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.


Tartit - "Assinaina". The Tuareg of the Sahara desert play a music that is someone rapping with hard knuckles on your chest. I imagine myself laying on sand and staring at so much sky that I pass out. The Tuareg come: rap rap rap, Assinaina assinaina assinaina. And I come to. I imagine myself drinking water so cool that my belly glows, and I pass out. The Tuareg come: rap rap rap, Assinaina assinaina assinaina. I come to. I imagine myself in a city called Montreal, so familiar in its morning whites and browns, and I think that somehow if I put ear-to-tree I'll hear a music coming up through the roots from a much hotter place - something to help me come to.

This is a band of five women and four men, drums and handclaps that go in circles, voices chiming and cresting. To me it recalls the intricate jubilance of Toumani Diabate. Crammed tells me Tuareg men are veiled, women are not. And I tell you: this music, a song called "Assinaina", is absolutely unveiled.


Mirah - "Apples in the Trees (Pash remix)". One of the rare highlights in a new album of Mirah remixes, Pash's version strips the song to just two lines - then sets these spinning like plates on sticks. Bells ring and ding, bluebells rattle, apple blossoms fall to earth like brass ball bearings. Mirah doesn't sound like the boxing clever folkie that she is: she sounds like someone already forgotten. You know when you think of a song, or a lyric, that someone sang long ago at a concert? And you don't even remember what the band looked like, let alone who they were? All you have left from that performance is the curl of Mostly-Forgotten? Well this is that, in a broken music-box.

[buy Joyride (or, better yet, buy Mirah's very best records)]

Posted by Sean at November 6, 2006 9:35 AM

Thank you for the seductive, entrancing "Assinaina", Sean, it brings spice and spirit to my new day.

Out of curiosity, what are your thoughts, if any, on Echo & the Bunnymen?


Posted by Yoshi at November 7, 2006 10:09 AM

Thanks for "Assinaina." I wandered around all day feeling lighter somehow for having heard it. (Where do you find such things?)

Posted by sarah at November 14, 2006 10:48 PM

wow thanks for the nice words about my re-mix... my friend found this site searching for my band name in hype machine. the way you described it is a good way...i find i think about music like that a lot, just remembering one part a few things so its like a trance, and becomes a whole different thing. then when i hear the orginal again it's a little disappointing because it doesn't match the little trance thing in my head! (Ice Cream Castles by The Time is my ultimate example of this pheom.) if you wanna hear more of my stuff i'm on myspace,

thanks for such a nice site, i'll come back again!

Posted by pash (ly) at July 14, 2007 12:10 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.

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...'

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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)

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
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Euro-Deli Batory
le pick up
kem coba
le couteau
au pied de cochon
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chez boris
alati caserta
vices & versa
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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
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