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.


Falling beefeater

Destroyer - "Farrar, Straus and Giroux".

The song fish-hooked me.

I'm walking, listening, and then suddenly each image is a chime; each sentiment familiar. We want this from music - to hear something so close that you feel it slip down your throat and catch in your chest. We talk of "hooks" in songs. Of being "grabbed" by a "catchy" song. We remember such moments: strolling and hearing a track that expresses all that rustles in your bones. The song at the concert, that time, when you felt like you were tearing in half. The song as you walked down the aisle. Something on the tape-deck as your headlights are white beaming. The last dance. Everything just yes.

"Farrar, Straus and Giroux" was destined for a mix CD I never made. For many weeks I kept the song aside. And when I took it out it had changed. Become a long line of familiar truths - of coincidences (eerie, splendid) reeled out slow. From smiles to stones to my "temporary age of 24"... Each time one of these things rings & stings, I feel the fish-hook tug.

"If there is such a thing as ill-timed August rain?" Bejar sings, and the way he asks it would almost break your heart were he not caring enough to shrug and pivot, to say "all right" and then play the piano runs generous and inevitable, Destroyer-typical, that will remind me always of the "Aria".

Yesterday my friend Darek, whose first language is not English, asked me the difference between the words coincidence and synchronicity. I said that synchronicity was Jung. That it was a "system of coincidences". This system might spell the name of God, or humanity, or truth. Or love. Or nothing at all.

But I regret speaking of systems. Let "synchronicity" be instead the collective noun for coincidences. A flight of swallows, an anthology of flowers, a synchronicity of coincidences. A synchronicity. Who's with me? (Who's even still reading this?)

It's such a shiny word, synchronicity. Shiny as a new Farrar, Straus & Giroux paperback. Shiny as Destroyer's electric guitar.

Shiny, friends, as fish-hook.

[buy / this post first appeared in 2006]

Sleeping Bag - "Beside". Two jewelled saddles, resplendent. The cowboys ride, with underarm cereal boxes. Crunch, crunch. Two crunches, like a Japanese poem. The first cowboy squints at the horizon. These are the richest cowboys in the West. They got rich on friendship. They look at each-other now, putting simultaneous toothpicks between simultaneous canines. The cowboys have never high-fived. They have never shaken hands. They have exchanged glances and these glances have stood for embraces. Their saddles are made of onyx and emerald. Their horses were raised in Delaware. When they are ready, the cowboys will gallop through the scrub the way that birds move through Spring. They will gallop all the way to the lake.

[I last wrote about Sleeping Bag's 90s nostalgia in January. It's like a blunt instrument, I wrote, a cotton-gloved fist, pounding the sleepy smile into your face. The band's entire album is now streaming at Bandcamp and, they say, it desires vinyl pressing. I hope it gets its wish.]

Posted by Sean at April 21, 2011 11:45 AM

Synchronicity to me is an album by Hatikvah, more specifically the song "Beneath," introduced to me by a close being, Alexandra, when we were both in Montreal.

I've come cross this blog through an article posted on "Unlocking the Mystery of Paris’ Most Secret Underground Society" that first appeared in Brick 85. A great read.

I just saw the list of "things we like in Montreal" on the side. It made me tear up.

Wonderful :)

Posted by Kyanisaurus at April 23, 2011 11:22 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.

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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:
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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