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.


Arthur Russell - "Close My Eyes". When I think about the special light of human beings, the angels' kiss-on-the-lips, the soul or spirit that probably-doesn't-but-maybe-does hide in our chests, I think of this. The way these modest parts - a song sung plainly, a strummed guitar, - can feel as lovely as dawn, as beautiful as night, as sensuous as laying in the fields with a lover, listening to the corn grow. Why are we so blessed that this unsophisticated, basic thing is able to touch us? I can think of no answer except that perhaps we were given a gift.

Arthur Russell - "What It's Like". And okay so let's fast-forward to the thousandth day that they lay in the fields. Let's fast-forward to a decade after they first rested in the tall grass. He calls her into the sanctuary. "Kate, I've been touched by the Lord," he says. "I don't need you anymore." This sounds like a horror but really it's just honesty. It's just the truth, grasped at. What follows is sloppy country blues, anguish and confusion, the Reverend rending his clothes and crying, "I didn't know that love would strike me blind". But I think Kate, his lover - she leaves long before the sax solo. She leaves before he begins to weep. Kate, she learned long ago. This is what it's like.

[buy Love Is Overtaking Me, a remarkable collection of songs by Arthur Russell]



Jez Burrows is now shipping screenprints of his beautiful Destroyer's Rubies "information graphic". But more beautiful still - and I'm very belated in writing about it, - is his and Lizzy Stewart's I Am The Friction. They are stories inspired by drawings & drawings inspired by stories, and while the works are funny and weird and melancholy, more than anything it feels like a love-letter from friend to friend, a shared smile, the kind of collaboration that comes from many hours by the same lamps. It's a handsome thing to hold in your hand, to read and enjoy, but it also makes you long to slip into the moments of its making; eyeglints, gifts, ink on fingers.

Rest in peace, Odetta.

Posted by Sean at December 4, 2008 11:00 AM

sean, i think you accidentally linked to "Close My Eyes" twice -- there's no mp3 for "What It's Like"

Posted by v at December 4, 2008 5:25 PM

thanks for catching that, v. fixed now.

Posted by sean at December 4, 2008 6:11 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.

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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
+ 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