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.


LIVINGSTON - "Aggregate 17566408". Some of you may remember Henry Adam Svec's Artificially Intelligent Folk Songs of Canada, a collection of tracks ostensibly composed by a computer called LIVINGSTON, using algorithms informed by the canon of Canadian folksong. It was exquisite; you should download it; it's still free. Recently, LIVINGSTON's owners released a Volume 2. Like the first set, this is material that pretends that it was generated by McGarrigle-loving artificial intelligence. Like the first set, it's a gratis download. But unlike on Volume 1, Svec is no longer singing. Instead, Burning Hell's Mathias Kom has taken the microphone, interpreting the computer's latest printouts.

Similar to Volume 1's "Take It Easy but Take It to the Limit", "Aggregate 17566408" is, well, an aggregate. Listening uncarefully, it unfolds like a pleasant, winsome nonsense. Pay more attention and you will find yourself in a delirium of the faintly-familiar. A hundred scraps of famous Canadian song, sewn together like a quilt. It is like riffling through a musical yearbook, a yearbook for the past half-century, from Len to Neil Young, Constantines to Loverboy, Leonard Cohen to the Weakerthans, "The Log-Driver's Waltz" to (alas) "King of Spain". You'll drive yourself crazy trying to identify every reference; more fun to treat it like a ketamine-fuelled karaoke trip: a troubadour before you, mineral-voiced, singing you moments from your past.


Community Theatre - "Onward and Upward". Community Theatre is another grinning project from the geniuses of the folk underground. Kom and a pile of other singer-songwriters, all of em united in studio for a session in the Yukon. The contributors include Michael Feuerstack, Richard Laviolette, Baby Eagle, members of Construction & Destruction, Marine Dreams, and many more. Shotgun Jimmie leads the ensemble here, raising a tattered chorus. Part-pious, part-hilarious, it's a tribute to the northern lights and the endless journey; rousing as a husky's shout, stirring as hot coffee in a styrofoam cup. It's a new blizzard, a long-stoked fire, a cozy winter's cabin just filled with friends. A party you wish you were at, harmony flying out of that chimney like smoke.

[buy Northern Register]


I am currently compiling my favourite songs of 2014. Please email me MP3s for anything you think I may have missed!

Posted by Sean at December 1, 2014 9:23 PM

Just looked through the music I've been listening to this year and the only new stuff I've actually enjoyed has come at your recommendation. I got nothing to add! Looking forward to the list!

Posted by Ben at December 2, 2014 7:54 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.

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.

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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.

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
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
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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