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.

April 30, 2013



Weaves - "Hulahoop"

Please go away. Please go away and never come back. Please fuck right off, and keep fucking right off for the rest of your fucking life. Take your perfect leather boots, and your haphazard hair, and the tiny ankle fold in your jeans and vanish from Earth. Please let your oddly-clumped freckles and your skewed glasses and your gap-toothed grin have never existed. Please let your love notes and your open toothpaste and your breakfast leftovers be long-awaited proof of a parallel universe, inapplicable to this one. Take everything that happened, every second of it, and fold it a million times. From meeting to parting, fold it up, take an awkward dinner and crease it at great sex. When you can't tell a text message from a backrub, we're good. But I never, I mean ever, want to see you again. You are steam now. You are white-on-white, you are a dream that sits on your tongue like "it was something" and then disappears.


Weaves is a project involving (at least) the great Jasmyn Burke (of RatTail) and the marvelous Morgan Waters. So excited to hear more, and for live dates. I'll let you know.

Posted by Dan at 2:02 PM | Comments (4)

April 29, 2013


zeppelin railway

Junip - "Your Life Your Call". José Gonzalez as a steely-eyed aerobics instructor. Step, lift, back, step. I say "steely-eyed"; really the things you make out of steel. Tankers, skyscrapers, indestructible ball bearings. Gonzalez is level on a swaying ship. There are no tremors in his instructions. It's over now, he sings. You have taken your time. / But you can't stay here. / Go dry up your tears. Gonzalez's band, Junip, is one of the most underrated groups in indie rock. Their songs sound like kaleidoscopes: splendid, prismatic, controlled. You can use a kaleidoscope when you're high; you can use one when you're sober. Split up a problem: divide it into even pieces, bright shards, turn the dead-end into branching roads. Once I saw Junip play live, in a room in Montreal. This steady, fortunate joy. I thought to myself, Music is a common magic. It does not take much. Pull yourself together, Gonzalez sings. Draw the line. It is morning, and the day is yours. [buy]


A grateful, bellowing ovation for the Washington Wizards' Jason Collins, the first openly gay player on a major North American sports team.


My friend Luc built, a very simple, elegant digital playlist/musicblog. No writing, just Luc's careful selections, and images, in a handsome player. Press play and let it run. (Luc's taste centers on instrumental hip-hop, IDM and noisy pop.)

(photo source)

Posted by Sean at 11:51 AM | Comments (0)

April 26, 2013

Fake It, You'll Never Make It

Born Ruffians - "Permanent Hesitation"

If there is one thing that this song, its jeans-on-the-floor and text-messages-from-someone-only-named-J, seems to evoke, beyond its let-go-of-the-hand-hold and necklace-casts-a-shadow-on-the-neck, it's a phrase, written on faces, weather, and every tea store sandwich board: Time is running out.
Born Ruffians still speak to me. Their new album Birthmarks is really great, I think. You can buy it here.

Posted by Dan at 2:45 PM | Comments (0)

April 25, 2013


Photo source unknown

Jai Paul - "Str8 from Mumbai (demo)". Jai Paul's best cuts feel damaged - not drunk, not high, but still wobbly and redoubled, splendidly wavering. It's like someone is playing with the dials on the mixer, spraying samples, bringing volumes up and down, frequencies in and out; these microscopic fades, neurons firing and disappearing. A lurid part of me wants to call it Parkinson's pop. "Str8 from Mumbai" is a necklace of vanishing jewels, gems in and out of phase. A nightclub you can only see in a mirror. The treatment for a short film: mysterious billionaire, private jet to India, five hours out, then back to real grey life. But this song would be too vivid for the soundtrack. It would leave too strong a mark. [Jai Paul's debut is expected... eventually. This was allegedly an "illegal" leak.]

Weather Station ft Marine Dreams - "First Letter". A sunrise that changes its mind. A dawn that shifts, mid-dawning. Weather Station's Marine Dreams duet starts as one song, in silver light, and becomes another, with a different shade of silver. As we approach summer, I am reminded of the way it sometimes is: a long day that quickly changes, a twist ending for the sky. Our hearts watch the clouds, they swerve with the weather, they do what they're shown. [buy]

(Photo source unknown.)

Posted by Sean at 12:08 PM | Comments (0)

April 22, 2013


Dempster border, by Brendan Birkett

Electrelane - "To The East". I need a mission, somebody give me a mission. An envelope with a folded, typed instruction. A clear cloud. A banner, a crackling radio instruction. Just a sign. Just give me a sign. Let it be plain or filigreed, simple or adorned. Let it be easy or difficult, let it be impossible. I will make love or wage war, I will run or howl, I will shove coke, spade by spade, into the belly of a train. All I ask is that you inscribe my future, so that I need not invent it myself. Give me something to live up to: a destiny, a fate. You will see me at my fullest, in body and indigo. I will stride into the tide. I will sing the rest of the song. I will find the puny needle or fire the long harpoon. I will go home, if that's what I am to do, or believe me darling I will hold out hope. [buy]

(photo source)

Posted by Sean at 11:00 AM | Comments (4)

April 19, 2013



Eleanor Friedberger - "Stare at the Sun"

The first drive on the day when the last polluting car has been retrofitted. [Pre-Order]

Jay-Z - "Big Pimpin'"

If I give my whole body to one song, it would be worth it, because what else is there to do but spend yourself on something. Pick the one that will shake you like a rag doll, spread you open, dance like lights, and drip you dry. Crack your hands from shadow boxing, spend your knees from Russian bending, and your shoulders, your shoulders will be the first to go. [Buy]

Posted by Dan at 6:40 PM | Comments (0)

April 18, 2013


Atakora Manu's Band - "Palm Wine Seller". Frequently, when I am listening to palm wine guitar music, I think to myself: This is the best sound in the world. It is beautiful and hapless. It is dizzy. It reminds me of my greatest joys and my most witless blues. Imperfect, expert, lo-fi, hi-fi, distorted and clear, oh how many reversing right yeses. I have never drunk palm wine but I have been drunk on it. I have lolled and then shot like an arrow into the heart of the waning day. [out of print]

Posted by Sean at 7:10 PM | Comments (0)

April 17, 2013


Mincer Ray - "OMM @ 12.3; Fouled Acme"

This song makes me forget how small I am. And I'm like, extremely small. Like, put your fingers together as close as you can without touching them. That space, that little space, that's like the ceiling in the mall for me, when you look up and you're like oh that's all windows up there, that's how much space that is for me. Now press your fingers together, hard hard hard, cram em together, I still fit between there. Like, cut a hair a hundred times, length-wise, I could still sit on that like a sofa. I'm tiny, I'm real tiny. But when I hear this, it's bad for me, cause I forget how small I am, and I start movin around like I'm big, and I could fall off my perch at the top of this picture frame, curled up in the dust. It's bad luck to forget your size, better to always just behave the size you are.


Posted by Dan at 2:08 PM | Comments (0)

April 15, 2013



Shotgun Jimmie - "Big Sur".
Shotgun Jimmie - "Growing Like a Garden".

Two songs that add up to 2 minutes 45 seconds. Certain songs are like telegrams; no room for pussyfooting. THEY SAY IT RIGHT STRAIGHT STOP. Jimmie's best songs are like hunks of amethyst lobbed at your head. <clunk> The lyrics are handsome straight-shooters - yeah, telegrams, I already said that. He is less muddled than me. He is of purer vision, more suited to: sunsets, riding into. Better at knock-knock jokes and ping-pong. While the lyrics come across the wire, in the hands of a delivery-man, the surrounding music is a conduit, a superconductor, a delivery system. Sugar for the medicine, decorated with rosettes and winks. [Buy]


Elsewhere: Stream Young Galaxy's splendid fourth album, Ultramarine.

Posted by Sean at 11:15 AM | Comments (3)

April 12, 2013



Marnie Stern - "East Side Glory"

Bowl of them so Telusa Hahahahaha Hahahahaha Hahahahaha Tigeorgess addition just thinking is so old man I love for you to learn how all mom Hahahahaha because it means anything since Atlanta gentleman and man and send to deliberately deliberately and a little bit of time and then send me man don't bump bump bump bump bump bump bump I'll I'll

Marnie Stern - "Hell Yes"

Little bit of a little bit of phone phones I seem to say mama home from work as a pencil Momomo the same thing that's hello, hello come on come on come on home and mozzarella I am sad I am Othyus time I've got this time I am all the time to time to time and I won't that's all that's out tonight and the Andthat that will Heslov the f*ck are clear or or or or is it sale or I'm going to Belmont Balan blog blog or or or or I'll talk to you soon, I got this time

[Buy the wonderful Chronicles of Marnia from Kill Rock Stars]

(image from the enigmatic

Posted by Dan at 1:14 PM | Comments (3)

April 11, 2013


The Knife - "Wrap Your Arms Around Me". I was wearing a gold link bracelet as I whipped around the corner. It caught. And I didn't feel it. I was two steps in when I felt the tug at my wrist; looked down; there this long fine sag. One gold link, caught on a nail, and the whole bracelet stretched out behind me, distended, pulled long like taffy. I gathered the bracelet in my other hand. I felt like I was carrying some mythic material - finest spidersilk, elvish mithril. Later I wondered how far I could have gone. How finely could the gold have been pulled? Could I run around the world? Could I pull this metal into a slender thread, one atom thick? How supple was this hard, mined material, plundered from the earth.

Some metals are softer than they look. Some crashing banging clanging feelings - they can be folded into tiny little packets, so small they almost disappear. A teardrop weighs nothing at all.


Posted by Sean at 5:38 PM | Comments (0)

April 9, 2013



Hani Zahra - "Some Day Parade"

Ammunition for a laser gun. Sparks. A stack of love leathers, pink on pink on pink stretched around pink. A torn page from a joke book for smokers: "Doctor, how do i quit smoking?" "Stop, drop, and roll."

If my phone were really smart it wouldn't get lost, even cats can keep from getting lost, and they don't have Wikipedia on them. A discarded wireless microphone, for someone, somewhere, what i'm saying is really loud. Another page: "Did you say ziggurat?" "No, cigarette." "Oh, i dont have one of those either."

Bored sun. Big fat bored sun, steeping the world in its juices. The oceans brown and the sides of the world drip with sweat, and when the world is just a grey ball from the outside we will know the true extent of it. "My boss has cancer." "Cancer? I don't even know her." "Well i do, and she has cancer."


The Hani Zahra album is out now, and I support you supporting it.

Also, the marvelous Montreal actor Greg Kramer has died at 50. I was lucky enough to work with him once, and more lucky to see him perform.

Posted by Dan at 12:29 PM | Comments (0)

April 8, 2013


Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni ba - "Mali Koori". I can tell you what I know about this record, Jama Ko. Mainly that my friend the producer Howard Bilerman (Arcade Fire, Silver Mt Zion, Wolf Parade) flew from Montreal to Mali to record it. He was so nervous before he visited; he is sometimes a nervous guy. It was March 2012. He landed and they started recording and then a war broke out. Bassekou Kouyate is a super-star in Mali, a kind of Michael Jackson, the world's best n'goni player. The war began when Amadou Toumani Touré, Mali's president, was deposed on 22 March 2012. Touré and Kouyaté are friends. So, listen: this isn't safe music. I don't understand the words, and you probably don't, but this isn't safe. This is frightened music. This is angry music. This is steadfast and ferocious music. These are real microphones in a real room and some musicians are singing and playing. They are in Bamako. Outside the window there are birds, and people, and further away there is smoke, and there is gunfire, and there is a bare sky. The night they recorded "Mali Koori", these musicians went home and maybe they kept on hearing the music, the song's dry hook, while they wondered about their country. While they wondered and worried about their country, their family, their friends, this terrible and arbitrary planet. This track is a document - a recording of events, of movements, that took place. And it is also a song, a piece of art. It is vivacious and beautiful. It is free and flying. It is an unconceding blues. [buy]

Posted by Sean at 1:48 PM | Comments (1)

April 4, 2013


Devendra Banhart - "Daniel". In the new episode of The Organist, Banhart says that this song is not about him. Two tenderhearts who fall in love at the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus. A relationship that fades away. Then a reunion one night, unexpected, in the queue for a concert. Banhart is wordless for this meeting: he tells it only with music, a glimmering California sound. Bars count out, the drums shuffle, and we leave the scene behind. "Daniel" is a short film, not a short story. There are cuts, steadycam, a long zoom out. There are no metaphors or similes. Fitting, then, that the song sounds so much like the music of a real filmmaker - Vincent Gallo. I have spent many hours with Gallo's When; strangely, this tribute feels like a homecoming. One song, one film, in a series that was started by another. [buy Mala, which is really good]

The-Dream ft Fabolous - "Slow It Down". After a slew of singles that made me think, "That's it! Terius Nash has lost it!", finally something that makes my heart happily fizz. Yes, this is bare throwback - the-Dream doing what he did years ago, when he was the Love King. But I love a tune that feels like it's counting treasures, that feels like looped sunsets, that patiently looks its lover in the eyes & then looks again. (NB: The-Dream is interested in other bodyparts in addition to his lover's face.) [video]

Posted by Sean at 11:38 AM | Comments (0)

April 2, 2013

Used Genes

BOAT - "Sore Toes and Elbows"

Devon and Devin had been dating 6 months before World Mitosis. When the oceans drained like dishwater and got pulled apart in equal halves, the continents cleaved in twain in the great gloomp that took a day. They had been taking it slow and Devon had just got another toothbrush to leave at Devin's apartment. Devin almost typed love by accident in a text. And the Catskills were now their own South Pole and 8 million people had been churned under the sucking mulch of Earth's fiery stomach. Devon and Devin, now consumed, as all life, with the current self-dividing phenomenon, assumed the other was dead.

Devon had been at a vernissage while Devin was trying another pear crisp, he was dunking the oat-crusted pan in the water when it all sucked away and the sink crumpled like a paper cup, he went up to the roof and the sun was swinging like a batted bulb in the sky. He thought about Devon, but only in the way that she would probably be bonding with Brad, the gallery curator and volunteer firefighter about this situation. Brad was probably everybody's fucking hero right about now.

So when they saw each other again, skimming the rims of the world's new stretch marks, makeshift heat suits and surgical masks, Devin was the first to spot her. That hair and that walk. He called out her name, his name, which he had said made him feel close to her right away, and she turned around. And they traveled for months together in the group with the others, Brad long dead, and they were civil with each other, but something had changed. Every night he didn't get up to see if she was cold, every day she didn't wash his dish in the nearby falls, they grew further apart, until eventually neither felt the pull at all. Everything, magnets included, was totally and permanently fucked up.


Posted by Dan at 5:43 PM | Comments (0)

April 1, 2013



Luluc - "Fly". Nick Drake's song from 1970, performed by newcomers in 2011. By the end it is over-arranged, but at the beginning it is close to perfect: an old tune just so slightly changed, sung in a room with different light. Luluc has a heavy heart, beginning this song; Drake did too. Each syllable seems to falls away. She finds strength as she goes on - but not too much, not too much. Despite all her companions on shaker, accordion and strings, despite music-making's small pleasure, "Fly" is still heavy-hearted. It needs to be, if rightly performed. It needs to be heavy-hearted, aspiring. [buy Joe Boyd presents: Way To Blue: The Songs of Nick Drake]

Mice Parade - "Do Your Eyes See Sparks". Whenever I think of Mice Parade, I think of the story I heard about the band Wolf Parade: that they chose their band-name when they were opening for Mice Parade, as a way to kind of bully them. This band, Mice Parade, bullied by their openers. Mice Parade, bullied by a gang of moody fellow art students. It makes me like Mice Parade more: that this is what they must weather, and that this is the music they make. Mice Parade will not lie down. They will hit their snares and toms and sing with soft voices loudly. They will will themselves into other seasons. They will tour till they can't. THey will outlive their enemies. [bandcamp]

Posted by Sean at 11:12 AM | Comments (1)