This is a musicblog. Every weekday we post a couple of mp3s and write about them. Songs are only kept online for a short time. This is a page from our archives and thus the mp3s linked to may not longer be available. Visit our front page for new songs and words.

July 31, 2012

Bring On The Years

Cat Power - "Manhattan" (Removed at label request.)

Breakfast of leftover stars, saran-wrapped. Walk on spindly legs in spindly shadows. Harsh sun makes noise on the pavement, like a pap-pap-pap. The world seems to spin on hunger. Hunger is like gravity, a force, when stars are all there is to eat. We will run out of these soon. Don't look at the moon tonight. [Pre-Order]

Blonde Elvis - "Gli Spiriti Dei Morti"

A lamplighter walking, teetering on ice flows. On a cliffside, pebbles crack beneath the skirting foot of a Noble, the fog at his face like a living mask. Forests and velvet and horses and black, a winding tightrope dirge. [1$]

Blonde Elvis play their first show at Parts & Labour in Toronto this Wed Aug 1, opening for Mac DeMarco. See you there.


MDFF, or Medium Density Fiberboard Films, is a Toronto film company, made up of hard-working young filmmakers. Up to now, they've made shorts, but now they've finished their first feature, Tower, and they are trying to fund their trip to the Locarno Film Festival, where they will be able to watch their film being screened, as well pay for subtitling and print management. Their films are rare and hard to see, but if you explore them a little bit, and like what you see, consider supporting them here

Posted by Dan at 1:27 AM | Comments (1)

July 30, 2012


Danialou Sagbohan - "Viva, Femme Africaine". Jelly rolls home from work, to his picnic houseboat which bobs and bobs, full of potted plants and banquet. His wife is gorgeous and very smart, whipcrack smart, stupid smart, and she is icing a cake. "Jelly!" she says. "You home!" Although she is brilliant her English is only so-so. Jelly met her in Benin, when his houseboat bobbed on down. He spied her from the deck, through a telescope. "Holy moly," he said, "wouldja look at that specimen." It was lust that first drew him to her. But their minds met later, on their second date, at a dusty library in Porto-Novo. She knew the names of every colour, ten thousand ways to shimmy. Jelly worked in the paint industry; although he was not a shimmier he came from a long line of shimmiers, had been named for his grandfather, one of the greatest shimmiers of all; he fell hard. They were married under white blossoms, beside a lowing cow, and then Jelly's wife returned with him to the picnic houseboat and they bobbed away into ever-after. Now the boat is moored beside a small English village, where there is only one skyscraper - a skyscraper dedicated to paint. Jelly works all day and then rolls home at night. "Jelly!" his wife yells. "You home!" And then she teaches him a thing or two, and he tries to make her laugh, and he inwardly thanks the river currents and ocean currents and lucky winds that brought two people together, lusciously. [from 1978 / out of print]

Posted by Sean at 10:46 AM | Comments (1)

July 26, 2012


Monster soup in the Thames

Micachu and the Shapes - "You Know". They're probably the most interesting band in Britain. Miasmatic music, noisy and rude, playful, vivisected, stubborn as a stubbed toe. I've been listening to this racket non-stop, giving friends headaches, giving them headaches like I'm giving them gifts: Here, a headache. You'll thank me later. It is not often you find a song like a ropey weed, pushing through your house. It is not often you hear a song that is simultaneously an aquarium and a work-site, a lobotomy and a labradoodle. Mica Levi paints all the colours of sullen, and some of the colours of joy, with a band that plays off-notes, drones, jumble. They are like the Fall and they are like Pavement and they are like falling on the pavement, splat, with bubblegum in your mouth. One minute and thirty-two seconds; pop. [buy]

Django Django - "Life's a Beach". You can fall on anything: a step, a piece of timber, a banana peel. You can trip over a relationship, a regret, a long-lost friend. One kiss can send you flying. Be careful when you are on the beach, when you are relaxing on a rooftop garden. Pay attention to the sky underfoot, to distractions, to your clumsy habits. Sometimes your mind is like the jingle of tambourine and the clack of coconut-halves, voices rhyming in your ears, and you can slip straight out of your comfy pit. [buy]

(image source)

Posted by Sean at 10:55 AM | Comments (1)

July 25, 2012

Follow Cost

Kenny Rogers - "Ruby, Don't Take Your Love To Town"

"Do you want some water?" comes from behind the door, and he knows exactly what's happened. She's gone to the kitchen, gotten a glass of water for herself, and now feels guilty, holding her selfish water, offering her glass. Which, if accepted, she will relinquish and get another. "No thanks," he says, in the warm stale bedroom apartment air, she continues on her way to the couch. He imagines the dishes in the sink, the way she would have ignored them to fill her glass, the way her feet peel off the hardwood when she walks. Every day is a whole newspaper in this place, so much happens, if you look at it a certain way, too much to take in in a sitting. If you look at it a certain way, you can split every moment into a thousand shards of meaning, and each of those can be rearranged to fit your mood. And today his mood is sour, no way around that. Today, it's the receipts that cause the most distress. Crumpled, strewn, fallen, bank balances and weird charges. Not even the cell phone, that endless pit of hopelessness, is as distressing as the receipts. The cell phone is just guessing, he'd never look, but the receipts, that's glimpses of proof. The neighbours are stomping around, doubtless fighting. Fighting. Might be an idea. "What are they doing?" she calls from the couch. He gets up, stands at the door frame, looking out. "Marching band practice," he says, with an unknowing look. She laughs, for the first time in weeks. But instead of being a relief, it's a condemnation. A smile from her these days is like a porno, he can only ever watch.

Just thought about the way you smile. xx He presses 'send' like launching skeet. Up in the air, see if she's ready. Been conversing with her ghost all night, next to him on the chair, the size of a thick credit card. All his life he's been left and lovelorn and lost, but she's the first one he's chased like a maniac. Something so special about her froggy eyes, her oversized feet, the way love emanates from her like a dying bird. I see her brighten when we're together, a rare journal-keeper in the world of constant public memoirs. The first time they made love was drunk after a screening of Buena Vista Social Club, and they had port and it was all tits and teeth and they seemed to be literally spinning in the bed. That stayed with him almost every day, he thought about that at cold bus stops and in bank lines. Other times he checked his balance and it was dwindling and that meant he loved her.


Posted by Dan at 2:01 AM | Comments (3)

July 23, 2012


Alt-J - "Tessellate". A man who is known as a triangle, ∆, must change his name to a description of that triangle. For a week he tries Threeside, introducing himself at parties. He applies for a credit card as Sum-180. But finally the man who is known as a triangle decides to call himself Alt-J, which is computer-talk for ∆, and tries to be happy with this name. He knows it makes him sound like an Australian radio station, or like a fancy way of rolling a marijuana cigarette. But he thinks the music will speak for itself: surely no one will meditate on Alt-J's name while they listen to his coo, his blunt electronic pop. And yet I do. I do. This song is a little like Eagle-Eye Cherry and a little like DJ Shadow circa Endtroducing (mostly the former). Somehow, it is very good. But I do not find myself meditating on its witchy beats & chimes, its hieroglyphic lyrics. Mostly, despite everything else, I think of the man who is a triangle and who thinks that Alt-J is an acceptable cipher. [buy]

D I A N A - "Born Again". A song that is less like the stuff of dance music and more like the stuff that rises up from dance music, like steam or smoke or glinted light. Forget the music that makes you move your feet, the bass-line and synth; think of the colours in your eyes as you exit into the night, the air you exhale into the open. Remember the dreams you have, after hours at the discotheque, where your closed black lids become a spinning silver ball, aurora, celestial spheres. [Soundcloud]

Posted by Sean at 10:35 AM | Comments (2)

July 20, 2012

Of All The Things To Give Up On

Aimee Mann - "Charmer"

Is it bad to think about other things during sex? Sometimes it's a one-way street, sometimes I feel all the good that's coming into me, but can't think about what's leaving. Sometimes I think he looks like an animal or fat or like a stranger. I bite my fist and turn my head to the side, I can't help that. But when it's new or when it's regular, sometimes I'll think about how I ended up there, or about shooting victims, or about the way you get pulled along in your life, like when he pulls me to the bottom of the bed. The bed's like an ice flow, and I control every inch of it. He doesn't always know it, but he's doing what I want, and I don't even have to want it. When he goes to throw the condom in the bathroom garbage I check my phone, I check the news, and kind of think about nothing, or feel scared or good. [out sept]

Posted by Dan at 3:16 PM | Comments (1)

July 19, 2012


Computer graphics

EU - "Spotycach". The whirr and furl of plants growing, ffwd in a David Attenborough doc, firing pollen and seed, unspooling. Green whiplash, brown clod, flower and flower. Subtly kiss that honeysuckle mouth. [from st petersburg / 2000 / download]

TNGHT - "Higher Ground". It was a new fortress: dark pitch, polished steel spires, shining midnight marble. Less than ten years old and never yet defended. But now they knew the Ministerium's armies were five days away. Tanks seemed to gleam on the hilltops; ships seemed to glint against the horizon. So the fortress lit its fires and sounded the sirens, summoned all of their defenders. Ten thousand soldiers, trained and strong, filling the lanes, courtyards, bulwarks. They kept the fires going. They sounded all the sirens. They wheeled out the kettle drums and fanfares - they thundered and hailed. And what they found was that their new fortress shook. It reflected and amplified every sound. Standing in their places, the soldiers felt the music quiver in the air. It roared in their heads. It made them dance. The greatest fortress in the realm, impregnable, hot as a night-box, boîte de nuit, club. [TNGHT is Scotland's Hudson Mohawke and Montreal's Lunice]



  • M60 launches tonight, ahead of September's screenings. Come and sign up to make a one-minute film.
  • Following the demise of Mirror and Hour, a handful of writers have very mightily made a thing called Cult.
  • Saturday marks Yelp Helps!, a terrific celebration of good works, games, and free food. Learn about local charities, nosh, play yr heart out.

(image source)

Posted by Sean at 10:56 AM | Comments (1)

July 17, 2012

I Will Always Love You

The droplets fall in perfect order, each leaving the cloud at their appointed time. And the cloud position exactly, the wind kissing them into place. On the shore, the trees exhale their breath in synchronous motion, the grass blades cut the ground in rhythmic time. And cars on roads kick dust, exhausted, play tunes at necessary moments, metered out as planned. Old and young die and bear, just on cue, eyes open and close like levers. Books, alike, open, are started, finished and close, voices start just as mouths begin to gape, and stop just before they're shut. Chemicals surge at moments assigned, currents rise and rivers meet, and that is called contentment. Playing an instrument is easy, the hard part is being excellent, because only harmony exists, there simply are no mistakes.

Posted by Dan at 2:05 AM | Comments (6)

July 16, 2012


The Deadly Snakes - "Gore Veil". Instead of singing about rose-coloured lenses, the late, great Snakes imagine the opposite, a gore veil; it turns a ripe apple to blood & fire engines. Through this filter, the world looks more fragile, "calmly simple", but it also provokes an existential crisis. What am I for, what am I for if not to paint the walls with blood? ... What am I for, what am I for if not to wander through the rye? All this with wheezy organ and rattle-tat, exclamations of brass. "Gore Veil" feels like a formal questioning, an arbitrary exercise, the most arch kind of tale. A Wes Anderson movie, a fictional advice-letter, one stage in the Tour de France. The enjoyment of a feeling that is half-felt, half-imagined, in vivid (scarlet) colour. [buy Porcella]


M60, the Montreal 60 Second Film Festival, launches its 2012 season on Thursday. While the screenings aren't til September, this is your chance to sign up to make a movie for the fifth anniversary festival. Anyone in Montreal can sign up - you then have one month to shoot a 60-second film. No fees, no jury, no judges, no prizes; every single finished flick will be shown on the big screen in September. Thursday's bash also sees us offering beautiful letterpress doorprizes, old-timey music, and bilingual storytelling from Cat Kidd and Confabulation. More info at our website and on Facebook. Hope to see you there!

Posted by Sean at 10:44 AM | Comments (1)

July 13, 2012

Half n' Half

Madvillain - "Curls" / "All Caps"

The beat and the rhymes are like two brothers, making one name for themselves in the world. They need each other, complete each other, but they have their independent minds. They move without each other, around each other, because of each other. They wear different clothes, one glasses the other a patch, they talk differently, one downbeat mumbles the other boisterous and teeth. But apart, they make no sense, only the chaos of their clashing feels right. Their friction is the flow.


Posted by Dan at 6:49 PM | Comments (0)

July 12, 2012


Photo by Wandy Gaotama

Frank Ocean - "Lost". Frank Ocean has a buttercream silk shirt, and it's Versace. No-- No, he doesn't. A lesson in character. A reminder. Just because it is sung, sung like this, r&b, does not mean that it is true. No more it was for Frank Sinatra, no more than it is for the Mountain Goats. This is fiction. A cook and his girl, double D, jets skimming and tilting the land. Deliveries and holidays. And the narrator knows something is wrong here, despite the bounty, the sun-dry beats, the melody that rises effortlessly from a certain kind of life. Something is lost in the lie. [buy on iTunes]

John K Samson - "When I Write My Master's Thesis". John K Samson plays Grand Theft Auto and works on his master's thesis. No-- No, he doesn't. A lesson in character. A reminder. Just because it is sung, sung like this, joyful rock'n'roll, does not mean it is true. No more than it was for Notorious BIG, no more than it is for Dirty Projectors. John K is not into video games. He has never been a graduate student. This is fiction. A student and his manuscript, .DOCX, ambitions draining out through the kerning of the words. Deadlines and bibliography. And the narrator knows there is a wall up ahead that he can crash right through, if he is moving fast enough, to be met with banners and balloons and a shattered MacBook casing. It is not a race unless there is a finish-line. [buy]

(photo by Wandy Gaotama)

Posted by Sean at 11:17 AM | Comments (2)

July 11, 2012

The Dirty Nil


The Dirty Nil - "Bruto Bloody Bruto"

New Wonders of World History. The Ancient Pyramidicus, where money is spawned like blood from marrow, and whoever stands atop has total persuasive power over everyone nearby. Victatorship Falls, where one boat every few days, when sent over the edge, is granted flight, but no telling which one. The Spit Cliffs and Catcher's Cove, Earth's mini wormhole, jump off one, come out the other. And my favourite, Militant Mile, the square mile to which all guns and weapons are pulled strong as gravity. Should call it Militant Mountain in a year or so.

The Dirty Nil - "Panzer"

Everybody's 5-year-future I can see, plain as day. Like, written on their face. I'll be walking down the street, and a kid in a stroller will look his legs hanging out, I can see the backpack and the early-onset glasses. My friends all look drunk-skinned or with strange clean-cut partners, or in a wheelchair or pregs. Some people just have different hair. I can't see mine, though, I look in the mirror, expecting to see it, the way you complete a word like s#!t, your brain just fills it it, but I never see anything when I look at my own face. And I'm starting to wonder if that's cause it's not there.


The Dirty Nil have released a wonderful Summer Mix tape, a 4-song EP, perfect, hot, thunderous, beautiful. Get it right now, it's free, like summer.

(image source)

Posted by Dan at 5:35 PM | Comments (0)

July 9, 2012



Planningtorock - "Patriarchy Over & Out". The Ministerium of Men did not expect this. Yes, they expected an attack - rebellions had been predicted for decades, since the Sisters were thrown in jail. They had thousands of plans and counterplans, for - they thought - every eventuality. But they did not expect this. Sun crested over the capital and the rebel's army glinted only dimly, like pebbles on a beach. They did not wear platemail or exoskeleton, did not ride siege weapons or tanks. They did not have bazookas on their shoulders, nor crossbows, nor laser-rifles. There were no elephants. The rebellion against the Ministerium of Men did not ascribe to any known metaphor of war. They rejected precedent, model, pattern, structure. They wore silk and steam, cinnamon and plywood. Their vehicles were manta-rays and teen idols, ice-cream floats and Oscar Meier trucks. They carried holstered oak leaves, skip-ropes, romances, Bill Cosby impressions, echo. They marched in disorder, like swirling ocean eddies or barfing grandmothers. They seemed unknowable, carpeting the plateau. They had green eyes and brown eyes and grey eyes and blue. Their voices, shouting, seemed protean and mystic, stronger than any senator. "Yé-ye-ye-ye-ye-ye-ye-ye," they shrieked. "No no no no no no no, no no no no no." In their marble chambers, the Ministers trembled. [Out 30 July / bandcamp]

(photo source)

Posted by Sean at 11:54 AM | Comments (5)

July 6, 2012

My Girl is Keen on Creeps

Mac DeMarco - "Rock and Roll Nightclub"

Water dress, a scuba cane, and reed heels. Aquarium mouth. This song is high fish fashion. Bubbles tickle on the dive, pebbles trickled on the floor. Go down to where light stops, get away from rays. Seek out that darkness, that cold, that ear-piercing pressure. Get to your lowest point, gust out the bottom feeders and rest your drugged-up head. Oh, and drink, drink all you can. But I don't need to tell you that, in this place you can't help it. [B-camp] (thanks, Roger)

Violent Bullshit - "Pot Friends"

This is Violent Bullshit's "Niggas in Paris". Live, they should play it 6 or 7 times in a row, it's built to be listened to again and again. Energy like this just gets stronger, it just gets better. [Buy] (thanks, Tom Scharpling)

Posted by Dan at 4:20 PM | Comments (4)

July 5, 2012


Goliath grouper by Douglas David Seifert

Rufus Wainwright - "Sometimes You Need". So maybe this is a song about going to a dogpark with Jake Gyllenhaal, up near Griffith Observatory. But it's beautiful, so beautiful, beautiful-as-can-be for a song that's just a little tacky, with lines about "movie star eyes" and a "movie star's [dog's?] bark". Wainwright is a gifted arranger, Mark Ronson an inspired one, and their work is transcendent here: acoustic guitar, strings, an oboe even, deliberate and gorgeous. So easy to add a bland sweep of violins; but this orchestration is precise, particular, changing the song. Suddenly we see gardens, Hollywood-lit, the park's droll undertone, and understand the way a plain, dumb stroll can help you find yourself again. [buy]

Justin Bieber - "Die In Your Arms". Bouncing harpsichord, Justin still cherubic, but here's a song about wanting to die in your arms. Can you imagine this kid expiring, maybe with bullet-holes in his chest, and a beatific smile on his face? Can you imagine him going peacefully into death? I imagine him shrieking, sniffling, clawing the unjust air. Kid's never known love. Kid's never known a love he'd trade everything for. These lines are pure fiction: "If I could just die in your arms / I wouldn't mind." But most pop music is fiction, after all - at best the recollection of a feeling. And here's a tune that's a middle-eight short of brilliant, because did I mention that harpsichord? It's borrowed from Michael Jackson's "We've Got a Good Thing Going". And did I mention those fingersnaps? They're new. And did I mention that there are certain chord progressions that are coded into our bodies, just like sunsets look nice, yes sunsets look nice. Produced by Darkchild, the producer with the most bad-ass name, who gave us sweetheart singles like Monica & Brandy's "The Boy Is Mine" and Destiny's Child "Lose My Breath". [buy]

(photo source)

Posted by Sean at 11:19 AM | Comments (2)

July 3, 2012

Moonlight Mile


Rolling Stones - "Moonlight Mile"

Although I know it seems unlikely, unreasonable, and pretty much impossible, I can tell you without any doubt in my mind, with total certainty and clarity of thought: prayers work, at least some of the time. And you should be careful what you do with that fact.

When I was 13 and living in Nippissing, I had two important people in my life: my new step-father, Andrew, who was ruining it, and Maggie, the freckle-faced first of my ex-soulmates, who was saving it.

Andrew had a 7:30 curfew, in June when 7:30 is still the afternoon, and to say he enforced it strictly wouldn't be adequate. I won't give too much detail, not looking for pity, but I'll say he steered every aspect of my life with his ham hock fists like he was steering a blind animal, by the scalp. Forcing me down whenever he pleased, or whenever he was upset with his own life, which was most days. He worked in a tin foil plant as a dayshift manager, and I often got the impression he was treating me the way he wished he could treat some of his employees; finally free of the constrictive mask of professionalism, he could really show his people skills.

And Maggie, the jean-shorted skateboarding smoker, who worked at Val's Ice Cream, with painted nails and who kissed with a smile. She was 14, but took after her older brother Kenneth, who was 19 and worked for Andrew at the tin foil plant. Kenneth had tattoos (a windmill and a perfect cube), a lisp like he learned English from a distorted guitar, and the first stretched ears I'd ever seen outside of National Geographic. Maggie didn't have anyone forcing her to do anything, she worked at Val's until after 11 most nights. And I just wanted more than anything to stay there, help her clean up, and walk her home cause it was summer and that would have been easy and what a normal kid would do. I wasn't looking to do anything bad, I just wanted to be around her; she glowed. So, justified, I prayed. I prayed for something bad to happen to Andrew. I prayed like I was squeezing all the energy out of my bedroom, like I was a swirling pillar of blue pray-power, commanding God to do me just one fucking favour one time.

A freak machine accident at the plant. Hit by a car in the parking lot. Cancer. Something. Anything.

And then partway into July, some morning that resembled every other morning, Maggie had an accident at the ice cream shop. When she hit the switch for the lights the night before, she'd also flipped the freezer switch; ice cream in pools on the floor. She texted Kenneth to help her before Val showed up for lunch. She couldn't replace the ice cream, but at least there'd be no mess. Val was a nice old lady and turned over the 'open' sign in the window and said, "Well, let's start making more."

But when Kenneth finally got to the plant, sweating, he was three hours late. Andrew could've fired him, could've sent him packing right then and there, but he didn't. Instead he chose to dress him down in front of the whole line. He made them stop production, and gave a speech about being a vital link in a chain, word-for-word from the training video they show you first day. It went on an on, or so I'm told, and his voice got higher and more up in his face. I imagine it was like all the kitchen spit he'd sling, finally come out in the open. All that wall-denting, chin-bleeding mindfuckery. It was so bad that Kenneth didn't know what to do, he started laughing. Of course this made Andrew even more mad. Eventually the union steward stepped in, said it was improper behaviour, and called a plant-wide 15. Andrew got his own dressing down, but behind glass and half-shut venetian blinds.

Andrew was switched to nights. Bunch of weirdos on that shift anyway, didn't matter if there was a psycho manager, no one had the energy to be crazy at that hour. And so for the rest of that summer the 7:30 curfew was a mere formality, Andrew was just finishing breakfast by then. It was night after glorious night down at Val's, and Maggie and I fell heedlessly and brainlessly in love.

[Buy Sticky Fingers] (image source)

Posted by Dan at 2:51 AM | Comments (15)

July 2, 2012


Snailhouse - "Sentimental Gentleman (demo)". This song is taken from A Sentimental Companion, a small collection of demos that marks the final release by Montreal's Snailhouse. From here on out, the man who released eight albums as Snailhouse will be known by the name his mother gave him, Michael Feuerstack. I love this recording of "Sentimental Gentleman" and it feels like the perfect last thing from a man who is changing, in a very small way, into something else. Like a song that is sung before you splash water on your face, in the men's-room sink. An electric guitar resounds in a room, a leaf waves on a branch, lyrics unfurl with perfect ease - like a banner strung between street-corners. So deliberate and direct, confident and just faintly wry. Bold-hearted, unsentimental sentiment, from one of the best, and my favourites, no fuss. [buy/bandcamp]

Posted by Sean at 1:34 PM | Comments (2)