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 source:[photo source]

Alina Simone - "Half My Kingdom". A Brooklyn singer born in the Ukraine, singing a song by the Russian folk-punk Yanka Dyagileva - the title translated but the rest still Russian. But this is not as impenetrable as it sounds. Simone finds the song's heart and with absolute single-mindedness, she sings it. It doesn't matter that we don't understand the words, that we never knew Dyagileva before she died - of apparent suicide - at age 24. There's no mistaking the single, bright trumpet amid a mud of guitars, or Simone's hard strum against the fade of her voice. This is a song about sacrifice, yearning, and what's already spent. It's a song about hope, and about the currents that carried Dyagileva away. [buy/website]

Vancouver - "Penalty Box". An Italian band named after a Canadian city, singing in an English accent that somehow still recalls the Decemberists' Colin Meloy. But it's not the nasal hoi-meloy that makes this worthwhile; no it's the Orange Juicey vim of it, the Hefner heartache, the grasping for Weakerthans lyrics - the absolutely contagious love that Vancouver have for their influences. If Vancouver's house burned down, you better believe they'd be weeping for their mix CDs. [MySpace]



Gotham Acme weighed in on "Half My Kingdom" earlier this week, along with an Alina Simone b-side. She dropped into Daytrotter, too.

Congratulations to Matt Perpetua, who has finished his Pop Songs project (blogging about every REM song ever [!]). I recommend exploring via his Greatest Hits tumblr post.

I really love Park(ing) Day NYC, where citizens reclaim parking spots and turn them into one-day parks, etc. (via Why^5)

Zoilus highlights a coherent, powerful, much less superfluous-than-it-seems letter from playwright Wajdi Mouawad to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, about the awful recent run of arts cuts in Canada.

Okay, oh man, the year's dopest over-long, official CERN-sponsored rap video is, well, obviously this one: "Large Hadron Rap". Antimatter is sort of like matter's evil twin / because except for charge and handedness of spin, / they're the same for a particle / and it's anti-self. Word! (also...)

and finally,

"Atchoo!" is a very short film.


My short story "Bluebirds" will appear in The Art of Trespassing, an upcoming anthology by Invisible Publishing, edited by Anna Leventhal. Yay! You can buy a copy here or here. There's also a tiny book tour happening - I'll be reading at the Montreal launch this Saturday, 09/13 (at the Redbird studio, 8pm), and again in Ottawa on Sunday, 09/21, at Octobus Books.

Posted by Sean at September 11, 2008 10:53 AM

Can that Alina Simone song be any better?

Posted by Amanda at September 11, 2008 1:07 PM

Vancouver are a really cool band, quite original in blending a "brit" voice with US-postrock musicians. Do you wonder Noel Gallagher in Mogwai? It was like so... now they are, simply, Vancouver :) Thanks for your posting, there are a lot of Italian bands who deserved to be known worldwide

Posted by enver at September 11, 2008 2:06 PM

hey, i'm a big fan of this blog and didn't make the connection that you were in the anthology. i am too; i guess i'll meet you at the reading on saturday!

Posted by teri at September 12, 2008 7:22 AM

What time is the launch at Octopus Books?

Posted by megan at September 12, 2008 4:06 PM

megan! what a nice question! they don't know yet. late afternoon or evening? i will update when i know!

Posted by sean at September 12, 2008 4:16 PM

I hear some John Darnielle in Vancouver.

Posted by Philana at September 13, 2008 3:18 AM

The grapevine tells me you're reading with Jesse - I was already planning to go to that. What luck!

From 5 to 8, btw, 116 Third Ave (@ Bank)

Posted by megan at September 16, 2008 9:26 AM

a note that this weekend's Ottawa reading looks like it'll be postponed til october!

Posted by sean at September 16, 2008 10:11 AM

Please do come, Ottawa needs you.

Posted by clare at September 16, 2008 3:26 PM

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