Humans Are The Best Philosophers
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 Phonemes - "Steeples and Peoples"

It's kind of like running on the spot. But also more than that. It's like running on the spot while your friends perform a carefully choreographed and highly precarious dance/ritual in a circle around you. Some of your friends are spinning plates and others are "riding" stick horses, a few of them are somersaulting or pretending to be monkeys. This is not chaos or without purpose, this is culture battling entropy (culture wins (what?)).

The singer already sounds tired when she counts the whole rigmarole in. And at 1:41, when the dense guitar/vibes/high-hat/bass drum/organ/bass/hand claps/piano/found-whatever action is dispersed by the cymbal swell and the clear voice explains "we have to take care of each other," we understand that she was already tired because the whole thing goes on and on with breaks to take breathers and to express gratitude to those around the on-the-spot runner for pulling their weight in order to preserve the delicate balance that relies on the tenuous interconnection of all the players, before restarting the dance/ritual like it's an OK thing to do (it is not). You know?


Lambchop - "Is A Woman"

There's something of the lounge singer in Kurt Wagner (Lambchop's front man). If you took early Tom Waits out of a dingy New York bar and put him in an upscale Nashville wine bar (with a twisted clientele, mind you) you would have something like Wagner.

The production on "Is A Woman" is so clear, so intimate that if you listen to it in your bedroom with the lights off, you might think he is speaking the song just to you. That maybe if you shined a spotlight into the corner you would find him there at his piano, sweating (the light is hot and he's working hard), with his bow tie slightly undone. At 1:26 after he asks "can you be sure," he leaves you four seconds of heavy silence to answer. He stares at you (now you're not so sure you want him in your bedroom) and though you don't understand his question exactly, panicked, you think of how you should respond. Then he continues with the song (relief). And then, at 2:32 when the song turns Caribbean, the spotlight broadens its focus, encompasses the whole band. Now you can see that there are a lot of people in your bedroom. Backup singers even. I don't think you'll be getting to sleep tonight. But it's OK. You have nothing to do tomorrow anyway.

Posted by Jordan at November 26, 2004 5:37 AM

lambchop are fantastic. i love their two new much country soul in one place makes me want to cry.
i've also never really heard such a large band (14 people?) sound so minimal. it's great...


Posted by cb at November 26, 2004 2:22 PM

Is your computer working? Are you sleeping?

Posted by damama at November 26, 2004 7:04 PM

Check out the Alpha remix on the EP release for absolute bliss!!

Posted by Hugh at November 27, 2004 4:24 PM

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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.

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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.

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
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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