little miss lonelyhearts
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.


Is it Friday already? I am sick-stuffed-up and the week has passed in a bleary blur. Some songs, therefore, for all your recoveries:

The Hussys - "Snowboard". On Valentine's Day I went to see The Research play at Cabaret Voltaire. Before they went on there were two other bands, one which was mediocre and irrelevant, the other which was amazing and great. The latter were called The Hussys and they're from Glasgow and they play pop-songs somewhere between pop-punk and The Beach Boys, Avril Lavigne in a tryst with Beulah. On stage, they were kids, they were goofs, each of them making faces and hamming it up, taking what pleasures they could in the almost-empty room. But the key thing: the songs. These weren't just hammered chords and a girl with pink hair. They were a girl with pink hair and melodic delights: bridges and arrangements that pinged and zinged, rinkydink keyboard bits and sweet woo-oo-oo vocal harmonies, six musicians making something together. They have a new EP out next month - it's called Napoleon Dynamite and has a song about Napoleon Dynamite (seriously!) - but "Snowboard" is the hit from their first EP, called Tiger. The chorus is: "I can't touch my snowboard since you broke my heart." They bitch about it being "zero degrees". Julian, who hates pop music, says "it's really good". I, who like pop music, just wish I was an A&R guy so I could sign these guys and then retire to Malibu.

[buy / myspace]


The Research - "Lonely Hearts Still Beat The Same".

Russell (from The Research): "This is our new single. It's bound to be our biggest hit because it's the only song where Georgia sings instead of me."

Georgia (from The Research): [laugh]

Russell: "It's called 'Lonely Hearts Still Beat The Same'."

[they play: the keen press of synths and the cool rat-a-rat of Sarah's drums. Georgia sings like a robot whose heart is glowing pink under her skin.]

Russell: "Thanks."

Sean (from Said the Gramophone): "Excuse me--"

Russell: "Yes?"

Sean: "That was marvellous. Georgia? That was marvellous."

Georgia: "Er. Thank-you!"

Sarah (from The Research): "What about me?"

Sean: "You were good too. And you too, Russell. That's a great song."

All (from The Research): "Thanks!"

Sean: "It's like the opposite of a Wolf Parade song."

Georgia: (skeptical) "Who are Wolf Parade?"

Sean: "A band. They let energy go all over, heartbreak shattering things. You let trauma lead you down into a groove, into a certainty. They choose the roughest sounds, you choose the sweetest ones. They choose a crackle of electric guitar, you choose another layer of sugarwater synths."

Russell: "We're a rock band too." [throws his keyboard to the ground, kicks it a couple times. it makes mournful Grandaddy sounds.]

Sean: "You're a band that will sound best on portable radios."

Georgia: "What does that mean?"

Sean: "It means I should be able to hear you even when I'm walking somewhere, lost, tired, hesitating. Even when I've forgotten that you exist."

Russell: [thinks about this] "Okay, let's play it again. But this time I'll sing lead."

[buy the single. New album out soon.]


Aaron MacDonald - "Bluebird Liquor, Black Crow Wine". Yes, another. But see the thing is, friends, that even though this is just a song made from lyrics submitted to Said the Gramophone for a contest, it's really fucking good, like good as normal songs that get posted here. I do not exaggerate. Aaron's made a beautiful track that is "acoustic guitars, banjo, accordion, mandolin, bass, drums, moog, birdsong... harmonica, and [him] singing a few times" - it's part Okkervil River and part Lambchop, vocals dry as twigs over a backing that's green and mossy as forest ground. You'll slip it onto mix-tapes, you'll play it for friends, you'll lie on your back in the middle of the living-room and imagine birds circling, twittering, wheeling into the kitchen and then round back again, black masks over their eyes. And maybe you'll spot the flutter of someone's skirt, just out the corner of your eye.

[Aaron releases a song every day, but unlike most such projects, his songs are often actually great. Listen to them here, or follow them via his blog. He is in the Portland band The New Mexican Revolution.]


There are a couple of (new) prints available at Evah Fan's website. I bought this one (only 25 to be had), and it arrived today. It is lovely, small and good in your hands, and much nicer in person than on the screen.

Otherwise Unavailable is a new mp3blog writing about very interesting things. Live recordings and out of print stuff by bands I've never heard of - Hubcap City's free and artful rock, or the Pounding Serfs - an early K band that inspired Phil Elvrum.

Schedule Two is a new website that I think I like. Clean and well-meaning, with videos of John K Samson playing Weakerthanks songs, or a full Julie Doiron live recording, there for the taking.

Posted by Sean at February 24, 2006 3:00 AM

Hey Sean! Thanks so much for mentioning the blog on your site! It's an honor! There will be more stuff that you'll like coming up soon.

Posted by Otherwise Unavailable at February 24, 2006 3:30 AM

The Bluebird liquor songs have been amazing! While the nicest thing about it has been the impromptu collaboration, do you think it would work as a semi-regular aside - getting readers to generate seams of couplets for talented songsmiths to mine?

It's things like this that make me love the internet.

Posted by kieran at February 24, 2006 3:53 AM


Posted by Red Ruin at February 24, 2006 12:18 PM


Posted by Zaidie Ben at February 24, 2006 2:29 PM

"And maybe you'll spot the flutter of someone's skirt, just out the corner of your eye."

Such a serene vision. Some of the stuff you write is just too beautiful for words, which is kind of weird, in a way.

Posted by the real Jerimee at February 25, 2006 1:38 AM

Sean: "You're a band that will sound best on portable radios."


Posted by dan at February 25, 2006 2:33 PM

I saw The Research in Oxford a couple of weeks ago. Russell was complaining about Georgia at that show too. According to him, during inter-song banter, "every few gigs she pipes up and says something smart" [big laugh from audience].

Of course, it goes without saying that they are excellent.

Posted by Michael Williams at February 25, 2006 5:10 PM

"You're a band that will sound best on portable radios."

or from crappy hostel speakers in san pedro

Posted by jay at February 25, 2006 8:21 PM

I downloaded the research's song, not knowing what to expect. The sound that came from my computer's tinny speakers was a revelation, it was quick and instant, the love i had for this band. You know how you hear a song, and every progressive track is better than the first? yeah.

Posted by janellio at February 26, 2006 1:50 AM

Ugh, however true it may be, it still hurts to see Avril Lavigne and Beulah in the same sentance {for Beaulah's sake}.

Posted by brooks at February 27, 2006 4:34 PM

The Research is totally HOTT! I'm off to check out The Hussys right now.

Posted by TeamJude at February 28, 2006 6:38 PM

oh god I love the research and still looking for the lyrics of their song "lonely hearts still beat the same"

Posted by joie at January 25, 2007 2:39 AM

Hi there,

Just thought I'd let you know that I have added a news feed to the Hussys website linked above. Has lyrics, tour dates and all the rest of it.


Posted by Richard at March 9, 2007 7:51 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.

Emma Healey writes poems and essays in Toronto. She joined Said the Gramophone in 2015. This is her website and email her here.

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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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