by Jeff
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.


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 June 28, 2016 3:37 AM

really love these.

Posted by brayden at June 28, 2016 2:00 PM

Thanks so much Brayden!

Posted by Jeff Author Profile Page at June 29, 2016 7:14 PM

3 bits of perfection.

Posted by Michelle at June 29, 2016 10:58 PM

Aw thanks, Michelle!

Posted by Jeff Author Profile Page at July 1, 2016 7:31 PM

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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.

Emma Healey writes poems and essays in Toronto. She joined Said the Gramophone in 2015. This is her website and email her here.

Jeff Miller is a Montreal-based writer and zinemaker. He is the author of Ghost Pine: All Stories True and a bunch of other stories. He joined Said the Gramophone in 2015. Say hello on Twitter or email.

Mitz Takahashi is originally from Osaka, Japan who now lives and works as a furniture designer/maker in Montreal. English is not his first language so please forgive his glamour grammar mistakes. He is trying. He joined Said the Gramophone in 2015. Reach him by email here.

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Dan Beirne wrote regularly for Said the Gramophone from August 2004 to December 2014. He is an actor and writer living in Toronto. Any claim he makes about his life on here is probably untrue. Click here to browse his posts. Email him here.

Jordan Himelfarb wrote for Said the Gramophone from November 2004 to March 2012. He lives in Toronto. He is an opinion editor at the Toronto Star. Click here to browse his posts. Email him here.
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our favourite blogs
(◊ means they write about music)

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
The Hood Internet

things we like in Montreal
st-viateur bagel
café olimpico
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le pick up
kem coba
le couteau
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chez boris
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drawn + quarterly
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casa + sala + the hotel
blue skies turn black
montreal improv theatre
passovah productions
le cagibi
cinema du parc
pop pmontreal
yoga teacher Thea Metcalfe

Cult Montreal
The Believer
The Morning News
The Skinny