by Sean
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.


Tokyo climbing

Snailhouse - "Living the Dream".

Hotel M----- ★★★
Once, this dilapidated hotel was known for its lobster-claws and scotch; celebs and politicians came in their furs to dine on white tablecloths. Today, Hotel M-----'s carpets are ragged, its burgundy paint is peeling, the tablecloths are mothballed. Its cheap rooms are OK and the suites are a relative steal, but don't expect luxury - or even a working TV. The resto offers dinner specials and a mediocre breakfast buffet; the highlight is a lunchtime club sandwich. (Stay away from the crustaceans, and the whiskey.) Despite these dilapidations, or perhaps because of them, Hotel M-----'s bar is still a haven after dark. Arrive early, nab a corner booth, and as the night wears on you'll spy several of the city's stars slip in alone. They sit with the throngs, like lonely drunks, to listen to the Hotel M-----'s house band. The musicians are old hands, capable, playing easygoing country, jazz and lounge numbers, the best of Willie Nelson and Carole King. But what makes them stand out - and what attracts the likes of Keith Richards, Garry Shandling and (the late) John Ashbery - are the group's rare originals. Over wah-wah, pedal steel, lazy shuffle, the M------ band's singer saves the world. He utters poetry, profundity, punchlines; each stanza is wry and beautiful, sideways wise. His reputation is as a midnight sage, and gradually he has become relied-upon: you see the movers & shakers sit there, hungry, waiting for the answers to their lives.

[Snailhouse is, of course, extraordinary; buy many things; Monumental Moments, an EP or rarities and outtakes, is a pay-what-you-want download.]

Family Fodder - "Whatever Happened To David Zé?".

A zingy little pop song about the late Angolan singer, filled in with crayola-red flourishes, gorgeous afropop guitar. It feels like a public monument, an open letter, a eulogy in gold - something meant for public eyes. It speaks for itself, needs no explanatory plaque; you can visit, leave flowers, pose for a photo.


Posted by Sean at November 29, 2010 12:43 PM

This was beautiful.

Posted by Jaleg at November 29, 2010 7:52 PM

I love snailhouse, I saw them live a few weeks ago.. they were extraordinary indeed.
thanks for the post.

Posted by Maks at December 1, 2010 11:21 AM

Post a comment

(Please be patient, it can be slow.)
about said the gramophone
This is a daily sampler of really good songs. All tracks are posted out of love. Please go out and buy the records.

To hear a song in your browser, click the and it will begin playing. All songs are also available to download: just right-click the link and choose 'Save as...'

All songs are removed within a few weeks of posting.

Said the Gramophone launched in March 2003, and added songs in November of that year. It was one of the world's first mp3blogs.

If you would like to say hello, find out our mailing addresses or invite us to shows, please get in touch:
Montreal, Canada: Sean
Toronto, Canada: Emma
Montreal, Canada: Jeff
Montreal, Canada: Mitz

Please don't send us emails with tons of huge attachments; if emailing a bunch of mp3s etc, send us a link to download them. We are not interested in streaming widgets like soundcloud: Said the Gramophone posts are always accompanied by MP3s.

If you are the copyright holder of any song posted here, please contact us if you would like the song taken down early. Please do not direct link to any of these tracks. Please love and wonder.

"And I shall watch the ferry-boats / and they'll get high on a bluer ocean / against tomorrow's sky / and I will never grow so old again."
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.

Site design and header typography by Neale McDavitt-Van Fleet. The header graphic is randomized: this one is by Neale McDavitt-Van Fleet.
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.
our patrons
Said the Gramophone does not take advertising. We are supported by the incredible generosity of our readers. These were our donors in 2013.
watch StG's wonderful video contest winners

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
Euro-Deli Batory
le pick up
kem coba
le couteau
au pied de cochon
mamie clafoutis
tourtière australienne
chez boris
alati caserta
vices & versa
+ paltoquet, cocoa locale, idée fixe, patati patata, the sparrow, pho tay ho, qin hua dumplings, caffé italia, hung phat banh mi, caffé san simeon, meu-meu, pho lien, romodos, patisserie guillaume, patisserie rhubarbe, kazu, lallouz, maison du nord, cuisine szechuan &c

drawn + quarterly
+ bottines &c

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