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.


Vic Chesnutt - "You Are Never Alone".
Vic Chesnutt - "Glossolalia".

The new Vic Chesnutt album, North Star Deserter, was recorded in Montreal with the entire lineup of Silver Mt. Zion, Guy Picciotto from Fugazi, and various members of Franki Sparo, Hangedup, and Godspeed!. It was a brilliant idea, - (let's please get Leonard Cohen to collaborate with the same gang,) - but what's happier still is the way the idea has translated into reality. Chesnutt's lyrics have never sounded better than in this bed of straw and rust, with the Hotel 2 Tango's attic glow and the occasional squeal of Mile End noise. A singer-songwriter of eminence and poetry playing with musicians of bristle and shriek - fingers and throats in search of the sublime.

Vic Chesnutt - "You Are Never Alone" is the record's most easygoing track. "It's okay," Chesnutt sings again and again. It's okay if you take this drug or that drug, or if you take a condom; it's okay. Keep on keeping on. And before you have the chance to wonder if he's beying sincere, if he really so deeply wishes you well, there's a chorus from all sides. You are never alone, they sing, with smiles on faces and arms wide. A reassurance that makes it possible to imagine putting down the cannister of pills, even with the knowledge that it would be okay if you took them.

Vic Chesnutt - "Glossolalia" is a different creature; one with claws, fangs, slick black organs. Strings wait with predator patience, settling into their footing. When finally they rise and really emerge, when everyone's singing and the contrabass is prowling, you feel all the rightness of a longed-for terror. The satisfaction of standing on balled feet by the window when the lightning strikes.

[Pre-order the singular North Star Deserter on gatefold CD or 2x180g vinyl. Highly recommended.]

[Photo by Jessica Williams]

Posted by Sean at July 19, 2007 2:49 AM

can't wait to hear these, and am totally with you on the leonard cohen idea, would be fab.

Posted by stephanie at July 19, 2007 7:37 AM

oh how i wish for someone to get hold of LC and give him the proper treatment!

these tracks are wonderful.

Posted by BMR at July 19, 2007 9:37 AM

Oooh not bad. Not bad at all. I adore pretty much anything that comes out of hotel2tango, and this definitely has that sound, though with an almost country(?)folk feel. Neat.

Posted by Michael at July 19, 2007 2:09 PM

exactement ce qu'il me faut ici et maintenant !
mille mercis mr gramaphone

Posted by gilles at July 19, 2007 3:52 PM

just paid for it!

Posted by nickbahulaisdead at July 19, 2007 6:24 PM

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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.

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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.

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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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