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, 2009



Googoosh - "Respect"

Amber tea and whole flower pedals. Muslin dress and shoes with a little heel. Semolina and raisins, and a slap across the face. Dark brown streets and occasional neon, a blue and handsome midnight. A crowded apartment building with young boys that hang out staring at the floor of the lobby all night grinning and humming. Up the tiles, stairs, halls to a chipped door. Making money the only way they know how. Pages from a comic book, crude and hard to understand. One picture has a French stereotype, the other an American, they are arguing, one of them is farting, and there are a pair of tits in there somewhere. A neighbour pokes his head out, to see what's the noise, can't tell if the scream was in danger or in fun. Out the balcony and into the hot cloud of the night. Soft street lights and distant sparse cafes, smells like food at all hours in this part of town. [Buy]

(image source)

Posted by Dan at 2:06 PM | Comments (3)

July 30, 2009


Astronaut by Ove Kvavik

Sgt Dunbar & the Hobo Banned - "Everything Is, Pt. III". Messy. The kind of guy whose bracelets always break, whose watches slip off his wrist and shatter on the asphalt. Very good at climbing walls. Favourite movie is The Great Escape. One day he was buying milk and interrupted a robbery. He got beat up good, but saved the owner $400. He gets milk for free, now. He brags about this to his friends. "Not everyone gets free milk," he says. Sometimes he stops mid-way through: "Not everyone gets fr-" he says, reaching to catch his watch before it hits the pavement. [buy/myspace]

Acoustic Ladyland - "Sport Mode". Marty doesn't regret jumping off the cliff until about 15 seconds in. The first seconds are just oh, wow, hey, but then, well, shit! The cliff was high as hell but the water is hurtling toward him at the speed of fall. The sun is shining, the sky is azure, but the water's not going anywhere except closer. He bucks in the air, he twists, he tries to reorient his body so the wind will push him away, away, or up and into a puffy cloud. No, no. No, Marty is falling and he can't do fuck about it. He lowers his head, he closes his eyes. He's a plunging rocket and it's going to be good. [MySpace/buy]

(astronaut image by Ove Kvavik)

Posted by Sean at 2:49 PM | Comments (1)

July 28, 2009

In the Margins

Chad VanGaalen - "Willow Tree"

"Our lives are of little importance," said Rebecca, to the figure in her favourite painting. The painting is old and has a traditional frame and hangs on her mustard-coloured wall. The figure inside is looking at the artist, at the audience, standing on a windy grassy hill. Rebecca is tall so the picture is hung high, higher even than her eye-level, so the figure looks like it is looking down at the viewer, or over the viewer's head. An obvious position of superiority.

The rain has been non-stop. The whole east coast has had rainy days for three weeks straight. Biking in the rain, even the change in Rebecca's pocket is wet by the time she gets where she's going. The bank, the library, the video store, a potluck, a vernissage, the movies, a date, nothing special.

Rebecca checks her pulse and writes it down. She keeps detailed notes of her anxiety. She is most anxious at night time, when she believes that she hears noises that aren't there, people that aren't there, things that aren't happening. She has trouble sleeping, but takes natural sleep-aids like melatonin. The notes she keeps don't really help the anxiety, they kind of function like making an extremely detailed floor map of your own apartment. Yep, there it is all mapped out, but you could also just look around and see the same thing.

In the margins of her notes, Rebecca is drawing a little story of a rocket ship with arms and legs. It burns off its arms and legs when it tries to fly. On the first sunny day after the rain, it's a Saturday. Rebecca went for a walk to find a garage sale. She brought her favourite painting with her, and she walked in the sun on the sidewalk. She found a garage sale and pretended to look at things until the old couple in the lawn chairs whose stuff it was weren't looking, and she left the painting right there, leaning up against the old bear-shaped dishes and VHS copies of Three to Tango and Money Train.


Posted by Dan at 5:11 PM | Comments (5)

July 27, 2009


From Square America

Wild Beasts - "All the King's Men". They're in like a pack of rats, handsome and gray. They weave between the glitter-balls, stalk up and down the bar. They slip a gift into every girl's pocket; flower-petals, pills, heavy gold coins. They never whisper; they murmur just loud enough for the girls to lean in close. They have perfect teeth and eyes like little stones. Did you see that bloke? says to Mary to Ella, tongue & teeth. He reminds me of stepping into a cold lake. [such a wonderful, wonderful song - pre-order / MySpace]

Lightning Dust - "I Knew". Like Otis Redding's "Try a Little Tenderness", Lightning Dust's best song ends one round before it should, one round before the knock-out. This may be the point. It's a song about knowing love, after all - and too often that knowledge is up in a puff of smoke (or in a stop of organ) just after it's discovered. But all of us want love, lasting love - and all of us want will want this song to persist and persist; fierce and catchy; grim and warbled; baby-blue, silver and black. When we saw Lightning Dust open for Bonnie Prince Billy in May, they played this tune and Toby turned to me and we said together: "Great song." Somebody slip it to Robyn. [pre-order]


We Are The Friction, an anthology of fiction and illustration edited by Jez Burrows and Lizzy Stewart, is now officially out and taking orders. This is the way it worked: 12 artists (including Nigel Peake, Charlie Duck & Ray Fenwick) each gave an illustration to 12 different writers (including Tao Lin, Wolf Parade's Spencer Krug & me). The writers wrote stories to match those illustrations. Then the 12 writers each gave a (different) story to the 12 artists, and the artists made pictures to match those stories. And then all of it is in a beautiful book designed by Sing Statistics. I am matched with the bewilderingly great Lizzy Stewart, and contributed stories called "Thaw" (about snow & a wolf) and "Jetsam" (about sea-people and "The Saints Go Marching In"). It's a numbered edition of 1000 - buy quick!

(photo source)

Posted by Sean at 12:20 PM | Comments (5)

July 24, 2009

I Was Stood Up By Two Strong Hands


Reigning Sound - "Funny Thing"

"I'm an old cop," he said, putting out his cigarette. "It's in my blood, I can't help it. I just want to protect you." The upholstery of the sofa looked like a big patterned joke and his teeth clicked as he swallowed. His daughter, Louisa, stood with her arms hanging limp at her sides, like knotty ropes hanging from her summer dress. "We're moving anyway, what does it matter about this boy?" She stared darkly at the floor, with her hair pulled back and her lips tight. That's exactly why he's important, because we're moving. She thought her father was very practiced at smoking, and that one day she would probably be as good at it. [Buy]

Duchess Says - "Black Flag"

A mere selection from the fictional correspondences between Duchess Says' manager Chip Legrand and Henry Rollins himself:

Hey Henry,

Chip again on behalf of Duchess Says. Just finishing up the new album here and wanted to get your thoughts on something: we have a song called Black Flag and thought maybe we could get you to listen to the album and see what you think. The song isn't about Black Flag or anything, just thought it would be a cool way for you to hear some stuff you normally wouldn't.
take care!
Chip Legrand
Duchess Says

6 months later...

(in an envelope addressed to Chip)
Your letter interested me a great deal. If I listened to everything I got sent I would have to give up either sleeping or eating and I'm not willing to do either.
good night,

Hey Henry,
Chip again. No problem, worth a shot, right? Okay, take care!
Chip Legrand
Duchess Says

(in an envelope addressed to Chip)
I listened to it. that song is made of 80s rubber, timeless pleather, and real emotions. You've dressed up a pop structure in clothes I like. I want DS to accompany me on my spoken word tour. I will be singing. These are the dates.

Hey Henry,
Sounds great, only just have one problem with the Houston date, that's an unavailability for us. The rest are good though!

(in an envelope addressed to Chip)
Never write to me again.

["Never Write to Me Again", the book of correspondences, is out of print]

(image by Reagan Forsythe. it's not the winner of the Sappyfest contest, it's just a picture I like)

Posted by Dan at 1:26 PM | Comments (3)

July 23, 2009



Azeda Booth - "Big Fists". In June, he had pointed out to her how descriptions of dreams are always fascinating to the teller but boring to the person listening. So now they sat side by side on the balcony with a breeze in the leaves and she thought about the fireflies in her dream, spelling out words in the garden. [buy/free EP]

Bob Dylan - "Buckets of Rain". I am this bassline, dear. I agree with every word that Bob said; yes, everything he said is true. But I am the bassline, dear - that's the story of my love. (& if I am the bassline, then you are the girl whose fingers are on the strings.) [buy]


Anyone have a line on a beautiful, cheap holiday cottage (or something?) in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick or PEI? (Please do email me.)

[photo by Francisco Infante-Arana & Nonna Gorunova, via just three things]

Posted by Sean at 12:26 AM | Comments (1)

July 21, 2009

Come On Down the Shore

Fruit Bats - "Tegucigalpa"

The family's all here, in the warmth and the green. Grandpa's got the word-of-mouth disease, but he's holding up, and holding a beer. Aunt Gayle is addicted to assholes and sits practicing her smile. Benny is a cousin and growing a bit fat, he's got a girlfriend who brought Magic Cards. Uncle Thomas is funny, but in a different way, like how it's funny to have broken glass in your bed. Red is super tall, and not really related to anyone, but his long gray face is soft and he makes calmness with his hands. And of course there's all the rest of them, the uncles and aunts and pets and cell phones, I don't know if they're from down the lake or they're part of my family. I never cared, really, when I come here, I love them all like I love the national flag. That's not to say I don't, I'm trying to say it's there, don't doubt it. "We've got a new kind of classic about us," Grandpa will say, his stubble gray and thick. "Classics are still being made, and we're one of them."

[Relase date: Aug 4th]

Posted by Dan at 2:32 PM | Comments (3)

July 20, 2009


Girls - "Hellhole Ratrace". Terry and Biz go down to the water. I'm still up on the deck and all I can see is Terry's blue bathing-suit passing through the trees. I am resting a white styrofoam cup on the railing.

When they step out of the woods and onto the planks they are caught in the full brunt of the dock's lights. They squint like it's noon. Terry tosses her hair and laughs and from up on the deck it looks like such a noony gesture. They start talking and they must be talking about how suddenly it feels like daytime, like the sun is out, like it is the hottest height of the day. But around them the lake lays flat and black, and the breeze is cold. Biz pulls off his shirt. He squeezes Terry's butt. She doesn't even jump; she just rolls her eyes at him. She slips into the water without saying a word. Her face is half in shadow and half in bright light.

Biz picks up a tiny stone from beside the dock. He flicks it at her. It lands in the water with a plip. I see half of her face smile.

For a while I go away from the railing and make my way through the party. I talk with Gil, Paul, Julie and a couple of dancers who come from Mexico. I look at the Tom Thomson print that Halley's mom has put up above the couch. I get a refill of whisky. When I go back out onto the deck, Terry is still in the water and Biz is still on the dock but they are both yelling and laughing. Terry keeps spraying water up at him, skimming the surface with the soft pad of her hand. Biz is getting bigger and bigger rocks, sending them plunging into the lake. "Fish hail!" I yell at them. They don't see to hear. They are laughing so hard. They are shaking they're laughing so hard. I imagine Terry swimming to the bottom of the lake and coming back as a whale.

[more, courtesy of True Panther Sounds / album out in August / 10" available in the UK]



Amazing analysis of the 90s TV show Boy Meets World.

Other mass-distributed free official-label-promo-songs I have been enjoying:


Finally, a contest! In 10 days I am headed to the small town of Sackville, New Brunswick for what I have heard is one of North America's finest music & art festivals. Forget Pitchfork, forget SXSW, forget (for now) Pop Montreal - from July 31 to August 2, it's Sappyfest. Remarkable musicians playing in small spaces, to small crowds, after which we can all visit a gallery or grab ice-cream together. The line-up sings (Eric's Trip, Destroyer, Mount Eerie, Clues, Calvin Johnson, Julie Doiron, Eric Chenaux, Feuermusik, Ladyhawk, the Luyas, Ohbijou, Timber Timbre, Shapes & Sizes, Snailhouse), but it's also (i think - i've never been!) a place for discovery. For a small town to teach you a thing or two about treasures.

Anyway, it's worth the drive. And we have two Sappyfest passes to give away. All you need to do is email me your favourite picture of a tree. The one I like best wins. Entries due by Wednesday, 11:59 PM EST. Good luck! [Update: Chad is our winner! If for some reason he cannot make it, I will be in touch with a runner-up. Thank you so much for the lovely trees, all of them.]

Posted by Sean at 4:42 PM | Comments (1)

July 17, 2009

Talbot Tagora

Talbot Tagora - "Replacing The Northwest"

"What's the cutest thing?"
"The cutest thing?"
"Like, the cutest thing you can think of. The perfect image of cute."
"Robot Children."
"Too twee."
"Like hollow robots. Like those robots that need ghosts to run them. You know, like the ghost in the machine."
"Little robot children powered by ghosts."
"Yeah, child ghosts."
"Like murdered kids?"
"Not necessarily. I mean, some murdered kids, but mostly just regular ghosts who take the form of children. A child-like ghost."
"Pretty cute. What do they do?"
"Travel in packs. Like bikers. They kind of just ride the highways, roadhouses, desertscapes, that kind of lifestyle."
"Like nu-wanderer child-ghost robots, kind of despondent, kind of hilarious, but completely a force to be reckoned with."
"Exactly. A hell of a bar fight when these kids are around. Quips galore."
"That is cute. Pitch me a story."
"The pack of wanderer robots, we'll call them Hallowe'en Girls for now."
"It's just girls?"
"Yeah, it's just girls, I wasn't clear about that. The Hallowe'en Girls are chilling at their wicked hideout playing darts and skateboarding and smoking dope. Everything's fine, everybody's happy, they put on amazing talent shows, little skits about how regular humans don't care about their own kind and are letting each other die pointlessly all over the world. Real honest stuff. But The Hallowe'en Girls don't know the government is watching them the whole time, studying them and planning to turn them into a new breed of soldier-spy. Eventually one of the Girls discovers a bug in the hideout and they have to run from the fascists. They set out across the American west in search of a new safe place to live and continue their mini-culture. They take on all comers in their own unique way; creepy oversexed loners, low-moral bikers, relentless polluters and corrupt politicians. It's a mangy teeth-gnashing ride through girlhood, and what it feels like for a robot to grow up."


Posted by Dan at 1:44 PM | Comments (8)

July 16, 2009


photo by Francisco Infante-Arana and Nonna Gorunova

Mount Eerie - "Between Two Mysteries" (removed at publicist's request). Mount Eerie's thrilling and exhausting new record, Wind's Poem, expands on the idea of "black wooden", from last year's Black Wooden Ceiling Opening. Black wooden is like black metal, but instead of roaring throaty death-voice, Phil Elvrum murmurs. The guitars distort, fuzz and howl but there is an inherent gentleness. This works for me: this kindly noise. It is how I feel on the days when I thunderstorm. And yet - yet - yet "Between Two Mysteries" is not this. It is not black wooden. Elverum explores other sounds on Wind's Poem, particularly marimba and synthesizer. Here he mixes this eerie, smiling bone sound with the theme from Twin Peaks (literally, explicitly). The first time those chords came wobbling out of my headphones I was chilled to the core, froze on the path I was walking, but knew not why. I recovered, mostly. But I still remember the feeling. This is what this song is about - always remembering the feeling. [Wind's Poem will be released August 18 by PW Elverum & Son]

Passion Pit - "The Reeling (Black Dominoes live wire remix)". There are more than 10,000 kinds of wood. Oak, pine, beech, chestnut, cherry, poplar, mahogany; basswood, parota, walnut, blue gum, desert ironwood; wenge, cyprus, camphor, chakte-kok. In tree time, wood was always recently alive. You can make a boat out of wood; you can make a sail. You make a crown, a jacket, a mirror. You can make a dancefloor, a chest, a heart. You cannot make a darkness out of wood. Wood is a presence. I say all this because this Black Dominoes remix of Passion Pit makes me imagine a dancefloor in silver and black, cold faces and short dresses, gleaming eyes and fingertips - but bbbut bbbbbbut made of wood. These things may look glossy, impenetrable, dead - but here in this song they were recently alive. They are present and good. No part of this song is soulless. Black Dominoes have put the heartbeat back into the heart, the mystery back into the swing, the longing into Michael Angelakos's sneering voice. [Black Dominoes MySpace / if you like this song, vote for Black Dominoes to send him to Lollapalooza]



Particularly in the final months of Plan B magazine (RIP), the writer/editor known only as kicking_k was one of my favourite components. Here, kick reviews the last days of one of the world's best music magazines, with wit and verve.

In one of his Ill Doctrine videos, Jay Smooth inevitably offers one of the most thoughtful comments on Michael Jackson. I admire his empathy, but also his clear-eyed view to the future of us, out here, watching.

Montrealers - Montreal Improv is holding a contest to win tickets to an upcoming Upright Citizens' Brigade show. It will be very, very good - go enter.

[photo by Francisco Infante-Arana & Nonna Gorunova, via just three things]

Posted by Sean at 1:57 PM | Comments (1)

July 14, 2009

Bent Ruth


Braids - "Lemonade"

People think my addiction is a weakness. They say it's "humiliating" or "degrading" to watch me chase drugs or get high. But I say humiliation is a relative term. It's only humiliating if I'm humiliated, and it's only a lonely lifestyle if I feel lonely. Sure, the first time I tried drugs, it might have been motivated by weakness, by loneliness, but not anymore. I mean, consider all the acts committed out of loneliness or weakness that turned into great meaningful pursuits. A brush stroke on a canvas, used as a replacement for talking about your problems, turns into a lifetime of painting. Sitting lonely in your bedroom playing guitar or cymbals turns into a cassette recording like Bleach. Well I started because I wanted to impress Person or make up for why Person abused me and now I'm completely in motion, I can't even stop if I wanted to and I love every minute of it (not every minute, but that's true of any great work). "Yes, but what are you producing? What are you creating?" That's what most people claim is the difference between what I'm doing and what I'm drawing parallels with. But I say that I'm creating my own perceptions, I'm creating sensual symphonies and emotional masterpieces. When my world falls and crumbles to pieces, in a matter of hours I can whip up the wind of my personal life into a froth of manipulation and borrowed money and bummed rides and pawned accessories and with my face down in the fucking dirt, surrounded by the foulest scum of the earth, I can feel as high as the damn clouds. I feel like, with my mouth open against the gravel or the pavement, that I could swallow the whole world. I can shape my mind into a mountain, and stretch my body over it like a rubber band, and snap snap snap against the bottom just for fun. I have access to another plane of existence, it's like a magic power that takes certain expensive keys and all of my energy to perform. I merely dabble in the world you call "The World" and my place is not here, it's a step above. Sometimes I sink back down here, but it's not long before I'm back up where I belong. Do you want to help? I'll commit any worldly act in exchange.


[image source unknown, via ffffound]

Posted by Dan at 1:23 AM | Comments (5)

July 13, 2009


Plastic Operator - "Folder".


Showing contents of folder:

[ebook] ee cummings - is 5 1926.pdf
[ebook] ee cummings - 73 poems .pdf
Automatically Recovered Word Docu.doc
Automatically Recovered Word Do 1.doc
Bookmark -
Bookmark -
DRAFT - Mail - hi. i decided i ne.doc
DRAFT - Mail - Last weekend was s.doc
DRAFT - Mail - This song says eve.doc
DRAFT - Mail - Wanted to send you.doc
Elliott Smith - Either-Or - say y.mp3
latenite poem stupid.doc
Liars-The Other Side of Mt. Heart.mp3
new years letter.doc
Sam Cooke - Cupid (live at the ha.mp3
two pals on a boat.jpg

[i heard this song at Fluxblog, five years ago/MySpace/buy]


Scots and literary hounds - July 23 is the Edinburgh launch of We Are The Friction, an anthology of work by 12 pairs of international writers and illustrators. I'm one of them. There's a party and exhibition at Analogue Books, and the facebook event is here. I wish I could be there. Will update you when Sing Statistics are taking orders.

We Are The Friction
Posted by Sean at 1:24 PM | Comments (4)

July 10, 2009

X: Her Size (Positively Negative)

The Very Best - "Chalo"

you are better than you are better than you are better than you are better than you are better than you are better than you are better then you are better then you are better then you are better then you are better then you are better then you are better than you are better than you are better than you are better than you are better than. If the sun didn't rise until you finished your homework. If you walked on strings hung between parking meters. If holding hands were all-day breakfast, were toll booth change, were scratch-n-win. See the sun rise and listen to the first word of the day. [buy other stuff from Green Owl]

Swan Lake - "Warlock Psychologist"

I wake up aroused and mosey into a pile of clothes and emerge fully draped. Finest cottons and denims and rubbers wrap themselves like slick vinyl around my parts and I'm at once hidden and completely showing. I pretend to address the nation as I take down yet another bowl of grains and water with the greatest of ease. "Dear Nation, prepare thyselves for an onslaught unlike you have ever felt. For soon and forever will you feel the impending impact. Get ready, peons." Soft wheat dribbles down my chin, but I wipe it with my sleeve, I catch most of it, gather the rest off the blue flower print of my kitchen table. I gallop from my garage on my rollerblades and enter a state of mind I can only call My Travelling Trance. After 15 minutes I arrive at work unscathed, and switch to my inside shoes and head to my post. I run the reception desk at a YM-YWCA, I hand out towels and amend memberships. My co-worker Cyndi brings her cat to work, a habit I detest. It makes me want to dive backwards through the reception windows and land three stories below in the olympic size pool. But today, today something happens. There is nothing special about today, so I don't see why it should happen now. Sure, I dribbled a bit of wet wheat on my chin this morning, but I wiped it up, I don't see why it should cause anything like this. I can't describe it any other way than to just say it, so I will say it: I dropped my pen, and as I bent down to pick it up, I locked eyes with the cat. And the way you back away from a structure to see its full size, I suddenly saw the whole of this cat's life. As if it spoke to me in pictures, as if its form stretched somehow through this space and into another, into thousands, and I saw them all. This cat feels love and it feels jealous and it fights and it believes and it grows fond and grows distant and cold and fucking tired. It gets what it wants, it never gets anything it wants, it completely moves between the three walls its given and it hates and it clings and it cares. It thinks often of a face it holds dear, it remembers only the things that keep it alive. It is like a fresco so fresh that it's dripping and I begin to bawl like some portshore widow. Right in front of Cyndi and all the damn patrons and all the kids standing in pools of pool water with their foggy goggles in their foreheads and all the poor snack-munching masses. Nation, I'm crying about a cat. [Buy]

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

July 9, 2009


Light Breakfast, by David Sykes

Silly Kissers - "You Don't Love Me". There's a note in the log-book here: But for true inspiration, walk across the highway, through the woods to the cliff's edge, heave stones into the air and listen to them clatter all the way to the forest floor below. This sounds good. I tie my shoes, fasten my sleeves. I go out, across the highway, through the woods, to the cliff. Under the cliff there's a nightclub. I notice because I can hear it. I stick my head over the edge, stare underneath - see the glitter-lit cave. It is a complicated procedure, getting from the cliff-face to the nightclub directly below. But once I am inside I walk down the passage, filled with watery distant beats, faint music, into the vast, pyramidal interior of the mountain. The walls are shiny black. The underside of the peaks - where it's all snow & ice, outdoors - have been painted silver. There are disco-balls. The dance-floor isn't very busy. Some abstract painters, a couple of trombonists, a gaggle of 19-year-old ballerinas drinking fuzzy navels at the bar. The beats aren't any more forceful now that I'm here, in the centre of it. But I get them. I get their remove. My heart's somewhere else, after all. I move my feet, swivel on heels, try not to catch anyone's eye. I sing to the hearts of the mountains, in a silly voice, but truly. [MySpace / playing MEG Montreal on July 31]

Danny Kaye - "Bloop Bleep". When I downloaded this song I hoped that it was about robot language (the language I speak when I am talking like a robot, to the irritation of roommates). It is not. It is about a dripping tap. That is okay - Danny Kaye is probably my favourite actor in the world. Here he sings about a dripping tap, about the girl next door, about unrequited love and insomnia. He weeps. He mixes nonsense and jazz. Like Bill Cosby, like James Joyce, he's discovering a new way of saying the stuff that all of us have known. [buy]


My favourite web-comic is Angry Octopus, created by a man named Mike and his 8-year-old-ish daughter, Zoe. There are only a few strips so far. The concept is: in every strip, the octopus ends up angry.

[photo is "Light Breakfast", by David Sykes]

Posted by Sean at 3:52 PM | Comments (0)

July 7, 2009


hotel on fire

HIGHLIFE - "F KENYA RIP". For the next two weeks I'm spending much of my time in a fishing boat. The boat is suspended on wooden beams, floating in a forest at the foot of the Rocky Mountains. I am trying to decide the Official Song for my time here. Many songs are in the running. I may fail in this quest. But I am trying. Last night I listened to fado; this morning I listen to HIGHLIFE's "F KENYA RIP" (every hat-tip to Dan and Chris). Sleepy Doug Shaw ramblingly joys as sun filters through the pine needles. Is he singing that the dams are low? If so, it is good that I am on a boat. These hot afrobeat riffs are not right for this mountainous, temperate zone; they are too summered, glittering and seashell. But I don't care, here in the Henriquez. I don't care that it's not-right, that HIGHLIFE have never serenaded an elk. Here in my craft I will open the windows and let the cool air in - let "F KENYA RIP" go dancing out to the crags and glacial lakes, to the perked ears of antlered beasts. [MySpace]

(photo source)

Posted by Sean at 2:11 PM | Comments (5)

July 6, 2009

Zeitgeist Films


소녀시대 (Girl's Generation) - "남자친구 (Boyfriend)"

"What would be my, how should I call it, spontaneous attitude towards the universe? It's a very dark one. The first one, the first thesis would have been: a kind of total vanity. There is nothing, basically. I mean it quite literally. Like, ultimately there are just some fragments, some vanishing things, if you look at the universe it's one big void. But then how do things emerge? Here, I feel a kind of spontaneous affinity with quantum physics. Where, you know, the idea there is that the universe is kind of a void, but a positively charged void. But then particular things appear when the balance of the void is disturbed, and I like this idea spontaneously very much. The fact that it's not just nothing, things are out there, it means something went terribly wrong. That what we call creation is a kind of a cosmic imbalance, cosmic catastrophe. That things exist by mistake. And I'm even ready to go to the end and to claim that the only way to counteract it is to assume the mistake and go to the end, and we have a name for this; it's called love. Isn't love precisely this kind of a cosmic imbalance? I was always disgusted with this notion of "I love the world", "universal love". I don't like the world, I don't know how I--uh--I'm basically somewhere in between "I hate the world" and "I'm indifferent towards it". But the whole of reality, it's just it, it is stupid, it's out there, I don't care about it. Love for me is an extremely violent act. Love is not "I love you all". Love means, I pick out something and--it's again this structure of imbalance. Even if this something is just a small detail, a fragile individual person, I say, "I love you more than anything else." In this quite formal sense, love is evil."

- Slavoj Zizek

[buy Zizek! from Zeitgeist]
[video for Girl's Generation's Gee]



Cousin Chris - "Head Down"

*choking sounds*
Ha ha...
Pretty good view of the inside of my mouth, huh?

"it was great.."
Did you see down my throat at all?
What did you see in there?

"it was very dark."
"it was dark, I didn't see much of anything."
So you didn't see any teeth or anything then.
"i saw your teeth."
(smiling) huh...
Did you see the uvula which is that dangly thing at the back of the mouth?
What we need is a light, then.

- Billy P.

[buy Billy the Kid from Zeitgeist]
[site for CC]

Posted by Dan at 3:45 AM | Comments (7)

July 3, 2009

Grass Clasps Ground

Unknown Artist - "Itaula Bava Yami"

That is Amami. Amami is a grown child, she does not like to work. It is not that she does not like to work, but that she has so much fun all the time, she is always singing and hooting, it often seems that she is not working, even if she is working very hard. Some of the other women, and some of the men, are put off by her sunshine. She will hoot, a hoot like you have never heard, and laugh, as soon as she wakes up in the morning. She does not care who is sleeping next to her, or who else close by is still sleeping and needs to sleep, she will hoot like "Deeee! Dee Deeeee!" Some people think she is crazy. I am tempted too sometimes to think she is crazy. But when she picked me to dance with that night, when she spun me around in the sand that one night on the beach, I admit I fell in love with her a bit. Her bright orange smile and her strong rough hands, her large and unshakeable frame, her movement, her slide and her sway. I think about her often. But my brother told me, "she is married to herself, do not think about it." That is hard to do when every day I roll over in the morning and half-open my eyes and wait to hear that golden hoot. [Buy]

White Denim - "Mirrored and Reverse"

Only the reflection spoke, ".seY"

[Buy from Full Time Hobby in the UK]

Posted by Dan at 12:01 PM | Comments (1)

July 2, 2009


Faux Hoax - "Your Friends Will Carry You Home". Pastiche means many things. Okay so Faux Hoax's "Your Friends Will Carry You Home" sounds like a pastiche of the music of BARR. And Faux Hoax are themselves literally a pastiche - pasting together members of Gang of Four (Dave Allen), Menomena (Danny Seim), Tracker (John Askew) and in this case vocalist Adam Gnade. But life is a pastiche, an aggregation of moments, most of them arbitrary, disconnected. "You will get drunk / and you will get sad / and they will sit with you on grey curbs under yellow streetlights / and they'll let you talk / your friends will carry you home / your friends will sleep with you once and you'll think of it often." Nothing inherent connects the getting-drunk and the thinking-of-him-often - it's only in the throughline of consciousness, will, reflection, story (or of songwriting). "Your Friends Will Carry You Home" offers life as pastiche, yes, but also collage, bricolage, a loose and ragged line of drums. [MySpace/buy]

Slaraffenland - "Away". Forget "Meet and Greet", the lead leaky MP3 from Slaraffenland's upcoming We're On Your Side; it's this track, released on a Hometapes sampler, that makes the best case for pre-orders, for love-letters, for sending Slaraffenland postcards reading WHO ARE YOU?. Burnished, melancholy, optimistic and forsaken; like a roll of film running back and forth behind a projector's lens. Handclaps, clarinet, horns, drums, piano, noise - without the National's self-sabotraging ennui, without Broken Social Scene's grassy haze. Slaraffenland make that perfect music for when summer disappears, vanishing under a string of black clouds. [website/buy other releases]


The winner of our Royal City contest was... Billy. Go to the entry to read the winning submissions and the very capable runners-up. Billy, we'll be in touch.

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