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 27, 2014


Potato queen

Nicholas Krgovich - "Baby Blue Tutu". Dancing round the rim of a champagne flute. The air's filled with the finest mist of carbonation - a sparkling on cheeks and lips, the backs of hands. You hold each other and dance, in slow spins, while the party is carried from one end of the room to the other, on a tray. [buy / bandcamp]

(photo source)

Posted by Sean at 4:06 PM | Comments (0)

November 26, 2014


Mica Levi - "Andrew Void"

The body sieve, with blood like dried glue. The sound that a thing makes is analogous to its name, in that a name is an alternate-dimension expression of that very thing. In one world a flower is a thing with pedals and a stem, in another simply the word 'flower' is the thing, and in another, the sound of two rubber hoses shifting along each other more slowly than the sun moves in the sky, that is the thing. This, today's song, is an expression of silence. In one world, silence is the absence of sound, but in another, this is an expression of that same thing. This is silence saying its own name.


Posted by Dan at 10:23 PM | Comments (0)

November 24, 2014



Jones - "You". There is a mechanic's garage on the corner. Where your little street meets the green, low-boughed boulevard, there is a small garage which always seems closed. Closed but not derelict: it is well maintained; clean windows, swept stoop. The front is shiny and blue. There is a sign in white and cherry. Nobody ever seems to be coming or going but the tree overhead always seems to be in bloom. The garage contains things: gleaming engines, good machines. You drive past sometimes and you think perhaps you can see someone inside, on the other side of the panelled door - someone experienced, hard-working, honest. Someone wiping tarry hands on a rag. At night you dream of the day that your own car breaks down; a May morning, a July afternoon, your transmission begins to sputter and you wheel the car right to the front of the little garage. In the dream there is a bell. You ring it. You wait. Gulls are painting circles overhead and as you slumber you imagine the sound of a clasp unclasping, a perfect whirr, then the door that begins to open. The giant garage door, clean as a lake, lifting now before you to reveal a perfect, crowded room.


Posted by Sean at 10:51 AM | Comments (0)

November 20, 2014



Nancy Pants - "Happy". Garbage dancer: foil, cereal box, yes ok some Christmas garlands. Sewer somersault, basement splits. Pogo and worm. Found some records in a milk-crate, "Louie Louie" and "Black Hole Sun", remember to wear gloves. Night sky's a black canvas and tossed gravel. Daylight's a flashlight. I traded my dad's Pontiac for a bass guitar. I kissed a girl. I fired an elastic band at the auditor and we'll sparkle til we droop.

[Total Nancy Pants is out now / bandcamp / cassette launch in Montreal tonight]



(photograph from American Cooking: New England, via Bartek)

Posted by Sean at 11:14 AM | Comments (0)

November 18, 2014

Built Between Buildings

Elvis Depressedly - "Pepsi/Coke Suicide"

A memory of a writing made about the re-enactment of something like a movie that told a story similar to mine. Of near-misses and silence. Of the time before the wall. When the movie told it, things got timeless. When it was re-enacted, things became a pastiche, and there were all the flaws we didn't see before. When it was written about, there was space for detail, and working-through of the flaws, kneading them into decorative knots. And then the memory laid the veil, as on a bride, or a corpse.


Posted by Dan at 5:52 PM | Comments (0)

November 17, 2014


Walking chairs

Mary J Blige - "Whole Damn Year". A year is a year is a year, inarguable. Each of our years is entirely the same - the same 12 months, January to December, 365 or 366 days. The same and also utterly unique: my year was mine, yours was yours. We cannot swap. For better or for worse, time is something held separate and in common.

And sometimes it is for worse. Sometimes we want to take someone's year; borrow it, shoulder it, carry it for a month or two. Sit down. Give me your year. Maybe there are thieves who seek to steal winners' glad 12 months - but me I always want to assuage my friends' bad ones. I want to roll their years up, like old sleeping bags, and bury them in the forest. Somewhere where the leaves will turn and fall; and snow will land, and melt; and where ferns will grow, come spring. Give me your year. Let's gather them all up together, a frail shared fortune.


(photo source)

Posted by Sean at 10:50 AM | Comments (4)

November 11, 2014


Cocteau Twins - "Lorelei". [buy]

On Monday night my novel Us Conductors won the Giller Prize, Canada's biggest fiction award. I thanked all of you in the speech. I thanked this song in the speech. My life's a rock in a rock tumbler, getting shone. My life's a tetherball, in orbit 'round its post. My life's Elizabeth Fraser's torn and starry voice, all new edge and possibility. I don't know who I am any more, just that for a few moments I'm tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow.

I love this song and I never understood the words. What is she singing? Does she know what she is singing? Does she know what she is sending out into the world, atop coronated guitars? Or is she just trying to keep up with the pouring, pouring feelings in her heart - like a stick in the riverwater, like a caught kite.

Someone is putting crowns onto the heads of the guitars and Elizabeth Fraser is singing us down the river or up to the podium and and it'll never be yesterday again.

This is my love to all my distant friends (you): here, this is it, for you, here;

Posted by Sean at 10:18 PM | Comments (12)

November 10, 2014

21 Minutes

Nick Thorburn - "Bad Dream (theme)"

The lines of his face. The crest of his lip, the rise of his jaw back towards his ear, a stubbled lift that seems to hold the rest of his face on display. His eyes positioned perched in their place, as if on a branch or a ledge, prepared to let themselves fall off and fly. His eyebrows like thumbstrokes, like prints, like tribal markings. His forehead the weighty blankspace, that seems to tell the weather with its movements. The temples seem swathed in perfect concrete, as if covering some ancient passageway, some route that was once needed. His hair, of course, the flourish, the sky that seems to disappear as perfect and natural but if unpainted would render the whole thing meaningless.

[buy from Nick]

(music from Serial)

Posted by Dan at 1:24 PM | Comments (0)

November 6, 2014



Lowell - "The Bells"

Frank, 12, learns to text. And the eyes of his mind widen, this is a treasure. The way little love notes, and they are all love notes, pop up in just his cradled arms at 10:30, 10:41, 10:55. They could go forever, he can hold Lindsay from his class right in his bed and she lights up. Poof. Poof. Poof. He writes back anything, any combination of letters and spaces is enough to say i love you and it bounces over and back in their neighbourhood. Sometimes three in a row, they can say goodnight for an hour and a half. It seems like the air is helping them, like all of nature wants them to kiss their messages back and forth over their neighbourhood. [Buy from Insound]

Sparks - "The Rhythm Thief"

Alison is sitting up in bed and her arm is aching. THe light is jagged across her face, like a ripped letter .The curtains are too long. The eggs are going bad, they could be bad in the mornig. The door isn't locked. Showever showever showever showever.. That's a lackadaisical shower. Frank's joke book, with the genie coming out of the lamp wearig the naked man's clothes, that doesn't make any sense. Cancer . It shouldn't take that long to search on Apple TV. But also hopelessness for humanity. Slow Heat Death. 6:30: early enough? *scratch* "One Million Cases". How come women don't report their ebola to authorities? --Something seems to reach up through her crotch, right up through her cold stomach, and shake her rib cage like a fruit tree. Palm out, waiting for what falls. [Buy]

Posted by Dan at 10:44 PM | Comments (1)



Natalie Prass - "Why Don't You Believe In Me". Is this a song from 1971? It is not. Is Natalie Prass your sister, singing in her bedroom? She is not. Are those flutes? Yes. Are those horns? Yes. How much of this is real and how much is pretend? You would have to ask Natalie. Instead, I suggest you forget such questions: jettison the theory, dump the analysis, just turn up this song and watch Prass's song push against the burlap of your speakers. Feel what it's like to have this song come into a room, like lamplight, like a remedy, a song for your own heart's questions. [pre-order]

(image from The Artic Sea - Erte)

Posted by Sean at 7:41 PM | Comments (0)

November 3, 2014


Fortune teller

Jonnie Common - "Better Man". What begins as an shaky nod to a club classic reveals itself as something more handsewn and cockeyed. Common lives in Glasgow but as much as he's indebted to his Beta Band countrymates, there's an even stronger kinship to Beck's sunny, gritty dilettantism. Again, "Better Man" begins like a wink to Dance Mix 96 until soon it's drowsy, brogued bedroom pop; but at the halfway mark it changes again, the gentle shuffle giving way to something almost metal-tinged. From leftfield there's the braided film-loop of an African music sample - then horns, horns, a glossy sax that's all refraction, prismatic gesture. The music feels expansive, like it contains multitudes; it feels surprising, curious, avaricious. I wonder if kids today can ever know the joy we got from those first sample-heavy hip-hop and pop records - that feeling of filleted newspapers, scrambled sequencers, genius emerging from life's modern rubbish/racket. I wonder if this will feel, to them, like a return to a tired form; or whether, as it is for me, like sheer giddy possibility, thrilling song, daft renaissance. [buy Trapped In Amber]

(photo source unknown)

Posted by Sean at 9:22 AM | Comments (1)