i was a big ole bear once
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.


Bonnie Prince Billy, tonight, at Babylon in Ottawa.

What a strange, lovely show. It would indeed have been more wonderful if the two hours had been honed down to a transcendent forty-five minutes, but instead we got this peculiar elfin man warbling and lulling and coo-ing at us, taking requests and making spasmodic faces. seeing him live, i finally understood why bjork had taken him on tour - he's got that same words-from-other-places music that mrs gudmundsdottir does. flashes of absolute genius among long moments of pleasant yearning. it was very very hot. will oldham has small, round eyes that you don't really see in the master and everyone album cover. as he sings, he often looks like a rosy-cheeked gnome, eyes in the air, and the effect is seriously reinforced by whistling solos. his voice is amazing - breaking from reed-high to a vigorous tenor. and he seemed to have all of his seven hundred million songs memorized.

towards the end of the show, he began to play "2/15," from the EP with the Dirty Three's Mick Turner (aka the Marquis de Tren). "When you ask me to sing it feels my heart would burst with pride," played oldham to the silence of the room. sweetness. then, as we watch, he breaks all our hearts (and his own): "Drunk with the joy of singing, I forget myself and call you my friend." in that candleglow goldcrisp moment, he segues most beautifully, oh-so-beautifully, into the rainwashed build-to-joy of "New Partner," my favourite song of will oldham's and one of my favourite songs in all the world. $18 right there. thank-you thank-you.

i had hoped he'd be selling the new one for a good price, and the amalgamated sons of rest EP (with songs:ohia). no dice. mail-order it will have to be.

i was packing today. listened to Punjabi MC's record over and over. a tabla-bouncing beat-spiked delight.

the new (leaked) belle and sebastian track really is something special. "Step Into my Office Baby" is full-and-all-and-out autumn pop, vibrant and dazzling and whole. melancholy: gone. lazy crush: there, but with sunhazy harmonies. yes - about those harmonies... the "bum bum bum"ing over stuart murdoch's soft-sung bridge has all-of-its-own gotten me excited about belle and sebastian again. hooray! where's my cardigan?

Posted by Sean at August 28, 2003 1:27 AM

i miss cardigans.

Posted by anne at September 1, 2003 3:37 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.

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
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Montreal, Canada: Jeff
Montreal, Canada: Mitz

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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