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.


Ariane Moffatt - "Montréal"
Ariane Moffatt - "Terminus"

"Montréal"'s the one that will be of instant interest. There's not much that needs explanation: here's rat-a-tat percussion and a piano back-beat, Moffatt singing not unlike some French-Canadian Lily Allen. There's the same sparkle, the same toss of hair and flash of stockings. It's a song of return - the best kind of return. "Je reviens à Montéal," she sings. "Je rentre à Montréal." In short: she's back! She's wiser, more adaptable, at once all-new and still-the-same. The melody's marvelous, the loll of her vocals irresistible, the sun shining. The airport runway's been transformed into a model's runway, a springtime runway, a place to stroll. Man, as someone returning soonish to Montreal, this is the reception to dream of: this sun, this girl, this weird squeezy wheezy sound at the 1:00 mark.

And with "Terminus", later on the same album, Moffatt does something unexpected. She presents an imagining of just the opposite. The worst kind of return. The one I suspect (sadly) that we've each experienced. "Le succès peut être amer (Success can be bitter)" she sings, a mirror reversal of "Montréal"'s jubilance. It goes on:

Je me réveille au terminus
sans caresse
sans chorus.

Je me réveille au terminus
dans le premier autobus.

I wake up at the terminal
without caress
without chorus.

I wake up at the terminal
into the first bus.

It's a horrible image she evokes. A nightmare. The return after a long journey, but with no one waiting. When you stagger through the automatic doors and find - strangers. Just strangers. You heave your bags, always look-look-looking, even if you expect it, just in case maybe someone (someone?) might have surprised you.

Perhaps you arrived in an airport knowing no one would be there, but thinking that maybe all the same they might have come. That maybe your life would be given a different spin than the earth's sad ole' inevitable.

But they didn't. No one's there. And you sidle to the bus-stop and lug your bag on board and sit with your head against the glass. And Ariane lets the guitar riffs give way, gone, replaced by a sound that's much more kind than any you hear in real life, alone on that bus. In real life there's no coo or sigh: just the vehicle engine, your own breath, absence like a hand in your hand.

(Thanks Bryan & Ken.) [buy]


Fulton Lights Contest!

I wrote about the debut album of Fulton Lights a few weeks ago. Today Fulton Lights is available to buy, from Android Eats Records. It's a really strong record: creaks and groans, melancholy and fierceness, Andrew Spencer Goldman's murmurs atop droning production (helped in part by Oktopus, of apocalyptic hip-hop crew Dalek).

Anyway, we have two copies to give away. To enter, email contests@saidthegramophone.com with the subject-line "Fulton Lights contest". Tell me your favourite city sound. The Montreal subway screech? The Buenos Aires tide? The Sarajevo call to prayer? My favourite two will win copies of the CD, as it's being released by Android Eats. Deadline is Friday, March 9.

The rest of you can and should just order one.


Right here:

Uh did you guys not hear how precisely on-the-money Dan was vis-a-vis Ford & Fitzroy? For any of you (like him, like me) with any affection whatsoever for "yelp rock" - Dan's right, singer is amazing.



A group called Pink Nasty recorded a song with Bonnie 'Prince' Billy, which obviously got some play on the blogs. It's not particularly strong, though. But You Ain't No Picasso has by far the best thing I've ever heard out of Pink Nasty: a sincere, unironic, sort of country-pop take on Usher's "Burn". Really good. Even if it doesn't have Will Oldham.

There's no way to know whether or not she's back for real, but Abby's updated PopText with a write-up on the new Avril Lavigne single (a song I've still not heard). And man it's written like there's a parade in town, like fireworks are still hanging peppery in the sky: I mean it's written with beautiful vim. "This song may try and trick you into thinking it’s a harmless cherry popsicle – all spring quickstep double-handclaps, dripping sweet sugar rush, but..." Well, I'll leave it to her.

Posted by Sean at March 6, 2007 8:53 AM

ha ha ha too perfect for you, Sean!

Posted by ru at March 6, 2007 9:22 AM

Before even listening to the music, I have to say, that photograph is really striking. It's like the saddest, loneliest image I've seen in some time. Makes me remember going home after visiting my girlfriend in Iowa during a cold winter...

Posted by jamie at March 6, 2007 9:53 AM

I really like "Laboratorie amoureux". The picture is probably from Norway since it's a Norwegian airline (Widerøe).

Posted by Swazi at March 7, 2007 1:12 PM

Thanks for saying that, jamie. I took the photo myself (in Oslo! But I didn't think anyone would put two and two together! Swazi has eagle-eyes.)

Posted by Sean at March 8, 2007 8:54 AM

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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.

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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
+ 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