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.

April 30, 2008

Oranges and Lemons

Stella Chiweshe - "Kasawha"

I spoke to the bell tower master at the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity Anglican diocese in Quebec City recently. In a few weeks, with the help of a team of expert bell ringers from the UK and the US, he will attempt the second full peal of his bell-ringing career. (Ringers will never promise a full peal, only an attempt.) If successful, the peal will last three hours; all of the eight bells, which were built in London in the 1830s, will be rung 5,030 times, one at a time, without repeating any sequence twice. With enthusiasm, the man described the peal's complexity of sound and execution, the ringers' "three mesmerizing hours of total concentration." While he seemed reluctant to speak about the musical element of the peal, preferring to treat ringing from the practical hobbyist's perspective, his portrayal of the process and its effect on listeners reminded me of the power of the particularly dense finger-picking part or, especially, the musical math of a well played mbira/kalimba, to coax a listener astray, into the maze of its patterns and permutations - like a stargazer lost in the night sky - looking ever closer, seeing ever less.

Laura Barrett - "Deception Island Optimists Club"

[Buy Chiweshe, Barrett]

Posted by Jordan at 9:46 PM | Comments (1)

April 29, 2008

Safe Under a Sewer Grate

Of Montreal - "Feminine Effects"

I don't have the photograph that goes with this song. The one of a woman of 29, with passable posture, sitting at her dinner table in the afternoon, smiling nervously just off to the left, probably at the photographer, a stranger in her apartment. Her wall is wood-panelled, and there's a poster for a Proclaimers show, and some framed pictures of her cousins and parents. Behind is the yellow floor of her kitchen coming through the side of the frame, the grey carpeting in the mirror leads to the window, with a vase of cloudy water. Her hair is in a bun, with a bit coming out the middle. Her chestnut cardigan and pink blouse are the bishop and the rook in a ready line of white. Her hand, the veins on top catching white sunlight, the king.

posted perfectly already on Fluxblog

[from a Green Owl compilation]

Posted by Dan at 12:38 PM | Comments (1)

April 28, 2008


Mentos and Diet Coke world record attempt in Leuven

Ponytail - "Beg Waves". Ponytail get it exactly right in the opening track to Ice Cream Spiritual: electrically live and still marvellously composed, like a Duke Ellington suite for hoarse throats, scraped knees, joy. It's The Fall, not Deerhoof, I hear clearest in their song - but with fewer regrets, fewer chips-on-shoulder, just thrills & fears & squawk. Let's say you were arriving overnight from California, muscle-tired and underslept, but you have a whole day in front of you; let's imagine there's a million reasons to fall asleep but one big one to stay awake; let's imagine you have to go on and on and on; let's imagine you need a new reason to pump yr fist in the air. Well: here. Beautiful and squalid.

[Ponytail's Ice Cream Spiritual is out June 17. Get as excited as you like: album teaser here. From the ears that brought you Yeasayer.]

The Orchards - "Gemini". I remember we were in the basement. I had drunk a beer or two. I was in my late teens, unaccustomed to booze. My friends were talking beside me, two of them playing ping-pong. I had been sitting for a while, and then I stood up. And suddenly ALL AROUND ME the world was SPARKLING, was effervescent and fizzing, lights and glints and shines. And I was terrified and excited and panicked, thought maybe I was dying (though it was just oxygen & brain &c). Anyway, this is what is great about The Orchards' "Gemini" - the way at 1 minute 40 his strum & melancholy gets all streaked in zing, cobwebbed with shock, something splintering out- and in-side him in the brittle way that small epiphanies do.



You are a damn fool if you live in Montreal and do not go to see Stars Of The Lid on Tuesday night at the Masonic Temple. Just sayin'. (Bonus tip: Clues on Saturday, Robyn on Sunday. Yes it's a busy week.)

[photo source unknown - from the Leuven mentos + coke world record attempt]

Posted by Sean at 12:04 AM | Comments (3)

April 25, 2008


Photograph from Congo airplane crash (c) AFP

Constantines - "Time Can Be Overcome". Somewhere on the 33rd floor of a 51-storey apartment bloc in South Korea there is a man called Yes. He has dwelled on the 33rd floor for the past fourteen years, since he left his parents' home and went to work at the software company. Every day he has the Korean equivalent of a tuna sandwich for lunch, the Korean equivalent of chicken soup for dinner. Every night he looks out over the entire city, a city turned the colour of oyster-shell, and imagines how one day it will be nothing but dust. Yes has one friend, a violinist called Fei. Sometimes they go together to watch concerts. The best-ever concert was one on the beach, a viola-player standing on the sand and playing so hard that the strings fell out of its neck. At any second it looked like a wave could come and swallow the viola-player, take him away in a blink. The wave didn't come but at any moment it could have come. Yes bought an electric guitar thirteen years ago and every night since then he has spent learning a single song. He does not feel this is slow or fast; it is just right. One day he will play the song, play the whole thing. Meteorites will hammer the city and tsunamis will rise and his heart will come to life in his chest. [buy]

Withered Hand - "I Am Nothing". You know how some people, especially old-fashioned people, hang their carpets on clotheslines and then beat all the dust out of them? Or how some people knock their snowy boots against the side of the car before getting in? Here's Edinburgh's Withered Hand using mandolin, guitar, cello and his voice to shake all the dust from him, all the stray feelings, all the loose longings; so that at end of song he'll be just a body and the light in his eyes. It's a song beautiful and full. [buy for a song]

[photo by AFP, of the Congolese plane crash in October 08 07]

Posted by Sean at 11:19 AM | Comments (2)

April 24, 2008

No Fingerprints, No Face

Family of Love - "God's Asshole"

I'm climbing off the dusty ground onto a smooth raised area. The floor of this area is softer, and easy on my feet as I attempt to mount the curved area above, curved outwards and almost impossible to climb, save the small ridges that seem almost built for hand and footholds. I eventually make it to what can only be described as some kind of wide diving board, which I'm forced to swing out onto, and use its slight elasticity to propel myself up onto it. I then run down its shiny surface and head towards the real climb. I use my grappling hook to latch onto wide brown soft bands that wind down around the massive pillars. Once the bands have stopped, I'm forced to climb only using the flesh of the pillars themselves. Thin black ropes hang, each about 4 feet long, across almost the whole surface of the pillar, which makes it easier. Eventually, even the black rope-like cordons stop, and I can only mash the soft sides into hand shapes, and just lift my whole weight that way, as if climbing a set of filthy rubber curtains. And as I reach higher and higher, as was foretold, I expect it to get brighter and brighter, but it only gets darker and darker. Until, having reached the exact coordinates of my destination, I find myself at something of a dead end, my bare hands covered in muck, my brow dripping with sweat. How could so much prophecy, so much legend, have led to this? I allow the anger, red now and venomous, to build inside me, until eventually I punch the very spot I was told to go, and lo, my hand sticks. A portal. A window. Salvation.


Posted by Dan at 6:37 PM | Comments (2)

April 23, 2008


Yellow Jacket Avenger - "The Special Fate"

Behind all of the well-manipulated old machines, the austere perfection of synthesized sound, is a tender-hearted creature with a penchant for touching melody. The backing track could be Bjork's and the bridge's vocal David Byrne's, but there's also Peter Gabriel here - an unabashed, if otherworldly, sap. "In summer with my old friends/we swam by the moon/Through the grass we'd creep/on the shore we'd leave our shoes," Yellow Jacket Avenger reminisces over the wheezy, unnatural sounds of his dance music nearly too slow to dance to.

[Buy YJA's lovely and unusual new album, Double Nature]

Posted by Jordan at 5:25 PM | Comments (4)

April 22, 2008


a dark street

Harmony Trowbridge - "Covers Up (demo)". A song about appearances and disappearances, the kind that come between blinks of heavy eyes. And it's sung in a red wine voice, with afternoon in the curtains, last night's dishes gathering moths. Harmony's sorrow still has some wonder in it; she so clearly remembers the coming, the arrival, the beginning when the door clicked shut. It's hard, lying here, to understand the leaving. To look past yr shadow, fainting toward the exit, and see the consequences of what came next. [Harmony's MySpace]

Roommate - "Night (Rhombus cover)". If we rolled credits here, the credits would be a simple font, white on black, all-caps with just the slightest serif curls, like Spring had begun to flower (which it has), like today had begun to tomorrow (which it has), like our lovers all sing in birdsong (which they do), like our whistles are small hymns (which they are), like a gathering of friends, all singing together, is equal to a climax, is all you need in a life to make it a story, to make it have mattered & rung, rung, rung. [buy]

[photo source]

Posted by Sean at 11:58 AM | Comments (2)

April 21, 2008

Your Entry Has Been Saved

No Age - "Eraser"

No Age has unseen powers. No Age is an unassuming tenant. A seemingly regular guy who plays loud music until a bit after midnight on Saturdays. Who can be seen carrying re-usable bags of groceries into the building usually around 6:30 at night. Probably because No Age works a regular job. Keeps no strange company, and returns a regular amount of beer bottles to the store. Has a secure wireless network (I've tried) and a plant that hangs a bit out the window when it's sunny and warm. And saved a goddamn puppy from a building fire across the street last October. No one really knows it, he doesn't advertise it, but I saw No Age do it, I saw him coming out of there.

"Eraser" is a home run.

[Buy from Sub Pop]


Aimee Mann - "Little Tornado" (removed at label's request)

Aimee Mann has spiritual chord progressions. She sings like a prayer probably sounds, like, a real one. I can't imagine what different people are "saying" when they pray, but I assume they're talking to someone. Either asking a favour of God, or speaking to a dead relative, or even talking to a pet that never understood them when it was alive. But praying to the weather is a great idea. It's like a manifestation of God's changing moods, isn't it, the way it colours the day, the way it meters out the calendar heartbeat of the world. Make it go faster. Make it go twice the speed.


Posted by Dan at 4:33 PM | Comments (4)

April 19, 2008

Blood Can't Stain Anything


Nana Grizol - "Tambourine-N-Thyme"

Forgive me for not writing yesterday, I was flying back over the Pacific. The trip back was 11 hours, whereas the trip there was 13. I imagine some great current that starts somewhere deep under Oceania, coming up from the bottom of the world, up through actual desert islands, small ones, up through mountainous countries and growing trees, past all sorts of people who will never meet each other, who hold fast to the ground and ignore the immense pull on them, up to under Siberia, across frozen parts, out and down into ice fields and rushing over different tagged animals and condemned forests, right over insecure borders and map names and little insect-sized roads and homes and right to my house. If I was blown here, if I couldn't be anywhere else, why am I so tired?

I saw Modest Mouse when I was in Japan, and while there were moments where I felt like I did when I was 18, carried screaming "perfect" into unknown realms of musical enjoyment, mostly I felt like this was a different band, one I didn't really recognize, but still really respect. But with Nana Grizol, I feel that same kind of original perception, of expression, is here. It's less concerned with getting fired or getting your jaw broken, but more concerned with ol' fashioned love, and if Modest Mouse hadn't been too angry to fall in love, they might have sounded something like this in 1998.

[Buy "Circles 'Round the Moon" from Amazon, but the album is out in May from Orange Twin]

Posted by Dan at 2:37 PM | Comments (5)

April 17, 2008


a little animal saying Hello World, C'mere!

Au - "RR vs. D". Lo! A parade! It's too hot for us to just stand on street-corners, too hot to just clink our bike helmets like beer-bottles. No we need something grander, something to capture the rat-a-tat beat-in-chest wonder of oh these days, oh these days!, yes we need a parade. I didn't build a float, I can't build a float, but I fell in ♥ with Au and a song that's part Steve Reich and part Dodos, that uses handclaps like they're currency, like they're ducats, like they could buy all the palaces in the world. I can never restrain my grammar at a parade. I can never put my clauses in the right order; I get too distracted by majorettes and marching bands and jugglers on stilts. I get too distracted by the foots on pavement and the parents waving their babies like flags, and the horns, the horns that bust out of the crowd like sneezes, and the thing that all parades are celebrating, every single one, from Christmas to Rose Bowl, is just the fact of the parade. Every parade is a parade in honour of itself, like a smile you just no oh oh oh no just you can't help. [i am indebted, as ever, to Chryde] [info/buy earlier album]

Enur ft. Natasja - "Calabria 2007". No biases here - we love the songs we love. I do not love the cymbals on "Calabria 2007" but I love most other parts, especially the unapologetic honks, the way these have snuck into an otherwise sultry song. It's like a chocolate cake on a table of svelte melon-slices. I'm just warning you - if you dance to this song you have to take off your shoes and your socks. [buy]


It's Record Store Day on Saturday - go to your local independent record shop where fun things might be a-happening. In Montreal a terrific free show is going down at eetle-beetle Phonopolis: Born Ruffians, The Luyas, and Adam & the Amethysts (much more on them later), free, 3pm-5:30pm.

Artists and crafties: submit to Montreal's Pomme Pomme art/craft fair.

Said the Gramophone has another new banner image, this one by English illustrator Ella Plevin. It's in the random mix but to have a direct look click here. If you are an artist and would like to submit a banner for consideration, you may always email us.

Gramophone friends: Maryam started a Facebook group. I'm too bashful to join but maybe you'd like to.

[photo source unknown]

Posted by Sean at 2:08 PM | Comments (3)

April 16, 2008


Dee Dee Sharp - "Nobody But You"

Designed to be liked and designed well, this perfect piece of pop is unsubtle in its charm. Swirling organ, crooning horns and that majestic, wordless chorus - why should I write it, when you can simply listen. Still, I would like to direct your attention to that Smokey Robinson-style lead guitar line, which might so easily be overlooked amidst its grander accompaniments, but which, in all of its modesty and sparsity, its warmth and its roundness, is the song's only manifestation of the vulnerability that must necessarily come with the determination that "I don't want nobody else but you."


Posted by Jordan at 7:32 PM | Comments (2)

April 15, 2008

Father to a Sister and Whatnot

Isalnds - "Kids Don't Know Shit"



Islands have made a hot album. Hot like it's been heated to a high temperature, its particles are vibrating very quickly. Hot like sometimes when I touch it I recoil, sometimes I nuzzle right up to it. Hot like it could melt stuff, hot like it is "of summer".

Nick Diamonds (Thorburn?) is trying as hard as Stephen Malkmus should be trying.



Pony Pants - "Haircutz"

I got this two Julys ago and I never told you about it. I was listening to it the other day, as I have every few weeks since then, and I realized I may have forgotten to share it. Pony Pants, and their album Til Death Do Us Party, are that kind of fake lazy sexy that makes me like CSS, Yelle, and to a lesser extent Cory Kennedy. It's like this kind of business bohemian that can just deal drugs and do drugs and go out every night and laugh at every thing and have sex with every thing and just go like that for 25 years. When it's probably managers and 9:30 meetings and album art arguments. Only the strong survive.


Posted by Dan at 6:01 AM | Comments (7)

April 14, 2008



[photo source/site]

Sun Kil Moon - "Heron Blue". This is a list of predators: vultures, panthers, elephant seals; wolves, jellyfish, asps; sharks, hornets, hawks; winters, springs, summers; doubts, clouds, years; no-signal, ice-cubes, knots; pinpricks, splinters, frays; mouths, and rows; and loss; and cold kitchen floors. [buy]

Nick Drake - "Place To Be". If you are in the habit of reading horticultural handbooks, you will know that some plants grow only in certain places. (Sometimes this fact is disclosed in botanical guides, too.) You're not going to grow a moontree in northern Ontario, nor a glimmer-bush in Papua New Guinea. Maple trees are for here, Quebec, and places nearby. Paprika is for Hungary, snow-roses for central Russia, and murmur-rushes grow only along the Mississippi. Human beings are different. If you are in the habit of reading anatomical handbooks, you will know that people grow almost everywhere. (Sometimes this fact is disclosed in anthropological dissertations, too) A person can be born in Bethlehem and dwell in Kansas City; she can get lost in Seville and grow old in Liverpool. People are hardy, they are adaptable. They are of every place, yes? Yes? I am asking because I am not sure, in the end. Nick Drake makes me wonder, a kiss makes me wonder. We bob and weave, we feint and journey and strive. We go everywhere, we ivy everywhere. & yet &y &y &y &y &y &y, well, what if? What if there is indeed a somewhere where we belong. A somewhere or a side-by-side. A gaze in which we truly flourish, a room in which we flower. Or a touch under which we, trembling, grow. [buy/really buy]

Posted by Sean at 2:52 PM | Comments (1)

April 11, 2008


Sister Suvi - "The Lot". I leave you with this, for the weekend. People say: okay, Montreal, played out. You've indie-rocked yrself dry, right? Running on fumes? And then we say a lot of things back. We throw fruit; we whip bagels and lob pierogies; we have snowballs and ice-cream cones. We take you the fuck out, you mess with us. I could name a lot of bands, some of the reasons why this city keeps catching me by the throat. But tonight I will name just one: Sister Suvi. You don't know them. Their debut album's not even recorded yet. Merrill's got the big bad wolf in her gut, blow you down.

Here's a song about a city, a city like the place you live - torn up, ripped out, scraped and bleeding and with such a thrill still in it. It's a fervour cooked in subway sparks, in arson, in the heat of kiss on kiss. Sister Suvi use ukelele, drum-sticks and three part-harmony; they use amplifiers and microphones and determination. The song is breathless, brilliant, and magnificently composed. They've listened to the Velvet Underground's "Sweet Jane", to Yeasayer, Akron/Family, Deerhoof, and Islands (with whom they share a member). And then they carried their turntable through the streets, raised on poles, to see if they could catch starlight in their records' grooves.

Now all they need to do is make an album like this.

[info - you can buy the Colour EP there but this is one of two songs from the upcoming debut LP, issued on a 5" CD called Mandala of Power]

Posted by Sean at 3:24 PM | Comments (9)

April 10, 2008

Light And Quiet

Tammar - "Weddle On"

From a hundred feet in the air, from twenty-five years way up in the air, comes gliding down Tammar, in a softly sloping spiral. Dressed in a peculiar kind of military uniform, eyes closed, wind unforgiving against such a young angry face. When it gets close enough, every detail begins to take shape, and it's now clear that this music is only about perspective and not about time. Only because it's close to you can you hear it, it never started, it doesn't end.

[Buy from Secretly Canadian]


double post today. read Jordan's below, too!

Posted by Dan at 4:25 AM | Comments (2)

Ions and Eons, the Ether et al.

Gregg Porter - "Good God to Gerty"

The internal monologue of a man who's let his life spiral out of control. As questions of mortality come to occupy his every waking thought, the quotidian recedes into the background. He lives in a pigsty, he hasn't seen his friends in months, his body is profoundly unclean, not to mention malodourous. "Why bother?" he asks. "This could be your last day." Fittingly, the narrator's thoughts are set to a music - stately country, replete with horns and strings - that moves at the languid pace of a funeral procession. [Out soon from Broken Sparrow.]


Randy Burns - "Girl from England"

Get over it: A man called Randy Burns made a pretty song. It's not so hard to believe, is it? Sure, the name evokes an embarrassing family friend who gets awkwardly drunk at lunchtime barbecues; but who's to say that, at home, alone, after a cold, possibly tearful shower and a cup of coffee, that guy doesn't get contemplative and write tender love songs to imaginary British girls. Who's to say that Randy Burns - with his white pants and batik shirts, his panama hats and American beers - who's to say that he's incapable of composing this patient finger-picking pattern, this golden lead guitar line - as casual and warm in its execution as Randy is, disconcertingly, with your mother. [Buy]

Posted by Jordan at 12:00 AM | Comments (4)

April 8, 2008

Only Enough For Ten Helpings

PDF Format - "God Only Knows 64"

PDF Format is Toronto artist David Dineen-Porter in one of his many disguises, manifestations, approximations. Though this one may be his most honest to date. As PDF Format, he is the conductor of a vast symphony of thousands of little glitchy bits: a hundred-and-fifty laser bursts, eight-hundred jumps, bomb bursts, one-ups, door opens, gun loads, enacting reflector shields, passing levels, losing hearts, and landing dying on spikes. If there were ever an instance of a band created to play one song, this could be a perfect instance for that (the most self-loathing-beautiful love song made from the most time-wasting-beautiful bits). If he didn't make a bunch of other great songs too.

PDF Format - "We Shall Eat Krill"

For the first EP, Fecal Alcohol Syndrome, and for the other few songs released after that, they were entirely video game-y, this is the first song where PDF Format has stepped beyond that, taken a chance on just playing this song how it should sound, and it's marvelous. It's like combining three songs; the verse song, the chorus song, and the bridge song. One with flashing eyes and dark strings attached, one with stompy pop boots and gold and honey sun, and one with eerie reggae and careless energy. This song is the sign of great things to come.

[the Facebook group (with songs)]

Posted by Dan at 3:55 AM | Comments (3)

April 7, 2008


Alletta walks

The Airwaves - "Gems". Diamonds, jades, sapphires, amethysts, rubies, ambers, opals, sunstones, garnets, pearls, topazes, agates, starlights, twilights, daylights, hands, necks, eyes, lips, touches, clinks, glints, glimmers, swerves, tremors, songs, sweats, sights, softs, laughs, hopes, wants, haves, and a lace of journeys that take me to one place, to one tonight, to you.

[buy ze limited edition EP from Catbird Records]

The Endless Bummer - "Ride On". Our dear friend Dave Barclay, of the Parka 3, the Diskettes, La Guerre des Tuques, Red Pony Clock, &c, the man who should one day chair the CBC, lover and songwriter, physicist and oceanographer, promoter and doter, has a new project called the Endless Bummer. It's jangle-shook pop, like always, hiding under the sheets or hiding in the berry-bushes. But its melodies are less ebullient than before, its hooks less hooked. The Bummer are wading in deeper waters, find more pleasure in singing together than in singing the catchiest catches. It's like an album about singing the other songs, a record about cheering the uncheered cheers. Finding new words to spell in keyboard, harmony, percussion and smile. And "Ride On" (first included as a Diskettes track on the Port City All Stars split tape) is about persisting, persisting, persisting, riding on & finding the thrill in it. "My U-lock will never be beat!" he calls. Take to the streets and go: the road doesn't ever end.

Do you live in Europe? The Endless Bummer are looking to book concerts, house-parties, beach-parties, fun-times, hang-outs, yays, especially in France and the UK. I can vouch for Mr Barclay. Write them!

[info / email to buy! / buy Diskettes]


ok so double-booked nights are double-booked nights and sunday night i had to hoof it from Divan Orange before Sandro Perri had even finished his set (and :( long before ye Luyas hit the mammothine stage), bbbbut wow-jeez Receivers played probably the best set i had ever heard, shooting for stars, and as a monk would say "holy f'n s" Throw Me The Statue outlived their name and with double-drummer goodtime almost Cars/Weezer pummel played their hearts out with wow-zoom, and if you live in the USA you should see them on tour this month. (tonight: cambridge, MA.) hiiiighly recommended.

oh and hey if you live in montreal you can vote for SAID THE GRAMOPHONE as "best mtl blog" on yr Mirror best-of-city ballot. then again, you can also vote for someone else.

[photo by Ryan O'Sullivan]

Posted by Sean at 1:11 AM | Comments (2)

April 4, 2008

Reams of the Un-Quotable

(photo from the incomparable mirrorworld)


The Whiskers - "Cogs"

"If all is not lost," he said, limply, to his cat, who had bad organs, that were shaped like church bells, ones ringing on the wedding day, of two sailors, one dressed as a woman, something everyone knew at the party, which was far too long, and too much filled with bad dancing, that was learned on the fly, and that paid no tribute to the long-haired band, who had already broken up, and was playing their last show, the first of which was in their high school, which was now abandoned, but secretly had a family living inside, that had immigrated from the south, where it was too hot to live, where people died in the thousands from the heat, which was creeping slowly up the continent, drying everything in its path, which looked like the way sun moves up a hardwood floor, in fuzzy patches of yellow warmth, which was just warm enough for an old cat to sit in, "then you and I will be okay."

The Whiskers - "Grownups"

His cat dead, his degree still 15 credits away 30 years later, his lunch sitting like a brick in his gut, his walls mostly empty white and stained, his kitchen filthy, cracked, wretched, his whole damn tired life a tidy dusty mess, he rips apart his room to find, unsurprised, a little piece of pure sunlight, a piece you can touch. Something no one else has.
[Video (great)]

[Buy for 10$] ...The Whiskers have made an album of grey gorgeous leaves and giant wood panels, slowly spinning and fanning. Of pulses and dreams and night swims, and horrible terrible tangible imagery. You can dance yourself to death, you can duck the giant swinging boom, or you can fall asleep to the sounds of someone crooning their heart inside out. It's a beautiful thing...

Posted by Dan at 11:35 AM | Comments (6)

April 3, 2008


a bridesmaid

Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks - "the mic checking song/godzilla (live on Fair Game)". "You're a natural, kid. I mean it. You could sell ice to Eskimos. You could sell floodwater to New Orleanians. I'm not joking. I'm not exaggerating. You got it. You got it. You could sing the phonebook and they'd clap along. It's in the swagger of your vowels, the lope of your tongue. Something magic in the syllables you select and the way they roll outta your mouth. It's like hearing a ball through a basketball hoop, a shirt getting pulled up over a girl's head. You tell a stupid story and it sounds like a parable, you knock-knock-joke and we laugh & laugh. It's like you're the rock'n'roll son of fuckin' god. Walk on water - go on. And I damn well promise I'd follow."

[via fluxtumblr, natch]

Drew Danburry - "Lynette I Love You". Let's say you're in the habit of writing love-songs. You're a musician and this is the sort of thing you do. After a decade of this, of love-songs and break-up songs, good choices and bad, flush faces and broken hearts, verses and choruses and bridges and yes water under bridges, - well you meet someone different. You meet the flamingest flame you've ever known, the hottest heart. You meet a someone that feels like she might be, well, you know. And you've known her for days, weeks, months, and you know you ought to write a song about it but man you need to get it right. You need the song to be as perfect as yr feelings, to say it all just as sweet. To write a lesser song about this love, this one, would somehow diminish what you have. Imagine if the song of a previous love were a better song than the song about yr greatest love! What would that mean? It would mean something terrifying, maybe.

Well Drew Danburry pulled it off.

[Drew Danburry is touring like crazy across the USA. / buy things]

[photo source]

Posted by Sean at 10:13 AM | Comments (6)

April 2, 2008

A Townes Van Zandt Cover

Willie Nelson - "Marie"

Not being an idiot or insane, I do realize that leather can't sing. That's obvious. It's like how a future collaboration between the dead John Steinbeck and the dead John Fante is an impossibility. The likelihood of one is the same as the other, which is to say: zero. Still, I can't help but feel that this version of "Marie" sounds more or less exactly like leather singing the words of Johns Steinbeck, Fante. A narrator not unlike Fante's Arturo Bandini - impoverished, self-destructive, immature, an artist of sorts - sings of hope and survival (or not) in the unadorned language of Steinbeck, in a voice soft and cracked like an old tanned hide.


Posted by Jordan at 11:36 PM | Comments (2)

April 1, 2008


[Click here to see what this entry looked like on April 1, 2008.]

Hi. Welcome to the new and improved Said the Gramophone. If you're reading this in an RSS reader I recommend you come visit the site to see some of the small and to be honest pretty obvious changes that we've made. Give the day and age, it's not really going to surprise anyone. Thank you to the donors who have made the site possible thus far.

Fleet Foxes - "White Winter Hymnal". I read someone's description of the Fleet Foxes, calling them "Grizzly Bear crossed with the Shins", and this seems to me very apt. I don't like the Shins very much but of course I am very fond of Grizzly Bear, so all that this really means is that on the Fleet Foxes' best songs there's an unabashed warmth, not a heat but a warmth, a keep-cosy ski-lodge thing, the taste of mulled wine in your throat. And "White Winter Hymnal" is a beautiful sleigh-ride of a song, a mulberry jingle-bell snowflake of a song, a carol for first things. Like: "First things first, get out of bed." "First things first, put on your boots." "First things first, go on to work, go on, go on." The thing about first things, the thing that makes them okay, is that they lead to second things, and to third. And that ahead of every footstep there might be someone waiting.


My second column for the National Post appears today. I write about Hologram, Mixylodian, the Dodos, Port O'Brien, Phosphorescent, and that funny Ivan Ives/Arcade Fire track. From now on I think it's the first Tuesday of every month.

Vincent Moon shot a Takeaway Show with REM. Just as they describe, the magic moment is the laughter at the end of "Living Well".

Seven-year-old Alice has written a song for Brenda Martin, a Canadian woman who has been held in Mexican jail for the past two years.

Posted by Sean at 12:59 AM | Comments (30)