Freelove Fenner - "Mary". Is it wrong to call Freelove Fenner's guitar-lines "cartographic"? Does it make sense? Maybe it's just me who hears these trills and reversals as twisting roads, corners on a map, the thrust and parry of royal blue highways. A Freelove Fenner song feels like a neighbourhood, a city flattened out and populated; there's a topography, hills and valleys, furrows for rain to follow.
Maybe I'm alone in my synesthesia. Maybe, for you, "Mary"'s blues and reds are metaphors. Maybe you hear no winding lines, see no knots. But when I say this song is loose, does that compute? When I say it is loose and also tight? Montreal's Freelove Fenner are extraordinary architects of sonic space - their songs are filled with neat little figures, perfect and separate, or interlocking. They are stubbornly sweet-and-sour. Their sentiments are obtuse. Do Not Affect A Breezy Manner reminds me of Mary Timony's Helium, Let's Active, and Young Marble Giants, but never of other people's records - just the memory of their sound.
11:53 AM on Nov 21, 2013
Don Cavalli - "You And My Zundapp"
I've laid in bed ten thousand times and clucked the moon under my tongue. It's sugary with every bed-partner I've ever had and they all get stirred up and together like ocean dust. I've felt the same way every night, I watched-pot myself to sleep from four feet in the air, thinking maybe I'll be able to see it happen, learn how. And there is no lesson from the flicker and the uplights that jag ceiling corners, there is only wouldn't that be slutty, and text messages, the new erections.
[Buy Temperamental from Insound]
(photo by Jérémie Souteyrat of a park in Fukushima)
Taken By Trees - "Highest High". "This - this I call 'loafing,'" she said. She stood in the middle of the room with one leg forward and one leg back, like she was mid-lunge. But she wasn't lunging - she was just standing, legs apart, in black leggings and a blue t-shirt, happy as I'd ever seen her. Her happiness felt almost athletic. The breeze through the windows was putting air in the houseplants' leaves. A record had just finished playing. From my chair, I asked her if "loafing" was really the best word for the way she was feeling. "Yes," she said. "'Loafing' is very deliberate. This is loafing. Today is loafing. We've just been happily loafing. Haven't we?" We had been doing something very happily, I admitted, but I wasn't sure it was "loafing." Loafing evoked loaves: logs and rounds and bricks of bread. A doughy kind of lazing around - heavier and stickier than anything I was feeling that afternoon. "We're 'chilling,'" I proposed. "'Hanging loose.'" "Nope," she declared. "We're loafing." She dragged one foot forward and one foot backward, reversing the lunge, lifting curls of static electricity from the carpet; her eyes didn't leave mine as she moved - like she was receiving an important transmission, like she couldn't afford to look away for even one second.
(photo by Laura Williams)
Sparks - "Big Boy"
I deserve a piece, I get a piece. Everyone who works hard gets a piece and I wanna piece. I want a big piece, I don't know which one, but I'll know the piece when I see it. Lemme see some pieces, I wanna pick my piece. I want that piece, that's the piece I want, that's a big piece, that's a good one. Gimme my piece, now. I came here, gimme my piece, I want it. Don't touch my piece til I get it, no one can touch it anymore until I get it, it's my piece. See that piece? Don't touch it, it's mine. You promise you'll watch my piece, right? I don't want anyone touching it. It's mine. Mine. Mmm, I want it. Tasty piece. Big, tasty piece. Want it. Want it so bad. Look at it. Look at my piece, look at it. So big. Mmm, tasty. Yummy piece. Imma get that. 'Ma get that piece. Mmm. Yum.
Sparks played an incredible show in Toronto a couple of weeks ago. The brothers Mael continue to be an inspiration. Europe is next on their tour.
Trips and Falls - "Marginally More Than Mildly Annoying". Forgive the scarcity of blog-posts; this is a honeymoon, after all. Tonight I am not in Maui, I am in Kauai, at the end of a day that went all wrong. Small all-wrongnesses, missing green lights, getting stuck in traffic, dragging red mud all through the house. A long day in paradise, and I kept parking in the wrong spots.
I admire Trips and Falls. This spindly guitar-pop needles between wired delight and bleak despairing - like ascending a mountain through countless sloping switchbacks. "Please kill me," it begins. "Don't tell me no." But it feels more like a carnival ride than a suicide note - there are layers of irony, remove, self-mockery. Like the Shins and PiL braided up together; a drooping hair-do; a gummy noose swinging from a tree.
You have a day like mine and this is just the thing you need. A loser's anthem. A shithead's hymn. Something to nimbly kick you in the heartache, remind you that everything that matters is going right.
The Dirty Nil - "Nicotine"
When I was 16 I chased Larry Berg through the woods. Something about the memory feels justified, like a holy quest. I remember the air was cold in my lungs and I felt like it was making me stronger, and him weaker. I remember when he tripped and fell and I pounced. It was lunch hour, I remember that.
The days when Larry Berg would show up to school in his leather car. I remember he brought greyness to my face when he spoke. When he smiled and everyone believed it. I remember the way he would look through me, and crack his knuckles absently whenever he felt like it. I remember his wallet. 15.15$ and a full sub club card. I remember thinking the club card was more valuable.
[offered kindly by the band as a download from our site, this is from the upcoming 2014 EP Smite, which, if their other material is any indication, promises to be fantastic. They have a video for this song, and you can purchase other stuff at their bandcamp, and I've written about them previously]
The Strokes - "Call It Fate, Call It Karma". For eleven years, Charles has lived near the Maui beach. He has never regretted it - "Not even once," he tells Moe and Freda, the tourists who are briefly his neighbours, "not even one single time". Charles came to Maui after Suzanne passed away. "She wasn't my wife but she was near as, if you understand," he says. Moe and Freda nod. They do understand. Charles is wearing a size XL navy blue tank top and white beach shorts. His cap says Maui nō ka 'oi, with an embroidered coconut. His beach shoes are high-tech, with articulated toes. "So you said the best snorkeling is on the right side of the beach?" Moe asks. It has been ten minutes since he asked the question, and Charles replied, instantly, with an engineer's certitude, "Right side." Charles said this even though Charles has never snorkeled. "My hip, you understand," but since he moved to the Maui beach, eleven years ago, he has nurtured certain traditions. One of them involves macadamia nuts and All Bran cereal; another involves only-once-a-week showers; and a third consists of every afternoon's activity. After lunch, if it isn't raining, he drags a rattling deck-chair to his rattling corner of the beach and he watches. He sits and watches, with mirror shades. He doesn't read and he doesn't swim - he just watches the bouncing, bounding, tanned and pale bodies, festooned in swimgear, glad with living, forgetting for a moment, in the sunsets and surf, that there is such a thing as grim forever death. [buy]
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 play a song in your browser, click the
. to download a song, right-click the link and choose 'Save as...'
all songs are removed within a week or two of posting.
said the gramophone
launched in march 2003, and added songs in november of that year. it was one of the world's very first mp3blogs.
if you would like to say hello, find out our mailing addresses or invite us to shows, please get in touch:
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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
lives in Montreal. His debut novel, Us Conductors
, will be published by Random House Canada/Tin House Books in spring 2014. His work also occasionally appears at McSweeney's
. Follow him on Twitter
or reach him here
is an actor and writer living in Toronto. Any claim he makes about his life on here is probably untrue. Email him here
lives in Toronto. He is an opinion editor at the Toronto Star
. Jordan's posts appear at Said the Gramophone only on the last Wednesday of every month. Email him here
Site design and header typography by Neale McDavitt-Van Fleet
. The header graphic is randomized: this one is by Danny Zabbal
our favourite blogs
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Back to the World
A Grammar (Nitsuh Abebe)
A London Salmagundi
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
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blue skies turn black
montreal improv theatre
cinema du parc
yoga teacher Thea Metcalfel
The Morning News