A Very Important Date
Please note: MP3s are only kept online for a short time, and if this entry is from more than a couple of weeks ago, the music probably won't be available to download any more.


White Whale - "What's An Ocean For?"

White Whale asks “What is an ocean for but to carry a ship ashore?” - a surprisingly anthropocentric question for such a marine-focused band. One possible answer is that oceans are for housing white whales, those fine and rare beasts. But how then can we explain the fact that White Whale - who is not only a white whale nominally, but also metaphorically - is assuredly landborne? (Scientist readers, please email).


1. I just took a bite out of the drums, such is the crispness of the production.
2. White Whale has a knack for moving from spartan drive to dense shimmer.
3. If this song is itself a body of water (though I doubt that it is, being that it’s a song), then the keyboard bass is the tide; undulating according to a precise algorithm, above so much and below so much else.

Listening to this song, I was tormented by my inability to put my finger on exactly what it was that I was reminded of. Ephemeral images, words and ideas passed through my mind, failing to solidify: the sea, German Expressionism and cabarets, Ray Manzarek and the Doors, the keyboard bass I almost bought when I sold my alto saxophone, a six line proof of the Riemann Hypothesis that also works well as a joke, etc. Thrust into a cripplingly intense bout of reflection, I sat still and listened for what seemed like a year, but was, in fact, two. At the end of which period I arrived at the conclusion that What’s an Ocean For? reminded me of Kevin Costner’s Waterworld, a film I not only didn’t like, but never saw. Strange. [White Whale's debut album will be released by Merge in September.]


Pharoah Sanders - "The Creator Has A Master Plan"

Unashamedly, and with a nod to his mentor’s A Love Supreme, Pharoah Sanders makes actual a master plan for such a joyful and exuberant communion, that he requires yodelling and thumb piano to do so. Sometimes, left to his own devices, Sanders wanders into rather fruity territory, but here he keeps it together, blowing his guts out in testament to his faith. [Buy]

Posted by Jordan at March 2, 2006 5:47 PM

YES i heard the White Whale song on music(forrobots) and it was amazing. And i think everyone should experience waterworld, kevin coster has gills! YES GILLS?!

Posted by Zachary at March 2, 2006 6:53 PM

Yes! The Pharoah Sanders is amazing. It reminds me of eating yogurt while a million scraps of scented paper watch and lilt.

Posted by Michael at March 2, 2006 9:04 PM

This is the second usage in as little as a month of the term "thumb piano".

It's called an mbira. Not only is it more correcter, but it's cooler.

Also, am I the only person left who accesses this site through www.elvithprethley.com?

Posted by Gil at March 2, 2006 10:33 PM

Thank YOu for the Pharoah Sanders. It's been a favorite of mine for a long time ... but I only have it on vinyl .. so this will be a treat to listen to on the walk home this evening.

Posted by Tim Young at March 3, 2006 5:44 AM

how is it that you get to be so charming ALL the time?

Posted by Anonymous at March 4, 2006 12:27 AM

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about the authors
Sean Michaels is the founder of Said the Gramophone. He is a writer, critic and author of the theremin novel Us Conductors. Follow him on Twitter or reach him by email here. Click here to browse his posts.

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our favourite blogs
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Back to the World
La Blogothèque
Weird Canada
Destination: Out
Endless Banquet
A Grammar (Nitsuh Abebe)
Ill Doctrine
A London Salmagundi
Words and Music
Petites planétes
Gorilla vs Bear
Silent Shout
Clouds of Evil
The Dolby Apposition
Awesome Tapes from Africa
Matana Roberts
Pitchfork Reviews Reviews
i like you [podcast]
Nicola Meighan
radiolab [podcast]
CKUT Music
plethoric pundrigrions
Wattled Smoky Honeyeater
The Clear-Minded Creative
Torture Garden
Passion of the Weiss
Juan and Only
Horses Think
White Hotel
Then Play Long (Marcello Carlin)
Uno Moralez
Coming Up For Air (Matt Forsythe)
my love for you is a stampede of horses
It's Nice That
Song, by Toad
In Focus
WTF [podcast]
The Rest is Noise (Alex Ross)
My Daguerreotype Boyfriend
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blue skies turn black
montreal improv theatre
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