by Emma
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.


Robin Thicke ft. Pharrell Williams - "Blurred Lines"

This summer was shitty, right? We can talk about this now that we're far enough out? I don't mean a metaphor when I say the badness of things was literally in the air - this kind of heinous low-pressure trough that trailed after us post-winter, latched itself quietly to the sky above our cities and stayed there from May through last week. I know I'm not making this up; I have done a straw poll and the only people I know who count their this-summer as exceptional managed it purely through travel, velocity, working their way out to the edges of the country. (Bad summers are cellphone reception; in the city they're part of the air, but the further away from the centre of things you are able to travel they slip away, out, by degrees.)

But for everyone else, I'm convinced, this whole season was nothing. Like, not even apocalyptic, not the worst summer ever - where at least if it was that you would get to be overwhelmed, fall apart, cry in public, feel the whole world bend around itself and fold in toward your problems for a minute, be a mess, fast, unfixable. Not even like that. This summer the best thing that could happen to you was that your basement didn't flood or that it did but just the once; you did not get to go on an amazing road trip but maybe you got to experience some personal growth; you did not fall in love like someone had pushed you down an escalator but you did take the new job and really learn a lot, really got some stuff under your belt. It wasn't the Beach Boys with the windows down, it was that every time you tried to take a nap some asshole would drive past your sublet blasting that song with the bassline that sounds like a lame dad joke and eventually you just had to close the window so you could stop thinking for ten minutes before it was time to get up and do the next thing. A bridge between winter and winter and nothing got broken.

Yesterday in Toronto it got hot again - the kind of summer-hot where just going outside and inhaling feels like you've wrapped your lips around the exhaust pipe of an idling bus - and even that seemed like a cruel trick, because yesterday was a Tuesday, and today was a Wednesday, and now it's raining, and now it's the nighttime, and by the time this goes up online it probably won't even be Wednesday anymore. What kind of fucking exuberant, life-embracing thing can you do on a Wednesday in September? Eat a nice lunch? Hydrate better? At this point the whole thing just feels more like attrition. Winter is coming and going to be soon, and forever, the same as it always is. There is nothing to be gained in trying to get the jump on things or by pretending. Out there they are already lying in wait for us - making beautiful anthems for our difficulties in advance, or trying to trick us into liking uninteresting things that sound like a room where a few slightly interesting things that we know are all echoing off each other. That's the theme, maybe - this summer, the music, the ghosts of good things. I don't really know what to do about all of this, honestly, except all the same boring shit I was doing all summer - buy some fall boots, fold my laundry, brace slightly, return the boots because they've got too much of a heel. They can't, as they say, all be winners, but still you can aspire. Call this one a draw, maybe, sweep the floor of your kitchen, update your calendar, remember to take out the recycling, but also play this as loud as you can in your car. The right bass line as tiny protest, corrective, for now. The next one will be better, possibly. Anyway. You've got to start somewhere.

Marvin Gaye - "Got To Give It Up.mp3"

Posted by Emma at September 12, 2013 8:44 AM

This is so beautiful I want to dress it up in exotic furs and expensive CD jewel cases. Or jewel CDs.

Posted by MP at September 13, 2013 12:55 PM

They've banned Blurred Lines from being played on Edinburgh Uni campus. It's ridiculous how happy I am about it, considering I don't even live there.

And for the record, my summer has been the sort of beige that, let's say you were trying to find it in a book of paint swatches, you'd probably find it between 'bark lichen' and 'yesterday's dishwater'.

I am -so- ready for Winter.

Posted by Ryan at September 13, 2013 5:47 PM

Yes yes yes YES. I likewise returned the boots.

Posted by Amanda at September 15, 2013 7:14 PM

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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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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