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.

February 29, 2008

Top Banana Grandma

M.I.A. - "Paper Planes (DFA Remix)"

The biggest hurdle for me to enjoying a remix is forgetting how good the original is. "Paper Planes" is one of the most memorable songs of last year, so trying to forget it is kind of impossible. Which is why DFA is so right-on by getting rid of the gunshots. No gunshots? Yes! No gunshots! And it's still a successful song. It finds a marvelous beauty in M.I.A.'s singing, it places her squarely in the place of a funk diva, and look at her go! No one on the corner has swagger like this. And there's even a jaunty piano solo at the end, where DFA is channelling Huey Smith for a minute or so. It's a risky, brilliant vision of a song I previously considered untouchable. [site]

Thee Oh Sees - "Block of Ice"

1. The B-52's, on medieval beach blankets, stilettos in the sand.

2. Grace Slick lost in a punching-bag gauntlet, being chased by monster-cops.

3. Thee Oh Sees, surviving only on bridge mixture and broadband, emitting light from every point of impact. The pick on the strings, the sticks on the skins, the bones at all the joints.

[April 8th]

Posted by Dan at 3:44 AM | Comments (9)

February 28, 2008


Odeillo Solar Furnace

Miracle Fortress - "Digital Love". I've been trying to put my finger on what Miracle Fortress bring to this Daft Punk cover that Daft Punk themselves do not. I think basically it's that Daft Punk are robots and Graham Van Pelt isn't. He's a man with short red hair and a friend's grin, a man who dances in styles besides the robot, a man who longs for love in a way that's not tragic or eternal or chrome - in a way that's simply human. In the end of his syllables there's a mild sorrow and in the gallop of his electric guitar there's a Montrealer's appetite. It's a song about being in love, but here's the thing: it all happens in a dream.

[from the Miracle Fortress MySpace. Buy Five Roses. See them on tour in Atlanta, Raleigh, Washington, Philly, NYC, Cambridge, Buffalo, Mtl.]

Sigur Ros - "Untitled (Vaka)". your little gold. ... you said it on the phone. you're so alone. you're so. you said it on the phone. you're so alone. you're so. you suffer so. you're so alone. you're so. you say so. you sigh so. you so. (you so. you're so.) you sat there on the phone. you're so lost. you're so. you said it on the phone. you're so lost. you're so. you suffer alone. you're so lost. you're so. you sad song. you sad song. you're so. (you're so. you song.) you sat all alone! you sat all alone! you sat all alone, there! you! (hang on!) you sat all alone last night. you hung on all night. you sat all alone. you sat alone. [buy]


La Blogothèque, one of the finest music sites in the world (& lo, and it's much more than a blog) has redesigned beautifully. Bonus: it's in French!

[photo is of the Odeillo Solar Furnace]

Posted by Sean at 10:36 AM | Comments (5)

February 27, 2008

Raw Dinner

Huey "Piano" Smith - "Rockin' Pneumonia and the Boogie-Woogie Flu"

Huey "Piano" Smith suffers from chronic and severe cases of both rockin' pneumonia and boogie-woogie flu. Such a dual affliction is admittedly as rare as steak tartare, but Smith's song, prototypically symptomatic of his condition, leaves no doubt about the authenticity of his so-called suffering. You see, taken together, the two diseases pose a contradiction: those sick with rockin' pneumonia experience music as euphoria, as a promise of infinite, untapped possibility, while the victim of boogie-woogie flu is largely incapacitated by the same stimulus, rendered utterly incapable of tapping the untapped. Hence, Smith is inspired by music to kiss a woman, though he ultimately finds "the gal too tall;" he is compelled to run, though his "feet are too slow." In fact, so profound is Smith's case that not even Jonas Salk himself would be capable of finding a cure. Thank goodness then that the man known as "Piano" learned to live with his ailment, even joining forces with the similarly sick: namely, a baritone sax player, who, if my ears do not deceive me, has a mean case of R&B fever, and a drummer with whooping cough of soul.


Posted by Jordan at 9:10 PM | Comments (1)

February 26, 2008


Karl Blau - "Noah Richards Son"

Karl Blau wakes up, covered in sex, and sits aching up in the light blue dust of the morning. He scrapes his vision free from blurred sleep as if from the bottom of a pan and walks stretching to the shower. He showers just long enough for one thought to form: a warmonger is not a breed of dog, that was just a dream. Only one meal remains in the fridge, perfectly timed, as today will surely be his last where he'll be forced to eat like a regular human, a mortal. Check the calendar, the balcony, the street below, empty and stretched like sick vinyl, everything is right and in place. He dashes the remaining coffee in the sink, dons his coat and taps for his wallet, and sails out the window and over the traffic, not a care or worry in his head. Karl Blau (no relation) is an irresponsible so-and-so. [Available March 18th]

The Hykkers - "I Want a Break Thru"

Play this for all the times you're living in Brooklyn in 1973. [Buy]


The WFMU pledge drive has started. I'll be pledging big-time tonight during Best Show and I really think you should do the same. They create, and fully store in archives, some of the best radio around.

Edit: Tom Scharpling raises 40,000.00 in one show. Incredible. And still next week left.

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Posted by Dan at 2:46 AM | Comments (3)

February 25, 2008

Runners-Up: Wonderful Video Contest Winners

wonderful video contest

Ladies and gentlemen, boys & girls, I am delighted to be today announcing the second installment of winners in the Wonderful Video Contest. We asked our readers to create movies they love for songs they love, and well more than a hundred films got thrown our way. Our first batch of favourites was posted last week, the Top 5 will be shared a week from today, but right now, right here, here are four more of the most remarkable submissions.

As Dan said last week, the comments today aren't for us, they're for the filmmakers, so please tell them what you think, because they would love it. You would love it too.

9. Orillia Opry - "I Lied"
video by Dan Woodward
dan @

The moon landing as Sunday drive. It's only a matter of moments before you put aside your expectations for what a video of "I Lied" would look like and become swept right up in the ambling (CG machines have never felt so "ambling" to me!) aesthetic of this piece. As soon as the cymbal crashes in that plume of the rocket's wake, you know there's no looking back. I like to imagine two things when I watch this: a) that getting to the moon is an achievement better set to heartfelt strumming folk than to giant orchestral booming, and b) that in the last shot that capsule is empty, and the people have decided to stay, or pressed "go" by accident when they weren't inside. (awarded Secret City prizepack, Madame Tutli-Putli DVD)


8. The Knife - "Still Light" (Little Forest)
video by Rinee Shah
rinee.shah @

The world of this video is strange and terrifying, with its own slow & scary logic. The bears have lights in their eyes, the roots weave webs, and when a girl wakes she finds herself alone. A tree falls in the forest and we don't hear a single sound - we're suspended in a different moment, during & before, and only later do we discover the damage. Is it still light outside? The Knife ask, and you can imagine Rinee dreaming this world straight through to dawn. (awarded Vice Records and Young God prizepacks, Madame Tutli-Putli DVD)


7. Devendra Banhart - "Dragonflys"
video by Eric Portis
eric.portis @

Devendra Banhart's song is just fifty seconds long, but Eric Portis uses those fifty seconds even more finely than Devendra does. When the video literally rises into its final moment, when the song sings its title & everything makes a beautiful, incandescent sense, we're in a place of caught breath and small majesty. We're in a paradise, really; one that's hand made. (That means it's a paradise we too could make with these hands.) Actually breathtaking. (prize tbd)


6. Woodhands - "Can't See Straight"
video by 47 Friends
timothy.moore @

I could write an essay on this one. I'll try to keep it short, but just believe me that I get overwhelmed when I watch this video. The storytelling is executed in such a way that it's exciting to figure out what's going on, the filmmaker creates little mysteries, makes it exhilarating to watch, and watch, and watch. Nothing is a mistake, every shot, every action, has a purpose. Which is a credit to the performers; a stark but fascinating intermingling of harsh clowning and realist sincerity. A quasi-hopeful picture of how art can take over, ruin, or give meaning to, your life.

We contacted Daniel Werb from Woodhands, and he loves it:

"Tim Moore's video is absolutely fantastic and we can't stop talking about it over here. Not only are we honoured that Tim would chooseour song 'Can't See Straight' as a basis for his video, but it's amazing how he and his crew have managed to tease out a great story from thesong's brief lyrics. It all fits together so well and manages to stay true to the emotional kernel of the song. We're super stoked."
(awarded 4AD prizepack, Madame Tutli-Putli DVD)


So that is this week. Next Monday: our 5 stupendous & favourite videos.

Posted by Sean at 12:37 AM | Comments (17)

February 22, 2008


office riot

Andy Swan - "The Truth About Thieves". It's an unaccustomed jubilance in this amber-streaked folk song; Andy Swan finds the kind of melody he's not used to finding, the sort of love-story that doesn't usually come his way. "It seems impossible / or just improbable / that you waited your whole life / to love the likes of me." Like he can't get over the fact that he gets to use this jangle, this jangle, the happiest looking-glass kind. Like he can't get over the fact that he put the telescope to his eyes, pointed it out over the city, and found someone signalling to him from their roof - flashing the lights of her apartment on & off & on, the easiest Morse code.

[buy the CD called Ottawa, named for the city where I grew up.]

Vampire Weekend - "Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa (Black Dominoes remix)". An unofficial remix that takes this clean jersey song and adds a whole lot of noise, distraction, and a different kind of joy. Or maybe the other way around. Take "Cape Cod" as an inside-song, as the internal monologue of a boy who strides the city. He crosses whooping kids, blown-over garbage cans, creaking doors, car alarms, hopscotching girls, two guys beating each-other up with the tender thump of skin on skin. He sees deer get shot and bees get stung. He sees a brass band and a harpsichordist. Casablanca and Sesame Street. And always the cool, lover's knowledge in his head - the bluebird memories of love's softest stirring sounds.

[more of Mr Black Dominoes here and here]


Tune in Monday for the next batch of winning contest videos!

Posted by Sean at 10:26 AM | Comments (4)

February 21, 2008

Vacant Position, Vacant Eyes

Destroyer - "Introducing Angels"

I'm finally ready to do it. I'm ready to post about Trouble in Dreams. Just in regular listening, the album is already up over 20 plays. The other day, I had to walk a great distance, so I listened to it all the way through, then listened to Streethawk: A Seduction because I wanted to test my theory that they were sister albums (they are) and then when that was over I went back and listened to Trouble in Dreams again, entirely. Admittedly, that was too much. But when you hear this, 7 songs in, and you're on the beach and it starts snowing, dreamily combining the two most relaxing things, you feel both confused and completely safe, both at peace and oddly stirred. It's serene and anthemic, lush and bursting, smiling and a bit cynical. It's the most cloud-riding (yes, I did) song on the album, and marks the pinkest point, for every Destroyer album has a pinkest point, a sharpest point, a golden moment, and a win. [Pre-order]


happy birthday, meaghan.

Posted by Dan at 2:06 AM | Comments (11)

February 20, 2008

The Upside-Down Pyramid

Nat Baldwin - "Dome Branches"

A ferociously bowed double bass, a singer with a flair for the melismatic, several dudes with an interest in free jazz, a chorus in 3/4, a verse in 5/4, an expert drummer who shows us the interchangeability over time of the two, a romantic guitar solo, harmonics like diamonds, a twelve-string guitar like a flock of big, angry birds, something borrowed from Motown, horns played as carefully as this song is sung soulfully (very), the fraught repetition of the nonsensical noun phrase "dome branches." These are but some of the elements of one of the finer songs on one of the very finest albums this year will see.

[Please do buy Most Valuable Player.]

Posted by Jordan at 8:23 PM | Comments (4)

February 19, 2008


Bülent Ortaçgil - "Benimle Oynar misin". "Would you still play with me?" Ortaçgil asks. He sings delicately enough that the answer might be yes. I once imagined Bülent Ortaçgil and Nick Drake together in Istanbul, but this is clearly a song from well before any imaginary meeting. From before Bülent had figured out he was really any good at anything. From the days when Bülent would meet a pretty girl and she would say "So what do you do?" and he would not think he really ought to say "I am a musician"; and instead he'd say, "Well, I work in an office."

What if I were the water, or the flame,
or the sun on the blue,
what if I don't talk,
like a stone
would you still play with me?
I can't decide if song is a hope or a celebration - can't make out if it's a maybe or a hurray. [buy]

Say Hi - "Northwestern Girls". Eric Elbogen wisely truncated his band name from its original Say Hi To Your Mom. The new name is less stupid, more timid. Perhaps one day his brother-in-heart will rename himself to Casiotone For. In the meantime, forget all that. Listen to "Northwestern Girls". I wonder if you need to be a boy to recognize what Elbogen is singing about - the hazy & cherry line between want and not-want, between lust and lust lost. A song about figuring out which it is: if you are happy and patient, or souring as slow as that kiss. Tied in knots - no, in braids, in the braided braids of all those girls you've fallen for.

[buy The Wishes and the Glitch on CD or LP and get a free download, like, lickety-split]

Posted by Sean at 2:14 AM | Comments (9)

February 18, 2008

2nd Runners-Up: Wonderful Video Contest Winners

Okay, here we go with the first installment of winners of the Wonderful Video Contest. I'm so excited to show you the work that's been done, but even more excited to hear what you think about it. Today, and for the next 2 Mondays when we announce winners, the comments aren't for us, they're for the filmmakers, so let them know what you think, because they would love it. You would love it too.

13. CSS - "Poney Honey Money"
video by Renata Takatu and Guilherme Amorozo
renatatakatu @

In Renata's own words, it's "sort of a stripped down version of Oasis' "Let There Be Love" in full color [but] much cooler". That's exactly what it is. I'm reminded of Pavement's "Range Life" video as well, which is more similar in showing how much fun the band is. I've never seen a better portrait of a band playing a show for nine people than this. It's obvious why they have probably never played for nine people since. (awarded Dreamboat Records prizepack, Young God prizepack)


12. Beirut - "Forks and Knives"
video by Timothy Krings & Jason Whalen
tjkrings @

This has fantastic pace. It has space and speed yet wonder and pause. It's like a love letter written to how much can get done in one day. This is the last day of the year, so it's great checking-up on everything they have. On their city, on their friends, of all their senses, both dulled and sharp. Very crisp, like brisk air, or the blare of a siren ripping through the night. (awarded Arts & Crafts prizepack)


11. Sufjan Stevens - "Decatur"
video by Ainslee Wallis
aaw0068 @

Sufjan Stevens's "Decatur" is tune-as-catalog, more bulleted list than pop-song. Ainsley's video recognises this and celebrates it. Whereas he plays with rhyme, she plays with line. I love how it seems a process of discovery, the filmmaker discovering tricks as she goes - the way some drawings turn out better than others, some images lingered on and others just teases. Most of all, I like the aquarium: that Ainsley's filled the spaces in Stevens's song - how she's added to his endless series, unfazed by his verbosity. Also: seems like it was tons of fun to make. (awarded Polyvinyl prizepack)


10. Spoon - "Back to the Life"
video by Mike Bennett
mikebennett6 @

Mike Bennett's video for "Back to the Life" doesn't just capture the flat/clap/snap of Spoon's song, or a certain fluorescent kind of insomnia: it's also cut with a whimsy and care that make a joke out of the tiredness, that find a punchline in the fatigue. It's a film that brings new ideas with every go-round, and is, man, yeah, so great. (awarded Merge prizepack)


So that's this week's installment. Next Monday: the 1st runners-up.

Posted by Dan at 3:12 AM | Comments (26)

February 15, 2008


migrating crabs

White Hinterland - "Dreaming of the Plum Trees (live on Fair Game)". Casey Dienel's new project skips, scampers and slips. The piano's all Charlie Brown but here (as opposed to here) it's joined by a violin with older, wiser years behind it. Here we have an older sibling - someone to teach the girl who skips with bloody cut-up feet and a bloody cut-up heart through the body of the song. Someone to invite Ruby over, the snowy afternoon after Saint Valentine's Day, and to spend a few hours teaching her a new & herkyjerky way to dance.

The White Hinterland debut is out in March and I wrote all about it here... however much more urgently, I just heard that the band were the victims of a massive theft after a gig in NYC. You can read the details, but the long & the short of it is that some of the sweetest people in indie rock have been royally fucked by a skeevy asshole. If you're in any position to help, the band is very shyly taking donations through a Paypal button on this page.

[listen to the rest of the Fair Game session - thanks matthew]

Posted by Sean at 11:24 AM | Comments (0)

February 14, 2008

Valentine's Fork


Annie Lennox - "No More "I Love You's""

This song has been in my head for about 3 years. It feels like velvet covered in rhinestones, which is weird because that was the aesthetic of the previous album, but it reminds me always of valentine's day. Like most holidays, it has grown into an adult that the child said it would never become, it's kind of a tacky version of fancy, a bit tragic, but still with shades of humanity. Which is what this song embodies. It's got a beautiful idea, and the phrase "language is leaving me", and a lovely chord progression, but it's also got that organ that's like a saccharine veil over the whole thing, and it's got tons of superfluous trimmings, like that terrible section where she talks in a kid's voice about monsters. But it's how this song ought to sound, it makes sense within the parameters set out, so I guess valentine's day kind of makes sense, if you really squint. [Buy]



First of all, I'll say that we were completely amazed with the turnout, and the quality, for the contest. We received over 100 submissions of hand-made movies that it was a complete pleasure, a joy, to watch. We have finished the judging process and winners will be notified soon. We will take the next 3 Mondays to divulge all the winners, there are that many, and they're that good. It was a huge success and I can't wait for you to see all this great stuff.

During the run of the contest, the National Film Board got in touch with us and wanted to include prizes of their own, and we were more than happy to oblige. So in addition to all the prizes being won, every winner will receive a DVD of the Oscar-nominated short animation Mme. Tuttli-Puttli. It's a mysterious and sumptuous stop-motion that had me marveling and wide-eyed the whole time. A perfect little bonus, for which we're very grateful.

To all who submitted, thank you so much for putting yourselves to so much effort for this small community of like-minded music lovers. You truly get what we're trying at.

Until Monday, then.


(photo: uncredited)

Posted by Dan at 3:00 AM | Comments (3)

February 13, 2008

2. Rush, Take It Slow

Otis Rush - "Double Trouble"

Lying on my back, drooling blood onto a bib, the last thing I wanted to hear was "Hotel California." Not that I should have been surprised; rarely has a dentist's appointment been endured without the exacerbating sonic stimulus of the Eagles' signature tune. The faulty psychology that leads dentists to fill their examination rooms with "soothing" soft rock is as fallacious as the logic that a lifetime's worth of twice-annual dental appointments is better than losing your teeth at thirty and having to suck processed filet mignon through a straw for the rest of your life. No, the only thing that made me more depressed than finding out that I have three cavities - one for each year since my last such rendezvous - was finding it out to a soundtrack of Don Henley. In future, dentists, please cease all manipulativeness; please be frank; please play only Otis Rush while you inflict your iniquities; please dim the lights real low - I don't care if your vision is impaired; please turn the heat way up; please provide scotch, not water, for me to rinse my mouth with. O you doctors of the teeth, let's call a spade a spade; an appointment with you isn't sun-soaked, but dark, dark blue.

Elizabeth Cotten - "Hallelujah, It Is Done"

[Buy Otis, Liz]

Posted by Jordan at 4:44 PM | Comments (6)

February 12, 2008


i've lost the record of who made this!

Casiotone for the Painfully Alone - "Half Ghost". On a cold night a widower picks up a bible, something stolen from a hotel room 25 years before, and finds that the words are traced in gold. On a cold night a teenager picks up a Bach record, dad's dusty 12" of cello works, and finds that its sonatas know the outline of his heart.

Me, I'm late to the church of Casiotone for the Painfully alone. I was still a wanderer, a heretic, when he wrote for us. I once was lost but now I'm found. This is a song about what we do. About what Said the Gramophone does. We put everything on a song. Just like everyone else in this whole worn world: the widower in his parlour, the kid in his basement, Owen Ashworth driving down the highway til' the tape's done. Like wildflowers, like tides, like a clock's hands, we lean always toward the one thing that can give us solace. Put everything on some song on the radio.

[buy Twinkle Echo]

Frightened Rabbit - "Square 9". A song carried in the voice of its singer, in his burred, elastic spirit, the stretch and yowl of his accent. So much longing squeezed into such plain words. It's a lesson in delivery, in not wasting a single part. The band bides its time and in the centre of the circle Scott Hutchison clutches at air, smoke, steam, every peppered flick of memory; and when at 4:06 the swell finally comes, he raises his voice and hangs on for dear life. The thing about love is the way it is so deep as to be cellular, and the only thing that can shake it free from those mitochondria is either a dawn (and you won't know which) or, sometimes, a bare & old-fashioned yell.



Stephen Colbert and Neutral Milk Hotel.

Barack Obama speaks for forty minutes and stirs some hope into me, he really does.

Are you reading Brian Michael Roff's no-longer-so-new blog? He is piece by piece, song by song, going through every song in his discography. It's candid, evocative, an inside-out of the whole damn artistic process.


Thanks for all your entries in our Wonderful Video Contest. The winners will be announced as soon as we've made our decision - but we probably won't do so in time for Valentine's Day.

[i somehow lost my note of the artist who made the above photograph. please drop me a note if you know.]

Posted by Sean at 11:25 AM | Comments (3)

February 11, 2008

Daniel Breaks Bank, Back

Françoise Hardy - "je n'attends plus personne"

This is like the grandmother to that Kills song. I have a French grandmother, and I really like to imagine her swaying to this song. All its chin-up resolve and grit, all its wholly awesome buzzing guitar and orchestral stabs. The Florida wind softly blowing through her silver hair, standing proud on her balcony, overseeing the Tallahassee skyline, thinking about the thousands of people her life has brushed, like when you let someone go in front of you in a parking lot, or when you wait for them to finish on the payphone, or you accidently include their groceries with yours, or you get a wrong number, or you get served by them at a restaurant, or you kiss them once and forget their face, or you trip over their bag on the subway, or you hug them because you have to, or you pick up their wallet off the sidewalk, or you catch them singing to themselves and on and on and on as it fades out. The song actually continues, it's just that you can't hear it anymore. [Buy]

Rafter - "Candy Sprinkles"

This crashes like a cloud onto your lap and plays around like some lovely banjo pet. I'm being cute because I'm under the spell of this blue moon dreamstate puffball with baby cooing samples and tiny shakers that sound, for reasons unknown to me, that they're being shaken by a child. It's completely "a certain way" but tonight, the bass is just right, like a comfy seat, and the lyrics, even the "ahhhs", reach a kind of Flaming Lips-level simplicity and effectiveness. I'm not afraid to like it. And saying that makes it true. [Buy]

Posted by Dan at 1:38 AM | Comments (1)

February 8, 2008

Large Comfortable

Roy Orbison - "Leah"

A bricklayer shows up for work on time to find his supplies, finally, arrived. The skid of dark bricks sit in a neat pile like a present, or a meal. Probably dropped off by some young forklift driver just before dawn. He works hard into the morning, the sun like an annoying but warm friend, the dew making the work wet and bright. He sits on a stool stuck in the mud, his back no longer able to handle the crouching. The work is slower, but so it goes. Three windows, two holes for piping, trim on the windows, and irregular inlays. Between post-sanding the bricks and waiting for more mortar, only so much can get done in a day. A couple of text messages, a bagel and an orange, two coffees and almost a litre of water, a busted trowel and not a single cigarette. A few pages of Fahrenheit 451, a sexy look from one of the neighbours, a terrible joke from the foreman with a lengthy pretend laugh, and still all the trim and the inlays done. Slower, my foot. Getting better and better. [Buy]

Posted by Dan at 4:58 PM | Comments (2)

February 6, 2008


snowflake in a field - (c) Riitta Ikonen image by, and posted without permission from, the remarkable Riitta Ikonen

Lykke Li - "Dance Dance Dance".
Lykke Li - "Little Bit".

Oh jeez, uh... Hi! Yeah, yeah I recognize you. Sure. You're friends with Robyn and Feist and Lily, right? Yeah, I like them too. I'm Sean. How do you do? Uh- Lykke? How do you spell that? What a lovely name. No, I'd never heard it before. That's true. I've only been to Stockholm, and just for a few hours. I was born in Scotland. I know I don't! I moved to Canada when I was just a kid. A fraudulent Scot, yes. Were you born in Sweden? Wait, what? A Portuguese mountaintop!? Was it cold? Sure, I'll hold on to it for you. What do you want me to do? Rattle it? And stamp my foot too? Are we recording a song? Who's that? That's a very large saxophone. What were you saying about a Portuguese mountaintop? No, I was never in a one-piece band. Of course I wanted to be! I thought as a little boy I would one day be a tap-dancer. It didn't pan out. Why thank you. Yup, just hand it here. shakeshakeshake I'm ambidextrous. Of course I know Shakira. Your hips don't lie either? Ah, because you're shy shy shy. I like it. Oh man, this is good. Do you mind if I dance, uh, just a little bit? Oh that must be the choir. Hi ladies. I'm Sean. This is the Montreal cha-cha. That's the man with the very large saxophone. And that's Lykke. Yeah, of course you know her. She's sweet, huh? She told me to just keep on onning with this, until the end. Don't tell her but I'm hoping it doesn't end. A crush? Oh. Oh, oh. Oh, well, just between you and me, I think just a little bit.

[Londoners: Introduce yourselves on February 20.]



Posted by Sean at 8:00 AM | Comments (8)

February 5, 2008

Super Tuesday

No Kids - "I Love the WeekEnd"

Well, if it isn't my little bird friend. What have you been up to, little bird? What's that? You're voting today? Hey, that's great, little bird. Who are you voting for? Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't mean to pry. I know it's none of my business. I know that's private. Hey, where are you going, little bird? Can I come? Thanks! ...Woah, flying is great! Hey, little bird, seriously, I'm sorry about back there, I--woah, a McDonald's!--I mean, I know it's rude. To ask. Oh, we're going so high! ...But I mean, you've already decided, it doesn't really matter anymore, you could just tell me. Why do I care? I don't care, little bird. Don't tell me. If you want to be a prick about it. It's not that I care, I just... no forget it. No, it's nothing. I said forget it! Well, fine, it's just that I spent the whole weekend making milkshakes and origami, I didn't give it any thought, and now I don't know who to vote for and I have to today. What's that? Yeah, I guess you could say I was looking for a suggestion. No, I'm not. I'm not weak-minded, little bird. I'm not. I just wanted a few strawberry shakes, is all. Can't a guy have a strawberry shake when he wants one? Aw, come on, little bird, let's just fly and not fight. The traffic below is so peaceful. Swoop! [Pre-Order]

Kara Keith - "Kick This City"

This is a rather normal song, with a marvelous and fist-shaking refrain, marvelous enough to make me love the whole thing. In words from the as-yet-unpostable but completely brilliant new Destroyer album: "a chorus is a thing that bears repeating". [Buy]


As of this writing, February 5th, The Luyas Faker Death is now available across Canada via the Fusion3 network, which means you can ask for it at any record store and they can get it. And you should ask for it, it's incredible, flawless. I just saw them live, too, and they were perfect.

And also, Canadians, I made a film in 2007 called "Beth", and it is playing on Bravo! on Wednesday (tomorrow) at 5:43pm. If you have that channel, you should watch it. It's a cloudy and quiet little film, a 5-minute character study of a woman coming to grips with becoming a single mother (write what you know!). It stars gemini-winner Cara Pifko (from CBC's This is Wonderland) and the irreplaceable Paul Spence (Canadian cult film FUBAR). with music by Jordan Himelfarb, and written and directed by me.


And lastly, the video contest deadline is tonight at midnight. yes.

Posted by Dan at 2:49 AM | Comments (4)

February 4, 2008


Throw Me The Statue - "Conquering Kids". A melody so sweet it seems plucked from the tracklist of Bridge Over Troubled Water. The drums don't feel played so much as dappled, the song not so much sung as released, like a blue balloon into a blue sky and us just watching it go up & into the clouds, murmuring to each other yes look at it reach so high. [pre-order (out v soon!)]

lights in trees

The Clientele - "(I Want You) More Than Ever". This is a song from when the Clientele were younger. (Before the chill came.) When they could write a song coloured in leaf-shadow and train-smoke and all the rising glitter of a heart in full swung swing. (The days when the nights were all still to come, a starlit tunnel not yet walked through.) If anyone out there is reading this today, let us do the other way round: make it a song for when we're just a little older, (for when the chill subsides,) for when the nights oh are still to come to us and this day is just a premonition, warming by the second. [buy Suburban Light]



Montrealers can still enter our contest for tickets to Yeasayer this weekend.

wonderful video contest!

And of course you still have one day to enter our remarkable, unprecedented, gutbusting Wonderful Video Contest. It takes only an hour to take your little digital camera and string together a series of visions, a poem of light & look to go with a favourite song. Go on - do it. For yourself as much as for us.


The initial lineup for this year's Suoni Il Per Popolo festival has been announced. Look who's coming to Montreal: Loren Connors, Nels Cline, Sir Richard Bishop, Carla Bozulich, Greg Macpherson, Mt. Eerie, Vic Chesnutt, Roscoe Mitchell, the Sun Ra Arkestra, and more.

Posted by Sean at 1:16 AM | Comments (2)

February 1, 2008

What Beauty, What Clouds


Hologram - "Blazey Storm"

Hologram are unassuming. They're not operating with any gimmicks or tricks or showy selling points. I'm trying to say: they're not interesting. But they are amazing. Simply, with few instruments and little inhibitions, reservations, they have burst onto the scene, meaning my scene, meaning my heart.

Here, in "Blazey Storm", Caroline (drums, voice) comes taw-tawing down the street just totally swinging, singing, pursed. No indication, ever, is given to just how good things will get. That's what I love about this band right away. It's like when you play a level in Contra so much that when you're finally doing it flawlessly, you kind of wake up halfway through and you're like "woah, I'm still not making any mistakes!" That's what this is like; no mistakes. Listen, really, none.

Hologram - "Team"

This is literally a hologram. It's hard to see, you need to be at the right angle, but there it is clearly. See, that's what Broadcast would look like if they were a focused rock band. Yeah, that's them, that's Hologram, out having pancakes at 3am, high-fiving the waitress. They're really "carousing", aren't they? They're really vital, with that steady smashing and that moaning guitar, and those vocals sounding almost like caroling. You'd almost think, as they crest with that lovely pink scream, that you wouldn't be able to pass your hand right through.


(photo from The Wooster Collective)

Posted by Dan at 2:58 AM | Comments (3)