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.

June 29, 2012

Replicant Prose


The Flaming Lips - "You, Man Human (feat. Nick Cave)"

Apartment windows shoot out in beams like animated bar graphs, lives rocketed out in sideways gusts. Trinkets and clothes and life detritus (old Archie comics, bad DVDs, and chipped-paint night tables and IKEA dressers) are sprinkled on the streets like garage-sale barf. It's all snowglobe-messy and the shuffle is a personless, emotionless necessity. It's the building's that have had enough. The buildings are purging their parasites, gutting their rot, and rutting the lot. The buildings; they are library and dépanneur and concrete complex. They are two-storey and victorian and high-rise with a fountain. They are mansion and cabin and antique car museum. They are franchise and rep theatre and yoga studio. They can finally breathe, with empty lungs. "I've been too human for years."



My very talented friend and roommate Jordan Canning has her film on CBC's Short Film Faceoff. Her film, Not Over Easy, has made it to the top 3, but needs your help to clinch the first-place win. Voting starts tomorrow, June 30, after the show airs on CBC television, and will go until Jul 1 at 11:59pm. Go to to watch the film(s) and click "voting" tomorrow after the show. Thanks!

Dad Drives continues to roll out. Episode 5 up at, which a few commenters have called "the best one yet!" so decide for yourself.


Tony Ho, in preparation and promotion for their upcoming Toronto Fringe Festival show, have released a new short film. I was lucky enough to guest star in it, and I'm so very proud of it.

Posted by Dan at 2:37 PM | Comments (0)

June 28, 2012


Man in suitcase

Johnny Boy - "You Are The Generation That Bought More Shoes and You'll Get What You Deserve". Have any of you ever moved before? I mean moved house. It is a little bit like dying. You float above your things, wondering, Why did I buy that? or Why did I neglect that? or How did I let this thing get so dusty? You are at once pleased with all you have accumulated and humiliated by it. You pack things in boxes and some boxes make you feel like a logistical engineering ninja while others make you feel incompetent, like a melting pile of wax. I am more incompetent than wax. At a certain point in the day you think, It is time for a beer. And then in a panicked sweat you hope that the beers you purchased are twist-off beers, because your bottle-opener is hidden in some sealed-up part of your past, among the electrical bills, photo albums, porcelain and mittens.

I am trying to decide whether the last thing I pack will be my stereo, my computer, the lamps, or my shoes. This feels like many kinds of metaphor.

(photo source)

Posted by Sean at 5:22 PM | Comments (5)

June 26, 2012

The $1000 Song


Vitamin Pets - "Fried Eggs" (also the buy link)

A whale spends $9.50 on a carrot because of the cost of transporting it to the deep ocean. A deck of cards is worth its weight in gold, if placed in the right order. A painting buys a person with merely a look. If there were only two countries, trade tariffs would be infinitely high, but people would pay them. How much cash do aliens have? My picture is on all the money, but I posed pro bono for the photo, and haven't seen the royalties. If money were melons, it would be a shame to pay for cottage cheese. Half of all currency in the world is counterfeit, just like half of all height is platform soles and vertical stripes. I can't tell the difference between my bank and my bed bugs. Do you have my money, you hidden creatures? At what hours are you open for conducting business? Do you keep a balance online?


Vitamin Pets have made a thousand-dollar song. Since music has been deemed, in some sense, worthless, I feel it's an appropriate price, if only for atonement. Plus, like all the songs we post here, for a myriad range of prices, it's a wicked track, squawky, cheeky, bang.


and Jeff The Brotherhood put on a great show in Toronto. The fans: young, naive, a bit forceful with a weak pit. The music: never been tighter, brighter, it's many-legged, plenty loud. Prediction: this will be the last tour in small venues, the time to go is now.

Posted by Dan at 2:04 AM | Comments (2)

June 25, 2012


The Velvet Underground playing for the American Society of Clinical Psychiatrists

Hangedup and Tony Conrad - "Transit of Venus". At first the monument seemed like a righteous thing. The materials were good - granite, steel, glass, garnets. The design was beautiful. But as the weeks of building went on, an ugliness came over the enterprise. The swarming workers seemed stuffed with dust; their faces seemed waxen, crude. When they pushed the stones upright, it was as if something was being distorted, as if a lie was being made. The cutting sounded like shearing. There was a pallor to the light. Finally the tower was complete, adorned with brave shapes, and this proud tribute was a hideous thing, its own betrayal, cursed. [buy]

Moonface with Siinai - "Heartbreaking Bravery". It is difficult to hear a break-up song, written earnestly, between two people you know. I do not wish it upon anyone. It is difficult because it is uncomfortable: I did not want to imagine that look in your eyes. I did not want to imagine those words on your lips. It is difficult because when people you know behave in an ugly way, in front of you, some of that ugliness seems to come off on your own hands, smeared. It is difficult because heartbreak is sad. Spencer Krug, Moonface, recorded this song in Finland, far away from Boréale beer and the Van Horne underpass. He is not coming to Montreal on his current tour. He sounds ruined, angry, ragged. Perhaps bitter. I hope that since recording this music he has heard other songs, songs that taught him certain lessons. You are wrong. What has happened is for the good. You will see. Maybe an album of love songs, next time, the sky clearing out. [buy]

(Photo is of the Velvet Underground playing for the American Society of Clinical Psychiatrists, 1965. Source.)

Posted by Sean at 4:31 PM | Comments (2)

June 22, 2012

The Threat is in the Promise


A Tribe Called Red - "Electric PowWow Drum"

The trees spiked into the ground like wooden rain, and the clouds gurgled up from the soil. The birds, tirelessly in-between, were there during that great exchange; they had nowhere to perch. When the Earth was flipping like a pancake, they had to keep flying, hovering, waiting, guessing. When the lake settled into its bed, and the stars reached their firework arc and paused, never to fall, the birds began to land, in the darkness, in the night. They were very tired and slept right on the ground. The dogs, the bears, the raccoons, the other animals that would usually eat the birds, were also tired. Some buried, some stuck through with trees. So the birds were safe that night, and when day came, the Earth did not feel them on its skin. The Earth was paused, waiting for the birds to land, not seeing that they already had. The Earth was still, more still than it's ever been. The clouds lay in the sky like pudding. And the birds looked at each other and seemed to know. They rose into the air and said collectively, down to the world and its weakness, "Let's land again." [PWYC]

(A Tribe Called Red are an Ottawa-based dance force to be reckoned with. Recently added to the Polaris long list, they're playing a big show tonight in Ottawa with Native comedian Ryan McMahon: info)

Jeff the Brotherhood - "Extra Good"

I'm a Rubick's Cube. I'm every colour. I'm a million combinations. I'm all mixed up. Spin me, rip me apart, smash me into the sidewalk, do whatever it takes to make this into some kind of order. I will, of course, stay the way you leave me until the next time you get bored. [pre-order Hypnotic Nights]

(Jeff the Brotherhood are playing Toronto tomorrow at Wrongbar in Parkdale. Come get sweaty. show info)



• Very talented gramofriend Jenna Wright makes music video with Liane Balaban, Seth Owen, and fun buds.

• Pitchfork have made a highly-nerdy documentary about Modest Mouse's The Lonesome Crowded West. As this was the very album that made me say "Yep, music for life," I quite enjoyed the film, but probably more because of how it felt so acutely tuned to my interests, and not because it offered much in the way of relevant insight. It does frame the creation of a great work as simply the capturing of continued hard work and nothing like luck or magic, which was an attractive notion. And it did make me want to see Calvin Johnson as an actor.

Other projects: For anyone interested in seeing me perform, today's a good day to take advantage.
1) At 6:30pm at the Carlton Cinemas in Toronto, a film called Beat Down, in which I play a Duckie-esque unrequited love interest to the totally delightful Marthe Bernard, will be screening as part of the Female Eye Film Festival.
2) At 10:30pm at Comedy Bar I will be rap battling against one of my oldest and dearest friends in the world, Roger Bainbridge. It will be epic.
3) And, at your leisure, the web series I created in the spring, Dad Drives, continues to roll out. Episode 4 is below, the rest are at

Posted by Dan at 7:09 AM | Comments (1)

June 21, 2012

Please Be With You


Today, until midnight, there are 10 vibraphonists from around the world performing sections, which will be strung together, into an 18-hour performance of Vexations by Erik Satie. The piece is a small theme played 840 times in succession.

on this process, Satie said: "In order to play the theme 840 times in succession, it would be advisable to prepare oneself beforehand, and in the deepest silence with serious immobilities"

Posted by Dan at 6:29 PM | Comments (0)


Hop Along - "Diamond Mine". At the airport, thinking: Quick, wi-fi-, Said the Gramophone, what to say? And I do not know what to say. Three weeks on the far side of the world; homecoming; hydration, red-eye, jet-lag. My body feels leaden, earthbound, while other things shoot and fly through blood. Feelings too shaky for a steady hand, a steady voice: enter Hop Along. Creaking yays, lightningbolt shout, crashing cymbals, breaking voices. This band does not wait for equilibrium. It shoots first, leaps, runs with tears in its eyes. Epic win or epic fail. Diamonds. [bandcamp / thanks Hamza]

Posted by Sean at 1:42 AM | Comments (1)

June 19, 2012

Fuck The Poli¢e


Killer Mike - "R.A.P. Music"

I remember his beard. The way he smelled when he would walk by on his way to the stage, it would sting and start my brain. The altar, the podium, whatever; where he'd speak. His old ratty black faded George Foreman shirt, with George kind of grinning, thumbs up, one of his eyes long since flaked off in the wash. But his beard, it was like what a man could be. You could be that strong and that steady and that comfortable, and all you had to do was wait, and pay attention. He'd speak so clearly, like it were the easiest thing in the world to say even ten words in a row that made perfect sense, that didn't get choked up with hatred or sadness or blind fear. He would never yell, but it was so frigging loud. Deafening, almost. The kids next to me would have their earphones in, but you knew they were listening, you could tell by the way their jaw hung open like they themselves were speaking. Everyone listened, no one dared speak. And he would always start the same way, I remember it like it was church: "I want to say a few words to you now, and you know I mean them, because I speak from my heart."

[Buy this album]

(image of recalled Adidas)

(big thanks to Miguel Rivas for introducing me to Killer Mike. Miguel hosts a wonderful show in Toronto, Rap Battlez, where I will be performing (yes, rapping) this Friday. Please come, Jordan will be performing too.)

Posted by Dan at 3:51 PM | Comments (0)

June 18, 2012


Magadan map

Децла (Detsl) - "Вечеринка у Децла (Party at Detsl's)".

Natasha and I climbed into Andrei's big black 4x4. We decided to leave the dog at home. She took the passenger seat and I was in the back, leaning against the backpacks. Andrei got in after us. Hes is a barrel-chested Magadan native, shaved almost bald, bulging at the shoulders. He wears a tight black T, camo pants. Tasha - my interpreter - has shades, a dayglo hoodie, giant raver sneakers. I am a timid Canadian writer. Andrei says something in Russian. "Let's go?" Tasha asks. "Let's go," I say.

A hard rock cover of Cat Stevens' "Wild World" is playing.

As soon as we roar out of the junkyard and onto the freeway I notice very clearly that I do not have a seatbelt. The windshield has a crack in it; every Magadan windshield seems to have a crack in it. Andrei has a black and white GPS, a DVD player mounted above the dash. He does have a seatbelt but he is not wearing it. He never wears it. For the next five hours, the No Seatbelt alarm pings in the dash behind the wheel. It is almost soothing. It is almost, almost soothing.

We are on the Magadan oblast federal road to Yakutsk. The name looks more elegant in cyrillic: Якyтск. We are not actually headed to Yakutsk because Yakutsk is 1,200 miles away. This is just our route to the mine at Dneprovsky, a former gulag, where we will be camping tonight. The road is pitted and lumpen, but paved. We pass Magadan's crumbling tenements and soaring radio towers, pass the immobile fairground and the doleful Mask of Sorrow. Now Andrei is really gunning it. The city pours away behind us and there are just acres and acres of thick forest on rolling hills, pines on cascading slopes. A bundle of reindeer bristles swings where fuzzy dice might swing. This is a souvenir from the town of Omyron. It says so, in beading. Also Omyron's lowest recorded temperature: -72°C (-96°F). As I admire the doodad I realize that although it swings where fuzzy dice might swing, it is not swinging from under the rearview mirror. That is because there is no rearview mirror. Andrei pushes a button on his USB flashdrive and the Russian dance music gets louder.

So we're driving through the taiga. I check, just to make sure: "We're driving through the taiga, right?" Natasha checks with Andrei. He nods. This seems to be a stupid question. Dandelions skirt the side of the road, in places, like we are skimming down a suburban off-ramp. In other spots, the asphalt turns to dirt - we have to raise the windows to keep from being choked with dust. Gigantic trucks thunder past us, their dust-clouds like the trails of comets. The SUV has very good suspension. I am hanging on for dear life to the car's interior handles. We climb a hill and now emerge into new landscape: from the initial raking hills we are in some kind of plateau valley, ringed with mountains. Atka passes in a blur: a concrete hammer and sickle, apartment blocks, what could be a lake but which is instead a large slab of ragged white ice. It is June. The car's bass booms. "This is Black Lake," Natasha says, pointing through a break in the trees. There are no birds or fish at Black Lake. When I ask why, Andrei replies: "Nobody knows." He has a five-year-old son, he tells us. He wants to give him a motorcycle.


Elsewhere: Matrix Magazine and Pop Montreal are once again presenting LitPop, a one-of-a-kind literary contest. Submit poetry or short fiction for the chance to snag round-trip airfare to what is arguably the best music festival on the continent, plus a VIP pass, accommodation, and publication in Matrix. This year's judges are Ken Babstock and Melanie Little and it's all a stunner of a deal, a grand opportunity, a thing you should do. Anyone in the USA or Canada is eligible. Deadline is July 1.

Posted by Sean at 3:09 AM | Comments (5)

June 15, 2012

Said the Gramophone


Chilly Gonzales - "Nero's Nocturne"

Doors within doors within doors. An entrance to an entrance where arrival meets the left. This door is outside that one, and inside the other, but the third is outside both and passing through means backing up. Don't look over your shoulder through that door, because you'll see the top of your head, from underneath, and it's very bad luck. If you shake hands with a man through that door, you will never have met. If you were in love with someone who passes through that door, they will not be fond of you on the other side. They may shove you through a door, where you'd exit a child, leg for a hand, hat on the tip of your gloved stomach. This door is for pets, or will turn you into a pet, or will pet you, while you turn the handle to another door. The breeze of opening and closing doors will take away your breath, recycle it, use it for its very breezy aims. The air that blows out your last candle is the same air as your first breath. How does it taste? Go through here. Slam. Now how does it taste?



Posted by Dan at 12:35 PM | Comments (0)

June 13, 2012



CFCF - Exercise 1 (Entry)

"Plenty of cars will get you killed out there," he spoke furtively, as if someone were watching us. And since he was a salesman, they probably were. "But this one will keep you alive. It looks like hell, doesn't it? Egg-shaped, like they used to make 'em in the 10s, and gaudy with those stripes." I remember thinking he wasn't doing a very good job, and yet there I stood, rapt. He talked without looking me in the eye, his clothes had a greyed quality, he was a faded man, and yet I very much wanted to listen. "But pretty in its way. Ugly as a two-eyed cyclops, my mother used to say." I leapt at this, "What was your mother like?" He didn't even flinch, he either wanted so badly to make the sale, or he was really just an open book, "The most beautiful woman alive. Tall, over six feet, floated, defied gravity. She got sick during the wars, my father fought and sent back money and spoils. She wore his training uniform around the house, kept his weekly poker game going, with all the ladies in their husbands' uniforms. It was quite a sight. My sister ran away when she was 13." He caught himself there, still looking away from me, up into the sky, watching egg-shaped uglies run in soft lines to high buildings. "But I suppose that doesn't have much to do with this. This'll keep you safe, no question about that. Couldn't break it with a wind o' bricks." I almost bought the thing right then and there, when he said wind o' bricks, but instead smiled and said I'd really like to think about it, and left the lot and walked home.

[Buy from Paper Bag Records]

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

June 8, 2012

Do You Remember?


The Hood Internet - "Fuck With Mo' Money"

Jean shorts are meant for thighs. Ice cream is made to melt. Shoes are built to sweat, to brown from street dirt. Hair is meant to tangle. Grass to be matted. Debit cards to be lost, bike bells born for sunglasses.

Alanis Morissette - "Thank U"

When everything decides to climb to space. "I love it here, now get me out."

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

June 7, 2012

летом свет

St Petersburg, June 2012

Alina Simone - "Just Here to Watch the Show (demo)". Saint Petersburg has been around much longer than me, and it will be here after I'm gone. It will be solid and regal under blue sky. It will be radiant and proud. It will let its gold domes wink at dusky midnight, it will hold a million people in its squares. The trees here are taller than the trees at home, and the forest around the Polytechnic is full of trilling birds. I imagine studying there, in vaultlike classrooms with peeling walls, all day spent staring at an exploded view. The diagrams would be on bright white paper, like the shafts of light in the central stairway, where great scientists have walked, have chewed on sandwiches. And in the evening I would go out from the Physico-Technical Institute, in among those tall trees and trilling birds, and I would just disappear into the capital, where my true love lives. [buy]

Brightblack Morning Light - "Everybody Daylight". This is my second experience of White Nights, after the short time I spent in Dawson City. St Petersburg bears the nighttime glow in a different way. It does not diffuse into grassblades, empty horizon. Instead it reflects off colonnades and palaces, dazzles down boulevards. The people on the streets do not have Dawson's weary drunkenness, staggering to white-lit beds. They walk upright and clear-eyed. They jostle on the subway. They laugh on the bridge. This is a city which remains lucid with fatigue: it would shoot its arrow straight, find the apt word. It would win at every winter. It would devour every spring. Sometimes summer is like a cool blue bead in the palm of your hand. [buy]

[photo by me, this week, in the Ioffe Institute]

Posted by Sean at 4:51 AM | Comments (2)

June 5, 2012

No Such Thing As Sober

Matthew DeLoach - "Coastline"


I would like to present my son Gavin. Young Gavin has many special characteristics. A pre-grown frontal lobe for a headstart on learning reason and decision making. An Infant Brain Development program aimed at the motivation-response system designed to augment endorphin release around subjects related to environmental conservation and lessen release on topics related to finance and economics. And lastly, an enlarged (175%) set of dopamine receptors and producers so that he can actually feel categorically happier than anyone in history, through helping save the world from environmental collapse. He is a good person. He must be.



Tomorrow, Wed Jun 6th at 9:30pm, come to Comedy Bar at 945 Bloor to see For My Own Benefit III, the third in a continuing series of comedy charity shows by The New Humourists. Just another historic event, that's all. [attending]

Posted by Dan at 4:35 PM | Comments (1)

June 1, 2012

Life in the Snap

2012-05-21 13.50.32.jpg

King Tuff - "Anthem" [Buy]

We were great friends. Klicky and Benton and Heat and The Nick. Back in the 110s. Never apart. Rode on thunder bikes and sniffed punges in back alleys. Klicky and The Nick dated for a while, they felt each other up and told us all about it behind the other's back. We used to get up to all sorts of trouble. Split the Vic's car in two with a homemade light cutter, wrote PUSSY IS FUCK on the side of City Dome. Got chased by a horde of Catchers, some got under our clothes, Heat got 'em where the sun don't shine.

But now...where are they? Klicky and The Nick broke up when she wouldn't graft his name, Klicky went to Seven Schools and The Nick just disappeared. Benton deals in housing re-ownership, and Heat is addicted to pills that keep him short. As for me, I'm still the same old same-old, I don't change for nobody.

John Moremen - "Flotation Device" [Buy]

2012-05-21 13.51.14.jpg

Posted by Dan at 3:27 PM | Comments (1)