If I'd Played a Song, Would They Have Stopped Talking?
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 Impossible Shapes - "Our Love Lives"

From Bloomington, Indiana, the Impossible Shapes tread incredibly diverse musical terrain, nodding to a wide range of influences along the way, while still doing something coherent and their own. Deep bowed strings, concrete pastiches with superimposed bass melodies, back-porch picked banjo, Love-like sweeping folk-pop melodies, Microphones-like use of sound-space in production (voices coming in from all directions, sometimes right in your ear, sometimes from way over your shoulder; sometimes bass drums hit you in the gut, sometimes snares are warning from a distance).

?Our Love Lives? is one of the most straight-ahead songs on the limited vinyl-only release, Tum. Heavy acoustics are strummed with electric guitar and piano weaving in and out of the mix almost unnoticeably. The voice, like a brass instrument, cuts through the melee and engages in melodic interplay with the round playful bass. At 2:33 the song begins to slip away, moving into unexpected minor chords. When it gathers itself back up and the driving guitars kick back in, the two voices peel away, one in each channel, humming and singing. For the remaining few seconds the instruments and voices take turns falling apart and regaining control.

The ambiguity of this song?s title is cleared up in its first line, ?Our love lives inside the sea.? Actually, writing the line out doesn?t really clear up its ambiguity, so listen and find out for yourself. [Info]


The Invisible Cities - "Synaptic Gap"

On ?Synaptic Gap? The Invisible Cities sound like Yo La Tengo: delayed guitar feedback, deep tremolo, cymbal wash and crisp tom drums. An ethereal female voice floats above.

From their self-released cd, Watertown. [Info]

Posted by Jordan at January 14, 2005 9:27 PM

i la la la love the impossible shapes. have you heard grizzly bear? you all should check them out. they are really great. yay for impossible shapes though. top notch!

Posted by ranger at January 15, 2005 3:30 AM

hey jordan! i'm glad you thought enough of watertown to mention it. :) sadie

Posted by sadie at January 18, 2005 2:11 AM

Bloomington has had a number of great bands over the years: Antenna, the Mary Janes, The Mysteries of Life, 2/3 of the Blake Babies, the Vulgar Boatmen if you cast your net a little wider, and, uh, some others I can't remember right now. It's quite an interesting little scene. Anyone know more?

Posted by rodii at January 19, 2005 9:08 PM

If you haven't you might like reading Italo Calvino's Invisible Cities. It'll blow your mind.

Posted by r.piggy at January 20, 2005 2:28 AM

You can listen to other Impossible Shapes tracks on their web site (including a couple of others from Tum and a pair from the yet to be released Horus): http://www.theimpossibleshapes.com/media/index.html

Posted by the other at January 20, 2005 2:39 AM

Strictly Canadian is actually offering the whole of Tum as a zip file, even.

Posted by rodii at January 20, 2005 9:21 PM

Er, Secretly Canadian. Sheesh.

Posted by rodii at January 21, 2005 11:28 PM

bloomington has all kinds of good stuff: impossible shapes, john wilkes booze, early day miners, turn pale, coke dares, racebannon, rapider than horsepower, panoply academy, ativin, magnolia electric company are some of the biggest these days.

Posted by heath at January 22, 2005 6:32 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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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.

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