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.


Helvetia - "Gladness". Helvetia curl up with guitars. There are drums and voice but really it's the wrap of gold and silver that matters; the glimmer and warmth. It reminds me of Pinback - it's the same kind of cradle. If I had a conversation with this song it would probably go like this:

Me: Nice boat.
Helvetia - "Gladness": Thank you. Did you notice the gold and silver?
Me: I did.
Helvetia - "Gladness": The glimmer and warmth?
Me: I noted that too.
Helvetia - "Gladness": We can take you where you're going.
Me: Even though your boat is full of holes?
Helvetia - "Gladness": Even though.

[info / buy 2006's The Clever North Wind]

Pinback - "Hurley". Pinback curl up with guitars. There are drums and voice but really it's the wrap of black and indigo that matters; the blur and bloom. It reminds me of Helvetia - it's the same kind of cradle. If I had a conversation with this song it would probably go like this:

Me: Nice boat.
Pinback - "Hurley": I guess. Did you notice the black and indigo?
Me: I did.
Pinback - "Hurley": The blur and bloom?
Me: I noted that too.
Pinback - "Hurley": We can take you were you want to go.
Me: I'm not sure I dare.
Pinback - "Hurley": You should, you should, you should. Come. Come on, Sean. Come.

[buy the very-classic 1999 album, This is a Pinback CD]


Okay if that was too wanky for you, let me say this: there's something magic when electric guitars weave and interweave in modest ways. The glitter is a pretty sound, such a reassuring and sustaining one. Something that can point at once to certainty and to ambiguity. Musically, too, it's interesting - an in-between of post-punk angularity and that old Byrds jangle. Jordan loves the way The Wooden Stars do this; and I love the way Jordan's band, The Cay, knit these intricate/simple guitar repetitions. It's an uncomplicated mathematics that seems very human. Rock music stripped to the sound of sympathetic notes. Good vibes. And the chorus of "Hurley" makes my heart turn bright, bright blue.


I wish I could share with you a song from the upcoming Jason Molina recording. It is very, very beautiful and very, very sad. But Secretly Canadian would disapprove. Secretly Canadian, if you are reading this, please reconsider.

Posted by Sean at August 1, 2006 3:00 AM

Sublime post, Sean.

Posted by Mike NBGL at August 1, 2006 9:27 AM

I second that.

Posted by Karin S. at August 1, 2006 2:01 PM

conversations with songs? i was about to say "give me a break" until you gave yourself one.

Posted by dylan at August 1, 2006 2:56 PM

For every release on Secretly Canadian we offer one song as a free download. If you go to our website at you can download "Lonesome Valley" from the upcoming Magnolia Electric Co. release "Fading Trails" or "Get Out Get Out Get Out" from the upcoming Jason Molina solo album "Let me go, Let me go, Let me go". Feel free to check out and post for download either of these songs.

Posted by abe at August 1, 2006 5:16 PM

Pinback is exceptional live, be sure to close your eyes for at least half the time.

Posted by Dave at August 3, 2006 2:23 AM

Nice stuff.

Directions to go if you haven't before: Pell Mell, Nord Express and forgotten dopers extraordinaire, Pot Valiant (who named themselves after their favorite smoke and their, er, car). Oh, and @#%!ing Pete Seeger's 'Goofing-Off Suite'. Yeah.

Secretly Canuck, try to remember: you are not losing sales on these posts. You can only gain them.

Posted by wcw at August 3, 2006 7:55 PM

Ah, yes, we often forget that there was a time when Pinback wasn't on Touch & Go and Rob Crow wasn't collaborating with members of Hella or the Deftones. Even though it's very understated, that first album is a classic.

Posted by Jeff at August 5, 2006 12:19 PM

I know Rob Crow. And I really don't think he would ever say that. Like, ever.

But it's a nice post anyway.

Posted by Sarah at August 9, 2006 12:17 PM

yay for the Helvetia song still online, I'm way behind. and Yay for Pinback, one of my most favorite bands ever! especially live. That's such a good song.

Posted by courtney at August 13, 2006 7:02 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