carparts and cutlery
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.


Bjork - "Hyperballad" (Brodsky Quartet remix). My dad, of all people, dug up a copy of the Bjork remix album, Telegram. He knows I'm into kooky Icelandic sounds, and passed it along - it wasn't really to his taste. (He was disappointed, though: from all that he's read about her, he wants to like Bjork. He was relieved when I told him it was a remix disc, and not necessarily representative of her usual work.) I'm not really a Bjork fan, but I'm extremely partial to her songs here and there, and Vespertine is certainly something worth swimming in. Telegram is actually quite good, highlights being the industrial LFO remix of "Possibly Maybe" and yes, the Brodsky Quartet's peculiar string+vox rendition of "Hyperballad." It's helped, of course, by the fact that "Hyperballad" might well be my favourite Bjork song. As I so famously told a couple of my friends, the way she says "cutlery" makes my hair stand on end, makes me feel all cool and warm.

This remix is lovely because it's a string arrangement, which ever since "Eleanor Rigby" is like a sean hotbutton, but also because it's weird. Rather than just doing a straight cello-violin arrangement, as, say, the String Section has done for Radiohead tunes, the Brodsky Quartet channelled some of Bjork's idiosyncratic energy and made things lovely but just a little off. The instruments don't sound as if they're tuned quite right, and when they dash in vigorously for the chorus, they're not quite on the beat. This isn't an accident - no more than the string seagull sounds. It's an intentional flaw, a chink, a distortion in the glass.

The Weekend - "80s Rockstar". In the wake of my rather gushing review of the album from which this track is taken, I figured I should share some of what I got so excited about. "80s Rockstar" is a synth-stoked pop-punk should-be-hit, enthused and joyful and catchy melody fo' sure. Even the bridge is exciting, a ticklish "ohshit this is going to be great" intro to the chorus' return. Avril Lavigne eat your heart out.

Posted by Sean at January 8, 2004 11:41 PM

my fave bjork moments are when she's all like "I'm no fucking Buddhist, but this IS enlightenment" and when she punched that photog. So rad, that girl. And she's doing the Cremaster guy? Can you imagine the poses they get into?

Posted by forksclovetofu at January 9, 2004 3:33 PM


Posted by Sean at January 9, 2004 5:38 PM

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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.

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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.

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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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Back to the World
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Destination: Out
Endless Banquet
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Ill Doctrine
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CKUT Music
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Passion of the Weiss
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Coming Up For Air (Matt Forsythe)
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