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.

November 30, 2005

Said the Guests: Drew Heffron

So when Jon from Tiny Showcase pointed me toward artist Drew Heffron, I didn't go to sleep. I stayed up, leaning in to my monitor, devouring the little of his art that's available online. My nights so often feel diffuse - my days, too, - and there was something mesmerising in Drew's squiggles and scribbles and warm solid shapes. There was a vitality that I wanted to swallow like an EAT ME pill. Even the slightest, twisty bits of line feel like they might have been the last work of some stick-insect: something that just had to be drawn before some small thing died.

His limited-run print for Tiny Showcase, a BBQ which buzzes with all of summer's smoke and cloud and friendship, is still available (my print came in the post today and it made me remember Ottawa sidewalks, the smell of hotdogs, friends on picnic benches, hopeless crushes). But beyond that, Drew's got half-sketches, dadaist contraptions, messed up faces and platonic perfection. He's got t-shirts and book-covers. He's got breadth and depth and boys&girls he's just starting. So it's with tremendous pleasure that I welcome him today, to Said the Gramophone, where he has chosen two songs - and illustrated them. Please make him feel welcome. -- Sean

The B-52s - "TRISM"


Electric Light Orchestra - "Mr Blue Sky"


[Drew Heffron is in his fourth year of college studying visual communcation design. See his work online at and, or in person at 1147 Marydale Lane Rock Hill, South Carolina USA.]

(Previous guest-blogs, in and out of the Said the Guests series: Hello Saferide, Edward Droste (Grizzly Bear), Will Sheff (Okkervil River), Devin Davis, Michael Nau (Page France), artist Tim Moore, Carl Wilson, Brian Michael Roff, Howard Bilerman (producer: Silver Mt. Zion, Arcade Fire, etc.), Damon Krukowski (Damon & Naomi). There are many more to come.)

Posted by Drew Heffron at 3:03 AM | Comments (11)

November 29, 2005

What I Got You For Our Anniversary

Okay, since memories are important, all three of today's things are from bands that got me involved with gramophone in the first place. And they're all in the style I used to write in: brief.

Alden Penner - "The Ghost of Creaky Crater"

You can fly over this song like a bored plane, but you'll be yanked in at 1:39. Don't be scared, your lunch will come out through your eyes. You'll be handed a tambourine, and we can tell if you're not singing, if you're just mouthing the words.

[availability problems]


The Diskettes - "Nöel"

The best "new" christmas song. It's not a sound-alike of a carol, it has no agenda, it's almost more about snow than about christmas; more about love than about happiness (these are mutually exclusive). It either has or hasn't importance that "Nöel" is also "know well".

note: I'm on a streak of 2 for tracks featuring umlauts. dare me.

[from the compilation Christmas Twee]


And, there is a Wolf Parade video. I like it, it's pre-occupation with telling the story over any concern for slickness or polish is really endearing. via mtlshows


The NPR story is up. on the radio that is. I love how Ounsworth had never heard of pitchfork. I wish I lived like that. big thanks to Jacob Ganz for the story, you did a great job, Jacob!

Posted by Dan at 4:01 AM | Comments (12)

November 28, 2005

new face, same old smile

On November 26th, Said the Gramophone celebrated its sort-of second birthday. While the site's been running since March of 2003, it wasn't until November of that year until I found the will or the resources to start hosting and writing about mp3s. Just about every weekday since then, - thanks to Jordan, and Dan, and you, - we have been sharing our favourite songs.

Said the Gramophone is (as of right now) 559 entries long, and just under 225,000 words (yes, two hundred and twenty-five thousand). It's longer than Moby Dick and certainly not as good. But we're going to keep trying.

In honour of our second birthday, StG has a new look. Our lovely redesign was only eight months in the making and comes thanks to the fantastic work of Neale McDavitt-Van Fleet. Neale not only designed things and cobbled together most of the code, he did the illustrations above. And he's a good friend, too.

Please let us know if you spot any bugs.

I'd like to thank you all for coming back, day after day. I hope you'll not stop, even as we reach our middle age in blog years.

For the geeky-curious, I've hand-transcribed basically every song that StG has posted since November 2003. There are going to be a lot of omissions because I skimmed, rather than reading, the whole thing. But it still makes me pretty proud to browse that list and see all the wonderful things we've found. (And also how many more wonderful things we've left out!)

You can read that long list after the jump.

And thanks again, on this chilly Edinburgh evening, for reading our writing. You are the warmest audience we could ask for.


Exploding Hearts - "Throwaway Style". In the summer of 2003, most of the Exploding Hearts died in a car crash. I lacked the words then, and I still do today. But what I know is that Guitar Romantic still exists, in gaudy yellow-pink-and-black, and it's not going anywhere. One of my favourite rock albums of the past ten years, this a record of buzzing garage-pop that's feels like it musta been scalpeled from some 60s/70s/80s scene, cut from a chest hot and slippery. As Said the Gramophone throws away its old style, here is two minutes and fifty-four seconds of glad punk splendor, something so charged with life that it's impossible to think of its authors as passed on: something that brings them to us with breath and sweat and electric guitars, immortal finger-snapping scoundrels who will bum you a smoke, if you ask. It's mixed so loud that you don't even have to turn it up (but you should).


Songs:Ohia - "Coxcomb Red (Joe Beats Experiment remix)". Most of the best remixes make a song more awesome. They improve its dance moves. But here's a remix whose raison d'etre is something altogether opposite. The beats here are weak, empty and echoing. They're there but they're not going to grab your feet or hips. You hear the room around the beats, the reflecting walls and slamming doors. You hear the groupie chatter. You hear the man in a room, a man singing his earnest rock-blues (and he's one of my dearest artists in the world), but you hear the echo, the walls and doors and groupies. You hear the space. You hear the ache and emptiness of standing at a gig, of listening to a song, and of hearing it just as a song - words sung, notes played. Because sometimes the music won't give you what you want, or you don't know how to take what it's offering. So you just stand there, you sway, and you hope that maybe it'll just hold you.

The Joe Beats Experiment presents Indie Rock Blues includes remixes of Neutral Milk Hotel, M Ward, Andrew Bird, The Make Up, and all sorts of other nonsense. More importantly still: it includes artwork by William Schaff. [BUY]


Other things -

I didn't see Wolf Parade on Friday. A pileup on the highway to Glasgow more than doubled the trip-time to Glasgow, and as they were the first of two openers at a gig that wanted people out in time for a club night, it just wasn't possible. I was sad, yes. Tonight - Mogwai.

NPR blame Dan for kick-starting Clap Your Hands Say Yeah's hype. "Their name both attracted me and repulsed me at the same time," says Beirne. Hooray! [applause, yeah]

There's also an NPR story on NaSoAlMo (National Solo Album Writing Month). It's only a couple days till the deadline (!). Said the Gramophone will (hopefully) be providing hosting for the finished product of a bunch of entrants, and I can't wait to hear them. More on that later.

November 26, 2003 10:40 PM (Sean)
       Ceelo - "I'll Be Around"
       Billy Bragg - "Walk Away Renee"

November 28, 2003 01:29 AM (Sean)
       Clem Snide - "All Green"
       Bonnie Billy and the Marquis de Tren - "II/XV"

November 29, 2003 02:08 AM (Sean)
       The Frames - "Lay Me Down"

December 1, 2003 12:38 PM (Sean)
       Pedro the Lion - "When They Really Get To Know You They Will Run"
       Sun Kil Moon - "Salvador Sanchez"

December 2, 2003 09:52 PM (Sean)
       Little Wings - "The Shredder"
       Eminem - "We As Americans"

December 5, 2003 03:20 PM (Sean)
       The Unicorns - "I Was Born (A Unicorn) [original]"
       Charles Wright - "Express Yourself"

December 7, 2003 12:22 AM (Sean)
       Air - "Run"
       Air - "Alone in Kyoto"

December 8, 2003 01:27 PM (Sean)
       Missy Elliott ft. Jay-Z - "Wake Up"
       Isobel Campbell - "The Breeze Whispered Your Name"
       Isobel Campbell - "The Cat's Pyjamas"

January 6, 2004 05:56 PM (Sean)
       Bubba Sparxxx - "Nowhere"
       Jason Molina - "Long Desert Train"

January 7, 2004 06:29 PM (Sean)
       Jack White - "Never Far Away"
       Herman Dune - "You're So Far From Me"

January 8, 2004 11:41 PM (Sean)
       Bjork - "Hyperballad [Brodsky Quartet remix]"
       The Weekend - "80s Rockstar"

January 9, 2004 11:06 PM (Sean)
       Bubba Sparxxx - "Comin' Round [full vsn]"
       Okkervil River - "Okkervil River Song"

January 12, 2004 01:03 AM (Sean)
       Kanye West - "My Way"
       Nena - "99 Luftballons"

January 13, 2004 12:33 AM (Sean)
       John Vanderslice - "They Won't Let Me Run"
       The Eyesores - "Bent at the Waist"

January 14, 2004 01:29 AM (Sean)
       Flaming Lips and Dave Fridmann - "Tubthumping (Remix)"
       The Hidden Cameras - "Boys of Melody"

January 15, 2004 10:54 PM (Sean)
       Radiohead - "Skttrbrain (Four Tet remix)"
       Jim Bryson - "Sleeping in Toronto"

January 18, 2004 06:32 PM (Sean)
       A Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra & Tra-La-La Band with Choir - "Sow Some Lonesome Corner So Many Flowers Bloom"

January 20, 2004 05:45 PM (Sean)
       Jonathan Richman - "Give Paris One More Chance"
       King Geedorah - "Monster Zero"

January 22, 2004 02:44 AM (Sean)
       Iron & Wine - "Naked as we Came"
       Mum - "Weeping Rock, Rock"

January 23, 2004 12:43 AM (Sean)
       Arcade Fire - "No Cars Go"

January 24, 2004 07:18 PM (Sean)
       Beyonce ft. Ghostfacce Killah - "Summertime"
       Kanye West ft. Common - "Better than Yours"

January 26, 2004 01:24 PM (Sean)
       The Stills - "Lola Stars and Stripes"
       The Stills - "Let's Roll"

January 27, 2004 01:08 PM (Sean)
       Elbow - "Grace Under Pressure"
       Elbow - "Switching Off"

January 28, 2004 02:35 PM (Sean)
       Logh - "In Cold Blood"
       Logh - "Note on the Bathroom Mirror"

January 29, 2004 01:34 PM (Sean)
       Bedhead - "The Unpredictable Landlord"
       Bedhead - "The Rest of the Day"

January 29, 2004 02:07 PM (Sean)
       Modest Mouse - "Float On"

January 30, 2004 07:07 PM (Sean)
       MF Grimm ft. MF Doom - "Tick Tick"

February 2, 2004 01:24 AM (Sean)
       The Tragically Hip - "Nautical Disaster"
       The Dears - "Hollywood"

February 3, 2004 12:13 PM (Sean)
       Snow Patrol - "Run"
       Christopher O'Riley - "Fake Plastic Trees"

February 4, 2004 09:45 PM (Sean)
       Sexual Harassment - "If I Gave You A Party"
       Rachel's - "Last Things Last"

February 7, 2004 01:16 AM (Sean)
       The Divine Comedy - "Our Mutual Friend"

February 10, 2004 07:55 PM (Sean)
       Jimmy Soul - "If You Wanna Be Happy"
       Four Tet - "She Moves She"

February 11, 2004 10:30 PM (Sean)
       Sufjan Stevens - "Seven Swans"

February 12, 2004 07:17 PM (Sean)

       Devendra Banhart - "There Was Sun"
       Devendra Banhart - "Autumn's Child"

February 20, 2004 01:04 AM (Sean)
       Bonnie Prince Billy - "New Partner"

February 21, 2004 12:46 AM (Sean)
       Modest Mouse - "Bukowski"
       G-Unit - "My Buddy"

February 22, 2004 09:39 PM (Sean)
       Mikesuoro Huutajat - "Star Spangled Banner"
       Varttina - "Ruskie Neitsyt"
       Deestroyer - "From Oakland to Warsaw"

March 1, 2004 06:38 PM (Sean)
       Elvis Presley - "Are You Lonesome Tonight [live and hilarious"
       Madredeus - "O Pastor"
       Madredeus - "Oxala"

March 2, 2004 06:12 PM (Sean)
       Mirah - "Nobody Has to Stay"
       Mirah - "The Dogs of B.A."

March 4, 2004 01:04 AM (Sean)
       Bert Jansch & John Renbourne - "East Wind"
       Lit - "My Own Worst Enemy"

March 4, 2004 07:39 PM (Sean)
       Beta Band - "Assessment"
       The Cardigans - "Communication"

March 5, 2004 07:04 PM (Sean)
       Os Mutantes - "A Minha Menina"
       The (Band of) Bees - "A Minha Menina"

March 8, 2004 05:30 PM (Sean)
       DJ Jazzy Jeff ft. Eminem and Parl Yams - "When to Stand Up"
       Pedro the Lion - "Keep Swinging"

March 9, 2004 07:39 PM (Sean)
       Broken Social Scene - "Marketfresh"
       Daniel Lemma - "If I Used to Love You"

March 10, 2004 02:40 PM (Sean)
       Jim Guthrie - "Who Needs What"
       The Zoobombs - "Mo' Funky [pt 1]"

March 11, 2004 08:53 PM (Sean)
       Professor Longhair - "Go to the Mardi Gras"

March 15, 2004 12:18 AM (Sean)

       Feist - "Mushaboom"
       Feist - "When I Was a Young Girl"

March 16, 2004 01:55 AM (Sean)
       Pipas - "No Suspires Mas"
       Cocorosie - "Terrible Angels"

March 17, 2004 01:18 AM (Sean)
       COCO - "Move On"
       Wilco - "At Least That's What You Said"

March 18, 2004 12:02 AM (Sean)
       Gianmaria Testa - "Per Accompagnarti"
       The Streets - "You're Fit But You Know It"

March 19, 2004 01:54 AM (Sean)
       Hood - "They Removed All the Trace That Anything Ever Happened Here"
       The Magnetic Fields - "I Don't Really Love You Any More"

March 21, 2004 11:51 PM (Sean)
       Jude - "I Do"
       The Montgolfier Brothers - "The World is Flat"

March 23, 2004 02:21 AM (Sean)
       Beck - "I Get Lonesome"
       Beck - "Everybody's Gotta Learn Sometime"

March 25, 2004 01:21 AM (Sean)
       Drushka - "Devil's Dance/Vaganza"
       Drushka - "The Dark Vaganza Dawn"

March 29, 2004 12:52 AM (Sean)
       P:ano - "Tut Tut"
       P:ano - "Working"

March 30, 2004 12:59 PM (Sean)
       Joy Division - "Disorder (live)"
       Wiley - "Bird Time"

March 31, 2004 02:09 AM (Sean)
       Greg Macpherson Band - "Slow Stroke"
       Nacho Vegas - "Seronda"

April 1, 2004 12:25 AM (Sean)
       The Beatles - "Norwegian Wood [take 2]"
       Sloan - "Everything You've Done Wrong"

April 2, 2004 12:20 AM (Sean)
       Gomez - "Get Miles"
       Gomez - "Folk Shot"

April 4, 2004 10:59 PM (Sean)
       Neva Dinova - "Poison"
       Garmarna - "Greenest Branch"
       Willian Hung - "I Believe I Can Fly"

April 6, 2004 12:44 AM (Sean)
       Jeremy Steig - "Howling for Judy"
       Bran Flakes - "Good Times a Goo Goo"

April 7, 2004 04:53 AM (Sean)
       !!! - "Dear Can"
       The Lucksmiths - "Self Preservation"

April 8, 2004 04:40 AM (Sean)
       Maher Shalal Hash Baz - "Post Office"
       Maher Shalal Hash Baz - "For a Recorder and a Euphonium"
       Maher Shalal Hash Baz - "Peter Said"

April 9, 2004 01:09 AM (Sean)
       Jolie Holland - "Roll My Blues"
       Jolie Holland - "Do You?"

April 12, 2004 04:34 AM (Sean)
       Vincent Gallo, PJ Harvey, John Frusciante, Jim O'Rourke - "Moon River (live)
       DJ Format - "The Hit Song"

April 13, 2004 04:25 AM (Sean)
       The Divine Comedy -"Gin Soaked Boy"
       Wheat - "I Met a Girl"

April 14, 2004 01:12 AM (Sean)
       Mickey 3D - "La"
       Hank Dogs - "Same New"

April 15, 2004 01:13 AM (Sean)
       Shearwater - "Well, Benjamin"
       Shearwater - "The Set Table"

April 16, 2004 08:25 PM (Sean)
       Chris Lee - "Cossacks of Love"
       Outkast ft. Sean Paul - "Hey Ya! (Remix)"
       Hanson - "Underneath"

April 19, 2004 12:34 AM (Sean)
       Ballboy - "A Day In Space"
       Donkey Boy - "Upchuck"

April 20, 2004 01:40 AM (Sean)
       Wolf Parade - "Dinner Bells"
       Wolf Parade - "This Heart is On Fire (live)"
       Outkast - "Ghettomusick [Benny Benassi remix]"

April 21, 2004 12:38 AM (Sean)
       Wazimbo and the Orchestra Marrebenta Star de Mocambique - "Nwahulwana"
       Wild Colonials - "Charm"

April 22, 2004 02:14 AM (Sean)
       The Frames - "What Happens When the Heart Just Stops"
       The Frames - "Your Face"
       Seachange - "Anglokana"

April 23, 2004 01:22 AM (Sean)
       Eamon - "Fuck It"
       The Boggs - "Hard Times"

April 26, 2004 12:54 AM (Sean)
       The Beat Hunters - "Angie's Night"
       Loretta Lynn - "Have Mercy"

April 27, 2004 01:00 AM (Sean)
       The Robot Ate Me - "You Smile"
       Boy - "French Diplomacy"

April 28, 2004 01:11 AM (Sean)
       Adem - "Ringing in my Ear"
       Clem Snide - "I'll Be Your Mirror"

April 29, 2004 01:51 AM (Sean)
       Frog Eyes - "One In Six Children Will Flee In Boats (acoustic)"
       Broken Spindles - "Fall In and Down On"

April 30, 2004 12:54 AM (Sean)
       Shena Ringo - "Stem"
       Vincent Gallo - "Laura"

May 3, 2004 07:23 PM (Sean)
       Kevin Coyne - "The World is Full of Fools"
       Clive Holden - "De'ath at Neepawa"

May 3, 2004 11:57 PM (Sean)
       Nick Drake - "Fly"
       The Faces - "Ooh La La"

May 5, 2004 01:30 AM (Sean)
       The Minus Story - "It All Ends"
       The Minus Story - "Gravity Pulls"
       The Diskettes - "Girl with Sunglasses"

May 6, 2004 01:05 AM (Sean)
       The (Band of) Bees - "Chicken Payback"
       The Amalgamated Sons of Rest - "My Donal"Th

May 7, 2004 01:46 AM (Sean)
       The Deadly Snakes - "I Can't Sleep At Night"
       The Deadly Snakes - "Oh My Bride"
       Andre Ethier - "She Will Never Be Your Girl"

May 10, 2004 01:08 AM (Sean)
       Lindsey Buckingham - "Holiday Road"
       The Bruces - "Electric Halo"
       Dismemberment Plan - "Back and Forth"

May 11, 2004 01:52 AM (Sean)
       Masta Ace - "Good Ol' Love"
       The Cay - "Bird Yard"

May 12, 2004 02:43 AM (Sean)
       Nico - "I'll Keep It With Mine"

       Brian Michael Roff - "Magazine Memories"

May 13, 2004 02:50 AM (Sean)
       Talib Kweli ft. Michelle Williams - "Lonely People"
       The Cat Empire - "All That Talking"

May 14, 2004 02:31 AM (Sean)
       Josh Rouse - "1972"
       Jim White - "Static on the Radio"

May 17, 2004 01:42 AM (Sean)
       Isobel Campbell - "Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)"
       The Tiger Lillies - "Reap What You Sew"

May 18, 2004 12:57 AM (Sean)
       Jem - "24"
       Jem - "Wish I"

May 19, 2004 01:27 AM (Sean)
       Matt Harding - "What I Meant to Say"
       Pedro vs Kathryn Williams - "Demons"

May 20, 2004 12:39 AM (Sean)
       The Be Good Tanyas - "The Littlest Birds"
       The Waifs - "Up All Night"

May 21, 2004 03:31 AM (Sean)
       The Trouble With Sweeney - "Evelyn Rochman"
       David Byrne - "Glass, Concrete and Stone"

May 24, 2004 03:10 AM (Sean)
       Five Dollar Soul - "Wait For Me"
       Tim Easton - "Carry Me"

May 25, 2004 02:22 AM (Sean)
       Tom Waits - "Long Way Home"
       Broken Family Band - "The Perfect Gentleman"

May 26, 2004 02:17 AM (Sean)
       Camera Obscura - "Keep it Clean"
       The Killers - "Indie Rock and Roll"

May 27, 2004 02:08 AM (Sean)
       Hayden - "You Are All I Have"
       Hayden - "Bass Song"
       Hayden - "Home by Saturday"

May 28, 2004 12:09 AM (Sean)
       Richmond Fontaine - "Allison Johnson"
       Oh Susanna - "All Eyes on Baby"
       Hard 'n Phirm - "Rodeohead"

May 31, 2004 01:09 AM (Sean)
       Jean LeLoup - "I Lost My Baby"
       The Poozies - "All I Want"

June 1, 2004 12:35 AM (Sean)
       Mase - "Welcome Back"
       Hedningarna - "Raven (Foxwoman)"

June 3, 2004 01:41 AM (Sean)
       Okkervil River - "Moonshiner"
       Shearwater - "Mountain Laurel"
       Okkervil River - "The Blackest Coat"

June 4, 2004 01:56 AM (Sean)
       Nick Drake - "Black Eyed Dog (remastered)"
       Dirty on Purpose - "Mind Blindness"

June 7, 2004 01:42 AM (Sean)
       Kathryn Williams - "We Dug a Hole"
       Kathryn Williams - "No One Takes You Home"
       Kathryn Williams - "Thirteen"

June 8, 2004 01:25 AM (Sean)
       The Kings of Convenience - "Homesick"
       The Kings of Convenience - "The Build-up"

June 9, 2004 01:25 AM (Sean)
       Richard Hell & the Voidoids - "Love Comes in Spurts"
       The Reindeer Section - "You Are My Joy"

June 10, 2004 01:55 AM (Sean)
       Speedstar* - "New Orleans Funeral"

       Alexi Murdoch - "Orange Sky"

June 11, 2004 02:05 AM (Sean)
       Sarah Harmer - "Lodestar"
       Nina Nastasia - "Ocean"

June 14, 2004 01:37 PM (Sean)
       Josh Ritter - "You've Got the Moon"
       Dawn Kinnard - "Wires in the Sky"

June 15, 2004 03:11 AM (Sean)
       The Hidden Cameras - "Builds the Bone"
       Rachel Goswell - "Warm Summer Sun"

June 16, 2004 01:57 AM (Sean)
       Belle & Sebastian - "Your Cover's Blown"
       Mouse on Mars - "Wipe that Sound"

June 17, 2004 01:27 AM (Sean)
       Self - "Better than Aliens"
       Royal City - "Little Heart's Ease"

June 18, 2004 12:33 AM (Sean)
       Doris - "Did You Give the World Some Love"

June 21, 2004 01:08 AM (Sean)
       Joanna Newsom - "Clam, Crab, Cockle, Cowrie"
       Vetiver - "Amerilie"

June 22, 2004 12:07 AM (Sean)
       Black Moth Super Rainbow - "Vietcaterpillar"
       Jesse Sykes & the Sweet Hereafter - "Your Eyes Hold"

June 22, 2004 11:56 PM (Sean)
       Bishop Allen - "Little Black Ache"
       Bishop Allen - "Busted Heart"
       Bishop Allen - "Coupla Easy Things"

June 24, 2004 01:41 AM (Sean)
       Django Reinhardt - "Brazil"
       Cool Blue Halo - "Too Much Kathleen"

June 27, 2004 01:58 PM (Sean)
       The Organ - "Brother"
       Sam Phillips - "Reflecting Light"

June 29, 2004 11:10 AM (Sean)
       Les Mouches - "What We Know As Buildings Have Always Been Canyons"
       Arcade Fire - "Brazil (live)"
       Alvino Rey Orchestra - "My Buddy"

June 30, 2004 01:22 AM (Sean)
       Veda Hille - "Plants"
       Brodsky Quartet - Shostakovich's String Quarter #8, 3rd Movement

July 1, 2004 02:45 AM (Sean)
       Viktor Vaughn ft. Kool Keith - "Doper Skiller"
       Zero 7 ft. MF Doom - "Somersault (Danger Mouse remix)"

July 2, 2004 02:34 AM (Sean)
       The Mountain Goats - "Song for God"
       Taj Mahal with Toumani Diabate and Lasana Diabate - "Queen Bee"

July 5, 2004 03:48 AM (Sean)
       The Dinner Ladies - "Muscle in the Bud"
       Keb' Mo' - "Every Morning"

July 6, 2004 01:59 AM (Sean)
       Abigail Lapell - "Self Sympathy"
       Nas vs The Knife - "You Take My Nas Away (Barbaro Edit)"

July 7, 2004 01:22 PM (Sean)
       The Weakerthans - "My Favourite Chords"

       Brown Feather Sparrow - "Shadow Queen"

July 8, 2004 02:01 AM (Sean)
       Quatuor Franz Joseph - Arvo Part's "Psalom"
       The New Year - "Disease"

July 9, 2004 03:00 AM (Sean)
       The Monks - "We Do Wie Du"
       Low - "Over the Ocean (Tranquility Bass remix)"

July 12, 2004 12:27 AM (Sean)
       SJD - "Superman, You're Crying"
       Hui Ohana - "Ulupalakua"

July 13, 2004 03:24 AM (Sean)
       Sixteen Horsepower - "The Partisan"
       Candypants - "I Want a Pony"

July 14, 2004 12:23 AM (Sean)
       Franz Ferdinand - "Take Me Out (Daft Punk remix)"
       Chad Van Gaalen - "Clinicly Dead"

July 15, 2004 03:02 AM (Sean)
       Everything is Fine - "1000 Seconds"
       Warsawpack - "Year of the Car Crash"

July 16, 2004 02:23 AM (Sean)
       King Creosote - "Lavender Moon"
       Arcade Fire - "Accidents"

July 19, 2004 12:06 AM (Sean)
       Augie March - "Addle Brains"
       Alizee - "Moi Lolita"

July 20, 2004 12:37 AM (Sean)
       Born Heller - "I Want To"
       Old 97s - "Won't Be Home"

July 21, 2004 12:47 AM (Sean)
       Mt Eerie - "Wooly Mammoth's Absence"
       Harry Nilsson - "Save the Last Dance"

July 22, 2004 03:04 AM (Sean)
       The Hotel Alexis - "OK"
       Iron & Wine - "He Lays in the Reins"

July 23, 2004 02:27 AM (Sean)
       Alden Ginger - "Refinance Your Mortgage"
       The Robot Ate Me - "The Genocide Ball"
       The Robot Ate Me - "On Vacation"

July 26, 2004 12:10 AM (Sean)
       Graeme Downes - "Hammers and Anvils"
       Kid Serious - "Armageddon Girls"

July 27, 2004 04:43 AM (Sean)
       Nina Nastasia - "The Long Walk"
       Estelle - "1980"

July 28, 2004 04:32 AM (Sean)
       Fairport Convention - "Who Knows Where the Time Goes"
       Bell XI - "Next to You"

July 29, 2004 03:25 AM (Sean)
       Nina Simone - "Little Girl Blue"
       Little Wings - "Random Lee"

July 30, 2004 12:54 AM (Sean)

       Shocking Blue - "Hot Sand"
       Mitch and Mickey - "When You're Next to Me"
       The Chipmunks - "The Chipmunk Song (slowed down)"

[falling out of a canoe almost kills me]

August 10, 2004 12:30 AM (Sean)
       Can - "Mighty Can"
       The Trews - "Tired of Waiting"

August 11, 2004 12:03 AM (Sean)
       Devendra Banhart - "At the Hop"
       Andy Iona - "Naughty Hula Eyes"

August 12, 2004 01:06 AM (Sean)
       The Go! Team - "Bottle Rocket"
       Obray Ramsey - "Rain and Snow"

August 13, 2004 02:38 AM (Sean)
       Bright Eyes - "I'll Be Your Friend"
       French Kicks - "Only So Long"

August 16, 2004 12:13 AM (Sean)

       Bunun Tribe with David Darling - "Lugu lugu kan-ibi"
       Wolf Parade - "Dear Sons and Daughters of Holy Ghosts"

August 17, 2004 12:20 AM (Sean)
       The Song Corporation - "The Bug Speaks"
       Pure Morning - "Scum"

August 18, 2004 12:55 AM (Sean)
       The Legendary Jim Ruiz Group - "My Bloody Yugo"
       The Delgados - "Everybody Come Down"

August 19, 2004 01:36 AM (Sean)
       Elizabeth Anka Vajagic - "Iceland"
       Splashdown - "Maya Pilot"

August 20, 2004 12:56 AM (Sean)
       Idaho - "Bass Crawl"
       Idaho - "To Be The One"
       Donkey Boy - "Midnight with Simon"

August 23, 2004 12:30 AM (Monica)

       Pinback - "Syracuse"
       Corwin Fox - "Stone in Your Shoe"
       Papa M - "I of Mine"

August 23, 2004 12:50 AM (Howard Bilerman)
       Bob Dylan - "One of Us Must Know"
       Destroyer - "Notorious Lightning"
       Peter Laughner - "Amphetamine"
       The Jesus & Mary Chain - "The Hardest Walk"

August 24, 2004 12:30 AM (Liz)
       Cane 141 - "New Day Parade"
       Paddy Casey - "Fear"
       Snow Patrol - "An Olive Grove Facing the Sea"

August 25, 2004 12:30 AM (Sasha Frere-Jones)
       UB40 - "I Won't Close my Eyes"
       UB40 - "Love Is All Is Alright"
       The Fontaine Toups - "Who Told You"

August 26, 2004 12:30 AM (Julian)
       The Jimmy Giuffre 3 - "Cry, Want"
       Volapuk - "Technova"

August 26, 2004 12:30 AM (Dan)
       The Diskettes - "Come on Over"
       The Hi Lo Trons - "Mania"

August 27, 2004 12:30 AM (Brian Michael Roff)

       Mike Cooper - "Sitting Here Watching"
       John Hartford - "Back in the Goodle Days"

August 27, 2004 12:50 AM (Benjamen Walker)
       Destroyer - "Notorious Lightning [live]"
       Dennis Lobban - "Runnin' from Babylon [live]"
       B-Lite - "Curbside Lover"
       B-Lite - "Peepers"
       John Prine - "Your Flag Decal Won't Get You Into Heaven Any More"

August 30, 2004 12:30 AM (Tuwa)
       Cesaria Evora & Marisa Monte - "E Doce Morrer No Mar"
       Louise Attaque - "Du Nord au Sud"

August 31, 2004 01:21 AM (Sean)
       Dinah Washington and Brook Benton - "Baby, You Got What it Takes"
       Antony and the Johnsons - "The Lake [live]"

September 1, 2004 03:00 AM (Sean)
       Arcade Fire "Tunnels (Neighborhood #1)"
       Arcade Fire - "7 Kettles (Neighborhood #4)"

September 2, 2004 12:10 AM (Sean)

       White Hassle - "Life is Still Sweet"
       Wolf Parade - "Killing Armies"

September 3, 2004 02:33 AM (Sean)
       Sons and Daughters - "Awkward Duet"
       Miles Davis & Modern Jazz Giants - "Bags' Groove [take 2]"

September 6, 2004 01:37 AM (Sean)
       Beastie Boys vs The Beatles - "Pass the Word (Goddam Guest mashup)"
       Nancy Sinatra - "Baby's Coming Back to Me"

September 7, 2004 02:48 AM (Sean)
       K-os - "Emcee Murdah"
       Capstan Shafts - "Posters for Cats Disappeared"

September 8, 2004 01:37 AM (Sean)
       Bjork ft. Kelis - "Oceania"
       The Love Letter Band - "I'll Fall in Love"

September 8, 2004 11:58 PM (Sean)
       Erdmobel - "In Den Schuhen Von Audrey Hepburn"
       Julie Doiron - "The Songwriter"

September 10, 2004 12:53 AM (Sean)

       A Whisper in the Noise - "Silence"
       Thalia Zedek - "Evil Hand"

September 13, 2004 12:50 PM (Sean)
       Gareth Auden-Hole - "Angelina"
       The Avett Brothers - "At the Beach"

September 14, 2004 03:45 AM (Sean)
       Ed Harcourt - "Something to Live For"
       Richard Thompson - "1952 Vincent Black Lightning"

September 15, 2004 12:30 AM (Sean)
       Travis Morrison - "My Two Front Teeth, Parts 2 and 3"
       Abigail Lapell - "Waking Up in Boston"

September 16, 2004 12:30 AM (Sean)
       Systems Officer - "Hael"
       Declan O'Rourke - "Your World"

September 17, 2004 12:30 AM (Sean)
       Saturday Looks Good To Me - "Lift Me Up"
       The Apostle of Hustle - "Sleepwalking Ballad"

September 19, 2004 05:37 PM (Sean)
"the coda post"
       The Frames - "Lay Me Down" (reprise)
       The Marquis de Tren and Bonnie Prince Billy - "XV" (reprise)
       Van Morrison - "Astral Weeks"
       Glenn Gould - Bach's Aria de Capo, from the Goldberg Variations

September 20, 2004 09:29 PM (Jordan)
       Talking Heads - "Stay Hungry"
       Wooden Stars - "Baby Barn"

September 21, 2004 11:36 PM (Jordan)
       John Coltrane - "Acknowledgement (A Love Supreme)"
       John Ellison - "Lost the Will to Live"

September 22, 2004 09:44 PM (Jordan)

       Genesis - "Back in New York City"
       Destroyer - "I Want this Cyclops"

September 23, 2004 10:38 PM (Jordan)
       John Fahey - "When the Springtime Comes Again"
       Al Green - "Simply Beautiful"

September 24, 2004 10:03 PM (Jordan)
       Tim Buckley - "Once I Was"
       Television - "Marquee Moon"

September 27, 2004 08:05 PM (Jordan)

       Galaxie 500 - "Strange"
       Ornette Coleman - "Lonely Woman"

September 28, 2004 10:34 PM (Jordan)
       Rilo Kiley - "Go Ahead"
       Charles Ives - "Song Without (Good) Words"

September 30, 2004 01:42 AM (Jordan)
       Sam Prekop - "On Such Favors"
       Young Marble Giants - "Brand-New Life"

October 1, 2004 12:13 AM (Jordan)

       Okkervil River - "He Passes Number Thirty-Tree"
       Neil Haverty - "Seven"

October 1, 2004 08:55 PM (Jordan)
       Little Wings - "Look At What The Light Did Now"
       David S Ware - "Glorified Calypso"

October 5, 2004 02:58 AM (Dan)

       Fuck Me USA - "Tan Thigh"
       Modest Mouse - "Untitled [live]"

October 6, 2004 12:23 AM (Jordan)
       Alexander "Skip" Spence - "Diana"
       Arcade Fire - "Rebellion (Lies)"

October 6, 2004 11:44 PM (Jordan)
       Bruce Cockburn - "Going to the Country"
       Os Mutantes - "Panis Et Circenses"

October 8, 2004 02:40 AM (Jordan)

       Herman Dune - "The Static Comes From My Broken Down Heart"
       Syl Johnson - "I Hear the Love Chimes"

October 15, 2004 06:46 PM (Jordan)
       Spengler - "The Choice is Made, the Traveler Has Come"
       Joy Division - "Decades"
       Muluqen Mellesse - "Wetetie mare"

October 15, 2004 07:05 PM (Jordan)
       The Decemberists - "Here I Dreamt I Was an Architect"
       Wolf Parade - "Dear Sons and Daughters of Holy Ghosts" [again]

October 18, 2004 09:27 PM (Jordan)
       Tortoise - "Tin Cans and Twine"
       Papa M - "Over Jordan"

October 20, 2004 04:02 AM (Jordan)
       Blind Willie Johnson - "John the Revelator"
       Richard Buckner - "Lovin' Her Was Easier"

October 20, 2004 08:48 PM (Jordan)
       Yusuf Lateef - "Sister Mamie"
       Donovan - "Hurdy Gurdy Man"

October 22, 2004 04:53 AM (Dan)

       Luna - "Malibu Love Nest"

October 23, 2004 01:19 AM (Jordan)
       The Fembots - "Small Town Murder Scene"
       Joni Mitchell - "Edith and the Kingpin"

October 27, 2004 07:39 PM (Jordan)

       Shuggie Otis - "Inspiration Information"
       Snailhouse - "All that Will Change"

October 29, 2004 02:31 AM (Jordan)
       Ida - "Dream Date"
       Say It Stranger - "Science Will Find You a Cure"

October 30, 2004 03:09 AM (Jordan)
       Fairport Convention - "Tale in a Hard Time"
       Can - "Moonshake"

November 2, 2004 03:53 PM (Dan)

       The Parka 3 - "What's the Question"
       Whysp - "Seedling"
       Pavement - "Saganaw"

November 3, 2004 11:43 PM (Jordan)
       Meat Puppets - "Up On the Sun"
       Captain Beefheart - "Tropical Hot Dog Night"

November 4, 2004 07:26 PM (Sean)
       Joanna Newsom, Dublin, the USA election

November 5, 2004 01:21 AM (Jordan)

       Elvis Costello - "New Lace Sleeves"
       Roxy Music - "Re-Make/Re-Model"

November 5, 2004 11:21 PM (Jordan)
[Cat Power odyssey pt. 1]
       Moby Grape - "Naked, If I Want To"
       Cat Power - "Naked, If I Want To"

November 10, 2004 12:59 AM (Jordan)
[Cat Power odyssey pt. 2]
       Cat Power - "I Don't Blame You"
       Cat Power - "Satisfaction"

November 11, 2004 04:07 AM (Jordan)

       The Feelies - "High Road"
       Eno - "Needle in the Camel's Eye"

November 12, 2004 03:28 AM (Dan)
       Danny Kaye & the Andrews Sisters - "Civilization (Bongo Bongo)"
       Weights and Measures - "A Most Efficient Method of Removing Pants"

November 16, 2004 03:34 AM (Jordan)
       The No Shirts - "Don't Come Any Closer"
       Moebius and Plank - "Missi Cacadou"

November 17, 2004 12:29 AM (Jordan)

       Polvo - "Fractures (Like Chandeliers)"
       The Spinanes - "Kid in Candy"

November 18, 2004 06:25 PM (Jordan)
       Magnetic Fields - "Strange Powers"
       Flying Saucer Attack - "In the Light of Time"

November 19, 2004 06:51 PM (Dan)
       La Guerre des Tuques - "Welcome to Paradise"

November 20, 2004 03:40 AM (Jordan)

       Jackson C Frank - "Blues Run the Game"
       Cerberus Shoal - "Asphodel"

November 23, 2004 09:07 PM (Jordan)
       Halo Benders - "Halo Benders"
       United States of America - "The Garden of Earthly Pleasures"

November 25, 2004 01:44 AM (Jordan)

       Burning Spear - "Down by the Riverside"
       Love - "Alone Again Or"

November 26, 2004 05:37 AM (Jordan)
       The Phonemes - "Steeples and Peoples"
       Lambchop - "Is a Woman"

November 26, 2004 10:17 PM (Jordan)
       Calexico - "Alone Again Or"
       The Microphones - "Solar System"

November 30, 2004 05:58 AM (Jordan)

       Gordon Lightfoot - "(That's What You Get) For Lovin' Me"
       Melon Galia ft. Conor Oberst - "N'en parlons plus"

December 2, 2004 07:35 AM (Jordan)
       Tom Thumb - "Wine and Cigarettes"

December 3, 2004 01:52 AM (Jordan)
       The Silt - "A Song About a Red Whistle"
       Jim Guthrie - "Sexy Drummer"

December 7, 2004 05:12 AM (Jordan)

       Macha Loved Bedhead - "Believe"
       Smog - "Hit the Ground Running"

December 8, 2004 05:08 AM (Jordan)
       Castanets - "Cathedral 4 (The Unbreaking Branch Song)"
       Great Lake Swimmers - "I Will Never See the Sun"

December 10, 2004 04:56 AM (Jordan)
       Hayden - "Home by Saturday"
       International Airport - "Cyclonic Lanes"

December 11, 2004 05:49 AM (Jordan)

       Tommy James and the Shondells - "Crimson and Clover"
       Mirah - "Murphy Bed"

December 14, 2004 06:18 AM (Jordan)
       Robert Fripp with David Byrne - "Under Heavy Email"
       Six Organs of Admittance - "Khidr and the Fountain"

December 16, 2004 03:48 AM (Jordan)
       Clarence Carter - "Patches"
       My Jorning Jacket - "Lowdown"

December 16, 2004 09:26 PM (Jordan)

       Songs:Ohia - "Just be Simple"
       Joan Armatrading - "Love and Affection"

December 21, 2004 02:41 AM (Jordan)
       Masha Qrella - "I Want You to Know"
       Yahowa 13 - "Making a Dollar"

December 22, 2004 07:05 AM (Jordan)
       Peggy Lee - "Is That All There Is?"
       Mississippi John Hurt - "First Shot Missed Him"

December 24, 2004 07:25 AM (Jordan)
       The Glass - "Tell Me It's Snowing"
       Kepler - "The National Epithet"

December 28, 2004 06:54 AM (Jordan)
       Sufjan Stevens - "You Are the Rake"
       AC Newman - "Miracle Drug"

January 4, 2005 01:51 AM (Jordan)
       Pseydosix - "Run Rebel"
       Soft Canyon - "For You"

January 4, 2005 10:48 AM (Sean)

       sean's "best of 2004"

January 7, 2005 01:02 AM (Jordan)
       Elizabeth Cotten - "Freight Train"
       Destroyer with Frog Eyes - "New Ways of Living"

January 11, 2005 04:31 AM (Jordan)
       Okkervil River - "It Ends With a Fall"
       Shirley Collins and the Albion Country Band - "Van Dieman's Land"

January 12, 2005 04:13 PM (Jordan)

       Arthur Russell - "A Little Lost"
       Animal Collective - "Leaf House"

January 14, 2005 09:27 PM (Jordan)
       The Impossible Shapes - "Our Love Lives"
       The Invisible Cities - "Synaptic Gap"

January 18, 2005 04:28 AM (Jordan)

       The Decemberists - "The Infanta"
       Society of Rockets - "Little Road"

January 20, 2005 02:08 AM (Jordan)
       The Prisonaires - "Surleen"
       Final Fantasy - "Peach, Plum, Pear"

Ha! It looks like I can't post any more, as it's too big

Posted by Sean at 2:51 AM | Comments (30)

November 25, 2005

Uncle John and Whitelock, I introduce you

I suppose all the Americans are going to be off recovering from turkey, enjoying pumpkin pie for breakfast, putting on pilgrim hats and stuff. The rest of us, meanwhile, will go to work and wait for Friday night. (Friday night in Glasgow is Wolf Parade.)

(ps: looks like i'm going it alone tonight. any glaswegians going and want to hang out with a canadian?)

Uncle John and Whitelock - "Baghdadi". They're Glasgow's most exciting band, a furious hoarse blues that stamps and stamps and grabs at steeples. They stand on a stage and they rage - they rage and preach and you relish it. Soon you're stamping too, you're unscrewing the creaky portholes in your ears and eyes and heart, opening the hatches to let all the volleying sound in. But how do you bottle it? How do you bottle a band that throws whales at you, that tosses fiery houses and dying mothers? Well, you try. "Baghdadi" is that: it is an attempt. And so long as you turn it loud, loud i say!, just past the point of comfort... well you can begin to hear it. You can begin to hear Uncle John and Whitelock. Toss in that stormy blackbrown sound, try to climb its ladders, imagine a Wolf Parade lost for twenty years in the desert; Franz Ferdinand after all their loved ones have drowned.

Louder! (I do mean this.)

(I read somewhere that this band started as an art project where they built a back porch and then created a band to play blues on it. I don't know if that's true but if it is I think it's like Noah who built an ark cos god said "you'll need it!" and boy did he ever.)

There Is Nothing Else is out December 5th on GFM. Another, lesser song is available on the SAMH's "One in Four" comp. When Uncle John & Whitelock come to you: you better go and see 'em. Man.

St Jude's Infirmary - "The Church of John Coltrane". We'll take it all: traintrack clickclack, twins in twining harmony, a sound like Sons & Daughters in a little black dress, lyrics about John Coltrane and the Holy Spirit, bluzzing guitar and Scottish spoken-word. We'll take it all, put it in a pot of weak broth (this is the production), and boil it till the flavours come out out out, till the weak broth don't really matter because yum that's a whole potato, that's a cherry, that's twins in twining harmony and a thumping stained-glass chorus. I like that this track does it all, that it vaults from one parish to another, that it knows its knots. I like that just as you tire of things in the third minute, in comes a Scotsman with a poem, in comes an electric fence. He says "I don't want you back" several different ways; inevitably, none of them sound true.

St Jude's Infirmary live in Edinburgh.

Happy Healthy Lucky Month is out in January on SL Records (Ballboy, Misty's Big Adventure). They also have a song called "Montreal", which you can listen to here.



Dave Barclay of The Diskettes is offering beautiful things at Popsheep. His latest gift is Kiowarini's "Le dernier souffle de sa nation", with vinyl that crackles like a campfire, a voice like Israel Kamakawiwo'ole on the night he finds out he'll be a father. Such a lovely song.

Following on the American and Canadian polls, Take Your Medicine has compiled the UK's "Hottest 47 Acts". Unlike the Canadian list, I pretty much think the results here are awful. Despite getting the winner right, of the top 25 acts there are only eleven that I would ever recommend to anyone (Girls Aloud, The Go Team, Radiohead, Patrick Wolf, Basement Jaxx, Rachel Stevens, Boards of Canada, MIA, Mystery Jets, The Futureheads, Franz Ferdinand), and the remainder I pretty much loathe. Unfortunately, crap guitar rock seems to rule the British blogosphere as much as it does the British mass music media. The list of omissions is as long as my arm.

As before, my ballot (with comments) is after the break.

The top ten UK bands of 2005, according to me:

1. Girls Aloud
One day robots will take over the earth with such astounding ferocity
and awesomeness that we'll spontaneously erect one-hundred-foot
statutes to the cybernetic generals who lead them. And in the meantime
there are Girls Aloud.

2. The Streets

3. Uncle John & Whitelock
These Glasgow bluesmen have arms as long as telephone poles, and a
singer with a voice as deep as the Lake of Menteith. You have to see
them live to understand their hosannas: a bellyful of spite and a
heart full of longing.

4. The Clientele
This band is a fog machine.

5. Acoustic Ladyland
A skronking skree with a terrible name. If the edges of jazz have gone
dry and desiccated, Acoustic Ladyland are an injection of bloody, hot
and furious life.

6. Go Team

7. Sons and Daughters
Songs of snarls and tears, country blues sung sweetly, drums stomping
with discodance fever.

8. MIA

9. Radiohead
It would be foolish to give up on these boys.

10. Hood

Didn't fit: Kano, The Pipettes, Wiley, Doctor, Belle & Sebastian, Mojave 3, Mogwai, Elbow, Arab Strap, King Creosote, Sugababes, Scatter, Alastair Roberts, Camera Obscura, The Zephyrs, Four Tet, and doubtless lots more that I've forgotten.

Posted by Sean at 3:00 AM | Comments (12)

November 24, 2005

An Apple Necklace

Frida Hyvönen - "Come Another Night"

Frida Hyvönen has surprises for you in a backpack made of old vinyl. For Hallowe'en, Frida Hyvönen goes as the chick from Today's Special. In English, Frida Hyvönen literally translates to "free having", which is the kind of time you spend when you listen to this song, no matter how busy you are. Frida Hyvönen knows you, but you do not know her. You'll know when you know her.



Spenking - "Vietnam Malaria Nostalgia"

Spencer Kingman's lyrics dart to and fro like a goldfish putting on a show. It's like he wrote fifty rhyming couplets one overtop the other, and then read it out loud, his microphone turned up so sensitive it can hear his mouth open. And the melody like walking on treetops, or jumping between puddles. Who does he write more "like", me or you?



Elsewhere: there's a highly interesting discussion going on about the Daily Show, in the comments of this blog, which was set in motion by a (possibly really old) article on this site.

oh, and MY list is in the "more" section today. the differences are subtle (we are a brotherhood) but they're there.

1. Frog Eyes
This new album is going to make-believe you are its food.

2. Sunset Rubdown
It's a full band now. yes.

3. Final Fantasy
What Sean said.

4. Destroyer
Making up your own Destroyer songs is fun and easy. "Give me your perpetual hand, girl, don't go, just be gone, and TELL me, what did you say, when things didn't go your way? I fell off the wagon and the horse picked me up, I fell off the wagon and your drug it picked me up" and so on..

5. Les Angles Morts
Powerful, powerful soldiers of exploding music.

6. The Cay

7. Wolf Parade

8. Islands

9. Arcade Fire

10. Hi Lo Trons
Listen to it again! I can't believe you're not agreeing! Breakaway!

Posted by Dan at 1:45 AM | Comments (12)

November 23, 2005

Chris Whitley - Farewell. Kelley Stoltz - Hello.

Chris Whitley - "Dirt Floor". Chris Whitley died on Sunday.

I only really 'know' one of Whitley's albums, 2005's Soft Dangerous Shores. It is a strange album - a blues that's been melted down to cinders, burning on the pan, longing and poetry hissing and then smoking into the sky. Like Richard Buckner doing Yankee Hotel Foxtrot; slow soulful songs breaking apart, split by drone and jazz and draining electronics.

But Soft Dangerous Shores is also a ghostly album, and this ghostliness feels almost vulgar to me, right now. The imprint's too fresh in the bed to be listening to a song that sounds like the living Whitley wanting to disappear.

So I wasn't going to post anything, til I read this ILM thread, and BeeOK posted "Dirt Floor" and I heard it and I thought Yes.

This isn't a ghost's song. It's a song of the living - a song of reassurance and peace. And it's a kaddish, I guess. A laying to rest. Whitley's got one of those voices - like Buckley, like Morrison, - that can edge into the ecstatic. But no he doesn't; here he stays at your side, steady and human. His guitar sounds like going home.

You'll be missed, Chris Whitley.

[many more Chris Whitley mp3s / Chris' website / buy CDs]


Kelley Stoltz - "Prank Calls". Kelley Stoltz has a heck of a steam engine. It's powered by piano, fed by drum hits that fall like coals. The engineer has taught the passengers to sing: "no no no no!" And maybe the coolest part is that Stoltz has laid all the tracks himself, the railway tracks, and they go winding round the cool places to live - Mile End and Williamsburg and Glasgow's West End, - so Stoltz can visit parties and wave at The Strokes or Jim Guthrie or whoever. He can wave and then move on, choo-choo chugging, riding that aluminium pop-song in and out of sunsets. He can say goodbye and then come right back.

(Thanks, Mike.)

[more mp3s including Echo & the Bunnymen covers / Below the Branches is out in February on Sub Pop]



Prints are finally available from artist kathleen lolley, and o how lovely they are. anyone else seen any great art for sale, lately?

A high-res extended version of the gorgeous Sony Bravia bouncing-balls advert, with Jose Gonzalez as a sumptuous soundtrack, are now available free online. (Thank goodness they're free, since they're commercials.) Is it wrong that an ad is one of the most beautiful things I've seen this year? [via kop-e-kat]

I'm digging the vibe of this band from Ottawa called The Acorn. They're sorta like a lazier Royal City. I'm pretty confused as to how I've never heard of them. I wonder if I know any of the band. Anyway - their music is here (via the essential catbirdseat). Through The Acorn I also discovered the ballsy dancepunk hoo-ha of Quebexico, whose lead guy is called The Funisher. Both of these things rule. If either of these bands read this and would like to send me some music, please do get in touch.

Some of my reviews for The Skinny are finally online, with the italics stripped away :( : Bon Jovi, The Pipettes, Wolf Parade (I didn't have room for a proper critique), Rick Astley, Audio Bullys, The Constantines, and the first of the "Easy Gramophone" column, about songs you can download, free and legal. It's basically a combined StG/Anti-Hit List rip-off.

The Canadian blogosphere is aflutter over i (heart) music's 33 Hottest Bands in Canada, modeled on last week's poll that found Sufjan Stevens to be the biggest thing in America. Dan, Jordan and I all voted, stacking our ballots to support the presumably underrepresented (and Jordan's band). I'm pretty happy with the results. There were a few bands I didn't vote for, counting on the support of others (Jon-Rae and the River, Constantines, Stars, Broken Social Scene), and I was glad that they came through. I remain baffled by the popularity of Metric and Martha Wainwright. It's still frustrating that a format like this leaves so many great bands out in the cold (P:ano, The Weakerthans, Julie Doiron, The Diskettes, Avril, Greg Macpherson, I'm looking at all of you).

A UK list should be coming later this week.

For those of you who are interested, my ballot is below the fold (ie, click "more"), along with all of my corresponding comments.

My ballot:

1. The Cay
Jordan Himelfarb and Christine Maki have yet to make their magnum opus, but while the rest of Montreal tears itself apart with disco-stomp and winter-weather hollerin', there is something altogether magic in The Cay's knitted guitar-picking, in their modest kindly harmonies, in the sudden Byrne-like lurches of fierce and necessary feeling.

2. Final Fantasy
If any artist has -amazed- me this year, it is Owen Pallett. It feels like he came out of nowhere, although he didn't, that suddenly there was this artist of astonishing talent and original voice. It was like an alien landed on Mount Everest, equipped already with a deep knowledge of pop music, of composition, of Dungeons & Dragons. Owen's music reaches as deep and as recklessly as the country's more rockin' talents, and it's all performed with such ease and generosity that you'd think it was as easy as pushing your hair away from your eyes.

3. Sunset Rubdown
The Rubdown is like Wolf Parade's attic - it's where Spencer Krug keeps his weird organs, the ones that cough up genies, the place for crippled songs and old bits and pieces. I think it may also be where he hides his secrets.

4. Avril Lavigne
A brat who writes songs of condensed awesome, who performs them without the slightest hint of self-awareness, who throws herself into choruses, heartache and teen angst in a way that I can only do when
choruses, heartache and teen angst mean "the rain", and the rain is outside, and I have no umbrella.

5. Destroyer
Canada's witch-doctor, ship-captain and bard. I saw a guy at a gig in Glasgow who looked like Dan Bejar. He kept yelling at the singer to "put your fuckin' heart into it". The yells didn't go away when the singer sang lounder, or stronger, or more torturedly. They went away when the man went to the bar and ordered two drinks and then just stood there, one lager in either hand, shaking his head.

6. Frog Eyes

7. Wolf Parade
Wolf Parade are like an experiment in self-combustion. I keep waiting for Spencer's hair to catch alight, for Hadji's laptop to melt, for Arlen to explode and for Dan, yeah for Dan's heart to be on fire. Literally. Because figuratively it already happens, at the right moments: everything goes smoky and hot and the only thing you can be sure of is fire and song and that there are ghosts whirling drunken in the room.

8. P:ano
I imagine that their guitar- and piano-strings are made of yarn, that their songs are quilts and not songs, that they'll build a new West Coast Brill Building and write a million songs for a million years... I imagine this and then I think "fuck it, I wish they were ghost pirates", because that would be much more fun. P:ano are the perfect cross between Mt Eerie, They Might Be Giants, and Carole King.

9. Arcade Fire
I sit at my home in a room and I dream, dream, dream of a song called "Milk and Honey". It's by a band called Arcade Fire, and no recordings seem to exist. I've been listening to Arcade Fire for close to five years now and still there is no other group that grips me so firmly, that shakes me so hard, that so chimes me like a bell. There is no other group with a long lost song that keeps me up at night, that makes me sit at home in a room and dream. It's very sad, to know there's something beautiful you will never hear again.

10. Julie Doiron
It would be enough if she continued to murmur in her bedroom - but no, now she's hollering over her electric guitar, now she's singing doo-dah backup with Herman Dune, like she's sixteen and in love. If I could pick anyone to murmur into my ear, it would be Julie Doiron. And what would she say? Something kind.

Posted by Sean at 3:00 AM | Comments (13)

November 22, 2005

Mount Rushmore

Katie Moore - "Russian Nut"

I first saw Katie Moore play in a local band called Timber. I noticed almost right away that there was something astounding in her voice. Yes, she was effortlessly singing pitch-perfect harmonies, but more than that, it was the timbre of her voice that captured my attention. She has a strong, round tone, with complete control of her tremolo flourishes. She is neither piercingly trebly, nor crooningly bassy. She is the sound of drinking whiskey and soda in an old wooden bar, during winter, playing Scrabble. [Info]


The Halo Benders - "Mercury Blues"

The Halo Benders never work together, always against each other. The low voice ascends while the high voice descends, the bass guitar is heavy and staccato, the six string is chiming and legato. Clashing lyrics and vocal melodies are sung simultaneously. An interminably wheezy organ is played by one member, certainly to the great annoyance of the other. Yet the outcome is something cohesive and a little bit heart-wrenching.

Like a petty rivalry on the surface of a deep friendship. [Buy]

Posted by Jordan at 1:27 PM | Comments (5)

November 21, 2005

Everything Sounds The Same Now

Alec Ounsworth - "Wide Awake"

A big damn slow dance for your Monday. One of those country songs that gives up on itself, the saddest kind. Yeah, that's why the song is important too. He writes songs with a real purpose; someone was hurt, a wrong decision was made, a part died. So it starts fiery out of the gate, and wails and cries and peaks, but reaches a point, where it seems to say "yeah, you get it, and so do i, so I'll just play the best part now and get it over with". For the world, for the world, for the world.

[album apparently coming soon]


The Spinto Band - "Oh Mandy"

I see a person (androgynous) fired backwards out of a cannon, watching only the world that's already gone. I think they would land in the water, under which some crowned seahorses would be singing those really high parts (turn it up!).


happy birthday, karin.

Posted by Dan at 3:31 AM | Comments (5)

November 18, 2005

I Keep Track Of Every Time You're Mean To Me

Hi Lo Trons - "Look, Wow"

Why do I like this song if what I like is missing? What I like about Hi Lo Trons: Mike Dubué's spastic seizure-vocals that yell and splatter over every song. What's here: vocals filtered through some sort of chimey chorus filter that gives the slightest brushes of the real thing, but mostly keep it hidden in orange angels. I like it because it doesn't sound like Hi Lo Trons, it sounds like something new. So, I'll probably buy this new album too.

[site, CD release in Ottawa Dec. 3]


The Agnostic Mountain Gospel Choir - "Things I Forgot"

It's a painting, not a sunset. The hay is real but out of place, the coach is made of wood, but wood that used to be a hi-fi. The straw hat is from Value Village (1.99! deal!) and the overalls were used to paint the rumpus room. We're watching from a folding chair, he's up on a stage, swinging his legs underneath, pant legs folded over to hide the Kodiak on his boots.

The guitar picking. That's real. That's it.



ALSO: Good friend of all of us at StG, and good friend of each and every one of you, David B, has joined the ranks of Popsheep. Everyone go say welcome.

Posted by Dan at 3:10 PM | Comments (2)

November 17, 2005

a well-intentioned interruption

I just wanted to say welcome to anyone who's arrived via Yahoo's Pick of the Day, and extend a thank-you to whomever it was who wrote that sweet and humbling piece: thank-you.

Posted by Sean at 8:16 PM | Comments (16)

Theology Lesson: Rise and Converge

The Carter Family - "Church in the Wildwood"

What starts out as a nostalgic remembrance of a childhood spent at the "church in the wildwood, the church in the dale," turns into a beckoning proselytization. They want us to come to the church, and frankly it sounds good. So, I'm going. How am I going to get there, you ask? I'm going follow that bassline right into the wildwood, into the dale, coaxed all the way by the vibrato vocal harmonies, to that little brown church. I'll follow that bassline right through the pearly gates, into god's arms. And though I'm an atheistic Jew, I'm going to like it there, because I'll be with the Carter Family, who are basically just like my family, except Christian and excellent harmonizers. [Buy]


Galaxie 500 - "Ceremony"

Sometimes two things come together to form such a righteous and holy union that it makes you wonder why atomic entities still exist. Such is the case with Galaxie 500 and Joy Division, a coming-together like Adam and Eve, Abelard and Heloise, Rodgers and Hart, and pb and j. [Buy]

Posted by Jordan at 12:59 PM | Comments (6)

November 16, 2005

Said the Guests: Carl Wilson

The Web has blessed and cursed us with critics. Any kid with a keyboard can go online, start a website with some dumb phonograph-related name, and then squawk about music, literature or their double-crossing best friends. Consequently, there's a whole lot of squawking going on. But something the Net has also done is to bring the world's best professional critics, the ones you used to nod in agreement with as you read the Sunday Style section, and made them close enough to touch.

Foremost among these, for me, is Mr Carl Wilson. When I lived in Canada, Carl's work as a critic at the Globe & Mail was some of the most resonant writing I could find in the major press. (It probably still is: I just can't pick up the paper!) He wrote (and writes) about the sorts of sounds I care about, and with a passion that feels familiar. Free jazz and Canadian indie; "lit rock" and Jandek. Yes, Carl taught my parents (both literally and literarily) about the New Pornographers.

And more marvellous still is Zoilus, Carl's online home, where he gives his insights away for free. He blogs about live gigs and new records; conferences and scene crises; Ornette Coleman, Final Fantasy and grime. There's so much wit in his writing, such friendliness, that you forget his arguments' precision and their elegance. Carl Wilson's writing reminds me of a corn-field, of a tall ship. (There are crates of vinyl in the hold.)

All this to say that I was tremendously flattered when Carl agreed to join us today and post some music that he loves. I was more flattered still when I saw the quality of what he had written. These are songs that'll warm your fingers, but they're words that will light your whole way home. It's enough to make me want to live in Toronto.

Please make him welcome. - Sean


The elders gathered us around the hearth last night. The patriarchs were combing their beards with scalloped seashells, the matriarchs programming dusty dot-matrix printers to sing reveilles to the sun. They praised our metric system, our swift response when the fire struck the arcade (with unicorns coming to rescue victims from as far away as Tangiers), and the expertise with which our new pornographers have wielded their hidden cameras. But then they had to heave a sigh: "For all that you have achieved, still we are disappointed: Why is it," they asked, "that when the men with headphone eyes and camera ears gossip about you, they do not hail the name of Eric Chenaux, surely one of the most fandangolous spelunkers ever to hoist our ropes?"

Eric Chenaux plays with guitars. After childhood in Switzerland, the teen began luring awestruck listeners as a member of art-punk band Phleg Camp in the late 1980s, followed by duo Life Like Weeds, and some time in King Cobb Steelie. A growing infatuation with free improvisation (in the Derek Bailey vein) lured him out of the rock and into the woods, and among those vines and mushrooms, he began to build a colony of twigs, edible grasses and decomposing warning signs. Former Crash Vegas vocalist Michelle McAdorey had made the same exodus. And for a while, that was that. There was promise in More Remote than the Puma, his solo guitar disc, but the first landmark is his collaboration on McAdorey's 1999 album Whirl. "Mona" is the opening track and the only Chenaux solo composition. I can't help imagining it an epistle to McAdorey, disguised by being sung by its addressee. And sung extraordinarily. "I'm much too young to be feeling so old ... I want to feel simple" - reminiscent of Dylan's "I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now," it declares a break with a style of self to pursue a less transparent truth, a more singular climate. The music teems -- with Martin Arnold on melodica, McAdorey on rhythm, Blue Rodeo's Greg Keelor on drums and Chenaux's swarming lead ("my friends are such sloppy lovers...") -- but the song lags, cussedly, would lop its own head off before it would surrender to the current. I've been down there before, it says, and it's not the quest I seek. Look back over your shoulder, while I slip into your arms.

Love Don't Change, the follow-up to Whirl, arrived in 2004, a year or two too late and, for me, a little too loose. I had been intoxicated by these songs live many times and hoped an album of concise, distilled versions could introduce new listeners to the duo. And then by the time this disc reached us, that duo was no more, lending a twist of rue to the album title. Another crossover fantasy withered. But no matter, because that yearning we heard in "Mona" for a soft place to fall had in many ways been answered - listen to the langorous authority of this song...

Chenaux had become part of the community of Toronto musicians who would form the Rat-drifting series, and later record label. particularly Chenaux, Martin Arnold, Ryan Driver, and Doug Tielli, who form the core of six or seven ongoing ensembles. There are other, more intermittent participants; intermittency being part of the blueprint. "Rat-drifting" is a term for weaving your way through residential neighbourhoods to avoid the congested main roads, but it's also a modest northerly variation on the flaneur and boulevardier's creative drift. It's the route of the disobedient ones who are not fixing for a fight: "So that way's jammed with cliche and suspect intentions? No bother, we prefer the detour. There's joy in being barred from the temple." The group evolved its own idiom, almost its own subgenre, each player with a characteristic voice but all remarkably in accord. Ornette Coleman might call it harmolodic. Chenaux might call it an amazing background.

His strings chime with all those thoughts at once. I adore the way he teases out a melody, never beginning a phrase so much as joining one already in progress. The sound quivers and multiplies such that I picture his strings fraying and sprouting into more strings, weeds, nests, marshes, frogs' tongues, cancelled coins, nickel pipes, drainage systems, catacombs, coral reefs.... I could pick Chenaux's guitar out of a lineup within a few woozy notes, because it's no longer confined to the orthodox pluck, squawk and scrape of Bailey-influenced guitar improv; instead it has absorbed Bailey's open field of possibility into a love of song. And the songs are strong enough to take it. Consider this one, about how much more beautiful love is for being so easily lost, about how near wonder sits to waste. Doesn't it sound like a song you've always known, an amazing background to your own life? Chenaux's demure vocals (with whispery support from McAdorey), his ever-hypnotic spinning-pendant guitar and the long running time may delay the realization, but like the album's title piece, it has the punch of a classic.

On any given night, Eric Chenaux is likely to be playing somewhere in Toronto - at the Australian folk-club-turned-improv-nexus the Tranzac Club in the Annex (as at this weekend's 416 Improv Festival); in the Arraymusic Space in a Liberty Village loft; or anywhere a musical friend has called for a dose of Doc Guitar's medicine, often administered with a wah-wah pedal or a slide. There are groups such as the Reveries, who play jazz standards (and most recently the songs of Sade!) through cellphone speakers held in their mouths, for a drizzling, drooling, silly-serious effect; there's his guitar-banjo duo with Martin Arnold, using old-time music as a launch pad for serious psychonautic-rock journeys; and the Tristanos, an avant-string consort. The closest thing the Rat-drifting scene has to a "supergroup," however, is Drumheller, with Rob Clutton (bass), Nick Fraser (drums), Doug Tielli (trombone), and Brodie West (alto sax - currently absent in Amsterdam), who apply the waywardness of the aesthetic to the hoary form of the composers-workshop jazz combo. Both elements are evident in this Chenaux-penned piece, which sounds a bit like "Ain't Misbehavin'" except that, as you can hear, it's misbehaving all the way.

I can sometimes be caught carping that unlike the rock kids, the younger experimental musicians in Toronto don't assert their ideas and presence as boldly as they could, both in their public presentation and in their sound. But Chenaux's work, and Drumheller as a group too, pose a potent counterargument: We live in a culture of flash and sass, of stockpiled information-bombs and kamikaze crossfire - if you will, of pop and noise. If the question is what art can do to seduce you out of these habits, to break these stalemates - to help save the village without first destroying it - then what use is more of the same? Drift through the neighbourhood and rattle the mailboxes. Lace up your clown shoes and hydroplane across the puddles. Make the difficult thing easy. Hide the noise under your tongue.

[Do buy Whirl, Love Don't Change, and Drumheller at Scratch Records.]

[Carl Wilson writes at Zoilus and and is an editor & critic for the Globe & Mail newspaper. His writing has appeared in Saturday Night, The Nation, This Magazine and other publications, and has been republished in the annual Da Capo Best Music Writing anthology. He lives in Toronto.]

(Previous artist guest-blogs, in and out of the Said the Guests series: Hello Saferide, Edward Droste (Grizzly Bear), Will Sheff (Okkervil River), Devin Davis, Michael Nau (Page France), artist Tim Moore, Brian Michael Roff, Howard Bilerman (producer: Silver Mt. Zion, Arcade Fire, etc.), Damon Krukowski (Damon & Naomi). There are many more to come.)

Posted by Mark Streeter at 3:05 AM | Comments (12)

November 15, 2005


Rachel Ries - "You Only". At first this folk-song seems clumsy - a too-wakeful song about sneaking into the house, a too-sprightly song about tuckin' in for the night. But then you realise, aha, why the guy is singing along - that oh lordy she's in on it. This isn't naive platonic playing: this is not a Saturday afternoon jam. No it's friskyfrisky: it's the laughing la-la-la of lovers who stuff their faces with peanut butter and then fall into bed; of those evenings when even if it's two AM there's still fingers running up and down that banjo; of those evenings when yes there's honeydew to be had. "For you only..."

I used to wonder what would happen if Sarah Harmer ran away from home wearing a red riding hood, en route to join the east-coast whaling trade when oh golly she fell head over heels in love, and with a South Dakotan boy at that. So she moves to the cornfields and though she sings to the sky and the cows she's also thinking of skyscrapers and smoke, and how they're not at all there... Anyway, I used to wonder, but then I got the beautiful package that is the Rachel Ries CD and now I don't wonder no more. Instead I sit on my bed feeling like a girl and listening to Rachel's voice.

[buy / more info]


Downy - "Ichi". When you're out walking one day, maybe you'll crest a hill with tall green grass and you'll suddenly face a dragon and uh-oh his mouth will already be open and he will be breathing fire and you, sir, will be in the thick of it. You'll be in a world gone liquid and gas, amid swirls and shocks of feeling, hanging there for the split second before the melt-and-collapse. If there was an observer, if there could be an observer, they might see just death. But you don't just see death: you see eddies and currents, you see flickers and licks, you see flame and fire. You, the wo/man who is being burnt to death by dragonbreath, you see your childhood and adolescence and old age, you see your whimsy and longing and regret, you see how your dreams and achievements get muddled up when they're put in a box and taught to fight. You're delusional now, (you're dead, frankly,) but you understand life's hot rumble better than you ever did when you're alive: it has something to do with earthquakes. Something to do with earthquakes.

Downy are a band from Japan. David sent me this song. It is a heavy jazz-rock, an Acid Mothers rock, a lodestone rock, something to use instead of a mining drill or Need New Body. But if you listen twice, thrice, you hear that the sludge isn't sludge - it's different things, guitar and bass and clangs, saxophone and a man's keening Minus Story vocals. It's like how you can see starlight two different ways: either it fills the sky, bright as oblivion, too bright to think; or else they're pinpricks you can pick, constellations you can choose, friends that take shape in the thick gloom.

[buy (if anyone can find any cheaper sources, let me know)]



I like the look of O Song -- Augie March, The Zombies, and the Paul McCartney song I may yet post here. I love that there's good songs and dollops of writing to accompany them. (Also, judging from the number of comments there, Said the Gramophone oughta just switch to livejournal.)

Daughters of Invention paint a cocaine-partytime kinda Toronto that's news to me, but cool I guess. More pertinently, the music's great: case-in-point the piano-rickety Robyn b-side about masturbation.

Tuwa's still lookin' for (at least) another person to review a doubtless-most-awesome mix CD for a Tofu-Hut-style project. Someone snap it up!

and finally, Abby's got a wonderful rant about posting pop songs you love.

Posted by Sean at 3:02 AM | Comments (15)

November 14, 2005

Most of Us Get Lucky Down the Line

The Chalets - "Fight Your Kids"

The percussion reminds me of one of those impressive hand-clapping games girls used to play in the schoolyard. You know, where the words that go along with them end in a dirty word that midway through become a non-dirty word and start the next line.
And his vocal melody makes me think of an air horn; a nice-sounding one.
I read on a blog this band compared to Modest Mouse (???) in the sense of "Thank God for the Chalets, that Modest Mouse was sucking." Well, if you're thinking that, stop, it's wrong. a) the comparison is unworldly b) this song is, in my opinion, their best, but I would skip it if it were on a MM cd.



Soltero - "The Prize"

Ahhhh. My hands are behind my head, and my feet are up on the table. I'm typing this with my toes so forgive any spellinaeknjfnjgvinvnfjsahad. No song needed a light "tra-la-la" as much as this song; it would be the soft tiara upon the lovely forest-princess head that is this lovely tune. It asks you out, and you have no reason not to go. You don't even need a coat.

[Buy Hell Train tomorrow!]


The Squid and the Whale - a perfect movie. not in a long time have I been so simultaneously aware and unaware of a script. marvelous.

Posted by Dan at 2:37 AM | Comments (4)

November 13, 2005

It Was So Little

My computer broke. I thought I’d lost everything, which would have been a minor tragedy for man, a non-event for mankind. Miraculously, everything was recovered, and my computer works fine now. My repair guy didn’t seem to know what was wrong with it or how he fixed it, but I’m going to stop playing wallball with my computer and I’m going to start backing up my files.

Remembrance Day is also my editor, Max Maki’s birthday, and yesterday she reached the quarter century mark. She is a sometimes unsung hero of this blog, dutifully correcting my often incomprehensible prose and always suggesting “more jokes.” Happy birthday!

My birthday is Monday. Start thinking about what you want to get me. I was thinking about setting up a registry. Thoughts?


Wolf Parade - "I'll Believe In Anything"

I know, I know, I’m way behind on this one, but it’s my birthday and I’ll write what I want to. Specifically (and I mean really specifically) I’d like to write about the interval of 2:18 to 3:08. The whole song is a sort of epiphanic climax. But maybe more like an eternally delayed climax. Because, though it starts off wildly tense, intensely regimented, infused with the spiritual fervor of gospel music, it manages to build and build, achieves unexpected heights, always delaying a release, maintaining tension as the volume and tempo increase. The fact that between 2:18 and 3:08 there is no release of tension despite the emergence of a magnificent crescendo is a special feat of musical composition. The song is possessed of such contained energy that I find my body affected. It’s hard to breathe with anything other than quick, short gasps. It is certainly not a song for dancing to. [Buy]


My Morning Jacket - "Wordless Chorus"

Z presents a new My Morning Jacket, one more enamored with the Flaming Lips than with CCR. I can’t say that for me it’s an entirely welcome change, but the songs remain like fine fillets of salmon: delicate and tender. And pink, and good with lemon. [Buy]

Posted by Jordan at 4:45 AM | Comments (13)

November 10, 2005

nobody's watered the flowers

The Montgolfier Brothers - "Journey's End". The Montgolfier Brothers' "World is Flat" (which I wrote about here, and which you can listen to here,) is an incredibly sad song. It's a song of smiling rock-bottom, of standing at a window with empty hands. And I never thought that Roger Quigley would stay in that unhappy place. It's with some worry, therefore, that I listen to All My Bad Thoughts and find that things have not got much brighter for him. The Montgolfier Brothers are stuck in the bluegrey dawn hours when everything feels hopeless, when everything is painted beautiful. "Journey's End" is a song of horrific loss, of paralysis, of longing. It's the opposite of Xiu Xiu's inward cursing - The Montgolfier Brothers look out, across the town, to where the former lover is sleeping; they look out, around the world, to where the sun is curving to greet them; they look out, out, out, to all the places they've ever gone, they've ever kissed, they've ever felt happy. The piano plays with a sharp loveliness, a circling serenade, but there under its surface is the wreck, the dread, the awful fucking inevitability of things that have already happened.

[buy All My Bad Thoughts]

George - "Song of Degrees". I saw this band last week - a pair in wilted evening-wear. They were better than the indie klezmer that followed them (sorry Hawk and a Hacksaw), better than the free folk that preceded them (sorry Nalle). They were modest and wry and played sweet, sweet songs. Suzy Mangion plays electric organ and Michael Varty plays clarinet, banjo, toy drums. There's something morose about them, like employees at a charity shop who have seen too many wedding dresses brought in, but so too is there the anticipation of happiness, the promise of a smile. Flickers of Aimee Mann and even (on "This Will Not Stop") of Final Fantasy, but most of all George remind me of Low, Low in an alternate universe, Low after getting washed up on a Brighton shore, amnesiacs reared on caramel-corn and summer romances.

[buy A Week of Kindness]


I may not love the White Stripes, but I do so love their new video (dir: michel gondry. also starring: conan o'brien.)


Fellow Clem Snide fans -- a collection of Eef's demo recordings from the early 90s have just been released on the iTunes Music Store. They're called Suburban Field Recordings 1. You can listen to one of the tracks, "A Parable", here.

Posted by Sean at 3:01 AM | Comments (6)

November 9, 2005

I Think Someone's Breaking In

Casiotone For The Painfully Alone - "Young Shields"

You are not safe from Casiotone. You both live in glass houses, we all do, and he is tired, sick, and he has many many rocks. It's like having the bomb, nobody's supposed to use it, but he doesn't care anymore; we're all going down (aside: this genre's sometimes called button-pushing). And what makes it even more distressing, unnerving, is that the highly-screamable lyrics (actually, a screamy cover might be nice, get on it, Bright Eyes) are left like an answering machine message, sedate and almost laboured (like coming down). Deeply angry, but a beat like a subway car.

[from Casiotone's livejournal: "YOUNG SHIELDS will not be available in shops or through mail order until the end of the year, so coming to a show & buying a copy off of the merch table is the only way you'll be able to get one of these for a while."]


The McCoys - "Come On, Let's Go"

Karin played me "Hang On, Sloopy" the other night, over the phone, which is a lot like am radio, so it didn't differ much from my memory of the song. But in defining any band as a "one-hit wonder" it's an unfortunate cinching of the band's entire oeuvre into "not as good". I'll grant that this song is not a *wonder*, but it is a delight, and that's not too bad. I mean, it can't be that far from a wonder, it's almost the same song (they both approach "Twist and Shout" as asymptotes to an axis). So, if "one-hit wonder" actually means "the same great song many times in slightly different forms", sign me up.



Faux Pas - "Cup of Wonder"

Also, this song needs lyrics more than I need to eat like a regular person (and I need that a lot). So, take the song, record some lyrics, send it to me. It's not a contest, but it is a hard task. suggestions: use a megaphone, or a lot of sliding notes, or maybe even speak-singing or rap or something.


Posted by Dan at 2:54 AM | Comments (13)

November 8, 2005

basslines are best friends

Edith Frost - "What's The Use". "I gotta be a man / about it," Edith sings. She's not very happy about this. And while the song canters along, plum notes and a plum melody, like a plum all round, a plum a horse might eat, well Edith sings drily. She's so unamused that the only response is a joke. She's got a country blues but ain't gonna waste time thinking about it. No - here's the problem: You. Me. We.*

* Yes, that is a title of a movie. But it's also the name of the look Edith will give you if you try to do that again. Or the look she will give her horse, the one with the plum, when she's standing at the edge of town and a streetcar screetches past and she decides that She Must Go.

[pre-order, read edith's weblog, and/or grab more mp3s]

The Baptist Generals - "Diminished". I am tired and my head aches. Maybe it's a toothache, maybe it's dehydration. Maybe it's heartburn, or heartache, and I'm just confused. Maybe I grind my teeth when I sleep. Maybe I'm allergic to Martha Wainwright, even if I was just at the show to review it. I don't know. But in late 2005, on the nights when things are wrong, on the mornings when things are wrong, at dawn or dusk or the early afternoon, "Diminished" is the best song in the universe. I say this with only the tiniest flicker of exaggeration. I think the best thing about growing older is that you discover old songs and then realise the world is wider than you thought, that there was a song somewhere living in parallel with you.

While I sat waiting for the metro last winter, eyes closed, listening to Final Fantasy's "Please Please Please" because it was the best I could find, this song was weaving through cornfields on its way to me. On that afternoon six years ago when the sky was purple-pink and I yelled, just yelled at someone on the bus, this song hadn't been recorded yet - but in someone's mind's eye, in their sad-sack heart, it was pacing through an empty green village, looking at the old gravestones, the closed grocer's shop. It was there for me, had I but known it.

Of all the bands who I fell in love with for the first time this year, the Baptist Generals are the only ones who didn't release anything in 2005. Or in 2004. No Silver No Gold is from the heady days of 2003. (Popsheep introduced them to me in May.) You might hear Okkervil River or Neil Young, Herman Dune or Will Oldham. Or maybe a little Daniel Johnston. Or none of the above. The optimists can listen to "Going Back Song", but tonight I'm an acheing pessimist who wants to listen to "Diminished": to the bass-drum thump and the singer's humble words, to the organ's heartbreaking sigh, and yeah, to the bass. The upright bass that's got its heart broken and picked itself up, that's got its heart broken and picked itself up, that's got its heart broken and picked itself up and is now walking hand-in-hand with its pals, the ones who are still picking themselves up, because the upright bass is the kindest friend in the world.


Kathryn has promised me that they are working on an album - but can I believe her?!


Apparently Jordan's computer has died. We are all hoping that this will prove to be a mistake and not a calamity, but it may be a calamity. Pour out a drink for him, this evening.

Posted by Sean at 3:01 AM | Comments (4)

November 7, 2005

Yes, This Is The Song

I was struck by something Sean wrote about other blogs. He said that there's so many going now, that there's no pressure. We don't have to write about anything we don't want to. And I guess I knew that already, but reading it like that was different somehow. So I'm posting Calvin Johnson (posted by Tim Moore on Friday) and Magnetic Fields (over-posted to death). Also, I feel pretty strung-out on painkillers, so forgive.

Calvin Johnson - "Rabbit Blood"

I've been watching a lot of zombie movies recently, and am currently drinking V8, and have an interest in early Nicolas Cage, so drinking blood actually seems pretty cool to me. And if this were the first song at my party, things would get straight out o' hand. I would not be like Calvin Johnson: sturdy as a rock, as if called in to handle vocals, whose through-line style makes the subtlest variations ("rabbit blow-ud") all the more important, pertinent. I would not be like that.



Magnetic Fields - "It's Only Time"

I only got this album a few days ago, and heard this song on the bus, and I literally started crying. In front of strangers. I couldn't believe it. Especially since this is the CHEESIEST FUCKING SONG I'VE EVER HEARD. But something was so true about it, so honest and right. It's like having vaseline over your eyes, but sometimes, and Merrit knows this better than you or I, it's time. I wondered about the people who've used this as their wedding song. If they were still together.


Posted by Dan at 3:30 AM | Comments (9)

November 4, 2005

Said the Guests: Tim Moore

quick intro from Dan:

Today's Said the Guests comes from Tim Moore. Tim is an animator mostly, a screen printer frequently, but cosistently an artist. One drawing program he has developed a particular talent for is MSPaint. He'll spend hours late at night making extremely complex drawings, one line, one spray-can stroke, at a time. These hours will also be spent listening to music, so I asked Tim to make a drawing that was based on some of his favourite music. The result is, I think, fantastic.

I didn't want to give away the picture before hearing the song, so click the link to start the song, then click the the small picture to see a bigger one. Then, you click that picture to see a bigger version if you want to really examine the detail.

Beat Happening - "Sea Hunt"

(click for larger image)


Godspeed You! Black Emperor - "Sleep" (a selection)

(click for larger image)


The Russian Futurists - "Karkarodon Karkarius"

(click for larger image)

Posted by Tim Moore at 12:35 AM | Comments (12)

November 3, 2005

My Funny Valentine

When I was in Riga, Latvia, we went to a jazz bar called Liize. It was mostly empty, there in the basement, and we sat at a booth near the back while a quartet jammed on stage. A woman with bird's hair sang in awkward English, nodding with the cool-and-careful piano player, bass and drums.

It was an open jam, at least officially, but no one joined them for a long time. Finally a barrel-chested man went up and played "Summertime" on trumpet. Then into the room sneaked a pair of men in black suits. One was silent and big - we imagined him as a bodyguard. The other had a pony-tail, a greasy little goatee, a rat's face. We nicknamed him Ratso. He said stuff in Latvian. We made up stories, him as the psychopathic son of the big russian mob boss, the annoying guy that no one dares mess with.

Ratso asked to play the piano and the piano-player made way. Boy did Ratso have a good time. Ratso played boogie-woogie with gusto, he hammed up crescendos, he insisted that we cheer along. As the singer sang he punctuated her lyrics with innuendo-filled piano trills. He threw back his head and laughed. Ratso led the show for well over an hour. Whatta guy.

Later, Ratso left the stage and went to the back of the room, the next table over from us. He chatted with a handsome blonde man who was sitting with two women in slinky numbers. I imagined the blonde man as some TV actor or sports star. He and Ratso laughed and caroused. The band played.

Toward the very end of the evening a man in a sweater got up. He had been sitting there the whole time. He was small, with short brown hair. Late 40s. He didn't talk much. He murmured something to the singer, who directed him to the piano. Everyone else left the stage.

The little Latvian man played "My Funny Valentine". The song by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart, made famous by Chet Baker. Chet Baker died as he was climbing from one balcony to another at an Amsterdam hotel, looking for money to buy heroin. Six months ago I stood outside that hotel, and I thought about this. The view is of boats.

A basement in Latvia, a little man in a sweater playing the piano, playing so well that I think I stopped breathing. The man played with practice. He bent towards the keys as he played them and then withdrew, listening, sometimes wincing (but not looking at us). I couldn't tell if he was wounded by the sound or soothed by it. He was very careful, like someone could get hurt. He played the melody but he also played more, playing around the tune, playing it with gaps, filling the gaps with long silences and wrong (right) notes. I wrote in my journal, - I do not usually keep a journal (I have a blog, see,) but I kept one then, - I wrote that he was "trying to find the vocabulary for heartache". It was very sad. Very, very sad. The man didn't look at us as he played. He looked at the keys, as if he was trying to read them.

When he was done the man in the sweater gave a little bow and then sat down along at his table to listen.

Almost a year has passed since that night, but I still think of it. The music was so good. The moment was also good - I was with a good friend, we were somewhere that had a ceremonial guard and a Liberty Monument, we had eaten Indian food and were drinking good beer. We had laughed at Ratso, the latvian koopa. That morning, Julian's camera had been stolen at the market. But we were not thinking about that: we were leaving those feelings in the part of our minds concerned with phone-cards and bus tickets and blisters. Well, I was. Maybe as I sat there listening, Julian was seeing that woman with tiny, quick hands.

I remember how dark it was out the windows. I remember that I didn't recognise any of the photographs on the wall, and that I wondered whether my jazz knowledge was that bad or if they were Latvian jazz stars. And I remember the humility with which the little Latvian man played, the way he borrowed a piano, and played, and the way my chest ached, and then the way he thanked us for humouring him. And the way he sat down.

Today I guess I'm still looking for a rendition of "My Funny Valentine" like that one. So I announced a contest - "Send me your valentines!" - I said. I received twenty-nine different renditions, many of them several times. Lots of them are very good. Some are truly excellent. A heartfelt thank-you to everyone who contributed: you brought much light to my eyes. The winner is a version that (like most of the others) I had not heard before this week - so thank you Matt C, thank you David F.

But I'm a little sad, too, because I still think of the man in the sweater.

I'll have to keep looking.


Gerry Mulligan Quartet ft. Chet Baker - "My Funny Valentine". This is a studio recording from 1952. Chet sounds like he does. He plays trumpet with complete clarity, black birds on a wire. He's at once celebrating, mourning, beckoning. He dips and wheels. He bows. Who is sighing "ohhhhh ohhhhh ohhhhh" in the background? And Gerry: oh. The sax is a steadier, older take on Chet's feelings, but it moves no less incisively. When they come together, it is a kiss: a convoluted a kiss. (The convolutions are two peoples' lives and all their experiences, the winding pathways of fate and will, the happy accidents and great tragedies, and whatever brings them together, tonight, at this moment.) This is much too short, and that is its greatest flaw.

Update 8:54 am EST - I got confused at 2am and got URLs/file-names wrong. (The two Chet Baker/Gerry Mulligan files got mixed up on the upload.) Thanks to Matt for sorting me out - the studio version above should clock in at just under 3 minutes whereas the live version below if 8 min or so, if I recall.

Read my mostly stream-of-consciousness thoughts on the other submissions (as well as a couple more mp3s) after the jump.



Department of Eagles - "Noam Chomsky Spring Break 2002". Imagine DJ Shadow's gone undercover. His cover? An enormous felt monster costume. He's fifteen feet high, he's purple, and he's roaming the streets. He's got a boombox on his shoulder and it is booming: it's booming the Grizzly Bear album. And just as Shadow rounds a corner, - with nightblack monster beats, snips of memory and crow-croaks, opera-song coming wafting down a fire-escape, - he meets a gang of dancers, real dancers. They're wearing blue and they weave around him, synchronised, stepping only when the piano steps, lifting their hands on the high-hats, and when the monster squints from fifteen-feet above street-level they look like a cloud, like a swirling cloud, a cloud that's coming together and is going to swerve toward midtown. The monster begins to run.

Department of Eagles play a great, thick music - long strips of jazz with indie rock stripes, beats and whimsy. If we play the sounds-like game it gets complicated: like Broken Social Scene on a retreat with The Dirty Three, Four Tet after an all-night Pet Sounds bender. "Forty Dollar Rug" could be by Ween, or The Unicorns, or something. ("Forty dollar rug! Twenty dollar lamp! Playstation 2! Tony Hawk 4!") "Sailing By Night" could be by Elbow. And "Ghost in Summer Clothes" has all the dusty folkness that Vetiver craves but just can't hack. Half of this band is indeed in Grizzly Bear. The other half isn't. The Whitey On The Moon UK LP is very good and you can listen to five more songs (including "Ghost" and "Sailing") here.



This video of singing-and-dancing to the Backstreet Boys in a college dorm is exceptional. The things about it that I love: 1) The song (who knew that "I Want it That Way" was good!?); 2) the cast. on his arm.; 3) the roommate who continues playing Counter Strike regardless of what is going on in front of him; 4) the feeling that the guy on the left loves this so much - loves it more than everything else he has ever done, everything else he dreams of, that this is the greatest joy he will ever experience, and that he knows it. [via sillytech]

Tuwa ruminates on musicblogs and PR agents. I'm happy to help out musicians who put out music I like, but first and foremost I need to like it. Yes. One of the things that is great about there being so many more musicblogs these days is that I'm not even tempted to write about lame albums (like recent Tortoise/Bonnie Prince Billy, Jana Hunter/Devendra Banhart, My Morning Jacket, Iron & Wine/Calexico, Vashti Bunyan, Rogue Wave, and onandon), no matter the PR push, my readership's interest, or even how friendly I might feel towards the bands; there's other people who can sort you out, so no one's gonna miss it.

RIP Splendid E-zine. They were an astonishing music zine with a beautiful (and absurd) philosophy, and they will be missed. I wish them all the best.


And like I said before, click on MORE for my take on the other twenty-eight versions of "My Bloody Valentine" that were submitted for the contest. You can download a couple of them, too.

"My Funny Valentines"

anita baker - anita's dreamy (and sleepy) voice appeals very much, but i simply can't tolerate the smoothie backing. and she too struggles a lot with how to sing that [his?] looks are "laughable", etc. [C]

carmen macrae - maybe pays too much attention to the lyrics and not enough to how she sings it. there's something special when she holds the "staaaay" at 2:20ish, but everywhere else i wonder if she has any real feelings for this [guy?] or if she's just trying to sound neat and funny for him. [B-]

chris gotti - most lovely on trumpet, plaintive and contemplative, but not as sad as i might want. :) [A-]

chet baker (vocal) (2:18 version) - this is the version i know best. chet's so kindly-voiced here, so loving and yet so brittle too. for all his jokes and confidence, you can tell that if his valentine said no, no with a yell, there'd be nothing left for him. (listen to that piano.) [A+]

chet baker and gerry mulligan (live at carnegie hall) - matt c says it like so:

it was a tense meeting between classic old rivals, and this comes across quite clearly in the music. There was almost a fist fight basckstage (Stan Getz, who always despised Chet, was also there) or so the story goes. The audience loves Chet, even though--or especially--as he fucks it up, missing notes, etc. Which infuriates Gerry, who was always jealous, of this boy wonder cum life-long junkie who never practiced, never went to prison (well, not until later in Italy), and never seemed to care about being a professional in quite the same way. But Mulligan has matured by this time too, and he sounds especially good and original on tracks like "For an Unfinished Woman" etc. Chet is nervous, backstage listening, and then he comes on and plays "Valentine" and they bring down the house...) The year is 1974.
mulligan does sound great here, loose and free, and when he joins chet in those closing moments it's a gorgeous sound, a great love come slowly-and-clumsily together. i'm not sure about chet's solo playing: it feels a bit like he's repeating himself, like these things are being pulled from his memory and not from his heart. [A]

chico hamilton - chico's band get caught up in the lovely-sad melody, has too much fun playing that to tread off course. tasteful, tender, but very safe. [A-]

ella fitzgerald - most reminiscent of the rufus wainwright (or i guess the other way around), and not just because of the intro. ella too sings this very well, always sounding present in the word. but HOW DOES SHE REALLY FEEL? how strongly does she feel this? oh jazz singers, stop fucking around! the instrumental musicians know how to strip away that ambience and just FEEL, why can't you? why must everything sound so lovely? (some people had this labeled as by Nina Simone. it wasn't.) [B]

elvis costello - lots of people seem to really like this one. but man, elvis sounds like he's pushing this way too hard: it feels like such a performance, a guy who's gotta sing it like he means it in that mean minute and a half. If someone sang this to you, would you stay? No. [C+]

elvis costello [live] - much better than the studio version, oh yes. you can hear him trying to let go. trying to go into his own head and sing this right. you can hear him trying - oh, in that not-quite-right note around 2:25, listen! they hear it! and there's a grin at the end, a goofy strum cos yeah he knows he hit it. [A]

etta james - i like the way this version swerves from flat clamouring to full-bodied feeling, from question to statement of love. a very pedestrian trumpet solo in the middle, and etta loses the plot a bit after that, but you can feel her trying to regrab it. she goes off course, sadly, looking to the wrong place for those final notes (it's a very different song at the end than at the beginning, but also a much more conventional one.) [B+]

frankie machine - upclose and personal. this sounds lovely and personal, and there's this funny excitement in it like the singers are almost ready to cross over into something darker and truer... but they um don't. why? [B]

gotan project - well, if you want a funny valentine lounge remix, this is the shit for you! the best part is the flute solo, which isn't something i ever expected to say. [B-]

grant green with yusuf lateef - lateef's on hammond organ. multitudes live in those oscillating notes. if this was a little more plaintive i might fall in love with it. green's guitar is both lyrical and intricate, but he holds back too much. it's v. striking when lateef lets loose after the green solo, things suddenly PUSHING, PULLING, withdrawing hesitating and PUSHING again. marvellous (till he goes bluesy-lame and 'oooh oooh ooh yeah' at 4:44. [A-]

jimmy smith - can't play this because kelly didn't send me an iTunes unlock code! :) sorry, kelly!

jackie gleason - i think my favourite part of this recording is the way it sounds like gleason's playing at the back of a room (i guess he is), echoing, outshone by the strings. he's strident and bold sounding, but still (because of how far away he is,) lonely. and that's about right. [B]

jimmy giuffre - strange to hear this being worked-through by clarinets, oboe and bassoon, but the chamber-music vibe works fine. I like how the sourness of the sound affects the vibe, the way certain bits sound so much sweeter while others feel awkward and very hard to reach. It's also interesting to hear such a complex arrangement, so many things in harmony and counterpoint - a crowd singing the song, each in a different way. [A]

johnny smith - languorous, slow. the drums are the only thing that bring smith's guitar forward. it's like he'd linger on each note forever if he could, if that cymbal wasn't still moving, making him pull himself outta bed and into the next bar. but i wonder if that's really necessary... [B+]

lenny breau with dave young - these two work so great together, but lenny's much too busy for me - it's again the desire to fill the song with sounds, rather than to use the gaps. the melody for me is so much stronger when there are big empty holes... the more it gets filled in, the more maudlin it becomes. by the fourth minute, Breau's stuff just sounds like wallpaper. Young's much more successful - when his bass drifts off from the melody to work through something else, i'm there beside him. not really "Valentine", though! [B]

matt damon - yes that matt damon. but this is good. because he can't sing, see. he sings flat as chet - i'm beginning to suspect that my barometer is unfairly set at "chet baker" to begin with... but anyway. i like how it sounds like damon is concentrating really hard, like he's trying to say it right, to not say too much or too little, or to say it in a way that is too much or too little. reminds me of vincent gallo. (but what the HELL is that saxophone doing? shut. up!) the only problem is that i really wish for him to take the song somewhere else in its last half - that is, to have made a journey from beginning to end, to not just be in the same emotional place. and he doesn't quite. [A-]

michelle pfeiffer - this is like the sarah vaughan only cheesier and michelle can't sing as well. wispy != honest. [C-]

miles davis quintet - beautifully recorded, and it feels like the band's so close they're touching... but i wonder why miles doesn't go deeper? he skirts around the song, riffing on the melody's beauty, fast and slow, but i keep waiting for him to dig into something harder hotter softer colder. [B]

nico - i like nico a lot. but this is one song where her weird outsider robot voice does not play well. there's no vulnerability at all, except in the warbly bionic effects, which isn't a very good way to go. what is the point of this? it is neither pretty, moving or interesting. it's bare of feeling. [C]

over the rhine - that's a voice that could brule a creme brulee... but i wonder if there's enough acknowledgement of the words: there's so little recognition of what it means that [his?] looks are "unphotographable", etc. I believe her love, but wonder if she's singing the right words for this feeling. [B]

ray brown trio - THIS guitar (and the bass too) know what they are playing: listen up, breau. it's played slowly, sometimes mechanically (which is right), like saying words and over in your head (and when they're said out loud they sound different). i suppose it makes sense that they'd decide to have some fun with it in the middle, even if that bores me. [B+]

rufus wainwright - i kinda hate rufus wainwright, and controversially so, so i was very pleasantly surprised by this. But ultimately the emotion of it was ambivalent - not undecided, wavering, just ambivalent. [A]

sarah vaughan - this is ok. [B]

tom barman (of dEUS, i think) - great clumsy mealy-mouthed vocals here. barman certainly knows what this song is, tries to sing it as it is. what's missing is a something else: something other than what's there to begin with. you gotta outdo chet, yeah, but you can if you try. and you can hear him sort of give up, put his hands up, "what can i do?" at the end. [B+]

victoria williams - why does she have such a weird cutesy voice? oh, i guess it's on purpose... For Victoria it's a kid's thing, I guess. But there's too much adult vibrato, too many weird phrases ("greek" figure?) for this to really go. "funny valentine" doesn't sound as naive as she thinks it does. but the folky "each day is valentine's day" at 1:40ish is really sweet, a hand that squirms its way into yours. [C+]

For more versions of "My Funny Valentine", check out this podcast, composed by Brendan as he tried to decide which rendition to send me.

Posted by Sean at 3:00 AM | Comments (20)

November 2, 2005

Celery Stick = Chocolate Bar

Icy Demons - "Icy Demons"

The opening of this song sounds like what people say free jazz sounds like. Pretty affected, pretty wobbly, pretty bad. But then it kicks in to shoulder-dropping, hunched-down percussion that scoots and sneaks, and it's suddenly interesting. I like jazz* that makes me see pictures, makes me feel rain, makes warm breath cool. Then the vocals come, and while I'm able to forgive them, I'd rather they hadn't taken the liberty. Imagine that horn burst without the tin-roof singing overtop.

[site] *I use that word because I don't know what else to use


Murder Beach - "The Pincher"

Do that dance where the top of your head wiggles back and forth and your hands stack one on top of the other in a continuous stack, like you're filling "hand slots" or something. You know the one I'm talking about? Do it. You'll feel better.



The Explanation Station: sorry for no post Tuesday, it's partly my fault. And there's going to be more chaos this week: a guest post on Friday! Woah. But it's a terribly exciting one, so get ready. The reason for all this: I'm getting my wisdom teeth out tomorrow, and so I needed to post when I was coherent, and saved the guest for when I will be out like a light. Three full colons in this paragraph; four is the record.

Posted by Dan at 8:03 AM | Comments (3)