Said the Gramophone - image by Keith Shore
by Jeff

a tiger stands next to a vulture in a little pond

Djivan Gasparyan - "I Will Not Be Sad In This World" [buy]

(Read part one of the story here)

Barnabas the tiger stalked the narrow mountain path in a frenzy. Moments before his master Lin had fallen into the steep canyon below. He looked for any traces of her but even with his sensitive vision he couldn't see anything in the chasm.

Barnabas didn't notice the vulture as it corkscrewed down from the heights and landed on an outcropping of rock nearby.

"Friend," the vulture began, but seeing the bird Barnabas reared up to leap. "Chill, son," the vulture said. "If you try to take me out you'll end up following your master to the rocky bottom."

"You mock me," Barnabas growled.

"Listen, listen. Easy. I was coming over here to warn you. Ever heard of old Wizard Landlock? He holds a power over the path, and most people who attempt it end up falling over the side. It's some kind of vertigo charm. Animals are immune to it."

"But why?" Barnabas asked. "We've never run afoul of wizards."

The vulture shrugged. "The dude's confused, he thinks the mountains are his. As if. And he likes his privacy so he littered the place with traps.

Barnabas's anger was subsiding and he let out a long howl of sadness.

"Wait, buddy. There's good news. At the bottom of this chasm there lives an old fisherman named Alonso. He set up his nets down there, out of the wizard's long sight. He catches almost everyone that takes a header, so I bet the lady's fine. I'll show you the way down if you like."

Barnabas considered his options. Quite likely the carrion bird would lead him off a precipice and make a meal of him. He thought of Mica, and their mission to save him. Perhaps if he pressed on--but he couldn't do it on his own. He needed Lin.

"Trust me," the vulture told him and took to the wing. "I'm Giselle, by the way."

Barnabas grunted his name in reply and followed Giselle to the secret path down the stony cliff.

(image source)

by Sean

ミツメ (Mitsume) - "あこがれ".

Suzy is a cactus, sunlit and loping, comfy in a J.J.

He's a friend of Pepe's, the old Pepe, before Pepe changed. They used to go down to the arcade together, watch older kids playing Street Fighter II. Then they'd stand by the dirty river, shouting slogans at swans. Pepe brought cheese sandwiches for lunch; Suzy had tuna salad.

Sometimes people ask Suzy where Suzy's from. He's not like most other cacti - he's friendlier, with a moist handshake. My family's from the Azores, he tells them. They own a garden hotel. "Suzy" is short for Suzanismo - which "is a boy's name, on the Azores. It's Portuguese."

Suzy keeps his apartment tidy. His kitchen counters are clean, his fridge is nicely stocked, his TV's properly mounted. He keeps a single magazine on the square, teak coffee table. The magazine is Thrasher magazine. In the fridge there are salad fixings, yoghurt drinks, bags and bags of oranges. Sometimes Suzy wears oranges on his face - he just sticks them on the spikes, goes out like that. Nice oranges, Pepe says. Suzy smiles, shrugs. Suzy's happy and weird. Suzy's comfy and no problem.

Suzy's bedroom's in the back. Suzy practices karate in the privacy of his room, with the red curtains drawn. His goal, if he thinks about it, is to save somebody someday. An innocent party, in an alley behind a bar - he'll karate-chop the adversaries, kick em to the kerb. In the meantime his karate practice is private, solitary, the most serious thing he does.

Suzy's favourite artist is Matt Furie.

When he gets on his skateboard it's like he's telling your favourite joke.

On a Sunday, Suzy makes fruit salad. Grabs the fruit from the icebox with the spines of his limbs, chucks it banana by apple by orange onto a beautiful burled cutting-board. He slices the banana thin, leaves the oranges in thick wedges. The morning's shouting sunshine through the window. Something from Tokyo's on the turntable. All the fruit's loose in a bowl; he adds grapes, raspberries, a few scoops of passionfruit. The secret ingredient's triple sec: one glug from the bottle. He isn't sure yet who the fruit salad's for. Maybe he's eating it himself. Maybe everyone's coming over.

[Mitsume aren't from the Azores / they're not cacti / they're from Japan / buy]

by Jeff
two fabulous guys at the beach

Rata Negra - "Aguas Negras" [buy]

Before you know it "Aquas Negras" is going to be the perfect punk rock beach song to sandwich on a mixtape between "Celebrated Summer" and "Rockaway Beach." Listen to this jam on your beat-up boombox when you are dressed in improvised swimwear, sitting on ratty towels, and surrounded by an enthusiastic pack of dogs. Ride that boogie board, let the sun sink into your old tattoos, eat salty chips by the bag, this will be your soundtrack. The catchy vocal hooks will worm into your brain and the cool breakdown, echoing the shredding of early college rock, will make you smile. From Madrid and emerging from the ashes of Juanita y Los Feos, Rata Negra are a perfect power trio harnessing melody, discordance, and tuneful rage.

(Nan Goldin, Bruce and Philippe on the beach, Truro, MA, 1975.)

by Mitz

There are a lot of musicians reaching out.

From Montreal's Homeshake and Alex Calder,

"We have decided to release two previously unreleased songs and donate all the sales to a good cause.
100% of album sales will be donated to IRAP (International Refugee Assistance Project).
Learn more and other ways to donate or help out here:

by Mitz

(photo source)

Dura - "Stage 1(Alpha)" [Buy]

I wonder how many people reading this and voted for Trump who have been waiting on one of us, writers to post new 3 Doors Down song.

I wonder if any of alt-right aka neo-nazis deserves to be punched aka control-alt-delete from the earth, reading this site, waiting for some white supremacy music to be posted.

anyways, some people probably want to get away from politics. There is music.

by Jeff

two cute young disc jockeys at a community radio station

PJ Harvey - "Rub 'Till It Bleeds" [buy]
Can - "Vitamin C" [buy]

The door swung open. Steve was over six feet tall and had thick arms from all the tinkering he did: assembly, disassembly, rogue missions under the cover of night. He gave Ben a big hug.

"Your neighbour was giving me the stink-eye," Ben said.

"Ah," Steve waved his hand dismissively, "they all think I'm dealing." He laughed and led Ben up the stairs.

"I didn't know the station was back up and running until I heard it coming from a chip truck downtown," Ben told Steve.

At the top of the stairs they turned left and into a double room in an intricate state of disarray. Piles of records leaned against every wall and the room was criss-crossed with wires. In one corner was a long table covered in turntables, amps, and tape decks.

"That's amazing. I didn't think our signal was broadcasting that far north." Steve held up a finger as he sat down at the table and pulled a pair of headphones up to his right ear.

The song playing on a nearby speaker faded out in a swirl of distortion as Steve grabbed a microphone and pulled the crossfader. "You're listening to CSIC, Seasick Radio, and that last cut was 'Rub 'til It Bleeds' by the brilliant PJ Harvey. Next up we're going to go deep into another world," Steve hit the reverb switch and his voice went wobbly.

Steve had explained to Ben how this whole pirate radio station worked. To him it was all child's play, plugging one thing into another and another, and then shimmying up the side of a building and installing a rigged-up broadcast tower. Nothing to it, Steve said, but Ben was in awe. It was all magic to him.

"Our guides on this journey," Steve continued his intro, "are the one and only German funkateers. Ladies and gentleman. Here is Can." His reverby voice left off as the first intricate drumbeats of the song faded in.
--
RIP Jaki Liebezeit

by Emma

Blithe Field - "Clasped Hands"
Blithe Field - "In the Moonlight"

In the director's cut of my life - the one where I move to the Maritimes for school and to take long sad walks by the freezing cold water, where I own better sweaters and more knitted blankets, let my friends cook me spaghetti dinners on board game night and grow slowly into someone whose heart fits right inside her, am swept up some nights by dusk and fog but quietly and without the need for repair, where I learn to sleep in real quiet and have a better record collection and am in love with a woman whose hair spills across our sheets like sun through the blinds and who teaches me to make things with my hands, where I write poems with line breaks in them and read only books I can steal from the thrift store, where on weekends I clamber alone up the muddy banks to somewhere, see the view and come home winded, where in quiet moments I feel the weight of my failures pressing into brand new parts of me, am tethered entirely different than I am to myself here, in this version, the one in which I'm writing now - this is what the walk home sounds like.

[buy Warm Blood]