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 29, 2011

Newton and the Number Nine


Future of the Left - "New Adventures"

Newton runs to catch the number Nine, his shoe coming open at the toe, the wet sidewalk smacking underfoot. When it roars away, with him on it, it looks like he might just be on time for once. He squeezes past obstinate handbags and points meekly to a seat, behind the heavy door of a fat man's knees. He sits hunched and happy in his cloudy window seat, a crossword in his head and one sock damp like stepping untimely on the bathmat.

A phone rings, loudly. Latin Loop. He looks, the fat man is holding it out in front of him, staring at it. He looks confused, perhaps deaf. "You're phone is ringing," Newton points and gives that look of surprise reserved for strangers and babies. The fat man stares back, his clothes smell like unwashed hair, "It's not for me."

A commotion from the front of the number Nine, a stop between stops, and a loud yell of "Get out!" from the driver. A scuffle, obstinate handbags cowering in fear, epithets galore, and that animal kind of fighting that connects us in a dark and unexamined way. The bus has stopped and isn't continuing.

Newtown gets out and is walking along a muddy ditch, much faster than the rest of the bus' patrons. There is still the chance of getting to work on time, if only an hour late. But Newton needs a ride. He squints into the clouds, and acts like a hitchhiker, thumb confidently raised as if saying both "I need a ride" and "you're alright". A mail truck stops, Newton hops in the back.

He rides on the pile of letters like a hard paper bed. Unbagged, unsorted, just a giant pile of cards and envelopes. In the bouncing dullness of his unwindowed ride, Newton begins reading by the glow of his cell phone, the addresses. Perhaps some will be for his office, he could make up for his tardiness by bringing in the mail. They are all addressed to the same place. 4141 Lankashire, and all addressed to the same person: "The Mailman". The truck rumbles to a stop and the door rattles up like the end of a prison term, Newton shields his sensitive eyes. "Aren't you going to open any of these letters?" The mailman, tall with a strident voice, said "They're not for me." A different mailman, thought Newton, perhaps his brother. He bounced out onto the street, "Wait, where are we?" "Lankashire." "But I need to get to Bettingham!" "Oops," and the door rattles shut, the letters to continue their sentence.

Newton, muddy to his knees, his open-toed shoe looking like a mud-eating creature, wanders empty Lankashire streets, hungry and lost. He sees an old hotel, that says "Lunch" in low letters, and goes inside. All the tables are served with food, save one, so he sits down there. A gaunt and tired waiter is also the chef is also the owner. Newton smiles, everyone at least gets a smile, and says, "I'll take whatever's good." The guant tired waiter becomes the chef and puts on some eggs. He looks ready to faint when he serves the salad and tea. "Why don't you join me? There's plenty of food," Newton gestures to the tables, empty of people but with steaming fresh plates. "Mm," humphs the chef, apron-stained, looking over his shoulder at the cloudy Lankashire streets, "It's not for me."

After lunch and a taxi too pricy to mention, Newton arrives at work, six hours late. The third floor is buzzing, not yet winding down, and he comes to his desk to find chaos. Untended articles piled six inches high, riddled with typos like a pair of dead gangsters. His muddy clothes feel both rugged and silly, the caked mud an unusual weight in this carpeted place. He sighs and sits down, wondering how long it has been since Armando has checked, how far could he fudge his lateness? Could he say four hours? could he say three? "Six hours late," Armando's voice from behind, Newton spins sickly around to see. "That's a new record," Armando has a face like a half-sleeping rat; his lids belie his craft. "Do you even like this job, Newton?" Newton's phone starts to ring, Mum n Dad says the screen ID, and Newton looks up at Armando, holding coffee and court, "It probably isn't for me."

[Buy from Xtra Mile]

Posted by Dan at 2:12 PM | Comments (1)

November 28, 2011


Hummingbird, ice, fish

Jim Guthrie, Sarah Harmer & Bry Webb - "Long Time Before This (Gwaii Haanas)". This song scarcely exists, the shortest 2:30 in recent memory. But it needn't be any longer, needn't have more flesh. It's an unveiling, an arrival, a series of wakings-up. I am reminded of the opening of Fred Penner's Place, a Canadian children's show from the 80s - mostly because of the feeling, I hope, though it's probably also because of the context. "Long Time Before This" is taken from National Parks Project, a collection of songs inspired by Canada's national parks. In this case, three musicians were thrown together at Gwaii Haanas, in British Columbia. They must have seen dew, dawn, raindrops on spiderweb. Maybe waterstriders, or the sea as it swallowed stones. But the thing that lingers with me, that leaves me wondering, is not the morning of this song; it's the night before, the preceding moments, the secret conversations, the green glass & shared meal, in their cabin in the woods.

Kate Bush - "Snowflake". So this is love.


Haven't decided how I feel about it yet, but "Serpents" is the first taste from Tramp the upcoming second LP by Sharon Van Etten, who made my favourite song of 2009.

(photo source)

Posted by Sean at 11:27 AM | Comments (2)

November 25, 2011

Mississippi Goddamn


Nina Simone - "Mississippi Goddam"

The stage is set with tents. A safe space for women. A First-Aid tent. A kitchen tent. A lending library. A logistics tent. Some tents need to be transparent. They extend into the audience. The seats that are under tents still must be sold. Christmas lights. A church tower to the side. A meeting place in the middle. A cloudy drizzle, constantly falling. Low, tepid drumming. Scattered painted bristol board. A dancer, with a whispy waistband, prances by holding a piece of cardboard.

A thick man wearing thick layers (long underwear, cotton pants and shirt, keffiyeh, toque, hoodie, spats, Sorels, Chucks, silk suit, track suit, jumpsuit, parka) comes center stage, points finger forward, asks audience why they fuck they are there.


(image from Jon Rafman's astounding 9 eyes collection)

Posted by Dan at 7:17 PM | Comments (2)

November 24, 2011


John Martin's 'Satan Presiding at the Infernal Council'

Silver Dapple - "M'Sorry". Crushing apples to make cider, grapes to make wine; the juice sparkles and shards, pools cold. Barrels of noise, in a warehouse like stacked barns. Feedback in banded oak casks. Two ghosts, one good and one also good, but resentful. You cannot make out their voices. This is what we hear, when the needle drops. It will let us live forever. [buy the delicious English Girlfriend]

Arlt - "Le Pistolet". At the Melting Nightclub, the dancefloor is a bog. The doorknobs are soft, the lights are fading, the seats are covered in moss. A lounge singer stands by the microphone, ivying over. Only the guitarists are truly alive, free of swamp and vine, jerking and chugging by the floodlights. But then the power flickers, and the guitarists flicker too, and you see they are projections; old thin things, saved onto 3/8" magnetic tape. TRY THE GIN! [buy this fuming 7"]


As advised earlier, I'm beginning to assemble my best songs of 2011 list. (I know, it's only November.) As always, I rely on your help. There's no way for one person to hear everything that's wonderful. So - What's your favourite song of this year? From mumbly folk to mainstream pop, bassy hip-hop to Icelandic blubstep, please send me the best MP3s, as email attachments: I'm grateful for everything, but particularly if you avoid sending me videos, MySpace links or lists of tunes - please, just the mp3s! If you introduce me to anything that appears on the final list, I'll include a link to your website/twitter if appropriate. (Common sense: please don't send songs from records I've written about on Gramophone, or multiple tracks from the same album - just the very best!)

(image is John Martin's "Satan Presiding at the Infernal Council", an engraving that was owned by Herman Melville)

Posted by Sean at 11:30 AM | Comments (0)

November 21, 2011

One Thumper, One Humper


Chrome Pony - "Sonic Waves"

There are some things you think, that, once you think them you can't stop thinking them until they're somehow expunged from your mind's crowded corkboard. SHERYL CROW FUCKS TEENAGE OASIS. Like pornography, or animal meat, or like a horrifying imaginary thing, it sticks there, waiting for a cue to exit, a loud and singular signal. SHERYL CROW FUCKS TEENAGE OASIS. It's not horrifying, it's only slightly pornographic, and it doesn't need something to die. It's actually kind of nice. Like in the pleather back seat of a classic car, in the 90s, or in a place without time altogether. SHERYL CROW FUCKS TEENAGE OASIS. Maybe I need to go there, to dream it fully out, to run with lit flares towards it shouting, to interrupt it, to see it break, maybe that will get rid of it. Or maybe it won't ever leave, maybe it's something like the shape of my skull or the sound of my voice, it will sit like a watermark on my vision, play on loop in my ears until it fades along with every other sense. And I might not mind that.

[Free download of the truly wonderful Illegal Smiles]


The Fatty Acids - "Memory Banks"

I overheard a couple of indeterminate age having this exchange on a long bus ride. It seemed to be a game, the rules of which I couldn't discern. "Fatty Acids," he said. She replied with, "Fat Acid Heads." He pursed his lips, "Hallucinating Hobbits." She bit right back, "Juggalo Baggins!" He laughed, and said, "Bilbo Baguette." She thought for a long time before, "Beret Charles." "The Blind Chaplain." Tapped her fingers, tasted the full long answer, "Counselor Geordi Troi La Forge." "Hm," he said, and looked out the window. But outside all there were were dark black trees. "New Enterprises, Old Psychics." She thought, and looked up like she were silly for not seeing it right away, "Memory Banks." "Ha," he said, "more like Memory Credit Unions." "Yes," she said, pulling the arm rest between them, "but that wouldn't make sense."

[PWYC for Leftover Monsterface]

(autographed photo of Marina Sirtis)

Posted by Dan at 10:05 PM | Comments (1)



John Southworth - "Human Cry". I believe in the primacy of cups. Every liquid has its proper cup: wine has its goblet, soup has its bowl, saltwater has its sea. If one cup is not sufficient, we make another. We do not just pour wine onto the table. At home, I keep a cabinet full of cups, one for every substance, and I host many visitors. We toast and clink and sip, drinking from the proper cups, never spilling. But I do not have enough cups for my sadness. My sadness is too vast, or my cups are too small. Some mornings I find that tears cover the tabletop. [buy]

Brandy - "Silent Night". Before the winter came, Randy Baxter was the best of the wranglers. He threw his lasso like the rapids throw foam. He wrangled steer, buffalo, wolves. He sat on his horse and the rope whistled in the air. Then the sky clouded over. The sun set. The tumbleweed settled. It has been winter since January and the river is frozen. When Randy throws his brittle lasso, it is feeble. I think the herds have gone east. [website / she's coming back]

(photo source)

Posted by Sean at 11:43 AM | Comments (3)

November 18, 2011

Love Smuggler


Blackout Beach - "Be Forewarned, the Night Has Come"

In April of 1988, the planet slowly unzipped itself. It began beneath the ocean and ran up the frozen beaches of the New Siberian Islands. It ran slowly across Russia (then the USSR) and no one even noticed until it neared the border of Kazakhstan. It continued through Iran, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, right through Mali, and cut Brazil in half. Many took the opportunity to panic, many to celebrate. There were lovers separated and families permanently cleft. There was even a movie theatre in Cairo, showing a screening of Tootsie, that was unzipped right down the middle, and patrons continued to watch the movie until the very end, believing the government censors had cut off half the frame for ethical reasons. The world has healed over today, of course, and we don't even really talk about that time anymore. [Buy]

(image source unknown)

Posted by Dan at 6:27 PM | Comments (1)

November 17, 2011


Bostwicks Lessor Tree Cuddler, by Axel Poignant

Jah Youssouf & Bintou Coulibaly - "Faco".
Jah Youssouf & Bintou Coulibaly - "Sabou".

This music is just claps, voices, snaps of fingers, a dry calabash guitar. Youssouf and Coulibaly are husband and wife. Their love is shown in the most plainest way: They sing together; Their voices trade like glances. But in a way, the recording is the thing that makes us believe them. We hear the sounds of their house, the wide silences and domestic clatter. We hear quiet and loud. It is impossible to imagine artifice in the place where these songs were recorded. it is impossible to imagine dishonesty, lie. There would not be enough space between the roof and the floor.

[buy the exceptional Sababou from Tall Corn Music: digital/cassette/vinyl]

Liz Cronin - "Quack".

"Quack" is a team-up by Cronin and Idlewild's Rod Jones, part of a project by the Fruit Tree Foundation, a Scottish mental health charity. With blur, crush & chorus it invokes many different colours of 90s college rock - the headbanged churn, the murmured inspirational, the goofy chirrup. It's not rocket-science, the structure of a song like this; but the little choices are what make it outstanding - the guitar-pedals, the chords, the Buddy Holly hiccup, the particular instinct of quiet into loud. I cheer at the thought of this as a lip-dub, at a battle of the bands, as part of a coordinated demolition. Also, it's a song about battling depression called "Quack"; Rivers Cuomo should buy himself a time-machine and bring these kids on tour. Great tune.

[download the rest of the New Branch EP, which also got help from James Yorkston and Withered Hand's Dan Wilson / more of Liz @ Facebook]


Other things:

Really enjoyed This Camera's simple, effective (and disquieting) video for Jennifer Castle's "Misguided":

And finally, I'm beginning to assemble my best songs of 2011 list. (I know, it's only mid-November.) As always, I rely on your help. There's no way for one person to hear everything that's wonderful. So - What's your favourite song of this year? From mumbly folk to mainstream pop, bassy hip-hop to Icelandic blubstep, please send me the best MP3s, as email attachments: I'm grateful for everything, but particularly if you avoid sending me videos, MySpace links or lists of tunes - please, just the mp3s!

(Common sense: please don't send songs from records I've written about on Gramophone, or multiple tracks from the same album - just the very best!)

Thank you!

(photo by Axel Poignant

Posted by Sean at 12:20 AM | Comments (6)

November 15, 2011



Himalayan Bear - "How Could Death Contend"

Ah, the lonely hunter. His territory marked, allotted to his charge. An oblong on the map, a flag of equal shape, a crest of cresting hill, raised up each windless dawn. And in the eve, be it lake-sparkled sunset, or swaying cloudy cough, crank it down, crank it down, crank it down. The hunter's only love is the first meal from a catch, he'll howl a song or tell a tale, the only ears the trees. If he doesn't use his tongue, it will dry up, turn to stone. Be at peace, be at peace, be at peace. A tale was once re-answered, by a voice amidst the green, the hunter's ear tuned quiet, balked at noise so clear. The voice said, "The hunt has ended, the territory's sold." The hunter struck the voice, between the ribs and guts, reap the news, reap the news, reap the news. A head of warning raised on the flagpole, grinned in laughing twist. The hunter guards his borders, his thinking mind at rest. [order from Absolutely Kosher]

Black Widow - "Come to the Sabbat"

I often dream of Leopold Carter and his many-spired brow. Leopold Carter was my grandfather's night nurse in the last years of his illness. My parents were social diplomats, integral to the massive machinery of international politesse, and thus were often away. I, still a boy, would be the only family to stay with grandfather in these stretches; weeks at times. During the day I would go to catechism and at night I'd boil grandfather's food to a brown reduction. I would go to sleep around nine or ten, and then I would hear the door open, the steady shuffle of shoes to slippers, and I knew it was Leopold Carter come calling. I would hear the sloshing swish of a flask, I'd smell his odour pass by. The walls were thin and I could hear them conversing. I think they shared drinks most of the night. But Leopold Carter made a point of never speaking to me. Whether he thought it unseemly or he simply didn't want to talk to anything that could move away from him on its own, we never exchanged a word. And this, for me, as a boy, made him terrifying. Half-asleep during his nightly patters down the hall, and his murmurs through the walls, they came all the more dream-like to me in my memory, they came all the more distorted, horrifying, grotesque. I remember his face as the front of a castle, his drawbridge mouth and his bubonic beard. His earlobes hung like chains, his hair like black and rotten straw. His nose the swollen fulcrum of his downturned half-lids, his eyes like condemned doors, missing their handle, missing their function. His brows were spindly, like spires that seemed to climb upward to his sagging forehead, his surrendered mind. I only once expressed this disfavour to my father, who became quiet and gritted his teeth, "Grandfather likes him, just pretend he's not there." Advice that proved only the truth of it's opposite; pretending the monster you see isn't there is far worse than fearing the one you know isn't. [Buy]

(image is of The Man Who Flew Into Space From His Apartment, an installation dear to my heart, by Ilya Kabakov)



The Renaissance Man. lutist. blind dirtbiker.
A lovely and wondrous little documentary about learning to do something impossible. I could talk at length about how well-made this is; simple, honest footage cut superbly and with pitch-perfect tone. I could talk about how in 12.5 minutes they've created two full characters that I can't wait to see more of, I could talk about the first emotionally visionary use of a helmet cam I've ever seen. But I'll simply mention those things and you can do your own expounding. Enjoy.

Posted by Dan at 1:49 AM | Comments (3)

November 14, 2011


Alex Webb, Arcahaie, Puerto Rico (1985)

Bry Webb - "Rivers of Gold".

A year and a half ago, on this blog, I wished I had this song. A year before that, I wrote about Bry Webb, singing with the Harbourcoats at Sappyfest: His voice is magnetic, I wrote. I mean that it is compelling to listen to but also that it sounds as if it is made of whatever substance magnets are made of. Now here we are, in the cold November, and Bry is preparing to provide Provider, his first solo collection. This is a man who used to spit smoke with Constantines. On 2001's "Arizona", over charging electric guitars, he yelled, "We want the death of rock and roll!". Once, in an airport, he recommended to me the poetry of James Tate. Tate wrote this beautiful poem, concerning a wedding.

"Rivers of Gold" was written in the Yukon. In this recording, the land is quiet. The Klondike is lowly. The metals are still buried. Bry sings these verses as if he is placing stones on a desk, one after another. At the end of the track, and in the middle, you can look at these stones sitting on the desk; you can look, and think, and feel something. I like that this song is a metaphor but also not-a-metaphor.

I was working in a gold-rush city.
I was playing in a band.
We had an understanding
 only we could understand.
I was making a decent living
 in the Yukon territory
Of all of those who came before me
I am the one most free.
In a way, I suppose, every song is a metaphor and not-a-metaphor. It depends on how you use it. In a way, every river is lowly, and every poem is beautiful, and every November is cold, unless you live in the southern hemisphere.

The songwriting on Provider is humble and serious. It does not draw attention to itself. It recalls the best lyrics of Neil Young, but none of his solos. Shakey, they call Neil; I imagine Bry with his ear to the ground, listening for tremors.

The singer is not as weary as he seems. He is free, he reminds us. He has that end-of-day freedom, dusky freedom; in the Yukon, in a certain fashion, it is always dusk.

I remember sitting with Vish at Bombay Peggy's, on a Monday, listening to Bry Webb sing this song. And I remember thinking, In this instant, this is everything I want from a song. I neglected my drink, and my lonely heart. And also the night's thin grey daylight.

[Provider is released tomorrow by Idée Fixe Records / buy / it includes an even more excellent song called "Undertaker" - stream it here / with horns arranged by Colin Stetson]

(photograph by alex webb, no relation - source)

Posted by Sean at 12:41 AM | Comments (7)

November 11, 2011

Too Something To Something


Parenthetical Girls - "Sympathy For Spastics"

You need to hang up your rain coat after you get home from walking in the rain. If you don't, it will develop an odourous thin slime in the folds and places where it rubs together.

I was walking in the rain, and it was cold, and outside were all the talkings of the world, the constant chatter of idealess and idealist and defeatist prattle. The words and slogans and ideas slid somehow under my stepping feet, before I could lay the next one down, and I would stumble, splashing my pant leg. They would slide like chunks of firewood, soggy and full of spiders, beneath my armpits, inside my clothes. Little ones would go up my fingernails. The sound of the rain was so loud, it rapped against the sides of my vinyl hood, and it seemed like it was trying to beat me at something. Beat me at a competition that, while ongoing and inescapable, I wasn't aware I had entered, nor aware of any of the rules, goals, or how many others were involved. And most certainly I was beaten, despite a desperate attempt to cheat my way out, once I realized I was losing. I stole ideas from wherever I saw fit, I stole them right out of the mouths of friends, the minds of thinkers whose taste and quality matched the things I wished I had. I joined the chatter, ignored the things repeated and the lack of firm foundation. I grasped, cold-knuckled at whatever would hold my weight, and climbed as high as I could, thinking I could turn the rain off at its source. But climbing and overstepping was simply that, the route of a maze that wasn't the finish, and I found myself standing high atop a pile of meaningless ends, meanless old friends. So when I got home, I didn't hang up my rain coat, I simply threw it in a heap, and now there is an odourous thin slime in the folds and places where it rubbed together. [buy]

Kourosh Yaghmaei - "Ghad Boland"

I would describe this: WEDDING AS WARNING. [buy Back From the Brink]

(photo by Alek Gruszczynski)

Posted by Dan at 1:29 PM | Comments (1)

November 10, 2011


Mirrors into lake

Adam and the Amethysts - "Dreaming". The post-postmodern crisis comes out of the postmodern crisis. They are the same crisis, in essence. But whereas the postmodern crisis provokes a throwing-up of hands, a despairing cry, the post-postmodern crisis solicits, or even demands, a solution. The problem is simple enough, when you gloss the details: there is no Truth, there is no Beauty, there is no objective reality (or there is no accessing it) through the distortion of language, enculturation, personal experience. Some have argued that there is still a sanctitude to Death, that this is the Last True Thing, but this seems difficult to maintain in a post-9/11 world, when even that horror has joined the lexicon of reality-TV and the simulacrum of 24-hour news.

So this is a shaky world of ten trillion Schrödinger's cats, and we are the poor souls who wander through, clutching our iPhones. The postmodernists responded with despair, alienation, formal play. And the post-postmodernists, what of them? Is there an answer to the ennui of the subjective, the loneliness of the "real"? How can we love if there is no Love?

Adam and the Amethysts have found a solution. They have found it with slow synths, grim & flickering guitar, saxophone. The solution is this: We pretend. No, there is no Truth; no there is no Beauty; no there is no Real, no Rights, no Love. But we can pretend. We can lie. We can lie, even to ourselves. This is the age of doublethink and fiction, so let us use these tools like liferafts.

"Dreaming" opens with a vision of a mystic cave, a Great Spirit, a pilgrimage. Its story is one of purpose, meaning, mission. And it is not real. The Amethysts show us this not just with melody, reverb, little whirlies - they show us in the song-title. They show us in the chorus. "It seems like I'm dreaming," Adam Waito sings. The reassurance of the Great Spirit, the solace of this vision, is imaginary. The Amethysts know this. They know these are phantoms. The same is true in the next part of the song, as the narrator drives through Northern Ontario, arm's-length from a lover. The mundane is just as illusory as the fantastic. "It only ran a mile an hour / so we watched the scenery / baby." This too - the small towns, the vast forests, that beloved baby - is not Real. It is not founded on anything underlying. "It seems like I'm dreaming," Waito repeats, without any fear.

Waito has no fear because he has solved the post-postmodern problem. He is not despairing. He is not lost. He is simply willful. He is simply listening to his story, accepting it, believing it. The full chorus is this: "If it seems like I'm dreaming / Don't wake me." Because this is the answer to the existential challenge of our time: Choose a Love. Or this: Choose a Truth. Choose a Love, choose a Truth, choose a Beauty; choose any purpose that you wish, clutch it, treat it as Real. Pretend. Lie. Dream, and dodge waking. There need not be any basis for universal human rights: we can enact them because we want to. We can fall in love, head over heels, with all the force of wish. "If it seems like we're dreaming / Don't wake me."

Then again, maybe "Dreaming" is none of the above. Maybe it's an awesome spectral jam, a journey and homewarming, a work of gorgeous wistful yes, longing and fulfillment in the same good chords. Maybe it's just one of the best songs released this year, with "oh-oh-oh-oh-oh", murmur, harmony, and that electric guitar, like painted lines on a long, garlanded road.

[buy Flickering Flashlight / watch "Dreaming"'s (nsfw) music video / come to Adam & the Amethysts' Montreal album launch, tonight at Sala Rossa, with Elfin Saddle]

(image source)

Posted by Sean at 11:22 AM | Comments (7)

November 8, 2011

Nova Tabarcan


Chin Yi - "Foulou Obemi, Fouloum De Daar"

Chin Yi perform exclusively in the fictitious language never invented by Genoese pirates called Tabarcan or Nova Tabarcan. It originates, and is limited only to, the late 18th Century on the Island of Nova Tabarca off the coast of Spain. Genoese pirates shipwrecked there escaping from Spain and simply settled. Fearing the onset of spies from the mainland, they created their own language, one extremely unique for its time. It combines gestures and words necessarily, the language cannot be understood without their union. For instance, facing west while speaking meant the statement was earnestly felt (politicians or professions of love), facing north meant the statement required a response (non-rhetorical questions and military orders needing confirmation). Looking skyward at the beginning of a sentence meant it was not of any importance, looking skyward at the end of a sentence meant it was only of importance to a few people. It was quite an acrobatic generation that began Nova Tabarcan, so they would include difficult or inconvenient maneuvers to prevent newcomers from easily mimicking. For example, standing on one's tip toes, like a ballerina's point, meant the sentence's intended meaning was the opposite of its stated meaning, while standing on one's head meant that the statement was intended for the ears of a married or betrothed man. Perhaps the most fascinating Tabarcan lingual gestures are the 'flicked finger' and the 'wiped upper lip'. When a statement is given the flicked finger, as it would be in the phrase foulou obemi, meaning, loosely, 'a sated noble', the statement takes on the added meaning that 'this will be important later', it gives the foreboding quality of a clue or premonition. And the wiped upper lip, used in a phrase like fouloum de daar, meaning 'satisfied by just one meal', gives the phrase another layer of meaning that "this will not always be true and there is danger afoot."

And musically, I'm sure there is a touch of irony in the choice of melody, since the Tabarcan language, despite its acrobatic forefathers, had no word for 'circus'. The closest possibility would be velentou which, directly translated, means 'silly police'. [PWYC on Bandcamp]

Alligator Indian - "Honey Eye Bee Leave Ewe"

This song is a 'level complete' screen. It's a Friday goof-off. It's a tush notification. It's a baritone baby, and a light-up sandwich, and something I can only describe as a cat sidewalk. It starts and ends with phones ringing, but in the middle there are hands wringing, and ears ringing, and arms winging. [PWYC on Bandcamp]

(photo is of Tabarca and its roads)

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

November 7, 2011


Framed, by Anton Burdakov

Jeremih - "Another Song".

     Take a knee, Rod, said the Champ. Do you want to be a pro, one day?
     Yessir, said Rod.
     Well listen, Rod. It takes more than dreams to be a pro. It takes more than practice and hard work. It takes discipline, Rod. It takes a strict regime.
     A regime?
     You gotta eat right, Rod. You gotta eat right. Ever seen one of these before?
     This is a jukebox, explained the Champ. It plays records.
     I eat one of these every day, Rod. Every single morning, with my cereal and juice.
     Yep, I eat it just like that.

Charli XCX - "Nuclear Seasons".

I wish Lady Gaga's music sounded like this. I wish she was at once a 9-year-old girl and a 95-year-old crone, a liliputian and a giant, a ten-mile glacier and a kitschy grass skirt. I wish you could make a synthesiser by gathering the right gemstones, that microphones could be read like books, that angst was something you could fold, like origami, to look like different dipping birds. [website]

(photograph is of FRAMED by Anton Burdakov - source)

Posted by Sean at 8:11 AM | Comments (0)

November 4, 2011

Come Through, Last Minute


Chalices of the Past - "Br00tal Krew"

It's either the mountains or the beach. It's either forgetting or constantly talking. It's either spending your savings or saving for nothing. It's either raining or it's waiting to rain. It's either human or a beautiful facsimile. It's either sex, as in orgasm, or searching, as in lacking d'erection. It's either PayPal or burn the banks. It's either banksy or a nice wall. It's either employment or the end of time. It's either New Years or Few Tears. It's either join us, or forget the whole thing.

To get on board with this song, I had to give up every other song I know. I may regret the decision in time, but I take each day as it comes.

Chalices of the Past - "Ignition (remix...again)"


[PWYC for 2 RUDE]



The world of sketch comedy is a diverse place. Full of posers, and wishers-were, and try-not-hard-enoughs. But there are also delights, there are challengers, freakers-out, and i-have-an-ideas. And Tony Ho, a fledgling new sketch comedy group are in the latter category. Their aesthetic goes to places that excite and terrify and malign, that make you giggle and gasp and hold your face. They make huge baroque sketches, immense entire short films, whole bodies of tone and story. They have created their own little world in which to exist, and you should take, even a little, look inside.

(image from the Phuket Vegetarian Festival, taken by Great Z, an anesthesiologist)

Posted by Dan at 3:05 AM | Comments (1)

November 3, 2011


Superman, by R. Sikoryak

Adanowsky - "J'aime tes genoux". This is a song about loving a girl's knees. Which, as a sentiment, is fair enough. I've certainly seen some nice knees, over the years. Although originally written by Henri Salvador, this cover by Adanowsky, the son of filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky, is offered in much the same spirit. Which prompts me to wonder: Do Salvador and Adanowsky love the same kind of knees? Knees come in different varieties. Some are sturdier than others, or more flexible. Some are wide and some narrow, some smooth and others pronounced. This song feels so indiscriminate in its affections, full of groove, strum, honk, but Jodorowsky and Salvador are very precise. I don't give a fuck about the rest of you, they sing. Your knees, they sing, to one woman in particular, J'aime, j'aime, j'aime.. They are harder to please than others, more judgmental. They are not carefree lovers; they are fascists. And they are catchy as they do it. [buy]

Find the Others - "In Time". In 2002, two years before he knew better, he fell in love with a girl who could fit into the palm of his hand. She was made of sugar dust and gleams. She would speak to him of distant forests, faraway valleys, places where they could roam among the flowers for days. She spoke to him of the honey-cake she would bake one day. She had perfect teeth and danced like a breeze. She didn't know how to drive. He described their relationship as you would describe a miniature ship, perfect, tucked inside a bottle. This was in 2002, two years before he knew better, when he thought that the only precious things were things you couldn't drop. [website/buy]

(image source)

Posted by Sean at 10:18 AM | Comments (1)

November 1, 2011



Thee Oh Sees - "Contraption/Soul Desert"

On the way to the clean-up meet-up, every Nov 1st for the past three years. It's usually the last day to bike, hard to squeeze the brakes with mitts on. There's a garden glove on the McKenzie's fencepost, a white picket wave, like it's a signal for something, TURN BACK I think. The air is cold and full of sparks. My phone buzzes unknown caller in my pocket, next to extra candies. At the entrance to Bern Park there's cookies on the bike path, none are crumbled, three face up. Past the basketball courts a white cargo van has its back doors open like wings. Looks like a robbery, or just someone moving. At the entrance to the school, at the back after-hours door near the gym there's a buzzer-inner. I put my eye right up to the camera and my mouth right up to the mic. "EVIL EYE!" I say with a demon voice and they buzz me in without a laugh. I imagine soldiers, marines, SEALs, running through these halls, one stops to butt a locker with his gun. I stop and look at the honour roll. Jennifer Rald, where are you now? [Pre-order Carrion Crawler / The Dream]

Each Other - "Freak Heat"

Cleaning up after Hallowe'en jerks is not a chore, if you're with people and you can laugh. There's a tp'd tree on Everly Lane, that takes a ladder. There's a firework'd beach by the Duck Pond, that takes a rake and a bag. There's burned-out dumpsters behind the cinema, I'm there with Peter and Tall Kevin. There's a horse corpse on the golf course, and that needs a fork lift I think. In the cold and setting fall, the damage is expansive and harsh. Moreso than any year I've seen before. Two of the high-rise apartment buildings are still evacuated, the dump was set loose and spillage ran into the viaduct, there's e coli in the water. The Chapters got shook out like a loose pocket, and all the stores in the Valley Mews are afraid to even set foot inside, what for the smell. But we'll keep at it, on our honour, and we'll turn this place around. Have it all ready for in time for Christmas. The Holidays, I mean. [PWYC for Taking Trips]

Posted by Dan at 5:05 PM | Comments (0)