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.


Frankel - "Thermostat". This is not the sound of 2007. It's not even the sound of 2006. Frankel have here unearthed the feel-good guitar-pop of 1997, a time before I had these stresses & melancholies, before I had to cook & clean, before I had to put on a tie when I got up in the morning. It's effortless verse and chorus, catchy in five places at once, unthreatening and blue-eyed. It's as good an argument as any that I've heard for playing with tamagotchis, listening to "Mmmbop" and "Tubthumping", watching Titanic, reading the first Harry Potter, and goin' to Neale's house every lunch-hour to play Tekken on his Playstation. Frankel suggest I don't need a time-machine: just a new pair of shoes.

[buy / MySpace]

Kelly Clarkson - "Irvine". I don't know that Kelly Clarkson quite out-feists Leslie Feist, here. But she certainly feists Feist. It's a beautiful, beautiful song, smally sung, its rhymes like so many red-brown berries in a briar bush. A prayer sung like a goodbye - And maybe to you, our readers, so often silent, this seems like a vapid thing to say. "A prayer sung like a goodbye" -- what does it mean? what does it mean? What's a song like a prayer sung like a goodbye? But what I hope is that, like me, you can lie there and know of what I speak. The way a thing that's not a goodbye can sound like one; the way words, farewelled, go feisting past your ribs and sink into your heart. The way I can sit in the dark at a rock concert and listen to a woman happily sing the words "Marry me", and yet find tears at my eyes, a not-so-distant goodbye suddenly traced in charcoal on my mind's grey glass.

Where's Kelly's Irvine, I wonder. Or who.



The band named Da Bears, whom I was thrilled by here, play Ottawa tonight and Montreal's Absynthe (1738 St-Denis) tomorrow, Friday. I suggest that you go.

I highly recommend that you read and listen to Jordan's post of yesterday. The upcoming Sleeping States album is not ordinary (it is v good).

Posted by Sean at July 26, 2007 2:10 AM

Getting feisted sounds kind of dirty.

Posted by matthew at July 26, 2007 10:50 AM

Too bad 'Irvine' was the only good song (along with the hidden track) on that mess of an album. If only she had taken it in this 'feisty' direction. It won't sell well either, but I'll probably like it better.

Posted by Zeon at July 26, 2007 12:22 PM

I haven't heard the original version, but I can't imagine that it would be better than this. I know that is a terrible thing to say, but this is damn good. And, yeah, imagine if Kelly would have went an indie/feistified direction.

Posted by David at July 26, 2007 12:30 PM

I love this song, I only wish it was longer (ha), hmm I think I know what you mean...., thanks for posting it.

Posted by Mea at July 26, 2007 7:48 PM

Wow this Kelly track is amazing, thanks for posting :)

Posted by Sofiblu at July 27, 2007 12:35 AM

Good postings today! What a surprise from Kelly!

Also, a little late, but none-the less important:

Super duper banner Daria!

Posted by Robin at July 27, 2007 9:25 AM

I'm more curious as to what "singing goodbye like a prayer" would sound like.

Posted by Grace at July 28, 2007 10:56 AM

Great find on that Kelly Clarkson song. It really is a good one. I never would have guessed that was her, if I was just hearing it randomly. Thanks!

Posted by Ginny at July 28, 2007 4:39 PM

great to see STG embracing frankel. big fan, here.

Posted by satisfied75 at July 29, 2007 4:21 PM

Feist as noun, verb and adjective. Writing this post must have made you tired. Meanwhile, that’s a surprising track from Clarkson. I guess she figured if she was going to have a good song on her album it was going to have to be someone else's.

Posted by J.R. Knight at July 30, 2007 8:30 PM

'irvine' refers to irvine, california where kelly literally broke down after a concert and wrote the song while lying on the floor in the bathroom. i think its a beautiful song, and it is meant as a prayer. i like the rest of her album as well, though upon my first listen i found it to be very harsh, depressing and vaguely 90's sounding. but after a few listens (which is a must if you're going to critique anything fairly), the beautiful nuances of kelly's voice shine through. she is extremely talented and the songs are wonderful, though heart-breaking once you sift through the rocky beats and get down to the nitty-gritty lyrics. i love kelly clarkson and i'm just sad for her that she had to go through so much hurt before getting a song that a lot of people see as the 'only good one on the album'.

Posted by fiona white at August 3, 2007 1:39 PM

J.R. Knight..2 posts above mine^^ You said if she was going to have a good song, it was going to have to be someone elses. I don't get that statement, this IS Kellys song, that SHE wrote herself. It isn't someone elses.

I stumbled on this blog, and totally agree with your statements about this song. It really gets to you, I'm not a Clarkson fan, at least I wasn't, till a friend of mine turned me on to this new cd of hers, My December" and I fell in love with it, especially this song, and the hidden track that follows this one. According to my friend, who's a huge KC fan, she did write this song after a concert in Irvine. She was just so spent from touring so much, it all caught up with her. But, what I found even more interesting, is that she recorded it on her computer, in her closet at home, to get the same echo-y effect, as if she was singing it in a bathroom. And it was one take. The producer thought it was perfect as is, and they just added the guitar to her vocals.

Posted by Kathy at August 8, 2007 4:31 PM

Thanks for the link to "Irvine". Great song. Kelly Clarkson, who'd a thunk it.

Posted by Gina at August 8, 2007 8:24 PM

I loved all her songs on this album. When I first heard Irvine it helped me cope w/my fathers death whose life was taken so unexpectedly. I'd like to thank her for such a beautiful song.

Posted by Nadine at August 5, 2008 3:59 AM

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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.

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Back to the World
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Ill Doctrine
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Words and Music
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Silent Shout
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Awesome Tapes from Africa
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Pitchfork Reviews Reviews
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CKUT Music
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Passion of the Weiss
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Horses Think
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