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.

March 30, 2013


Phosphorescent - "Ride On / Right On"

Fingers in the morning. They woke up dreaming of a head like a bowling ball, clenched in those holes. In the pink imaginary world of sun-dappled bed they grab eyes, "Owow-OW, fuck!"

Hands at night. Buzzing on paper-thin breath, the hummm hummm hummm of junk food rumble, they want to crack open a thing, one rage pull. And pull an impossible thing apart to let the juice out, like ripping a battery in half.

Thighs at six. The only thing relaxed when clenched. They accordion a liver like playing a bagpipe, like kissing a stress ball. Organ-failure squeeze, internal bleeding "yes".

And the press. The press into one flat thing, like the way mercury just *pops* together. Eventually the skin will just give way, fuse, our stomachs will open and our ribcages will wishbone. And our organs will meld or stack, a mouthful of brain, a double-strong heart, breathing from your fingertips and a neverending handhold.

[Buy from Dead Oceans]

Posted by Dan at 1:07 AM | Comments (1)

March 28, 2013


Slovenian bee hive art

Robin Thicke ft Pharrell and TI - "Blurred Lines". I was turned onto Thicke's new single a few days before a panoply of bare breasts helped its video go gamboling across the blogosphere. Even then, its cheekiness verged on tacky: "You wanna hug me?" Thicke scooby-doos, "What rhymes with 'hug me'?" But I am extremely forgiving when it comes to good tunes, and this is a very, very good one. In a sense, my mixed feelings are part of the gist of this song: it is, after all, called "Blurred Lines". Just as the track seduces me, in spite of my reservations, Thicke and his hounddog friends are contriving to slip inside a "good girl"'s' trousers. When they croon, "I know you want it," there isn't any of rock or hip-hop's customary threat; they mean it as an invitation, a provocation, a dare. One of my favourite moments in the song is actually kinda horrible - "YOU / THE / HOTTEST / BITCH / IN / THIS / PLACE," the wing-men shout, giving their mark power and taking it away. Still, it sounds good, and almost sincere; maybe I'm giving the boys too much credit, but unlike so many sleazy songs about hustling sex-objects, I feel like the singers are overtly role-playing, and asking these women to do the same. Do you want to accept that compliment? Do you want to be "the hottest bitch in this place"? All of us know that ultimately it's up to you. Blurred lines.

None of this would matter if "Blurred Lines" wasn't such a pleasure to listen to. Pop-bottle percussion, basso and falsetto, gang vocals, distant whoops, loping bassline, stupid asides. With so much pop that's insistently banging or darkly brooding, it's a tiny revelation to hear something this airy and unforced; music for an afternoon party, not a late-night coke binge. Something to send out clattering round the house while you sweep away the last winter trash.

(image from the painted panel of a Slovenian beehive, from the Honey Talks collection)

Posted by Sean at 12:24 PM | Comments (2)

March 26, 2013



Black Pus - "Hear No Evil"

He is Patient Berg, and this is not a medical report. It's a report, but there is nothing medical about it. He has been born and he will die, that's probably the most medical thing that can be said about it.

::: He has a constant feeling of being hunted. He claims that change burns red hot in his pockets. He thinks even his clothes are out to get him. • I asked him to draw a picture of what it feels like to be scared, and he drew a man (perhaps Waldo?) with his face buried in a bowl of cereal. I looked at him, as if to ask, "Mm?"

"He puts his head down in the cereal bowl," he said.
"So he's drowning," I said.

He looked back at the picture, as if there were something new there. I believe it was only because he cannot draw faces very well. I was playing association, "Paranoia?"

"Yes. But with sparrows."
"Sparrownoia?" We laughed for a while, and it was a nice relief, but I must admit it also frightened me to commune with him like that. I asked him to write about his migraines:

...and then the chainsaws. They mow off your inner ear and you're balanced like a garberator, trying to find red hot pennies for the streetcar. It's like people are short circuits (bzzz!) and everything else is bricks. BRICKS.

"What, if anything, is positive about a migraine?"
"I'm glad it ends."
"Mm?" I said; it's my signature move.
"I'm glad it has an ending. I like the moment where I feel it end. Like the migraine says enough."

A reward for his suffering. I count the change (ice cold) in my pocket, and think: important for anyone.

[buy from Thrill Jockey]

(image source)


Posted by Dan at 3:16 AM | Comments (2)

March 25, 2013


London Tube

Fantasia - "Lose To Win". The first great pop song (ok, R&B song) of 2013. Nine years after she won American Idol, Fantasia remains one of the series' great discoveries. She's a great singer. A song like this - well-written, pleasingly redemptive - could so easily feel slight, a pleasant balm. But Fantasia is such a powerful interpreter, forceful of feeling; she makes this pop ballad a thing of intense will, of self-discovery. She catches someone's eye and holds their gaze. She hits.

"Lose To Win" uses the Commodores' "Nightshift" as its beams and struts. So the shimmer is the shimmer of skyscrapers in the 80s, starlight on old fashions.

A warning: the Commodores call-back is too much for my dear friend T, who winces at each recollection. Sons and daughters of faded nightclubs - steel yourselves.


(photo source)

Posted by Sean at 11:53 AM | Comments (1)

March 24, 2013

OUR FRIENDS AND CHAMPIONS: Donors to the 2013 Funding Drive

2013 Funding Drive

Said the Gramophone has no advertising.

We are kept alive by the extraordinary kindness of our readers around the world.

Our 2013 Funding Drive benefited from the incredible generosity of:

Bill Hewitt
Casimir Nozkowski
Matthew Marco
Kevin Hyde
Julian Mortimer Smith
Tim K
Patricia Boushel
Rocky LaLune
Michiel from Amsterdam
Christian Ingerslev
Prospector Films
Bread Canyon
Jenny Bornstein
Ryan Vance
The Montreal Centre for Integrative Medicine
Brian Block
and many more.

Thank you so much, so much, so much. You are all fanfares & champions & patrons of the arts.

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

March 22, 2013


Anne of Austria

AroarA - "Crying Out For Me". AroarA formed last year, the partnership of two musicians I have long admired: Andrew Whiteman and Ariel Engle. Whiteman's work I knew best from recordings - for his work as Apostle of Hustle, and as a member of Broken Social Scene. Engle was more elusive - although she has past projects, no recordings ever came close to the heart-stopping/heart-starting effect of her live performances. One of the city's most admired singers, Engle has performed with everyone from Feist to Socalled, Jerusalem In My Heart to Martha Wainwright. She has that rare, rare singer's gift - the kind of voice that changes the gravity in a room, drawing everything toward her silhouette. Magnetic, bewitching, undeniable as a hot coal.

Engle and Whiteman are husband and wife. AroarA, therefore, is more than a band: it's something lovers are doing with their lives, together. From this, the group's music gains a seriousness, a sensuousness. AroarA's songs inherit part of their intimacy: these songs are the sum of a thousand touches, a million glances. Hearing AroarA's mingling voices, cigar-box guitars, I imagine the moments on the periphery: dusk drives, breakfast-table debates, midnights.

Which brings me to this first release, a self-titled EP, five songs from their In The Pines LP. It's called In The Pines because Alice Notley wrote a book of poetry called In The Pines, and AroarA's songs use Notley's poems as lyrics. The songs don't just borrow scraps of stanzas: I believe these are Notley's complete poems. Because of this, there's a certain formality to these songs - a "literariness", for lack of a better word, that can at first feel like a thin paper screen. There are big words, literary allusions; this is free verse, not pop-song rhyme.

That can be the first impression, but it fades. Especially now that AroarA have completely finished these songs, adding strings and brass to voice and beats and guitars, with mixing by Sandro Perri, these tunes are lush, not formal. They are direct, not mediated. Engle and Whiteman are staring at us, at each other, as they sing. Yes, In The Pines has a concept. But this music is hot and intimate. AroarA's use of Notley isn't a cerebral exercise, a scheme for arty recognition, or even a shortcut to a Canada Council grant. Notley's In The Pines was simply beloved. It was one of Engle and Whiteman's private secrets, a set of passwords. A pillow book. Part of two lovers' secret code.

Now, they sing those secrets. "Crying Out For Me" feels at once like a lesson and confession; a revealing of oneself. It feels troubled and changing - seeking, glimpsing. You seek and then you glimpse - there; there. AroarA sink and seek and shout "Goodnight Irene!". They let clear & muffled sounds roam over a scuzzy beat. They rasp warnings, they console. They make a beautiful sound. Some of the harmonics here are sinister, unresolved. And then there comes a line where the mist parts, and the sun is low, and every angled form seems to shiver with promise.


(image from Rubens' Anne of Austria)

Posted by Sean at 11:40 AM | Comments (1)

March 19, 2013

Hani Zahra (or: I Wanna Work for the FBI)


Hani Zahra - "Cannibal Crime (Wait Wait Wait)"

On death row, they give you a last meal. Anything you want. Some people get Pepsi and fried chicken, other people get bacon and eggs. Timothy McVeigh got two pints of mint chocolate chip ice cream (Ben & Jerry's). But Martin Tent, convicted of multiple counts of cannibal crime, had an unusual request. He requested a grocery store sheet cake, the kind with the chemical compound icing and the day-glo cake-y flesh, and danced in it. Took his shoes off (no laces), smiled for the first time in a year (the last time he was reading a Double Digest and a 6-panel comic called 'Spud Dud' made him crack one) and danced in the cake. It came through his toes and licked up all around his ankles, and he did this for ten minutes, or the length of a meal. One of the guards, when they were taking him to the chamber, sort of nodded back towards the cell and muttered, "What was that about?" But Martin Tent just said the same thing he always said whenever someone addressed up, right up until the end, "I'm innocent."


The whole Hani Zahra record Along Those Lines is really special. Their album release is April 5th at The Bowery Electric in NYC. See all the info on their bandcamp.

(more on famous last meals)

Posted by Dan at 8:03 PM | Comments (1)

March 18, 2013

WISHFUL THINKING: Our 2013 Funding Drive

Said the Gramophone's 2013 Funding Drive

If you enjoy Said the Gramophone, please give us some money.

In 2013, this blog celebrates its 10th anniversary. A whole dumb decade of finding wonderful songs and writing about them.

A lot of things were different, ten years ago:

  • Jean Chrétien was prime minister of Canada, Tony Blair in the UK, and George W Bush doddered over the United States.
  • the iTunes Music Store didn't exist yet.
  • Cory Doctorow published his debut and Jonathan Lethem (an STG contributor) wrote Fortress of Solitude.
  • Little Green Footballs was blog of the year.
  • Everyone was scrambling to get in to the European Union.
  • "Ignition" was remixed.
There, amid the chaos & jubilation of SARS and the Matrix sequels, Said the Gramophone appeared. It tried to be sincere and smart and, every day, to give its readers a few minutes of splendid sound.

Said the Gramophone also didn't have any advertising. We still don't. This is not an accident or a mistake. Ads are terrible. Sure, most music-blogs have ads. So do magazines, festivals, our favourite podcasts. But books don't have ads. Vinyl records don't have ads. Conversations with friends don't cut to commercial.

That choice means that Said the Gramophone's writers, Dan and I (and sometimes Jordan), don't really get paid. That's ok. Yes, STG is tons of work - 10 years and 872,282 words. But we made our bed (we'll sleep in it).

Still, once a year we become shills.

There are costs to running an mp3 blog like this one. We pay to keep the site online, and for every song you download.

Since 2007, our most generous readers have covered these costs. They have sent us dollars and pence, krugerrands and money-orders, to keep this pistachio-green website afloat. We forgot to hold last year's funding drive so 2013's is twice as important. We could really use your help.

Update 24/3: Thank you so much for your incredible generosity. The 2013 Funding Drive is now closed.

Our goal: $1,133.

($30.91 * 34 months + PayPal fees, taking us to March 2014)

Update 19/3: We reached our goal in less than a day. We are floored by your generosity. Later this week we will hide this Donate button for another 12 months. But truly, we can't say this any louder: we have met our server costs, you have been so kind; any more donations are incredible, unguessable gifts. Thank you.

At Said the Gramophone we don't chase pageviews or post press releases. We avoid widgets and streaming: we ask labels to let us share mp3s. If they can't, we find a different beautiful tune to share. We want this to be simple, and we don't bother you with the things that we don't really really love. But our audience is you, just you. That's it. There's no one else. You small, strange gang.

If you enjoy this site, please donate to keep it going.

This year we will be adding a special Donors page to publicly thank everyone who contributes at least $15. You can link to your website or, if you prefer, remain anonymous. Everyone who donates will also receive a link to download a special Said the Gramophone mix. (It has Captain Beefheart, Nicki Minaj and the Aisler's Set.)

A reminder of some of the things we did since our last funding drive: introduced or (more likely) reintroduced you to artists such as Adam Torres, A Tribe Called Red, Angel Olsen, Anika, Alt-J, Arlt, A$AP Rocky, Au, Augustine Enebeli Olisa, Austra, Avec pas d'casque, Azealia Banks, Bankrobber, Bernice, Big Brave, Black Atlass, Blackout Beach, Blue Belt, Blue Hawaii, Bombadil, Brianna Perry, Bry Webb, Cannon Bros, Carly Rae Jepsen, CFCF, Chrome Pony, Cyrillic Typewriter, Damien Jurado, Danny Brown, Deloro, Delusionists, Detsl, DIANA, Digital Leather, Digits, Django Django, Each Other, Eleanor and Matthew Friedberger, Eric Chenaux, Extra Happy Ghost, Foxygen, Frank Fairfield, Frank Ocean, Fred Woods, Freelove Fenner, Goose Hut, Grimes, Gym Deer, Hangedup, Heartless Bastards, Heavy Times, Hidden Words, Hooray for Earth, Hospitality, Jah Youssouf & Bintou Coulibaly, Jerusalem In My Heart, Jessie Ware, Jhene Aiko, Joey Bada$$, John K Samson, John Prine, John Southworth, Justin Bieber, Karneef, Kendrick Lamar, Lana Del Rey, Leif Vollebekk, The Limiñanas, Luke Abbott, Mac DeMarco, Mari Kalkun, Micachu and the Shapes, Miguel, Milk Teddy, Milton Nascimento, Moonface, the Mouthbreathers, Mozart's Sister, Mystikal, Na Hawa Doumbia, Nap Eyes, Neal Morgan, Nathan Hanson & Brian Roessler, Nikkiya, Norwegian Arms, Orval Carlos Sibelius, Oscar and Martin, Parlovr, Peter Peter, Plan B, Planningtorock, Plants and Animals, P.O.S., PS I Love You, Reversing Falls, Ryan Hemsworth, Sandro Perri, Schoolboy Q, Sleigh Bells, Suuns, Taylor Swift, TEEN, Thee Oh Sees, THOMAS, TNGHT, Travels, Venuses, Walrus, Way Yes, White+, White Label, Willis Earl Beal, Wind-Up People, Woodpigeon, YAMANTAKA//SONIC TITAN, Yellowteeth and Zeus; wrote of digital music-making, Jelly's wife, brothers' judo, "Suzanne", fading away, a book with crossed-out words, David Bowie's deep boats, convicted murderers, the stories of Edmund, eating jukeboxes, the deaths of Jack Layton, Bert Jansch, Whitney Houston, Cynthia Dall, and, er, Bob Dylan, Psycho and Jimi Hendrix, "Moonlight Mile" and Val's Ice Cream, Katniss Everdeen, The Best Show on WFMU, concerts by Jeff Mangum and Gillian Welch, Lou Reed and the Buddha, a Russian road trip, six Megans (and Joanna Newsom), the trials of Abousfian Abdelrazik; composed overviews of le FME, SappyFest (twice) and Pop Montreal (twice). We also wrote about our 100 favourite songs of 2011 and 2012.

That's some of what we did. But for all the pixels we spilled, we are still deeply indebted to our readers. Every year we say it, and every year it feels even more true: your kindness and curiosity, your panache and élan, your wise-cracks and wolf-whistles, your comments and clicks - these are the things that make this thing a thing. You give us your time, and we feel privileged to give you ours. Thank you for leaving messages, writing emails, offering help and hospitality and faraway friendship. Thanks for the retweets and shares, the proffered MP3s. You play our favourite songs to your lovers, send us your lovers' favourite songs. You put up with this stumbling, fumbling project. We understand that not everyone can afford to donate to a silly website. Regardless of any pennies nickels, thank-you thank-you thank-you all yet again for making Said the Gramophone a ten-year project. Soon it hits its teens.

Posted by Sean at 12:06 AM | Comments (6)

March 15, 2013

Inspired To Retire

Pat Jordache - "HUNGER"

These are the hidden things:

millisecond hand <--- hummingbird swatch
plaid GPS - breast-pocket beep-beep
elbow nails (hawaiian design)
brain thirst ***U NEED A SHOWER***
air pockets ////for keys///
screw-on leaves {if one fails...}
bike-light love, p|r|e|s|s t|o a|c|t|i|v|a|t|e
trigger callous...()half-moon()half-man()
car muscles - ^^a black-tire affair^^
night milk
####the milk of the night, what the night makes for the taking####


Posted by Dan at 8:20 PM | Comments (0)



Hot Chip - "Let Me Be Him".

That feeling where you want to slip in one more song before bedtime.

I wonder if it's the same way with figure-skaters, painters, accountants: one more triple-axel, one more canvas, one more Excel worksheet.

Counting whitecapped bluesky mountaintops with "OH OH OH OH OH OH".

Field recordings of laughing children are like a music-making cheat-code. Up up left left whistling schoolyard cheer. Makes everything feel faded and yesterday, full of promise.

I could dance all night to wistful dance songs.


(photo source)

Posted by Sean at 12:02 AM | Comments (1)

March 13, 2013

Prime Mover

Beck - "The Golden Age"

First move of the day. The sun barely up, coffee still warm in the thermos. It's a little girl who says she's a ballerina and she has a pocket dog. People never see about ten things in any given move. This time it was emptying her drawers. She just had some mental block about it, and then when we showed up she shook her head and slapped her forehead. "Yeah...yeah, why didn't I empty them? I'm such an idiot." So we moved the fridge while she packed like a maniac. That ballerina concentration.

Second move of the day was a retired couple, the wife didn't want to talk to us, I think she thought we were servants, but the husband, he wouldn't shut up. Talked about being a professor, talked about his painting class, life-drawing, naked ladies. I think because he saw me watching a young woman pass by. I can't help it, when I'm getting physical, breaking a sweat of any kind, nothing to do with my mind, it goes straight to my dick. "Every week a new one. They're not all like a magazine, but they're all beautiful in their own way." His wife seemed to get madder and madder.

The ride between one place and the next, from one arbitrary point in the city to another, with every single thing a person owns, is the part I like the most. I feel like we're shuffling the deck of the city, and when you have everything someone owns in your possession it makes you look at everyone else different. They're just going about their day, but behind them I see a trail of all the little things that make up a person. A futon or a four-poster or a dirty single, an old sad lamp or a beautiful brass cane or a painting of mt. Rushmore. It falls behind people like their shadow, and they pull it all on strings, on the bus or down the stairs from work or doing anything else that wastes all the time they'll ever have.


Posted by Dan at 1:20 AM | Comments (0)

March 11, 2013



Jerusalem In My Heart - "3andalib Al-Furat".

You can mean it in many different ways. You can write your heart down, try to write it exactly, then try to sing those words in the clearest way. You can sing not plainly but fiercely, coloured instead of clear. You can perform "meaning it", oversinging or undersinging, conveying a convention for sincerity. Sometimes the meaning is cerebral, not emotional: you decide an idea, manifest it in a work. And sometimes meaning it is much more simple: you simply tell, and try not to tell a lie.

As Jerusalem In My Heart, Radwan Ghazi Moumneh sometimes means it more and sometimes means it less. Sometimes the project is pure theatre - as when he fliered Montreal's Mile End with arabic posters, depicting himself and a kalashnikov. Sometimes it's improvisation - music invented in the morning and performed (with attention, conviction, enormous talent) in the evening. Sometimes he hosts a funky theremin-kissed Beirut freakout; other times it's a dozen shirtless men banging drums beneath a decapitation.

Mo7it Al-Mo7it, JIMH's Constellation debut, contains a few kinds of meaning. Moumneh, who grew up in Montreal and speaks fluent English, sings exclusively in Arabic. Most of his listeners will not understand his words - like me, able only to infer, listening to the tone of his vowels, the hardness of his consonants. The album and song titles are even more conceptual than that: he uses latin characters, but represents the abjad in IM Arabic. On an album of buzuq and birdcalls, this is like a banner reading 21ST CENTURY, siting JIMH in the present; the same is expressed with synths, reverb and distortion, processing that connects Moumneh's work with Omar Souleyman or even Fever Ray. (Listen to the splendid, electro-spectral "Yudaghdegh el-ra3ey wala al-ghanam".) Moumneh is not ignorant of these siblings: he has engineered/produced records for everyone from Suuns to Tim Hecker to Handsome Furs.

But in other places, Jerusalem In My Heart mean things more directly, without the screen of a governing idea. The closing track, "Amanem", is cavernous and terrible: a wreck, a reverberating plea. As Moumneh hammers his instrument, asking & asking, I imagine the murder in the cathedral, a mosaic or stained glass. This anguish is a beautiful, awful blues.

"3andalib Al-Furat", which I share here, is "Amanem"'s opposite. No vocals - just harp and acoustic buzuq, the whisper of a nightingale. It is a respite, a moment of peace. It is pause; you stop for a while, under sky and branches, and imagine if you could really stay there. Jerusalem In My Heart is more than one person, now; throughout this album, Moumneh plays with Jérémie Regnier, and the visual artist Malena Szlam Salazar is also listed as a member. Dina Cindric Sarah Pagé plays harp. Implicit in "3andalib Al-Furat", I feel the solace of friends, the strength of quiet solidarity. A nightingale in the trees, and other nightingales, and there need be no pact. Your brothers and sisters know what you mean.

[buy Mo7it Al-Mo7it / Jerusalem In My Heart play in Montreal on Friday]

(photo source)

Posted by Sean at 12:51 PM | Comments (2)

March 7, 2013


Suuns - "Music Won't Save You". Listening to "Music Won't Save You", I find myself fixating on its samples: the clips of a laughing audience, which flutter over the song like surf, or bird-trills. Where did this laughter come from? I wonder. Did Suuns secretly record a party? Did they plunder it from Everybody Loves Raymond or The Nanny? Was there an excursion to the Comedy Nest or the Montreal Improv Theatre, slipping in with a hidden mic? At first these questions seem tangential, but in a way they gesture to the heart of the song. Ben Shemie sneers about the wrongness of the scene around him, the failures of his (and others') music, and in a way he's asking where the laughter is coming from. Where does the failure happen? How does something right & certain break? How does beauty (listen to that guitar) so easily fall short? Is it there, or there, or there? An inadequacy or just original sin. [buy the beautifully recorded, churning Images du Futur]



My friend Chris, who loves boardgames and the Russian Futurists, introduced me to battle rap about two years ago. Turns out that Toronto - yes, Ontario - has one of the richest scenes in the whole world, anchored in a league called King of the Dot. Battle rap has a long history on Canada's east coast, particularly the Maritimes, but it's not just KOTD's contenders who have elevated its status: in the age of YouTube, where battle-rap is migrating from street-corners to MacBooks, KOTD has made its name with the best-shot and best-produced videos of any league. URL has more street-cred, but the Blue Jays fans of KOTD are now running a California league, Fresh Coast, and luminaries like Drake and Raekwon are showing up to their Toronto events.

Modern battle rap is rarely off the dome: freestylers have been overtaken by writers-&-memorisers who take months to prep for an event, honing shots and punchlines for each opponent. Battles are usually split into three rounds; every round, both battlers go for a couple of uninterrupted minutes. Some battles are judged, some are not. Sometimes there's freestyling thrown in, or improvised flips - ripostes based on whatever the other guy has said. The verbiage is often violent, misogynistic, homophobic or racist; but by the same token it can be breathtakingly precise, lyrical and vivacious. Punchlines trade with personals. Winning takes a combination of wit, words and charisma. It's as much about the way your eyes move as it is about the way your rhymes work. Unlike comedy battle-raps, like the series Dan participates in, there are real stakes. And because it's no-holds-barred, that explicit understanding that everything's on the table, the nastiest bigotry and sexism sometimes feels redemptive. Since we can lob a punchline about everything, at every kind of identity, calcified power structures seem weakened. One guy gets in a funny, terrible line about his opponent's Judaism; so the Jewish rival swings back with a funny rhyme about the first guy's antisemitism. The crowd laughs at both.

Anyway I bring all this up not to tell you about some of my favourite rappers, but to tell you that Chris and his buddy Matt have just started a new battle rap blog, T.O. Battle Blog. It's not just a great way to keep up with the scene - it's a great introduction to it. (I mean check out that terrific underrated battle rappers list - the ballsy jesus-y kid is amazing.) Time.

Posted by Sean at 2:56 PM | Comments (1)

March 5, 2013

Someone's Got A Secret


Eola - "Someone's Got A Secret (Sean Nicholas Savage)"

A bubble-popping smile and bright cloud clothes. It's not 'don't touch the ground', but rather 'there's no ground to touch'.


Jeff Feuerzeig, director of The Devil and Daniel Johnston, got in touch to tell us about Chris Stroffolino, "former Silver Jew, PhD-holding Shakespearean scholar, now homeless and lives in the van with his rescued piano." You can check out his delightful songs (which remind me in a nice, simple-clear way of Alan Price) at

(image source)

Posted by Dan at 6:54 PM | Comments (1)

March 4, 2013



Nathan Hanson & Brian Roessler - "La Lune Est Morte". I discovered Hanson and Roessler's Selenographia through the blog Destination: Out, in their round-up of the best jazz releases of 2012. I listened to the album on Bandcamp, and then I listened again, and again, and then I ordered the record on vinyl. It's a beautiful and stubborn piece of music, that feels somehow both open-ended and complete. Roessler plays double bass; Hanson plays soprano saxophone. Soprano sax is a dangerous instrument - for a lot of us, it too easily recalls terrible smooth jazz. But for most of Selenographia that sound never ever comes to mind. Roessler and Hanson are making freer music than that, interested in blurts and touches, textures, deliberate conversations.

Strangely, it's on the album's best standalone track, "La Lune Est Morte", where Selenographia comes closest to overdoing it. Partly it's the simple fact of melody: there is more melody here than elsewhere, a gorgeous asking theme. Early in the piece, for one tiny instant, they almost overdo the prettyiness. It almost curdles. But then the duo goes on, alights and leaves, and in time I have realized it's a trick, a device, a showing. Other parts of "La Lune" are hidden and obtuse; even the ending, whose coming-to-rest recalls the end of Bach's Goldberg Variations, is not quite so sweet. But these sections are finer because of that earlier instant. Prettiness came too close - it came too close, and you could hear that it was not enough. Learning this makes the beauty of the rest of the LP much clearer: a lesson in the splendour of what's imperfect, what's unsaid, what's dissonant and folding and very-almost-wrong.

Do buy Selenographia.


Sorry I missed a post last week: I had the flu. Dan almost cured my flu with his absurd new video, the pilot for a proposed comedy web series. SPACE RIDERS: Division Earth deserves to be made with a million-dollar budget and a George Takei cameo. Tell your friends about it and, well, zoid up make it so.

(image source)

Posted by Sean at 2:42 PM | Comments (2)

March 1, 2013

Snap and it's Done

Parenthetical Girls make a heartswelling live performance.

And I've made an extremely silly thing, that it would help me very much if you watched, liked, shared. But I understand, it's not like stuff that's usually on here. *shrug, smile*

Posted by Dan at 6:35 PM | Comments (3)