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.

November 30, 2009


Painting by Ian Hill?

Emperor X - "Right to the Rails". I didn't see the point of an older brother. He never gave a shit about me. He was in his room, or lying on the carpet in front of the TV with a journal. He bought an expensive camera and took photos of girls on our front lawn. Once he got in a fight at the parking lot of the Sobey's. He called me "Matt", even though I liked being called "Matthew". I remember he walked out of the room when I was practicing my speech in seventh grade, the one about Venus. His hair hung over his eyes. He knew how to drive. I didn't see the point of an older brother. Not til I came home with blood on my hands, aged sixteen and two months, and Charlie said: "GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO." [website]

Diamonds - "Swan (49°02'00",119°03''00")". "You'll never be a poet. No-one'll read a word you write. Your rhymes are too dumb, cocksucker. They're too dumb. You couldn't even be a fucking songwriter. People would roll their eyes and leave the room. People would throw shit at you. Throw tomatoes. 'Tomatoes potatoes,' is that what you were going to say? Poetry's not about truth. It's about meter and assonance, dumb-fuck. And there's no such thing as an ugly thing that's beautiful." [this too is from the Lifted Brow's new ATLAS issue (aka Browrovision 2010), featuring all sorts of music and writing and daft Australian gusto.]


Our friends at Sing Statistics are tossing up their hands and saying "It's snowing!", by offering free worldwide postage this week. This is a particular deal for Canadians and Americans. Get a deal on beautiful prints, or We Are The Friction, a lovely book with original drawings and fiction by all kinds (including me). (Also, Jez is hosting a give-away.)

(image source (someone told me it was by Ian Hill?))

Posted by Sean at 10:26 AM | Comments (2)

November 27, 2009

The Hour of Surrender, The Minute, The Moment

Laura Rivers - "That's Alright (Since My Soul Has Got a Seat Up in the Kingdom)"

The doorbell rings, the view is just hips and backs in the distance, a mumbled exchange at the door. Meanwhile, the television talks on:

People ask why I'm a scientologist, but I don't really think that's a fair question. I mean, it's like asking someone with a stroller why they chose to have kids. There's a thousand answers, and there's also no answer. It just feels like the right thing to do, the completely right thing for me in my life. I mean, like, driving home in the New England countryside, in the rain at 4am because I was visiting a sick friend, mentally sick, and getting struck head-on by a two-seater. The driver was high and drunk and what did I do, I was a visiting a friend, and then an angel came by and saved my life. He was happening along that same road, and in the driving rain, the rain we were driving in, he pulled me out of the car and saved my life. I don't like to say it, but I'm proud of it, and I hope he's proud of it too, it was Tom Cruise. And ever since then you can really see what it's about, you can really feel a purpose and a drive and a perfect kind of goal; to raise up the species. So don't ask me why I'm a scientologist, ask me how close I think you are to being blessed the rank of scientologist.


Posted by Dan at 4:11 PM | Comments (5)

November 26, 2009


edible recliner

Vampire Weekend - "Cousins". A train holiday across Essex, to meet yr cousins. Share a carriage with a man in an eyepatch with a broom moustache. Turns out he's related. He teaches you to snap your fingers in a different way. Stop in Danbury. Man at the shop, selling peppery cheese rolls, he's a cousin too. Cousins everywhere. A cousin at the used bookshop, opening pop-up books. A cousin at city hall, rubber-stamping pub licenses. Cousins in the elevators, cousins on the escalators, cousins dusting your room when you're gone. You climb a tree: cousins. You lift a rock: cousins. You go swimming, see cousins down in the swirling weeds. You fall in love with a cousin, get in a fight with a cousin, get arrested by a cousin and then a cousin sets you free. Hail a taxi; find a stranger; ride in silence to the plane. [video etc etc]

Loch Lomond - "Field Report". Hard to take a man seriously when he sings, The sound of children laughing makes my eyes bleed. So we'll not take him seriously. We'll take this song lightly, playfully, prettily. We'll play it in our forest-green Rolls Royce, with the roof down. [buy the split 12"+CDR from Song by Toad]

(photo source)

Posted by Sean at 10:41 AM | Comments (2)

November 24, 2009

The Morning Midst


Son De La frontera - "Bulería Negra Del Gastor"

"I'm up, ma," only 14 and already he talks to his mother this way. He comes down the stairs for breakfast, but what does he really eat. A few bites of a grapefruit and a glass of milk and he's out the door. He barely looks me in the eye, his head down and his big hulking grunts just dismiss any effort I try to make. He's all I have, and he knows that. All too well, he knows that. Because as much as he's all I have, I'm all he has, I know that for sure. He doesn't have no friends, he doesn't have a girlfriend, I would be able to tell if he had a girlfriend. He would shower more than once a week, that's for sure. And he would shave that mess off his face. Maybe he hates me because he doesn't have a father, he doesn't believe me that he's better off without his father. Much better. This darkness, whatever it is, is nothing compared to the hell that he'd be living with that man around. Today I will finish his portrait and he will come home from school and I will give it to him, and we will have a cake and sing a song. If that doesn't work, at least for tonight, I don't know what I'll do. He thinks I forget about him but I don't. I know everything he thinks about me, he thinks I'm stupid, he thinks I don't understand him, and I wouldn't even if he told me. But he doesn't need to tell me. I understand, he is my son, I understand. I understand that I may die waiting for him to grow up and realize that I love him more than anyone else does in this cold and lonely world. That he needs to take advantage of my love in order to be happy in this life, and with every day that chance is slipping away. I understand that he may move away before admitting that I put everything else aside for his benefit. I understand because I did the same thing and to look at the politicians and the garbage yards and the sad stray dogs in the streets, it is clear that we are in a giant rotating wheel, stained with those caught under its weight, coming back around to get those it did not crush the first time. Ah! There is the sun. A glass of wine, I think. [Buy]

Brother Willie Blue - "I'm Pressing On"

When unemployment is on a ten-week bender and your bicycle rides like a shivery twig, don't let it get to you. When they cancel the mail because the front step is broken, and you can't get out of bed to see the sun because you ran out of coffee a whole string of days ago, don't let it get you down. When your boots are more like sandals and your best girl won't text you back, when your jeans are ripping a big yawn in the knee and all your shirts look like they were worn by a fire hydrant, don't beat yourself up. When you can't afford to eat and your hair is all sideways falling off your head, when the cold around you is warmer than the cold inside you, you know it's time to sit down, but don't let it drag on you. Just take a minute, breathe deep if it doesn't hurt too much, and try saying all the words you think it's impossible to say. [Buy]

(image source)

Posted by Dan at 1:19 AM | Comments (2)

November 23, 2009


women with beards

Tune-Yards - "Hap-B (Congo)". A song that feels less song and more feeling. The judder and shake of a long train journey, clattering along tracks, blinking eyes awake at sudden sun, strange trees whizzing by, thin birds, arid fields, homes hardly glimpsed. [MySpace / this track from the Lifted Brow's extraordinary ATLAS issue (aka Browrovision 2010), featuring new music by all sorts (from Chip Kidd to Little Wings), and unpublished writing by the likes of, er, David Foster Wallace - buy!]

Arrington De Dionyso - "Tak Terbatas". Arrington De Dionyso is to klingons as Marvin Gaye is to human beings. Which is to say that this man's voice is like the stroke of a k'takh, his saxophones like the pursed lunging h'kra of a live harkh'me'faw. Like a sheep in wolf's clothing. [buy]

(photo source)

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

November 20, 2009

I Like It, I May Not Like It

Idiot Glee - "All Packed Up"

In the glowing shade of an evening nap this song floats in the open window. Between sleep and awareness, this shapeless thing is like second-hand smoke, like practiced violin, like curry. In a closed courtyard, with rugs out of windows and soccer games playing, this song swims lazily up where the sky starts, floats up past the rooms like laundry steam, and swirls up the silence like a ribbon of colour. [MySpace]


Elsewhere: I wrote a couple of pieces for the always-impressive Moss Bailey. My thanks to her for inviting me to join. (check out the whole site at


Posted by Dan at 9:07 PM | Comments (2)

November 19, 2009


Convict poker

Sean Savage - "Here She Comes!!!". On November 19th, Sean Savage was kidnapped by an unknown woman. She wore a gingham scarf over her mouth. She had black bangs and blue eyes. She strapped Mr Savage to a large red wagon and climbed onto her bicycle and proceeded east. At first Mr Savage struggled. He pulled and bucked at his bindings. He kicked the side of the wagon. His thrashings knocked the wagon onto its side, whereupon he was dragged for ten feet in the trail's hard dirt. She got off her bike, propped the kick-stand, came back and righted him. She flicked pebbles from his cheek and smoothed his hair. She got on her bicycle and they rode. They rode & rode. In time, Mr Savage fell in love. There were orange-trees everywhere and he was in love. The spokes of her bicycle were made of sterling silver. [MySpace / Sean plays in Silly Kissers / via Goldkicks]

The Generationals - "When They Fight, They Fight". Rob admired his elbows. He dripped onto the linoleum, standing by the full-length mirror, nude and admiring his elbows. He had always thought his elbows were his finest feature. They were smooth, pointed, secretly strong. He jabbed once or twice, admiring the way they jabbed. He opened and closed his arm. Yes, his elbows. He mouthed the words to the mirror: Oh, these elbows. [thanks Brooks! / buy / MySpace / website]


Update: McSweeney's has posted my new article, SING A SONG FOR SISTER SUVI. It is a tribute to a late, great Montreal band that I have written about before (featuring Patrick Gregoire, Nico Bann and Tune-Yards' Merrill Garbus).

(photo source)

Posted by Sean at 10:50 AM | Comments (2)

November 17, 2009

A Pound A Day


Alvin Band - "Tijuana"

"The beach is the most vulnerable place, but it's the place of most access. It's horrible to think about attacking a beach, about war on a beach. About all those people with their hot dogs and portable stereos and colourful towels and suits, and sunglasses and lotion and near-nakedness, getting attacked. Do people bring portable stereos to the beach anymore, or maybe did they ever? But I suppose that attacking that part of the land makes the most sense, it's the softest place. Like they know the dark truth of the matter, and they exploit it. I feel that way about my love, like he attacks the beach of my heart. The beach of my body. The softest place, the most vulnerable, innocent, reckless, and unexamined. I am devastated, bent on revenge, but understanding that strategically, it was the smartest move."

[Buy new record]

(image source)

Posted by Dan at 1:57 PM | Comments (4)

November 16, 2009


Black and white, source unknown

Cuddle Magic - "Expectations". The voice like a trombone solo is back. But the thing you should understand is: there are no actual trombones here. There's a salt of drums, a pepper of strings, a little woodwind and whistle and the guitars that do not let you go. But the trombone thing is a different thing. Remember when you did not know the trombone? Remember when you thought the trombone was just the slide-whistle sound of an ice-cream scoop leaving a cone? When you thought they were the wan backup singers of the brass section? Remember that time? And then gradually, slowly, hearing the great trombonists playing, hearing the right trombonists play, you learned that really the trombone is the greatest instrument of all? Because humanity lives in that moment a scoop leaves a cone; wisdom in the slip from low to high. Well all that is in this man's singing. // This is a song by Cuddle Magic, dumb and handsome, clever and plain, beautiful as anything you decide you are yes going to treasure. [anticipate Picture / go see Cuddle Magic in Iowa and the northeast / site]

The Curtains - "Go Lucky". Where the cork grows, there are years of sky. There is wind and sunlight among the trees. There are smaller plants that grow green among the roots. In time the cork trees are stripped. The cork is taken in trucks, boats and jet-planes. At M. Giddenze's vineyard, grapes are turned to wine. Steel channels pour wine into grey bottles. Labels are steamed onto glass. And then the small carved corks, falling slipped thunk into the mouth of every one. A cork in every one. These fine bottles crisscross the world, they hide in a thousand cellars, and a cork in every one. The memory of wind and sunlight, tightly held, in the dark. (I do not need to tell you that this is another voice like a trombone solo.) [site/buy]


I am still seeking the most wonderful songs of 2009.

This Thursday (November 19), I will be doing a short reading at Le Pick-Up. I'll be reading from something I've been working on for a while. It's free and at 7pm. It would be nice to see you.

(photo source)

Posted by Sean at 10:45 AM | Comments (4)

November 13, 2009

Dickie Part Two

Neko Case - "Never Turn Your Back On Mother Earth"
Sparks - "Never Turn Your Back On Mother Earth"

The name of the game was "Gotta Do It". The rules were simple: someone would name a deed (it could be something normal like "eat grass" or it could be something weird like "climb up Dead Dog's Tree and scream the name of your True Love") and point to a person and then the rest of the watching group would whisper "Gotta do it!" over and over until they, the chosen boy or girl, did it. Dickie had watched many a game of Gotta Do It from afar, and would watch with curiosity, thankful separation, or unbearable envy, as the various "do its" were acted out. He came to school that morning with a very particular "do it" in mind. He spent all of science class unable to focus his microscope, his hands were shaking and his eyes felt sweaty, blurry. He couldn't eat breakfast that morning, he dumped his oatmeal in the toilet after his parents left for work. "Take off your jacket, Dickie," said Mrs. Greg, the wiry science teacher, he hadn't noticed he'd left it on, "you're not outside yet."

At the bell he flew out the door and stood in the center of the field, the usual location for a good game of Gotta Do It. Since he had never actually played a game before, the other children all cast glances at Dickie standing on that spot and thought there must not be a game today, since Dickie was standing there and no one else. He started shouting, "Hey! Game time! Hey guys, game time!" A few straggled closer, with furrowed brows. "Bring Walter! Hey guys, game time, bring Walter!"

Walter Hannigan, 8-and-a-half years old, was a regular player of Gotta Do It. He had brilliantly thought up the "do it" of "steal Mrs. Greg's cigarettes", which was one of the all-time greatest do its the game had ever seen. Mrs. Greg kept her outdoor cigarettes (she had a pack for indoors and outdoors, depending on where she was doing duty that day) inside a little metal door meant for a water pipe, a small tap covered in a hinged metal door that had just enough resting place for a pack of cigarettes. Tina Dion had stolen them, and everyone smoked one each, they coughed and laughed and did Mrs. Greg impressions.

The gang gathered, skeptical of Dickie's idea to play Gotta Do It, but they gathered nonetheless, including Walter Hannigan. A few do its got handed out (stand on your head and say the alphabet backwards, do the stupidest voice you can think of, say "fuck" as loud as you can) and then it was Dickie's turn. He glanced furtively around, and then pointed at Walter, "This one's for Walter," his hand shaking in the wind. "Kiss me." The group fell silent. No one laughed. They all seemed to think about it, pause, look at Walter, think about it, pause, and then whisper. "Gotta do it. Gotta do it. Gotta do it. Gotta do it!" The whisper-shouting was deafening, Dickie's head was throbbing and his blurred vision was getting blurrier. Walter looked around easily, shrugged, stepped closer to Dickie, held his breath and planted a kiss on him. His lips hung there, and all Dickie could see were all the things he hated: the light-up shoes, the expensive clothes, the sugary lunches, the hundreds of girlfriends, all start to fade to white like they were covered in light instead of covered in pitch darkness. He almost made it out, he almost just got a kiss from the most popular boy in school, but then he remembered his plan. It was too devilishly good, thought Dickie, he was unable to control the completion of his plan. Having Walter finally this close, he snapped out his teeth and bit down on Walter's cheek. For what seemed like an hour, Dickie hung there, teeth sunk deeply into Walter's face. When they were finally pulled apart, Dickie had a fair chunk of Walter's cheek left in his mouth, and as he emerged from his cathartic stupor and the gravity of the situation began to dawn on him, embarrassed, he swallowed it.

[Buy Neko Case's Middle Cyclone]
[Buy Sparks' Propaganda]

trailer for Episode 5 of The Bitter End

Posted by Dan at 3:53 AM | Comments (3)

November 12, 2009


Photo of a beached whale by National Geographic

Ola Podrida - "Donkey". Hard-strummed banjo, and David Wingo, one of my favourite songwriters, singing. He strums and sings louder & louder, and yet it's not because of mere urgency, the wish to communicate that he cares. He has to yell because there is howling. He has to raise his voice over roars, whirlwinds, tides. This doom is murmured in creak & drone but it's also promised in Wingo's (marvelous) lyrics: We yelled our names over the noise, we saved the girls and drowned the boys. Sometimes you are yelling too loud to know if what you yell is a confession, a warning or a memorial. [website & videos / buy Belly of the Lion, which takes its title from this song; Ola Podrida are wonderful.]

The Desks - "If You Will, I'll Stay". I used to think this was a song about wanting. I think now that it's a song about choosing. (And, if we're lucky, the joy of the choice.) [download free]


Earlier this year, my friend P and I helped La Blogotheque to choose ten or fifteen wonderful Montreal bands that are not yet very famous. Then Vincent Moon came to Montreal and in spaces around the city, he shot films, tiny little Take-Away Shows, with some of these. These small films are now online: VIEWS OF MONTREAL. They feature (modest, ragged) performances by: BRAIDS, Clues, My People Sleeping, Witchies, The Mittenstrings, Little Scream and The Luyas. Perversely, I haven't yet seen any of them bc streaming video doesn't work on my computer. (Take note!) But I have reason to believe they are very, very special (and consist, I think, of one of the first-ever chances to hear Little Scream, who has not yet released any recordings). Merci à Mathieu, tous et toutes.

Finally, a re-run: End-of-Year Plea! As usual, I will be preparing a list of the best songs of 2009. And as always, I ask for your help. Heard a wonderful song, this year? One that we haven't written about? Please email it to me. Major-label or local obscurity; indie rock, folk, hardcore, especially r&b, pop and chart hip-hop - you name it, I'll listen. But do remember: I care about the song, not the artist, not the album. Please don't send me more than one track by any given act. (And please send MP3s - not links to MySpace/Youtube!)

(photo source)

Posted by Sean at 11:46 AM | Comments (3)

November 10, 2009

Dickie Part One

Sparks - "Sherlock Holmes"
The Dirtbombs - "Sherlock Holmes"

Dick Colford, at 8 years old, and Walter Hannigan, at 8-and-a-half years old, were life-long enemies. Dick Colford, Dickie to his mother and teachers, was short, with his head stretched up he would just press against the flexy membrane of 4' tall. Dickie wore penny-loafers and ugly sweaters and jeans with an elastic waistband. He had no television or video games, he had only the radio and his thousand-piece puzzles of The Strand and Presidents in Time. Walter Hannigan, however, had everything. He had flatscreens and ergonomic joysticks and sugary after-school snacks (literally a cupboard with every variety from Mimis to Jackson's Jupes to Hollywagons to Jelly Turnstyles). He wore light-up shoes and fitted jeans with patterns on the pockets and t-shirts with on-purpose rips in them. He even had those God-given gifts, an extra 6" of height, and an extra 6 months of life, proof that even God favoured the favourites.

These two were life-long enemies. In a sense. In fairness, it must be said that Walter Hannigan did not know that he had a life-long enemy.

Dickie would watch Walter from the shadowy and lonely parts of the schoolyard. He would spit on the ground and step on it. He would draw pictures in the air with his finger, pictures that started with the outline of Walter, traced from watching him juggle a soccer ball in the distance for a group of girls, and then a stabbing motion. He would laugh and mutter and he was genuinely happy to have a secret punching bag for his many-pointed and overflowing energies. On the bus he would count all the times Walter said "man" or "cool", and would slap his knee loudly every time they crossed a multiple of 10. Walter would get off first, and Dickie would watch him walk past the yellow sports car to his door every single every single every single day. Dickie, turning his back to the sting of a cold September wind, had a dark glimmer of an idea.

[Buy Sparks' Angst in My Pants]
[Buy The Dirtbombs' We Have You Surrounded]

Posted by Dan at 6:39 PM | Comments (0)

November 9, 2009


Photo by Simon Roberts

Both these songs have unnecessary intros.

The Crown Vandals - "Guenevere".You want to go back to the 14th century, to wait in a grove by the walled city. You want to hide your drum-kit beneath under a leafy oak, conceal your guitars in a mulberry bush; cheap amps, cheap mics, cheap booze nestling among beech-roots. You want to wait there, for courtiers and commoners who steal away from the walled city - weirdos & thieves & lovers & lonelyhearts. They come loping to the grove, in tunics and bucklers, coins in coin-pouches; they turn their problems and thrills around in their heads. They hum sorrow as a lute-strum, sing lust as a minuet. They have no idea. They have never heard an amp blow out, a cymbal crack, an electric guitar-string snap. They have never heard a sound this loud. You wait in the shadow green, to teach them. [The Crown Vandals are from Montreal // they play New York and DC next month // MySpace]

Taken by Trees - "Anna". Some things just simply mostly work, like traffic. They are based on physical laws, like batteries. They ignore whims, like clouds. They are reliable, like good clocks. // But these "things" I talk about are not all boring. // Some of the "things", the ones that work and are reliable, that ignore whims and are based on physical laws // are friendship, rhythm, and sunset. // And some of the things you think are like traffic, batteries, clouds and clocks; // they're not. [MySpace / buy]


Witchies, Mixylodian and Silly Kissers, three of Montreal's best bands, all of whom we've written lustily about in the past, are playing together (yes, together) this Friday. Le Milieu, 6545 Durocher #200, $7/$10. MP3s, courtesy of Mr Mixy: Mixylodian - "Bad Girls (Mase Cover)" /// Witchies - "Hater" /// Silly Kissers - "Easy Fantasy".

End-of-Year Plea! As usual, I will be preparing a list of the best songs of 2009. And as always, I ask for your help. Heard a wonderful song, this year? One that we haven't written about? Please email it to me. Major-label or local obscurity; indie rock, folk, hardcore, especially r&b, pop and chart hip-hop - you name it, I'll listen. But do remember: I care about the song, not the artist, not the album. Please don't send me more than one track by any given act.

(photo by Simon Roberts / source)

Posted by Sean at 11:58 AM | Comments (6)

November 6, 2009

Lady of Legend, Leisure

Frozen Bears - "Tape Eater"

In every society, even one as small and fluid as a city bus, there is an alpha creature. A being who, given a drastic change in circumstances, would rule. If this bus were to take off into space or suddenly bury miles underground, and we all had to live the rest of our lives together, one person would be, at least at first, in control. Sometimes it's not obvious, if the bus is filled with people who normally look furtive for a leader to follow, but sometimes it's deadly obvious. He stood at the back of the bus, in a slick canvas duster, hair down to his heart, with hands like heavy talons. Standing his bike made of body parts on its heel, he was dripping wet from a rain that no one else seemed to have experienced. As if his entire being were wearing sunglasses, he had turned himself into a reflective spirit. To look at him was to see yourself, weak and shaking and submissive by comparison. So struck by his aura, his stark, commanding presence, I turned to the woman next to me, pointed and said, "He'd be in charge for sure." She took out the white earphone on my side, <<'scuse-moi?>> [Buy]


Parethetical Girls - "Doughnut In My Hand" (go to "news", scroll down to stream "Doughnut In My Hand")

"In order to cull a sense of satisfaction from having lived, then there must at some point be a list of requirements needed in order to garner that satisfaction. In this sense life becomes a sort of 'preparing to die'. But the very idea that one could prepare mentally for the totally physical act of dying is absurd (you can't mentally put on a seatbelt or make your consciousness duck-and-cover). And subsequently, any kind of physical preparation, besides loading the gun or tying the noose, will not make death any easier or more appropriate. So the satisfaction brought about by a doughnut is perfectly serene, cynical, hilarious. I raise my glass and let it fall to all the wondrous poets who explain life through example where I cannot."

[Previously on StG][Parenthetical Girls guest post][Buy this new EP][Buy the extremely underrated Entanglements]



Posted by Dan at 6:25 PM | Comments (3)

November 5, 2009


A crouching man, from Black and WTF blog

Flaming Lips - "Watching the Planets". Sometimes you reach for that crystal bottle because you want it to shatter. You want to grab it with your pink pretty hand and pour a dollop of wine and then when you take a sip - for all the monster in you to sour and redden, for your tendons to burst your gown and your eyes to glow like furnaces. You've taken a little drinky-drink, late at night, alone; and you know what that means, you know what that's supposed to mean. Stand up raging; shatter glass, bottle, cabinet and lamp; wreck everything; wreck yourself. That sip of ruby port and now you will find him, blow the sleep from his eyes. You'll roar in his face and tell him everything you've hidden. [Pitchfork did its thing today, and well; this is mine. / buy the startling and wonderful Embryonic]

Red House Painters - "Cruiser". My confession: I don't follow Mark Kozelek's story, here. I never do. I am not a story-song man. I can't trace lyrics, sung. I get lost in lilt and longing. I sink too deep into feel. And so no, I don't follow Mark Kozelek's story, here. Something about driving with a girl from Tokyo, listening to songs. I want Mark to know I feel sorry about this. I feel guilty. I have done him a dis-service, I think. But what I also want Mark to know is that even the people like me, way out here in Canada, listening to his songs without hearing the stories - we're listening real hard. We're listening and breathing, slow. We've put on records by Red House Painters and Sun Kil Moon on so many late nights, slipped into chairs, streetlights hazy through the window. We've taken these songs with us on journeys. We've treasured them. I would not give away this song, give it up, for $20. Not for $50. Would I accept $200 to never hear this song again? I do not think I would. This song whose story I never follow. It's a song I do not understand but that murmurs to me, no matter what, you do. [buy]

(photo source - thanks andrew, see you in december)

Posted by Sean at 1:49 PM | Comments (5)

November 4, 2009


Wale - "90210"

A backwards A's cap, on a kitten, who's licking a baby mouse, who's sitting on a handwritten letter, written on ESL stationery, soaked in butter, on a plate of dainty grandmother china, all on top of a burger, which is on the hood of a cooper mini, which is being carried by a cruise ship, across a mirror-still ocean, leaving a pink wake of perfume and 100-calorie Caramilk Thins, all in a snowglobe, which sits dusty on a dresser, next to a framed production still from Scarface, a Taz-playing-darts statue, a copy of Tribute magazine, a few coins, a toast plate, a fingerless glove, an A's cap, some toe rings. [Pre-Order]

Von LMO - "Be Yourself"

Dennis rolls up in a stolen broken blue camaro, gets out with a pair of shades and a denim jacket. Dennis kicks the dust off the ground and walks up to the door of an open garage. An old relic is inside on cinder blocks, the sun is hard like hot metal, and Dennis looks around. The air is yellow and dry, the thin tin of a "work rock" station is coming from a small radio on the tool counter in the garage. Dennis steps back, looks past the garage to the house behind, still no one, quiet and dry and yellow air. Dennis waits. Dennis stands there, looking straight ahead at the garage, hands in his pockets, a battery in one, the bent and mangled keys to that hot camaro in the other. A voice comes from behind him, "You live here?" Dennis turns around, ready to run, but it's just the mailman. Dennis says nothing and takes the letters, the mailman, a rakish blue geezer, gets on his bike and rides dusty to the next house miles down the road. Creditors, debtors, haranguers, complainers. But one letter, in a beige, sparse envelope, with a neat print and a dime taped to the corner. "God dammit," Dennis looks over his shades. And up at the house, quiet and yellow and dry and dusty, as he rips open the beige envelope. I'll be home in two weeks. I'm in trouble. I need your help. Be ready for me. I love you and I'm sorry. -Dennis



Jumbling Towers release a single on Half Machine Records today. With incredible cover art.

Posted by Dan at 1:25 AM | Comments (1)

November 2, 2009


1964 Indy 500 crash

Chad Vangaalen - "Corvette". This is a song of metaphors. Most of them are obvious. Lyrics about a he and a she, manifested as corvette and jumbo jet. Lines about millions of miles, wheels going around. But it has quieter metaphors too. Two drums represent time. An electric guitar stands in for the grim truth of life's indeterminacy. A soft clang for accident and miracle. I'm still figuring out the harmonica. [free download of Chad's Soft Airplane b-sides // buy Soft Airplane]

Manson Family Picnic - "Sounds Drifting On". He gives her gifts: a funny best friend; a yearning companion; a box of chocolates, handmade; a banjo with strings in silver, lead & gold; a bare tree, leaves stuck back with tape; a pineapple; a hot-air balloon ride; a kiss in a bottle; a photograph of a man saying, So? [buy/MySpace]

(photo is of the 1964 Indy 500 crash)

Posted by Sean at 1:24 PM | Comments (4)