inky helsinki
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.


First off, stg reader forksclovetofu aka John has electrified his blog by adding a daily clutch of mp3s. It's glorious, off-kilter, unlikely stuff, mostly drawn from ancient vinyl. All over the map, but totally rewarding: and bolstered with tons of background info and links. The definite, must-grab track is the one by the Jabula Home Defenders. Wonderful! (He's also got a mix-cd contest going on - get in while you can!)

Next, I've reworked by "elsewhere" sidebar, for those of you keeping track. If there's a link that I've neglected and that you think I'd enjoy, I'm all ears.

My newest obssession is Mieskuoro Huutajat. It's a difficult obssession because I only have access to two low quality samples, but the gobsmacking sublimity (sublimeness? sublimitude? uh, really-cool-ness?) of their Star Spangled Banner" rendition is enough to crystallize my fixation. Mieskuoro Huutajat is a Finnish mens' choir who yell national anthems. With full force, enormous vigour, and appropriately peculiar arrangements. Words simply don't do it justice.; this is bellowed fury-love with an absurdist and patriotic bent. And it's Finnish (like moomins). I must get my hands on a copy of one of their records, but the label's online store is being extremely belligerent. If anyone can help, please get in touch!

Oh yes - I'll be going on a Toronto/Ottawa vacation this week, so updates will be sporadic or not-at-all. Apologies.

And then, without further ado, songs.

Värttinä - "Ruskie Neitsyt". I planned to write about this song ages ago. On the bright side, unlike then, now I can link to it so you can hear for yourself. If Tove Jansson and Mieskuoro Huutajat are two of the three best things about Finland, then Värttinä may just be the third. This is their first song from their first album: it's a bruisingly loud, gay, lively folk tune. A children's choir with a message to deliver. Of course, that message is incomprehensible to me because it's in finnish. All I know is that it's got somethng to do with a 'brown-haired maiden.' Infer what you will.

Destroyer - "From Oakland to Warsaw". A track from the soon-to-be-released Destroyer album, Your Blues. There are three more available from Merge, here. I hate to say it, but the whole record (including this song) is afflicted with most-woeful MIDI. It's a departure from Dan Bejar's earlier work - much less guitar, more lush and orchestral (almost Lambchop, really) - but unfortunately instead of hiring musicians, Mr Bejar bought a synthesizer. But the title! New World meets Old! Wow!

Posted by Sean at February 22, 2004 9:39 PM


Are you on Soulseek? I have an entire Mieskuoro Huutajat album on my hard drive. User name: nhennies

I may not be signed on today as I'm not sure if my wife will turn the computer off before she leaves or not. Hopefully she won't. I'm at work all day.

Just found your blog yesterday. I really enjoy it.

Posted by Nick Hennies at February 23, 2004 9:52 AM

when i tried to play that folk somg thing it somehow began playing twice, separated by a minute or two. this had a very interesting effect and at first i was surprised and amazed by what experimental sounds these people were able work into a folk song. what with the phase shifts and all. then i realized what had happened, felt like an idiot, and became much less impressed by the song, tho it does have its moments.

Posted by smackm at February 23, 2004 10:37 AM

Hey! I heard an interview with the screaming Finnish choir on "As It Happens" on the CBC last week, I think. Synchronicity? They sang several songs specially for them. I wonder if you can download the interview from the CBC site?
Your Mother

Posted by Jan Michaels at February 23, 2004 4:45 PM

your mom's right - screaming finns on cbc. absolutely cathartic. i'm hooked.

Posted by cyn at February 27, 2004 6:32 PM

Check out also:

A film about Mieskouro Huutajat!

Posted by beep at February 29, 2004 4:32 AM

You can order Huutajat CD and DVD at an online store called
Why not look at debt solution and gather more useful information?

Posted by tang at May 25, 2004 8:30 AM

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(Please be patient, it can be slow.)
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
Toronto, Canada: Emma
Montreal, Canada: Jeff
Montreal, Canada: Mitz

Please don't send us emails with tons of huge attachments; if emailing a bunch of mp3s etc, send us a link to download them. We are not interested in streaming widgets like soundcloud: Said the Gramophone posts are always accompanied by MP3s.

If you are the copyright holder of any song posted here, please contact us if you would like the song taken down early. Please do not direct link to any of these tracks. Please love and wonder.

"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)

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i like you [podcast]
Nicola Meighan
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CKUT Music
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Wattled Smoky Honeyeater
The Clear-Minded Creative
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my love for you is a stampede of horses
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things we like in Montreal
st-viateur bagel
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Euro-Deli Batory
le pick up
kem coba
le couteau
au pied de cochon
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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
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