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.

January 28, 2016

Deep deep voice

Lambchop - "Steve McQueen" [Buy]

I wish I had a really deep deep voice. I can say anything and sound awesome.

"Would you like porkchop or lambchop?"

"E.A. Sports. It's in the game."

or even

"I'm sorry baby. I farted." it sounds like a gentleman!


"Trump for president!" that would sound dumb.

Posted by Mitz at 4:05 PM | Comments (1)

January 26, 2016


back cover of The Desperate Bicycles' second single

The Desperate Bicycles - "The Medium was Tedium"

"The Medium was Tedium" by The Desperate Bicycles begins with a two note bass line, followed by a wheezing organ vamp, and percussion provided by what I think is a kick drum and tambourine. This is bare-bones instrumentation, but they prove that these basic ingredients, along with spoke-sung vocals full of conviction, are all you need to make a killer song.

This is primordial UK DIY from a self-released seven inch. No glitz and glamour, just a belief that every song that played on mainstream radio in 1977 sucked so bad that literally anyone could do better. The Desperate Bicycles say go make your own band, because for them "it was easy - it was cheap." Go to your grandmother's house and borrow her organ and figure out how to make some noise with it, hell, recruit her to jam if you can.

(First heard on a mixtape from Warren Hill circa 2001. Thanks again, buddy)

Posted by Jeff at 10:20 PM | Comments (0)


Dog in clothes

Coeur de Pirate - "Carry On". I have never walked a tightrope so I cannot tell you. Perhaps it is better to overprepare for your first foray, to study and practice, and study and practice, running endless rehearsals. Or perhaps it is better to go running out a little before you're ready. I do not know; I have never walked a tightrope. All I have done is other things.

Posted by Sean at 12:44 AM | Comments (0)

January 24, 2016

Bravery, repetition

Hop Along - "Powerful Man"

"The music industry, in all aspects, is a pretty small community, no matter which side of the figurative coin you're on. [...] We owe it to ourselves, to our work, and to the listeners and readers who are interested in what we do, to fix the missing stairs instead of leaping over them, to truly address these issues when they are raised, to listen to these allegations with fair and open minds and take them seriously. And it is on those who have social protection against direct recrimination who have the greatest responsibility to listen."
-Heathcliff Berru and Other Missing Stairs (Jes Skolnik, Impose Magazine)


Posted by Emma at 10:11 PM | Comments (0)

January 20, 2016

my back hurts.

Plasmalab - "Stalker"
Plasmalab - "Nighttime USA" [Buy]

OK, really short post this week. I hurt my back really bad. It hurts even when I type. The hardest was taking a poo. I have to keep a good posture when Im sitting. Sitting down part was ok, but just lifting my ass off tiny bit to wipe my ass was quite hard. So after I wiped my ass, I just sat there with the best posture in Eastern Canada possibly and stared at bathroom tiles like I was trapped there in matrix or Matthew McConaughey in the movie, Interstellar.

The end.

Posted by Mitz at 10:31 PM | Comments (2)


water coming in over the rocks at shore

New Order - "Blue Monday"

1. Most bedrooms I've lived in as an adult have been painted baby blue. It's a soothing shade to go to sleep and wake in.

2. I learned about royal blue when I was six years old. My mother ordered me a T-shirt that colour from Owl Magazine. The cartoon owl on it was printed in yellow; a striking combination.

3. My current favourite blue is the greenish blue when the sea is washing over rocks. The colour of water coming to land after years at sea.

(photo by Spike)

Posted by Jeff at 2:25 AM | Comments (0)

January 18, 2016


Johan Heltne - "Krieg ist Krieg und Schnaps ist Schnaps".

This song evokes a particular, gorgeous melancholy for me, only I don't speak German so this particular, gorgeous melancholy is somehow completely disconnected from the particular, gorgeous melancholy expressed by native listeners to "Krieg ist Krieg und Schnaps ist Schnaps" and in fact, I suspect, from the particular, gorgeous melancholy intended by Johan Heltne himself. Who cares, right? Or really: Who cares... Wait - do I care? I feel feelings, listening to this song. Are these feelings a deception - me deceiving myself? Me deceiving myself with someone else's song? Is this a conspiracy or am I all alone on it? Did Johan do this or am I doing it entirely to myself? Is this whole song in German, like its title, or is it in Swedish, like its singer?

All this is enough to make you order a snaps and drop your head to the table. If you are doing so, hopefully "Krieg ist Krieg und Schnaps ist Schnaps" is on the turntable. Hopefully "Krieg ist Krieg und Schnaps ist Schnaps" is in your iTunes. Hopefully your battered, tattered heart can be nursed to health by a glow of synths and a scatter of drums. Which is not to neglect the saxophone. Most saxophones deserve to be neglected - they strain too hard for the attention. But this saxophone is OK. This saxophone cares about you. It is a nourishing, sensitive friend. It has noticed that the stars are out, outside. It has noticed the state of your face and shoulders and silhouette. "Krieg ist Krieg und Schnaps ist Schnaps" is playing. The saxophone knows you do not speak German, or Swedish, whatever it is, and it understands the whole thing. It doesn't mind. It will wait. It will take you home, but only when you're ready.

[buy / listen to the discography / Thank you, Arnulf.]


Elsewhere: I did write about David Bowie, twice, for the Globe & Mail: one, two.

Posted by Sean at 7:22 PM | Comments (3)

January 17, 2016

Only a crossword

David Bowie - "Always Crashing in the Same Car"
David Bowie - "Be My Wife"

It feels strange and vaguely disingenuous to try to write about David Bowie; something keeps stopping me from starting. His music mattered a lot to me, the same way it did to everyone else, but I've been reading all kinds of lovely words about him and nodding a lot and for the most that feels like enough. The strange comfort that comes of letting other people's memories press against your own.

But this week has been weird. When you're writing about music in public it's not exactly in your best interest to talk about the ways in which it sometimes fails you, or the ways in which you fail to meet it on honest, open terms. You (or I, I guess, just me) want to seem always on, engaged, engaging, useful; that's how you get read and agreed with. Sometimes this is so easy to do I can't believe I get to get away with it; sometimes I feel like every single note I hear - on my computer, in line at the grocery store, faint metallic buzzing whisper from someone else's ear buds on the subway - is the most beautiful thing I've ever heard. Sometimes I can lie on the floor and listen to one song over and over and over, letting a single pressed string or hard breath catch against me and it is the sweetest brightest feeling, one I would dissolve myself into forever if I could.

But some days it doesn't work. There's this Frank O'Hara poem about the way your days empty out when you are truly alone, when you ache from missing someone who won't come back, where he says:

there is nothing that
distracts me music is
only a crossword puzzle
do you know how it is

when you are the only
passenger if there is a
place further from me
I beg you do not go

All the music I heard this week sounded worn-out to me; no shimmer, no shudder, no catch. I kept doing this thing without even thinking where I'd get ten seconds into a song and then fast-forward impatiently to the middle, like I was looking for the point of it, like that's possible. Sometimes you just get tired of the music you know; sometimes you need a little silence. But I think there was something in me that was turning away, again and again, from the experience of being overwhelmed; something that was driven by the feeling that it's maybe too dangerous to let some fucking song rush into your life and sweep you up completely if it means you also have to be open to whole new pitches and timbres of sadness, if it means the death of someone you've never even met can hang over you like a cloud for a week.

Everyone knows the right answer to this problem. Between books and friends and general living around most of us can recite it in our sleep: if you let death or sadness or heartbreak move you away from the world, then death and sadness and heartbreak win. They get to turn you lonely. You don't need me to tell you this. But also, I think there is maybe something to dwelling in that avoidance a little bit, the same way it's important to let yourself surrender to the things that move you most. Maybe there's a way to let heartbreak be a part of the way you fall in love; to let it be dissolved into the joy of finding, say, a song that takes you apart, or an album, an artist. A life. I'm still working on it; I'll let you know if I figure it out.

Posted by Emma at 4:29 PM | Comments (3)

January 13, 2016

Long Story about Mower

(photo source)

Soft Opening - "Ride-On Mower" [Buy]

During summer break when I was Grade 10, I volunteered for a local history museum for school credits. It's a small town history museum ran by mostly volunteers. I met very nice people and they fed me a lot of home made cookies. It was really interesting to see old photos and I kept asking questions. At first, they were answering all of my questions but I think they got little annoyed and they told me, "ohhh long story."

My first task was to paint the old fire truck parked outside. They wanted it to be painted green like a grass color. It was a big job by myself. Initially, I was taking time painting very nicely like Bob Ross but I realized it would take me weeks to finish with second coat. So I sped up and painted fast. It was like speed-walking but painting. It probably also looked funny like speed-walker too. Speed-walkers look like they are looking for a bathroom but no one wants you to realize that. Every time, I see speed-walking in Olympics, there is a voice in my head, "oh shit, oh shit oh shit. where is the bathroom. I need to peeeeee."

(suggestion to IOC, there should be another event for Olympians to perform when they really need to pee.)

So I painted really fast. I was almost finishing up and then, I knocked over the green paint bucket on the grass. "oh man! I need to clean that up, otherwise, they think I'm a clumsy kid and they don't bring any more cookies for me!" I thought. But I was lucky that they wanted the truck to be painted green. The spilled green paint blended into the grass. I didn't even need to clean the paint....I thought.

I told them I finished the truck and they were quite happy with the result. I didn't tell them about the spilled paint since no one could see them.

"good job! Alright, next task is to mow the lawn!" the lady in charge told me.

I thought to myself, "hmmm, I wonder what happens if I mow over the paint and grass."
I just thought it would be ok. Maybe little sticky.

I did underestimate the power of mower they had. I don't know how many horse power it had but it was enough to splash some of green paints over my face and my clothes.

After I finished, I looked like avator or blue man group except i was green. or I guess just simply green screen guy.

"oh, what happened!?" the lady asked me.

"ohhhhh long story." I told her.

Posted by Mitz at 7:32 PM | Comments (0)

January 12, 2016


David Bowie died. It's a sentence that feels like a contradiction somehow. As if silver died, or the rain. Bowie was once asked which historical figure "he most identified with." "Santa Claus," he answered. As Bowie receded more and more from public life, he came more and more to feel like a story someone told you - like folklore or myth. Ziggy Stardust, the Thin White Duke, Starman, Sailor, Aladdin Sane...

But Bowie was born David Robert Jones, in London, in 1947. He died of cancer, in New York, on Sunday. In between, he released 25 albums. He had two children and uncounted lovers. He was punched in the face and thereafter one of his eyes looked different. He played saxophone, mouth harp and guitar. He renamed himself after a famous knife, something to "cut through the lies and all that." He was clever and kind and stylish; he was shapeshifting and beautiful.

The last time I was falling in love, I listened to little else than David Bowie's song Sound and Vision. I drank it down like water, again and again. When you are falling in love the main thing you cannot bear is the thought that this ardour may fade, that it may leave you. Sound and Vision was my antidote. I drank it like a tonic, treating all the old dreads, soaking my heart.

Read the rest at the Globe & Mail.

Posted by Sean at 9:12 AM | Comments (0)


Describe the image

David Bowie - "Life on Mars?"

It was August and the light was dusky. I was seven years old, waiting through the chatty goodbyes after a family birthday party at my Aunt Isobel's house on the Driveway. My Uncle Ian looked across the canal and told my father that workers had been setting up the stage for days. David Bowie was playing SuperEx in a few nights he said, and he was going. He pointed and there it was across the water, a looming construction in the shape of a spider. It seemed almost as tall as the Cattle Castle. That's how I remember it anyway. I absorbed those words David Bowie, repeated them to myself. I had no idea what they meant, but they seemed like something worth knowing, something magical, mysterious, something with the power to build a giant glass spider on the edge of the Rideau Canal.


(gif by Helen Green)

Posted by Jeff at 12:04 AM | Comments (0)

January 9, 2016

Sweet Sweet

The Commands - "I've Got Love for my Baby"

This year for my birthday I'm turning into the loveliest and most terrifying cloud you've ever seen. I'm going to be filled with static and edged in a soft pink glow so perfect you want to cry just thinking about it. I'm turning into the glinting metal insides of a smashed guitar on the sidewalk outside your apartment, I'm turning into a teen boy with perfect swished-up hair and acne and an ill-advised baggy knit sweater who's always in the middle of making a mixtape for the only other girl in his homeroom who wears band t-shirts, working on a hunch that she might actually own a machine that plays tapes, which is wrong. I'm turning into the heart-stirring rise and sweep at the end of this song, but also the perfect organ floating through it, the held-breath soaring way they tumble into that second last chorus. Years are for losers. I'm turning into the most brilliant cubic inch of sparkling air you've ever seen.

[buy // thank you Carlo]

Posted by Emma at 6:07 PM | Comments (2)

January 6, 2016

This will be our year.

(photo source)
The Zombies - "This will be our year" [Buy]

It's been almost a year since I started writing for STG. t I have to post this song. I've probably told you before but...Once I saw the Zombies play their 40th anniversary of Odessey and Oracle release. They looked so old that they actually looked like Zombies.

and also this sweet video which I watch every year. melts my heart. Did I post this already? I don't remember anymore. I sleep on memory foam but I'm getting old every year.

Happy new year to you!!!

Posted by Mitz at 6:57 PM | Comments (3)

January 5, 2016


Viv Albertine playing live with The Slits

The Slits - "Adventures Close to Home"
The Slits - "Instant Hit"

I knew I was going to love Viv Albertine's Clothes Music Boys for a long time. I waited all the way through the hardback run and then when it came out in paper I bought it and put it on the shelf over my records, along with England's Dreaming and Lipstick Traces and the scabrous Peter Hook memoirs and Tracey Thorne's really quite lovely Bedsit Disco Queen and my other books about punk. This week I finally pulled it off the shelf and, oh my god, it is so good. Albertine's prose is simple and plain but completely alive and honest and makes me feel again what it was like to fall in love with music and politics and culture when I was a teenager. Ooh, it's brilliant. I'm just at the part where she's dating Mick Jones and has bought her first guitar. I know what happens next from all the punk chronicles I've read, but reading this book is a reminder that nothing that happened was a foregone conclusion. Albertine makes the reader feel what it was like to live through the beginning of UK punk and it's like sticking your finger in an electrical socket. Thrilling!

(image source)

Posted by Jeff at 11:38 AM | Comments (5)

January 4, 2016


Mizan - "Looking For". For me, sometimes, envy is like a tugging. A low tugging at the centre of my heart. Usually what I am envying is secrets. Other people's secrets, or their ability to uncover them. There are these rare moments when someone lowers their arms and their arms are filled with secrets and I wish I had these secrets, wish I knew how to obtain them. I feel that low tugging. The secrets are sometimes beautiful but they are not always beautiful. I envy even ugly secrets. The secrets I envy most are the ones I know to be true. I seem them resting in somebody else's arms and see their truth like a shine upon them. I wish I had that truth. I wish I had found those secrets with all their truth. Sometimes I think about this and I am melancholy. [more]

Posted by Sean at 2:37 PM | Comments (0)