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.


The Tough Alliance - "Taken Too Young (cover/remix of Taken By Trees)". The Tough Alliance rediscover "Too Young", by Victoria Bergsmann's Taken By Trees project (& which I wrote about last July). They make it one of the songs of the year. And when I say rediscover I mean they found it in among diamonds, saffron and milkweed pods; in with childhood, sex and distant waters; in with the way you feel, your eyes laying on hers, when all that's green in you curls. [buy things]

(original video source)

Darker My Love - "The Fool".
The One AM Radio - "Wayward Wind".

Two bands record songs from 1956, and what they find there is very different from the usual nostalgia. These songs are not in shades of sepia, they're in shades of white ("The Fool") and green ("Wayward Wind").

Darker My Love slow down Lee Hazlewood's "The Fool" until it can fit in the space between heartbeats. Here's a singer so full of regrets that the day stops moving, that the sun's disc never dips in the sky, that all things are covered in the still light of melancholy. The band's psychedelia is kept gorgeously restrained, just a ghosting of dream at the edge of an insomniac's sight.

One AM Radio's "Wayward Wind" cover is meanwhile perhaps the best track they've ever recorded. Instead of turning the song into a drudge, the often-sleepy group lets it stay a skipping pop-tune; only the corners are dusted with fatigue. It's part Yo La Tengo and part Camera Obscura, the texture of click and thump and ba-ba-ba like all the postcards you've ever sent.

The strangest thing about these recordings is that they were made as part of a cross-promotion with the PF Flyers shoe company, who are reissuing the 1956 Bob Cousy All-American sneakers. And I view these corporate tie-ins with such cynicism - not because I hate all corporations, not because it's an unethical "sell-out" thing to do, just because it almost always produces mediocre art. But here are Darker My Love and One AM Radio making exquisite little songs, making them for a sneaker company, and the thing we learn again, well, it's that artists - it can be okay to get paid. [more info]

Posted by Sean at May 23, 2008 11:50 AM

You are three for three by me this Frid'y.
The bells are ringing and I feel like dancing.

Posted by Mirz at May 23, 2008 6:04 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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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.

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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