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.


Lion-eating Poet in the Stone Den

Neutral Milk Hotel - "Two-Headed Boy Part 2". Jeff Mangum came to Montreal last night. He played a beautiful show, the songs that mattered, his voice almost unchanged. He wore a plaid shirt, a newsboy cap. His haircut was the same as it has always been. He opened my heart right up, lifted words and wordless syllables to my lips. He reminded me that every time I make a metaphor with flowers - blooms, buds, curls, - it is a tribute to him. But in spite of all this, I am not sure what Jeff Mangum was after. He came back to Montreal after years away, sang his cranberry melodies, asked us all to sing along; and maybe he was after money, or solace, or reverie or community or some full-circle kind of peace. I really don't know. He gave nothing away. He smiled, quipped, eyes flicking around. He drank from that plastic bottle of water. He seemed disappointed, sometimes, in himself. He seemed most alive when he was singing. He sang old songs and offered no clues. Today I listen to "Two-Headed Boy Part 2", feel its full force; and I wonder what it means, when a man is selfless and concealed. [buy]

Gillian Welch - "The Way It Will Be". E---- lifted her hood and went out into the fiery streets. There were yells in the air. The rioters had already been chased through F---- Lane so now the road was empty, full of smoke and sirens. The Tesco was boarded up, the shoe shop, but someone had broken the window of the Greggs. E---- wondered what you would loot from a Greggs. She stood in the shattered glass, peered into the bakery. Part of her expected crumbs, so many crumbs, feathery bits of puff pastry. But the inside was clean, undisturbed. Cheap cakes sat under glass.

E---- walked up the street. She was sick with missing M----. She was streaked and raging. She heard sirens and felt as if they were batting against her. This city should be full of crows. Not rioters, cops, just a million black crows, watching from the eaves, clicking their beaks. She didn't want to ever see M---- again. Wanted him to live in a green valley, where the sky is always white. [buy]


You have until midnight GMT to buy If Destroyed Still True #6: Iraqi Kurdistan edition, a zine by my friend Nine. It is £3, black and white, utterly exceptional. I met Nine when I lived in Edinburgh. But she has left that city, taken her life on her back. She is a traveller, now. She is sensitive, serious, alive. She tells good jokes and listens hard. Earlier this year she visited Iraqi Kurdistan. IDST6 is about her time there. It is a photocopied cut-up job but in its content it is so beautiful, thoughtful, a testimony of feelings felt and questions asked. Nine's gift is the way she strings together pieces of things - honestly, humbly. These strings of pieces teach and move me, in a manner that almost nothing else ever does. I recommend this little book passionately, unreservedly. £3, shipped anywhere in the world.

(read more about the poem above / listen to it read)

Posted by Sean at August 11, 2011 11:53 AM

No joke, Gillian Welch's "The Way It Will Be" came up on my AudioVroom stream. I loved it.

Posted by Jeremy at August 11, 2011 10:21 PM

I remember one of my college professors mentioning that poem once (variations on the syllable 'shi'), but kept forgetting to Google it. De-lurking to say thank you for posting that picture! (And I like that translation better than the one in Wikipedia, ahaha.)

Otherwise, excellent post as always. "He reminded me that every time I make a metaphor with flowers - blooms, buds, curls, - it is a tribute to him" hits home in a lot of ways for a lot of people, I think.

Posted by Amanda at August 12, 2011 9:57 AM

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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.

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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)

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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
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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
The Skinny