Counter Countenance: Why I Carry Myself As I Do
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.


Elvis Costello - "New Lace Sleeves"

As if Costello has a problem with language - mumbling, babbling, failing to make any sense - the song starts with the band gently trying to coax him into articulating his point, careful not to disturb him, not to get in his way. Then his story is born fully realized, completely cogent. The drums untighten, the bass and guitar unmute. Everyone relaxes. It opens up, unfolds sideways. It develops and builds in ways never expected but always satisfying.

And as Costello's vocal performance becomes more and more soulful and expressive, the organ and the rest of the band become increasingly enthusiastic. "Yes, this is what we wanted."

Like a classic soul cut, but not.


Roxy Music - "Re-Make/Re-Model"

After the party and the Elton John piano intro, the song starts in earnest. The instruments are full-out from the start (the earnest one) and don't co-operate, but play against each other; the sax, guitar and electronics battling it out for supremacy in the backwards polity that is this song.

Brian Ferry sings like a cabaret Lou Reed; raising his eyebrows and bouncing his shoulders. Sometimes he praises, but mostly he admonishes.

Then everyone gets a solo. And we get the sense that whereas after every other instrumentalist solos, the band smiles and quietly applauds, after Eno's blazing electronic assault, there is only stunned silence and confusion. But they play on, anyway. Because they're abnormal.

Posted by Jordan at November 5, 2004 1:21 AM

Re: Roxy Music
I could lih-lih-lih-lih-listen to this song to death.

Posted by jamie at November 6, 2004 1:56 AM

Re-Make/Re-Model is (today's) best song of all time. It makes me laugh every time I hear it. The new remade/remodeled Roxy plays this song like an overehearsed, overdisciplined juggernaut, but in the old days you could watch the band falling apart as they played, clearly in over their heads and enjoying every second of it.

Posted by rodii at November 6, 2004 10:54 AM

The Loud Family did a great remake of Remake/Remodel, replacing the Peter Gun-ish-sounding solo with the opening riff of smells like tean spirit.
Check it out here:

Posted by fred_astaire at November 7, 2004 4:05 PM

new lace sleeves . . . haven't pulled out Trust in years, excellent album, very good track. e.c. put out so many great albums and great songs between 1977 and 1983. thanks.

Posted by milowent at November 8, 2004 11:52 PM

Ahem, it's BRYAN Ferry.

I'm only being pedantic because Bryan demands it.

Posted by LondonLee at November 11, 2004 1:02 PM

I, too, can't help but bust out laughing during Remake/Remodel either as I picture everyone else looking around mouthing "what the fuck?" to each other after Eno's farty electronic "solo", hoping he wouldn't notice. Hilarious. It's like they said everyone gets a solo and Eno said, "you have to promise I can do whatever I want." Spot on Jordan. Awesome and so funny.

Posted by matt at November 11, 2004 3:49 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.

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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
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Back to the World
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Destination: Out
Endless Banquet
A Grammar (Nitsuh Abebe)
Ill Doctrine
A London Salmagundi
Words and Music
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Gorilla vs Bear
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The Dolby Apposition
Awesome Tapes from Africa
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Pitchfork Reviews Reviews
i like you [podcast]
Nicola Meighan
radiolab [podcast]
CKUT Music
plethoric pundrigrions
Wattled Smoky Honeyeater
The Clear-Minded Creative
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White Hotel
Then Play Long (Marcello Carlin)
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Coming Up For Air (Matt Forsythe)
my love for you is a stampede of horses
It's Nice That
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WTF [podcast]
The Rest is Noise (Alex Ross)
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