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.


And when folk music breaks - when the lakesurface of song is interrupted by whirrs and skips and lonely echoes, - there's something there that's just between real and ghost.

(The lingering parts of life (i.e. the slippery parts) all seem to live in that inbetween place. Memory & longing & eros & home.)

Two songs as demonstrations, both exquisite:

Samamidon - "Falsehearted Chicken"

Samamidon is the collaboration of Sam Amidon, banjo-wrangler and sing-songer, and Doveman aka Thomas Bartlett, wurlitzer-drum-guitarer. Their record - due in February on Plug Research - is pretty fucking special. It's called But This Chicken Proved False Hearted. And of course this song is called "Falsehearted Chicken". Let's dismiss the obvious question of poultry: let's focus on the falseheartedness. Or perhaps the question of heartedness. A hundred and fifty years ago, Appalachian musicians discovered a particular quality of the banjo when accompanied by certain voices. Namely, it can capture nearly the entirety of the human experience. Within the past fifty years, composers have discovered a particular quality of ambient sounds and knockknockknocking. Namely, it can capture everything else. Here Amidon and Bartlett put the two together: it becomes a song of presence and absence, want and wish. Of promise, ok?, and you can hear how much the promise means.

It's beautiful.

(You can't buy it yet but you can listen to several more mp3s here.)

Bonnie "Prince" Billy - "Cold & Wet"

Bonnie "Prince" Billy is Will Oldham. At first I thought this was a song about sex, but then I realised it wasn't. I don't know what it is. It's about something: something I know, something I'm real familiar with. (But what? I don't know!) Something to do with the way I got rained on all this week in Montreal, and the way I got inside and my skin was hot and there were sparkles in everybody's eyes. It's a song that breaks so, so, so, so so so good.


Posted by Sean at November 13, 2006 10:00 AM

Yet again, you have shattered me incredibly gently. Samaidon has shot a hole straight through me. February is a very long way away.

Keep being the beautiful people you are.

Posted by Altman E. at November 13, 2006 5:35 PM

Wait, but you posted this song ("Cold & Wet") already! I am confused!

Posted by Sara at November 13, 2006 8:45 PM

Oh my gosh. How embarrassing! Talk about having your head in the, uh, beard.

Posted by Sean at November 13, 2006 9:04 PM

i so wish i had something useful to say today...

i'm just very grateful that people with such incredible tastes in music know how to write about music so well..

Posted by andrew at November 13, 2006 10:26 PM

I am pleased to find audience that applauses the celebration of this music. Any Bonnie Prince Billy fan is a friend of mine. Many thanks for the post. Any chance you've got some Little Wings in that collection?

Posted by Elfie at November 13, 2006 11:01 PM

weird! I went to Sarah Lawrence with Sam Amidon. And I had a crush on him. Big time.

Posted by essa at November 15, 2006 3:04 PM

Holy Shit, Sam Amidon and Thomas Bartlett are still playing together? I went to daycare with these guys, and they've always been musical, but I haven't heard from them since their contradance band in highschool.

Posted by Grace at November 18, 2006 9:53 PM

Nothing wrong with posting that song again. It's pretty darned good!

Posted by Jeff at November 21, 2006 2:10 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.

If you would like to say hello, find out our mailing addresses or invite us to shows, please get in touch:
Montreal, Canada: Sean
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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.

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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