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.


Amy Winehouse

Mount Eerie with Julie Doiron and Fred Squire - "Flaming Home". When Mount Eerie played this song at Casa del Popolo last month, the full room felt suddenly like an empty house. It felt terrifyingly empty. Later that night, P asked me how the show had been. "It was great," I said. And then I said, "But Phil Elverum - he seems very unhappy." Phil Elverum is Mount Eerie. For his upcoming album he has recorded with Julie Doiron and her partner Fred Squire. Even though there are two more voices, now, singing this song, the room feels even emptier. You thought you knew me. (Emptiness prevails.) I thought our full house was glowing. (Emptiness in the house.) All I know is that at Casa, Phil sang more than one song about an empty home. About a home raked by fire or wind. All I know is that his new songs were all sad. All I know is that his wife, Genevieve Castrée (aka Woelv), who is from Quebec, was not with him that night. All I know are these small things, and I am not enough of a gossip to make explicit my suspicions. But what I can say is that for Lost Wisdom, Mount Eerie has enlisted one of the saddest voices in song. And as Phil duets with Julie, "Flaming Home" feels like a flower that has lost all its petals, a lantern that has lost all its light, a love-song that has lost all its darlings. It feels like a touch that has lost all its touchness. It's a beautiful, terrible work. [Lost Wisdom is out on October 7]

Julie Doiron - "Tell You Again". One of the saddest voices in song, singing a love-song (and not singing it sadly). "Tell You Again" is blankets and sheets, frost and sunrise, lips and eyelashes, lamps and shadows, fingertips fingertips fingertips and the palm of your hand. [buy Loneliest in the Morning]


Wrapping Paper have released a new EP and have resolved to record a custom song for absolutely everyone who buys the EP. In a cheap bit of bribery, they recorded a song about Said the Gramophone. Although it is mostly just what is written on our page over there ------>, it is charming. And so: go and support such enterprising musicians. Two years ago I wrote about the EP's terrific title track.

Amy Z started making a video for our Wonderful Video Contest, but she did not finish in time. Stop-motion stuffed giraffes are more time-consuming than they look. However and hooray, her video is now complete - (months late,) - and it is as sweet as vanilla ice-cream. It is for Christine Fellows's superlative song, "What Makes the Cherry Red", and you can view it here. Thanks, Amy.

SappyFest Contest!

SappyFest is a wonderful, marvellous, terrific, gutsy, friendly, frisky festival that takes place in Sackville, New Brunswick, August 1-3. Man I would love to go. But I can't. Maybe you can! I hope so! We are giving away two yes TWO passes to the festival! If you live anywhere within reach of Sackville you should rent a car or drive your car or fly a plane or ride a yak and just get over there. An entire town taken over by kind musicians and great art and good times. It would be probably the best weekend roadtrip in the history of fun. With performances by Eric's Trip, Julie Doiron, Sandro Perri, the Luyas, Miracle Fortress, Adam & the Amethysts, Chad Van Gaalen, Christine Fellows, Eric Chenaux, Baby Eagle, The Acorn, Jim Bryson, Laura Barrett, Snailhouse, and a million more of the bestest groups around.

Want to win one of our passes? I bet you do! Taking a page from Dan's recent Women contest, all you need to do is leave a comment on this entry, describing the sappiest thing ever. It can be true or fiction. I will pick my favourites um on Thursday, July 24. Go!

(You can also leave a comment on this entry just to say what you thought of the entry. That's always okay.)

[Photo is of a six-year-old Amy Winehouse]

Posted by Sean at July 18, 2008 12:40 AM

Man, Wrapping Paper is just a song factory these days

Posted by Dave Rawkblog at July 18, 2008 1:21 AM

The sappiest thing EVER that has ever happened to me: My boyfriend and I had finished making a really great dinner for our 6-month anniversary. We enjoyed our meal, and as I was putting away our plates, he turned off the lights in the kitchen and put on a Belle and Sebastian record...and then we slow danced in the dark for almost an hour. Totally sappy.

Posted by Elinor at July 18, 2008 10:33 AM

I shed tears when I watched Julie play "swan pond" (about the Sackville attraction) last night in Dawson City, far far away from said place.

Posted by d at July 18, 2008 4:16 PM

Wow, o_o I can't believe you put it on here...thank YOU for your kind words, Sean!

Posted by Amy at July 18, 2008 10:33 PM

I can't make it to Sackville, but once I tied a piece of thread around my wrist for every single day I went without seeing the person I loved, & then after we were reunited he helped me cut them all off again, there were hundreds.

Posted by jo at July 19, 2008 12:40 AM

Sappy and true:

My parents are beautiful people. My father is abstract, better at explaining other people than himself, mumbling when he tries the latter. He listens to music the same way he breathes humid air: tries to analyse it as it settles in his lungs. My mother has strong lungs, though they are coated in tar, and strong arms, which are never cold.

When my mother wrote to him, it was back in the days when lovers wrote letters. And he sent her back a mix-tape of love songs, and he called it "fear of letter writing".

And he called her on her birthday from far-off England. She hadn't heard from him in months. He didn't know it was her birthday. He called; she felt less lonesome.

And they both work and work and work and they are often apart. And my father does not believe in spirits, and my mother has written a song about this. And somehow, if one of them is up all night, they will both be up all night, even if they are miles away from one another.

I'm sixteen and it probably won't be long before I move away and become an adult, and we become jaded and estranged, but they have given me a beautiful life so far, and I thank them for it now.

Posted by Tessa Rianne McKinnell Alexanian at July 19, 2008 2:56 PM

Amy, that was most charming! It was worth the wait!

Posted by Moominmamma at July 19, 2008 10:26 PM

The sappiest thing ever that has happened to me was a girl I knew missed her sister who had flown away to montreal for school - me and some friends took a hockey helment and covered it in cardboard and tape and on the other side of the cage affixed a box with an old view master that could be put down in front of ones eyes. We pasted little transparencies of her sister onto a reel and called it a teleporter. We topped it off with a nice message from her sister recorded over the phone and played back on an ipod. It was beautiful and very sappy.

Posted by Nick at July 21, 2008 5:55 PM

I believe the sappiest thing ever is probably the Hyperion (Redwood) tree, residing in a remote area of Redwood National Park in California. The tree is recorded at 115.55 meters (379.1 feet) and is probably choc-a-boc full of sap.

In the emotional realm of sap, it comes down to two incredibly syrupy events that I've witnessed two of my friends exact out of their pangs of doe-eyed love for two take-it-for-granted girls who should have been wooed accordingly.

One literally sat and hand-made exactly one-hundred mixtapes (song by song, no playlists) that were each (from what I could hear) incredibly broad-reaching and beautifully ordered for the girl of his dreams who was studying Art History in Florence, Italy for semester (in his then only two month long relationship with her). After completing the tapes, he bought a cheap Sanyo tape player for her that he covered (almost every inch) in a mosaic of cheap sequins from the craft store that spelled out some lofty, mushy sentences along it's faces and had a plethora of sticky diamond hearts all over it. He sent the whole kit and kaboodle in an unbelievably decorated box, express shipping, to her in Florence.

She dumped the shit out of him four weeks later, because he wasn't "adventurous" enough, or something to that extent.

The other was a fellow who hired my mother to plan his wedding. He owns a fortune 500 on the East Coast and grows his money on little sappy trees in order to afford his sappy gifts. His fiance, Edith, is from a completely different lifestyle, and grew up on an organic farm in Pennsylvania. Playing to her interests, when he decided to propose, this gentleman literally purchased a thousand hand-painted Longquan Celadon vases straight from China. He then lined them, empty, in a row leading from the bedroom terrace of his beautiful, over-sized house out into his estate's sprawling gardens. The line stopped in front of a large bush of Chinese Roses he had planted weeks earlier. Inside the bush, the gentleman planted a ring, of apparently quite exorbitant cost, in the center of an empty butterfly cocoon, resting in the petals of one of the large roses.

They divorced two years later; irreconcilable differences. My mother still scorns the fact that they were the first couple of her career as a wedding planner to separate.

Posted by Harrison at July 21, 2008 10:02 PM

I'm sorry, I left a portion out of my story.

At their wedding, the gentleman promised that he would fill each empty vase with a fresh bouquet at the start of the week, every day that the two were alive.

I guess his florists were sad to see that court-date set.

I wonder how he broke it to them.

Posted by Harrison at July 21, 2008 10:07 PM

My sappy story.

A few summers ago, I was living in Sackville with my partner. He worked for the Town on the work crews during the day, and I worked evening at a restaurant. He was the geeky, lovable kind of guy. One day while at work, his co-workers took the truck to go to another part of town and left him at the work sheds. While waiting for their return, he started to collect some spare pieces of wood. He nailed them together and created a little robot toy that he nicknamed Larry-Bot. He came home after work with his "shit-eating" grin (a really, really big toothy smile) and presented me with his self-made work of art as a geeky adorable gift. Larry-Bot spent the rest of the summer on our bedside table and made the trip with me across the country when I moved to Edmonton. Probably one of the best gifts I have ever received.

Posted by Kasie at July 22, 2008 11:23 PM

Thank you very much for the Julie Doiron mp3. Simply one of the most evocative musicians I've ever heard.

Posted by bdr at July 25, 2008 4:56 PM

I love Julie, she's such a sweet person - one of the nicest you'll ever meet. I think she adds a lovely new texture to Phil's rather solemn songs, they play off each other's unique voices to a pleasing effect.

Have you guys seen the video from SappyFest '06 when she sings the duet with her daughter? Good stuff.

Posted by Mathieu at October 14, 2008 2:16 PM

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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.

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