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.



Let's Go Sailing - "Icicles". Straight from Los Angeles comes a song with jingle-bells and icicle-talk, a warming tone that's equal parts Winter, Spring and Summer (but definitely not Fall). Shana Levy sings sweet over jangling guitars, and me I imagine her in red shoes and red gloves, posing beside snowmen while icicles fall from red tile roofs.


Alasdair Roberts - "River Rhine". There are madrigals, rounds, quatrains, sonnets, all sorts of names for songs and poems. And I want to add another name to this list: "a kindness". I'm not sure I can put into words what a "kindness" is, but for examples please look at the work that Alasdair Roberts has been recording for years. The Glaswegian sings traditional folk songs in a coaxing, asking, gentle voice - and he plays his guitar in colours gold and copper. This song is taken from his upcoming album The Amber Gatherers, which is very good, and one of the most special things therein is the use of drums. Brushes, claps, hits, hushes - a splash-and-slap undertone to the softness of the other sounds. "River Rhine" is no exception: the only thing better than the drums is the rest. It's one of the sweetest love-songs i can remember, hewn in rhymes and finger-picked guitar. When Alasdair says "...she sees The Clyde in mine," another guitar coming to life, my heart rolls over in my chest to stare wistfully up at clouds.

It's not even 2007 yet and I'm already my compiling my Best of Year list. "River Rhine" is near the top.

[The Amber Gatherers is released on Drag City later this winter. There's another mp3 bottom-left on the Drag City page.]



Marathonpacks' Best Albums of 2006 writeup is very, very thorough and very, very good.

The new Arcade Fire album has a title, a website and a phone number. Torture Garden has more.

And finally-

Callum Robbins, the baby son of Janet Morgan and J. Robbins (Jawbox, Burning Airlines, etc), was recently diagnosed with Type 1 SMA, a genetic motor neuron disease. "The disease affects the brain's ability to communicate with the voluntary muscles that are used for activities such as crawling, walking, head and neck control, breathing, and swallowing. Type 1 SMA is usually fatal; most Type 1 babies will die before their second birthday." This is very sad but by pursuing alternative treatments, Janet and J. hope that their little boy will have a long and happy life. (We hope so too.) DeSoto Records is working with the family to raise funds, as these expenditures could likely bankrupt them. Please consider donating.

(photo by lala ladcani)

Posted by Sean at December 15, 2006 8:18 AM

Very sad story about little Callum. Kind of puts in perspective my simultaneous discovery that Arcade Fire tickets had been on sale for 5 (5!) shows in London and that they were somehow all gone.

Posted by Matthew in London at December 15, 2006 9:31 AM

oh Sean, that A.Rob song is very sweet.

Posted by Brian Michael Roff at December 15, 2006 9:33 AM

Sean, have you heard the new Aereogramme album yet? It is all kinds of wonderful.

Posted by vivouk at December 15, 2006 10:18 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