mercury rising
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.


I stayed up far too late last night writing the Okkervil River review. I'd been ready to write it for more than a week - my feelings composed, some metaphors and things floating around... but it just wouldn't go. I tried last Monday and last Thursday, and simply got blocked. And last night it was a struggle too. Not because the music is boring to think (or write) about, but because I felt I simply couldn't articulate my thoughts on the record. It all came out as a muddle - and I imagine it still does. Oh well.

It didn't help that I got sidetracked while exploring Okkervil River's cover artist, William Schaff. He does beautiful, haunting work - themes of death and religion and literature. Okkervil River's last two album-covers, but also the last Songs:Ohia record, and the insert for Godspeed's Lift Your Skinny Fists.

The Mercury Music Prize nominees are out. Although many other people bash the "Booker" of British Music, I think that it's recognized some fine artists pver the past ten years (both as nominees and as winners): The Bees, Gomez, Doves, Talvin Singh, Badly Drawn Boy, The Streets, the Delgados, Pulp, Portishead, Kathryn Williams,

This year, the nominees are:
RADIOHEAD - 'Hail to the Thief'
DIZZEE RASCAL - 'Boy In Da Corner'
THE THRILLS - 'So Much for the City'
SOWETO KINCH - 'Conversations with the Unseen'
FLOETRY - 'Floetic'
THE DARKNESS - 'Permission to Land'
COLDPLAY - 'A Rush of Blood to the Head'
ELIZA CARTHY - 'Anglicana'
ATHLETE - 'Vehicles and Animals'
TERRI WALKER - 'Untitled'
LEMON JELLY - 'Lost Horizons'

I've only heard the Coldplay, Radiohead and Dizzee Rascal; Coldplay and Radiohead are apparently the favourites. While Coldplay was a worthy nominee for Parachutes, if they win for Rush of Blood, I'm going to have to put on some angry-music, if you know what I mean. Dizzee Rascal doesn't seem to be for me - the music's too mechanical and sharp, he descends too often into the crude - but I can hear the innovation in his sound. What I know of Eliza Carthy does not impress (pleasant-but-that's-all folk fusion), and Lemon Jelly hardly seems award-worthy. Ultimately, the only nominee I'm curious about is Athlete: has anyone heard the record?

Posted by Sean at July 22, 2003 10:48 AM

you've never heard of floetry??

Posted by anne at July 22, 2003 11:46 AM

Heard of, yes, but only veryvery vaguely. I think I saw three seconds of one of their videos, but turned it off because the name "Floetry" sounded so dire.

Do you like them? Should I?

Posted by Sean at July 22, 2003 12:54 PM

I am not a floetry expert...I'm not sure you would like them, though.

but my god, sean, The Ground Beneath her Feet is absolutely a place where there is (obviously) a dearth of English, it comforts me immensely to read a book so rich in language. hooray!

Posted by anne at July 23, 2003 2:05 PM

Athlete. The rock, their album is kinda popish, and there's a reggae-ish beat in a few songs,
You Got The Style and Westside are definitely standout tracks if you are going to check out the album!

Posted by lindsay at July 23, 2003 2:56 PM

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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.

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