keepin the flavour fresh
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.


The Trouble With Sweeney - "Evelyn Rochman". There's an Ottawa band called As The Poets Affirm. Isn't than an awful name? If it was emo satire, it would be genius. But it's not, so it isn't. "The Trouble With Sweeney" reminds me of that. One wonders what the band was thinking:

"How about we name it Sweeney?"
"That's your name, dude."
"Yeah, but it's kinda cool. Kooky, you know, but not too kooky."
"Like us."
(the serious one) "I don't like it."
"What? Why not! What's the trouble with 'Sweeney'?"
(chortle) "Dude - let's call the band that!"
(all, save serious one, in unison) "YEAH!"
Happily, however, this is the case of a poorly named band turning out a highly listenable piece of indie rock, chiming electric guitars that gather round tunesome backing vox and Joey Sweeney's Tweedy-esque singing voice. It's hard to hate anything that opens with a lyrical reference to the Penguin Cafe Orchestra, following up with the Modern Lovers and Richard Hell. It's like Mrs Robinson, or, I guess, the mum at the end of American Pie. But with more cred. "I know you're my dad's wife's friend / ... / but you're giving me this crazy kind of confidence / I don't know why." [from Fishtown Briefcase, which isn't quite out yet]

David Byrne - "Glass, Concrete and Stone". Because a lot of people (like me) might have written Byrne off a while ago, here's the stunning opening number from his new album. It's pretty wonderful, quick-footed and melodic, with toothsome jumbles of lyrics and a terrific arrangement. Byrne plays capably with classical, world and rock instruments, but rather than falling into the rocker-emeritus tendencies of Peter Gabriel, say, the arrangement doesn't sink too far into its own concept; everything's delivered with aplomb. The strings, hand-drums and xylophone (as well as the Magnetic Fields-like "oo-oo-oo-oos" around 3 minutes) seem dedicated to the song's altpop hook, the rising crest of the chorus. [buy]

A great new mostlyfolk blog, kittytext.

The Streets are coming to Montreal (can I persuade myself to pay the $43 bus ticket?), and Wilco's coming to Ottawa (can I persuade myself to pay the $2.50 bus ticket?). Thanks to Aaron and Frank for the heads' ups.

Gmail Swap stuff: articles in the Washington Post and at Wired News. The lunacy continues. (4,301 swaps have been posted since Monday morning.)

Posted by Sean at May 21, 2004 3:31 AM

Looks like we were on the same wave tonight Re: Byrne.

I went with the Opera though. Novelty value and whatnot.

Posted by Keith at May 21, 2004 3:34 AM

Must be something going around because I also posted "Glass, Concrete & Stone" last night on my blog. Spooky.

Posted by Mark at May 21, 2004 7:31 AM

Joey Sweeney used to write for Philadelphia Weekly, which has a sporadic column called "The Trouble with Spikol." Fuse the two and ther'es the name.

Posted by Anonymous at May 21, 2004 12:13 PM

Great songs. I've been meaning to do some David Byrne listening for quite a while, and this is just the impetus I needed. Thanks!

Posted by Michelle at May 21, 2004 3:26 PM

nice david byrne song, sean. me too i had totally given up on him. everything i heard from him after the talking heads was disappointing. the lovely warm tune (esp. the strings and xylophone) reminds me a lot of the penguin cafe orchestra. i just see that you mentioned them concerning the other song which has nothing to do with them except the lyrical reference. did you unconsciously realize that the byrne song has almost exactly that pco vibe?

Posted by alex at May 22, 2004 6:41 AM

You're right, Alex - there's a warm whimsy there that's like something from the PGO. It must have been unconscious, though!

Posted by Sean at May 24, 2004 3:00 AM

Great information here. Just what I needed to complete my essay. Thanks. In my opinion the internet is the key to success!

Posted by Susani at April 26, 2005 8:21 AM

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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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Said the Gramophone launched in March 2003, and added songs in November of that year. It was one of the world's first mp3blogs.

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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.

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