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.

February 29, 2016


Mario 3

TW Walsh - "Shallow Water". This song begins, literally, with the sound of fumbling. Something is happening, some shifting of gestures, some slipping of fabrics, as the melody begins. Rising chords and falling vocals, old synths or new software, everything wet and dry at the same time. What is happening to those drums? Are they breaking or being made? It is as if Walsh is singing hopefully of defeats. Singing of defeats, defeat after defeat, inevitable defeats - and yet in a hopeful way. As if the obvious ending is in fact a twist. As if there's a cheat at the last second, sometimes you haven't noticed yet, some way that fumbling isn't fumbling. Is it something the monks know? Or the fisher-people? Is it something the musicians have found, turning dying instants into ever afters?



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

February 28, 2016

The Garden

Basia Bulat - "Infamous"
Basia Bulat - "The Garden"

No matter how loud they are, Basia Bulat's songs never feel loud enough to me. I used to think this was some fault in the recording, some technical thing I didn't have the words for and had no grounds to complain about, until the first time I saw her play a show; the first time I watched her voice move across an enormous, shifting crowd like weather, saw it still everyone, enormously, like it was nothing at all. Once that happened, I realized that what I wanted wasn't louder, not exactly - it was that I wanted to wrap the sound of around me; to reel it, clear and ringing, across my nervous system, get as close as possible to the angle at which it struck me, impossibly so. To move inside it, move it with me, like a mood.

[Buy Good Advice]

Posted by Emma at 4:51 PM | Comments (0)

February 25, 2016

Neu Snowplow

(Photo Source)

Neu! - "Negativland"

Good afternoon, everyone. I think people are freaking out of facebook emoticon thingy today but please calm down and if you are a real slim shady, please sit down.

So I was walking home the other night and I was listening to Neu! First a couple of seconds of this song just scare me every time.

It just sounds like snowplow machine is chasing me and running me over. I don't know where you live but here in Montreal, Snowplower will run you over. They are top of food-chain of sidewalk. They drive that thing so fast and they run over as many bicycles as possible and run you over. Kidding! I'm sure most of them are nice snow plowers. I just don't want to offend them because they will run me over.

Anyways, when I listen to this song, I have to look back to make sure I don't get shredded into pieces and bloods everywhere on white snow and my hand still holding vape and my ass still farting in snow for the last time. Pigeons will eat my body parts and they fly away but as soon as they are flying over condos, pigeons start shitting on condos and they all die. People from condos come outside and they freak out. Some of them would say, "What is happening!?" and another person say same thing. Maybe, Hollywood will make a B-movie called, "Happening" and all the main casts are white.

This is Mitz Takahashi reporting, back to you, Mutsumi.

Posted by Mitz at 12:43 PM | Comments (2)

February 23, 2016


a white-haried women sitting at a table, smiling

Poison Girls - "Crisis"
Poison Girls - "Persons Unknown"

Vi Subversa's voice is a vicious but versatile instrument. On the Poison Girls' debut 1979 album Hex she conveys anguish, anger, exhaustion, and gleeful mischief.

Throughout the record, Subversa skewers the hypocrisies of Britain in its first year under Margaret Thatcher. "Jump Mama Jump" slags off the nuclear family, showing how the unending work of motherhood keeps women trapped (and includes a recording of a vicious child cursing out their mother). "Under the Doctor" confronts the horrors of mental illness head on, criticizing the indifference of the medical establishment. The sound of boots marching in lockstep at the beginning of "Crisis" ties the military state to the domestic sphere. Over pounding bass and spidery guitars, Subversa's lyrics brought the war home, connecting it to domestic abuse and consumerism. The repetitive chorus "Normal, normal / Crisis, crisis," cuts right to the uncertainty at the heart of everyday life.

On the seven minute long single "Persons Unknown," released by Crass Records in 1980, Subversa's voice is less anguished, but calm and clear-sighted. In one epic verse she presents a panoramic view of England at the end of the 1970s including "Accountants in nylon shirts," "anarchists and dissidents," "smokers with heart disease, cleaners of the lavatories." After offering a long list of social types, members of various classes, professions, religious and political affiliations, Subversa equalizes them all, singing "Flesh and blood is who we are." All difference is superficial, Subversa told us. All we ever are is what was given to us by our mothers: flesh and blood.

Vi Subversa (born Frances Sokolov) passed away last week at the age of 80. She was over 40 and a mother of two when she started her band in 1979, possessing a voice that refused to be silenced, the voice of a woman who had seen enough and wasn't going to take any shit. Her voice was sharp and fierce, unable to tell a lie. You can see an amazing video of her singing "Old Tart" last year in Brighton here. Rest in power.


(image source unknown)

Posted by Jeff at 4:23 PM | Comments (0)

February 22, 2016


Cannon Bros - "Fall Down". Why are you in such a hurry? What are you in such a hurry to do? Sometimes you fall down so fast there's no chance to catch yourself. A song can snag your heart like a barbed arrow, a fish-hook on a lure. One barb and you're down. One tune, two voices, an unfettered pronouncement of drums. 99 seconds.


Posted by Sean at 12:42 PM | Comments (0)

February 17, 2016

Dance Dance Revolution

(Photo Source) Pelada - "Ten Cuidado(Jock Club Remix)" [Free Download Directly from them]

"Dance Dance Revolution will not be televised." Me, 2015

Posted by Mitz at 5:57 PM | Comments (0)

February 16, 2016


a wild rose, with a few droplets of water on it, on the shoulder of a road

Gun Outfit - "Expansion Pact"

The lyrics to "Expansion Pact" are full of riddles. Who is the stranger at the door? What is the darkness that was invited in? Who are the familiars that protect our narrator from the blues? It's fitting that a song about being confused would make us scratch our heads, refuse any simple resolution. At the end Dylan Sharp sings in his baritone that "I alone know what I intend," making it clear that he isn't going to share any answers.

For a song whose lyrics examine confusion, the construction of "Expansion Pact" by Gun Outfit is perfectly clear, streamlined and concise. The intricately tangled guitars are high-strung and buzzy, sounding almost like a sitar at certain points. As they shamble on the drums follow close behind, along with gentle backing vocals. Mid-way there's a few seconds of colourful organ, and a well-behaved guitar solo at the end. This song has the fragile sound of something which came into existence in a few moments, and resisted revision. A single moment in time, perfectly preserved.

[Gun Outfit's Two Way Player EP is out March 18 / soundcloud]

(photo by Spike)

Elsewhere: I wrote about how my obsession with zines made me a writer for QWF Writes.

Posted by Jeff at 7:12 PM | Comments (0)

February 14, 2016

Hard echo

Kanye West - 30 Hours

Wake up cross-legged in a concrete room. The length of the world and twice as tall. Flat gray with variations. No windows. No doors. Somehow squares of daylight still scattered before you. Descending order. Soft. Sit there for a very, very long time. Nothing. Do you still have a body? It's hard to tell. Occasionally a flutter, like a breeze except pure darkness, a feeling that comes from nowhere with nowhere at its end. Are you okay? Have you tried to scream yet? Try. No sound. Instead: beams of different-coloured light, four or five of them, flashing and lovely, all dark-laced with stutter and shimmer and echo. Very beautiful. Very useless. Try again. Stop trying. Never.

[stream T.L.O.P. // soundcloud]

Posted by Emma at 9:41 PM | Comments (0)

February 11, 2016

Y2K problem II


Nisennenmondai is a Japanese trio. Nisennenmondai directly translates to 2000 problem. I think safe to say it Y2K problem they are talking about.

I graduated my high school in Grad 2000. I remember the grade above us Grad 1999 thought they were cooler than us. We had a heated argument in the parking lot with Grad 1999 who already graduated but stuck around in town. We even brought up "The Anthem for Year 2000" by Silverchair, that we were gonna use as a grad song and Grad 99 said they had a better one which "Time of Your life" by Green Day so the argument never settled.

This band name Nisennenmondai makes me think of that time of my life in year 2000.

Miso Ramen

Posted by Mitz at 3:34 PM | Comments (1)

February 10, 2016


Description of image included in text

Lemonheads - "Mallo Cup"
Lemonheads - "Luka"

When I was fourteen I sent away for a t-shirt. When it came all the way from California I took it out of the package and looked at it. Was this the one I had ordered from the tiny picture in the catalog? It was hard to remember, it had been six weeks or more. On it was a photo of someone licking a bald head. Above the photo was the word Lemonheads and below was the word LICK. It all seemed mildly licentious - could I wear such a thing? Yes, I could. I did, a lot. (There's a hilarious photo my mother took of me and my brother standing in front of a birch tree in Algonquin Park. I'm wearing that shirt and ripped jeans and my brother's wearing a shirt that says Canada. My mom liked it so much she blew it up. It's still hanging on the wall in the den.)

When I got the shirt I hadn't heard the album Lick yet. Actually, I'm not sure I even knew it was a record - band t-shirts were so mysterious. But It's a Shame About Ray was a classic for me, and still is, really. And I knew they had a past, a prehistory before they got big, records I couldn't find at Music World.

Weirdly, considering how much I wore that shirt, if I ever did listen to Lick back then I don't really remember it. But I just listened to it this week. It sounds a lot like The Replacements, even a bit like Husker Du in parts. There's a brilliant cover of eighties mega-hit "Luka" by Suzanne Vega on it. Evan Dando's voice is golden to me, poppy and smooth, but with just the right amount of rasp. I love it.

Posted by Jeff at 1:33 AM | Comments (0)

February 8, 2016


Sword in the stone

Shearwater - "Stray Light at Clouds Hill". Sometimes you take strength from something you are not expected to take strength from. It is as if you are reaching into the sky and taking hold of the sunbeams, bringing them with you. Something powerless lies upon the ground, or inside your heart; something impotent flickers in the water; and you pick it up. It is yours now, an amulet or a weapon. In this way I think of King Arthur's sword in the stone: here is a hilt, what is it worth, what is it good for, until the right person lifts it? Look at your life. There are hilts everywhere.

"I rode in the crosswinds," Jonathan Meiburg sings. "I sleep in the open / I slide through the fences." He is a bodiless singer, invisible and armoured, glitter in his eye. "I move in starlight," he says, over echo and echo, over a bed of shining darkness. We are weak until we are no longer weak. We are passed through and over until abruptly that passing-through, that passing-over, becomes our greatest strength. We are no longer weak ghosts; we are comrades, walking through walls.

[buy Jet Plane and Oxbow]

Posted by Sean at 2:25 PM | Comments (1)

February 7, 2016

Learn learn learn learn learn

Rihanna (feat. Drake) - "Work"

There is a lot of good pop music out there in the world right now, and that means we all get to do the most pleasurable kind of work that exists in this life - sifting the firework-songs from the ones with a steadier, stranger fluorescence, finding new angles in our selves for all these sounds to press against. So much persona to sift through! So many synthesizers reaching their glowing tendrils out toward you from the darkness! So many invisible pulses of wanting and having and having to sing their way through you, wash across the lattice of your smaller bones.

One of the greatest delights of listening to the radio lately is that people are finally getting the hang of repetition again - appropriately (and maybe necessarily), this is an instinct that crests and recedes through pop music in decade(ish)-long increments. Something we all know instinctively for a while, that laces every single lovely song, and then somehow we all manage to forget it again, over and over and over. You can see it creeping in and out of the charts in time-lapse, songs that know how to work magic with it and then a new wave of songs that forget, in a round, forever and ever. I'm not wrong about this. In dry years, you will hear a chorus or a hook and feel very distinctly as though you are just watching some guy suck the air out of a kiddie pool, like someone is poking you in the same spot on your upper arm with the business end of a paperclip for an hour-long three minutes. In these times you still grit your teeth and party through, because what else is there? But it's joyless. No undertow, no float.

In lush years, when we all remember what it really means to repeat yourself, pop music gets good again. You get to give yourself up to its enchantments without hesitation or reserve. These are the times when we remember the difference between a list and an incantation - how every word has a new dimension hidden inside of it, one that you unlock by saying it enough, with the right melody threaded through. That's what a dream is. That's how you call it.


Posted by Emma at 3:53 PM | Comments (3)

February 4, 2016

falking at 3am.

(photo source)

Lantern - "We Are Here" [Pre-Order]

I saw a skunk last night around 3AM when I was walking home from my studio. I love it when everyone is asleep and there are just alley cats and occasional animals like that skunk and myself. I just falked(verb; fart and walk. example, My brother falked into the reception of his wedding with his wife. No one noticed but me.) and I didn't have to worry about offending anyone behind me.

If it's weekend, after 3AM, I encounter so many obnoxious drunk people. I think I mentioned before but drunk bros scare me so I never make eye-contacts with them. But if I see some cats on the street, I say hi to them. I know there are cat cafes around but they should make cat bar. maybe not. I'm not sure.

Anyways, back to last night 3AM, I saw skunk and I falked almost all the way home but I just wanted to listen to this song before I get home. So I pulled my earphone but as usual, it was tangled up and I have no idea how it was like that. Almost same feeling as watching True Detective Season 2. So I started to untangled while gently falking on the water like Jesus or Moses or whichever the dude walked on water. Then, I got home.

The end. Good night.

Posted by Mitz at 5:40 PM | Comments (0)

February 2, 2016



Yusef Lateef - "Sister Mamie"

She looked out her window into the dark night, the lit-up convenience store and the old park with its stone fence posts. She couldn't sleep so she turned on the radio. It was set to the oldies station, songs she knew too well. She was sick of them and the ads and the DJ voices, so she turned the dial. The DJ on the college station knew not to interrupt the late night thoughts of their listeners. And so she lay in bed listening to music from different times and places. Some heavy-bottom funk with Portuguese voices, mournful mountainside music, slow-burning soul ballads, and some high screaming instrument in a hard-swinging jazz band. She listened through the night, and the DJ never said a word. They were out there, somewhere in the city, awake, playing records, keeping a watch on the night. Dawn was breaking by the time she finally drifted off. She didn't hear the DJ, when she finally said "That's it for me everyone, thanks for listening. I'm off to Dusty's for breakfast."

(image source)

Posted by Jeff at 11:16 PM | Comments (1)


We/Or/Me - "Always/Sometimes". We/Or/Me's Bahhaj Taherzadeh is a man who is comfortable with slashes. He is able to meditate on two possibilities at the same time. He is fond of the either/or. (I suspect he is also fond of Either/Or.)

This is a quiet/seeking song - content, settled; but searching at the same time.

It is patient/impatient.

When quoting poems or song-lyrics you place slashes between each line, to indicate a line-break or a pause. This is a strangeness. Why do we not use periods? Why not semicolons? Commas? No: slashes. "Lately / I find / years disappear in the blink of an eye." With the slash it is as if the line-break or the pause can mean "or this". Lately or I find or years disappear in the blink of an eye.

And perhaps this is true. Slippage happens in a song's pauses. There are moments when you forget the syllables that have just been sung and you are ready to consider a new thing. The lyrics are slashed apart in the same way clouds get slashed by sky. Or this...

And always / and sometimes," Tazerdeh sings, always and sometimes / I can leave them behind.

The lyrics in a song like this are a sort of broken-up sentence, sentences that aren't sentences, slashed next to each other. Each is a moment waiting to begin and then, once it has begun, it's waiting to begin again. You can play the same chords over and again; you can play the same song on repeat. They're all there, the chords and their songs, always and sometimes; and the more they're there, the more always, the more sometimes, the more the always and the sometimes start to feel like the same thing. Constancy feels intermittent, or the intermittency constant; and then a finger across guitar strings and the lullaby begins again.

[buy Everything Behind Us Is A Dream / see We/Or/Me at London, England's The Harrison on February 17]

Posted by Sean at 12:56 AM | Comments (0)