he played the drummer
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.


I've been listening a lot to the new Sun Kil Moon record, Ghosts of the Great Highway, lately. It's different from the Red House Painters albums, somehow. There's more vitality, more ringingness to the guitars. Whereas most of the RHPs' work - and for sure, Mark Kozelek's solo record (though the whole acoustic-covers-of-AC/DC lends a certain cachet) - leaned towards the (beautiful) dopiness of Pedro the Lion, Sun Kil Moon seem to have a little more Neil Young in them - maybe some R.E.M., even.

I've not been a longtime fan of the Red House Painters. I had heard most of their stuff - downloaded Old Ramon, Songs for a Blue Guitar - but it hadn't clicked. I picked up one of the untitled albums ("the one with the bridge") a couple years ago - $3.99 at Sam's - but even that just sort of drudged over me. It's all very moany, you see. As I said, it reminded me of Pedro the Lion, whom I love, but lacked the snap and crackle that Dave Bazan feeds into his tunes. (Case in point, my fave Pedro track - and rather less manic-depressive than the bulk of their work - the brilliant and near-poppy "When They Really Get To Know You They Will Run".)

Recently, though, I've been doing a lot of difficult/stressful work on the computer, and when I sling on my Grados, that Red House Painters album sounds just... perfect. Kozelek's voice calls, and along with the guitars, it's this reassuring thrum. Exactly the "warm blanket" thing that a lot of people throw at sad music (and which I feel is often a dismissive gesture).

Which brings me back to Sun Kil Moon. This is a better record than the Bridge album, more bristling, energized. Surprisingly, I've been enjoying the more rock'n'roll tracks over the acoustic ones. "Salvador Sanchez" is one of those: feedback laden, declarative, quite beautiful. It makes me wonder what would have happened to Slowdive if they had become Nirvana fans. (Are they Nirvana fans? Why don't they show it? Man... If Neil Halstead covered "Heart-Shaped Box"...)

Posted by Sean at December 1, 2003 12:38 PM

I love that sun kil moon album. It's kind of forgettable but in a really good way. Kozelek seems to mumble all of his lyrics so you can't really sing along, but musically it's terrific.

Great site by the way.

Posted by mark at December 2, 2003 3:13 PM

I know what you mean about "forgettable" - it washes over you like a really hot rain, but once it's gone, i hardly knew ye. It makes it fresh each time, though! In that sense, I'm reminded very much of this year's even more excellent full-length from The Clientele, "The Violet Hour." Much more spacey and shoegazey, but you should check it out.

Posted by Sean at December 2, 2003 9:42 PM

somehow the new album does not seem to be available in germany yet (at least not at amazon). if you are looking for older stuff by rhp, i can recommend "down colourful hill", the first mini-album (i still think it is kozelek's most consistent and intense release) and the first self-titled with the rollercoaster on the cover. "katy song" has always been my fave song by rhp from the first listen on. the way it builds up is just perfect. that song does not wash over me like a lot of kozelek's stuff, it is addictive.

Posted by alex at December 3, 2003 7:09 AM

Post a comment

(Please be patient, it can be slow.)
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
Toronto, Canada: Emma
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.

If you are the copyright holder of any song posted here, please contact us if you would like the song taken down early. Please do not direct link to any of these tracks. Please love and wonder.

"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.
our patrons
Said the Gramophone does not take advertising. We are supported by the incredible generosity of our readers. These were our donors in 2013.
watch StG's wonderful video contest winners

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