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 - "The Signifying Wolf". In a month, Will Oldham will release the best record of his career. I can't get over it - while I am very fond of Master and Everyone and I See a Darkness, think warmly on earlier albums with Palace and so on, I had assumed Oldham was fading into a twilight period for me. I couldn't get excited about Superwolf or Sings Greatest Palace Music. I figured the old dog had no new tricks. But in July there is a three-song "single" being released, called Cursed Sleep. The title track will appear on Oldham's upcoming LP but the other songs will not. And each of these three tunes is fantastic, each utterly different. It's the most muscular, creatively realised music I've heard from him... maybe ever? And so far from the (successful) genre exercise Sings. Such wonders: from "Cursed Sleep"'s green country strings, to the hush & glimmer of "God's Small Song", to this - a woozy, post-Tom-Waits pop-song, handclaps and wolf-breaths, a Hansel and Gretel radio hit, thicket pop, a rabbit hole for your stereo. Then the Letting Go has suddenly leapt forward to one of my most anticipated albums of the year. And this is an EP you should definitely, definitely, seriously-I-mean-it pre-order. Fucking 'a.


Pavement - "Gold Soundz". Strange when a song sounds like pure gold, like so many golds, like gold in strings across windows, in bands over eyes, as crowns on dear heads, as rain from clouds, as drops in puddles, as rocks in lakes, as flowers on stalks, as coins in pockets, as secrets in chests. Strange when so much gold comes springing out of a song I guess everyone's supposed to know, by a band I guess everyone's supposed to know - but a song you don't know, a song whose gold is a surprise that glints and glints, sparkles and sparkles; a song for when summer turns to winter and back, for when promises are exciting, for when you want someone (gold) to sing (gold) over guitars (gold) that "you're the kind of girl I like". I don't believe Malkmus for a second when he sings that he's "empty". Not any more.


On Saturday I will be embarking to New Zealand for an almost-three-week holiday. Dan and Jordan will be minding the fort but I am also delighted to say that The Globe & Mail/Zoilus' Carl Wilson will be taking over my duties in our weekly rota, sharing some songs & words. Carl is one of the most thoughtful and feeling music critics in the world, and I feel really lucky to be able to welcome him here. Please make him feel at home.

Posted by Sean at June 22, 2006 3:00 AM

Sooner or later, this happens to everyone. Everyone.

You miss a song, or a band; it slips through the cracks, and people you respect are aghast when you tell them of the gap in your collection.

While a part of me is sad that you've only just discovered "Gold Soundz," the other part of me is completely and totally jealous of your new find-- that you have a new song to listen to and listen to and listen to for the rest of your life.

See, even for the biggest Pavement geeks, the ones who complain that "Harness Your Hopes" isn't obscure enough... "Gold Soundz" is never far from top of mind.

Perhaps this is payback, in some respect, for all the new music you've brought our way over the years. And sure, it's just one song, but by golly, it's a whopper.

Thanks for everything, sir, and have an all-around terrific time in New Zealand.

Posted by David at June 22, 2006 8:02 AM

Gold Soundz! Here's a Youtube link to the video, which is at once ridiculous and stupid and great. (kind of like the chorus to the song). Sometimes I forgot why pavement is one of my top 3 favourite bands, but it's nice to be reminded every once in a while.

Posted by ian at June 22, 2006 8:11 AM

I pray you have a wonderful time in my homeland. I wish I was there and could show you the beautiful country, but alas I am taking classes and working here in the states.

Thank you for the music and if you run into a bind or would just like a warm bed and a hot meal while on vacation, let me know and I will notify some family.

Posted by tim+ at June 22, 2006 11:11 AM
this is an amazing piece of relevant work.

Posted by david b at June 22, 2006 12:40 PM

oh, such marvelous words david and tim+ -- thanks.

dave b!!! ^^ julie doiron singing my fave Pavement song! whoa-whoa!

Posted by Sean at June 22, 2006 1:23 PM

I recently butchered "Gold Soundz" in a particularly mumbly solo piano performance at the Caledonia Lounge here in Athens. Even my terrible singing and playing couldn't sink that sucker, though. Can't wait to butcher it again!

Posted by Lucas Jensen at June 22, 2006 3:40 PM

Bon voyage, Sean! Lucky you to be visiting the home of some of the greatest pop music ever invented. Even after listening to that Oldham track--which I'll grant is *interesting*--I'm not too excited for the latest. I sort of hold the unpopular opinion that it has been a long, gently declining slope since Days In The Wake.

Posted by Amy at June 22, 2006 4:59 PM

Ooh, 'Gold Soundz' *and* new Bonnie 'Prince' Billy, you're really spoiling us... Thanks!

Posted by patroclus at June 22, 2006 5:49 PM

Bring a scarf, Sean, it's goshdarn chilly here! And come and see the Fiery Furnaces if you're in Auckland on July 5th. Yes yes.

Posted by Adele at June 22, 2006 9:38 PM

I am so glad that someone else can admit that they don't know everything there is to know about Pavement. I have a passing familiarity with them and always mean to get more acquainted, but, well.

Also, I am so jealous that you went to New Zealand. I want to go there so very badly.

Posted by Taylor at July 25, 2006 2:08 AM

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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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Back to the World
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