Kind and Unkind
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.


In Celebration of David Pajo:


Tortoise - "Tin Cans And Twine"

The first time I saw Tortoise play live they were touring in support of Standards. Tortoise being one of my favourite bands from when I was in high school, I looked forward to the show with prodigious eagerness, and with some old friends, gin and tonics, and a few cigars (yes, that is the type of lifestyle I lead) we rolled down to the Cabaret. They played most of the canonical repertoire; ?DJed?, ?Along The Banks Of Rivers?, ?Seneca?. But it wasn?t until their fourth encore, when they finally came to understand that people would not stop clapping, would not leave satisfied unless it happened, that they played ?Tin Cans And Twine? (a song they had sold to be used in a Calvin Klein add). They seemed peeved and played a strange and stilted version that never quite developed into anything more than noodling.

The emotive, riff-based low end with occasional aching high end is Tortoise?s signature, and never was it writ more elegantly than on ?Tin Cans And Twine.?

A simple bass riff complimented by a high-hat, bass drum and snare is transformed and melodically explicated (there was more there than we understood) by the baritone guitar. The guitar exits and we are left with the same bass part, but now listened to entirely differently. It continues (like all things) until it stops, at which point we are left with quiet; then a simple and evocative baritone guitar. Everything comes back in. A high pitched signal in the background increases its rate, and so its pitch, like it?s fighting to breathe normally while running.

Come to think of it, the song is perfect for running... slowly.


Papa M - "Over Jordan"

This is another song from an album I don?t like much. I am a very big fan of Pajo?s guitar playing, but I don?t find him to be a particularly good folk/pop songwriter. For the most part, the vocal parts seemed tacked on, and too unvarying in pitch.

This, however, is an exception.

Mmm, that?s nice. Sounds so soft.

Acoustic guitar, banjo like glass. His voice in the chorus is just like Leonard Cohen, and Will Oldham?s backing vocals sound just like Leonard Cohen (an octave and more up).

This song has my name in its title (?tis why I like it). Can you deal with that?

Posted by Jordan at October 18, 2004 9:27 PM


Posted by Test at October 18, 2004 9:28 PM

Thank you for the good music, Jordan.

(This site is confounding me nowadays though.)

Posted by rodii at October 18, 2004 10:15 PM

Great music as usual. Keep up the great work!

Posted by Eric at October 18, 2004 11:07 PM

Jack White did Over Jordan in Clear Mountain... Or whatever the name of that movie was. Cold Mountain maybe.

Just Jack White and a mandolin, hot diggity damn does it kick ass.

I haven't listened to Tortoise in forever.

Posted by Zak at October 19, 2004 12:35 AM

I love the Papa M track. You should compare it with Poor Wayfaring Stranger by Almeda Riddle on the Alan Lomax collection

Posted by bob at October 19, 2004 7:48 AM

Reminds me of "Bloomed" era Richard Buckner. Nice song.

Posted by P Funk at October 19, 2004 2:48 PM

Just nitpicking: David Pajo was not in Tortoise when they recorded their first album, which "Tin Cans and Twine" is from. He only appeared on Millions Now Living... and TNT.

But I still love this site. Keep up the good work!

Posted by U.S. Gums at October 20, 2004 11:28 AM

Yeah, you're right. I forgot that. Oops.

Posted by Jordan at October 20, 2004 1:32 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.

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...'

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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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"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.

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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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