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.


Aboveground pool

Travels - "Lucky". In a building in the suburbs there is a machine that generates wisdom. It is a large machine, as big as two garages. One day, its caretakers assure visitors, such machines will be small enough to fit in our pockets. The machine's operation is simple: give it data (pdf format only), and wait. The data can be anything - random weather stats, holiday emails, photographs of family-members. The machine will make sense of this information. It will take what you have told it and respond with wisdom. Sometimes this wisdom is glib, like this is a two-garage fortune cookie: Trust your own experiences, it says. Or, True love isn't hard work. Other times the machine spits out reams and reams of pages, wisdom rendered as philosophical treatise. Sometimes it offers the video of a baby eating a watermelon from the inside out. The caretakers are still arguing over whether this was a bug.

Travels' song, "Lucky", is the response of a machine to the matter of a dead dog. Lucky died. He was a good dog. The wisdom generator has rendered its opinion in oooooohs, mantras, flea-bitten guitar. It is funny, short-haired, wagging. It chases its own tail & then stops. It is a wooded thicket and bright blue sky. It has listened to Yo La Tengo and the Fall. It will bark the bracelets onto your wrists.

[this song comes with Travels' new 7"; just $7, it comes with a 7"x7" varnished still from Travels' upcoming animated film. There are only 150 copies.]

Ólöf Arnalds - "Close My Eyes". Iceland's Arnalds delivers a very un-icy version of Arthur Russell's "Close My Eyes". Despite her nordic vowel-sounds, it has much more to do with Sandy Denny or Anne Briggs than with Nico. It's one of those songs that seems of two seasons at once - the sun-skimmed summer, the clear-skied fall. Covers are so often redundant; it is strange & gratifying to hear a verison of "Close My Eyes" that is similar to the original but newly beautiful. This is not a deconstruction, a dance-pop inversion. It's voice and acoustic guitar. Arnalds singing those slightly different shades of rose and blue.

[buy other albums / Ólöf Sings is out Nov 8 / or buy this song on 7"]


Go see these gigs in Montreal:

  • Tonight: artful, sparkling rock'n'roll by Baby Eagle and the Proud Mothers. (Panda Bar)
  • Tuesday, Oct 25: the inimitable Gillian Welch, though I believe this is sold out. (Le National)
  • Thursday, Oct 27: very excited for the return of Blue Hawaii, long-quiet as they recorded and um Braids got famous. They are playing with (yes indeed) Braids and the young guitar sputniks in Parlovr. (Cabaret Mile End)
  • Sunday, Oct 30: Eerie and bottomless folk music by James Irwin & Old Believer. (Casa del Popolo)
  • Monday, Oct 31, Halloween: A Winged Victory for the Sullen, a ghostly side-project of Stars of the Lid. (Casa del Popolo)

(photograph is from this year's Louisiana floods, I believe)

Posted by Sean at October 20, 2011 11:23 AM

A dog named Lucky bit me once. He wasn't very lucky for me.

Posted by moominpappa at October 20, 2011 9:23 PM

"Close My Eyes" is lovely.

Posted by Karin S. at October 23, 2011 10:11 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)

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