Results matching “limes”



Maison Neuve - "Demo (Piste 1)". Andrew found that when he cupped his hand and then hit his right ear, hard, he could see colours. He showed L. She gave him such a look. "I know I know but try," he said. She stared at him for a long moment. She had hair as golden as witchhazel. She cupped her hand and hit her left ear, hard.

"Huh," she said.

They sat side by side, socking themselves, in splendour.

[MySpace / more to buy - pick up the Limes' lovely album while you're there]

Family Trees - "Dream Dream". A song in leaf-greens, cherry reds, gauzy shades of baby-blue. An Archie comic bleaching in the sun.

[Family Trees is the solo project by Hologram's Ryan Trott / download his album at MySpace]


(photo source)

Posted by Sean on March 11, 2010 11:14 AM


I'm going to try to find some words about Pop Montreal, and the Bleating Heart Shows, a little later this week. Dan did a really fine job yesterday.

I will say: go, go, go see Horse Feathers, playing this week in New York, Ridgewood, and Denver.


The Limes - "Beyond Blue". The Limes finally altogether, literally in one room, a long-distance band making a song when they're at last close enough to high-five, shake hands, kiss lips, bang heads, jitterbug; whatever's appropriate. I can imagine them shy, tentative, playing their cherry-red and mint-green parts, standing at a distance. But the drums won't stand for this hesitation. People are shoved, coerced, cajoled. They're rumbled & tumbled. It's like what they sing, deep in their wall of sound: Loving until you're blue, til you're beyond blue, til you've been shaken & stirred to a place where you ache and show a crisp, bright, hard-sky glow.


the army

Minus Story - "We Are Both Dead". [buy]
Billy Bragg - "Walk Away Renee". [buy]

Every time you stop loving someone, your heart loses some of its blush. It vanishes. It's cancelled. You're a little colder, a little older, a little harder. You're a footstep closer to death. Both of you are. & you wonder which of your feelings you'll no longer have the capacity to feel again. How much less am I, today, than I was yesterday?


Said the Gramophone has two more amazing banner graphics added to its rotation. Click reload a few times to see the work of Danny Zabbal and/or Matthew Feyld.

Posted by Sean on October 9, 2007 12:05 AM

Hiisi Finnish Lord of tree-kind

The Henry Clay People - "The Man in the Riverbed". Yesterday at the Haagen-Dazs Cafe I exclaimed to a friend of mine "You won't be a virgin for long!", because we were talking about Rocky Horror, and then after that I got up and accidentally walked into a glass wall. This is life, kids: lurches, boo-boos, faceplants, the stares of strangers. And The Henry Clay People explode with their knowledge of this, of life loose, staggering and ripe. Blacklist the Kid with the Red Moustache is vigourous and dazzling, a rock'n'roll record that leaps from roof to roof, scattering tiles. There's the stamp of Pavement and The Replacements, but also just of ye olde American rawk, the way certain riffs bring out the hair on your arms. And yet it's not meat-head, it's not headbanging: it's flash-smilin' and up-down-jumpin'. It's boys and girls together in the crowd, seizing each other, listening to the trundle of a bass-drum and a fizzing red rocket of electric guitar.

(Recorded by producers who made Frog Eyes and Godspeed records, mixed by a dude who worked with Wolf Parade, and made mostly at a studio that was home to Sleater-Kinney. Also: they are from L.A.)

[Order the (great) CD from insound or cdbaby. They have a whole bunch of shows lined up in L.A., often at a bowling club. See the MySpace for more.]

Ornament - "Weeds". If you spent three weeks in the snow, and came home, here you would be. For three weeks in blizzard: you slipped on the iceberg's smooth skin, the ice cracked under your feet, your eyelashes froze. You saw so much whiteness that colour felt like a distant memory, like the time when you were held. For three weeks you were cold. For three weeks your mittens were insufficient. For three weeks your mouth breathed steam. For twenty-one days your life was a winter. And when you come home you collapse into an easy-chair, everything warm and glowing, and the world that you see behind your lids is one of green and viridian, of soft emerald, of leaves that fold and fan and twist, of ivy twirled around your wrists, of green lips at your ear and in the spaces between your fingers. Of beloved, rising weeds.

Ornament makes a folktronica of strum and thump and bee-sting kiss.



There's a great new series at The Tofu Hut, talking to kids about songs.

The Limes (featured earlier this week) have a great post at La Blogotheque, talking about some favourite songs (en francais). The Nara Leão track is really arresting: a kind of doomed portuguese longing, punctuated by bursts of open-mouthed choral hope.

(image by mute81)

Posted by Sean on April 26, 2007 7:32 AM


The Limes - "Morning, Noon & Night". The Limes are an international affair: scraps of song sent in brown paper & string from France to America, and beyond, each player adding a touch, a flourish, a voice, a flowerpetal. And with "Morning, Noon & Night" there's something very right in this, or even in sharing it here with you. It feels like a song that's meant to be passed, that's meant to travel, that's meant to arrive at the lover's destination all stamped with visas and stuck-up with transit stickers. I like to imagine David Simonetta's voice, dreamily romantic, in an airplane over the ocean. I like to imagine the band in separate crates: the ethereal ooh-ers; the jovial organ-and-jingles; and dusky-throated Mina Tindle, like David's best friend, the one who carries his voice to the post-office in a little cloche hat (she, not the voice). Rarely has a song of longing moved with so much swing.

[more terrific stuff at their MySpace]

The Shaky Hands - "Summer's Life". It's my last day in Poland. In two months I've learned the singular of obwersanki, the best hot chocolate in Krakow, the strengths and weaknesses of every brand of pierogi. I have not learned how to speak Polish: yesterday I accidentally (and happily) ordered a 7-scoop ice-cream cone. But yes, I stand on another boundary: a beginning and an end, one of those places where your happiness depends on how you take it. Is it a glad thing or a sad thing, this end, this beginning? It's a glad thing, I've decided, and once you make a decision like this you must bolster it. Sunbathe, sing, eat accidental 7-scoop ice-creams. Listen to "Summer's Life" by The Shaky Hands, a track whose melancholy lyrics are stamped to diamond dust by bass-thump, hand-clap, the unlikely pairing of harmonica and trombone. Jordan probably has a Great Book of Chords somewhere, codifying the deployment of every guitar chord. The chords of "Summer's Life" are on a page titled Optimistic Chords. Or maybe C'mon! Chords. "C'mon", like, "C'mon, lifelong friend! We have places to get to!" That kind of "c'mon". "C'mon" like "Float On". I love that I can't figure out if the scrapey-voiced singer is singing he "loved it then" or he "loved ya then", or both. And I love that this glad & striding singer is aware that that there will be regrets, that there will always be regrets, and that he looks forward to those too. "And I loved it then / and I wonder what would have been / And may the hard times be gone! / And I'll learn what I've done wrong / and / it's you that I miss."


Need a lift from London to All Tomorrows Parties this weekend? A couple of us are renting a car and splitting the cost. If you're interested in joining us, email me ASAP. (You can also drop me a note if you fancy sharing a drink or something!)


Ola Podrida's outstanding debut album will be released by Plug Research this Tuesday. I've written more than once about David Wingo's folksong - and his "Pour Me Another" demo was my #6 song of last year, - so I strongly suggest you pick it up. If not yet convinced, listen to this mp3 mix of every song on the album.

Posted by Sean on April 23, 2007 9:50 AM

2006's Best Music: Songs

Yesterday Dan and Jordan wrote about their favourite music of 2006. Today, as I did last year, I offer you my favourite songs of 2006. The list goes to #55 and there are mp3s for the top 35. I decided no artist would appear more than once. I regret the lack of pop and hip-hop but I didn't hear very much and not many people sent it to me.

If you like a song, please support the artist - there are links for you to buy each record.

My favourite albums of the year were, in descending order: Destroyer - Destroyer's Rubies, The Knife - Silent Shout, Swan Lake - Beast Moans, Grizzly Bear - Yellow House, Jason Molina - Let Me Go Let Me Go Let Me Go, Espers - Espers II, Beirut - Gulag Orkestar, Final Fantasy - He Poos Clouds, Damien Jurado - Now That I'm Your Shadow, Clipse - Hell Hath No Fury, Fionn Regan - The End of History, White Flight - s/t.

I suggest you buy them all, and let them rattle you.


  1. Beirut - "Postcards from Italy" [buy]
    Beirut became a little famous this year, and more than anything it's because two songs available free on his website - this one and "Mount Wroclai (Idle Days)". "Postcards from Italy" is a song so generous with its pleasures, so easy to love: beautiful, breathless, wistful. A pop music rendered in shades of brown, black and gold (beer-brown, night-black, coin-gold), Condon's woozy, heartflushed voice set amid ukelele, piano, gyspy trumpet, and roll-thumping drums. And just when you think "Ok, got it," about two minutes in - there's a whole other song that crests above you, sweet as full longing. "And I would love to see that day / That day is mine / When she will marry me outside / With the willow trees / And play the songs that made / that made me so." (Beirut previously on StG: 1 2 guestpost)
  2. Lavender Diamond - "You Broke My Heart" [buy]
    "You Broke My Heart" was first released in 2005 and will be reissued on Matador & Rough Trade in 2007. But it is one of my songs of 2006. Nothing else in these eleven and a half months has so captured the way heartbreak can be answered with resolve, two songs sung in one voice. It's a victory march, with tears streaming. It's a parade down the Champs-Elysees with people cheering from their windows, tickertapes fanning & falling, clouds white as the pages of new books. Becky Stark sings the same line over and over, high as high, transforming heartbreak into triumph. And the drums and bells and piano say the same thing: Yes, yes, yes, oh yes, yes, to it all I'll say yes.
  3. Munk & James Murphy - "Kick Out the Chairs (Who Made Who replay)"
    This didn't come out in 2006 either. I guess my list is a bit of a sham. But whenever it did come out, people did not speak of it. And so now here were are with the NUMBA THREE of TWO THOUSAND SIX, and thank god it's finally a song that is fun. LCD Soundsystem's James Murphy shouts himself hoarse singing a nonsense about "kick[ing] out the chizzairs, muthaf***ers!". Who Made Who turns the tiresome original into a thing of loud funky brilliance, a pleasure that's ripe as new peaches-persimmons-pineapples. As limes. You can hear the smile on Nancy Wang's lips as she sings along. You can hear the joy in the cowbell. There's nothing spooky-nasty-dark: it's all free glad glorious awesome life. (Previously on Stg)
  4. Yo La Tengo - "Black Flowers" [buy]
    As I said in September, James McNew's got a tawny melody, light as sparrow, but he puts it in a room with sounds of deep blues, reds, blacks. Piano, french horn, violin, and these brilliant clipped synth-strings, like sprouts. The song's sumptuous, a ballad worthy of the radio - it has all the gentle prettiness that attracts people to Sufjan Stevens, the cresting feeling that draws listeners, even, to Snow Patrol or Coldplay (listen to the Chris Martin-like "Oh-oh" at 3:09). ... It's plain and unconflicted songcraft: it rubs my heart til it glows. No fucking around: just glassy, sweet song; dark petals blooming.
  5. Grizzly Bear - "Knife" [buy]
    The prettiest song about backstabbing that you'll ever hear. The content of the message becomes detached from its delivery: "Do you think it's all right?" they sing in a chorus of chemical doo-wop, "Do you think it's all right? Can't you feel the knife?" Simultaneously intimate and public, bitter and celebratory, like a hate-letter written in curlicued clouds across the whole Brooklyn sky. (Grizzly Bear previously on StG: 1 2 3 guestpost)
  6. Ola Podrida - "Pour Me Another (demo)" [MySpace]
    Ola Podrida's debut album will be released in 2007 on Plug Research. This is a demo version of "Pour Me Another". It's a love song as true as any you'll hear this year. You can hear him trying to get this down, fingers on piano-keys. Trying to tell someone exactly what he feels about her. It's clumsy, careful. It's graceful, brave. All I can hope is that you have someone to give it to. (Ola Podrida previously on StG: 1 2)
  7. The Knife - "We Share Our Mother's Health (Trentemoller remix)" [buy]
    The original of this Knife song is very, very good, but divorced from the rest of the album I prefer Trentemoller's version, that wintry electro distended into cold ice. It comes at you from all directions, heaves of melody coming shattering up from under your feet. (The Knife previously on StG: 1 2)
  8. Chris Garneau - "Not Nice" [pre-order]
    Previously on StG: This is the inverse of Antony (& the Johnsons). It's as if Garneau's been gathering songs like this, stillness and piano and cello, and he's been collecting all the gaps in these other peoples' tracks. And then with care, yes with pain, he makes his own song - a song made just of the gaps. Of the pauses that make something flicker instead of shine.
  9. Ghostface Killa ft. Cappadonna, Shawn Wigs & Trife - "Jellyfish" [buy]
    It's a tribute to the perfect woman, body and mind: "I'm not cheatin' on her or beatin' on her / I spend the weekend on her." The organ sample's feels like nothing but a golden age - some downtown utopia with a Helen on your arm.
  10. Herman Dune - "I Wish That I Could See You Soon" [buy]
    The song with the best music video of the year. Prevously on Said the Gramophone: Herman Dune's new album is made with major label lucre: horn section, expensive studio, backup singers. But it's also made with familiar stuff: tambourine jangle, sneaker squeak, rhymes like high-fives. "I Wish That I Could See You Soon" hides nothing. It's about wishing that I could see you soon. It's about seeing a photograph and hearing trumpets; it's about talking to yourself; it's about wanting, wanting, wanting; about there being no way to say and nothing you can do. Part of me wants to re-record it at half-speed, just murmur and lazy-strummed mandolin, singing all the sadness that the song submerges. Herman Dune don't wallow even for a second: they consider the worst-case, they sing it, but then they move on to the more important stuff. To wishing. And wishing is fast enough to dance to.
  11. Destroyer - "Rubies" [buy ($8.99)]
    A sprawling, baffling song, all knees and elbows and spurts of juicy-red guitar. Previously: With Destroyer, every line is an aside; no line is an aside; we listen from all sides, and he knows it ... a drumkit that keeps throwing itself across the studio floor ... Bejar's wistful and moony; he's a dandy; he's exact ("typical / rural / shit"), and abrupt ("I won't repeat them here"). He's a Bowie-like frontman and later just a man with ... a plaintive reaching theme.
  12. Justin Timberlake ft. T. I. - "My Love" [buy]
    Bar none the best song about Cameron Diaz that I've ever heard. Timbaland's made a love-song with hydra-headed personality: the club-banging synth blitz, the blushing falsetto, the easygoing beatbox, the goofy gremlin laugh that fastens everything to earth. And Justin & T.I. fill it with something that's at once sincere and exquisitely Prince-catchy.
  13. Sunparlour Players - "Talk It To Death (live)" [buy]
    Two Toronto Mennonites play a song on glockenspiel, guitar, bass drum and throat. As Dan pointed out, Andrew Penner sounds a great deal like the Arcade Fire's Win Butler used to - it's a voice with a woodgrain of ache, desires sent wheeling up in a series of whoops.
  14. Peter Bjorn & John with Victoria Bergsman - "Young Folks" [buy]
    A model duet, times three: 1) the perfect matching of clear drums and loping bassline; 2) Bjorn's tentative voice and The Concretes' Victoria Bergsman out-wearying even Camera Obscura's Traceyanne Campbell; 3) bongos (my most hated amateur instrument) and whistling (my most beloved amateur instrument). (Previously on StG)
  15. Sunset Rubdown - "Us Ones in Between" [buy]
    I woke up to this song when Dan Beirne, of this blog, made a music video, of sorts, for it. (The video is archived here.) Before then I had enjoyed it but it was like being in a dark room and not knowing that in the corner behind you was a flame. It's sad and beautiful, shrill and soothing, a song perfectly about precipice. And if you listen to the words (which I eventually did), you'll find that Spencer Krug has quietly become one of the best lyricists in all of indie rock.
  16. Christine Fellows - "Vertebrae" [buy]
    She has me at "tigerlilies". Listen and you'll hear what I mean. Fellows lives in Winnipeg. She has toured with The Mountain Goats and The Weakerthans. She plays her organ and sings in her strange, flowering voice - a bit Joanna Newsom, aye, and a bit Regina Spektor. But more solitary, more (yes) kind. And it's a song that is so sad, so moving and sad, speaking with small sweet grace to those hollowed weeks after a loved one's death.

    Kevin sent this to me and in so doing is the first winner of our Best of 2006 contest.

  17. Swan Lake - "The Freedom" [buy]
    Swan Lake's Beast Moans is free - not like beer, like jazz. Every few bars, someone opens a cage and lets something loose. I don't think they even know what they're letting go. And the magic here is that amid all these weird-wood sounds, these industrial groans, are hooks and melody and catchphrases easy-on-the-ears. A pop song yoked to the cyclops, with Dan Bejar singing its tale. (Previously on StG.)
  18. Gnarls Barkley - "Crazy" [buy]
    Only one je ne sais quoi away from being a stone-cold classic - like Marvin Gaye or Al Green classic, seriously. The bassline is tailor-made for college acapella groups, and Ceelo's vocals seem so slim-nimble that they'd be tailor-made for a tailor-made suit. Something in pinstripes, with seams about to split.
  19. Casey Dienel - "The La La Song" [buy]
    Previously on StG: Casey sings her song and then figures out how to sing it better. She plays the piano, singing, singing, words about peaches and clementines and regret. She sings all these words - and then she realises that the tangled-up things she's trying to say - well that bundle of moments isn't gonna come across in rhyming verses. There's a better way: just some "la's", high and reaching, and then a final one, low and sure.
  20. Bob Dylan - "Spirit on the Water" [buy]
    Previously on StG: All kinds of lavender as his band plays the most beautiful melody of any Dylan song I can remember: peace and quiet, chance and possibility, bliss and ease, all of it right there in the blush of steel strings.
  21. Cat Power - "The Greatest" [buy ($8.00)]
    A dusty (springfield) kinda number, Chan Marshall stretched slow and wanting over a perfect field of drums - hit like so, brush like thus, chime and toe-stepping step. Summer hot, country fair, and ended (thank goodness) before it gets too sweet. (Previously on StG)
  22. The Pendulums - "Brand New Song" [buy]
    Psychfolk from Glasgow that captures the whimsy of 70s bands like Gong and The Incredible String Band - daft, zinging, and a splendidly great song. Trombone, violin and Commodore 64s oh my! (Previously on StG)
  23. Regina Spektor - "Fidelity" [buy]
    All of Spektor's work relies on her delivery - a thing more often magic in person than on record. But "Fidelity" flourishes in these glossy surroundings, the stuttering strings hanging back just enough for Regina to dare dash forward.
  24. Sleeping States - "Rivers" [buy]
    Previously on StG: The river Sleeping States summon is so gentle, so Saturday, that the whole world can go fuzzy. A handful of grass in the bottom of your boat - squint and it's Pavement, it's Grizzly Bear, ... electric guitar, bass, and drums.
  25. Hookers Green No. 1 - "Bloody Great Big Fucking Party" [info]
    Previously on StG: Electric guitars swagger and droop, a synth-line wiggles, voices woo-woo from the back. ... It's a crowd of rowdy Scots whose chants will rouse the housewives, whose coo will call the fishes, whose hot-cold sass will fry your egg, flip it into a roll, set it warm in your hands.
  26. Espers - "Dead Queen" [buy]
    Electric guitar that smells of ozone, blended voices that smell of foreign, Northern winds. Espers' folk-music is eerie, lovely, rife. (Previously on StG)
  27. Antarctica Takes It! - "I'm No Lover" [buy/MySpace]
    Previously on StG: Listen to the exclamation of this song! The band earns the '!'. Listen to the cannonade of percussion, the charge of clap-clap, the hoarsening voices and the go-insane of the piano... the closing horn fanfare like a cavalry of rainbows that the general's added "just because we can! On, men! On on on!" They're from Santa Cruz (!?).
  28. Rah Rah - "Winter Sun" [MySpace]
    Saskatchewan's got something going on. First Matthew Feyld and now Rah Rah, from Regina, with a song that heats my bones. Despite the heat of their voices (boy-girl, with the latter recalling Cat Power and Newsom-squawk both,) "Winter Sun" is as blizzarded as the title suggests. The lyrics are double-edged: whether whispers meant for bed or fog, for the lost or the found.

    JW suggested this song and in so doing was the second (and final) winner of our Best of 2006 contest.

  29. Lily Allen - "LDN" [buy]
    Cynical and fancy-free; yes, both. Ingredients: sun, lilt, dash of cane sugar.
  30. Joanna Newsom - "Emily" [buy]
    It's not a compact song, nor one that offers itself up at first glance. It's hard to twist your life through it: the laces are tied. But for me it's a string of moments: splendours that show themselves like cloud emerging hush from behind the sun. (Previously on StG: 1 2)
  31. Fionn Regan - "Put a Penny in the Slot" [buy]
    An Irishman with an acoustic guitar - but he's no sad-sack. He plays as he plays, trying phrases, trying moods, setting it in the same circling strains of guitar. And in the bridge at 2:05, everything goes goooolden. (Previously on StG)
  32. Bishop Allen - "Flight 180" [buy]
    Bishop Allen have released ten EPs in 2006 so far, with many good songs therein contained. And this is my favourite. It's more Arcade Fire than indie-pop, something dark and full of promises. Justin Rice sounds ragged and a little scared. The violins sound strained. And when the drums come, they clear it all away.
  33. Horse Feathers - "Finch on Saturday" [MySpace]
    I want a fiddle for my best friend. (Previously on StG)
  34. Dorian Hatchet - "Fast Runner" [MySpace]
    A girl with a folded voice sings of killing her brother, over and over, while piano scampers, leaps, runs. As much fun as slipping on a patch of ice and for a moment flying. (Previously on StG)
  35. Rappers' Delight Club - "Hum" [MySpace]
    Previously on StG: In short, this is four minutes of the looped Elmo themesong, but with kids laying it down. They rap like monsters, like beasts, like cheese-shop clerks. Like kids, really - and beyond the ceaseless sparkle of the song, there's the plain flact of their flow.

For the curious, my favourite songs #35-55 are after the jump.

Posted by Sean on December 12, 2006 4:00 AM