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

June 28, 2013

Lot Full

(sorry for the stream, but posting would obviously get us in trouble)

Kanye West - "Bound 2"

King of the Shit Hitters. That's what they called him. AAA for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and a terrible average, but one hell of a runner. First to second before you could say "Rollins headed for the steal". He had that quiet Ripken affect, like a cowboy, out-of-place on a manicured lawn. And the women. My goodness, Garry Rollins and his women.

Third basemen aren't generally considered glamorous. They're not pitchers, and in Garry's case, they're not hitting homers either. But the women flocked to Garry like he was the first man they ever saw. Single file and in a steady stream. Garry would just nod, cap forever shading his dark eyes, all you could see were the squint lines on his temples.

These days, those squint lines were as close to a smile as Garry ever got. His career was showing banana spots, big ones, and he dreaded those runs more and more. Standing on second, he'd look over at third and all he could think was she's married she's married they're all married now.

Rollins was a great runner. Probably the greatest Scranton/Wilkes-Barre has ever seen. But all runners are stealers, and he stopped cleaning the blood off his uniform when it got stained from a slide. He would sneak it into his bag after the game so they wouldn't wash it for him. All runners are stealers, and Rollins started taking the bus cause the bus doesn't deviate from its course.



On July 1st, Sean Dunne self-releases his first feature documentary, Oxyana. The trailer is amazing, I've posted much of Sean's work in the past, I think he's a strong new voice in documentary, and I look forward to purchasing his film for download on Monday!

Posted by Dan at 7:29 PM | Comments (0)

June 27, 2013


Photo by Dave Rutledge

Brahja Waldman's Quartet - "My Heart is a Real Thing". He keeps sending her love-notes on pages of paper. Why paper? she thinks. Why not on balloons, on cakes, on the sides of yachts? Every letter is the same thing - Dear ----, then ballpointed words, his signature. Nothing more than handsome phrases, sincerely written. No gold or silver; no cash value; not even a wax seal. Is this all he has?

Later, after she has broken his heart, he will again write her letters. He'll say he feels like shit, that he's angry and sad. And once more she'll wonder, Why paper? Why not on old maps? Dried flowers? Those cute vintage luggage tags they sell on etsy?

[Brahja Waldman's Quartet have released a modest, beautiful double record. This track is from part one, Cosmic Brahjas, cosmic like photons; listen to Waldman's squawks and Daniel Gélinas' solemn drums, Shadrach Hankoff's decelerating piano. Martin Heslop plays bass, though I'm not sure if he's on this number. / bandcamp]

J Cole ft Kendrick Lamar - "Forbidden Fruit". My girl spilled a bottle of perfume on the floor. Glass cut up my Nikes. I got down on my knees and sopped it up, lavender jasmine everywhere, blotting with paper towels, photo albums. [buy]

(photo by Dave Rutledge)

Posted by Sean at 2:55 PM | Comments (2)

June 26, 2013



Team Wild - "Eugene"

We never spoke the same language, and when she wanted me gone I fell asleep in the rain. I dreamt of all my stuff floating in water, and I wasn't there, but I was. I wasn't there at all, but I was. [Buy for 3$]


Posted by Dan at 4:24 PM | Comments (0)

June 24, 2013


Bobby "Blue" Bland - "Lovin' Blues". Bobby "Blue" Bland died yesterday. I saw him sing a few years ago, at the blues festival in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. His voice was still astounding and free. Maybe not as supple as in his youth but it flowed over his songs with the same astounding swiftness, as if it were melted butter. Still, my clearest memory of the show was the interest Bobby "Blue" showed in a young woman sitting beside me, with her boyfriend, in the press pit. The woman was wearing a skirt. She sat with her legs straight ahead of her. Her ankles were not always crossed. And every now and then, as she shifted, Bobby "Blue" saw her underpants, I guess. He'd see them, and he'd stop a song right in the middle of a verse, holding his hand to his head as if he had a fever, swearing, saying, "Girl, you're gonna kill me right here." His tone of voice wasn't lecherous, predatory - it was this strange mixture of happiness and despair. "Girl, you're gonna kill me right here," he kept repeating, every time the girl uncrossed her legs. Then he'd lean forward to stare deep into the eyes of the woman's boyfriend. "You gotta keep your eyes on the merchandise," Bobby "Blue" advised him. He must have thought this was good advice. The boyfriend didn't know what to do. But the young woman was smiling; she liked causing spells. Bobby "Blue" kept singing his lovesongs and blues, mopping his head, threatening to die on the spot from the sight of a pretty girl.

Posted by Sean at 11:01 AM | Comments (0)

June 20, 2013


The Burning Hell - "Sentimentalists".

I can't remember this ever happening to me before. A song that makes me remember something I have completely forgotten. Not a song that evokes a distant memory, that makes vivid something faded; a piece of music that brings back something that was lost. A mosquito in amber, resurrecting a brontosaurus.

The memory's nothing remarkable: a wooden paddle-wheel, in the restaurant of a department store. A paddle-wheel at The Paddle Wheel. With modesty and grace, the Burning Hell tell you everything you need to know. The wheel lives (lived?) on the top floor of the Hudson Bay Company, in Toronto. The wheel slowly turns. Guests can lean over the rail, throw a penny in, make a wish.

I lived in Toronto for almost a year, when I was five years old. My parents and grandparents brought me to The Paddle Wheel. I loved The Paddle Wheel. It was one of those sites we have, as children - imbued, potent, utterly distinct from everywhere else we know. A dark room, a slowly spinning relic; like in the cell under Stirling's Thistle Centre, the Bat Cave at the Royal Ontario Museum, visiting the paddle-wheel was like slipping through a wardrobe into somewhere Else. Just like the Burning Hell's Mathias Kom, I would sometimes take a penny and cast it out, over the railing, onto the heaving timber. If I was lucky it would land on one of the wheel's paddles and be lifted up, around, clicking down on the other side. This was magic. This was magic. Magic at a time when magic was fully real.

Yet I had forgotten it, forgotten it all. I don't think I've thought about The Paddle Wheel's paddle-wheel in more than 20 years. The first time I heard this song, as I listened, I thought, He's singing about the Hudson's Bay? A restaurant at the Hudson's Bay? Really? I had never heard of The Paddle Wheel. But then, like a shipwreck being sucked upward through the mud, like a great elm uprooted by a bulldozer: there it was, my memory. Faded and unsure. Eroded. Barely legible. I don't remember the entrance to The Paddle Wheel, I don't remember the food, I scarcely remember that it was a restaurant. I remember only the colours in the room, black and brown and silver; the enchantment; and me, full of longing, holding a coin.

"Sentimentalists" is a humble song. It is a slide-show, a vignette, the slightest recollection. It is burnished and handsome, in guitars and drums and clarinet and horn. It is two minutes and thirteen seconds and it is one of the greatest gifts I have received this year.


Posted by Sean at 12:25 PM | Comments (2)

June 18, 2013

James Holden

James Holden - "The Caterpillar's Intervention"

Attir the fox poses for a passport photo. His fur dusts his leather collar and his face has a cocky lift. They say don't smile in a passport photo, but if a fox can smirk, Attir is smirking. He lunches from a water fountain, and in the garbage can next to it he throws every other piece of ID away. His driver's license, his health insurance card, his SIN, even his Scope Video Membership card with the little sniper crosshairs on it. Hasn't rented anything in a couple years at least. Attir takes the train to Central, terminal 3, and heads through security. Head down, unnoticed. Aboard the flight it's tomato juice and his hoodie up. He lands to the sun still shining, or shining again depending, a waft of hot air, and the sound of guitars.

Attir the fox slams his fist against the large metal door. The password is I don't give a fuck and let me the fuck inside. He sits down at a rickety table across from a figure with a dog's beard and a missing eye, just a little sucked-in hole where the eye used to be. Outside the street is hot, the sun is hot, everything is yellow dust. "Little warm for that leather jacket," the one-eyed figure clacks his claws on the table. Attir sits as if tied to a board, his whole being is hungry, "It breathes." "Hm, that's good," says the one-eyed figure, his dog-bearded chin lifting, "Not everything breathes these days." Attir flinches. He reacts without thinking, "Seems that asshole on your face still has to shit out another eye." The dark-furred minions close in, but the one-eyed figure calls them off with a raised hand. "No no," he says, "I'm not upset. He can say whatever he wants. He doesn't even exist." An open paw, Attir tosses the passport. The figure hands it to a dark-furred minion at a computer, who seems more rat than dog, who furiously begins typing. Bank accounts, birth records, transcripts, addresses, it all comes up. "Ah, the great Attir. The fox. I shall enjoy being you." As Attir is hauled away he watches a tiny printer print the driver's license, the health insurance card, the SIN, all with a one-eyed Attir. Even the Scope Video Membership card, and these bastards wouldn't return anything. Well, it seems they might return one thing, at least.

Attir falls into the cell and they instantly embrace. The smell of her fur is unmistakable, the sound of her cry, though dry in a chapped throat, is still the same. They are blindfolded and driven through countless turns and hills, and dropped somewhere in the thick yellow dust, left to their own devices. They have nothing but each other, foxes mate for life, and Attir, no longer Attir, still has that lift, that arrogance, that smirk.


Posted by Dan at 9:12 PM | Comments (4)

June 17, 2013



Sophie - "Bipp". (Removed at label request.) That weird thing where you dive off a diving-board and never hit the water. Twists in the air, somersaults, fanning limbs, cannonball -- but no splash. No landing. No clap and spray. Suspended spinning in the air, cascading glints, longing downward -- and nothing. Ready and waiting. [buy]

(photo source: Collectie SPAARNESTAD PHOTO/Het Leven)

Posted by Sean at 1:20 PM | Comments (0)

June 14, 2013



Nü Sensae - "Raven Tussle"

58 of the greatest seconds of screaming.

[Buy the newest, Sundowning]

(image from consumeconsume)

Posted by Dan at 3:04 PM | Comments (0)

June 13, 2013


by Emre Kasap

Just a quick one today, before I run off to watch Owen Pallett unveil the 2013 Polaris Prize long-list.

Cem Karaca - "Niksar"

In solidarity with the protesters of Gezi Park. In solidarity with boldhearted gatherers everywhere, fighting for their neighbours. Especially if they are fighting without fighting. In solidarity with the family of Ethem Sarisuluk, struck by a tear-gas canister, now dead. Longings are utopian; manslaughter is not. Sarisuluk's death is a terrible tragedy, more than anything simply unjust. But protest is not as romantic as it seems. It is about persisting, persisting, tedium, courage, tedium, persisting, persisting. It is about trying to say true things, remaining wary of mobs. It is about persuasion, at its core - as much a serenade as a battle-cry. It's hard, and easier than it looks. [buy]

(photo by Emre Kasap)

Posted by Sean at 10:31 AM | Comments (0)

June 11, 2013

Any Nested Mac

Bastardgeist - "Coast"

How they make crayons. Truth serum†. Ox Tongue, chilled. A secret handshake, hands in pockets. The dawn an hour early. Flight plan explained. The synchronous footstep, the synchronous kiss, the synchronous moment when a book falls off the shelf and Germany invades Poland. A shower in reverse. Theatre of protest. A buckle, tightened. A suicidal tulip (Tulip?). Meaningless words, the way the sun is meaningless, the way the wind is totally meaningless. [Pre-Order]

Fleetwood Mac - "Tusk""It was over before it even started." [Buy]
Posted by Dan at 7:54 PM | Comments (0)

June 10, 2013


Shoulder look

Mikal Cronin - "Am I Wrong". He goes in with the bumblebee washed off him. No more, no more, he says to himself. This time he is hornet. This time he is wasp. He weaves through the crowd with his stinger cocked, scanning each fabric and face, each glinting eye, for the one he wants. No, she's not here yet. No, she's not here yet. No, she's not-- yes there oh shit hold up. There is still some pollen on his sleeve. He is bumblebee yet. [buy]


Three recent honours:

- I won a (second) National Magazine Award last week, for a Walrus piece about Montreal's circus scene.

- I was so flattered by Anis Mojgani's reply to our recent We/Or/Me post. Let's form a gang together.

- Finally, belatedly, Jordan White used Said the Gramophone's dumb style to wrote about a basketball play. What an absurd & lovely thing to do. Thank you.

(photo source unknown)

Posted by Sean at 7:12 PM | Comments (3)

June 7, 2013

The Homeless Wanderer

Emahoy Tsegué-Maryam Guébrou - "The Homeless Wanderer"

I took Meena's son Patrick on a trip across the sea. Patrick was a genial boy, quiet, and like myself at that age, liked numbers and games. There was a daily game of Bingo on the ship, and we structured our days around this. And dinner. And a cocktail when the skies were the right colour of grey. That summer I didn't go to Africa, I took care of Patrick, whose mother, unbeknownst to me, was falling in love.

A friend of a friend invited me one night to a party at Sigmund Freud's house. I left Patrick with Mrs. Pritchett and stopped for a cocktail on the way. It was a dry night in July and I felt like a freed but saddled man, out of prison, but still in shackles. I saw the artifacts that Freud had and I didn't want to tell him but I suspected they were all fakes. I talked to a woman named Carolyn who seemed allergic to eye contact, and a short man kept begging for the room's attention to show some of his rather transparent magic.

Meena communicated to me through Patrick, which was, again unbeknownst to me, the first sign of trouble. Tell Robert hello for me, make sure to hug him twice at bed, once for me. I merely thought it was the kind of sweetness you send to someone you truly love, not needing to tell them directly, and not a way of simply keeping home fires strategically alight.

The nights I would spend. Whole nights when I could have been in Africa, uncovering time itself, spent on the porch smoking into the apple tree and thinking about Meena. Her wrists, her calves in a light dress, her stomach that seemed to prove to the world that simple function was the greatest beauty. A bridge got people across a gap, a bowl served soup to the hungry, and Meena's stomach would swallow that soup and stuck slightly out and all these things were perfect.


Posted by Dan at 4:03 PM | Comments (2)

June 6, 2013


Topiary stewards

We/Or/Me (with Anis Mojgani) - "From the Top of This Thing".

Rolling up your sleeve, tying your shoe, polishing your glasses, priming your pan, tightening your knots, cleaning your gun, boarding your ship, raising your sail, sailing your sea, glimpsing your shore, baring your heart, baring your heart, baring your heart.

Baring your heart, unburying your heart. Lifting heavy things off. Lifting light things off. Sitting down for a spell, and eating popsicles, and lifting light things off.

We/Or/Me's new album, funded with Kickstarter, is confident and handsome. There is a song with Anis Mojgani. There is a song with Vashti Bunyan. There is a song about listening to Bert Jansch and the Incredible String Band. I've been writing about We/Or/Me for eight years.

Buy The Walking Hour at bandcamp.

(photo by Neale)

Posted by Sean at 7:24 PM | Comments (0)

June 5, 2013

Other Boys

Eleanor Friedberger - "Other Boys"

There was no pronoun smoother than the air that night. She, he, them, it, all good. Skateboard smooth, and a cool warmth like hell in a power outage. She glided, glode, glade along the tops of the neighbour's hedges to the bar, and there sang a boy in a beard, the light casting his face in still frames, ones you could hang on a nail in a cafe, or cut out and keep flat in a book. She held her elbows together like they might just fly open and hug a stranger. She dimpled so hard her cheeks took over, fuzzily everything. The effect of loving someone who sings is unlike anything else†, the beam of light that binds you together, amidst a crowd who can see it, for sure they can see it, is like a breeze with your name on it, it's the only reason anyone has ever danced alone.

Fleetwood Mac - "Never Going Back Again" †he marriage was in a field of green, all of the sun was out, it was a full sun that day, and at the very last moment, the wedding turned inside-out. "We're not marrying each other anymore," they said. "We're marrying all of you instead," they said, before they kissed, smiling, and pressed Esc. -buy-
Posted by Dan at 12:30 AM | Comments (3)

June 3, 2013


Secret Garden cover by Brandon Schaefer

Balacade - "Marigold (demo)". There's another "Marigold" too, a final studio version, but I prefer this drowsy one, waking, rousing itself from listlessness. A guitar solo like déjà vu, like fine gold thread, like the last strands of a dream. Andrew Reynolds revisits and remembers, traces out the year's silver lining. He is full of quiet confidence. He is full of modest hope. All day he carried a cymbal under his arm, and now he has put it on a stand, now he is hitting it with a the tip of a drumstick. [buy this on bandcamp]

Rah Rah - "Art and a Wife". Rah Rah carve out an indie-rocker anthem - a Users Guide, an instruction manual, a Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance for bedroom songwriters and bands in vans, for starry-eyed artists and hermits clutching notebooks. "Now I just want a life full of art, / and a wife. Full of heart, just a life / full of art, and a wife." Rare that such a useful song*, packed with good advice, is also a potential hit, a ringing single, a tune to hear on repeat and repeat. Let this tune explode from a thousand college radio towers, singing its wisdom, sharing its lessons, sharpening the pens & picks & ears & plans of a million gutsy drooping spirits. [buy]

* - See also Okkervil River's "Unless It's Kicks".

(image by Brandon Schaefer)

Posted by Sean at 10:18 AM | Comments (3)