frog eyes and the broken spindles
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.


Frog Eyes - "One In Six Children Will Flee In Boats [acoustic]". The original "One In Six Children" is my very favourite Frog Eyes track, and you can listen to it here, courtesy of Absolutely Kosher. Whereas the original's got a drunken and staggering allure - shiny, wet, jubilant - this acoustic version takes things to a calm, close place. Somewhere between Iron & Wine, Devendra Banhart and a Neutral Milk Hotel bootleg, there's a nobility in the way that Carey Mercer's voice goes small, in the way that the drums clatter, bang and knock in the rear. It doesn't feel drained of power, like a merely "mellower" take (as do a lot of acoustic interpretations) - it feels like a song with different things to say. When Mercer sings of "creaking," we can hear that sound more clearly in our minds; there's a new futility, a fresh slow sinking. Mesmerising. (From the band's fascinating new acoustic EP, Ego Scriptor. Read more Frog Eyes/Destroyer blogging at catbirdseat.)

Broken Spindles - "Fall In And Down On". Dark electro with a vicious dance beat and a streak of black-silver makeup. Kind of like Nine Inch Nails doing garage... there's a squelching bass beat and Petersen's serious/energetic goth voice, but then stabs of dissonant strings, a musical puppet jerk that recalls David Axelrod's "Suburban Hell" remix of "Rabbit in Your Headlights." This is the sort of dance music that plays at raves in episodes of Inspector Morse, but it's very good: what it lacks in outright fun it more than makes up for with fierce and spastic crests. (Broken Spindles has moved from Tigerstyle to Saddle Creek, of all places. But then I read that Joel Petersen plays bass in The Faint, and it all fell into place.) Offa the upcoming Fulfilled/Complete.

Jay-Z's new video, for "99 Problems," is both an entertaining story (love the biker dude Rick Rubin [thanks tim]) and a fantastic array of sparse, black&white imagery. By Mark Romanek, who did the excellent piece for Johnny Cash's "Hurt," really outdid himself here: gravitas mingles with play, bragadocchio with vulnerability [ie, it's Jay-Z]. Also, Hov gets shot at the end. [via aaron]

Sadly, the new Beastie Boys single (which I think is available on iTunes) is not very good.

Posted by Sean at April 29, 2004 1:51 AM

I just wanted to mention how much I love your site. Theanks for all the hard work - know that it is much appreciated!

go, habs.

Posted by madsci at April 29, 2004 7:56 AM

i love this site. good song selection and informative reviews!

Posted by resident jason at April 29, 2004 10:58 AM

Isn't the biker dude Rick Rubin?

Posted by tim at April 29, 2004 11:15 AM

thanks so much, madsci. and you too, jason. go habs indeed!

Tim - I don't know how I missed that. Updated accordingly; thank-you!

Posted by Sean at April 29, 2004 11:23 AM

So many RR beard shots! That's easily one of my favorite hip-hop vids I've seen in quite some time.

Posted by Steev at April 29, 2004 11:51 AM

Yeah, that Beastie Boys song is just not sweet. The beat is OK, but overall the song just grates.

99 problems has the one true mark of a great video: it made me appreciate the song more.

Posted by Scott at April 29, 2004 12:23 PM

when did you become ""? Am I totally behind the times?

and yes... the poor old beasties. hang up your shoes shorties, it's time to get outta tha game.

Posted by music robot mark at April 29, 2004 12:38 PM

P.S.: Vincent Gallo... Jay-Z fan?

Posted by Steev at April 29, 2004 1:11 PM

super cool that gallo is in this clip.

in other news - jesus fuck that new beasties song sucks ass. mca sounds like he's 65 years old - and not in a cool way. they sooooo shoulda got prince paul or the automator (or both!) to produce the new album with them. i think that woulda brought some of the fun back to the game. as its stands, it's basically just bland rap without the charm or comedy.

oh yeah, many propers on this site. been enjoying it mucho for weeks now.

Posted by trivia at April 29, 2004 2:30 PM

ROOOOOOOCK on sean, loving the Frog eyes song

your country rulez!

Posted by bw at April 29, 2004 10:15 PM

Gotta dissagree with that Beastie thing. I think they are as cool as ever. This song is freeeeeeeeeesh attire.

But you know... you are more than welcome to dislike it :)

Posted by Kalli at June 3, 2004 1:35 PM

hey, how come you can only download 99 problems in the acapella version from itunes? the rest of that album is there, why not the best song?


Posted by judd at June 11, 2004 4:55 PM

what is the structure of the frog eye

Posted by melissa at March 10, 2006 1:40 PM

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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.

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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.

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