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.


Berlin photo by and (c) ninnx

There are few things sweeter than projects of love (and few things sourer than projects of spite). Friends Jan Junker and Sebastian Hoffmann have now released two compilations in a series called Berlin Songs, documenting indie, lofi and folk musicians that have passed through their mostly-home of Berlin. I've heard the second disc, just released, and Berlin Songs vol. 2 is a really charming collection; all sorts of messy, dusty, beautiful songs, modest and easy to love. Most are by unknown artists, but there are several names (Andre Herman-Dune, Wave Pictures, Jeffrey Lewis) that will be familiar to lofi- or gramophone-followers.

Ish Marquez - "The Ballad of Jan and Simone". It's like this song starts with a different song - a few licks of acoustic angst, and then... ahhh. Ish Marquez begins to sing and instantly it's like that first summer Friday; boy and girl, shaker shaking, Stanley Brinks' alcoholic electric guitar. Ish's voice is wide and generous, and there's something unpredictable in it; the loose, mild madness that colours Devendra Banhart's best singing, or even Sam Cooke's. Sometimes without meaning to, his heart tinges his vocals a deeper shade of cherry. Clemence Freschard (who appears all over this comp) is the opposite: careful, careful, singing husky and listening to every single syllable of her partner. Making sure she moves her lips only when he moves his. (Under the kitchen table she air guitar's the solo, and no one notices, not even her.)

Coming Soon & Friends - "This Star Is Mine". Said the Gramophone's favourite troupe of French teenagers (plus adults), Coming Soon are here joined by a second sax player and Mlle Freschard. But instead of the band's typical garage pop, "This Star Is Mine" is a ballad in dusky shades. "This star is mine," Howard Hughes intones, like the narrator at an old planetarium. Everyone's pressed deep into their red velvet chairs, staring at the sky. There are art deco swoops over the entrances. It's eleven in the morning but any second now, they'll see the night sky. Any second the mechanical sun will set.

They don't hold their breath. They just sing softly to each other. "In between seasons / in between seasons / in between seasons." They'll keep their tickets until the dusk they die.

[buy Berlin Songs vol. 2/Ish Marquez's MySpace/Coming Soon things]

[Berlin photo by ninnx]

Posted by Sean at November 20, 2007 8:30 AM

yeah ! and Jimmy Dean & Nathalie Wood are sitting
in the back alleys of the planetarium

i like that !

+ check out the video of This Star Is Mine

it's good


Posted by HH at November 24, 2007 8:23 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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"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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