Let's Try Something...
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.


Castanets - "Cathedral 4 (The Unbreaking Branch Song)"

Starting out as an amorphous and toneless sermon on spirituality, the soul and God (set to down-strummed acoustic guitar), "Cathedral 4" turns at 1:12 into an amorphous and toneless dance sermon on being and the good life (set to down-strummed electric guitar, jaunty and oddly detached organ, occasional glassy guitar and a borderline silly drum beat). Good. Because that's what I require of a song.


Great Lake Swimmers - "I Will Never See The Sun"

Some name/thing confusion that is likely to arise when listening to "I Will Never See The Sun":

1. This song is similar to The Saddest Music In The World, but not to the saddest music in the world.

2. The Great Lake Swimmers are the Great Lake Swimmers, but are not (to my knowledge) Great Lake swimmers.


Some identity confusion that is likely to arise when listening to "I Will Never See The Sun":

1. This song is the Bluenose sailing in 3/4 time, and, of course, is not that.

2. That triumphant bass part is four round raindrops (the volume of a full big bathtub each) falling to the ground and coming satisfyingly undone on impact. Also, that is not what it is.


An ambiguously constructed sentence pertaining to the aptness of the band's name:

Rarely has the name of a band been so powerfully evocative of its aesthetic.


This is a very beautiful song.

Posted by Jordan at December 8, 2004 5:08 AM

Great choices! Both are from excellent albums. It's the atmosphere I guess that this music creates that makes me love it so much. The first time I heard 'Moving Shaking' from the Great Lake Swimmers album was almost a religious experience. I like the way you described this music. Thanks!

Posted by Bubbachups at December 8, 2004 7:32 AM

I have never heard these songs before. I am at work, so downloading samples now...well, let's just say that it's not time. What I can appreciate (silently and in my corner, along with Pierre Burton, who joined me last week and sits with me silently in my corner)is the writing. The first review contains a stern and overly generalized claim in conclusion. Well done. The second review masters linguistic analysis, teaches Chomsky a thing or two and kicks Austen's ass or it contains fun word games. I love these records because I love what can be said about them. Excellent writing.

Posted by Joel Taylor at December 8, 2004 9:19 AM

indeed. great writing today jordan.

Posted by george at December 8, 2004 9:30 AM

Two great choices, and terribly well described. Have to try and track down an import of the Great Lake Swimmers now, thanks a lot. Sounds like My Morning Jacket after having seen or heard whatever it is that makes Will Oldham so sad. Castanets made me feel cheated though! The song hits the wall right when I'm waiting for it to take off. I admire that.

Posted by chris b at December 8, 2004 2:53 PM

This is nuts. I agree with you about all the bands you post - I disagree with you about all the specifics! See: the Mike Olsen comment, and now you picked perhaps my least-favourite song on that absolutely fucking stellar Great Lake Swimmers album. This is weeeeeird.

Posted by tsjns at December 8, 2004 3:33 PM

Lovely, Jordan, thanks.
BTW do you know the Kingsbury Manx? I figure you might like them (I know the first, eponymous album, which is grand). They have spookily precise, apparently folky and sweet songs but with dark overtones...

Posted by Matthew at December 9, 2004 5:40 AM

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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.

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