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.


Said the Gramophone headquarters is having some tense deliberations on the subject of mp3 sampling and cease and desist orders, so we're going to have to pause our regular scheduled programming. Not to worry your pretty little hearts, however - I still have some things to prattle on about.

First of all, I just came home from Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. It's beautiful and funny and sad: in short, it's everything it should be, and I'm so so glad. Moments of complete intimacy flutter against the backdrop of normal, mundane life, and then fade into it. Houses collapse. Tears trickle over smiles and voices break into morning haze. Every loss is tangled up with hope, every broken heart affirms its importance. And the best of all, the snowy crown, is that amid the sublime (ice) and the ridiculous (bird-house), the doubters are allowed to doubt (and we're all doubters, some days). Those hopes may be false, those loud broken hearts may diminish with every hour, those footsteps on the beach may vanish into the surf. In short, it may be a loop of love or a loop of senseless loss. In short, it may be a loop of love or a loop of senseless loss. A loop

Gondry's music videos feel like they were practice for this. The underrated Human Nature feels like a slapstick working-up-the-energy. And I get my own back against all the Jim Carrey haters (he's slow and small and brilliant). Lovely, heartless, both.

Onward and upward -

For any and all of you in Montreal, this Friday is VAGANZA, a 24-hour improv marathon, all proceeds from which go to charity. If any of you are in town and wish to drop in for an hour (or sixteen) of ridiculous, absurd, good-natured (and unscripted) fun, tickets are a measly $3.00. I will be on the stage. (right, so: 9am-9am, Feb 26-27. 2nd floor, 3480 McTavish St.)

Every year for the past three, in honour of this thing called Vaganza, some friends of mine and I record a song. These songs are nonsense, but they are also an excuse to get together and make nonsense music. Kyla Drushka on guitar; Julian Smith on clarinet; myself on vocals. Submitted for your approval, then, are two little slices of whimsical fun.

Drushka - "Devil's Dance/Vaganza". 2003's entry is a bizarre, windy bit of Tom Waits klezmer; a twisting guitar line and some terrific improv from J. The best bit is the quiet interlude in the middle - some mystical chasidic chants, with a squeeze of absurdity - and then an accelerating finale that quickly degrades into hisses.

Drushka - "The Dark Vaganza Dawn". Recorded/composed last night (Feb. 23, 2004), in the space of about three hours. The increased production values (ie, ocean sounds and percussion) come courtesy of Apple's GarageBand. Everything else makes its way in through the built-in mic on my iMac. "The Dark Vaganza Dawn" is a humid european cabaret that's been visited by the javanese gamelan orchestra and mr Scott Walker. There's also a crazy girl in the back (a member of modest mouse?) who's playing slide-guitar. I dream of brown and pink elephants, ice, and good tobacco.

Admittedly, they're good and they're not, but I'd love to hear any of your thoughts.

Posted by Sean at March 25, 2004 1:21 AM

good luck with your mp3 issues.

Posted by another mark at March 25, 2004 11:53 AM

Beautiful description of ESOTSM, much better than the sorry excuse for an "analysis" or whatever I attempted last nite on my blog. My prose just doesn't flow all that well, nor does it have the poetic quality your's seems to. Anyway, I like the movie too.

I hope your mp3 issues get worked out. What's the dilly, yo?

Posted by mr g at March 25, 2004 12:21 PM

me like da tunes. "dark dawn" good.

Posted by smackm at March 25, 2004 12:45 PM

I'd love to hear more about these discussions regarding mp3's.

Posted by brooks at March 25, 2004 1:10 PM

Thanks for the movie review. I am planning on going to see it soon and positive reviews are helping that cause. Best of luck with the MP3s.

Posted by Indigo at March 25, 2004 2:16 PM

have a good vaganza!!

Posted by anne at March 26, 2004 4:47 PM

i really like those two vaganzas. the lyrical clarinet on the first one is very nice. "the dark vaganza dawn" i find even better. apple is providing a nice background there. and your vocals are weird but in a good way. that's quite hilarious when you switch into opera singer mode.

Posted by alex at March 27, 2004 2:43 PM

I really enjoy your site and I hope the mp3 issue gets resolved for ya.

By the way, you were mentioned in this week's Eye Weekly magazine, check it out...

Posted by Christina at March 28, 2004 12:23 AM

wow! i like your voice very much. thanks for posting some of your own stuff, and for keeping up your site. it's great.

Posted by kathy at March 30, 2004 10:00 PM

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(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.
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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
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Euro-Deli Batory
le pick up
kem coba
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chez boris
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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