Compare and Contrast
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.


Macha Loved Bedhead - "Believe"

There is real artistic vision at work when a musician hears Cher's "Believe" and thinks to himself rightly "I could do a great cover of that." Macha and Bedhead had the thought and executed the cover almost perfectly (maybe it could have been half the length).

The original is something like what would result if an automated phone service and a soulless record producer met at a seedy downtown bar, drank four old fashioned's each, made out and procreated.

The cover keeps the phone/electronics focus of the original but slows it way down, moves it from the gross oversaturated green night club scene, to a creaky sunbright bedroom. The vocoder is kept, but instead of sounding like a computer it sounds like an ancient quarter-inch tape recording left out in the rain and then played on a reel-to-reel with a precarious power supply.

Go here to make your own cover. I can't stop.


Smog - "Hit The Ground Running"

So, this is a weird one. Here's how it starts:

Pizzicato strings and a child staring straight at you singing exactly what's being plucked, "bum, bum, bum." There's something vaguely psychopathic about it. Then another kid steps out from behind the first. And a third kid from behind him. Hey, it's a grade three class unfolding from a single-file line, all singing the "bum, bums." Where's it going? You don't know. You don't even know how you got here in the first place. Then Bill Calahan (aka Smog) starts in. What does the bizarre man behind this circus have to say? "I had to leave the country, though there was some a nice folk there."

Mostly it's a straightforward 4/4 rock song, but sometimes it has a string section and sometimes a choir of children.

Don't be upset when he sings "I was born in a pit of snakes/Blink your eyes/I was raised on cake." There's no reason to be upset by what is good.

Posted by Jordan at December 7, 2004 5:12 AM

it's so nice to see this song posted. the macha/bedhead record is great, and this cover is particularly nice. when i heard they covered that song i expected it to be kitschy, but instead it's genius. i was just thinking about this song again yesterday.


Posted by karen at December 7, 2004 10:00 AM

Yeah... it's Macha Loves Bedhead. Not Macha and Bedhead.


Posted by MPLSindie at December 7, 2004 11:50 AM

It turns out it's Macha Loved Bedhead. Thanks for leading me closer. I should have looked it up.

Posted by Jordan at December 7, 2004 1:57 PM

The choir of children remind me of Pink Floyd.

Thanks for the song.

Posted by hka at December 7, 2004 7:53 PM

The vocoder makes it sound like the singer has caught a mild case of puberty. It's disarming.

This reminds me of Lou Barlow's cover of "Cold as Ice" (the Foreigner song). Anything can be good, from the right angle, with the right ears at work.

Posted by rodii at December 7, 2004 9:57 PM

Wow, that Smog song is great! Love the ending too. It reminds me of so many things--Lou Reed, Kevin Ayers, the Feelies, Elliot Murphy, Solomon Burke, god knows what else... (Sorry for the double comment.)

Posted by rodii at December 7, 2004 10:08 PM

chappy chanuka

Posted by Anonymous at December 7, 2004 10:28 PM

ah, been a while since I've heard "Believe". Some good fun there. Is it wrong to like this song more than any of Macha's other stuff?

Posted by ryan at December 10, 2004 9:42 AM

i've always had a soft spot in my head for cher's believe. when i hung out at this dive bar, it was one of two songs that would take the drinkers away from their drinks. and they would stand up, dance and sing along.

Posted by cb at December 11, 2004 3:55 AM

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