labour-day sunshine
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.


A Whisper in the Noise - "Silence". This is a dark one. Not sure why I picked it... Perhaps it's all the rain. Or maybe Napoleon Dynamite turned me goth. Regardless, let's look at the components: 1) radio static; 2) hauntedhouse pizzicatto strings; 3) affable horns; 4) a ghostly latin choir; 5) parched alt-rock vocals. Oh yes, and then heavy piano footsteps, branch-cracking drums. This wouldn't be out of place on Clint Mansell's Requiem for a Dream soundtrack, nor would I have been surprised to hear a Trent Reznor connection. But there isn't one. A Whisper in the Noise is from Minneapolis and Steve Albini is manning the boards. It's a song that dredges things up from the well and then holds them into the light. Dogs barking in a rainsoaked park, glowing eyes in the ruins of churches. Fear without claustrophobia. (From 2002's Through the Ides of March.) [buy]

Thalia Zedek - "Evil Hand". With October will come the release of Thalia Zedek's new record, Trust Not Those In Whom Without Some Touch of Madness. It was recorded in Montreal (on entirely analog equipment), and I can't help but feel it carries some of that city with it. There's a thickness to "Evil Hand," a depth to the smoke. Perhaps it's the way the drums smash - loud - over the weave of violin. Or the way Zedek never really stops singing. But I remember cool, wet nights in Montreal, walking down St-Laurent at 3am, streetlight glare and the rattlespray of an occasional car. Abandoned, and yet with all that wide city on either side: east and west and north, houses for as far as you could walk. Homes. Zedek's been recording for twenty years - with Live Skull, Come, and on her own. Her delivery carries the weight of years and pushes past it. She glances at the night and then strides boldly into it. She snuffs out candles and lights whole torches. It's the widowed Courtney Love, singing at a gypsy dive. [buy later]


As part of a project asking various (mostly Italian) people about their "5 easy pieces," 5 pezzi facili has my "five most relevant songs." Although the bands are all acts I've written about before, - The Beatles, Julie Doiron, Wilco, The Arcade Fire, Gillian Welch, - I'm more happy with the comments I made there than with most of my recent writing. So please do read, and let me know what you think. (Also, there is a beardless photo of me, which was supposed to be in Saturday Night, but wasn't.)

Preview my interview for Tofu-Hut-John's betterpropaganda mp3blog series.

Add another one to the list of alternate URLs for Said the Gramophone: joining, and, um,, is If you're bookmarking a URL, I prefer you use the unwieldly tangmonkey one (it's better for tracking web-referrers), but for catchy-easy-to-remember, the alternatives are probably superior.


Andrea pointed me to the work of Mindy Smith. You can stream/download a song, there, called "Come to Jesus," which is a wonderful cup of country pop. In the earnest harmonizing chorus, I get all goosebumpy and full. I'm not so sure about the guitar solo, but the rest is great; sweet and grim at the same time.

The Swish is a new english mp3blog with its ear to the ground on a bunch of dance and indie stuff. club-flavoured and very peppery. (also, it doesn't work on Camino/Mac.)

Posted by Sean at September 10, 2004 12:53 AM

Love that Whisper in the Dark track.

Posted by Tuwa at September 10, 2004 1:46 PM

This doesnt have anything to do with this post but about a band I see you mention frequently, The Arcade Fire. If you listen to the track Crown of Love from the new album and then listen to Bright Eyes - False advertising from his latest LP, you hear a lot of similarities (vocals, production, strings). The first time I heard Crown of Love I thought of bright eyes. I love Arcade Fire none the less.

Posted by bp at September 10, 2004 3:04 PM

BP, I've made the Bright Eyes comparison to that song before, but more in the sense that I think The Arcade Fire have accomplished what Oberst has tried and failed to on a few occasions.

Posted by Keith at September 10, 2004 3:33 PM

new julie doiron and thalia zedek back to back? are you trying to kill me?

Posted by cody at September 10, 2004 3:44 PM

yes Sean, Thalia!
her voice sounds as if it has sung a million stories, smoked a million cigarettes, drank a million whiskies (or PBR's). she is so real and honest. she tears me apart every time. ever heard her version of the Dylan song "you're a big girl now"?

David Michael Curry and his viola make a sweet and sad sound too.

Posted by bmr at September 10, 2004 3:47 PM

well i hate to bring it back to death, but i just read your 5 pezzi piece, very spot on, i was particularly taken when you cite "i dream a highway." don't you get the feeling that when you die that song will start and never stop?

Posted by cody at September 10, 2004 3:55 PM

enjoyed the silence song very much.

Posted by r at September 10, 2004 3:58 PM

holy crap! I love whisper in the noise. I was at their cd release show for 2D. Go see them on the 1st w/look alive at the u of m.

Posted by adam at September 10, 2004 5:46 PM

Hey Sean, Funeral just got a 9.7 from pitchfork. Thought you'd be as psyched as I was. Mike.

Posted by Mike at September 13, 2004 9:34 AM

Glad to see blogging start to move in the interview direction. I think it's great because many of the artists we highlight are rather obscure, and an interview to go along gives the band a friendly face, if you know what I mean.


Posted by Heraclitus at September 13, 2004 1:36 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.

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
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Euro-Deli Batory
le pick up
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chez boris
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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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