This is a musicblog. Every weekday we post a couple of mp3s and write about them. Songs are only kept online for a short time. This is a page from our archives and thus the mp3s linked to may not longer be available. Visit our front page for new songs and words.

October 23, 2003

i knew it!

the last track on the Books' lemon of pink, "p.s.": laughter between a man and a woman, and damned if I didn't think the woman sounded like Brave New Waves' Patty Schmidt. And look! Look! (Look! at the link that "p.s." points to.)

It seems Canada's Queen of Alternative Music is giggling away: The Books have just legitimized the CBC.

Posted by Sean at 2:50 AM | Comments (5)

October 22, 2003


It seems the rumours were true. sad sad sad day. i hope you find peace somewhere, elliott. me, i'll be honouring you by playing the happy songs, and not the other ones.

Posted by Sean at 9:33 AM | Comments (2)

ice cold!

i bought an umbrella today, thanks to my dear mum. i think i must have spent twenty-five minutes trying to decide between fit-into-my-bag size, and large-sword-brella-sized-sturdy-thing. I opted for the latter: i'd just lose something that I have to carry around.

the only problem with having an umbrella is now I won't get to walk being rained on. that is, i'll probably opt not to. it remains to be seen whether this will cause a complete-and-utter shift in my musical taste. the days of sad may be over!!

or maybe not.

speaking of which, though - rumours suggest Elliott Smith committed suicide earlier today. If this is true - and I certainly hope it's not - it's terrible news. not only was Elliott Smith a beautiful, idiosyncratic talent - Figure 8 is a marvel, - who almost defines a genre on his lonesome, but the oscar-nominated artist was on top of his game. though the anticipated album has been heavily delayed, label-hopped, etc, the 7" released a couple of months ago (with two songs on it) counted among his best work. still, i'm leaning towards believing that this is empty rumour... still no kind of legitimation from official sources.

I picked up a cool Outkast promo photo thing at the laundromat, with photos of Andre and Big Boi in swanker suits than I will ever wear... it also happens to have a $3 off coupon for Speakerboxxx/Love Below at HMV. Between this and the $9.99 sale for the last Johnny Cash record, I feel like HMV may have won the marketing war and enticed me back into their hellish depths. I really hate that place: megacorporate rip-off artists... but a bargain is a bargain. (Unless someone wants to trade me a copy of Speakerboxxx? I've got the lovely Molasses double-record I'd be willing to part with... An old Counting Crows record? Between the Bridges? Hello?)

oh, about Outkast:

I bought

For the moment it simply points to tangmonkey (and sends email on to me), but if anyone has bright ideas for its use -- I plan to use something else as a personal storage (etc) site -- please share. A lyric that genius needs something genius to live on its webspace.

(And yes, you may infer that as I listen to the Outkast mp3s on my Grados right now, they are sounding very very good.)

Posted by Sean at 1:10 AM | Comments (1)

October 15, 2003

charged up like scarface

so today's a bad day. more than 90 minutes traipsing through the rain, back and forth from downtown. i lack an umbrella (and the dollar store appeared sold-out), so instead I just let my "rain coat" get wetter and wetter, till i feel like i may be losing structural integrity.

on the first back-and-forth, i was listening to The Books' lemon of pink, which i bought yesterday. it's a fabulous record, many times superior to their debut - musical, coherent, surprising, exciting, etc etc. i though that its sunbeam beauty would be a comfort from the grey drech outside. instead it just felt "fancy"; i needed goya, not renoir.

when i went home, i dug out The Streets for some reason, and plunked that into the walkman for tramping back downtown. and look hey: it's brilliant. i never would have realized how rainy (English, i guess) it is. of course, the beats and frustration are explicit, but even the r&b samples come across like genius - they're not sunlight-and-fairydust, they're the twinkle of headlights on puddles. no, not joyous - just human.

inside now, the songs are losing their allure, and i'm back wishing for The Books. still, i can't get over the closing lines of "Too Late" - the rhymes never lose their (wonderful) inevitability, nor their power to astonish, to feel different each time. late/pace/gate/face/spirit falls from grace / escape / place / chase ... i sat down / frown / senses / this love game's expensive ... trance / wounded soldier stance / off balance / significance / relevance / her elegance.

Posted by Sean at 5:29 PM | Comments (3)

October 14, 2003

bang bang!

So I guess I lied about updating last week, or the week before. But now I'm back, and I have a lot to write about.

Am downloading (and listening to), as we speak, Scott Walker's Tilt. Along with Talk Talk's Spirit of Eden, it's one of ilm's quietly-touted masterpieces, and to my ear it certainly does sound like something strange, strange strange (and potentially wonderful). Melancholy Mark Hollis-like murmurings/lyrics, but articulated through a wholly operatic, unstoppable voice. Strings swell in the background - far more lush and classical than Talk Talk's minimalism - but there isn't an entirely direct relationship between the arrangements and the vocal melody. This contrast makes it something quite beautiful (but genuinely, as I said, strange). I have a feeling I may come to like this very much... but it won't be something that will be on my "you gotta listen to this" list when people first come over...

Leonard Cohen's "Suzanne" clicked absolutely beautifully on the bus-ride back from Ottawa. It was dark, and I was floating across the bridge into Montreal, and his voice was whispering in my ear. My mum insists that the lyrics are mostly meaningless, but that doesn't stop the drifting images of body/rivers/mind/towers/honey/holy from affecting. this is music for when the clouds pass over the moon?

Saw Kill Bill: a gloriously bright, dazzling, ridiculous pastiche of all the best sorts of action movies, mixed with (and this is key) a fabulously cohesive New World, whose characters stride through it with absolute confidence and style, till stopped dead by a thrown knife or errant high-kick. I loved the limb-cleaving, the blood-spraying (Anyone for a game of tennis?), the colours and the music. Neale says that the music queues got old, for him, but me I felt a frisson of yesss! every time something badass started and the soundtrack punched in the door. i liked: snowflakes-like-petals, Nancy Sinatra ("bang bang"), David Carradine's hand, anime-calligraphy-lunacy, "square," last-line plot-twists, the eye-patch with the red cross. i liked most and much of it. this, from a self-declared action movie abstainer.

also: school of rock with mum and dad and my sister. Jack Black somehow endeared himself to me (though I find Tenacious D pretty intolerable), and the kids were wonderfully underplayed. That is to say, they were cute as characters, but Linklater didn't rely too heavily on them being cute as munchkins (see the Welch's/Jerry Maguire kids). Anyway - many genuine laughs, great character work from Joan Cusack, sweet and inspirational, and I felt a warm shiver when the little black girl solo'ed at their final Battle of the Bands show. hooray for well-engineered fluff!

i promise to get to the other stuff I foreshadowed some time soon. thanks for reading!

Posted by Sean at 12:06 AM | Comments (0)