Embedding the Manifold
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.


Screamin' Jay Hawkins - "All Night"

The line between insanity and theatricality in the extraordinary case of Screamin' Jay Hawkins is as thin as the indistinguishable border that separates a scream from a laugh from the outright chortle that begins this song. Whether Hawkins' madman antics are real or performance makes no difference, since each possibility entails the other – if he is mad, then symptomatic of his instability is his compulsion to share; and if he is playing, then he is insane to present himself thus. This too: If Screamin' Jay Hawkins is a tenderhearted man, it's only because life repeatedly brought down a sledgehammer on the sinewy chunk of red meat that constitutes his heart. Hawkins takes the butcher's tenderizing violence and adds to it the stalker's violating tenderness, the combination of which yields a song of equal parts love letter and death threat. Each of the song's couplets reveals opposing sentiments: a desire to be with and to kill his "baby." Meanwhile, the band expresses the same tensions: the horns woo while the guitar barbs, the back-up singers grovel while the drums intimidate. Throughout, Hawkins delivers a thoroughly engaged comedic performance that, like much of the best comedy, verges on the frightening and hints at the tragic. [Buy]

Cat Iron - "O, The Blood Done Signed My Name"

The way I see it, Cat Iron was one of two things: a device for the unwrinkling of cats or a cat for the unwrinkling of clothes. Almost nothing is known of the great gospel-blues player's life or personhood, and unless James Cameron finds his bones, little is likely to be found out. We know merely what we can hear: a rich baritone by turns in unison and as counterpoint to a plaintive treble melody, set by sure fingers to strummed alternating bass notes. With children playing in the background, Cat Iron sings of blood, of Christ, of pursuit and arrival, impermanence and immortality; a transient singer, just passing through.


Posted by Jordan at February 27, 2007 12:03 AM

it could also be a kind of golf club, banned in most first world countries.

Posted by john at March 4, 2007 4:37 PM

Whoever Cat Iron is, he looks super freaky on the album cover. It looks like his eyes have been painted on. Does he have two glass eyes?

Posted by bryce at March 7, 2007 11:18 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