like a glad bird
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.


Clem Snide - "All Green". Clem Snide played in Montreal at the end of October, at a little club called le Petit Cafe Campus. I went alone - ostensibly to review the show, but I never got around to it. Clem Snide's one of my pet little bands - I like them quite a lot, but no one else I've played them for has ever become quite so smitten. Eef's lyrics are always clever and sharp, but he has a romantic side I enjoy very much, too.

Anyway, there I was at the show, sitting on my own. (When I came in the door and took one of the stools along the wall, a fortysomething francophone man invited me to take one of the chairs at his table. It wasn't a drunken gesture, an uncomfortably friendly one, or any sort of creepy invitation; it was just a kind offer from one chain-smoking, greying, alt-country-music listening loner to another [minus the smoking thing]. For the rest of the show, I regretted not taking him up on it.) Surprise opener was Jim Bryson - whom I saw at BluesFest this summer - and I was struck with the same impressions as from several months ago. His live, full-band performance is scorching, terrific, bristling and fullhearted. I haven't heard the new one yet, but I do hope that it captures some of Bryson's loud, warm live show.

Er. Anyway... Clem Snide. Your Favorite Music is my favourite of theirs, by far, with the last couple being a little too rock for their own good. Each is spotted with amazing songs, however - seek out "Donna," "Your Favorite Music," "African Friend," "Lost On the River," "Chinese B"... Their new one, Soft Spot sounds like it should be genius - Eef's fallen headoverheels, and here's some pure-and-unadulterated love-songs. Sadly, it's not - the album plods, it lacks the beauty it aspires to. "All Green" is a perfect example of this, but it's still completely great. The instrumental backing just never lives up to the almost-too-good lyrics ("But summer will come with Al Green and sweetened iced-tea / Summer will come and be all green with the sweetness of thee"). Still, that line is good enough to sell whole albums, if you ask me.

Oh - Live? They were good. Not astounding, but good. Eef was distracted but earnest, peculiar and sincere. The highlight was a song called "Beautiful," not yet released... I'll have my ears open.

To continue the live-shows-of-2003 theme, there's this:

Bonnie Billy and the Marquis de Tren - "II-XV". This is from Get on Jolly, a collaborative EP between Will Oldham (Bonnie [Prince] Billy) and Mick Turner (Marquis de Tren, the Dirty 3). When Oldham played in Ottawa this summer, the show's emotional climax came (for me), when this sweet, forceful, devastating song turned over on itself and became "New Partner." This is a track that must be paid-attention-to. It's like a fallen star. Please.

Posted by Sean at November 28, 2003 1:29 AM

I've been trying to convert people to Clem Snide for the best part of two years now, handing out CDR freebies of Favourite Music, putting them on late at night. I've made one strong convert and mildly interested a couple of people, but the majority reaction is 'ugh - I just don't get it.' I dunno if it's the cello or the bastard child of Loudon Wainright and Leonard Cohen go art country aspect, but...

I keep trying to persuade the one promoter I know to book them to play Nottingham next time they're in the UK. He's only mildly interested and the tepid new album doesn't help. Nice site anyhow - just came here from fluxblog - I'll be bookmarking you and coming back.

Posted by Dymbel at December 1, 2003 9:48 AM

thanks for "II-XV' the greatest song i have heard this year - no luck finding the ep though but i'll keep trying. Cheers

Posted by jed at December 2, 2003 6:10 PM

Glad you were able to nab II-XV, jed! I found it really hard to track down, myself. Even online, it's exceedingly rare - the only thing anyone ever seemed to have was the live version from the tour-only (live) ep. and the studio one is sweeter.

thanks for stopping by, Dymbel! It's a funny picture in my head to imaging Eef sauntering down the street of Nottingham, but it'll do. (He seemed sort of bewildered when I saw him the next day, simply on the street in Montreal...)

Posted by Sean at December 2, 2003 9:44 PM

The day after I saw Kinky Friedman at a small venue in Nottingham, I saw him in the city's old Market Square, stumbling over the lines for the new tram system: a befuddled middle aged man with dreadlocks - now, he did look a little out of place.... OK, I'm gonna grab me some Eminem. Thanks - been looking for that.

Posted by Dymbel at December 6, 2003 2:16 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...'

All songs are removed within a few weeks of posting.

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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Please don't send us emails with tons of huge attachments; if emailing a bunch of mp3s etc, send us a link to download them. We are not interested in streaming widgets like soundcloud: Said the Gramophone posts are always accompanied by MP3s.

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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