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.

September 30, 2010


Chernobyl control room one

This Is The Kit - "Waterproof". Lucy woke up thinking of Tom. She hadn't thought of him in six months, seven; but her eyes opened on the pillow and she thought of him in Victoria, at the very end of the world, in a flat filled with plants. She rubbed her eyes; she showered; she pulled into clothes and went downstairs. At the mailbox, her key went in with a faint ding, like a bell, a bell and a mechanism, and when she opened the hatch there was just one envelope there, hatched in red and blue. The return address said, T.W. / VICTORIA.

And as Lucy stood with one hand on the envelope, and one on the key in its keyhole, her body twisted to look out out the front door at the gathering cloud, she had the quiet intuition that fate is not always benevolent, that it is not always good, that it is sometimes sinister. She did not know what was inside this letter, and her heart shivered, and she was not certain that this coincidence was kind.

[very smitten with this song / buy Wriggle Out The Restless from Bristol's Dreamboat Records]

Women - "Can't You See". Inside the mountain, mechanisms groaned. Clockwork sheared and righted itself. Grass pushes up from earth and hands touch envelopes and inside the mountain, gears are turning. Mechanisms are groaning. Things with hands like clocks are fulfilling circuits, and their nails are clean.



If you are at Pop Montreal, my guide to the festival is here. Big day today, and I'm on a panel at 4:30 pm.

(photo is of Chernobyl's Control Room One)

Posted by Sean at 11:08 AM | Comments (1)

September 29, 2010

Mea Culpa

Sam Prekop - "The Silhouettes"

This post was begun one month ago, nearly to the day, immediately after I first heard Sam Prekop's surprising new single, "The Silhouettes."

At the time, I wrote:

"Sometimes it's hard to tell haze from smoke, on a campsite near a lake for instance.

Similarly, in a mental space, we often think we're about to set fire, when really we're just confused.

Haze is not merely an intermediary - a lens through which we see other objects - but a thing too in itself, one that can be seen clearly or otherwise."

Weeks later, when I returned to these words and to the song that inspired them, the relevance of each to the other escaped me. I had no idea what my idea had been. And thus, like Augustine in the twilight of his life, I became a question for myself.

What had I been trying to say? Was I alluding to the layers of semi-permeable synthesizer sounds - the fuzz through which one can hear the ascending lead or the looping arpeggios beyond looping arpeggios? But then what might I have meant by the comparison between haze and smoke? Could I have been trying to call attention to the subtle constitutional differences between the song's many similar tones?

All of this questioning - what did it yield? Only one discovery in the end: a new-found appreciation for you, the reader. If I can't understand my own prose, how can I ask that you do? My apologies, my friends, and thank you for indulging me lo these many years.


Posted by Jordan at 8:25 PM | Comments (3)

September 28, 2010

Moment of Wonde®

The following are taken from Disney's new Disney Parks Memories site. A place where people can upload all their photos, videos, and stories of their Disney memories. Disney memories are sorted by theme (Moment of Wonder, Character Moment, Family Tradition), location (Walt Disney World Resort, Disneyland Resort, Disney Cruise Lines) and emotion (Happy, Excited, Inspired, Amazed)


moment-of-wonder.jpgClinic - "Another Way of Giving". The magic and joy one receives at the mere mention of Disneyland is such an indescribable moment in any child's life. Our first trip to WDW with our children was in 2005. Our kids were so excited they could hardly contain themselves. My husband and I spent our Honeymoon at WDW so we were all ready hooked but our kids had no idea what they were in for. They absolutely fell in love and haven't stopped their passion for Disney ever since. None of us have. We have since been on 3 Disney cruises and have been to WDW and have even become Disney Vacation Club members. I can't wait to hear "Welcome Home" again in March, 2011 when we will be at the most magical place on earth, once again. [pre-order Bubblegum]


cinderella-baby.jpgDeerhunter - "He Would Have Laughed". As we wait in line with my 14 month old daughter to see the princesses, I realize I am doing it more for myself than for her, even though she loves them, she won't remember this. The wait was 60 mins & it flew by. When we met Cinderella, I put my 14 month old on the ground to walk up to her. Cinderella sat on the floor & held my daughter & called her "Tiny Princess Shelby". Cinderella also asked if my daughter could come back to live with her in the castle. There was no way I could fight back the tears. Cinderella has always been my favorite princess & I am certain as my daughter gets older, because of this experience, will be hers also. The pictures I got of them together are priceless. I am not sure if she does this for everyone, but it sure made me feel special. She spent a good 10 minutes just holding my daughter & hugging on her so sweetly. And my never be still, always on the go daughter just sat there on her lap & never moved. Thank you Cinderella! [Buy Halcyon Digest]

Posted by Dan at 2:39 AM | Comments (2)

September 27, 2010


Not Louis, by Harry Kerr

Anna McGarrigle & Audrey Bean - "Louis the Cat". I am not going to write a story about this song; everything important about the song is contained within its two minutes and sixteen seconds. It was recorded by two friends in the early 1970s. They were in a living-room. There was a piano. And Louis the cat had disappeared.

I was born in 1982. As a kid we would drive through Algonquin Park at night and my mother would put on a cassette of Kate & Anna McGarrigle's songs, and I'd squirm, I'm not now sure why; something too-tightly blossoming in their blending voices. And now, as an adult, I hear their songs and cherish them but it evokes a long-ago, perhaps my childhood or perhaps a lamp-lit decade, a strange 1970s, a time I never knew.

Listening to "Louis the Cat", I have a very different feeling. It's not the same as when I hear "Work Song", "La vâche qui pleure", or "Heart Like A Wheel". This is not something that has been passed down to me: a poem, a photograph, a stuttering black & white film. Here, I hear two friends my own age. They are in a living-room. There is a piano. Louis the cat has disappeared.

This is a song that could be sung by people I see every day. And if it were, I would listen quietly and think in my heart: what a beautiful song. I would wonder where Louis was, and how lucky he was to have had these two. I would think of the time we had all had dinner together, spontaneously, calling & finding everyone home and idle; and how we had trudged through the snow to their door and there had been soup and fresh bread, red wine and rhubarb pie; and how Louis had wound between our legs before scampering away.

This is a song that could be sung right this instant, by two girls lying on the hardwood floor and singing at the ceiling.

Anyway, I like it a lot.

ODDiTTiES is the first McGarrigles release since the passing of Kate last year. It is a collection of unreleased tracks, including "A la claire fontaine (live)", and an alternate version of the famous "Logdriver's Waltz". And this. It is available exclusively on iTunes.

Kate is dearly missed.

[This is a photograph by Harry Kerr of Henry Behrens, the smallest man in the world ca 1956, dancing with his pet cat.]

Posted by Sean at 12:24 AM | Comments (5)

September 24, 2010




It's not often that we at Said the Gramophone talk about film. It's happened before, in our own way, but with Catfish it's a different situation. I have been a long-time supporter of the work of Henry Joost, and Catfish is his first feature film with two of his partners. You've probably seen it advertised in your local weekly, or maybe in the metro, or possibly online. But this is their first feature, and Universal Pictures picked it right up fresh from Sundance. And deservedly so, it's a brilliant film.

It's hard to write about Catfish at all because of the way it's marketed. It has that experiential quality (it must first be seen before it can be discussed) that is garnering it comparisons to Hitchcock. The tagline is "don't let anyone tell you what it is", and I certainly won't, but I will tell you to see it. And I will discuss it in the vaguest-yet-most-enticing way I can think of.

First, a synopsis: Catfish is a documentary about Nēv Schulman, a photographer in NYC who has a friendship with 8-year-old Abby, a painter in Michigan. Through Facebook, Nēv connects to Abby's whole family, including her very attractive older sister Megan. The documentary quickly shifts perspective to the burgeoning romance between Nēv and Megan. And from there, things get crazy.

Now, what I want to talk about, and what I have not seen in any reviews I've read, is that Catfish is a marvelous examination of personal manipulation. Catfish is entirely a film about control. Control of your own identity, control over your heart, and in a totally exciting way, control over the very film you're watching. It's made by three friends, two of whom are brothers, but the film's opening exchange is "Do you want to be in this film or not?" which comes from behind the camera, and then in response, Nēv: "No!" and laughs. And from that point on comes a stream of the most personal moments of a very current-feeling relationship. Nēv is constantly baring his heart, and showing the weaknesses and embarrassments that come with the growing pains of meeting someone online. And just when you think Nēv is going to be pushed along the whole way, cowed into being made a film out of, he suddenly takes control of the entire film, of the crew who are his friends, and the film shifts gears. And then another person takes control, and then another, and another.

It's built expertly, the pristine structure of a masterful thriller, but I wouldn't compare it to Hitchcock so much as I would put it right alongside Errol Morris' early work The Thin Blue Line. It's a documentary that utilizes genre elements to enhance its story, but is still very much, and thankfully so, a Documentary.

To Henry, and Ariel, and Nēv, congratulations on an amazing work, and I know that this is still only the beginning.

[Catfish official site]
[Catfish on Facebook]


The track you heard at the top is from the Mark Mothersbaugh score of the film, the track was given to us specially by Henry, and it's perfect; at once epic and tiny, it's both love-excitement and danger-excitement.

But in addition to the score, Catfish uses songs as well, two of which were found from reading Said the Gramophone, so in the spirit of fearlessly facing one's own foibles, the original paragraphs are included.

by Dan, from Nov 2007:
Opium Flirt - "Saint European King Days". I got an email with the subject line "new music from Estonia". As if the whole country had just finished catching up on old unreturned phone calls and raked the leaves and put on a sweater and had finally gotten around to making some more music. If this is in fact the case (I see no reason why it isn't) then I congratulate them. Still no words to say, they've written a warm wooly walk in the park, where green has become brown and grey, and the roads are getting harder, whiter. Opium Flirt have written a national treat, a crisp smile for the afternoon, for the world. [Buy for 185 EEK]

by Sean, from Mar 2007:
The Hidden Cameras - "Learning the Lie". With "Learning the Lie", The Hidden Cameras propose a hypothesis: The Velvet Underground, at their best, may be emulated by just mumbo-jumbo mumble-wacka-wacka'ing the lyrics. "Mumbo-jumbo mumble-wacka-wacka" is a phrase of my own creation, an attempt to formalise the bullshit Joel Gibb gets up to here. He's just tootling away, singing nothing at all, smirking in the confidence of his caricature. And I kinda want to sock him in the mouth for thinking that he can get away with this. A slouching guitar-line, a dented violin, forward-leaning drums: this is all you need to pretend to be The Velvets? He's "hilariously mistaken". But as I stride towards him, sleeve rolled up, cheeks sucked in so I look something like a death's-head Popeye, he gets me. Joel gets me. The swing's in my step and I can't shake it out, the hook's in my ears and I can't get them clear, I'm singing along and I can't help myself. "Ooo-do-do-doo doo, haw-aw oo-doo doo doo!" I feel like a square so I lean up against a building, put hands in pockets, wait for the man. Tap my foot and grin like a damn fool. [buy Awoo]


Comments on the film are so so encouraged (no spoilers, obv) in the comments section, we can discuss anything, from Nēv's wonderful smile, to how Henry (though he speaks rarely in Catfish) has the most important line in the whole movie.

Posted by Dan at 1:00 PM | Comments (5)

September 23, 2010


NASA field

The Lightning Bug Situation - "This Body". The ghost stayed out late with friends. He came home with his cell-phone over his heart, the lawns smelling like white wine. His apartment was empty. He disrobed in the glow of the streetlight through the blinds, and as he lay in bed he realised he was still smiling.

The ghost woke up with his alarm. He stood under a cold shower. The ghost had recently fallen in love, but he had not told her yet. He bought a wholegrain muffin at the bakery, crossed the road and into the office where he worked. The ghost was a copywriter. He had two computer monitors. At lunch-time he went with some colleagues to Magpie and they shared a large margherita pizza. They did not argue over the pieces. He walked home from work through the park, watched the dogs run past him.

The ghost was sitting at home listening to Gillian Welch when he began pursuing a strange line of thought. It began with his recollection of the dogs, at the park, running raggedly past. They had not even looked at him. This was not so strange; they were running. But the ghost had this odd sense, this shadowing or premonition, that animals never looked at him. It felt like a premonition because it was something the ghost felt he was on the verge of realising, but hadn't yet. He felt himself suppressing it. He thought of Neale and Raffi's cats, and how they wove between his feet, and never looked up.

The ghost stood at the window. The city flickered. He had never been stung by a hornet, by a bee. He considered mosquito bites. He laughed at himself. Considering mosquito bites! He set the thoughts aside. As soon as they were set aside he began thinking about them again. Am I real? he asked himself, suddenly. Do I exist? These were not obvious thoughts to have, after seeing dogs run past. They signalled a deeper suspicion; the ghost knew this. He lay in bed.

The ghost began to wonder if he was a ghost.

What the ghost wanted to know, was: If he were a ghost, could he tell her?


"This Body" is a single from the new album by the Lightning Bug Situation, Call (buy). There is a chance it could take your breath away. I am privileged to offer it up, in fact the whole single proper, with artwork and b-sides, including a weary song called "Hold On". We have written about Lightning Bug Situation before; it is the project of the Speakers' Brian Miller. Visit his blog.

This Body single
Download the "This Body" single (zip, 20.5mb)
01. This Body
02. Hold On
03. This Body (peter musselman shoe in a dryer mix)

Here are the lyrics to "This Body", because I like them:

Leaves, on an old suitcase:
Wet and red,
Buried deep in the woods in the fall.
We stumble upon it as we walk in the rain,
Our hoods pulled tightly over our heads.

This body.
This breath.
These eyes, hands, and feet.

Lost in a dream.
Find my way back:

To you.

We crouch down and push the leaves off to the side.
A rusted buckle breaks right off.
I look at you and you smile at me,
Your wet hand on my shoulder.

Posted by Sean at 12:41 AM | Comments (2)

September 22, 2010

GUIDE TO POP MONTREAL 2010 (from Said the Gramophone)

Pop Montreal 2010

This entry is, um, wide. Best to view it on its dedicated page.

Pop Montreal is nine years old; it knows how to read and play basketball. It is, perhaps, the best pop music festival in the North America. Not because it does everything perfectly but because it strives to do all things - investing in panache, mischief, that extra bit more. All Tomorrow's Parties has its curators, Sappyfest has its intimacies, SXSW has its ambition and city-scale. Pop has some of each, smally, bigly. An indie hit parade - the xx, Liars, Deerhoof, Xiu Xiu - mixed with private passions - Van Dyke Parks, Big Freedia, Mahala Rai Banda, Mary Margaret O'Hara. (Two years ago, the headliner was not Vampire Weekend but Burt Bacharach.) Hundreds of luminaries and nobodies, gathered under the same roofs. This festival says to itself - I'd love to learn about Ubuweb, the web's best resource for avant-garde sound - and then brings in Kenny Goldsmith. It books Les Savy Fav for 2 in the morning and makes sure Pat Jordache plays before.

I still think Montreal's the best city in the world; this is our week-long jamboree.

Let's hope the sky stays sunny; cool but flashed with warm. Let's hope we can ride our bikes. Let's hope everyone gets across the border.

I made similar guides in 2008 and 2009, and in 2008 also wrote up my experiences for McSweeney's. This year, I've tried to integrate some mp3s (click on the arrows to stream them, or left-click to download).

As always, this Guide is staunchy personal, subjective, honest. I recommend the things I love, the things I am curious about. And I leave out the things - even if they're highly touted - for which I'd have to fake excitement. Take everything with seas of salt.

Visitors to Montreal: Consider staying at Pop's free-form "hostel". And no frontin': A proper experience of Pop requires a bicycle. Or a Bixi.

How to Use This Guide
I suggest you flip between this guide and the official printed Pop program, for band descriptions. (You can also use the website or the fancy iPhone/iPad app, but I find paper helpful: you can write on it.) I also recommend Pop Montreal's point-and-clicky "build yr schedule" thing at Sched.

Tickets and Passes
This year, there was a major change to the way festival passes work. The short of it is: besides the $275 industry pass, there is no pass that gives you access to all shows. Instead, the Pop braintrust is encouraging people to commit to individual shows, buying full-price tickets. This might seem like a bummer, but I think it's okay; it encourages you to invest in what you're seeing, and means more people will be catch the festival's carefully programmed opening acts.

More than that, Pop's created something new & rad - the Pop Hopper pass. Daily Pop Hopper passes are available as a $10 upgrade to most festival tickets. Buy one full-price ticket, and for $10 more you can graze and skim and skip to any number of other gigs that night. It's a terrific deal, but Pop Hopper passes are limited. Before the festival, you can order them here. During the festival, they can only be purchased 11am-9pm at Notman House. (Note: Every gig* has a certain Hopper allotment. I doubt Hoppers will have any trouble if a concert is quiet; but they're more likely to be turned away at busy or expensive concerts. The festival says the pass is meant to "encourage attendees to roam and check out something new or unexpected".)
* except for the xx, Swans, Gotan Project, Radio Radio and Atari Teenage Riot.

That said, some of the festival's smaller gigs are ineligible for a Pop Hopper upgrade. IE, the concerts it will be easiest to get into with a Pop Hopper are often the ones you can't boost for $10. As a result, it makes a lot of sense to anchor your evening around one big (ticketed show) and then upgrade $10 to see smaller things.

There are also a couple of ticket bundles available, if you are planning to see several of these artists: Mahala Rai Banda, Van Dyke Parks, Naomi Shelton & the Gospel Queens, Mary Margaret O'Hara, We Are Wolves, Holy Fuck, Les Savy Fav, Buke & Gass, Big Freedia & the Divas.

Some of Pop is completely free. There's Puces Pop, the year's best handmade/craft fair plus and record fair. There are the "Post Meridiem" afternoon shows at Divan Orange, and tiny basement shows at Phonopolis. But most importantly, there's SYMPOSIUM, Pop Montreal's "conference" segment. This might sound stuffy, but it's aimed at people like you. Besides being an incredible forum for ideas, advice and discussion, it affords free access to headliners like Van Dyke Parks and Mahala Rai Banda (plus invitees like Carole Pope, Ubuweb's Kenny Goldsmith and Songs of Leonard Cohen producer John Simon). It's one of Pop's most exceptional - and overlooked - components. And soemtimes they have free snacks.

Recommendations over several days
Apart from Art Pop's mountings, permanent and mobile, the major festival installations belong to Puces Pop, Pop's handmade goods/arts fair component. The principal Puces Pop fair takes place October 2 and 3, with a nearby record fair. There's also going to be a vintage clothing shop (open starting Sept 22). Parents (and folk with tiny pals) should also go crazy for the amazing KidsPop programming, which I do not explore here.

Recommendations day by day
Every day, I break things down as follows:

What I'm doing:Instructions for following me around! But there are gazillions of Pop shows, much more than any one person can do; depending on your tastes and budget, there's much more to recommend.
Anchor your evening:The ticketed shows that deserve your doubloons, usually including several acts.
Roam:The night's other best sets, for those with slimmer wallets, industry passes, Pop Hoppers, or a sense of adventure.
Roll the dice:The day's foremost curiosities and gambles - could-be treasures and maybe-flops.

And then a list of the day's highlights, as far as I can tell. It's important to note I am not listing entire bills - just my highlights. So check the program for full set-times.

I highly recommend everything on these lists, but everything listed in bold is completely CAN'T MISS.

This list has been made using the Pop's updated online schedule of September 22. All dates/times are as best as I know.

Updated Sept 23 with free Phonopolis shows.
Updated Sept 24 with new Sacred Sunday times.
Updated Sept 26 with events at Le Pick-Up.
Updated Sept 27 with Symposium's Thursday location changes, Savy Fav/Pat Jordache time changes [boo!], Barr Brothers free gig.
Updated Oct 1 with surprise free Bear In Heaven, Diamond Rings and Tonetta gigs.

Wednesday, September 29

What I'm doing:Wednesday's our first night; we'll start it slow. The day's can't, can't, can't-miss moment is the very first event of the 2010 festival, Mahal Rai Banda's free workshop at 12:30. Romanian gypsies, showing us what they do. If it's a marvel, I'll be forced to attend their headlining show that night; if not, I'll opt for weird indie-rock at Sala or quiet folk across the street at Casa.
Anchor your evening:Said the Gramophone are long-time fans of Suckers, a weirdpop band from Brooklyn (mp3), and they're playing with the acclaimed psych dogs of Menomena. For those of a gentler affect, Ireland's Villagers (mp3), fresh from a Mercury nom, are headlining Casa with help from the earnest orchestral (but possibly precious) Lost in the Trees (mp3).
Roam:Cousins (mp3) are playing, at five to midnight. Saw them at Sappyfest and was struck silly. It is loud, forceful, freelance, I wrote, grimy and valiant. The Halifax drums/guitar duo used to play light, strange pop. They're heavier now.
Roll the dice:It is quite possible that the best Wednesday show, by far, begins at Cabaret Mile End at 10:30 pm.

12h30-14h30 - Mahala Rai Banda improv workshop [Agora - free]
14h30-16h - "State of the Artist" panel [Agora - free]
17h30 - Opening party, ft GOBBLE GOBBLE and Grahmzilla [Rialto - free]
20h - Look At What The Light Did Now, Feist documentary [Ukrainian Federation - $8]
20h - BigSmall, four short films about Montreal musicians. [Studio Off Interarts - free]
21h15 - Suckers [Sala Rossa - $15]
22h - Menomena [Sala Rossa - $15]
22h - Lost in the Trees [Casa del Popolo - $12]
22h30 - Mahala Rai Banda [Cabaret Mile End - $25]
23h - Villagers [Casa del Popolo - $12]
23h55 - Cousins [Lambi - ?]

Thursday, September 30

What I'm doing:There's no way around this: Thursday is awful. Far, far, far and away the best night of Pop 2010 - which unfortunately means that everything is on at the same time. So: harsh choices. Instead of seeing the legendary Van Dyke Parks (mp3) in concert, I'll check his workshop/chat-with-Vish-Khanna at 1pm, and then of course assist at my own panel at 4:30. Then... Shotgun Jimmie (mp3 does not quite give him credit), an extraordinary one man band, with rough, true, funny, beautiful songs. Although I may stay on at Cagibi for much of the Sappyfest showcase, I may also flit around for two hours: a set by Carl Spidla (mp3), my favourite emerging Mtl songwriter; the synth-pop of Blue Hawaii (mp3); fuck, the choices are nearly endless. I'll skip the Luyas (mp3) because I'll see them Saturday, but will definitely hit Sala for two of the best bands I discovered in 2009: Twin Sister (mp3), luminous and sly, and Bear In Heaven (mp3), churning and silver. And also, somehow, I will make it to the simultaneous set by Khaira Arby, visiting from Mali. (Don't just ask me; Khaira is festival director Dan Seligman's number one pick.)
Anchor your evening:Choose your poison. All of the following bills are extraordinary:
Roam:Obviously, this is a good night to get a Hopper. The picks of everything are Carl Spidla (mp3), Shotgun Jimmie (mp3), Bear In Heaven (mp3), Twin Sister (mp3), Blue Hawaii (mp3), Arrington de Dionyso (mp3), Women and Khaira Arby. No matter what, after everything else, go see Adam & the Amethysts (mp3) at 1am. He is Montreal's most sincere psych troubadour, making brilliant things. The Playhouse is directly across the road from the Rialto.
Roll the dice:Karkwa just won the Polaris prize: I'm not usually a fan but I suspect this will be a barnstormer. And when Zsofia Zambo hits the stage at Balattou, it will be with members of Pat Jordache, Clues and Thundrah; could be singularly killer.

13h-14h30 - Van Dyke Parks songwriting workshop [Agora - free]
14h - Christopher Smith [Divan Orange - free]
16h30 - "Hobbyist Label" panel, featuring Weird Canada/Arbutus/and me! [Agora Notman House - free]
17h45 [ish] - Baby Eagle [Phonopolis basement - free]
18h30 [ish] - Shotgun Jimmie [Phonopolis basement - free]
18h-21h - Dark Night of the Soul video installation [Trusst Club - free]
20h - Shotgun Jimmie [Cagibi - $5]
20h - Daniel Schachter [Ukrainian Federation - $25]
20h30 - Baby Eagle [Cagibi - $5]
20h30 - Karkwa [Metropolis]
21h - Black Feelings [Le National - $18]
21h - Carl Spidla [L'Escogriffe - $9]
21h - Clare and the Reasons [Ukrainian Federation - $25]
21h - Ian Roy [Cagibi - $5]
21h - Les Shelleys [Divan Orange - $13]
21h - Zsofia Zambo and friends [Balattou - $9]
21h30 - Mavo [Cabaret Mile End - $15]
21h30 - Snailhouse [Cagibi - $5]
22h - The Luyas [Sala Rossa - $15]
22h - Blue Hawaii [Rialto - $5]
22h - Construction & Destruction [Les 3 Minots - $9]
22h - Fred Squire [Cagibi - $5]
22h - Netherfriends [Cabaret Playhouse - $9]
22h - Olenka and the Autumn Lovers [L'Escogriffe - $9]
22h - Van Dyke Parks [Ukrainian Federation - $25]
22h - Women [Le National - $18]
22h15 - Mice Parade [Divan Orange - $13]
22h30 - Arrington de Dionyso [Cabaret Mile End - $15]
22h40 - Pop Winds [Rialto - $5]
23h - Twin Sister [Sala Rossa - $15]
23h - Liars [Le National - $18]
23h - Misha Bower [Cagibi - $5]
00h - Bear in Heaven [Sala Rossa - $15]
00h - Khaira Arby [Balattou - $9]
00h - Silly Kissers [Rialto - $5]
00h30 - Shonen Knife [Cabaret du Mile End -$15]
01h - Adam & the Amethysts [Cabaret Playhouse - $9]
01h30 - Hudson Mohawke [Lambi - $17]
02h - Holy Fuck [Espace Reunion - $15]

Friday, October 1

What I'm doing:After the 1pm panel and Leif Vollebekk's (mp3) free show at the Divan, I'm going to go see Warpaint (mp3) and the xx (mp3). That will finish in time for me to see Hidden Words, the new Baha'i-pop (?!) project by former Unicorns Jamie Thompson and Alden Penner, and - obviously! - the gung-ho sweaty mess of Pat Jordache (mp3) and Les Savy Fav (mp3), ushering in the wee hours.
Anchor your evening:
  • The xx's (mp3) show is a big one: Place des Arts is cavernous, and the band just won the Mercury. But their music is intimate, restrained; you'll have to listen hard to enjoy it. (I will.) I'm also keen on their openers.
  • If you like snarling Swans (mp3), their resurrection is a miracle - and Baby Dee (mp3) is a remarkable, strange opener.
  • Timber Timbre (mp3) and Nina Nielsen (mp3, not to be confused with Nive Nielsen) are a perfect bet for the softies.
  • Finally, just about everyone ought to buy - and then upgrade - tickets to the Savy Fav (mp3)/Pat Jordache (mp3) party. Dan lost it for Les Savy Fav in Toronto and Pat's currently exploding the minds of all hearers.
Roam:Really curious about Toumast [trailer], a film on Tuareg culture. (I love Tuareg acts like Tartit, groups Bombino and Inerane.) Keen on the PEI rockers English Words (formerly Smothered in Hugs, mp3), R&B by Yoodee Frances, the earnest pop of Belgrave, and delicious sour Cotton Mouth (mp3), a Parlovr side-project.
Roll the dice:Curious about Sister, the new band by Plumtree founders (and sisters) Carla and Lynnette Gillis. And will Naomi Shelton be a throw-down gospel party, or a snooze?

9h-19h - All-day breakfast "party" at Le Pick-Up
13h - "Making it in Montreal" panel, featuring Godspeed/Luyas/Arbutus/Distroboto [Agora - free]
14h - Leif Vollebekk [Divan Orange - free]
15h - "Face to Face" panel, on music grants [Agora - free]
15h30 [ish] - Braids [Phonopolis basement - free]
16h - Black Feelings [Divan Orange - free]
16h15 [ish] - GOBBLE GOBBLE [Phonopolis basement - free]
17h - Bear In Heaven [Divan Orange - free]
19h - Koudlam [Musée d'art contemporain - $15]
20h - Leif Vollebekk [Casa del Popolo - $8]
20h - Danielson [La Tulipe - $17]
20h - Toumast, Dominique Margot's film on Tuareg musicians [Blue Sunshine - ???]
20h - Nina Nielsen [Ukrainian Federation - $20]
20h45 - Warpaint [Place des Arts - $20-$30]
21h - Fred Squire [O Patro Vys - $9]
21h15 - Deerhoof [La Tulipe - $17]
21h30 - the xx [Place des Arts - $20-$30]
21h30 - Yoodee Frances [Jukebox - $9]
22h - Baby Dee [Le National - $25]
22h - Joe Grass [Cagibi - $9]
22h - Timber Timbre [Ukrainian Federation - $20]
22h30 - Grand Analog [Jukebox - $9]
23h - English Words [Divan Orange - $9]
23h - Sister [O Patro Vys - $9]
23h - Swans [Le National - $25]
23h30 - Tonetta [mystery show, might be at a different time - free]
00h - Hidden Words [Casa del Popolo - $8]
00h - Naomi Shelton & the Gospel Queens [Sala Rossa - $20]
00h30 - Belgrave [Les 3 Minots - $9]
01h - Cotton Mouth [Casa del Popolo - $8]
00h15 - Pat Jordache [Espace Reunion - $20]
01h - Duchess Says [Breakglass studio, 7250 rue Clark, 3rd Floor - $9?]
01h - Les Savy Fav [Espace Reunion - $20]

Saturday, October 2

What I'm doing:Today's a day for Puces Pop and record fair, plus Howard Bilerman's interview with superproducer John Simon. (Howard's a friend; approaches these kind of talks in all the right ways.) Then - with no hesitation - Everything Outta Sight, the crowdfunded installation at Red Bird, 8pm-10pm, with artworks, dancers, music by the Luyas (mp3) and Sonic Titan, video projections by Derrick Belcham, and possibly even a waterfall. (They have a second show scheduled at 11.) Said the Gramophone's dear RatTail (mp3) play the Playhouse at 11:30pm. And then I'll likely go see Buke & Gass, whose recordings I am not crazy about - but, Marc (and Radiolab) tell me, are mathy and mind-melting live.
Anchor your evening:Everything Outta Sight aside, there are two bills that catch my eye. At Sala Rossa, some wonderful, ambitious and very different bands - Helado Negro (mp3), Ben + Vesper (mp3), Shapes & Sizes (mp3), Danielson (mp3). Or maybe the smaller indie pop gig at Divan Orange, including Ghost Bees' new thing, Tasseomancy, Forest City Lovers (mp3), Evening Hymns, and the new Gentleman Reg/Ohbijou electronic team-up, Light Fires.
Roam:This afternoon's 2pm-5pm shows in the Phonopolis basement (cramped, free) are all wonderful. Little Scream is steel-gleam marvellous (a shame I've recently seen, and been frustrated by, Mary Margaret O'Hara). James Irwin, frontman for My People Sleeping (mp3), plays veiled, half-lit songs - solo here, but with a band. He's exceptional. The Youjsh (mp3) play terrific klezmer jazz. Radio Radio's (mp3) loopy Acadian hip-hop was my vote for the Polaris prize. Marnie Stern (mp3) is indie's most spectral shredder. And a free gig by Think About Life (mp3), even at 4pm, sounds like a no-brainer.
Roll the dice:I've never quite understood Xiu Xiu (mp3), Mary Margaret O'Hara or Wovenhand (mp3). This might be my chance.

11h-18h - Puces Pop [Eglise St-Michel - free]
11h-18h - Record Fair [Ukrainian Federation - free]

12h30 - conversation with ubuweb's Kenny Goldsmith [Agora - free]
14h - Flow Child (Pop Winds) [Le Pick-Up - free]
14h - Father Murphy [Phonopolis basement - free]
14h30 - Carole Pope in conversation with Carl Wilson [Agora - free]
14h45 [ish] - The Youjsh [Phonopolis basement - free]
15h30 [ish] - Silly Kissers [Phonopolis basement - free]
16h - Think About Life [Divan Orange - free]
16h15 [ish] - Hidden Words [Phonopolis basement - free]
17h - Barr Brothers [L'Envers - free]
17h - Diamond Rings [Divan Orange - free]
18h30 - conversation with John Simon (producer, Music from the Big Pink, Songs of Leonard Cohen [Agora - free]
20h - the Luyas' "Everything Outta Sight" installation. [Red Bird - free]
20h - The Luyas' Everything Is Outta Sight installation/concert [Red Bird - pay what you can]
21h - Braids [Ukrainian Federation - $15]
21h - James Irwin [Cagibi - $9]
21h - Tasseomancy [Divan Orange - $10]
21h30 - Helado Negro [Sala Rossa - $15]
21h30 - Little Scream [Cabaret Mile End - $15]
21h40 - Radio Radio [Club Soda - $24.83]
21h45 - Evening Hymns [Divan Orange - $10]
22h - Xiu Xiu [Ukrainian Federation - $15]
22h30 - Marnie Stern [Cabaret Juste Pour Rire - $17]
22h30 - Babe Rainbow [Le Belmont - $10]
22h30 - Ben + Vesper [Sala Rossa - $15]
22h30 - The Youjsh [Club Lambi - $17]
21h30 - Freak Heat Waves [L'Abreuvoir - $9]
23h - RatTail [Cabaret Playhouse - $9?]
23h - the Luyas' "Everything Outta Sight" installation (encore). [Red Bird - free]
23h30 - Mary Margaret O'Hara [Cabaret Mile End - $15]
23h30 - Wovenhand [Il Motore - $12]
23h30 - Shapes and Sizes [Sala Rossa - $15]
23h35 - Light Fires [Divan Orange - $10]
00h - Father Murphy [Espace Reunion - $10]
00h30 - Danielson [Sala Rossa - $15]
01h - Buke & Gass [Espace Réunion - $10]
02h - Library Voices [Petit Campus - $10]]

Sunday, October 3

What I'm doing:Sunday, fittingly, is a quiet one. Wake up, eat brunch. Early evening, perhaps Patrick Watson's (mp3) "sacred Sunday" concert with Katie Moore (mp3), Socalled (mp3), Alden Penner, etc. I saw children's hero Fred Penner in Dawson City (it was nice, but slight) so I will choose instead the free afternoon shows by Adam & the Amethysts (mp3) and Snailhouse (mp3).
Anchor your evening:There's a lot of dance-party programming, but none that happens to be my bag. Depending on your tastes, either head to Casa from 9:30 on for shoegazery and Receivers' (mp3) shimmery dark rock; or to Sala, where Scout Niblett (mp3) is a-yowling.
Roam:GOBBLE GOBBLE's glitchpop (mp3) might sound awful nice before you collapse from fatigue.
Roll the dice:Pillow fight?

11h-18h - Puces Pop [Eglise St-Michel - free]
11h-18h - Record Fair [Ukrainian Federation - free]

14h - Blue Hawaii [Le Pick-Up - free]
14h - Adam and the Amethysts [Phonopolis basement - free]
14h30 - Patrick Watson's "Sacred Sunday" [Ukrainian Federation - suggested $15]
15h [ish] - Snailhouse [Phonopolis basement - free]
16h [ish] - Dan Romano [Phonopolis basement - free]
16h - Fred Penner [Rialto - $15]
16h - Tribute to Van Dyke Parks [Cagibi - ???]
19h - Mogwai:Burning, Vincent Moon and Nathanael Le Scouamac's Mogwai doc, with Moon in attendance. [Ukrainian Federation - $10]
19h10 - Pillow fight, as in an actual pillow fight [Cafe Campus - $5]
20h - Fred Penner [Rialto - $15]
21h30 - Receivers [Casa del Popolo - $10]
23h - Scout Niblett [Sala Rossa - $15]
01h - GOBBLE GOBBLE [Espace Reunion - $15]

That's it! Pop starts in a week. I'll try to slip any afterparty surprise-guest gossip to my Twitter account.

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

September 21, 2010

The Tasting of Thee Obvious

Pavement - "Speak, See, Remember"
Pavement - "Strings of Nashville"

This is the week of the original Pavement reunion shows in New York City. A time for another time, a week to remember the bygone era of a band that never really existed. Remember 1996? When your dad was still working his P.O.W. job and your grandparents were still alive, and still went by their CB handles. Crusty Rusty and The Squall. You masturbated on your homework and used PhoneNet to start a rumour that Caitlin Benjamin-Ng was responsible for renaming dorm wing F "BlowTown USA". Your girlfriends were all Family Size Ruffles and every time you'd chug a beer you'd smack your glasses into your eyes. A simpler time, a better time. A time when you could pay for cigarettes with a french kiss. A time when "goin' to the library" didn't mean going to the library, it meant mini-putt and a knife fight. When learning something from a stranger was as simple as a head-on collision; a note of apology and you're on your way. When love was affordable and didn't hang around like a bad fart: Paparazzi Priest will preside over this marriage, "God loves you, but what could he do." When we humans ruled this planet like we deserve, before the Great Cowering. So bring back 1996, I say, bring back powdered envelopes and binge-boarding, bring back Crushed Velvet Cola and Dr. Sandwich (the fixin's are in!), and we can all sag like open wallets on a jazz-era chaise-longue, twenties from the twenties, "What's your twenty?" "In my twenties."


(photo embroidery by Maurizio Anzeri)

Posted by Dan at 1:48 PM | Comments (5)

September 20, 2010


Photo by Dusdin Condren

Sharon Van Etten - "One Day". A woman sits at her writing desk. There is a peregrine falcon stuffed on the wall above her. She lives beside the train station and the train roars in several times a day, fluffing the falcon's feathers. Her rooms smell of coal-smoke and imported oranges. The woman has written two sentences on her writing-paper and she sits staring at them. Dear ----, it begins, My heart is a crooked thing. Her mouth is a trim line. She has already set aside the thought that she wishes she could begin the letter, Dearest ----. That thought is locked in a wood cupboard. Now she is looking at the next line, the one about her heart. She worries that it sounds needy, or strange. When she chose the image she meant "crooked" in the way that keys are crooked, at the place where they meet a lock. She meant "crooked" in the way that a ship is crooked, asymmetical if seen in profile. She is proud of her crooked heart. She thinks it is something to fall in love with. She wonders if ---- will ever see this; if ---- will ever in fact be dear.

[Sharon Van Etten's beautiful new album, Epic, is streaming at NPR, and please, please pre-order it.]

Sun Kil Moon - "Natural Light". Mark Kozelek revisits the song by Casiotone for the Painfully Alone. It is such a light thing, insubstantial, less than two minutes long. It is the letter from far away, the short email, the Facebook message. No matter how many details, it feels scant. There is no cut of voice, no touch of eyes. You hear these words and realise you are holding on to something else & distant.

[the I'll Be There EP, with covers of Stereolab and the Jackson Five, is free with purchases of Sun Kil Moon's new album, Admiral Fell Promises]



One last reminder that I'm giving a reading tomorrow (Tuesday) at Drawn & Quarterly.

Tonight, the winner of the 2010 Polaris prize will be decided. Best of luck to Owen Pallett, Caribou, and particularly Radio Radio.

If you've not seen it, Mike W points me to this exquisite music video with DIY recreations of great artworks. Which doesn't really give the full impression. It's for the French band Hold Your Horses.

(photo by Dusdin Condren)

Posted by Sean at 12:18 PM | Comments (2)

September 17, 2010

Super America Playlist

Ollie Gilbert - "Joseph Looney"

The body decomposes on its legs, the meat it rots from inwards, corroded by the Spirit. God is a seizure that life-long shakes the bones from their joints, the thoughts from your skull, the breath from your lungs. Be not afraid but be not welcoming to God, He will make His home in you no matter what your will or offer, so spend not your time a-wondering whether God will keep you safe. I've called to God already and you will see his wondrous 'rrival, I've called to him, no one need call to him any longer. I've seen a sign of bubbling, of garish waste and plenty, He's swingin' on his way.



The Bad Plus - "Super America"

The mail, the buses, the cars, the cats, the garbage, the sunshine, the paint, the peeling, the ground, the sewer, the snakes. The wind, the welcome, the war, the whinny. The bend, the truth, the ever-lasting life. [Buy]

Posted by Dan at 2:40 PM | Comments (3)

September 16, 2010


Drawing by Jaakko Pallasvuo

Land of Talk - "Quarry Hymns". It doesn't take much to make me fall in love. Turn your head there, there, and I'm inviting you down to the canal. But I do not fall out. I try to. I drag my feet across miles. I press my forehead to window-glass and burn everything I own. I am now 41 years old and there are 26 trails behind me, grey trails like single threads; each trail leads to a person and a pair of hands I long to hold. These threads are thin enough to break, but I have not broken them. I haul them. I feel them behind me, passing through fields, forests, shallows. One of you lives in a skyscraper now, one by a crack in the earth. Many of you are married. I do not know why I have not stopped. Or, I do; it is like trying to discard one's shadow. I look at myself in the mirror and I do not see shadings there. I see my own face. It is yesterday's face that is edged by every you.

[Tonight I realized, abruptly, that I had not written about Land of Talk's Cloak and Cipher, a record I have been listening to for many months. It is beautiful and secret. I wrote an album bio for Lizzie this spring (I can only find it here), and it was a privilege. Look at these lyrics. Please buy the album, and see them on tour now across North America (including tonight in Toronto).]


Elsewhere, longly:

If you live in Montreal, did you see that there is a 29-hour Twin Peaks marathon this weekend? With Lucy herself in attendance?

Did you see that Owen Pallett released a free new song? And Warpaint? And this act called Blue Water White Death, who are Shearwater's Jonathan Meiburg and Xiu Xiu's Jamie Stewart? And all of these free new songs are very good? (In the case of BWWD, it is their best.)

For Back To The World, Carl Wilson has written about going to see Roscoe Mitchell, Muhal Richard Abrams and George Lewis at the Guelph Jazz Festival. This is an important article whether or not you listen to jazz music. Because what Carl did is he went to this show and he struggled with it, and he wrote about that struggling. He is a man who does listen to jazz, free jazz, and lots of "out" music, and yet, here's the thing: that doesn't make difficult music easy. It gives you signposts, context, familiarity. Carl struggled with Roscoe/Abrams/Lewis, he enjoyed it and he didn't, and his essay on these feelings is meticulous, honest, human.

Ahead of their issue launch next week, where I'll be reading, I did an interview with Maisonneuve magazine. Gawk at my mug circa 2006. I am much more handsome now. I talked about grand gestures, breakups, Griffintown and growing up.

[drawing by Jaakko Pallasvuo]

Posted by Sean at 1:29 AM | Comments (4)

September 14, 2010

Assorted Creations

Parasites of the Western World - "Mo"

This story is a procedural. It follows all the steps that make up a comforting list of familiar benchmarks in the revelation of a set of motivations and actions. In the unfolding of the Preakness, an invisible and immovable wire had been stretched across the track, and as all the horses hit it, one by one, they were split open, and the jockeys legs were halved, bodies and flesh of all kinds strewn in the soft mud of the racetrack. Only the final two horses in the race were able to stop in time. All the interested parties were questioned, owners, spectators, track maintenance, nothing was found. Until the surviving jockeys were questioned, when Arms Japper, 2nd last place, showed himself to be a sight less distraught than Ham Niggs, last. Which piqued the interest of lead investigator Gomenesai Woods. "The order of their standings is what gave it away," said Woods, acting both as detective and crown attorney, "Second-last was not supposed to survive, only last place was supposed to make it out alive." The crowd in the courtroom hushed, the jockey tearfully confessed, the horse turned about-face and stormed out, betrayed. Sentences were handed out like flower necklaces, and Woods returned home to bed, still a failure to his wife, still a cripple and a drunk. [Buy from De Stijl records]

The Black Angels - "The Sniper"

We're only gonna hear from aliens when they need help. When the bums of the universe come callin' they're gonna be lookin' for a goddamn hand-out. Life, if you look at the numbers, is a rare thing in outer space, and it needs plenty of shit to keep itself going. Not room enough for the two of us, aliens, sorry, tough beans. [Out Today]

Posted by Dan at 3:09 PM | Comments (4)

September 13, 2010



Fulton Lights - "Staring Out The Window". Fulton Lights' song of a million launchings and crisscrossings, motors revving on dreams. "Staring out the window / I'm thinking about my days," it begins, like the worst kind of dull song; yet the banality is up-ended, shown to be banal, at least next to the song's riotous chug and booming horns. A man sits in the passenger seat, head leaning on the window, trading talk of tomorrows; but in his heart is the meteoric Next next next next next next, like the snick of white lines under tires. ["Staring Out The Window" is from Fulton Lights' great new digital EP, 3 Songs. Stream it at MBV. Buy it at iTunes.]

Kanye West - "Good Friday (ft. Common, Pusha T, Kid Cudi, Big Sean & Charlie Wilson)". Setting aside Nicki Minaj's deafening verse on "Monster", this is the first contender from among Kanye's new songs. He's got several signature sounds, but this one's got the stuff that got me excited about Kanye in the first place: he's in the nostalgic, melancholic mode, the realm of "Hey Mama" and "Family Business". (And which I often associate with the Streets.) It's not that hard to throw some whoops and la la las over a wistful piano line, but what's most lovely here is the quiet party in "Good Friday". At the Guardian, I've spilled too many words on Kanye's team-ups and trysts, his 24/7 Hawaiian studio jams, and often these collaborations feel like 50 cooks shoved into a single kitchen. Here, it works. Here, there's someone in every room, lamps lit, wine spilling, cracking wise. Everyone sounds happy and tired. Big Sean's squeaking verse seems born out of a late-night gag. I'm so weary, even Kanye's rapping is bearable. Only one suggestion: next time, get Elbow's Guy Garvey to sing the Charlie Wilson & Kid Cudi hooks. [Kanye West is releasing a new song every week.]

Posted by Sean at 11:24 AM | Comments (3)

September 10, 2010

Go Long Long Long


Long Long Long - "Ponytail Ambition"
Long Long Long - "Judy Chicago"

Some people are friends, that should never be friends, but they AAAAAAAAARRE!!!

In the dream it was hard to read, almost impossible. I was trying to read the DVD case for what is now obviously Brüno, but in the dream I was reading T....L....U....T...C..H. If I would read Brüno as T.L.U.T.C.H. what would trying to write be like? I tried to write my name and it came out as Disney Bee, and the pen had a lot of difficulty writing, I put many holes in the paper. I think inhabiting the world of Long Long Long, I would be much better off with a name like Disney Bee, and for all my meals to be made out of macaroni and snakes, and to have an apartment in the sewer, and to have a cell phone installed in my head, and to cry at the drop of a hat. Dream life.



Long Long Long are, I'm told, a sister band to Mean Wind. Collectively, these two bands have three of the freshest records I've heard in a few months. Right now all their stuff is free, which is pretty incredible, but that won't last for long, stuff this good deserves to generate some payback sooner or later.

Posted by Dan at 3:04 PM | Comments (4)

September 9, 2010


Garfield, tripping

AIDS Wolf - "Teaching to Suffer".

     "It's like I've spent the past two years in a room with petroleum poured over the floor, brown sludge, and I can't stand up without falling down, slipping and skidding and smearing into the ground. And, like, I got used to this. I got so brainwashed and used to this that I treat it as normal, now. My tongue lolls out of my mouth and I plunge all over the place. One of these days Francis is going to break up with me and it's like I'll have an exit and I'll be staggering all over the open city with the same heaving shit-stained lurch."
     "Is it really like that?"
     "I don't know. I'm still figuring it out. I'm meeting him for dinner."

[Montreal's AIDS Wolf release two albums this month. "Teaching to Suffer" is taken from March to the Sea, the band's final studio release as a quartet. Buy it here. They will also be releasing a 12" with remixes of their cover of Throbbing Gristle's "Very Friendly". Pick that up here. On Saturday, AIDS Wolf will be playing a lunatic noise-ridden show at L'Envers, with Black Feelings and Pink Noise. $8.]

The Wilderness of Manitoba - "Manitoba".

     "I'm trying to work up the nerve."
     "What nerve?"
     "The nerve to ask."
     "The nerve to ask what, Francis?"
     "To ask her uh. To uh. To ask her to marry me."
     "You're going legit."
     (laughing) "I guess I am. It's been two years, you know? And things are sorta great."
     "No, they're great. They're great. She really gets me. It's beautiful. We're like two hearts holding hands."
     "Two hearts holding hands?"
     "I just need to get out of debt first."


Posted by Sean at 4:17 PM | Comments (5)

September 7, 2010

Another Night Drive, Another Girl Who Smokes


The Tragically Hip - "Escape is at Hand for the Travellin' Man"

"On those drives, they were so long. Through trees just like this, they remind me of it. I would just think about my mother dying." Jane C. smokes with a squint, her stocking feet up on the dash, a ghostly yellow light on her face. Jane S. drives, hunched slightly towards the wheel, both hands grip, she smiles, "You didn't listen to the radio?" "You're so far north up there," Jane C. takes a puff, blows it lazily towards the crack in the window, "You don't get any stations. On a lucky night you'd get Coast-to-Coast, but I just stopped trying after a while. I had one tape, Never Mind the Bullocks. And it got tired fast. Yeah, I would mostly just think. About if I got there and it had happened, or if it happened in front of me, what I would do." Jane S. lowered her high-beams for a passing a car, and let the silence hang in the air, and coughed from it. She checked the fans, at the right level, checked cruise control, 110, oil, fine, RPMs, sure, thermometer in water, middle, is that good? Flash. Raise the beams again.

"If you knew how things ended between us, would you stay with me or would you let me go?" Jane C. nipped the whiskey that sat crooked in the cup holder, on a wet receipt. "How does it end? Badly?" Jane S. had to look down a bit to look Jane C. in the eyes. "It ends how it ends. But if you knew how it ended would you stay with me, or are you just hanging around to find out?" The silence was now a fully present thing in the car. It sat between them, on the arm rest, like a ghost. Like the way the ghost of sleep would sometimes lie between them, penetrating neither, itself a restless thing, holding their eyes locked in the darkness, some sort of silent guessing game prayer breath-holding competition. If a deer comes out of the woods, honk first, then slow, then swerve. Or never swerve. Right, never swerve.


Posted by Dan at 11:31 PM | Comments (3)

September 6, 2010


Dog with kids

Sarah Harmer - "Captive". If you turn on the radio and hear a pop-rock song, pop-rock with that hyphen glinting, then the only thing you want is for the pop-rock song to be exquisite, exceptional, obvious and extraordinary at the same time. Sarah Harmer has made a perfect 2 minutes 33, smally special. The country's radios are ready; quick, while it's still summer. [buy]

Count & Sinden - "Hold Me (ft Katy B)". Wobbling dumb, head over heels, grasping at coattails, glad. [buy]


This essay at FourFour introduced me to, and sold me on, Katy B.

Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All have been gobsmacking me, this weekend.

I'm doing a reading at D+Q on Sept 21, as part of the fall launch for Maisonneuve magazine. See you there?

(photo source)

Posted by Sean at 10:55 AM | Comments (0)

September 3, 2010

Crowdy Partner

Mean Wind - "Gleam Leaf Green"

In an interview that never took place outside a gig in Hope, Carolina, Joel Tunnet, lead singer for Ginch Mob was covered in a thick paste of beer and coke sweat, and gave the following speech, half to a handycam half through a megaphone, to a bunch of fans he kept referring to as 'looters of the spirit': "Some people call me a revivalist, I say fuck them! I'm a SURvivalist! I bring water forth from the earth, I bring beauty forth from these speakers, I bring noise through the filter in your heads, I drag it through like cheesecloth and it's all dirty when it comes back to me. You know what grey water is?! I'm not a revisionist historian, man, but I do have a correctile dysfunction, I can't help being right! Hindsight is 20/20 and I'm way ahead of all you motherfuckers, so I can see it clear as day, this ship is going down and I'm not gonna go down with it. You all can quit bending over 'cause I'm done, I came, I'm gone, and you loved it!" He says more but the squeaking of the megaphone distorted it beyond salvageable. He's a genius. [Free. Oh yes.]


The Frogs - "I've Got Drugs (Out of the Mist)"

"Fuck him, fuck him if he wants you to, show him a good time. Get him drunk, do what he says, talk to him, fuckin' listen to him for fuck's sake, that's what he wants most of all. I mean, he's an alien for God's sake, I know it's not cool to call them that but that's what he is goddammit. He's an alien from outer space, plain and simple. And he works hard, he works hard so your kids can go to school and learn all the shit they learn and you can get your teeth taken care of, and your hair taken care of, and your goddamn tits taken care of, so the least you could do is listen to him when he talks. Take him to Joey's, get him a meat stick, take him rolling, maybe check out a Shakes Hall or somethin', fuck, I don't know, just show him a good time. You know what it means to show someone a good time? Do you really know what that means? Make eye contact with him, dammit, that's important. I know their eyes are all fucked up, so screwed up and disgusting it makes you wanna puke, but make eye contact with him, that's important. Smile. Fuckin' smile, that's important. Comment on what he says, have something to say about the things he's talkin' about. You know this is all common sense shit, but it's important, some people don't even know to do that stuff. And you're good at it, hoo boy. Baby, you are good at it when you want to be. So turn it on, baby, brighten up his day, his week, hell, brighten up his goddamn year. He could use it. And you could use it too, you look like you're still hung up on that dirtbag you used to call a husband. Show him a good time. And fuck him if he wants to." [Buy It's Only Right & Natural]

(image of the great Tune-Yards in Glastonbury)

Posted by Dan at 2:46 AM | Comments (4)

September 2, 2010


Old photo of a boy

Abner Jay - "Depression". The way the blues can be a power, a force, a lodestone in your chest that sends you plunging through space. Imagine a ship that has no cannonballs, only heavy hearts; the black powder booms and they sing away over the waves, crack timber, splinter bone. My heavy hearts have sunk a thousand ships. Whole navies foundered, sit now at the bottom of the sea. And I am on my flagship, my lonesome flagship, with every sail unfurled.

[Abner Jay recorded another version of this song, visited here / buy]

Camilo Diaz Pino - "Scott Pilgrim (Plumtree) - 16-bit cover". I enjoyed the movie, but this is better. And it's better than Plumtree's original. It takes the chugging angst and just lets it go. It forgets every detail, forgets the clutched hopes and back-story. It is what it is, fragile and bittersweet, nostalgia without irony. It accomplishes the same thing, maybe, that Bert Jansch used to do; only today an acoustic guitar has different valences. And this cover sounds different, now, than it would have in 1995. And I'm a different person, now, than I was when I was young.

[this comes via YouTube / with every thanks to Matthew Perpetua]


For those who don't follow me on Twitter, I made a mix for the end of August. It is now September, but you can probably still enjoy it. Download here (1h14, 107.5mb), and track-list (spoilers! wait 'til after yr first listen!) here.

[photo source, taken about a century ago]

Posted by Sean at 11:40 AM | Comments (2)