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.


Photo by Linh Dinh

Hidden Words - "Temple". Hidden Words is a project by Alden Penner and Jamie Thompson, reunited for the first time since the Unicorns, and four more friends. "Temple" is chanté en français, but the words are taken from page 74 of Selections from the Writings of the Báb, a holy text of the Bahá'í faith. As far as I know, all of Hidden Words' songs use verses from the Writings. In a certain way, this makes them a Báb cover-band. So let's imagine the Báb as a silent member, yes Siyyid 'Alí Muḥammad Shírází himself; let's imagine him floating behind Penner and Thompson, behind the guitar and the percussion, floating and standing and listening, serene. Perhaps he nods. Perhaps he snaps his fingers. I am not sure if this vision is blasphemy - I am not Bahá'í, have no strong feelings. But I know that even messianic figures, even those people who are lamps lit with the finger of God, shining with deathless splendour - well those people need favourite bands too, need music for dinner parties and weddings and walking on the mountain. I hope that the Báb heard songs that shook him, which made him certain of things and which made him doubt; I hope he rocked out and moshed and lay on his back with an iPod, thinking of the rain that hides in clouds. "Temple" has not shaken me - I am not sure it could. But it has carried me a few steps, brought me a few soft instants of peace. [The Hidden Words on Facebook, including this song's lyrics and its English translation / Hidden Words blog]

Los Rakas ft Faviola - "Abrazame (Uproot Andy remix)". Revisiting Gyptian's "Hold Yuh" (lately of my Best of 2010), Los Rakas and Uproot Andy make something that is less sly, more doting. It's not just the vocals - Andy is generous with the riddim, filling it out with golds, pinks and royal blues. According to Google Translate, the lyrics mention dreams, lies and ice-cream, but the important bit is in the chorus, y besa me, y besa me, y besa me or kiss me, kiss me, kiss me. I say "the important part" because isn't it what a song like this comes down to? Isn't it everything we're getting at? Isn't all this a prelude to that rosy moment? Where do the golds, pinks and royal blues come from, anyway? Oh c'mere. [Uproot Andy's MySpace/Los Rakas Bandcamp]



Did you enjoy Monday's post on the Red River? You should pick up their newish album, but the band are also giving away A Brief Introduction to the Red River, a sampler of songs from 2005-2010. It's great. Download it here.

One of my favourites from 2009, Cains & Abels, are offering a brand new EP, The Price Is Right, for as much or as little as you want to pay. (Yes, even free.) This is sincere, ragged folk. It's really terrific, and I'll probably write one of its songs soon, but go get the jump on me.

Finally, A Story Told Well has been busy shooting videos of several Montreal treasures (Carl Spidla, Goose, Shaun Weadick, &c), and the best is this film of James Irwin's "Halfway to Mexico". James is a strange, singular voice in this city, quietly singing (and I wrote about him recently), but "Halfway to Mexico" is possibly the best song he's ever written, and it's not yet been released, and this film, shot in the country outside Montreal, not only features James & Carlo & Shaun & Neil Holyoke, but you might even spot la Blogothéque's departed eminence, my friend, Alex Lenot. The song was recorded just a few days after he, James and I sat listening to Cass McCombs.

(photo source)

Posted by Sean at January 20, 2011 12:19 AM

'Hold Yuh' makes so much more sense as faux-reggaeton. Still more fond of the former but this is the one I wouldn't be surprised at all to hear on a bar or a club in here.

Posted by Moka at January 20, 2011 4:28 AM

Went to university with a Baha'i believer. He and his brother had just formed a rap duo. Maybe there's something in Baha'i that attracts the musically inclined :) Anyways, a lovely song.

Posted by Orlando at January 21, 2011 8:23 AM

Bahai's are still active in Iran but they are heavily tortured and censured by the fascist government. was very moved by this song.

Posted by Pedram at January 22, 2011 2:52 AM

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This is a daily sampler of really good songs. All tracks are posted out of love. Please go out and buy the records.

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

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"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.
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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
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Euro-Deli Batory
le pick up
kem coba
le couteau
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chez boris
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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