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.

July 31, 2008


placing lions

Human Highway - "My Beach". [Removed at label request.] Human Highway is a project by Nick Thorburn (Islands/The Unicorns) and Jim Guthrie, an Ontario songwriter we've been following for years. It's coming out now because it's summertime; this is the time of year that things ripen. Moody Motorcycle is like a plum. It's purple. It is easily bruised. No seriously it's like a plum. I'm not sure why. And "My Beach" is a love-song with a plum's colour, darker than rosy, blushed and burned. Something you'll carry all day if you have to, so you can give it to the right person. "Here's a plum," you'll say. "It's for you." Yup. "Here's 'My Beach,'" you'll say. "I saved it for you."

[order now, ahead of August 19!]

The Morning Benders - "Why Don't They Let Us Fall In Love?". A Ronettes cover redrawn in magic marker, dance-steps chalked onto the floor. Take your sweetie by the hand, lead her to the living-room, and with two sets of headphones (pro-tip) - listen to this song. Side by side, cheek to cheek, slow-dancing 'til your parents come home. "Why don't they let us fall in love?", the Morning Benders ask, and they really want to know the answer. Love's great, it's fantastic, it's good. (And here's the other thing: it's too late.)

[download the entirety of the Morning Benders' covers album (including the Cardigans' "Love Fool" and Fleetwood Mac's "Dreams"!) here]


I'm going to be starting a new music column somewhere, something I'm deeply excited about, but it needs a title. Does anyone out there have ideas? The title should be relatively self-explanatory, not something cute/obscure. In other words - "Said the Gramophone" would be bad, "Dispatches on Music from a Writer in Montreal" would be good (but way too ungainly). I'd like it to suggest music, Montreal, and the fact that it's dispatches/thoughts/meditations/comments, not reviews or song writeups. You can leave any suggestions as comments, or email me. (Thank you!)

[photo source]

Posted by Sean at 11:19 AM | Comments (16)

July 30, 2008

The Glum

The Sha-Weez - "Feeling Sad"
The Sha-Weez - "No One To Love Me"

Considering only the above subset of the The Sha-Weez's modest oeuvre, one is posed with a first-class chicken and egg problem: Does feeling sad lead to being unloved or vice versa? Perhaps the two are causally unrelated, but then again, probably not. Listen to this dude, the verisimilitude of his suffering; his sadness is alienating, his loneliness won't leave him alone. The Sha-Weez's subject is misery and with miserable voices they plumb the depths of their theme, reflecting, creating and embodying heavy-heartedness in a despondent doo-wop fit for faulty times such as theirs and these.


Posted by Jordan at 6:22 PM | Comments (3)

July 29, 2008

We Go

The Bodies Obtained - "Hear & Believe"

This sounds like an overture for some kind of future king. Like a mixture between professional wrestler and monarch. Pyrotechnics, make-up, lycra costume, big pointy shoulder pads and plastic crown, but very real rule. A sizable portion of taxes go into the garish matches between him and various subjects. Attendance is mandatory, like jury duty, if such a thing existed in this kingdom. He goes by the name Night Nero, and he likes to think of himself as a "bad guy". Eating animal organs on stage, this kind of thing. He uses the wrestling matches to allegorize current goings-on politically inside the kingdom and out. The problem is, he often spends more time working on the performance than on the actual politics, so he'll often have to overuse his army (who are dressed in simpler, drone-like versions of his costume, without crowns of course, and are called "the NeoFights") to clean up situations that could have been negotiated had he not been practicing his choke slam. But when you hear this music, you better shut up and watch the show.

[this isn't available until November, but 2 other tracks via RCRD LBL]


Also, Fiery Furnaces Survey:

I'm working on an article right now and I need your help. I'm putting together a semi-fictional market research document for a magazine, and I need to do some actual polling, so I've prepared a survey that I would like to give to you readers. It'd take about 10 minutes of your time, and it would involve listening to a song I would send you. If you want to help me out, just send me an email with "FIERY FURNACES SURVEY" as the subject line. You don't have to like the band to participate. I need like 100 people for this so don't be shy. Thank you!

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

July 28, 2008


Firemen rescuing instruments

Pony Up - "A Crutch or a Cradle (unmastered)". Okay imagine you were given a magic compass - not a Golden Compass, but a magic one all the same. And you have this in your hands, ticking and whirring and silverly enchanted, and it's leading you to somewhere. You're on your way! Oh man, you're finally on your way to that somewhere! And then one morning you take out your keys to unlock your bicycle and you realise you lost your magic compass, you left it somewhere or it fell out of your pocket or god know's what. And you feel awful - lost and haggard and disappointed and doomed. And you are full, full of longing. And you realise that you're longing not just for the somewhere you never made it to, but for the compass itself. The thing that told you yes you're going the right way.

This is new music by Pony Up, from Montreal. I hear the Delgados, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and even a little of the Evens. I hear girls who swallow their pomegranate seeds.

[MySpace / older album / see Pony Up on the quebecois in-your-livingroom show Dans ton salon]

Carla Bruni - "Quelqu'un m'a dit". The French newspaper Le Monde is actually scandalised that we have not yet written about Carla Bruni. We apologise. No one from Carla Bruni's label got in touch with us. Nor did anyone from the French president's office telephone us. And believe me, we were waiting. Dan, Jordan and I spent the past five weeks camped out in the Gaspé, in a little cottage made of honey-coloured wood. We sipped summer wines, ate proscuitto-wrapped dates, practised lighting candles - and waited for Sarkozy's call. We slept in a triangle, heads-to-toes, always with our Sony Ericsson phone in the middle. The ringer was (is) set to 7, and also to vibrate. When we played Monopoly we kept the phone on top of Community Chest. We went skinnydipping, sure, but only one at a time. We listened to this one old Carla Bruni song, "Quelqu'un m'a dit," whose maudlin excesses are tempered by - well, - our occasional appetite for maudlin excess. Dan dressed up like a 30s gangster, Jordan like a femme fatale, and I put on my gingery fruit salad costume; we thought these outfits matched the song, that now for sure Bruni's husband would give us a ring. But no dice. We watched the bluejays, watched waves, wondered if cottages can have anthems, like countries do. [buy]


Sappyfest Contest

Our Sappyfest contest is now over. What beautiful and sappy stories you shared! I wish I could give prizes to everyone. The winners are Nick and Tessa, and I've sent you emails. Even in an absence of prizes, I hope everyone who can make it to Sackville, NB next weekend does so - I think it'll be one of the best times anywhere in the world, this summer.

[image is of amazing fire-fighters rescuing musical instruments from a fire in Montreal a few weeks ago]

Posted by Sean at 1:22 AM | Comments (5)

July 25, 2008

The Answer is "Tenure", the Question is Moot.


The Walkmen - "On the Water"

On the water, written in invisible lines, invisible for now, are secret water countries. Ocean, river, and nation lakes that are far older than our mere land states. Immense wars, vast campaigns of espionage and intrigue, gruesome battles, even interminable grudges and millennial stalemates. The countries are not stratified along lines of species, that's a classic human mistake, most ocean states (like Br'fellia, Nochvaleee Kingdom, and The Huv) will have many whales in their fleet, but also hundreds of thousands of jellyfish, a few dozen sting rays, and carp carp carp. We're talking about tens of thousands of years of rivalry, trading, invasion, occupation, devastation, deliberation, slavery, loss, love, hope. A young couple, dolphin lovers, separated like a million others, her to fight and him to light the porch light every night. But soon, the war will come home to him, come crashing and squeezing in from the Roof, rushing up from the Bottom, and he'll either escape or he won't. It's really none of your concern; it never was. [Pre-order]

Phil and the Osophers - "High Art"

Biggest hurdle to me even posting this at all: the band name.
Biggest reason it jumped that hurdle: "for braggin' rights, awoo-oo."

Posted by Dan at 1:31 AM | Comments (1)

July 24, 2008

Shoot the Rehearsal


Casey Dienel - "Asleep at the Wheel"

I have a lifetime achievement award from the life I spent in the world that lives in the foam on the edge of my beer glass. The ground was a white, hilly landscape, but mostly it was similar to this world, though it had the distinct characteristic of elapsing its entire history in the time it took for me to sip it into oblivion. I worked for a string of non-profits, jumped into them right after college, and lived with my girlfriend in the attic of a church that was out of the way but still bikeable. I started an online publication that featured underprivileged writers and contributors voicing their creativity and opinions in a forum that was viewed by millions. I helped raise a couple of near-extinct variety of bluebird, which was just a favour for a friend, but turned into national news. I had two heavenly blessings, and they grew up right under my nose into two of the greatest people I've met in my life. When the kids were growing up, there was always a cat or two in the house, but after they left, I never felt the need. Never married, took up guitar at 45, and started a chain of franchises; youth drop-in centers where the kids make and sell cookies and pizza. I got the award from the community when I turned 66, on my birthday actually, and I promised them all I'd repay them for the honour. So I left a stipulation in my will that my leftover earnings be divided up equally among the current population of the city. Everybody got just over a dollar when I died.
[From the DECA compilation from HUSH records. it's FREE]

Abe Vigoda - "Animal Ghosts"

I was in a grocery store once with Sean, we were getting juice or something, and there was meat being delivered. They were wheeling in the carcasses in spare carts. But they came in all at once and swarmed around us and suddenly stopped. In the span of a minute I went from standing in a regular grocery store, to being surrounded by 40 shaved calves stacked in shopping carts with their legs tied and their feet sawed off. I realised quickly this is how certain people view any meat section, that this WAS a regular grocery store for some people, a complete horror show, and all I could think was: "animal ghosts". I love my life.

[Buy Skeleton]

Posted by Dan at 2:57 AM | Comments (5)

July 22, 2008


in ireland

Karl Blau - "Before Telling Dragons". Karl Blau's Nature's Got Away is a weird album, with teeth and feathers and amplifiers. Bits of Harry Nilsson, the Zombies, Spoon, Smog. "Before Telling Dragons" is a forest anthem, recorded in a basement. Girl-group drums buried six feet under. A conversation with an electric guitar, all blurry blues and bird-coos. It's words of wisdom from a man who has eaten seventeen wild, unidentified red berries.

Karl Blau - "2 Becomes 1". This isn't a Spice Girls song. The Spice Girls never sang a line like "All the hardships / sail away". But this ballad, beautiful, organ-lit, distortion-warmed, is nevertheless a song for cinnamon girls, lavender girls, rosemary girls, wise girls and sage girls, lovers and fighters, girlfriends and wives, friends and friends, (and friends, my friends,) and long days that fade into night, and long nights that fade into day. And if you keep staring at a star, keep staring and don't look down, then you'll not lose that star even as the sun comes up and the noon comes hot and the sky's all bright. You'll still be able to see that star hidden in the high.

[stream the whole great album / out in September]

[photo by p boushel]

Posted by Sean at 11:01 AM | Comments (2)

July 21, 2008



My People Sleeping - "Seahorse". It shouldn't happen, not knowing. Not knowing if something is perfect, right, good, rising; or if it's flawed, wrong, rotten, collapsing. You should be able to tell. Like you can tell if a jar is empty or full... like you can tell if a lamp is off or if it's on. But I remember (and My People Sleeping remember, I think), that there were times when I couldn't tell. When I didn't know. When I was squinting at the fucking stars and trying to figure out if I recognised them. If I knew what I was doing or who I was standing beside.

[My People Sleeping's debut EP is certain, deft, weird and truly wonderful. (It is also Montréalaise.) Listen to more songs at their MySpace and write them for a copy, do.]

Al Green - "Unchained Melody". (It's because you know this song, "Unchained Melody". The song would not be so good if you did not know the song. But you do know the song and so, so, and so, and so, so, so, so, so. In its opening bars, the song becomes its own promise: yes, it will be thus, this is what it is, what you hope & know it is. And when the chorus arrives, when it gently soars, when at last we feel "your... touch", I'm ready to spend my life with this song. I'm ready to commit myself utterly. It's a song that is everything it promises to be; a true love that's as true as the truest flickering hidden shown hot part of itself oh true.)



In the previous year, nearly twenty defendants in other Baltimore cases had begun adopting what lawyers in the federal courthouse came to call "the flesh-and-blood defense." The defense, such as it is, boils down to this: As officers of the court, all defense lawyers are really on the government's side, having sworn an oath to uphold a vast, century-old conspiracy ... The defendants also believed that a legal distinction could be drawn between their name as written on their indictment and their true identity as a "flesh and blood man." Judge Davis and his law clerk pored over the case files, which led them to a series of strange Web sites. ... Although Mitchell and his peers didn't know it, they were inheriting the intellectual legacy of white supremacists who believe that America was irrevocably broken when the 14th Amendment provided equal rights to former slaves.

Our Sappyfest Contest is still on.

[photo source]

Posted by Sean at 1:09 AM | Comments (5)

July 18, 2008


Amy Winehouse

Mount Eerie with Julie Doiron and Fred Squire - "Flaming Home". When Mount Eerie played this song at Casa del Popolo last month, the full room felt suddenly like an empty house. It felt terrifyingly empty. Later that night, P asked me how the show had been. "It was great," I said. And then I said, "But Phil Elverum - he seems very unhappy." Phil Elverum is Mount Eerie. For his upcoming album he has recorded with Julie Doiron and her partner Fred Squire. Even though there are two more voices, now, singing this song, the room feels even emptier. You thought you knew me. (Emptiness prevails.) I thought our full house was glowing. (Emptiness in the house.) All I know is that at Casa, Phil sang more than one song about an empty home. About a home raked by fire or wind. All I know is that his new songs were all sad. All I know is that his wife, Genevieve Castrée (aka Woelv), who is from Quebec, was not with him that night. All I know are these small things, and I am not enough of a gossip to make explicit my suspicions. But what I can say is that for Lost Wisdom, Mount Eerie has enlisted one of the saddest voices in song. And as Phil duets with Julie, "Flaming Home" feels like a flower that has lost all its petals, a lantern that has lost all its light, a love-song that has lost all its darlings. It feels like a touch that has lost all its touchness. It's a beautiful, terrible work. [Lost Wisdom is out on October 7]

Julie Doiron - "Tell You Again". One of the saddest voices in song, singing a love-song (and not singing it sadly). "Tell You Again" is blankets and sheets, frost and sunrise, lips and eyelashes, lamps and shadows, fingertips fingertips fingertips and the palm of your hand. [buy Loneliest in the Morning]


Wrapping Paper have released a new EP and have resolved to record a custom song for absolutely everyone who buys the EP. In a cheap bit of bribery, they recorded a song about Said the Gramophone. Although it is mostly just what is written on our page over there ------>, it is charming. And so: go and support such enterprising musicians. Two years ago I wrote about the EP's terrific title track.

Amy Z started making a video for our Wonderful Video Contest, but she did not finish in time. Stop-motion stuffed giraffes are more time-consuming than they look. However and hooray, her video is now complete - (months late,) - and it is as sweet as vanilla ice-cream. It is for Christine Fellows's superlative song, "What Makes the Cherry Red", and you can view it here. Thanks, Amy.

SappyFest Contest!

SappyFest is a wonderful, marvellous, terrific, gutsy, friendly, frisky festival that takes place in Sackville, New Brunswick, August 1-3. Man I would love to go. But I can't. Maybe you can! I hope so! We are giving away two yes TWO passes to the festival! If you live anywhere within reach of Sackville you should rent a car or drive your car or fly a plane or ride a yak and just get over there. An entire town taken over by kind musicians and great art and good times. It would be probably the best weekend roadtrip in the history of fun. With performances by Eric's Trip, Julie Doiron, Sandro Perri, the Luyas, Miracle Fortress, Adam & the Amethysts, Chad Van Gaalen, Christine Fellows, Eric Chenaux, Baby Eagle, The Acorn, Jim Bryson, Laura Barrett, Snailhouse, and a million more of the bestest groups around.

Want to win one of our passes? I bet you do! Taking a page from Dan's recent Women contest, all you need to do is leave a comment on this entry, describing the sappiest thing ever. It can be true or fiction. I will pick my favourites um on Thursday, July 24. Go!

(You can also leave a comment on this entry just to say what you thought of the entry. That's always okay.)

[Photo is of a six-year-old Amy Winehouse]

Posted by Sean at 12:40 AM | Comments (13)

July 17, 2008

Notes On a Candle, or: "I Just Got That!"

Wings - "Tomorrow"

I don't always want to write. Neither do you, I'm sure. Sometimes you'd just rather not do some of the things you like to do, I know that. I'm sure McCartney doesn't always want to be fucking catchy as hell. But this song makes me want to write. It makes me want to write about giving all my stuff away, and about a thousand different people and things. A fire chief eating a breakfast of only toast and butter to watch his weight. An old frog, like a bullfrog, who keeps going to the same lily pad every day because he saw another frog he liked there one day and doesn't know what else to do. A bubble, an actual bubble, that covers "Tomorrow" by Wings. The bubble is wearing a lush purple velvet robe, like a king would wear or the bubble version of James Brown. I don't think any of these things, be they stories or poems or scripts or outlines, thought webs, would be any good, but it makes me want to, and that, Mr. Rainbow*, is enough for me. [Buy]
*Mr. Rainbow is my name for "readers" while "Tomorrow" is playing.

Eddy Current Suppression Ring - "Colour Television"

If I've left some door open, a crack in a window, or if I've not repaired some pipes, then forgive me, but this is an infestation, a take-over. It's come up from the floor somehow, like rising water, or bugs even. It's covered me, it's under my skin, swirling up inside my head. Plus it sounds like The Headstones so, you know, muscle memory and all that. [comes out in september]

Posted by Dan at 2:21 AM | Comments (1)

July 15, 2008


Wedding during Chinese earthquake

Hurray for the Riff Raff - "Bricks". This band is from New Orleans. And it must be frustrating for Hurray for the Riff Raff, the hook for every review being about the place they call home. But it matters. This is a sweet song, yes, but it is about doom. Look at some of these lyrics: "Well, we stand tall / together like towers. / Well, together like towers / we fall / we fall / we fall." New Orleans knows something about collapses. It knows something about how love & life are not enough to prevent catastrophe. Alynda Lee and her junkyard folk band play a tragic love-song, a doomed one, but they've learned enough about dawns (about recoveries, resurrections, life-goes-ons'es) to set it in a major key.

[MySpace / they seek Europeans to play for]

Nat Baldwin - "Lake Erie". Redraw the maps! Get out the old maps and get out your charcoal pencils and have at it. Lake Superior - gone! Lake Huron - gone! Lakes Ontario and Michigan - gone! And Lake Erie - oh don't get me started on Lake Erie. Lake Erie's where you left me, baby. I am scribbling over that lake 'til the charcoal's gone, 'til my hands are black. Then I'm grabbing my double bass and scribbling some more, scribbling with sound, filling the air with inky deep notes - whole clouds, thunder-clouds or smoke-clouds. And when you come running out of your home, eyes tearing, cough-coughing, I'll be on your front lawn and I still won't have dried off from the moment I drowned.

At the moment my favourite albums of 2008 are by Adam & the Amethysts, The Low Lows, Shearwater, ((Sounder)), Sun Kil Moon, White Hinterland, Vampire Weekend, and, yes, mister Nat Baldwin. Buy this record. (Jordan, previously on StG.)


Mike from Nothing But Green Lights did a terrific MP3 sampler for The Morning News.

Did you guys hear that killer of a Tune-Yards song yesterday? Moly holy.

Kit Malo and I are going to be doing a presentation in Montreal this Wednesday as part of the Greasy Goose Salon. I will be telling truths and lies about moths, Swedes, eels, and particle accelerators, among other things. Kit will be accompanying me with pictures. You should come.

[photo source]

Posted by Sean at 12:49 AM | Comments (3)

July 14, 2008

The Very Tips of Fidelity

The Horrors - "Cold Blooded"

The blues are not enough. God is not enough. Hot kisses are not enough. Hot coffee is not enough. Giving back is not enough. Tipping is not enough. Being lazy for a day is not enough. Going crazy, not enough. Being cool is not enough. Love is not enough, which is hilarious. Vegetables, singing, smoking, sex, I.Q., training, risk, it's not enough. Belly-aching is not enough. Having money is not enough. Having no money is not any better. Grace is not enough. Only this. Only this. [Buy]

Tune-Yards - "Fiya"

I've let loose all my pets, let my plants return to the wild, turned all my clothes into cut-offs. I moved apartments without telling anyone, without making a sound. I've changed cities, left my family in the night, started eating better. I pretend to speak Italian now, I live in paintings, I piss golddust. I take pictures of everything, I collect unfinished sentences, I grow actors in my garden out back, I even hug bums. I'm completely unbearable, insufferable, wrong. But this song still breaks my heart. This song is full of death-row redemption and rose-coloured break-ups.

[It says you can Buy by donation at the site, but there's no link so send an email to tuneyards @ The album is really great]

Posted by Dan at 2:23 AM | Comments (5)

July 11, 2008

Priority on Your Attention

Diamonds - "Seasons"

I might have Reverse Seasonal Affective Disorder. Or I might not get along with heat waves.

Everything romantic happens in the Fall. Nothing romantic, and I mean romantic, happens any other time.

My car won't start. That is because God is fed the fuck up.

Self-righteousness is the breakfast food I am addicted to. Every morning, without fail, even sometimes at night.

Hail lines up in an eaves trough single file. I put a bucket at the spout and shoot balls at the neighbour's, taking my one chance a year.

I listened to this song, and my behaviour really changed. I think the guitar was like stomping my grumpy side to death.

I give up coffee.

[I just followed Sean's advice and downloaded this amazing record. Yes, he still knows cool well before I do.]


Fiery Furnaces - "Teach Me Sweetheart / Evergreen / Bitter Tea (Reprise)"

I was highly sceptical of Remember when I first heard it. But, just like it always happens with them, I gave it a full listen, and I was able to find my own favourites, as if they were waiting for me. This is the last three tracks on disc 1, and a better representation of a great live FF show I haven't heard. It's huge, it's perfect, it's completely functional. Like a jumbo jet covered in long brown mammoth fur. Woah, that flies? Yes, we'll be flying in it today. Awesome. [pre-order]

Posted by Dan at 1:46 PM | Comments (0)

July 10, 2008


An empty elephant

Sun in Sound - "Up North". Jordan and his writing partner Joel once made a project called America, where Joel told a long, winding tale about men, pipes, and things I don't remember. (I wasn't there. I saw the film. It was a long time ago.) While Joel talked, Jordan brought him out plate after plate of delicious, rich food. They ate the food with gusto - plate after plate, beef and chicken and cherries and spices. They also drank whole bottles of wine. By the end of the story, both were close to vomiting. America was in its way a comment on something - but it was also simply very funny. "Up North" reminds me of this. Sun in Sound's Norwegian singer, who idolises Roy Orbison, sings in a way that seems at the verge of illness. Heartbreak, maybe, but I think seasickness more likely. The song is beautiful, but the whole track seems vaguely seasick, brine swimming in the mix beneath all those cherries & spices, the longing saw & the festive organ. "Up North" skirts the edge of brilliance by also skirting the edge of too much-ness. It'll either make you feel nauseous, or utterly smitten. [MySpace]



Danny Zabbal, our friend (and the designer of one of Gramophone's headers), has relaunched his website and also announced the debut of a weekly webcomic. We are delighted. (We also strongly recommend that you scroll down to discover Insomnia Man.)

Lit Pop is a terrific new literary competition launched by Matrix Magazine and the Pop Montreal festival. Emerging Canadian writers can submit poetry and short fiction for the chance to win publication and a trip to Montreal for the festival (including airfare, accommodation, spending money and a VIP pass). It's a great prize and a great opportunity, especially for people who have struggled a bit with the country's sometimes-stodgy lit scene. Hope some of you will enter. (Deadline is July 15)

Montrealers - besides this weekend's shows, I would invite you to explore and participate in the Montreal 60 Minute Film Festival, an event I'm helping to coordinate here. 60 second films by 60 filmmakers, of every level of expertise. It's going to be wonderful.

[photo source unknown]

Posted by Sean at 11:15 AM | Comments (5)

July 9, 2008

Hot Night, White Suits

Guitar Slim - "The Things That I Used to Do"

Guitar plays guitar modestly for a man named Guitar. Aimless in life, he solos aimlessly; with hollow heart, his song’s centre is empty. Between Guitar’s guitar and the piano piano that underlies it – not to mention those lethargic horns – there’s a lacuna a mile wide and rather deep, too – a sonic space that swallows hope but not beauty. Guitar may now realize that his girl was never his, but his tenorless guitar solo has the tenor of hapless, heartbroken genius.


Posted by Jordan at 10:56 PM | Comments (1)

July 8, 2008

Sun Wounds

Night Shall Eat These Girls and Boys - "Where Did Our Love Go?"

This is a version of the song as performed when lost at sea. When slowly spinning in circles in a round little dinghy, with candles for atmosphere, and the supper of distilled salt water and dried seaweed having been joyously consumed. And when I say "joyously", please understand that it's all relative, this is as joyous, as raucous, as it gets for these men. But when the wind stops and the motion settles briefly, they keep on singing. An intention, a hallucination, being all they can claim as their own in this strange boiling air.
Luckily, they were being recorded by WCBN and were rescued instantly. They haven't spoken since. The band is still together, though. [Site]

The Dutchess and the Duke - "Mary"

I think this may be a misspelling of "duchess", unless this is a way of saying "a Dutch woman", and The Dutchess is indeed Dutch, in which case let's just listen to the song. A very certain period Jagger comes to mind, but in the same way hope comes to mind when you reach in the back seat and find a bagel. You eat the bagel and you feel nourished. It's delicious and keeps your mind on the road, and off the past. The nefarious, ungainly, mongrel, truant, restive, hideous past. [Buy]

Posted by Dan at 1:06 AM | Comments (3)

July 7, 2008



The Essex Green - "Don't Know Why (You Stay)".Cars drink gasoline. Old men drink gin. Turntables drink electricity. Young men drink beer. Trees drink sunlight, drink rain. We drink songs. We drink like fishes. (Fishes drink saltwater.) On a hot day I'll drink a hundred songs. On a lonely day I'll drink myself sick. And the thing with songs, the thing that makes them better than booze, hooch, moonshine, is that you can drink the same song a hundred times & get just as drunk with every listen. You can listen to the same song a thousand times and on every instance lose yourself, talk to the girl, get a tattoo, dance on the table, admit you're sad, find you're glad, black out, get married to the road. You can find a song like "Don't Know Why", go on a three-day bender, and emerge from the other side no worse for wear: with guitar and organ and drums gone metronome in yr heart, Essex Green's voices as persistent as your pulse. (Thanks oh thanks, Toby.) [buy]

Bonnie "Prince" Billy - "I'll Be Glad". I think maybe this is what it's like to believe in God. You sing a beautiful song, sing it in your own crooked way, leave room for other peoples' pauses and backing vocals and organ solos. And then if you're lucky, before the end, a beautiful and unexpected chorus appears - at least one holy moment that is utterly undeniable, as clear & certain as the voices that appear here at 2:17. [buy]


Montrealers - three things:

  • Adam & the Amethysts and Tune-Yards are launching their new CDs together at Casa on Saturday. I will be there with bells on, maybe literally.
  • This weekend is the Pomme-Pomme Craft Fair, what will be a marvellous, heavily curated shindig at La Sala Rossa, organised by folks from Woodenapples and comic-bookers Drawn & Quarterly. Don't miss it - and there's also a recommended Pomme-Pomme closing concert on Sunday, with Shapes & Sizes, Brave Radar and Elfin Saddle. A quiet & forceful way to end yr weekend!
  • Finally, it has come to my attention that Bilboquet ice-cream is celebrating its 25th birthday this weekend. From 2pm-4pm, Saturday and Sunday, there are free tastings. And all weekend a "généreux" is the price of a "raisonnable". I felt it was my duty to pass these wonders on to any of my fellow ice-cream eaters. (There must be at least a few of you out there.)

Posted by Sean at 12:23 PM | Comments (6)

July 4, 2008

Grown in Stars, Raised in Sky

Bodies of Water - "Even in a Cave" [09/07 - mp3 removed at label request]

Like shaking out that mysterious rattle from an old VHS, and out come coins, dirt, shrapnel, little notes tied to rocks. They say things like "old enough!" and "hard fuck!" and "noise". That's what the first half of this song is like.

Even in a cave,

Like holding your finger in a candle flame, or running down the middle of a usually busy street, or staring at a strange dog. That's what the second half of this song is like.

Bodies of Water - "Gold, Tan, Peach, and Grey" [09/07 - mp3 removed at label request]

This is the Bodies of Water I remember. But when I think back on them, they have a grand ensemble majesty. All wearing the same robes so I couldn't tell them apart. Now I hear the work of individuals, I hear a maturing kind of part-work. This male lead at the beginning is thin, wooden, and very lovely, like a reed. Then later, it has that incredible wailing, you know the one I'm talking about. After it's gone high enough, she starts shouting the colours and I can see them right there. I kind of listen to this music the same way I listen to really evocative opera. It's a very specific kind of enjoyment, but it's no less real, there is no less beauty.

[Buy A Certain Feeling, it says "signed upfront copies"]

Posted by Dan at 1:56 AM | Comments (2)

July 3, 2008


dead whale

Forest Fire - "Slow Motion".

Dear Sofia,

I think we can make this work. I've had dreams of knocking on your door. When I'm awake now I still hear the knocking. I hear the knocking everywhere. I went to your house and I stood on the front walk and I thought about knocking. I almost knocked. But the knocking is so loud in my mind, bang and bang and bang, that I decided that was enough. I let my head's, my heart's, my dreams' knocking be enough. Did you hear me out there? I walked away down the street to the diner. I'm sitting here now, iced tea. Writing you this letter. Sofia, I think we can make this work. We just need to go slow. Don't worry about the knocking - I don't mean anything by it. We'll go slow. Snail-slow. Tar-slow. As I'm writing to you I keep getting flashes of other things, of visions. The visions aren't of you they're of your house. I'm tearing up flowers and throwing them at your door. I'm tearing up clouds and leaving bits of lightning all over your lawn. I've just knocked my iced tea onto the floor. I just want to yell. Sofia, I think we can make this work. There are whole gardens in my chest, whole storms. There's noise and fury and knocking. You're my sweetheart and I want to literally burn bridges with you. Together we'll burn bridges. Literally. We'll light the fuses and watch them burn. We'll kiss in smoke. We'll take it slow, Sofia. Write me back. To the diner I guess.


v. l.

PS: Here is a secret: One night you turned to me in bed - you were still asleep, - and you said "I have nevers in my mouth." But it sounded like bullshit.

[buy. This album is $5. You can also buy it from iTunes, eMusic, Amazon MP3, Napster, Rhapsody, Lala or Amie St. You can also download it for free, at that link, in the form of 320 kbps MP3s. You can also stream or download it from iLike, Facebook, Last.FM, iMeem, Muxtape, Myspace, VIRB, Bebo or Fuzz. All of the links are at that link above. I suggest you listen to it and then buy it for $5 because it is really good.]

[photo source]

Posted by Sean at 10:31 AM | Comments (9)

July 1, 2008

I'm Not Going to Stay for Canada Day

Loxsly - "Virgin Isles"

A continuous loop. Though something is different every time. Like a crank slowly spins a word into place one at a time, they thunk into place and each one, with each one that comes up you keep thinking it's trying to make a sentence, like if you watch long enough, all these words will make sense, like it's all got some reason or design behind it, but it never does. Or rather, I've waited, and I can tell you, in fact I'm telling you, that it's never going to make sense, it's never going to make a thread it's like "great (ka-chunk) many (ka-chunk) people (ka-chunk) believe (ka-chunk) in (ka-chunk) the (ka-chunk) many (ka-chunk) great (ka-chunk) people (ka-chunk) believe (ka-chunk) for (ka-chunk) if (ka-chunk) enough (ka-chunk) of (ka-chunk) the (ka-chunk) population (ka-chunk) gives (ka-chunk) itself (ka-chunk) away (ka-chunk) then (ka-chunk) it's (ka-chunk) --" [Buy]


Love is All - "So Far Away (Dire Straits Cover)"

I was in line for the bus tonight in Ottawa, and there was a really boring couple in front of me. He had a on a grey sleeveless muscle shirt, with "Pepe Jeans" (I've never had to pronounce that) written in really old-style font, and she had an old white spaghetti-strap tank top on. Brush cut, and bad old faded blond dye job ponytail. And I wouldn't have noticed them at all, except that they had this really touching good-bye, it made me immediately wish I could take back all the bitchy thoughts I had about them. It was all without words, they didn't speak the whole time we were in line, he just started staring at her and his face got all red. He pressed his forehead against hers and she closed her eyes. She let him step forward and give over his ticket, but she just stood at the window, stock still, staring, really damn hard, like the way a victim might stare at their assailant in a courtroom, at him as he got on the bus. And in her too-small flip flops and ankle charms she marched away out the doors and left, and me and Pepe Jeans went to Montreal together. All I could think was, "Baby, I'm not going to stay for Canada Day."

[will apparently be available on emusic] [Site]


I posted Chet last week, and I got this lovely comment from Camille: "this sounds like Carey Mercer with his feet planted in fresh cream". And although I'm not sure totally on the connection, I got the Chet CD at the Frog Eyes show the week before. Which is a nice segue, retroactively, to talk about the current Frog Eyes tour. I saw them with Shearwater (meh) at Lambi (big meh) and they were, typically, bestial. Despite bad sound (see Lambi) and an extremely douche-y group of fans in the front row, they lit up completely, as in immolated, that room. Carey Mercer does this thing where he steps away from the mic and howls at the ceiling, a cappella, for long stretches of time, and you feel like you're being sung to personally, and it becomes self-conscious, yet completely hair-raising and primal, and then he'll suddenly, unexpectedly fall, kind of topple, headlong into huge guitars and drums which become louder still with this new textured focus. It's quite an experience. There's one show left on the tour. Citizens of Victoria, I know I'm preaching to the choir, but go.


Women contest: Thanks for all your submissions, all of you. But a quick contest has a quick winner; it's Bethan.

"women are what you get when you water girls and feed them with a good mixed mulch of cosmopolitan magazine and trouser suits."

second place goes to Harrison, and honorable mentions to Nina, Stephen, Kate. But there's only a prize for first place, sorry team. and remember, any time you want to leave sentences as beautiful as these in the comments, you don't need a contest to do so! smile

Posted by Dan at 3:23 AM | Comments (6)