongs to the place. A natural extension. I took a walk down the shoreline on the far edge of the island and saw an array of tiny sculptures scattered across the rocky beach, mixed in with the garbage that had accumulated there over time. I went to the Cinesphere and watched a movie made up of old IMAX footage, past and present leaning into each other. At one point, walking down a path, I glanced absentmindedly up at a man-made cliff and saw a single tree, spotlit, at the top of it. At first I thought it was just part of the landscape, but then - slowly, hilariously - it started to rotate, first one way and then the other. ("Confounding expectations of typical tree behaviour," said the wall text I found posted up on the side of the cave.)
If this were a review of the festival or an attempt at promoting it, I'd probably have to say that I knew its co-creator and then try to make that fact seem insignificant. But since we're here instead, I can tell you something else: having heard about all of this as it was coming together made the whole thing feel slightly, magically unreal - like Layne had conjured this whole place out of thin air, out of the stories she'd told me about it.
Plus, as I walked around, I started to realize that the pleasure of the whole experience was shot through with this other feeling - something less delightful and more uncanny. After I'd spent some time wandering through the forest alone in the dark at 10pm, using different light sculptures as beacons, I realized that walking around at this festival was maybe the first time in my life that I've felt truly, completely safe wandering around a place that felt off-limits. Otherworldly. As an adult human woman I've taught myself (and been taught, over and over and over again), to steer clear of shadows and mystery and darkness. But here, in this abandoned place that's been recovered but not stripped or worked out of its wildness, I felt safe exploring, and it felt like a gift. Like true play, the kind you only really get to glimpse in memories of being a kid, or dreams about it.
All that said, this is still a music blog, and I am still here to tell you about music. In/Future is a music festival too; there are performances by all kinds of bands, and they are good and interesting, and you should check them out. But also, the island makes its own music, and it's one of the best things about being there. All you have to do is walk a little down a path or along the shore, and suddenly you start to hear all these wind-borne duets: the sound of a guy down the beach playing the trumpet weaving in and out of the ambient drone of someone's far-off sound exhibit. A chorus of crickets in the woods alongside the lake, the traffic, someone gently DJing by the main gates. It's all strange, it's all wonderful, and I can't reproduce it here. You have to hear it for yourself.
[buy Popular Songs // go to in/future // photo is mine]
Ant'lrd - "Kasuisai" [Buy]
I just finished work and was going to go home and eat and watch Narcos last episode of season 2 but my phone asked me to update IOS. So I decided to do it.
He(my phone) has been asking me almost everytime I look at the phone. "You wanna update?" I was like, "nah one day, I'll do it." or " not today dude. not today. I'm not feeling it."
But oh man, he is persistent. Finally 20 mins ago, I said. "alright sure. It's only gonna take a couple of minutes right?"
I was wrong, I'm still here looking at stupid Apple logo and taking so long. so gonna listen to music or watch fail videos on youtube.
Sorry Girls - "This Game". I was swept off my feet by Sorry Girls' debut single, a song that marries Lorde-like electro-pop and the drums-heavy disillusionment that drew me (in part) to Basia Bulat's early work. The band's a duo - singer Heather Foster Kirkpatrick and producer Dylan Konrad Obront, who live in Montreal - and this is the first thing they've ever released. That's a high bar, and maybe it explains the delay on a long-promised first EP. But I like to imagine that a song like "This Game" can act less like a measuring stick and more like a turbine, a little engine prodding Sorry Girls to keep hitting the practice space, to keep pressing record. Art-making mostly comes down to persistence; long live anything that eases the outpouring of blood, sweat and tears. Sorry Girls know how to write and sing a hook, they know how to make breathless what could easily be a lament. They're as well-served by their confidence as by their vulnerability - after all, pop music's greatest flavour is probably "bittersweet." [bandcamp]
Tennyson - "Lay-By"
You wake up in the afternoon. There is day left. Bright. The sun streams blankly through the window. Outside there is no sound. Inside the house there is no sound. Breathe in and feel it bloom up in your chest, deep as a lake. As dark and timeless. A frequency, a signal settles up and shimmers in the air same as it sparks against your teeth in darker rooms than this one. You think this body that you have is what you use to tune it in, roll around, scrape yourself against the edges. You think about your body, what it is. Think about your parents and their sadness, what you can't ask. Day, the blank light, what occurs to you without it. Think about your body and the mess of wires inside.
[buy With You]
Postcards - "Gum" [Buy]
In my day job, I make furniture and lately, I'm getting a lot of orders overseas and US.
So I had to call around freight shipping companies to get quotes. I called about 20 places.
Some are nice and some are not so nice. I don't blame them. Call centre must be exhausting. Respect to them.
One person though, was quite interesting. I don't remember her name but she was nice but her tone of voice, her mind was somewhere else. She sounded like a robot. I almost thought it was Siri.
(BTW I'm gonna name my next pet, Siri so I can ask him/her, "Siri! what's the weather today?" and Siri would answer, "woof woof" or "meow meoooww" and I would be "awesome! thanx!")
anyways, she sounded really like a machine but she was so good! So smooth and perfect. professional. just like Siri. But while I had to look up my customers address and she was waiting for me, I could hear like she was chewing a gum. I swore she was. but not too hard like Lions eating zebra chewing. More like a little bunny eating corn. Quiet but fast.
I wanted to ask her if she was chewing something but didn't want to think I was accusing her of anything because I realized she was probably trying to catch up on chewing gum or eating something while she can. Fast and smooth and Professional.
very cool that's all for today.
ps if you own or work at crate shipping company or custom broker, please let me know lol haha.
thanx have a great day!
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
and it will begin playing. All songs are also available to download: just right-click the link and choose 'Save as...'
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
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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 Keith Andrew Shore
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