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.

April 22, 2020


Jim Holland painting

Eleanor Friedberger - "The River (Destroyer cover)" [buy on bandcamp]

Tougher times, these days. There's something circadian about it - you're up, you're down, eventually you're up again.

"There's something circadian about it!" I've shouted this now: shouted it in an alley, at a friend six-and-a-half feet away. What a world.

"You study your braille / you listen to the hail outside," Eleanor Friedberger sings. When Dan Bejar recorded this it was shiny, sturdy, blasted by cloud-coloured light. Here now it's a doomed demo, a recording never finished or properly released. Here now it feels like a coronavirus tune, a dirge for this comedy, this tragedy, these 224 spilling seconds.

I thought I could handle repetition. I thought I flourished in repetition. Scheduled days, habit. But tonight these groundhog days are wearing me out. Not loss, grief, worry: just the ache of a groove worn down. I'm nearly a broken record.

It hailed yesterday. Why didn't I register it as a splendour? Why was it just one more thing?

You're living, you're breathing
You try to believe in, but you don't believe

I'd like it to hail inside the house.

(painting by jim holland)

Posted by Sean at 9:12 PM | Comments (7)

April 2, 2020


Bad Bunny ft Sech - "Ignorantes".

Today I played with my son in the living-room, a game of pigs and yeti, scampering over mountaintops, and as I did so I listened to Bad Bunny, because I have taken to listening to new music while we play, these days, because I can't listen to music the ways I normally do. The reason I was listening to Bad Bunny was because I like what I've already heard by him, but mostly because Nat likes him, and I trust her taste (with the exception of Berlioz, ai ai ai), but at a certain point I was listening not because of Nat, not because of anyone else besides Bad Bunny himself: I was listening to "Ignorantes" for the fifth time in a row, like a tonic, like drinking a healthful tonic, another dose of quinine and orange juice. This sad song was glinting in the afternoon's grey light, it was lifting my heart, it was soundtracking the swine and the snowman and the endless avalanches. I thought about the strangeness of the way a song can travel; in that way it's not like a novel, a novel can't serve so many functions. When Sech and Bad Bunny sat down to write "Ignorantes" - with their feelings heavy in their chests, heartbroken or pretending, lost in memory - they could not have guessed their song would come here to pandemic-stricken Montreal; that it would to be a comfort, a tonic, floating over mountaintops in a cloud-tinted living-room, where son and father play.


I hope it does you some good, too.

Posted by Sean at 7:45 PM | Comments (1)