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, 2009


Construction of the Eiffel Tower

Matt Harding - "Stay Always". You know something is going to happen. You're not sure what it is but you're sure it's going to happen. Certain. You see its signals in the white of clouds, in the red glare of sunsets. You see it in the ripple in the flags. Every glance is a harbinger. Something is going to happen and you are going to have to seize it at that moment, wrap hands around it, make it stay forever. Something is going to happen; prepare your traps. [blog/myspace/buy

Tom Zé - "Defeito 2: Curiosidade". Carlos unlocked the recording studio's red steel door, just as he had done ten or fifteen times a week for the past sixteen years. He pressed the code on the security pad, flicked on the three light-switches. He booted up the machines. He was a precise sitter. He sat down precisely, on the rolling chair behind the mixing desk. He stared through the studio glass at the empty stage. His client would not arrive for 22 minutes. Really, the client would not arrive for 52 minutes. Bands are always late.

Once the musicians had arrived, Carlos helped them to set up. It was always different and yet always the same. He made a note that he needed to vacuum the studio's carpet. Carlos undid his top shirt button and nodded to the percussionist to begin. He watched the red and green LEDs, the flickering needles. His fingertips rested on black sliders. He watched the musicians with calm, blackbird eyes.

Later, he spooled back the session and pressed play. The song came out on tiptoes.

"What is that?" said Manuel, who plays the bass guitar.

"What is what?" said Carlos.

"What is that voice?" said Suzi, who plays rhythm guitar.

"It is the singer," said Carlos. "You."

"Not that voice," said the singer. "The other voice. The little voice."

Carlos started the song again. This time he heard it immediately, of course he heard it, the gibbering little voice that had snuck into his microphones. Carlos stared at his flickering needles. "I do not know," he said. "Was it one of you?"

"No," said the band-members, jumbling and together.

"Hmm," said Carlos. He slid sliders, pressed buttons, turned knobs. He tried to isolate the voice and eliminate it. He could not.

"What is it?" said Manuel.

"I do not know," said Carlos.

"It sounds like a gremlin," said the singer. "Your studio has gremlins."

"It did not have gremlins before," said Carlos.


(photo source)

Posted by Sean at 11:59 AM | Comments (2)

April 28, 2009

Theatre of the Twice Blessed

Suckers - "It Gets Your Body Movin' (Alternate Version)"

That pressure, that push that I give on the steering wheel. You know the one where you kind of push it away from you, you make your arms straight, to kind of feel the strength of the car and stretch your arms out to show you're tired of driving. I do that a lot. And that is actually putting pressure on the recliner of the seat, since it can also go back if you want it to.
I'm doing 160, I know I shouldn't be, it's 5am, I'm rushing home to I forget what, trying to hold open my eyelids with inertia, out of coffee and I can see the deep colour of the sky swelling with a sunrise. I feel a click and now I'm looking at the ceiling. The light that is switched to 'door' and I wonder if that means the light is a door. Maybe it flips out and there's one thing behind it, like a locket holds one thing, or a false book. If I opened this door now, whatever's inside would just fall in my face, but that might be nice, it would wake me up a bit. I need to be awake, but I forget why. I find the dark trees look like a digital equalizer in my peripheral vision, like they're reacting to the music. All of nature and all those opposed to nature reacting to the same song in the same way: a weary lifting, sliding, and fall. [Buy]

Kid Congo & the Pink Monkey Birds - "Kris Kringle Ju Ju"

In line at the pharmacy. Rounding the corner out of sight. Driving past while you're waiting for the light to change. From the other room on the television. Across the street with the light on. The cause of a siren unseen. A half-ring of your phone. At another table, back turned. A faded, illegible address. A forgotten jacket. Red velvet with black leather piping and a thin fur lining. Cruel, cold, faceless, distant. Spreader of joy. [Buy from In The Red]

Posted by Dan at 11:59 AM | Comments (1)

April 27, 2009


Photo by David Stewart

Mirah - "Generosity". Mirah has again learned to prowl. (A)Spera is a great album, years late. Elsewhere there's kora and mbira, vocal twists that recall the Cocteau Twins, but on "Generosity" it's simple building blocks: drums, strings, electric guitar, cloud voices. Acknowledgement and refusal. Trees growing leaves and losing them, levees filling and breaking and being re-laid, faces cracking open into tears & smiles. [buy]

Roxy Music "Pyjamarama". A long-distance love-song that doesn't sound like one, that sounds like running down a spiral staircase together, your pockets full of peaches. And peaches don't fit very well in pockets, so there'd be lots of laughs and trips and falls. Oh if only more music like this came in tins, flatpacks like sardines, no expiry date, easy to throw into your luggage and crack open at lonely times - sitting by the hotel-room window with sun streaming in, no one to trip down a fire-escape with. [buy]

(photo by David Stewart)

Posted by Sean at 5:30 PM | Comments (2)

April 24, 2009



Intelligence - "Pony People"

It's Friday night, and I'm in line again for the bathroom. Unwisely, an unknown (to me) world government organization has decided, sometime in the last year or so, to toilet train the entire world. But, like, everything. Dogs and cats were the easiest, then rodents, birds, and bugs. Large mammals and large reptiles, bears elephants crocs and gilas, have all learned to use the bathroom in an anthropoid manner. Weirdly enough, this was effective in eliminating old notions of property, since you're constantly barraged with animals big and small, ringing your doorbell and politely asking to use the loo, meanwhile, 15 of their friends are sneaking in your window to hog the commode. Futurists are predicting the Toilet Wars will arise within the next year or so, erupting most likely, they say, from a breakdown of one of the very lines I'm currently standing in. But we all know, this won't be a war for Toilets, as the politicians will try to portray it, it will be a war for the hearts and minds of all dignified entities on earth, wishing to eliminate their waste in a dignified way. And that is something worth fighting for.

Arrows, and arrows, and arrows, and arrows. And eros. And arrows.

[MySpace][Released May 26][on the increasingly unstoppable In The Red Records][more from In The Red soon]

Posted by Dan at 11:33 PM | Comments (8)

April 23, 2009


Elephant seal

Professor Longhair - "Go to the Mardi Gras". Headed to Louisiana today. No joke. Imagining bayou, white clouds, tufted cotton fields. I don't think there are cotton fields in Louisiana but I can't help my brain. Women will bring me big plates of food, steaming plates of sea creatures, shells glowing like freshly cut flowers. There are rainswept streets, palm trees leaning over, tramcars painted firetruck-red. In Louisiana they sometimes dance in the streets, I am certain. The picnic tables are frequently dusty. The music is purple, silver, grass-green, scarlet. The trumpets are tarnished. The whistlers are well-practised. And my sneakers are going to come home sparkling with another place's dirt. (previously)


Please do vote for us as Best Blog at the Best of Montreal poll - it closes really soon!

Posted by Sean at 10:01 AM | Comments (3)

April 21, 2009



Bach - "Aria da capo (from Goldberg Variations) played by Glenn Gould"

Under the thick blanket of rain, not still falling but all fallen, resting in heavy dollops over everything, slightly dripping, I hear a sound. It's distant, different, haunting. I squint my senses and listen closer, my face scrunched in search of recognition. A wind, some traffic, a flaw in life's recording. No, this is something else. I think it's a voice. A voice so buried, so hidden, that it speaks a certain kind of truth, a truth you only get when really no one's looking. I hear it moan and sway and rise and yawn, it's grey and wet and cloudy, lasting only as long as this day.


(image source, I forget, I'm sorry)

Posted by Dan at 1:57 PM | Comments (5)

April 20, 2009



The Streets - "Trust Me". Everyone thought Mike Skinner had spent the past three years lazy, stoned, reading books of Descartes quotes while sipping white beers. But - no. Yes, he answers texts as soon as he gets them. Yes, he's posting new songs via Twitter. Yes, he has a swimming pool. But every night The Streets spends three hours with the Complete Oxford Dictionary, going through the volumes line by line, magnifying-glass hoisted, learning every single word and figuring out the different ways they rhyme. [Twitter]

Baxter Dury - "Cocaine Man". The Streets and Baxter Dury could pull some Prince and the Pauper stuff, sloughing off their leather and denim jackets, switching places. In my fantasy-land, they both wear the same size of shoes, both like to paint with watercolours. But Baxter's the only one who ever killed a man. Also: "CUP OF COFFEEEEEEEE...." [buy]

(image source)

Posted by Sean at 1:15 PM | Comments (4)

April 17, 2009

Peach Green Hussy

O.V. Wright - "Ace of Spades"

I forget when I lost perspective on the situation. I mean, you never really remember that, right? If you did, you would have known it was happening. It's like a magic trick, the trick of it is usually at the beginning and you spend the whole time waiting for the trick to happen, and then when all of a sudden it's happened you're surprised. That's the way I felt, I woke up and it was like I was living with a stranger. It was like a stranger was in my kitchen, making strange toast and drinking strange orange juice, making strange sleepy noises, sighing over the radio. It was like he had disappeared long ago, and only now was I realizing the switcheroo. I still recognize the clothes, the framed pictures, the towels, even the smell, but the face, the face is completely different. I can't shake that, even in the cool fall breeze, a fresh new cigarette, there's no shaking that. There's a leaf stuck to my boots, it's wet and stuck there. I tried picking it off with my fingers but it broke apart and stayed in pieces on the heel. [Buy]
(thanks, Mike Long!)

Floating Action - "Marie Claire"

Am I on the right bus? These people don't look like 168 people. Too upscale. Too many clean coats and nice umbrellas. Too many iPods, too much make-up, too many stoic down-turned faces buried in books, clean shaven and smelling like fresh de-odorizers. Too many fur-lined high-leathered sons-of-bitches. Too much unspoken guff. Not enough window-staring, broken soggy shoe stretching, jean jacket patching. Not enough scared eyes, sad eyes, eyes fixed in one emotion for life. Not enough pure visual confessionalism, untried disheveled physical loveliness. Not enough unexpressed smile. Not enough bus. Oh right. That's a wrong turn. ding. [coming soon]

Posted by Dan at 3:22 AM | Comments (2)

April 16, 2009


Patrick Watson - "Fireweed". Patrick Watson's Wooden Arms is leaps & bounds better than his debut and it is an album full of leaps and bounds. He is a pretty singer, and his lyrics lilt, yet it's the instrumental landscape that thrums, hums, brings the record shuddering to life. Tracks like "Big Bird in a Small Cage" are as lovely as bowls full of fruit, but the bounding-er, leaping-er tracks - "Tracy's Waters", "Beijing", "Where the Wild Things Are" - are the ones that carry this across a ravine from Cibelle, Tom Waits, Andrew Bird. I like Patrick Watson best on the threshold between chanson and Sigur Ros.

And "Fireweed" is bigger than the melody that Patrick Watson is singing. It is a song with geothermal wells, old crows, creaking schist. Watson dwells in it, rents a room, brings his friends to sit by the window and hum. But "Fireweed" has a sea that's separate from the Montrealer's croon; has crevasses and groves. There are forces tunneling under his feet, and travelling between the stars. There's stuff in the steam. [pre-order Wooden Arms from Secret City/or from iTunes]

Riyadh sandstorm

Elfin Saddle - "The Bringer". Ramshackle and kind, Elfin Saddle might be the eeriest band in Montreal. They play a secret music, something from the underside of gardens, the bellies of hills. Ringing For The Begin Again, on Constellation, is twinned with Clues' debut - but it is a vastly different creature, painted in verdant greens and new shades of black. Hear it all in "The Bringer"'s grim, sorcerous crescendo: slow promises, Appalachian groans, memories of old, weird Japan. There's none of night's comfort, here. There's nowhere to hide. This is the fearsome creep of daylight. [buy]


I asked about Lafayette a little while ago (sorry I didn't get back to you), but after getting a clearer itinerary it seems that it's New Orleans where I'm going to have some time to myself on an upcoming trip... Are there any New Orleans readers? I'd love to find someone to go see some jazz with. Please email me!

(photo of Riyadh sandstorm is a wire image)

Posted by Sean at 8:00 AM | Comments (6)

April 14, 2009

Notorious Inflection

Cryptacize - "The Cage"

Cross-section: Thin outer scraping of strings on strings. Thick and doughy cloud layer of hoop-shaped vocals and busy guitty-cars. Creamy layer of patience and holding steady. At the bottom, a settled sediment of amazing hooks.

I feel as if this song were left for me. Like Deerhoof (my roommate now?) was leaving the house, hair up in a huge beehive, dressed in venetian blinds and collectible quarters, headed out to a pre-choreographed dance party, well-rehearsed for weeks, and she thought, with one shoe on, eyes already on her coat, "Oh, Dan would like this."
[pre-order at Asthmatic Kitty]
[Cryptacize on Muxtape]


Experimental Dental School - "Argentine Pears"

And this song feels like an orphan! Not parentless, but more bereft of protection. The example used in my dictionary widget is more poetic than anything I could think up: "orphan garbage barges aimlessly wandering the oceans." Exactly right, computer! Where did that come from, computer? Are you writing poetry while you "sleep"? If I look in all those lonely forgotten documents I'll never read again, like old tax returns and documents like "new idea.rtf", and scroll down, way way down, will I find all your hidden stories and thoughts? Will it say "in dewy fields I'm found, my love herself dewy, my love somehow dry and yet I'm happy, happier than I've ever been, happier I think than anyone might ever be"? Will there be whole novels about The Great War and what Paris was like seen through the eyes of early black immigrants? Will I find soft and thoughtful buttery writing that will surprise and delight? I hope so, computer. Do not disappoint me, now.
[This record is FREE, with the option to donate]

Posted by Dan at 1:22 PM | Comments (2)

April 13, 2009


Tourists in Pisa, source unknown

Antarctica Takes It! - "C & F". The first music from Antarctica Takes It in ages, and Dylan sounds just so thrilled to be singing. It's as if he's chomping through ice-cubes as quickly as he can, jubilant and foolhardy, paying no heed to bleeding cheeks and broken teeth; crunching at ice and swallowing at ice-water, glowing with happiness that he's found someone who loves it when he does this. And I love it when the late-Belle-&-Sebastian jangle gets interrupted with some Elvis/Byrne whoa-oh-oh bulldog mumbles. Yeah. [MySpace]

Max Henry - "Dark As A Dungeon". A drowned rendition of Merle Travis's classic, suitable for last call at the bar or maybe stumbling home through the glen. In this song's early morning lull, a piano can feel like a memory (a good one), a brook can sound like a pair of squalling guitars. Max has painted the song in ambers, greens, clears - all the slurring shades of drink. And he sings it tenderly, like a man who has broken things before. [MySpace]


Hey you! Please vote for us as "Best Blog" in the Montreal Mirror's annual reader poll!

Posted by Sean at 2:36 PM | Comments (3)

April 10, 2009

Track Names

The Dream Scene - "Alien vs. Predator"

Purring necking jingling living nesting rising dusting striking spiking thirsting rending unenthusiastically taking, truthful, thoughtful, tearful blue, heartfelt ghostly gamey, ninefold, free gold. Bent sideways, chasing, gracing, red, car parked, felt art, hurt tin crush fold lying flattened, flattened out. Vented wind wound windows, surround by windows to let the air come through and shake, shikka, shake shake.

Quiet Hooves - "Hott R Nott"

In a small town just out of reach of any of the best maps sits a little country house, off off off the main road, behind a clump of tall pines. It's a fine white, strong flat paneling outside the porch and up the side to the little room at the very top. The room whose roof is the one thing the sun hits its nose on while going up the hillside. In this room there's one soft small bed, a light faded row of books, a painting of a river, dust on the desk, and two things on the windowsill: a plant, mouth open and ready to catch the dripping blood of the sun as it floats and races by, and a crystal. A crystal that looks, when held up to light, or held in the tightest dark, like a whole mountain of glass. With base camps and tree lines and snow caps and sweeping rock faces with little foot trails and caves and drifts and clouds. And it's cursed. Don't touch it.


Posted by Dan at 8:13 PM | Comments (1)

April 7, 2009

Orange Red Green Stripes

Ros Sereysothea & Sinn Sisamouth - "Marrison (Classic)"

I can't find any information about Marrison. I can find some Marrisons, but they're all old boring men. An anglican bishop, the inventor of the quartz clock, a developer of methods of keeping your food away from bears. Yawn. Marrison is a definitely a lady spy. Marrison has certainly been known to order a drink with the turn of her head. Marrison carries a gun in her belt buckle. She walks like cold leather air, she moves like night, like thoughts. She rides the light rail, changes cabs, hair, and coat. She's at four hotels when she's at home. She anticipates, she's cool, and the only time you see her smile is when she's already got you beat. The title states that this is a "classic" version of Marrison. I agree. Her best days, when misogyny was her best camouflage, when cold war idiots were too busy to notice every time she got away with it. This is the Marrison we want to remember. [rare]

Jen Kirkman - "Don't Murder Your Friends"

Jen Kirkman recorded an album called Self Help in 2007, and it's completely marvelous. It's a wonderful, and full, portrait of a character she's created, which is probably, disturbingly, based largely on herself. It's a perfect example of how to explore and iron out your darkest thoughts. She follows one thread to the next, in a concise and deliberate way, and eventually you're standing in her head, shivering, with the lights out. She believes in zombies, in God, in urban myths, in the goodness of people, and their potential to be awful. It's gorgeous, check it out. [go to "store" and scroll down to buy]

Posted by Dan at 7:01 AM | Comments (2)

April 6, 2009


Photo by Saku Soukka

Sister Suvi - "Golden". Spent some of yesterday with Merrill Garbus, the woman who is Tune-Yards and one third of Sister Suvi. We took our bikes to the quarry, threw on our walkmen, went down deep. In the gloom we listened to Billy Joel, Pavement, mined copper and zinc. We came out with our jean-jacket pockets full. We biked back to my place, stopping for dark beer and honeycomb toffee. We listened to the Velvet Underground's Loaded and smiled and laughed, window open, crows weaving in murders outside my open window, and with our metals spread flat before us we hammered, hammered, hammered our armour until it was brass.

Sister Suvi, one of my favourite new Montreal bands (previously, previously), continue to tour themselves sick. Catch them all across the United States, and buy their album for a price of your choosing.


Kath Bloom - "Come Here".
Marble Sounds - "Come Here".

A wonderful double CD compilation is being released tomorrow, by Australia's Chapter Music. On Disc 1, some of the best songs by Kath Bloom - a 70s and 80s folk-singer first introduced to me here by Jordan. And on Disc 2, covers of these songs by artists like Josephine Foster, Bill Callahan (Smog), Devendra Banhart, Mark Kozelek and the Dodos. Unusually for such a comp, the covers are on average very, very good. Both discs are. Also unexpectedly, I think my favourite cover is by an artist I had never heard of. Marble Sounds' take on "Come Here" is more straight-backed than Kath's, has european marbles in its mouth, but the longing is still there, cast in hopeful silver. There in the plain-faced waiting, the level-voiced singing, is four whole hearts of wanting; love that sounds out hot from the organ.

And Kath's original version, well, it's the sound of a cup that runneth over.



One week ago, we launched our 2009 Funding Drive. Inside of just two hours, we raised $315 and met our goal for this year's technical expenses. Our eyes just about fell out of our potatoes. For the rest of the week, we kept open a fund for people to donate to some of mine, Dan's and Jordan's other projects. Over these seven days, we received a further $1,127. The figure is staggering. Literally, if I had to walk while typing this, I'd be staggering. It's hard to articulate just how much the continued generosity, warmth and contact from our readers motivates and inspires us. Not just at Said the Gramophone, but everywhere in our lives. We're blessed, kissed, coaxed, and made credible. It means more, I think, than you can know.

So to the 77 people who donated this year - our appreciation is deep as seas. Special thanks go out to Howard, who made the single largest donation, and to Brian, whose was the first donation to be received this year and who is the only person to have donated every year since the funding drive's inception. To the others who are also here, chirping in the wings - thank you too. We hope you'll want to keep reading.

(We'll be sending out individual thank-you emails & postcards as soon as we can!)

(photo by Saku Soukka)

Posted by Sean at 11:09 AM | Comments (5)

April 3, 2009


Kim Jong-Il and friends, from official sources

Clues - "Approch the Throne". One day your best friend made a treehouse. It had ivy, gables, arches. In the sunset it glowed. Whenever anyone in the town walked by, they remarked upon it: That's a nice treehouse. After your best friend fucked you over, you bought matches. You bought a crate of matches. You bought a crate of matches and a San Pellegrino bottle and in one long foaming choking hiccuping gulp you drank the soda-water down. You filled the empty glass bottle with rubbing alcohol. You climbed the tree with your bare hands. You threw matches all through the place, by the handful, tucking them into curls of ivy and nooks in the gables. You jumped from the tree and almost broke your ankles. You hoisted the bottle full of alcohol over your head. You lit it on fire. You hurled it at the match-infested treehouse. It exploded in a shock of light. It burned brighter than any rivals. Across the town, everyone put their hand over their eyes and said, Holy shit. The embers fell and alighted on your head like a crown.

We have been writing about Clues since they played our Pop Montreal showcase in 2007. They are Alden Penner, Brendan Reed, and friends. Former members of the Unicorns, Arcade Fire, Les Angles Morts, playing pop music that can punch through secret garden walls. [more songs / buy - it's terrific]

Constantines - "Do What You Can Do (alternate version)". This is "Do What You Can Do", except Bry Webb sings instead of shouting. It makes the song's final crashings all the more welcome, all the more earned. It doesn't matter when a lunatic cuts his lover's name into his arm, sells his home and builds an observatory, drives his car into an underpass. It matters when a level-headed person does this, when their eyes go wide and they say to themselves: Do. [buy the Constantines' Too Slow For Love EP of alternate versions, together with the Kensington Heights LP, for a short time together just $5.99]


Said the Gramophone's 2009 Funding Drive will remain open just over the weekend and then close for a whole year. Thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone who has donated so far.

Posted by Sean at 12:41 PM | Comments (3)

April 2, 2009

Beautiful Garnitures

Dead Meat - "The King" (stream is having problems, please download)

Dead Meat have slouched out of the mire, covered in old gravy and sort of look out beyond the horizon, eyes unfocused. They have "released" a couple of demos, Demo #1 and Demo #2, and they show a lot of promise. They play dark-haired dark-priest 90s rock with the same thunder drums and buzzing guitars every song. I get lulled in the smell of it, the colour, I stand swaying and drugged until "I'm glad I never made no damn decision", and I fall into it, the mire, the gravy, the girth. [MySpace]

Still Flyin' - "The Hottchord is Struck"

Despite the feeling that I'm at a mandatory activity at a tropical resort, doing line-dancing or pass-the-orange or something, when this song starts, I have a soft spot in my heart for Still Flyin'. Why? Their pink pants tucked into socks, their dumb flipped-up brim hats, their longboards. It's a nice place to visit. And besides, the last minute of this track is pure, it's honey, it's nice. [Buy]

Alemayehu Eshete - "Tchero Adari Negn"

Say the code word. Say the code word and get in. Once you're in, enjoy yourself. Have a drink, make it clear light brown. Put ice on everything, bring down all the swelling in the room. Relax, really relax and don't just use that word. Smile at someone, smile at the people you like. Look up at the ceiling and laugh. Feel good. Feel good when you say the code word. Say the word and feel good. [Buy]

Posted by Dan at 12:54 PM | Comments (2)

April 1, 2009


Riyadh sandstorm

Paleo - "Month #9 (Shining the Moon)". I've been waiting since April to share this song, from Anonymous Monk's Spring Calendar compilation. It's a song about September and thank god the month has finally arrived. The kids are putting on their new school uniforms, the leaves are turning colour, we're all sick of picnics and barbecues and lazing in the grass in short sleeves. When Paleo salutes September, creaky-voiced and tuba-assisted, part wee! and part rattle-tat, we know he's saluting the fact that winter's almost here. Can't wait til the moment we gotta put on our winter boots, put our bicycles away. Can't wait 'til there's firewood crackling in the hearth and we have more time to compose silly beautiful DIY folk-pop songs in our grannies' attics.

[This terrific comp includes great songs by Karl Blau, Golden Ghost and others. Really well worth buying (and perfect for making mixtapes.)]


Elsewhere: Thrilled to pieces by the launch of filmmaker Vincent Moon's new blog, Fiume Nights.

(photo above of Riyadh sandstorm, from the wire.)

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