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.


traffic lights, by Meghan Dahn

Three songs because Said the Gramophone is a sampler of really good songs, and all of these songs are really good.

Emperor X - "Spieltier".
Emperor X - "A Violent Translation of the Concordia Headscarp".
Emperor X - "Go-Captain and Pinlighter".

Another wonder and marvel, releasing music for free. Jacksonville, FL's Emperor X exist on the same (very vital, very 2009) spectrum as Francois Virot - at one pole there are the looping whirling chants of Animal Collective, at the other the heart-on-sleeve work of The Microphones, Neutral Milk Hotel and even very early Wolf Parade.

But such synonyming is clumsy, a crude way of articulating why Emperor X's songs resound. I'm not taken with the "experimental noise" half of Blythe Archives II, but the other songs - short, bleated, wilder than at first they seem - have seized me by the lapels and hurled me across the city. There are songs that could ripple flags, power mills, rend umbrellas.

They're nonsense phrases set over galloping acoustic guitar, mingling handclaps, sudden blares. I don't know what a "spieltier" is, but it sounds like it could rally wolves. I don't know what the "Concordia Headscarp"'s meaning is, but when Matheny sings of tilled wastelands, bent kickstands, I picture just skimmed fields and raked skies. And "Go-Captain and Pinlighter", well its ghosted football cheers evoke the loneliest small-town Friday night lights. Sodium whites on empty parking-lots, cool astroturf, a thousand shuffling cleats and five hundred thirsty hearts. Songs don't get much better.

Emperor X are finishing a tour at the moment - in California and Portland, OR. I'm very sorry I missed them in Montreal; don't make my mistake.

Emperor X also distribute unreleased music, videos and other materials through geo-caches. Apparently a new one is being released tomorrow.

My thanks to karpe waters.

(photo source / by Meghan Dahn)

Posted by Sean at March 12, 2009 3:04 PM

I just did a show for him last night and it was awesome!
He also unearthed strange 90's/Kinsella guitar lines that I had sorta forgotten about.

Posted by david b at March 12, 2009 6:11 PM

Well, perfect timing! Great music, & I live in Portland! Thanks for the alert, Sean!

Posted by Luke at March 13, 2009 4:43 PM

Unreal, I just discovered this site - talk about providence. Emperor X just threw my mind into an ocean of beautiful. Thanks guys

Posted by Dave at March 14, 2009 12:04 AM

i wish more people besides you and me liked francois virot. such a great record.

Posted by scott at March 19, 2009 12:40 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