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

November 30, 2012

Add Some Freestyle

Younolovebunny - "Attention"

Ricky is a puddle-jumper, he can't keep anything in his pockets, he speaks like spilled wine. Ricky, old trainers and two-tone pants, runs after the bus, hand on his ass. You'd think it was a strain just to be alive for Ricky, pained breathing with that wincing look on his face, hair like it's embarrassed to be on his head, trying scoot out the back door. Ricky's late for work, but he hides in the dishes and the bustle, gets away with it again. The only time Ricky is ever together, the only time Ricky is ever anything useful at all in this world, is when he's making a plate of penne arrabiata. It's a simple dish, some tube pasta and some sauce, but he makes it all himself and it's a simple thing done perfectly. Scabs on his calves, cell buzzing in his coat, whispered curses like spittle at the corners of his mouth, Ricky looks like hell, but makes one hell of a penne arrabiata. [Free until Jan 1]

Scott Walker - "Pilgrim"

When the guards are crazier than the prisoners. Stalking the halls, muttering, aimless and uncontrolled, with constantly sizzling fuse. [Buy from 4AD]

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

November 29, 2012


USS Akron, by Margaret Bourke-White

Wind-Up People - "The First Train Out of Town". A smoky holler, a fumbling parting, a gas lantern bumping in the rattling trunk of a car. Wind-Up People have listened to albums by Constantines and Cloud Nothings, or maybe their predecessors', and they have made the kind of record, like those, that you need to put on when certain rotten things are sparking in your chest, snicking and buzzing, like the dancing end of a powerline. You turn the volume knob and you put your palms flat on the wall, above your head, and you click your molars, and then you can no longer hear the click of your molars, because the music is too loud, that smoky holler, and you will yourself to forget the fact that every part of your house is utterly unchanged. (Deep breath.) Thank god for this fucking rock and roll. [free at bandcamp]

Julie Doiron - "Our Love". Half a song. Less than that - an eighth of a song, a tenth, a twentieth, not a song but a sentiment, a single rosy sentiment. Julie takes this tiny vast sentiment and doubles it, redoubles it, makes three minutes and thirty-two seconds out of just that little thing, repeated, like the tolling of a golden clock, the blinking of those familiar eyes, the drowsy nightly ritual. Every evening you get into bed and it is different and the same, another one counted in, a duplicate, and the lamplight is unabating. (A song for lovers, certainly; a nonsense for the ones who are without.) [buy]

[Photograph is of the USS Akron, by Margaret Bourke-White]

Posted by Sean at 11:33 AM | Comments (3)

November 27, 2012

Just Stop Touching Base


Girl Band - "You're a Dog"

I do not have the body that it seems that I have. I have a different body, perhaps a much different body. In another place, on probably another planet. My body that it seems that I have, is in fact the remote control. When I move or speak or breathe, those movements and motions correspond to other movements and motions of my actual body. I do not know what shape my body is, it may be an amorphous blob or a rooted thing like a tree, but it may look very much like mine. But maybe the movements do not correspond exactly, maybe a step for this body is a jump for that body, maybe sex for this body is laughing for that body, maybe my actual body is walking constantly against a wall, each breath that this body takes meaning "walk south" to that faraway thing. I realized this truth, this truth about my faraway body, the other day when I was in the shower. Because every day when I push my hair back and let the water hit my face, the way they do in a commercial or a movie after they have had a rough day, it feels like I am doing the first right thing I've ever done. It feels like the best thing I've ever done and can ever do. It feels like true action. And something inside me said "do that again for the first time forever" and I knew that there was something I was doing this for, something I was controlling and that wanted my control and wanted it more. I know my faraway body likes me, for at least 3 seconds a day.

[Buy the vinyl or free digital] (image source)

Posted by Dan at 8:58 PM | Comments (2)

November 26, 2012


Milk Teddy - "Come Around". 36-year-old Murray Schelm, MFA, sat in his panelled office, reading students' art school applications. A boy from Morocco who makes sculptures out of cocktail gherkins. A girl from Carolina who swallows paint and vomits it onto canvases. An old man from Timmins, ON, whose performance art consists of swallowing wedding rings. Murray yawned. He brushed muffin-crumbs off the next spiral-bound manuscript. NEW WAVE, read the title page, by R.E. Dudamel. Dudamel's thesis opened with a 50-page essay laying out the pretext, context and subtext of their work. Experiments in the imaginary, Murray read. Invented nostalgia within the jubilant absurd. Murray dozingly scanned the pages. More words began to catch his eye: The Raincoats. Hawaii. Surfboard. "Wait, wait, wait," Murray said, out loud. He leaned into the text. While the machinists worked on my 'mass surfboard' schematic, I began recruiting musicians from among the peninsula's surfers. Murray turned the page. 'Shark' promised that the only thing better than his Morrissey impression was his facility for 'catching waves' at the turn. "But it can't be serious, they didn't--" Murray said, flipping pages, but there, past the photocopied blueprints and pencil-sketches, the photographs begans. Photographs of men and women in swimsuits, crowded together, holding electric guitars, on a bizarre elongated surfboard. A drummer in a wetsuit. A sopping rock'n'roll band on a sunny raft. The man in front, biceps bulging, dripping forelock, was a dead ringer for Morrissey. Beside him tottered a woman who unerringly recalled Johnny Marr. A tall bro held a harmonica between his lips. There were photographs of the band at dawn, at dusk, on cresting waves under stormy skies. They had flown to Cali, to the Bahamas, to Miami's Art Basel. Dudamel's surfin' Smiths, pretexted and contexted and subtexted. Murray flipped and flipped and flipped. He was imagining this band like a clear fuzzy new old Polaroid memory. He was looking for a URL, a bandcamp or soundcloud, somewhere to hear the songs. "Who is R.E. Dudamel?" he wondered, "a man or a woman? A kid or a geezer?" He punched the name into Google. R.E. Dudamel was from Lufa, Minnesota. R.E. Dudamel was a little-known automotive corporation. R.E. Dudamel was a publicly-traded company. R.E. Dudamel was looking for investors. [buy this terrific record / thanks so much andy]


Again, I'm soliciting songs for my annual Best Songs of the Year list. What were the best things you heard? Please send me mp3s or links to bundles of mp3s, the very best things, any genre at all, from pop to fizz, rap to folk, jazz to pop. But uh please do a quick search on Said the Gramophone to make sure I haven't written about something from that album already. Thank you so much! I rely on your help!

Posted by Sean at 11:47 AM | Comments (2)

November 23, 2012



Helen Forrest - "Changing Partners"

I'll start by saying I have no idea what is right. I mean, in a situation, I don't really know what the right thing to do is. Sure, I'm not going to kill anybody, I'll help a blind man when he falls in the street, but I mean what's right, in any case, at any time, for anyone. All I really know is how I feel and, honestly, sometimes I don't know much about that either. So when he said, "I want to ask Heather to join us," I thought he meant at the beach. We were going to the beach, so naturally I thought he meant the beach. He didn't mean he wanted Heather to join us at the beach.

I put my lotion on slowly, as if it would spell out an answer to his statement, as if the answer were written on my upper arm and the lotion would reveal the invisible ink. I still hadn't said a word. Although, you don't really need to say a word to show how you feel, but I wanted to say something, I couldn't just let it go unanswered, it was too big. I lay down with my wide-brimmed hat and let the sun bake me like a Christmas turkey. I imagined the layers of my skin getting red one after the other, going deeper and deeper into me until it hit my organs and then I started to feel sick. I didn't want to think that I was just made of organs and bones, it just made me think about his question. About how he wanted to add another bag of organs and bones to the way we mashed our organs and bones. Not that we did it much anymore. Maybe that was why.

A boy almost drowned that day. You see those lifeguards up there on their chairs and they're like firemen, always sitting around or getting all worked up about false alarms. But that day the alarm wasn't false. I was about to respond to him, he was carrying two corn dogs. I hadn't asked for one and when I saw it I hated what I thought of and I hated him because I thought this was his sick way of trying to make things up to me, to convince me. I was about to respond to him, I was about to say, "Did you know Heather is a jewess?" and then someone in a pink bikini cried for help and there was thrashing in the water far away. A boy got tired swimming back and started to panic. I looked out at the thrashing and thought not now. I thought die if you're going to die and let the rest of us get on with our lives. My dad always used to say shit or get off the pot. I counted ahead a few hours and thought when I could finally say my answer, probably around dinner or just after. I knew he wouldn't like the idea that she was a jewess.

[Buy The Master soundtrack from Nonesuch] (image of the tokyo subway)

Posted by Dan at 12:27 AM | Comments (1)

November 22, 2012


Chaplin meeting Helen Keller

Alicia Keys ft Maxwell - "Fire We Make". Like Timothy Bloom & V Bozeman's "Til the End of Time" this feels intimate as two bodies; like Beyoncé's "1+1" it feels luxuriantly slow; like Alicia's own "Gummi Bears" it, uh, seems a trifle oversung. But I love this kind of old R&B slowjam, the sound that feels above all like two singers singing to each other, physical bodies, presences, inside four walls, with a closed door. What is modern is in the texture of the production, not the fact of handclaps, guitar solo, horns, but the woozy way of them, the weather on this particular fall day, purple clouds in a grey sky.


If you live in New York and need photography, my friend Charles has relaunched his website. I met him years ago, in Edinburgh, on his first gig. Now his music photography is all grown up.

Speaking of friends, Richard Parks is about to premiere his old-timey radio drama, Wayne Coyne's Human Head-Shaped Tumor. Airing Saturday and Sunday, Nov 24-25, on KCRW, the show features the voices and music of (among others) the Flaming Lips, Eleanor Friedberger, Will Sheff, Paul F Tompkins, Bill Callahan, Edward Droste, and basically everyone we adore. More info at McSweeney's.

Finally, it's almost that time, and I'm soliciting songs for my annual Best Songs of the Year list. What were the best things you heard? Please send me mp3s or links to bundles of mp3s, the very best things, any genre at all, from pop to fizz, rap to folk, jazz to pop. But uh please do a quick search on Said the Gramophone to make sure I haven't written about something from that album already. Thank you so much! I rely on your help!

(Image is of Helen Keller meeting Charlie Chaplin.)

Posted by Sean at 6:00 PM | Comments (1)

November 21, 2012

Shitty Bat Signal

2012-11-06 11.55.24.jpg

Mumblr - "Holy Ghost"

I buy one large soda, diet. And I bring a book, I've been re-reading the same page of Game of Thrones for 6 months. I choose people deep in conversation. No loners or families or old couples who have nothing left to say and who have sex as a long-healed-over scar that they occasionally rub. Long-lost siblings, groups of friends, a new couple in that tunnel-vision phase. The careless, the pre-occupied, the easily distracted. I sit at the next table, facing away, and the trick of it is you do it right away, you check right away. When you're putting your coat down on the chair, in that brief waltz where you can get real close to a stranger and it's not weird. You reach to your coat pocket, for your phone or the book, and slip your other hand in their coat pocket, and it all has to happen so fast, like a magician combined with a master grocer. With your fingertips, it's leather, is it hard like a glasses case or soft like a wallet? It's paper, can you feel the thin pulp-style of an open notebook, or the hard wrinkle of cash? And you use all your fingers at once, one feel keys the other spreads over to feel a receipt, the next a movie ticket and the last feels loose coins. The list of things that are "take" is pretty long, but the list of things that are "leave" is much longer, almost infinite in fact. At first you learn that lesson, in the first month. I ended up with a school picture and a good-bye note and a pair of reading glasses and an old cherry. I felt bad about that stuff, money I don't feel bad about. But that person, they needed that school picture much more than me. [Free]

Posted by Dan at 3:49 PM | Comments (0)

November 19, 2012


by sam irons

Chris Malinchak - "So Good To Me". A rosy little Monday morning gift. Small, translucent, like a pink bead. So slight that you could forget it somewhere - on a windowsill, a nighttable, a bench. You could forget it in your own pocket. You could take it for granted - this song that is itself about not taking love for granted, about knowing that feeling in every wakeful moment. You forget the reminder that you should not forget. This is a rosy little Monday morning gift; take care that it does not send you spilling out into loneliness. [soundcloud]

Aidan Knight - "A Mirror". I feel like Knight has written the kind of story I have written before: a man at the back of the corner shop, in the corner of the keg party, doing his work, doing his life, and full of longing. Knight does not overburden the story - he sings it lightly, wry, a little aloof. The arrangement gives the tale its colour, its sprays of red and neon green, its willful blues. Neat ratatatting drums, flourishes of organ, stately cello and nudges of horn and then a distant crackle of feedbacking guitar. There is something of "Penny Lane" in it - "Penny Lane" more than "Eleanor Rigby" - but Knight's disappointed aspirations are all British Columbia. [buy]

(image by Sam Irons)

Posted by Sean at 10:25 AM | Comments (3)

November 16, 2012


Norwegian Arms - "Wolf Like a Stray Dog"

Edmund had a horrible habit of writing enigmatic notes, especially before flying. Before a trip out east, he left a note for May, for her thighs and for her forehead, on the table, weighted down by a banana. She got it when it was 10:33, the radio left perpetually on, murmuring:

May, you were sleeping and I thought I wouldn't wake you. I love you endlessly, if that means anything. I have found over the years that nothing really ever goes away. It gets quieter, you can ignore it, but it never disappears completely. It's hopeful, in a way. Everything still has a chance; you will be with me forever. -E

She wrinkled her brow, breaking the banana with her teeth. It could be a note left by someone never to return. Could just be Edmund being dramatic. Mid-chew she realized it had been his laying it out, his suggestion, that had prompted her to eat it in the first place. A binding agent, a banana, thicken you up.

She paused at the trash can, and turned on her slipper to the sliding door. She went into the backyard, green and crisp and an exactly half-sunny day. She wound up and hurled the banana peel as far she could toward the garden. It landed on top of the back fence, hung there for a moment, then slumped into the neighbour's yard.

I could go on, thought May. I do go on.

[Buy now]

Posted by Dan at 1:58 PM | Comments (2)

November 15, 2012


Fou - "Don't You Know". Ruzzy bloo songs, cooll like lilax, zinc pinc & frostid, all early wintr. Smokng outdors. Lovleeness & noize, nears & fars, stumbled longng, a brokn down pome. [bandcamp]

Posted by Sean at 12:30 PM | Comments (0)

November 14, 2012

The Stock Gif Company


Murs & 9th Wonder - "Get Together (Feat. Rapsody)"

A kid blows up a balloon too far, it suddenly shrinks and his head expands instead; repeat. A 1940's Ford emerges from a tunnel, bathed in light, blows a flower with its breeze; repeat. A cat shrinks away from a magic wand, afraid and wide-eyed; repeat. A runner pumps his fist in the air, the sky is cloudy; repeat. A pitcher of cream turns into oil when poured into a glass; repeat. A gangster deals cards in a poker game, but the players are different vegetables, the celery unreactive; repeat. A toddler falls on his heinie, the floor is totally reflective; repeat. Christian Bale bites the air; repeat. A dork jumps from mountaintop to mountaintop, the fool redeemed; repeat. A bikini-clad single mother, or possibly a babysitter, digs frantically on the beach, never quite reaching her target; repeat. A waiter lifts a silver-domed cover off a tray, revealing another version of his own head; repeat. A cat burglar opens a safe, his face erupts in glee, in a glow; repeat. A conveyor belt of high-heeled shoes, no beginning and no end; repeat.

[Buy] (image by thunderbolt)

Posted by Dan at 1:16 PM | Comments (0)

November 12, 2012



Andy Shauf - "You're Out Wasting". At first listen it's just Elliott Smith pastiche, but there's something grimly determined in Shauf's impersonation, something direct in the tribute: this is the song he wants to make, the way he wants to make it, and Elliott Smith's not around to sing it. So Shauf sticks with it, and you stick with it, and soon "You're Out Wasting"'s unique charms begin to set it apart: Shauf's unclouded gaze, the dustiness of the cymbals, that rinkytink piano and the tired toot of horns, neither weary nor triumphant, but announcing (at last, at last, at last) an exit. [bandcamp / via Jez]

Whatever, Dad - "Papa Ed's Out of Body Experience". Thirty-three seconds of dreamblink, or maybe it was living, I don't know, the wind was in the long grass and the lights were blue-white in the bathroom mirrors. [bandcamp / thanks hamza]

Posted by Sean at 12:34 PM | Comments (2)

November 9, 2012



Jumbling Towers - "Our Rehab Neighborhood"

The city has had its jaw washed off. Its eyes dried up and shriveled. Its ears sloughed back into the scalp, the smile like an open-faced sandwich. The city's neck has snapped, the crick is a brutal dogleg, posture like punctuation. The city breathes, hisses, through the cavernous nostrils, one distended and prolapsed. In a hundred years the city will begin to scab over. Hard healing husks, bustling and bristling with activity, the kind of illiterate wriggling that Nature does when something is very very wrong. [Free]

Posted by Dan at 2:35 PM | Comments (1)

November 8, 2012


Charlie Duke's family

Oscar Key Sung - "All I Think About (Part 1)". A sugarsweet sestina from one half of Oscar & Martin. It's the same blubstep sound - earnest and phased, distracted and undistracted, full of crashing sentiment. But whereas James Blake or Blue Hawaii build their songs in sections, different fitting pieces, Ocar Key Sung's "All I Think About (Part 1)" feels like a single stratiated column. You drill down from layer to layer, advancing and withdrawing, the light finding particles that glow and glitter and break. [bandcamp]

(Photo of astronaut Charlie Duke's family, left on the Moon.)

Posted by Sean at 2:33 PM | Comments (0)

November 6, 2012



Genesis - "The Grand Parade of Lifeless Packaging"

Fall wind conjures the erectorate. Dead leaves swirl away to sewer grates, sucked against the street as the whole world takes a breath in, quivering in anticipation. Checks and exes worm their ways from papers and touchscreens to waiting, gaping, hungry hubs. A college froth begins to form, from congressional friction and the repeated raising of hands. Then, through the tubers and cyber-lubricated T1s, come the glowing, wriggling hopefuls. Racing, amassing, instinctively tunneling, for the chance to penetrate and win the great Oval, the room with no doors.

RT if you had physical sex with your ballot.


Posted by Dan at 4:15 PM | Comments (0)

November 5, 2012


Elaine Ho's caticorn

Joey Bada$$ - "World Domination". Cranberry crunch, cereal-bowl swagger. Cheerio-proof vests, baggies full of froot loops, clips full of shreddies. On the corner they are slinging mini-wheats. It is time for a re-up. There are rules of the game, lessons learned: you can make your own raisin bran; don't leave your cornflakes sitting; and the Milk Man cometh. He always cometh. Keep alert, eyes flickery. The Milk Man cometh. He cometh with a truck of dangerous bottles. [get the marvellous free 1999 mixtape / via alex]

(photo by Elaine Ho)

Posted by Sean at 9:57 PM | Comments (5)

November 1, 2012



Chairs - "Indestructible Machine". Paolo was surprised by how quickly he and the factory owner came to an agreement. The contract was drawn up, the notaries approved, and then suddenly the document was sealed and dated, with two splashes of signature. "See you on Friday night," the factory owner said, as he slammed the door of his Volvo. Paolo had come by bicycle. He cycled home along the hill roads - downhill, easy. At the vineyard his brother, Matthew, was waiting. Matthew had refused to come to the meetings; he stuttered, he thought somehow he'd blow it. "H-h-h-how'd it go?" Matthew said. He had the biggest heart of anyone Paolo had ever met. "It went perfectly," Paolo said. "We will start the wine on Friday night."

So four days later Paolo and Matthew and five of their workers got on horses and motorcycles and dragged four wagons of grapes up the hill to the factory. They watched as the five PM whistle sounded and the smokestacks stopped smoking. Factory employees streamed out the big steel doors. They stared at the wagons of grapes like they were wagons full of rubies - treasure from another world, untouchable. Matthew reached into one of the pallets and grabbed a handful, tossed these to one of the curious lookers. "Why are you here?" someone asked. "Making wine," Paolo said.

When the way had cleared they went into the factory. The owner was there in his suit and waistcoat, leaning against a control panel. "That's it?" he said, surprised. "That's it," Paolo said. "This is Matthew, my brother." "H-h-h-hello," Matthew said.

They used the freight elevator to lift the wagons to the top floor, above the machinery. The motorcycles were left down below, some of the workers took the horses outside, lit up cigarettes. Paolo and Matthew led each of the wagons out of the elevator and to a gap in the grille catwalk. The factory space was filled with giant steel turbines, carbonised axels, and a thousand toothed gears, some small, some behemoth, frozen in place. "Can you hear me?" Paolo called down to the floor. "Yep!" answered the factory owner. "Can I start?" Paolo glanced at his brother. His brother's mouth flashed a smile, for a just a second, before he concealed it. "Yes you ca--" Paolo shouted, but before he had finished a great noise started up and the turbines began to whirr and the axels began to twist and the thousand gears began to turn, crunching.

Together, Matthew and Paolo lifted the end of one wagon. Two workers lifted another. Grapes poured off the edges and into the grinding machinery. Fruit smashed between metal teeth. And juice was pouring out, down, to collecting troughs on the brick floor. From their vantage-points, Matthew and Paolo could not see the grape juice. They could scarcely hear each other in the clanging hall. Paolo looked at Matthew, and nodded, and Matthew looked at Paolo, and licked his lips, and shouted, through the din, "It's benign."

[bandcamp / sadly we missed the Chairs' gig at Casa on 30 October / they are from Montreal / they'll be back]


If you live in Montreal, please support CKUT Radio.

The Luyas made quite the video for "Montuno". Horses and dusks and zebras and dresses.

(photo source)

Posted by Sean at 1:06 PM | Comments (1)