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, 2016

Smothered in Hugs

Guided by Voices - "Smothered In Hugs" [Buy]

These events happened in last week.

I was in the elevator and someone said, "what's your name? you look familiar!?" I thought this person was mistaking me for some other Asian guy so I replied with little annoyance in my voice, "my name is mitz." "OH you are the guy who got bike thief!" as the door was closing.

I went to Vietnamese place and the lady at the cashier asked me, "if I was Korean."
I said, " Im Japanese."
She replied, "I knew it."

Some guy on the loading dock at my studio asked me, "Chinese?"
So I asked him, "Guess!" like I'm a new modern quiz show host, "Guess my nationality"
He thought for 4 seconds, "hmmmmmm Chinese?"
"nope." I said it fast,
"korean??" he took another shot.
"nope! You only have one more chance," I responded with quiz show host voice,
he said, "tell me!"
So I told him, "Tibetan! kidding! Japanese!"

and Brexit happened. and then there is also the most hugs in one minute video.

I don't know what to think and hugs are not real hugs. Scary world, we all need hugs.

Posted by Mitz at 8:02 PM | Comments (0)


Description of image, for blind people

Mos Def - "Universal Magnetic"


In McGill Metro waiting for my train home after work I heard a syncopated beat start up behind me. It was made by someone tapping against the wall, and it was in perfect time. After a few bars, quietly, oh so quietly, someone began rapping. I wanted to turn around, get closer and watch, but the rapper's voice was so low that I knew he wasn't trying to get attention. He was just practicing. Everything these two were doing was fragile and it seemed like even the slightest bit of attention might throw them off. I listened closely. All I could hear were some disconnected syllables, but from the shape of the words I guessed the language was English. When the train pulled up we went into the same carriage. I held my book in front of my face and snuck glances as a kid in a red shirt and red cap tapped against the plastic window well of the train, and his friend in a black t-shirt and thick-rimmed glasses kept rapping quietly. They were serious, scholars of sound.


At two minutes to nine I spoke up. "Gentlemen, I'm afraid it's closing time." They had come in an hour earlier and had been sitting beside each other in the kids section of the bookstore reading. They were teens, old enough to be out on their own and I suppose they felt at home surrounded by shelves of YA novels.

But as they got up I saw they had both been reading the same book, Everything You Need to Know About the Music Industry. They put the copies back on their shelf and we walked together to the door.

"What did you learn about the music industry?" I asked.

"It's really competitive," the smaller of the two said. "It seems hard to break into it."

"Yeah," I said. "But you should still try it out, right?"

"I think so," the taller one said, undaunted. "It's worth it if it's your dream."

I felt a sudden surge of emotion. "Absolutely."

"Thank you, sir," the tall one nodded as they went out the front door.

Posted by Jeff at 3:37 AM | Comments (4)

June 21, 2016


smiling blonde boy in overalls

Screaming Females - "Foul Mouth (Live)"

Every year I have an existential crisis in the week leading up to my birthday. This year it weirdly took the form of listening to all the Fugazi records on shuffle as I walked around town and thinking about how exciting it was to see them live. Sometimes they played album versions of the songs, but often they went on wild tangents, stretching short songs into epics, adding in strange timings or atonal solos. People tend to think of them as an ultra-serious political DC band, but in reality they were the post-hardcore Phish: a jam band. So I walked around moping, thinking that there was nothing equivalent today, no band as fiercely independent or wildly musical as my favourite band when I was seventeen, letting stupid nostalgia wash over me.

Then I went to see Screaming Females. My dear friend Kevin insisted I had to see them, even though I was tired and old. After two songs I had that feeling I used to get at Fugazi shows, of floating a bit, of not quite being able to process what was happening, of being totally swallowed up by the music. I can't quite process it even now. Marissa Paternoster has an enormous voice and while she sings she completely shreds non-stop on her guitar. And she's backed by a rock-solid rhythm section and when they play it's unreal and transcendent and completely wild. I just stood there in the crowd, watching, not even moving, trying to pay close attention. They were so fantastic. Fuck mopey nostalgia, there are so many great bands today. Happy birthday to me!

[buy records / bandcamp]

Posted by Jeff at 5:05 PM | Comments (0)

June 19, 2016

On My Mind

The Tragically Hip - "In Sarnia"

First, and most importantly: this song is very, very beautiful. It sounds like a dream of being underwater, or it sounds like one of the top five most wistful summer nights of your life. This song is deep deep deep blue and last night, biking home along the overpass, I had to pull over to the side and stop, with the cars all streaming past me, just because of how it felt to look at the late sunset and remember this song at the same time.

Lately, in between the bouts of horrible news, I have been talking to my friends about helplessness; the sense of being overcome, incapable, when bad things seem to be happening all around you, in front of your face and completely out of reach. Of all the shitty feelings out there in this life, this one might burn the hardest; the sense that the world is coming apart, or that you yourself are on fire, and the only thing you can do about it is just sit there and wait to be consumed. It is very hard to live inside this feeling. It might be the hardest one.

I have listened to this song like eight or nine times now, and each time I feel more and more strongly that I don't know how to hear it right. I don't know how to listen to an album by someone who has a kind of brain cancer that is only supposed to get worse. Especially not when that person is someone I don't know but who has taken up space in my life since my childhood; especially when their songs feel as frenzied and loose and confident and hopeful as the ones on Man Machine Poem all do. Every time I've listened to this song I have felt knocked sideways by an enormous wave of pure feeling, but I do not feel capable of naming its constituent parts for you; I can't tell my sentiments from my thoughts, or its hope from my sadness from those sparkling guitar-sounds.

Here's what I've got so far: I think I am thankful that this song exists, and I think that it is hard to be always up to the challenges of being alive and paying attention in a world that sometimes (often) throws a mess of bad news at your feet and then just sits there waiting for you to untangle and learn or change or break against it. I think there is something to be learned from the feeling that swells in my ribcage every time I am made to see life for what it is: precarious and ungoverned by logic or fairness, lovely and terrible as a handful of lit matches. That lesson feels endless and impossible, but if I ever figure it out, I promise I will let you know.

[buy Man Machine Poem]

Posted by Emma at 5:19 PM | Comments (2)

June 16, 2016


Palace - "Arise, Therefore" [Buy]

When you are grown up, you finally meet people who are like-minded in university or work or in your new city. You longed for this for a long time when you were a teenager. Finally I found my people. You surround yourself with your friends. They most likely share same fundamental ideology. Obviiously, there are little things you might disagree like soymilk in latte or, which one is better, gatorage or powerade? Those are dumb little things you won't care if disagree. You go to the place your people go.

Pretty much all of your facebook friends are your people but then, you see your aunt sharing something you don't agree with or your cousin saying homophobic stuff, or your childhood friend works for big oil company brags his materialistic life style.

All of sudden, you realize that there are a lot of people who don't share same ideology as you. They are people too but different from your friends and my friends.

When tragedy happens, it blows my mind how many of people have totally opposite side of you. They seem to have no compassion for people.

I really dont know what exactly Im trying to say is but Im scared.

Some people in this world scare me.

Thank you to my friends who are open-minded and compassionate about others.

What I can do to make it better world is the question I asked everyday lately. Even when I'm pooping.

Posted by Mitz at 2:08 PM | Comments (3)

June 13, 2016


Snow Roller - "Too Good".
Snow Roller - "Kar Kar Binks".

Sometimes Snow Roller's guitars are ding-dong doorbell, sometimes ding-dong cake or ding-dong mixed nuts. Sometimes their guitars are ding-dong the witch is dead. Imagine an electrified doorbell, joy-buzzer style. An electrified valentine. A young man in love with a mile of electric fence. It's an undangerous danger, like certain kinds of crushes or drunkennesses. The way a guitar part can feel utterly new, just-written, while also nostalgic - awash in dreams of Weezer's Blue Album or even Jimmy Eat World's Clarity, as if it's a cover run too-many-times through Google Translate. These songs are tiny clubhouses, Ronald McDonald cabooses (cabeese?) full of friends. They are first dates, last dates, mixtapes written but never delivered. Did I mention those guitar sounds? I want to go sledding in summer - somehow for there to be sledding in summer, in flying snow, arcing jumps, ice and frost and all the summer blaze, beer or sangria and cats shimmering in the heat, the tin drumming of downpour rain, and all that wind. (thanks Hamza)


Posted by Sean at 4:22 PM | Comments (0)

June 12, 2016

Control Everything

Un Blonde - "On My Grind"
Un Blonde - "Trust Your Judgement"
Un Blonde - "Exercise A"

A body built for summer: all your nerves replaced with those thin, silvery cables they use in telephone wire, the kind the light runs through, so you walk around swallowing sunshine, glow like a constellation in your sleep.

[buy Good Will Come To You]

Posted by Emma at 11:57 AM | Comments (0)

June 9, 2016

There is a rice that never runs out

Fake Buildings- "July 5th(Buying Gold)"
Fake Buildings - "March 21st (Matadør Records)" [Bandcamp]

After a long day at my studio, I often get home close to midnight. There is only rice in my precious rice cooker my parents brought it. It keeps the rice warm without drying them up. It's fresher than Billy Corgan shoved his head and became Mr. Clean in late 90's. I care about the quality of my rice. Sometimes, I have this imaginable Smiths cover band called, "Takahashis"(one of the most common Japanese last name as well as my last name,) and I sing a hit song called, "There is a rice that never runs out"

the end.

ps. I think I might told this story before. If I did, my apologies.
and thank you for nice comments! I read them all the time! It means alot.

Posted by Mitz at 5:45 PM | Comments (2)

June 7, 2016


cover of a Weird Science comic book from the 1950s

Bjork - "Alarm Call"

Continued from Part One

Paul called the number scotch-taped to his console. The note was so old the tape had grown brittle and brown.

"Hello?" someone answered on the tenth ring.

"I'm calling from Outpost X, the alarm is going off."


"The alarm!" Paul didn't know what else to say. The number had been in his peripheral vision during the past eighteen months of sitting, waiting, doing nothing. Whenever he imagined calling it, he never thought he would have to convince the person on the other end that something was actually happening.

"Outpost . . . X?"

"On the outer Ecrustean line. The alarm is going off!" He felt like it was buzzing a hole into his head.

"Hm. Well, it must be a glitch on your end. I've got your entire system on the screen in front of me and everything looks fine."

"But . . ."

"Don't take it personal kid," she told him. "But at this point your outpost is almost like, what's the word I'm looking for?" She paused. "Totally useless, that's it. With this new GRID technology we've got the whole Union on lock. These universal sensors, they're great. We can watch every known bio-unit. Heck, I'm looking at you right now. Woah - your core temperature is waaay up, and I'm sensing a major influx of adrenaline. Calm down buddy. It's okay. Also, take some B vitamins, according to the read-out you're deficient."

"But the alarm--"

"That's a glitch on your end. Call in the engineer to fix it. It's so old I can't override it from here."

Paul breathed out. He was finally starting to calm down. It was nothing but a false alarm. A Pincer invasion was unlikely, of course. The chances of it happening on his watch, after a hundred years of nothing, were infinitesimally small. But when the bell rang he was sure he was doomed.

"Oh, hey, that's weird," the voice on the phone perked up.

"What?" Paul asked nervously.

"According to this there's someone in the room with you. Maybe I didn't pick them up before because they're invisible - an invisible life form? Is that possible?"

"WHAT?" Paul back up against the wall. "Invisible life form?"

"Woah, yeah, okay. They're invisible and extremely vitamin D deficient. If they are there, which I can't say for sure, get them some supplements ASAP, okay?"

"But how do I protect myself from someone I can't see?"

"Well, that's a tough one, right? Let me check the manual."

The phone went dead. Paul felt something on his shoulder, and he turned to see the face of a Pincer fading in and out of visibility. He recognized it from the books he'd read. Then he began screaming at the top of his lungs.

To be continued . . .


Posted by Jeff at 11:50 PM | Comments (0)

June 4, 2016

Sainte Patronne de Rien Pantoute

The following is a guestpost written by my friend Julia Caron, one of Said the Gramophone's longest readers, whom I finally met in Québec City last year. All of us at StG would like to send our love to Geneviève Elverum, whose work we have revered for more than a decade.

Ô Paon - "Sainte Patronne de Rien Pantoute".

On Tuesday night, I stayed up late re-reading Geneviève Elverum's Maman Sauvage. I had first read it this winter, after discovering I was unexpectedly pregnant. I was desperately thirsting for words and experiences I could relate to. Where could I find stories of a woman like myself: an adult who often feels ill-equipped to deal with the responsibilities of adulthood, let alone pregnancy. Were there other women out there, pregnant and overwhelmed by the strange and surreal process of carrying a baby in one's body? I had read one patronizing pregnancy "how-to" book too many, and I finally found solace in these poems by Geneviève. I shouldn't have been shocked to find that her poems resonated with me just as deeply as her music had, but I was.

Page after page, I found slivers of myself in her words, in her stories, just as I had in her songs, years prior. Her musical projects, Woelv and Ô Paon, came into my life via a tweet from her partner Phil Elverum in 2014. How has no one told me about her sooner? I thought to myself. I listened slack-jawed, overwhelmed by these songs. Who was this bilingual Québécois woman with droning sounds and unnerving lyrics about the city I live in, and even its south shore which I know so well? Who was this woman who sings of these places in a language that feels like my second skin, avec des notes qui faussent in the most wonderful dissonant way.

It happens, that strange intimacy. The desire to call a stranger by her first name because you have heard her songs, read her books, admired her art. The distorted impression that you might even know this stranger better than you know certain friends - because the stranger has laid their heart bare and shared it with you. Hearing songs that tell you no, you're not the only one who feels that way.

The next morning, I learned of Geneviève's illness. It is heartbreaking to hear of anyone diagnosed with inoperable, stage 4 cancer, let alone if they are a new parent. A new parent who happens to make gorgeous art, but art that doesn't pay the bills in the same way other work can. And it feels yet more visceral, violent, tragic to discover this diagnosis about someone who has sung songs that got you through the shittiest winter days, someone who writes words you feel you could have written yourself.

I read Geneviève's news on a tiny screen in a public place. Tears welled up as I continued past the first few words, absorbing the facts. Geneviève Elverum. 34. New mother. Inoperable. Written by her partner Phil, their plea for financial help alludes to the way they have long kept their private life private, and how "the difficult times ... challenge that bubble." Perhaps these donations from strangers will help protect the beautiful bubble they've chosen to create for themselves and for their family, and will help them continue their dispatches toward our eyes and ears.

I've been thinking about Geneviève and her family as I wander through Québec City, a place she once called home. On her spectacular album Fleuve, she sings about this city caked in ice and dirt and melancholy. These days, it is anything but: it is green and warm and the lilacs are blossoming yet my heart feels heavy with her words and songs in my head. I find myself walking past those lilac bushes, praying to the Sainte Patronne de Rien Pantoute, the Patron Saint of Nothing at All, wishing for the best for this stranger who somehow doesn't seem a stranger.

Love to Geneviève, Phil, Agathe and their cat Manon.


> Donate to help Geneviève Elverum and her family.
> Learn more about Geneviève's work.
> Buy Courses, from which this song is taken.

Julia Caron is a bilingual bundle of contradictions, endlessly enamoured by self-portraits, dip-and-dunk photobooths and confrontational contemporary art. She has called Quebec City home since 2008; it is only appropriate she ended up in one of the oldest cities in North America, given her affection for all things old.

Posted by Sean at 11:42 AM | Comments (0)

June 2, 2016

My bike and I

(photo source) Les Calamités - "Toutes les Nuits" [Buy] Television Personalities - "Part Time Punks" [Buy]

So my bike was stolen in front my place at 2:30AM a couple of days ago. I know the time because I was watching hippos eat watermelons on youtube and I heard the noise. I looked out and there was a guy biking away. By the time, I looked for shorts and put it on, he was already gone. I chased him but I lost him when he turned. Stolen bikes will break your soul. So does your leftover pizza you brought for lunch at work and your co-workers eat it.

A couple of weeks prior to that, when I was coming home from a corner store(we call it dep here in Montreal), I noticed someone was looking at a bike and even touching it. I was at the end of the block and my place is in the middle of the block so I wasn't sure if he was looking at my bike or someone else's bike. I walked to towards it and he saw me and kept walking. That time, I didn't really think of it much since my bike is not super awesome bike that you have to wear spandex shorts with diapers inside with Alien head looking helmets. Its just a single speed bike old frame. I got it from a friend of mine. But I knew I needed to get a better lock for it since I have not so good chain lock thing. I mean it wasn't a thin gold chain necklace like 2Pac would wear. It was more of chain that separates VIP and people in line for a hottest supper club where serves cocktail shrimps with avocados kind of chain. I didn't think anyone would spend time to steal it. Anyway, I thought I was gonna get a better lock one of these days but you know life. I got busy with my work, youtube watching hippos having extreme diarrhea and eating frozen yogurt, I didn't get around to buy it.

Ironically, earlier the night when it was stolen, I was looking bike locks online since I didnt have time to go buy it in person. Maybe Drone can deliver it to my bed like my mom would bring me a cookie and milk.

Since my bike was stolen, I saw my bike in corner of my eyes all the time. I looked on Kijiji and Craigslist frantically. Everyone I see looked like bike thieves even my corner store owners. I couldn't trust anyone.

Last night, I was walking on the street close to my house, I saw a guy who looks like high school kid riding my bike slowly passed me. I knew it was my bike since its old British brand named Hercules and handle bars had no grips, I installed the front brake housing but hadn't had a chance to add cables for brakes.(its coaster brakes) He was riding slowly passing me by so I could observe it closely. Apparently Darwin observed creatures on Galapagos Islands and got Evolution theory. Newton observed the apple fall from the tree and there was Gravity. I saw a punk biking by and saw a thief. I fucking love science!

I didn't yell or chase him at that moment because I knew he could bike away so I creeped up to him like vital video, Ninja Cat. But he sped up little bit even though he didnt see me. So I had to yell with very manly voice, "Hey! That's my bike!" In my head, it sounded like UFC champion but I probably sounded like Teletubbies or Pingu.

He turned around and said, "oh shit!" and he started biking faster. This moment, I was holding my vape really tight in my hand with the vape juice flavour called, "Justice" and I ran. Like my high school track and field coach, Mr. Brown told me to. "swing your arms, your knees will go higher." I ran like Ben Johnson in 1998 Olympics, I could feel adrenaline giving me extra energy but it faded away in 2 seconds. I'm out of shape. I wished I drank just Soylent and not eating ice cream for breakfast, new york cheesecake for lunch, a bag of Chicago mix(caramel and salty popcorn mix) for dinner on my bed, with Ipad watching dumb Japanese shows where comedians put diapers and put coca cola inside diapers. In short, I was out of shape.

Then, there was a cop van driving by. Even before I waved, the Cop van turned around, his tires squeaking. Mind you Montreal Cop van is size of soccer mom van so it was squeaking hard and almost tipping. So this point, Im running and police soccer dad in a van driving like jehu, chasing this kid. He turned into back alley and that point, the corner was too tight for the speed he was going for. I could hear, "whaaaaaaaa" in Mario Kart and spinning. He dropped my bike there. Now the kid is running away and the Soccer dad is chasing him.

(Following is all in my head. Didn't actually happen)
I'm with my bike life less. I held my bike tightly and told him/her, "I will never let you go! I love you!" and that moment, I could hear my bike's weak but steady heartbeat so I did first aid, mouth to mouth, and CPR.

"Come back to life!" "I need you!" I yelled.

I'm sure my bike almost went Bike Heaven where all the bikes are free from abusive bike owners. All the single speed, fixie, hydbred, racer, cruiser, BMX, mountain bike and even those kind of bikes that members of LEN riding on the song, "Steal My Sunshine" videos are running around freely together without any judgements from people.

(back to reality)
So I grabbed my bike and cop dad came back. I told him and he told me he didn't find the kid. To be honest, this point, I got my bike so I was happy. That kid probably learned the lesson and he will straighten up hopefully. But cop Dad told me, he called back-ups.
I saw three more cops cars show up.

This point, I was surprised they spend that much energy into little punk. It looked like OJ Simpson car chase now. He said I go home so I came home and tucked my precious bike into bed and whispered into him/her, "I love you." Once, someone told me "you won't realize how precious the life is til you lose it." Its true, how great to have normal life.
I just laid beside my bike and stroked his/her hair til he/she fell asleep.

The story continues. After 30mins or so, I see flashlights thru the window, someone coming up the stairs to my place. I went outside and there were three cops and 2 dogs! like seach dogs!! and they are cute! They told me they are looking for the bike thief!

I almost wanted to say, "go home! that's too much! Dogs look sleepy too!" but I didn't say it.

One day by the time when Im old and grandpa, I will exaggerate this story and probablly be telling my grandkid, "once when I was young, I was a hero in the neighbourhood. I saved kittens from the house fire, I caught bad guys" etc and my grandkid with google glasses or whatever the tech he will have, will tell me. "Grandpa! you lying again! You just got a bike back. I just googled!"

the end.

Posted by Mitz at 4:20 PM | Comments (2)